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Advances in Hematology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 903219, 4 pages
Research Article

Newborn Screening Services in Bahrain between 1985 and 2010

Genetic Department, Salmaniya Medical Complex, P.O. Box 12, Bahrain

Received 30 November 2011; Revised 15 January 2012; Accepted 15 January 2012

Academic Editor: Estella M. Matutes

Copyright © 2012 Shaikha Al Arrayed and Amani Al Hajeri. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. The incidence of genetic blood disease in Bahrain has declined gradually since 1984 when the Ministry of Health (MOH) instituted a prevention campaign. The national NBS program for hemoglobinopathies was started in May 2007, financed by the national budget. Setting. Genetics department, Salmaniya Medical Complex, MOH, Bahrain. Methodology. The genetics, nursing, pathology, and pediatric departments were involved in the study. This service was offered to all infants. Cord blood samples were collected at birth and were then sent to the laboratory. Results. During 3.5 years after the program was implemented, we screened 38,940 newborns (NBs), of which 17,375 were screened in 2008, 10,248 in 2009, and 11,317 in 2010. The number of affected NBs was 128 in both 2007 and 2008, 58 in 2009, and 47 in 2010, as the average number of affected NBs in 2010 was 4 per month. The incidence of affected NBs was found to be 0.7% in 2008, 0.6% in 2009, and 0.4% in 2010. Conclusion. NBS is an essential step for the early diagnosis and treatment of affected NBs, future recurrence of the disease in the same family. In Bahrain, the number of affected NBs has declined by 75% during the last 20.