Newborn Foundation Presents at International Society for Neonatal Screening, Asia Pacific Meeting; Announces New Screening Programs in Mongolia, Pakistan, and UP India –
The Newborn Foundation, an international nonprofit leveraging scalable methods and medical technologies to improve newborn health outcomes, presented the first data on population health newborn pulse oximetry screening in low-resource settings during The 10th International Society for Neonatal Screening-Asia Pacific Regional Meeting (ISNS-APRM) in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
The conference and workshop were held August 23 – 26 and convened ministry of health and public health leaders, clinicians and other experts in newborn health from 29 countries to discuss advancements in newborn screening across the Asia Pacific region.
The Newborn Foundation presented data on the BORN Project, the largest newborn pulse oximetry screening project in the world. The training, research and implementation project was established first in rural Sichuan and Gansu provinces China, to reduce newborn mortality by 25% through early detection of serious health conditions in the immediate newborn period, including pneumonia, sepsis, and asymptomatic congenital heart defects. Screening data was presented on more than 33,000 newborns utilizing a sub-$150 USD mobile phone-enabled pulse oximeter to measure blood oxygen levels in newborns.
“We are privileged to have presented our project data on behalf of our partners in China, Mianyang Central Hospital, the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University, the Mianyang Health Bureau, the National Office for Maternal and Child Health Surveillance and the Chinese CDC,” said Annamarie Saarinen, BORN Project co-investigator and CEO of the Newborn Foundation. “With so many nations struggling to find resources to support newborn screening, it’s exciting to demonstrate that routine pulse oximetry screening is not just clinically effective, but cost effective for public health programs, particularly in low-resource health settings.”
The Newborn Foundation was also the only non-governmental organization invited to participate in the 6th Workshop on Consolidating Newborn Screening Efforts in the Asiaâ€‘Pacific Region. The countries attending the workshop are those with the greatest challenges in building newborn screening and are looking for new strategies to help their programs. Ms. Saarinen presented a summary on how newborn pulse oximetry (or CCHD) screening has progressed in both developed, middle and low-income countries – and announced BORN Project pilots in Mongolia, Pakistan and Uttar Pradesh, India. Collectively, more than 250,000 babies will be screened in cohorts in these three countries alone, providing actionable data to government policy makers and public health leadership to advance universal screening programs.
About the Newborn Foundation
The Newborn Foundation is an international nonprofit working specifically to leverage policies, programs and medical technologies to improve access and outcomes while reducing disparities for newborns. Co-founded by the mother of a child diagnosed with critical congenital heart defects as a newborn, the organization has been integral in the policy development, adoption and implementation of technologies for early detection, intervention and care of the youngest patients, including the landmark addition of universal newborn pulse oximetry screening for heart defects and other serious health conditions.
The mission of the International Society of Neonatal Screening is to enhance the quality of neonatal screening and medical services through dissemination of information, guidelines and best practices that benefit all family members and their babies by helping to ensure protection of babies from life-quality threatening conditions.