Union Minister of Health And Family Welfare, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad Dedicates First BIO Safety Level IV Laboratory to the Nation
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad dedicated to the Nation the Asia’s First Bio-Safety Level-IV Laboratory established by ICMR with support from Department of Science & Technology at Pune this week.
Addressing the inaugural program, Shri Azad said ever since the establishment of the Department of Health Research, there has been several achievements to the credit of our scientists working in the field of health and medicine and this Lab is an outstanding example of their capabilities. The Department of Health Research has not disappointed the nation, whether it was facilitating the development of domestic reagents and domestic vaccine for Influenza-A (H1N1), increasing the number of Labs from 2 to 46, both within one year’s time, or working on new challenges. For instance, 75 leads of potential public health importance have been identified for development and evaluation including new regimens for the treatment of Kala-Azar, new drug combinations for treatment of malaria, new tests for diagnosis of dengue, chikungunya, TB, several other infections and cancer, a Cholera vaccine and an affordable testing strip for Diabetes. A total of 16 new; 14 BSL-II and 2 BSL-III Laboratories have been set up for working on viral diseases and TB in the country. The National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune has done tremendous work on Research and Management of infectious agents including viruses. It continues to do excellent work on viruses which are transmitted by vectors including mosquitoes, ticks and mites. It has lived up to its reputation by making laudable contributions on Hepatitis, Influenza and several other different viruses causing acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in the recent years.
Shri Azad said the inauguration ceremony of the BSL IV Lab marks the end of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of NIV, Pune and starting of the 60th year of its glorious existence. The enhancement in the capabilities of the institution through BSL IV infrastructure is going to be of crucial importance and substantive help to not only India but also to other countries in the region. The contributions of National Institute of Virology to provide support to the State and Central Government agencies during Outbreak investigations and Research on various viral diseases, particularly during the HINI pandemic is well known. NIV has played a flagship role in investigations of the diseases of national and international concern such as SARS and Avian Influenza, besides the Influenza A H1N1 Pandemic. The Scientists of NIV partner with the other Institutions of the Government in investigating diseases in different parts of country have done well. The reputation built by NIV through its work and service to the nation leads to demands for the creation of more NIV Units across the country.
He said the 12th Plan document has been approved by the National Development Council. It is a matter of satisfaction that “Health” has been given a central position in the 12th Plan and the outlay for health, including health research, has gone up substantially. More than Rs. 10,000 crores are earmarked for the Department of Health Research and ICMR in the 12th plan, almost five times more than the funds received in the 11th plan. The following schemes will be rolled out in the area of health research during the 12th Plan period:-
• Establishment of multidisciplinary research units in 150 government medical colleges
• Setting up of 50 rural health research units at block level
• Establishment of a network of 250 laboratories at regional, state and district level for managing epidemics
• Grant in aid to researchers on projects involving development of affordable technologies, reagents and methods for public use
• Strengthen the existing ICMR Institutes and set-up new centers in deficit areas
• Suggest & regularly update Standard Treatment Guidelines
• Bench mark and Accredit Health Research Institutions
• Support Human Resource development for producing qualified researchers
Shri Azad complemented scientists, doctors and officers of the Department of Health Research, ICMR, DST, Director and Scientists of NIV Pune, National and International Advisors, Klenzied, the Company which built this facility, HSCC and all others who have played a role in the development of this facility.
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