International Neonatal Screening Day (INSD) is an international initiative launched by the International Society for Neonatal Screening (ISNS), the International Patient Organisation for Primary Immunodeficiencies (IPOPI) and the European Society for Immunodeficiencies (ESID), working in partnership under the multi-stakeholder Screen4Rare platform to promote the importance of neonatal (newborn) screening.

The first INSD was celebrated on June 28th 2021 and will be celebrated every year in the future on the same date. The date of the INSD was chosen as a tribute to Dr Robert Guthrie, as such it is to be celebrated on his birthday: June 28th. Dr Guthrie, an American microbiologist laid the foundations for the detection of children with inborn conditions in the newborn period and dedicated his life to raise awareness of the need for neonatal screening.

INSD recongises those, such as Dr Robert Guthrie who have made this possible, in addition to thanking all who deliver these services, day in and day out, to millions of babies across many countries and have continued to do so during the current COVID-19 pandemic. INSD also celebrates the willingness of individuals, parents, patients, and professional societies who are committed to offering support to develop new screening programmes in countries where these do not already exist or need additional support.

INSD seeks to build on all these positive steps with increased collaboration and dialogue between all relevant stakeholders including screening experts, patients, scientists, healthcare professionals, policymakers, and industry in order to:

  • Raise awareness about the critical role of neonatal screening in accessing timely treatment and saving lives.
  • Support mechanisms of information exchange, data, and expertise on neonatal screening.
  • Consider scientific advances in screening programmes.

INSD aims to help raise awareness about the value of neonatal screening and encourage collaboration as a way of improving existing screening programmes and to take advantage of the latest scientific developments.

“International Neonatal Screening Day provides a great opportunity to celebrate the life changing benefits offered by newborn screening and to recognise the value of working together to extend these benefits to children in future generations. ISNS is proud to be part of this new and exciting venture”

Prof. Jim Bonham, ISNS President