According to data from the National Programme for Early Diagnosis, known as “heel prick test”, the number represents a drop of 775 births between January and September compared to the same period last year.

The neonatal screening data also indicated a total of 64,390 births, with Lisbon being the city with the highest number of births (18,867), followed by Porto (11,831) and Braga (5,032). Over the last four years, 2019 was the year that registered the highest number of births, with 87,364 newborns recorded. In 2018, it had been 86,827 and in the previous year 86,180.

The “heel prick test”, which covers almost all births in the country, is performed from the third day of life of a newborn child, through the collection of blood droplets on the child’s foot, and allows the diagnosis of some serious diseases that clinically are very difficult to diagnose in the first weeks of life and that later can cause severe neurological changes, liver changes, among other situations.