The Vietnam newborn screening scheme was officially started in 2007 by The General Office of Population and Family Planing. The objective was to raise community awareness and set up networks of new- born screening service all over the country. Screening tests were not covered by public insurance system; therefore, the scheme paid the screening G6PD deficiency and congenital hypothyroidism for the poor and remote area resi- dents while local governments helped hospitals and health centers socialize the screening for other people.
“Newborn screening is not simply buying a kit or a machine; it’s a whole approach of analysis and interpretation. Now, it’s time to convince the authorities to move forward”, says Dr. Issam Khneisser, NBS pioneer in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
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.