Norway to screen newborn for diseases
14 Oct 2017, 19:06 ( 14 Oct, 2017) | updated: 14 Oct 2017, 20:59 ( 14 Oct, 2017)
Norway is the first country in Europe to test all newborns for serious immunodeficiency diseases, which can save more lives, newspaper Aftenposten reported Saturday.
The new government regulation incorporated immune deficiency diseases into the screening of all newborn in Norway.
Due to necessary practical preparation, the amendments shall enter into force on Jan. 1, 2018.
Norwegian regional health authorities are obliged to offer screening of all newborns.
Immune deficiency diseases can lead to serious health damage or death during the first year of life. In case they are discovered early and the treatment starts quickly, the child can get healthy, Aftenposten wrote.
"This is amazing news," said Asbjorg Stray-Pedersen, the leader of the trial project at the department of Newborn Screening at Oslo University Hospital.
"There are several pilot projects in many European countries, but we will be the first to start this from January 1. And our way of doing this gives very few false positive answers to the samples," he said.
"I am very pleased that the newborn screening has included these diseases. This will make it possible to prevent serious health damage and death among young children and save parents for sorrow and pain," said Bent Hoie, Norway's health minister.
"This has been important to me. By screenings we can not only discover, but the fantastic thing is that we can also provide a treatment that will make the child healthy. The alternative is serious illness and early death," he said.