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Special screening to detect birth defects in children launched

Posted on Mar 16, 07:51PM | IANS

New Delhi, March 16 : India's health ministry has launched special screening and early intervention services for early detection of birth defects in children, an official said Saturday.

Under the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK), health screening and early intervention services will carried out to cover 30 common health conditions prevalent in children for early detection and free intervention and treatment under the National Rural Health Mission, a senior health ministry official said.

An estimated 27 crore children in the age group of 0 to 18 years are expected to be covered in a phased manner under this programme, the official said, adding there is provision for early intervention centres at the district level for management of cases referred from the blocks and further referral to tertiary level health services when needed.

Existing services offered by ministry of women and child development, social justice and empowerment and education will also be optimally utilised in RBSK, which will also provide country-wide epidemiological data on various diseases of children for future planning of area specific services, the official said.

Six percent of all children are born with birth defects. Birth defects, diseases, deficiencies and disabilities are important causes of mortality and morbidity in children under 5 years of age.