According to data from the National Neonatal Screening Program (PNRN), which covers almost all births in Portugal, 83,436 newborns were studied in 2022, an increase of 5.3% compared to 2021 (79,217), the year in which Portugal recorded the lowest number of births.

Before this minimum recorded in 2021, the lowest number had been verified in 2014, with 83,100 tests carried out in the country, and the highest in 2000 (118,577).

September was the month that recorded the highest number of “heel prick tests” last year (7,979), followed by August (7,862), November (7,544), October (7,147), March (7,097), May (6,915), June (6,904), December (6,744), July (6,763). January (6,482), February (6,049) and April (5,950), need the data advanced to the Lusa agency by the Instituto Nacional de Saúde Dr. Ricardo Jorge (INSA), coordinator of the screening program.

The data indicate that the Azores were the only region of the country that screened fewer newborns in 2022 compared to the previous year, totalling 1,997, six less than in 2021, and Portalegre equalled the number of births (584).

Lisbon was the city that screened the most newborns, totalling 24,842, 1,348 more compared to 2021, followed by Porto, with 15,255, 519 more compared to the previous year.

Braga registered 6,407 births in 2022, 574 more than in 2021, and Setúbal 6,373, 454 more, according to data from the “heel prick test”, carried out from the third day of life and which allows the detection of 27 diseases, enabling early and effective action healthier development of children.