Author: 
WALAA HAWARI | ARAB NEWS
Publication Date: 
Thu, 2010-07-22 02:03

According to statistics by the Ministry of Health, the Kingdom has the highest rate of disability-causing diseases at birth, as the ratio is one to 1,000, while in other countries, like the US, Germany and Australia, the ratio is 1 to 4,000, and in Japan 1 in 7,000.
The program, which emerged from a project of established in the late 80s, is a distinguished one for its research on the common hereditary diseases in the Kingdom and the Middle East that are usually blamed on high numbers of consanguineous marriages.
In August 2005, Prince Salman Center established the early screening program, which examines all newborns in more than 30 major maternity wards in the Kingdom.
Executive Director of Prince Salman Center for Disability Research Dr. Sultan Al-Sudairy revealed that early and contentious screening are the best means to better understand types of disabilities and challenges the disabled in the Kingdom face.
“Through thorough scientific research, the centers work as a first line of defense to detect and fight many hereditary diseases and contribute effectively in saving many children from disability,” said Al-Sudairy, adding that physicians in the Kingdom face many difficulties, daily, to treat children with mental disabilities resulting from diseases which, if detected as early as 72 hours post delivery, can be treated effectively.
The program is aiming at expanding to screen 300,000 newborns in the near future.

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