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Test tubes kids meet their 'Doctor Mother' in Chennai

Children, born as test tube babies, and their parents celebrated the success of technology over nature in reproduction.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2006 14:14 IST
Asian News International
Asian News International

It was a rather unusual meeting for many children, born as test tube babies, and their parents in Chennai, who gathered here to celebrate the success of technology over nature in reproduction.

Organised at the behest of a pioneering doctor, the meeting was hosted by Dr Kamala Selvaraj, a Specialist in Assisted Reproduction Therapy (ART), as the founding day celebrations of G G Hospital, which is named after her father and well-known yesteryear Tamil actor Gemini Ganeshan.

The meeting-cum-party appeared like a celebration of festival in the presence of children aged between two-days to 15 years. The joyous presence was a testimony to the victory of technology over nature.

"We feel very happy because the whole life of these parents has changed and they are so happy that they think of us everyday. All these children are brilliant, they all do very well, many of them stand first in their classes and are scholarship winners. Most of them are doing very well. We are the first ones in India, to hold such a meet," said Kamala Selvaraj.

The tiny bundles of joy the parents carried in their arms and the teenaged ones, who raced around on their own, looked like the success stories that brought joy in the lives of those who had lost all hopes.

Dr.Selvaraj said that out of the 5,000 odd cases that were treated at the hospital, about 1,700 resulted in pregnancies and about 842 were carried to a full term. Nearly 250 of them attended the party as a gesture of thanking the people who made it possible for them.

"I conceived after meeting Doctor Kamala Selvaraj and today I have a test tube baby. I am very grateful to the doctor for the beautiful gift of my darling daughter Jayashree. This is the most wonderful thing that has happened to us. So when she called us today, it felt great to come here to meet all the test tube babies. We really enjoyed this today," said Bina Mehta, a mother of a teenaged-girl.

The children too seem to be aware that they were test tube babies.

"I am very proud that I am South India's first test-tube-baby. I feel very happy about it. At this time, I would like to thank my doctor who has helped me to be born in this world," said Kamala Ratnam, a teenaged-girl who is named after the doctor herself.

Statistics indicate that in India, one in five couples is childless.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), which includes In-Vitro-Fertilisation (IVF) and Intra Cytoplasm Sperm Injection (ICSI), is seen as the last resort for infertile couples.

Over half a million babies are born with the help of the IVF technique every year.

An IVF cycle in the US costs around 20,000 dollars and in the UK clinics the same is as high as a whopping 3,500 pounds. Interestingly, the Indian hospitals achieve the same with 2,000 dollars.

A major part of the expenses goes towards the injections needed to increase the number of eggs produced by the ovary from one per month to upto10-15 per month.

Many parents from abroad are visiting Indian fertility clinics as the costs in West are very high for similar treatment.

First Published: Feb 07, 2006 14:14 IST