Asia's first 'Bio-Safety Level-IV Laboratory' established by ICMR with support from Department of Science and Technology was dedicated to the nation by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad at Pune.
Addressing the inaugural program, 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," said Azad.
"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," he added.
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.
He said the 12th Plan document has been approved by the National Development Council yesterday.
"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," added Azad.
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 and regularly update standard treatment guidelines, bench mark and accredit health research institutions and support human resource development for producing qualified researchers.
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. va