Qatar celebrates 10th anniversary of newborn screening

© A. Urbaniak/SXC

Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) National Newborn Screening Program (NNSP) has celebrated its 10th anniversary, having carried out 138,046 hearing tests on infants in Qatar over the past decade.

HMC clinicians have diagnosed 703 cases of hearing disorders among newborns and tested and prescribed hearing aids for 600.

More than 100 cochlear implant procedures have been successfully performed since the inception of the program with 23 on the waiting list, said the Head of Audiology and Balance Unit and Chairman of the program, Dr. Khaled Abdul Hadi.

He described the program as “a leading initiative in the domain of screening newborns for hearing disorders in the Middle East and North Africa region.”

The set of medical protocols adopted by the program are deemed one of the best implemented in the world, where healthy newborns are screened through a three-phase plan, he said.

“As for newborns admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) for more than 48 hours, or those who are more prone to hearing disorder due to congenital causes, or due to mother’s exposure to communicable diseases, or to pharmaceutical toxicity during pregnancy, they would be subjected to a more stringent protocol where they undergo meticulous screening,” Dr Hadi explained.

Source: Peninsula

Rose Simpson