NDP Re-introduce Bill to Give Health Care to Newborns

March 15, 2023

Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg MB—Today, NDP Health Critic Uzoma Asagwara re-introduced a bill that would help diagnose newborns with Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV).

“Every parent in Manitoba deserves access to preventative healthcare for their infants,” Asagwara said. “But while other provinces screen for CMV, the PCs have refused to pass our bill for universal screening in Manitoba. This means CMV is going undetected in newborns, and we are losing the opportunity to treat it. An NDP government would put families first by covering CMV screening for all newborns in Manitoba.”

CMV is the most common non-genetic cause of permanent hearing loss in children. Early screening is crucial for preventing complications later in life, because if CMV is identified quickly, newborns can be offered antivirals that are more effective when given to newborns. Parents like Rob Tétrault know the importance of this screening. Tétrault’s son has CMV, and he now advocates for other children to receive the screening and treatment that allowed his son to grow into a healthy teenager. He is currently preparing to run a 12-day marathon to support parents by raising awareness and funds for research into CMV. The Manitoba NDP is committed to supporting parents like Tétrault.