In a groundbreaking unveiling, Ninewells Hospital became the first private sector healthcare provider to introduce a Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) testing facility to detect Congenital Hypothyroidism among newborn babies in Sri Lanka.
This latest introduction means that newborns can now be screened for the condition within days after birth and if diagnosed can begin immediate treatment to avoid serious growth complications such as impaired brain development. Before now testing, which was conducted through the public healthcare sector, took up to several months for a diagnosis due to limited resources, which in turn delayed treatment.
Chief Operating Officer and Medical Director of Ninewells Hospital, Dr. Vibash Wijeratne, said “Congenital Hypothyroidism refers to inadequate thyroid hormone production in newborn babies. On average, 1 in 4,000 babies are born with a severe form of the condition in Sri Lanka, while milder forms are detected more frequently. Sri Lanka currently has a national program for screening newborns for Congenital Hypothyroidism. With this introduction we hope to support this cause and the vision for a healthier population.”
“As the country’s leading private sector maternity care service provider that conducts over 50% of the deliveries among Colombo’s private hospitals, Ninewells Hospital continually strives to innovate and progress with the latest global technological advances to provide our patients a safe experience and reliable service. This latest acquisition by the hospital, which has been developed in Switzerland and manufactured in Finland, is considered the gold standard in TSH screening worldwide,” he added.
If diagnosed, Congenital Hypothyroidism is considered a serious condition due to the negative impact it has on postnatal development. For this reason, early detection and treatment is vital and should ideally begin within the first two weeks after birth.
TSH screening is a simple procedure which is conducted through a heel prick test, at a very cost-effective rate. Moreover, test results can be obtained through Ninewells Hospital within a short span of 3 days allowing healthcare providers to begin treatment immediately to avoid development related impediments and get a healthier start in life.
Ninewells Hospital is Sri Lanka’s leading woman and childcare hospital in the private sector and offers a range of specialized services including Obstetrics, Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Fertility. The hospital is backed by the visionary leadership of the Access Group of Companies and continues to push boundaries and improve the standards of Sri Lanka’s woman and child healthcare services.