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Group B Streptococcus

That the Parliament acknowledges the recently published report by the charity, Group B Strep Support, that highlights the health benefits and cost savings associated with routine sensitivity tests for pregnant women whose newborn baby is identified at low risk of developing group B streptococcus (GBS); understands that an estimated one in every 277 babies born is infected by GBS, a bacterium that is harmlessly carried by approximately 21% of pregnant women in the UK but can become dangerous to newborn babies on exposure at birth when their immune system is at its weakest and lead to diseases and complications such as septicaemia, pneumonia and meningitis; considers that there are benefits of introducing GBS testing for pregnant women, which allows intravenous antibiotics to be offered during labour, reducing the risk of the baby developing severe complications and becoming infected; understands that many countries, including the USA, Spain and Australia, have introduced screening programmes to identify GBS and have witnessed radical improvements, with infections in newborns falling by over 80% in the USA; considers that there are significant cost savings associated with implementing a universal screening test, as health economists at the University of Birmingham have estimated that £633,000 would be saved for every baby death avoided and £45,000 would be saved per disease avoided, and therefore supports introducing GBS testing in Scotland.

Supported by: Joan McAlpine, Annabelle Ewing, Paul Wheelhouse, Richard Lyle, Roderick Campbell, Margaret Burgess, Bill Walker, Dennis Robertson, Humza Yousaf, Rob Gibson, Colin Keir, Alison Johnstone, Adam Ingram, David Torrance, Mike MacKenzie, Jamie Hepburn, Elaine Smith, Gil Paterson, Ken Macintosh

Current Status: Fallen on 27/11/2012