On August 14, the pediatrics department at Lok Nayak Hospital and Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) formally inaugurated the first-ever genetic laboratory run by the Delhi government in the city. The genetic laboratory, which is set within the hospital premises, will test newborn babies for various congenital diseases, which if diagnosed and treated on time, can save a lot of young children an unhealthy future.
“Centres catering to clinical genetics and their tailored investigations are very few in the government set up,” informed Dr Swaraj Batra, Medical Superintendent (MS), Lok Nayak Hospital.
The laboratory, which has been installed under the guidance of Dr A.P. Dubey, professor & head of pediatric department and Dr Seema Kapoor, lab-coordinator and associate professor, pediatrics, is well equipped to cater to studies specifically in the field of biochemical genetics.
Biochemical genetics is an interdisciplinary forum that links the science of biology, chemistry and genetics. “We are capable of detecting hundreds of genetic disorders by taking just a couple of drops of blood on a special filter paper,” says Dr Kapoor. The first set of 900 babies will be screened this Tuesday. Initially babies born within the hospital shall be screened and eventually the hospital plans to cover other hospitals also.
The blood and amniotic fluid taken are expected to aid doctors in the diagnosis even before the birth of the child.