Written by Christos Tsagkaris, Anna Eleftheriades, Dimitrios V Moysidis, Andreas S Papazoglou, Anna Loudovikou, Dimitrios Panagiotopoulos, Chrysi Christodoulaki, Periklis Panagopoulos

Newborn screening is essential in the context of the migration policy of the European Union, and particularly, the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. Every year, a large number of refugees and immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East countries travel to and enter Europe. It has been estimated that two thirds of those seeking asylum are women and children. Many of these children have been born on the way to Europe or in migrant camps. Essential newborns’ health screening is not accessible in most cases. Congenital conditions such as hypothyroidism and phenylketonuria may remain untreated, and once these infants are diagnosed, the organic damage could be irreversible. Prolonged necessary hospitalisation might be out of consideration at a time when clinics and hospitals are overstretched with COVID-19 patients. It is essential to ensure that newborn screening is performed in a timely and evidence-based manner as well as that the information is communicated between hospitals and within countries’ health networks. In order to achieve these goals, interdisciplinary and international technical and logistical collaboration are required.


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