Serbia joins countries conducting mass early heart screening in newborns

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Serbia is joining the countries conducting a mass early heart screening, thanks to a donation by the Nova Sloga, which will donate pulse oximeters for early diagnostics to 23 maternity hospitals throughout Serbia, with support by the Serbian Ministry of Health. On World Health Day, mineral water bottling company Mg Mivela started this activity with a symbolic handover of a device to the Narodni Front maternity hospital. Due to the number of babies who leave maternity hospitals with undetected heart conditions, and in order to better detect them, mass screening is a very important method that allows diagnosing heart conditions in newborns on time.

“As a socially responsible company, Nova Sloga, natural mineral water bottling company Mg Mivela, was among the first to recognise the need for a pulse oximeter – a device which detects congenital heart conditions in newborns through a simple and applicable method. As magnesium a vitally important mineral for the normal functioning of the heart, and Mg Mivela is an excellent source of it, we want to contribute to local communities and our youngest ones, whose lives are just beginning, by launching an initiative to procure these devices,” said Dragana Puzović, CEO of Nova Sloga.

“Ministry of Health supports and is guided by a principle of improving healthcare on all levels of Republic of Serbia’s healthcare system. Part of it is working on improving all available and existing manners and methods of diagnostics. We see the intention of the socially responsible company to give its contribution to public health in Serbia in that context, and it is one example of how we can work together for the wellbeing of our newly-born members of society,” said Dr Vesna Knjeginjić, assistant minister, public health sector and programme healthcare, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia.

Prof Dr Željko Miković, acting director of the Narodni Front Clinic said that he is immensely pleased with the beginning of the CSR campaign launched by Nova Sloga, producer of the Mg Mivela mineral water, with support by the Ministry of Health of Serbia and added: “The campaign entails introducing screening to detect complex heart conditions, which need to be diagnosed and treated urgently in newborns. It will help the goal of detecting and treating them on time.”

The donation of the devices means a lot to us, as diagnosing critical heart conditions early enables for the child to be sent to cardiological units on time and the success of the treatment, i.e. better quality of life. If they are discovered on time, heart conditions are treated successfully, and the pulse oximeter allows us to quickly diagnose and resolve a child’s life problem, which is timely treatment. The goal is to have more pulse oximeters, in order to work on diagnostics, that is, newborn screening, that is the long-term plan,” said Dr Mirjana Raščanin, head of neonatology at Narodni Front Clinic.

By equipping maternity hospitals, we help protect the health of new generations, which is of key importance.

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