Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 5 Jun 1980

Vol. 321 No. 11

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Handicap in Infants.


asked the Minister for Health if he is aware of a recent report (details supplied) by a Director of the Foundation for the Prevention of Childhood Handicaps that the incidence of defects in infants for exceeds that of other countries; and the extent to which his Department are assisting medical and social research in this area.

I am aware of this newspaper report. My Department are supporting a number of research projects relating to handicap in infants. These projects are being carried out by, or under the aegis of the Medical Research Council, the Medico-Social Research Board, the National Drugs Advisory Board, the health boards and a number of hospitals.

In addition, my Department have set up a system of birth notification which, when it is fully operational, will help to identify the factors which may be associated with death and handicap in infants.

I should add that while there is some evidence that the incidence of certain congenital malformations is higher in Ireland than in a number of other countries, international comparisons are hampered by a lack of standard methods for classifying these defects. The Medico-Social Research Board are participating in a co-ordinated EEC programme to establish agreed criteria and common standards for measuring the incidence of congenital malformations. The registers which are being established using these criteria will allow comparisons between countries to be made with greater confidence than has been the case in the past.

Question No. 44 is for written reply.