February 2022 – SASKATCHEWAN EXPANDS UNIVERSAL NEWBORN SCREENING PROGRAM TO INCLUDE CONGENITAL CYTOMEGALOVIRUS.
Saskatchewan has become the second Canadian province to screen all newborns for congenital Cytomegalovirus (cCMV) at birth. In 2019, Ontario became the first province (and first jurisdiction in the world) to launch such a program.
CMV Canada is incredibly grateful to the province of Saskatchewan for including cCMV in this expansion. We know that with early diagnosis and intervention, outcomes for infected infants can be greatly improved.
“Our government is pleased to announce expanded screening for certain childhood conditions that have viable medical treatments available,” Health Minister Paul Merriman said. “With province-wide testing, we can detect more of these medical conditions than ever before. A modernized universal newborn screening program consistent with best practices across Canada helps us identify opportunities for early interventions, treatment and supportive care.”
CMV Canada will continue to advocate with provincial governments, health authorities and policy makers until universal screening for cCMV is happening across Canada. We urge all other provinces to include congenital CMV in their universal newborn screening programs.
WHY UNIVERSAL NEWBORN SCREENING FOR CMV?
• cCMV is the most common preventable cause of hearing loss – it can also lead to a wide range of outcomes including developmental delays, cerebral palsy, vision loss, microcephaly and many others. In some cases, the infection is fatal.
• Without universal screening, most cases are currently not being diagnosed.
• For both cCMV and permanent hearing loss, early identification is critical to mitigating the impact on the child and improving intervention outcomes.
• cCMV is detectable at birth using simple and affordable screening tests.
• Universal newborn screening for cCMV will lead to considerable cost savings for our healthcare system & economy.
To get involved in local advocacy efforts in your region, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org