Journal Article

Establishment of the First Newborn Screening Program in the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos

Thomas Hoehn, Zoltan Lukacs, Maren Stehn, Ertan Mayatepek, Kedsatha Philavanh and Saysanasongkham Bounnack

in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics

Volume 59, issue 2, pages 95-99
Published in print April 2013 | ISSN: 0142-6338
Published online October 2012 | e-ISSN: 1465-3664 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tropej/fms057
Establishment of the First Newborn Screening Program in the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos

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Objectives: The People’s Democratic Republic of Laos belongs to the minority of countries worldwide without an established newborn bloodspot screening (NBS) system.

Methods: In 2008, we initiated a pilot project of a neonatal screening system in the delivery suites of the Laotian capital, Vientiane. Samples were analysed for thyrotropin-stimulating hormone and 17-hydroxyprogesterone.

Results: Altogether 11 362 samples were taken; an initially high recall rate dropped eventually to just above 4%. Two cases of hypothyroidism and one case of congenital adrenal hyperplasia were identified and received timely treatment.

Conclusions: In summary, we have demonstrated the feasibility of establishing an NBS system in a low-resource setting as prevalent in Laos. Obstacles for the establishment of a general NBS covering the whole country include the question of financial cover, treatment costs, and adequate teaching and supervision of technicians and doctors.

Keywords: congenital adrenal hyperplasia; hypothyroidism; neonatal screening; newborn bloodspot screening; Laos; Southeast Asia

Journal Article.  2174 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Paediatrics

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