Case 2 8 Ultrasound Machines India China And A Skewed

2477 Words May 12th, 2015 10 Pages
CASE 28 Ultrasound Machines, India, China, and a
Skewed Sex Ratio

General Electric Co. and other companies have sold so many ultrasound machines in India that tests are now available in small towns like Indergarh, where there is no drinking water, electricity is infrequent, and roads turn to mud after a March rain shower. A scan typically costs $8, or a week’s wages.
GE has waded into India’s market as the country grapples with a difficult social issue: the abortion of female fetuses by families who want boys. Campaigners against the practice and some government officials are linking the country’s widely reported skewed sex ratio with the spread of ultrasound machines. That’s putting GE, the market leader in India, under the spotlight.
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The company won’t disclose its ultrasound sales, but Wipro GE’s overall sales in India, which includes ultrasounds and other diagnostic equipment, reached about $250 million in
2006, up from $30 million in 1995.
Annual ultrasound sales in India from all vendors also reached
$77 million last year, up about 10 percent from the year before, according to an estimate from consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, which describes GE as the clear market leader. Other vendors include Siemens AG, Philips Electronics NV, and Mindray International Medical Ltd., a new Chinese entrant for India’s pricesensitive customers.
India has long struggled with an inordinate number of male births, and female infanticide—the killing of newborn baby girls—remains a problem. The abortion of female fetuses is a more recent trend, but unless “urgent action is taken,” it’s poised to escalate as the use of ultrasound services expands, the United
Nations Children’s Fund said in a report. India’s “alarming decline in the child sex ratio” is likely to exacerbate child marriage, trafficking of women for prostitution, and other problems, the report said.
The latest official Indian census, in 2001, showed a steep decline in the relative number of girls aged 0 to 6 years compared with the decade earlier: 927 girls for every 1,000 boys compared with 945 in 1991. In much of northwest India, the number of girls has fallen below 900 for every

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