Families in Atlantic Canada to have life-saving CF newborn screening testing
ST. JOHN'S, March 27, 2014 /CNW/ - Cystic Fibrosis Canada applauds today's budget announcement by Newfoundland and Labrador's Finance Minister, the Honourable Charlene Johnson, to begin screening newborn babies for cystic fibrosis.
Newfoundland and Labrador becomes the next province in Canada to screen newborn babies for cystic fibrosis, joining British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Nova Scotia is set to implement cystic fibrosis newborn screening this spring.
Cystic Fibrosis Canada extends our deepest gratitude to our volunteers and provincial advocates who have tirelessly advocated for CF newborn screening in Newfoundland and Labrador.
"This is exciting news for families in Newfoundland and Labrador, and for Canadians, as we are another step closer to having CF newborn screening throughout the country," said John Bennett, Cystic Fibrosis Canada's Provincial Advocate and father of a four-year-old son with cystic fibrosis. "Newborn screening for cystic fibrosis will give babies born with this disease a chance to live healthier, longer lives."
We are very grateful to Members of the House of Assembly in both the Government and Opposition Caucuses for listening to their constituents who have reached out to them advocating for cystic fibrosis newborn screening.
Early diagnosis of cystic fibrosis through newborn screening provides identified children with a better start in life. Without CF newborn screening, irreversible lung damage, impediments to physical growth, and digestive problems may have already occurred when the child is finally diagnosed. To slow progression of the disease, early intervention is critical.
Newborn screening for cystic fibrosis is now the standard of care in all 50 states in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and much of the European Union. With today's announcement, Quebec is the only jurisdiction that has not committed to screening newborn babies for cystic fibrosis.
Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults. It is a multi-system disease that affects mainly the lungs and the digestive system. In the lungs, where the effects are most devastating, a build-up of thick mucus causes severe respiratory problems. Mucus and protein also build up in the digestive tract, making it difficult to digest and absorb nutrients from food. As improved therapies have helped to address the malnutrition issues, ultimately most deaths related to cystic fibrosis are due to lung disease. Currently, there is no cure.
Cystic Fibrosis Canada
Cystic Fibrosis Canada is one of the world's top three charitable organizations committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and is an internationally-recognized leader in funding CF research, innovation, and clinical care. We invest more funding in life-saving CF research and care than any other non-governmental agency in Canada. Since 1960, Cystic Fibrosis Canada has invested more than $150 million in leading research and care, resulting in one of the world's highest survival rates for Canadians living with cystic fibrosis. For more information, visit www.cysticfibrosis.ca.
SOURCE: Cystic Fibrosis Canada
For further information: Melinda McInnes, Communications Director, Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Tel: 416-485-9149 ext. 240, Toll free: 1-800-378-2233 ext. 240, Email: MediaRelations@cysticfibrosis.ca