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Screening of Newborns for Congenital Hypothyroidism

Guidance for Developing Programmes

English STI/PUB/1234 92-0-109905-3
122 36 40.00 2006

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Description

Congenital hypothyroidism, when undiagnosed or if there is a lack of proper treatment management, results in an unnecessary health, economic and social burden. Formalized screening programmes to detect congenital hypothyroidism in newborn infants, and its timely treatment, can prevent lifelong human suffering caused by severe mental retardation. With the involvement of the IAEA, such screening programmes have been introduced successfully in a large number of countries. However, in many other countries such programmes have not yet been established. This publication is intended to assist these countries in establishing and sustaining a comprehensive screening system for newborns, and draws on experience gained over more than a decade. It provides information for making sound screening policy decisions and describes how a newborn screening system should be set up, offering guidance on assessing the quality of the system. The intended result is that more successful programmes will be established, bringing about a significant improvement in child health care worldwide.

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