Chil­dren’s screen­ing launched for dis­ease

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By WANG HONGY i in Shang­hai wanghongyi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Shang­hai re­cently an­nounced a city­wide screen­ing pro­gram to de­tect kid­ney dis­ease in ba­bies and chil­dren.

The five-year pro­gram was jointly launched by the Shang­hai Chil­dren’s Health Foun­da­tion and the Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal of Fu­dan Univer­sity.

It in­cludes urine tests for school­child­ren and ul­tra­sound checks for new­borns in high-risk groups of kid­ney dis­eases.

Chronic kid­ney dis­ease (CKD) is a com­mon pe­di­atric dis­ease, and some cases can de­velop into chronic kid­ney in­suf­fi­ciency and even the ure­mia. Mean­while, chil­dren with CKD are also in the high-risk group for adult ure­mia.

Such a dual check screen­ing pro­gram can iden­tify about 90 per­cent of chil­dren with CKD, which will im­prove the di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment of such dis­ease, said Dr Xu Hong, of the Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal of Fu­dan Univer­sity.

So far, a urine test is the sim­ple and ef­fec­tive way for early de­tec­tion of glomeru­lonephri­tis, a term used to re­fer to sev­eral re­nal dis­eases usu­ally af­fect­ing both kid­neys. A study of more than 40,000 mid­dle and pri­mary school stu­dents in Shang­hai from 2003 to 2005 found that the asymp­to­matic ab­nor­mal rate in urine tests was about 1 per cent. In ad­di­tion, the ab­nor­mal rate among the group aged 12 to 13 was much higher than other age groups.

Med­i­cal ex­perts then es­tab­lished the first five-year urine screen­ing pro­gram for 2007 to 2011 in the city.

In 2012, the Shang­hai govern­ment be­came the first in China to in­tro­duce free urine screen­ing for all first-graders in pri­mary schools. Schools in some dis­tricts have al­ready listed a urine test as a reg­u­lar part of health checks.

The new round of CKD screen­ing in­cludes ul­tra­sound checks for new­borns, which can help iden­tify con­gen­i­tal prob­lems such as kid­ney de­for­mi­ties or uri­nary tract, the main causes of CKD in chil­dren.

In China, con­gen­i­tal kid­ney or uri­nary tract de­for­mity in chil­dren is about 1.5 to 3 per­cent, doc­tors said.

“To es­tab­lish a com­pre­hen­sive screen­ing strat­egy that com­bined urine tests and ul­tra­sound checks will greatly boost the early dis­cov­ery and early treat­ment of chil­dren with CKD,” Xu said.

Un­der the new pro­gram, a com­pre­hen­sive di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment, and pa­tients trans­fer­ring net­work will be es­tab­lished, which will cover schools, com­mu­nity health and spe­cial­ized hos­pi­tals.

The pro­gram will also carry out a se­ries of pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion ac­tiv­i­ties to in­crease par­ents’ aware­ness of kid­ney health is­sues.

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