Optimism for Newborn Screening in India

Mr Thomas Mookken: I’m very optimistic and I think with the government doing its part and in disseminating information, it gets to more people. It’s truly got a lot of benefits. Even for the government. In some way, it drives down infant mortality rates and a lot of governments are evaluated on how they have driven down their infant mortality rates. So, I think it’s in my understanding that the central government rewards states that bring down infant mortality rates. So, for example, you have a state that adopts newborn screening and that can drive down infant mortality rates by a little bit, it’s kind of regarding for the government. That’s one way to look at it. You know we can see how CSIR or other groups can do in promoting screening. So, there will be newborn screening in India, I don’t know if it will be mandatory like it’s in the US, it may come but it may not be that many disorders. They may be 3 or 4. A couple of things which are, our infrastructure is still not developed and treatments will be difficult. The government has to set it up slowly. The level of expertise is just getting better. When we came here we were just counting like the number of people in newborn screening and for follow-up and treatment, they were hardly like 25 to 30. Now there is more awareness about it. We have been doing some interactions and all of it. So, it’s increasing. I think in about 10 years, we’ll see more. Not in the entire country but, we’ll see.

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