As of Tuesday, all babies born in Ontario will be screened for cystic fibrosis (CF), a move the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is welcoming.

"We are delighted that the province of Ontario is taking leadership by adding cystic fibrosis to its newborn screening program," said Cathleen Morrison, chief executive officer of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, in a release.

"Early detection of CF gives the infants identified a better start in life."

Cystic fibrosis is a fatal genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and the digestive system. It is estimated that one in every 3,600 children born in Canada has the disease.

The foundation said that early identification of the presence of the disease and treatment can significantly improve the height, weight, and cognitive function of affected infants.

It also believes that early intervention can help maintain optimum lung function, reducing the need for hospitalizations and prolonging a person's life expectancy.

Alberta announced in 2007 that it would screen all newborns for cystic fibrosis, making it the first province in Canada to do so.