Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Martin McGuinness backs test for deadly infection

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is backing a campaign to make testing for an infection which can kill unborn babies mandatory.

The campaign is being spearheaded by three local families who have lost children to the Group B Strep infection.

Speaking on behalf of the families, Jillian Boyd whose daughter, Erin, died shortly after birth from the condition, said: "We have been reaching out to other families affected by this common bacteria and have heard some other harrowing and heartbreaking stories along the way.

"We are pleading with the NI Executive to lead the way in the UK and introduce routine screening to protect our babies."

Mr McGuinness endorsed the campaign saying: "I am in full support of the campaign goal of routine testing for this condition and find it inconceivable that if such a test is available that it is not carried out as a matter of normal procedure during antenatal care. I welcome the endorsement of representatives from all of the political parties for this campaign."

MPs Mark Durkan and Gregory Campbell and MLAs from across the North West are also backing the campaign.

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