Chennai, November , 2018 : Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Thiru Edappadi K Palaniswami launched New Born Screening facility in Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children Egmore. Hon’ble Health Minister of Tamil Nadu Dr. C. Vijaya Baskar presided over the function amidst the presence of Dr. Arasar seeralar, Director, ICH, Egmore. Neuberg Ehrlich Clinical Laboratories, formerly known as Ehrlich Laboratory is the oldest surviving standalone clinical laboratory in India started in 1938. It has been serving four generations of citizens in Chennai & has been a pioneer in bringing the best in class technologies & services in the field of laboratory medicine. Neuberg Ehrlich has set up New Born Screening lab at Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children at Egmore under Public Private Partnership Initiative by the Govt of Tamil Nadu.
As part of new born screening initiative Around 500 newborn screening tests can be performed at the lab in a day. Around 77,000 newborns will be screened in Vellore district in the first year as a pilot study for this program and the number of newborns to be screened at the lab will be increased as per government instructions. The lab will initially screen babies for Congenital Hypothyroidism and Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia.
Speaking during the occasion Dr. GSK. Velu, Chairman, Neuberg Diagnostics Pvt. Ltd. “Tamil Nadu
has seen many advancements in healthcare and we pride ourselves in associating with Govt of Tamil Nadu in setting up this New Born Screening test lab in ICH, Egmore. This screening test identifies number of inborn errors of metabolism that babies can be born with, and that can be completely cured if diagnosed in a week and treated. Every year, there are 1.3 million births in Tamil Nadu. Of these, it is estimated that between 1,800 and 2,000 babies are born with a disorder. Neuberg Diagnostics will be the first laboratory chain in India to forge a Public Private Partnership for New Born Screening program jointly with Institute of Child Health and Hospital(ICH), Chennai and Govt of Tamil Nadu ”.
Under this programme, blood sample will be taken through a heel prick method 48 hours after birth. Three drops of blood are collected on a special filter paper, dried and sent to ICH through post. There is no need for cold chain. The dried blood spot samples would be analysed at the newborn screening laboratory at ICH that is set up by Neuberg Ehrlich. The lab has been standardised and is ready to receive samples. This screening program is conducted to identify disorders which may be inherited, infectious, or caused by a medical problem of the mother. If these disorders are not detected and treated soon after birth, they may cause mental retardation severe illness, or premature death. If the screening reveals congenital (present at birth) disorders or other hidden complications which could be fatal in future, the baby can receive immediate attention. Medical intervention can be done fast and abnormalities can be prevented. ICH jointly with Neuberg Ehrlich Labs will work towards health and wellness of new born babies in Tamil Nadu.