Progress in the "Promotion of multidisciplinary early screening of neonatal disorders in Algiers" project

December, 5th 2014

The Algerian Federation for the Disabled (FAPH), in partnership with the Sanofi Espoir Foundation and the Santé Sud Association, organized a meeting in Algiers on November 22 and 23 that brought together experts, including pediatricians and child psychiatrists on the theme of "Exchanging practices between perinatal professionals from both sides of the Mediterranean."

The FAPH, represented by its Vice-President Ms. Karima Yacef, used the opportunity to emphasize the network of medical and paramedical staff in hospitals that can quickly direct a child to a suitable source of care and support. She suggested guiding and informing parents about warning signs of child developmental disorders so that a timely early diagnosis could be provided.

A TV ad was even produced by the FAPH to highlight the developmental milestones of children at key ages. It shows a child with normal psychomotor development which could be used as a benchmark by parents to identify potential problems in their own children and urge them to seek help in the event of problems.

The association aims to send out a clear, practical message which is neither alarmist nor moralistic. For Ms. Karima Yacef, "we are not trying to make parents worried or judge them; we are trying to inform, prevent and act in time." Ms. Karima Yacef also spoke about the progress of the project on "Promoting multidisciplinary early screening of neonatal disorders in Algiers," which will set up a pilot services for preventing, screening and providing early treatment for newborns aged 0 to 3 who are at risk from developmental disorders.

The statistics collected from the Neonatology units in large Algiers maternity wards reveal the extent of the problem: 540 newborns at risk have been identified out of 9,000 annual births in Kouba hospital. Often these children did not receive early care; hence the need to create a specialized service.

In this regard, the CEO of Sanofi Algeria, Mr. Pierre Labbe, representing the Sanofi Espoir Foundation for this occasion, stressed the importance of early detection in preventing disability, saying that "prevention is key, and health professionals and the family play a critical role in detecting abnormalities at birth."

The Ministry of Health, Population and Hospital Reform is scheduled to receive the Algerian Federation of the Disabled, which will present its recommendations at the end of the project dedicated to promoting the early multidisciplinary screening of newborn disorders in Algiers.