Min­is­ter in­au­gu­rates molec­u­lar di­ag­nos­tics and ge­nomics lab

New­borns to be screened for var­i­ous dis­eases un­der PPP mode in Vel­lore

The Hindu - - TAMIL NADU - Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

Health Min­is­ter C. Vi­jaya Baskar on Satur­day an­nounced the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a scheme to screen 77,000 new­born ba­bies in Vel­lore district in the State un­der the pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship mode along with Neu­berg Ehrlich Lab­o­ra­to­ries.

Speak­ing at the in­au­gu­ra­tion of Neu­berg Ehrlich’s molec­u­lar di­ag­nos­tics and ge­nomics lab in Roy­apet­tah, he said that around 43 dis­eases in new­borns could be di­ag­nosed us­ing just a drop of blood. “So far, we have been send­ing sam­ples to NIMHANS, Ben­galuru or to Pune for tests. Now this lab will con­duct the tests. This is part of our ef­forts to im­prove in­fant mor­tal­ity rates. We are plan­ning to ex­pand the fa­cil­ity to all the dis­tricts,” he said. The event also marks the 80th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions of the coun­try’s old­est lab­o­ra­tory. The lab­o­ra­tory will also screen ba­bies de­liv­ered at the In­sti­tute of Child Health, Eg­more. The Vel­lore project is on a trial ba­sis and is be­ing im­ple­mented un­der the Tamil Nadu Health Sec­tor Project phase II with World Bank fund­ing. A to­tal of ₹1 crore has been al­lo­cated for the Vel­lore com­po­nent, the Min­is­ter said. “Un­der the PPP mode, the gov­ern­ment will bear the cost of the test for ba­bies born at gov­ern­ment fa­cil­i­ties in­clud­ing the ICH and in Vel­lore district and the di­ag­no­sis would be done in just one day by the lab,” said G.S.K. Velu, Chair­man, Neu­berg Di­ag­nos­tics Pvt Ltd.

Dr. A. T. Arasar Seer­alar, Di­rec­tor, ICH Eg­more and In­dra Subra­manyam, Vice Chair­man, Neu­berg Ehrlich, were present on the oc­ca­sion.

M. VEDHAN ■

Health Min­is­ter C. Vi­jaya Baskar at the Neu­berg Ehrlich Clin­i­cal Lab­o­ra­to­ries in Chennai on Satur­day.

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