Changing the heel prick test in the SUS must be accompanied by other measures

posted on 6/21/2022 6:09 PM / updated on 6/21/2022 6:10 PM

  (credit: Playback/Youtube)

(credit: Playback/Youtube)

The president of the Brazilian Society of Neonatal Screening for Inborn Errors of Metabolism (SBTEIM), Tânia Bachega, defended this Tuesday (21/6) that the implementation of the expanded foot test throughout Brazil needs to take into account the specificities of the health in each region. In addition, the doctor says that other measures must be taken together to improve the fight against rare diseases in the country.

“In other states where this [implantação do teste ampliado] has already been done, like São Paulo, the coverage index shows that 98% of babies born are submitted to this diagnostic test. So, there are states where screening is very organized,” said Tânia. “Even with the drop in birth rates that occurred last year, probably because of the pandemic, we had 600,000 births in the year. This is equivalent to [número] of European countries. From our point of view, as SBTEIM, this population deserves access to new health technologies”, he added.

The doctor participated in the second table of the CB.Forum “Expanding the foot test: a fundamental step for the early diagnosis of rare diseases”, organized by the Mail. The event discussed today the challenges of expanding the heel prick test to encompass 51 diseases, including rare diseases such as Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Also present at the table were the president of Casa Hunter, Antoine Souheil Daher; the coordinator of the São Paulo State Health Department’s Neonatal Screening Program, Carmela Grindler; and the general superintendent of the Jô Clemente Institute, Daniela Mendes.

confirmatory tests

“On the other hand, we have regions with less economic development, which today have difficulty in making the six diseases [no teste]. So, in our view, developed regions need [do teste ampliado], are already in a position to act. Now, we can’t help but look where the triage isn’t going well,” said Tânia.

The doctor also pointed out that the foot test, if positive, does not confirm that the child has the disease. confirmatory tests, specific for each disease, must be performed to complete the diagnosis. Some regions of the country, however, do not perform these confirmatory tests. It is necessary, according to the president of SBTEIM, to train pediatricians and geneticists to better diagnose and treat the 45 new diseases that would be included in the test.

“We tried to get close to the MEC [Ministério da Educação e Cultura] to have a grade of rare diseases at graduation [do curso de Medicina]. If we now have a National Program, which means a great long-term development, if we have a foot test very close to what is done in the United States, we also have to think about treating these diseases well. We have to think about our graduation grid”, defended Bachega.

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