Need and Viability of Newborn Screening Programme in India: Report from a Pilot Study

Int J Neonatal Screen. 2022 Mar 29;8(2):26. doi: 10.3390/ijns8020026.


India, a country with the second largest population in the world, does not have a national newborn screening programme as part of its health policy. With funding support from the Grand Challenges Canada, a pilot newborn screening programme was implemented for the Udupi district of South India to study the need and viability of a national programme in India. Six disorders were selected for the study based on the availability of funding and recommendation from pediatricians in the district. Here, we report the observed incidence during the study. A cost-effectiveness analysis of implementing newborn screening in India was performed. It is evident from our analysis that the financial loss for the nation due to these preventable diseases is much higher than the overall expenditure for screening, diagnosis, and treatment. This cost-effectiveness analysis justifies the need for a national newborn screening programme in India.

Keywords: India; awareness; cost-effectiveness; incidence; newborn screening.