Context: Government launches ‘UMMID’ initiative to tackle inherited genetic diseases of newborn babies, people who cannot afford expensive care for genetic disorders to be benefited.
Prelims: Economic and Social Development Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
Mains: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.
Concerned ministry: Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology.
- Taking into account that congenital and hereditary genetic diseases are becoming a significant health burden in India, and realizing the need for adequate and effective genetic testing and counseling services, the Department of Biotechnology has started the UMMID Initiative which is designed on the concept of ‘Prevention is better than Cure’.
- In India’s urban areas, congenital malformations and genetic disorders are the third most common cause of mortality in newborns. With a very large population and high birth rate, and consanguineous marriage favored in many communities, the prevalence of genetic disorders is high in India.
- The UMMID initiative aims
- to establish NIDAN Kendras to provide counselling, prenatal testing and diagnosis, management, and multidisciplinary care in Government Hospitals wherein the influx of patients is more,
- to produce skilled clinicians in Human Genetics, and
- to undertake the screening of pregnant women and newborn babies for inherited genetic diseases in hospitals at aspirational districts.
- As a part of this initiative, in the first phase, five NIDAN Kendras have been established to provide comprehensive clinical care. Screening of 10,000 pregnant women and 5000 newborn babies per year for inherited genetic diseases will be taken up at seven aspirational districts.
- The department is planning to expand the program and establish more Nidan Kendras in other parts of the country, train more clinicians in clinical genetics and cover more aspirational districts for the screening of pregnant women and newborn babies for inherited genetic diseases to provide comprehensive clinical care, in the next phase under this UMMID initiative.