Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Questions (64)

John Brady

Question:

64. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Health if screening for severe combined immunodeficiency at birth will be introduced similar to that introduced in the United States, Canada and New Zealand with pilot studies being carried out in the Netherlands, the UK and Australia on the same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5371/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID- pronounced “skid”) is a rare but treatable genetic disorder that affects the immune cells in infants. Infants with SCID appear healthy at birth but are highly susceptible to severe infections.

All babies (between 3 and 5 days old) born in Ireland are currently screened for 8 rare but serious medical conditions as part of the National Newborn Bloodspot Screening Programme. However, SCID is not currently screened for as part of this screening programme in Ireland.

As recommended in the Scally Review (2019), a National Screening Committee will be established and become operational before the end of 2019. Similar, to the UK National Screening Committee, their role will be to undertake an independent assessment of the evidence for screening for a particular condition against internationally accepted criteria. Any potential changes to the National Newborn Bloodspot Screening Programme will be incorporated as part of the Committee's work programme.