Duchenne muscular dystrophy is one of the ten most severe and common pediatric genetic diseases and affects an estimated 1 in every 5000 male births. While Duchenne muscular dystrophy is still a 100% fatal disease, the clinical community has demonstrated that immediate identification and early clinical interventions can add years, even decades to an individual’s life span.
Newborn screening (NBS) expansion is once again gaining momentum in the United States with many disorders being considered due to promising new treatments, better testing methods and other factors that impact the decision making process. Three factors that have helped shape the NBS landscape in the U.S.
Dr. Yin-Hsiu Chien, director of the newborn screening center at the National Taiwan University Hospital, has made diverse contributions in the field of inborn errors of metabolism and immunodeficiency. Her team, lead by Dr Wuh-Lang Hwu is devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of lysosymal storage diseases (LSD). Dr. Chien’s current work focuses on Pompe disease, specifically on early diagnosis and improvement of treatment. Dr. Chien and her team have played an important role in making Taiwan’s newborn screening programs into one of the most developed newborn screening programs in the world.
The NBS Program in the Philippines started out as a pilot project involving 24 hospitals in the country’s capital region. It took some time for the newborn screening program to be successfully integrated into the national health program through the Philippine Newborn Screening Act of 2004. Almost two decades after the pilot project, the program was deemed ready for the expansion from screening for six disorders to screening for more than 20 disorders. The presentation from Dr. Melanie presents the challenges of implementing an expanded newborn screening program in a developing country like the Philippines and the conditions identified in the first phases of offering the service.