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Making a Statement for Safer Pregnancies Even in a Historic Flood

July 01, 2016

Making a Statement for Safer Pregnancies Even in an Historic Flood

A Daunting Reality

Nearly 2,100 babies are born every hour of every day in India. 1 Roughly 6.5% of these newborns – more than 3,400 infants a day – suffer from a congenital abnormality that is treatable and even curable within the first weeks of life. 2 Unfortunately, the window of discovery and treatment is a small one – less than 72 hours. Left undetected and untreated, these disorders will likely claim most of these young lives by age five. 3

Recently, historic flooding in Chennai, India, gave rise to horrific scenes and catastrophic failures in the region’s infrastructure. The unannounced storm swept across the southern region of India flooding out most area hospitals and private clinics and affecting services at all the facilities that remained open. Some are already calling it the storm of the century.

Rising To The Challenge

Historic events such as the Chennai flood are often marked by incredible stories of adversity, acts of courage, kindness, and just plain true grit. All of those came into play for PerkinElmer employees who were still in the process of moving into their expanded Chennai newborn diagnostics facility last December.

“Amid the crisis, the India diagnostics team did not turn back a single newborn screening test and provided results to customers on time while simultaneously staying on track for their scheduled move to the new lab” Prahlad Singh, President, Diagnostics, PerkinElmer, says. “Given the rapid turnaround time required for these tests, it is needless to say that it required more than exemplary individual performance.”

No one is surprised to hear that. As a global leader in neonatal and newborn health solutions, PerkinElmer is keenly aware of how precious the first few days and weeks of life can be to the health of newborns. With a direct presence in India since 2004, the company also knows firsthand how great the need for maternal fetal health and newborn screening technologies has become throughout the country.

“We are experiencing a steady rise in demand for maternal fetal health and newborn screening solutions as hospitals, clinicians, and expectant parents strive to ensure healthier outcomes through early detection, diagnosis, and proper management of prenatal and neonatal conditions,” Jayashree Thacker, President, PerkinElmer India, says.

Making A Difference

While the new Chennai site offers a comprehensive menu of diagnostic screening services to hospitals, maternity nursing facilities, diagnostic labs, and clinicians throughout India, it is the people who make this facility and company so special, Singh says, adding that the opening of the new site is a milestone to both teamwork as well as the company’s ongoing commitment to India.

In addition to the newborn screening lab, the new Chennai facility also serves as a center for product training and technology demonstrations, and will highlight the company’s diagnostic product solutions to a growing list of key stakeholders across the country.

“The reason we are here is to ensure healthier outcomes through early detection, diagnosis, and proper management of prenatal and neonatal disorders,” Singh says.

For more information on PerkinElmer’s prenatal and neonatal products and services, visit:
PerkinElmer Genetics
Maternal Fetal Health
Newborn Screening


  1. Anon., “34 Births, 10 Deaths Are Registerd in India Every Minute,” The Indian Express, March 6, 2009.
  2. Rinhu Shama, “”Birth Defects In India: Hidden Truth, Need For Urgent Attention,” Indian Journal of Human Genetics, Vol. 18, Issue 2, August 5, 2015.
  3. UNICEF, Statistics and Monitoring, State of The World's Children 2015 Country Statistical Information.

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