Automatically translated from Basque, translation may contain errors. More information here. Elhuyarren itzultzaile automatikoaren logoa

The government will force Osakidetza to study more diseases in the neonatal heel test

  • The Government of Spain has given the Government its colours: when Osakidetza has announced that the heel test will allow newborns to detect 14 diseases, it must observe at least 22, by order of Madrid. Navarra already has 30 diseases.
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24 April 2024 - 06:20

With a few drops of blood when punctured in the newborn's heel, the neonatal galbahe detects rare diseases, very related to metabolism, and through this test its study is important to be able to detect it and apply the necessary treatment. The Government of Spain has established a minimum number of diseases studied and from there each community decides the list. At the moment, the minimum of the Spanish Government is 11 diseases and next year the list is extended to 22. The recent announcement by the Basque Government has therefore become obsolete and scarce: Osakidetza has just raised from twelve to fourteen the list of diseases that can be detected in the heel test, but next year it will have to extend to 22. On the contrary, the order of Madrid has fallen short of Navarre, as it exceeds the minimum: the Health Path observes 30 diseases through the heel test.

In the Northern Basque Country, they are based on the number of sieves implemented by the French Government: only thirteen.

"The detection of these diseases is very simple and if they occur as soon as they are born, in the long term it is a great benefit"

It should be based on the study of the largest possible amount that the test allows, according to Sergio Villanueva, president of the Association of Other Metabolic Disorders and PKU of the Basque Country. Associations of metabolic disorders set an example to Italy: they have legally established the obligation to screen 48 problems through this neonatal test.

These are rare diseases, rare in absolute and percentage terms, “but their detection is very simple and if they occur as soon as they are born it is a great benefit in the long term,” said Villanueva. In short, we are talking about improving the quality of life of these people, and even, in some cases, early detection can be vital. “Neonatal screening is a powerful tool to identify different pathologies and strengthen this type of preventive measures is to improve the future of newcomers to the world, give more and better years of life,” said Spanish Government President Pedro Sánchez.

“We are talking about being able to lead a dignified life”

According to Sergio Villanueva, the reason why the Basque Government does not extend the list of diseases in the heel test is that the prevalence of these problems among the population is very low, they are rare diseases and that “as there are few cases, it is not worth analyzing if the child suffers. But, although there are few cases, given that there is little cost to increase screening, and above all that the benefit of early detection is very high, how will it not deserve it? We talk about human rights, about social justice, about being able to lead a dignified life.”

Expanded the screening, Villanueva tells us that some of the problems that can be considered in the test have no treatment or solution, which the Administration also argues. “It’s also no small thing for the family to know the problem and the future of their child.”

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