Cystic Fibrosis in South Africa

By Dr Someshni Moodley

29 May 2023

Currently, there are less than 600 diagnosed cases of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) in South Africa, but experts believe that this number represents only a fraction of the actual cases.

Most babies born with CF in South Africa are usually never diagnosed and succumb to CF-related complications and infections during infancy.

Next Biosciences, in collaboration with North-West University, currently offers a Newborn Screening test called FirstScreen, which can detect multiple genetic and metabolic conditions, including CF.  This newborn screening programme will assist with early detection and treatment.

Without screening for CF at birth, individuals with the condition typically receive a diagnosis only after exhibiting clinical symptoms, which can include intestinal obstructions, failure to thrive, malnutrition, and recurrent infections in newborns.

Therefore, early detection is crucial in mitigating the disease's progression and providing patients with access to therapies to help manage CF’s potentially lethal symptoms.

To learn more about CF in South Africa, you can follow this link or get in touch with Next Biosciences for further information about our screening test.