New alliance on inborn deformity prevention and control
Based on 16 premarital health checks and prenatal diagnosis centers, Shanghai has established a trio system for inborn deformity prevention and control through comprehensive screenings, diagnoses, intervention and treatments, officials from the Shanghai Health Commission said at the ceremony for the city's inborn deformity prevention and control alliance.
The incidence of inborn deformity in China is 5.6 percent, which means there are 200,000 to 300,000 such children born every year. One out of every 200 newborns has abnormal chromosomes.
There are more than 9,000 inborn deformities, such as congenital heart disease and cleft lips and palates, due to factors like genetic mutations, lack of nutrients and environmental issues.
"Inborn deformities have become an important risk factor for population quality and public health. Shanghai will perfect its network to offer pre-pregnancy and prenatal medical services as well as newborn screenings to prevent and reduce inborn deformities," said Wu Qianyu from the health commission. "High-tech measures like precise medicine and genetic screenings will play important roles, while genetic-counseling training has been promoted to enhance medical personnel's capabilities."
Cheng Weiwei, president of Shanghai International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital, leader of the alliance, said providing people with high-end and convenient medical resources is critical.
"We should establish regional inborn deformity and prenatal diagnosis clinical centers to provide people with more options and easier access. A better allocation of medical resources can better meet people's needs and improve healthcare services," Cheng said.
A new branch of the peace maternity and child health hospital in rural Fengxian District will open its doors in September, so people in that area will no longer have to travel to its Xuhui District headquarters for medical attention, she added.