MOH News
MOH Continues Activating National Newborn Screening Program
22 November 2018

​The Ministry of Health (MOH) continues activating the National Newborn Screening Program to eliminate disabilities. This program is designed to detect any genetic diseases that cause serious complications including mental and motor disabilities, weak growth and premature death. According to MOH, failing to detect and treat such diseases early leads to untold complications, and poses a social and mental burden on the child's parents; which the program seeks to eliminate.


In addition, the Program aims to screen all the newborn in their first 24-72 hours for all covered illnesses to early detect diseases and provide the needed healthcare as soon as possible; to prevent incurred complications. This Program features one general objective; namely, early screening of the newborn to reduce morbidity, disability and mortality rates caused by genetic disorders (metabolic diseases and endocrine diseases covered by the Program).  The Program also has detailed objectives, including: extending the Program's coverage to include all maternity hospitals in the Kingdom, boosting the Program's efficiency at all levels, raising the community's awareness about genetic diseases covered by the Program, engaging the community, creating a database of all genetic disorders and ongoing assessment to develop the Program and improve its performance. 

According to MOH, the Program covers 188 maternity and children hospitals, and 195,836 samples were sent to the National Health Laboratory in 2018. Also, 91 cases were detected early and referred to treatment centers, in addition to screening 97% of hospitals' births. Likewise, the Program adopts an expansion plan to cover private hospitals. MOH pays great attention to awareness raising, through various events and awareness raising campaigns year-round across the Kingdom.






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