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New health checks soon thanks to paper's appeal

An appeal under way at the South London Guardian series aims to enable every new-born baby to be screened for 20 inherited diseases.

The Tandem Mass Spectrometry will give some 45,000 babies born each year across the South Thames region the best possible start in life.

The Screen Our Babies Appeal aims to raise £570,000 in conjunction with the League of Friends of St Helier Hospital.

Readers are supporting the appeal which will give babies a chance to avoid severe handicap and even death.

And the appeal was kick-started by a £10,000 donation from the League of Friends of Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children.

The paper told its readers: “Wherever parents live within the region, their newborn babies are screened with babies being given a simple heel prick test at six-days-old to collect a few spots of blood.

“At present, newborns in the region are screened for just two diseases – phenylketonuria and congenital hypothyroidism.

“It is only with the early detection of these and other similar diseases that serious, irreversible brain damage can be prevented.

“The good news is the tandem mass spectrometry technology is now available to screen for up to 20 further inherited diseases which, if treated early, can prevent the unimaginable heartbreak caused by the severe handicap and sometimes early death of children.”

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