New Delhi (The Hawk): Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya inaugurated the annex building of ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) in the presence of Union Minister of Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar, here today. He also laid the foundation stone for the ICMR School of Public Health and BSL III Laboratory. Smt. Aparajita Sarangi, Member of Parliament was also present.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mandaviya said “India has the potential to be a global leader in terms of research. This has been proved during the recent COVID-19 pandemic.” Expressing his appreciation for the ICMR scientists, he stated that “India rolled out its own indigenous COVID-19 vaccine within a month of the introduction of first COVID-19 vaccine in the world”.
The Union health Minister also highlighted the need for joint collaboration and cooperation between Govt and private research facilities for enhancing the scope and output of medical research.
Shri Dharmendra Pradhan expressed his gratitude to ICMR for their contribution towards making an indigenous vaccine and their continued efforts towards genome sequencing of new variants of the COVID-19 virus. He stated that under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, India has witnessed a paradigm shift in healthcare. He also highlighted that the number of medical colleges in Odisha have increased to 10 at present from only 3 before 2014.
Congratulating ICMR on their achievements, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar recalled that ICMR mobile BSL labs are being utilized by other countries like Bhutan in their management of the COVID-19 pandemic. She also expressed her appreciation for the scientists from ICMR-RMRC who wholeheartedly supported the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s clarion call for TB-Mukt Bharat and have come forward to become Nikshay Mitras.
The Annex building has been constructed for high end laboratory and administrative purpose. The centre has initiated next generation sequencing (NGS) as a tool for undertaking studies on genomic epidemiology of pathogens. The next generation sequencing facility is currently contributing SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance data to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) and also providing identification of emerging and re-emerging diseases. The building will house sophisticated laboratories like bioinformatics facility, Proteomics study facility, e-library and medical museum.
The ICMR School of Public Health at ICMR-RMRC, Bhubaneswar will provide participants with a professional, critical and interdisciplinary education, equipping them with the skills to explore and respond to current public health challenges. The Public Health Academic program has been started at the centre since 2018 under the aegis of School of Public Health, Bhubaneswar. This course is affiliated to Utkal University, Odisha (NAAC A+) and recognised by Department of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of Odisha. This is the second ICMR School of Public Health in the country. Currently admission of fifth batch for MPH course (2022-24) has been completed.
Regional Level Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) at ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Bhubaneswar is a public health virology laboratory setup funded by the Department of Health Research, MoHFW, Government of India under the scheme “Setting up of nation-wide network of laboratories for managing epidemics and national calamities”. BSL3 level facility will be a major addition to capacity building in the state and the region for tackling novel and highly infectious pathogens and responding to health challenges posed by such pathogens, especially emerging and re-emerging viruses.
ICMR-RMRC is one of the 26 research institute of Indian Council of Medical Research, situated in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The apex government body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical and health research, ICMR-RMRC, Bhubaneswar was established in 1981 under the 6th five-year plan period to undertake research activities in both communicable and non-communicable diseases, human resource development programme and in establishing strong linkage with State Health Department in finding solutions to the regional health problem. The centre has worked effectively towards identifying regional health problems and contributed significantly in evaluation & implementation of government health programme & policies in the past three decades. During the period 2020-22, the centre has worked in close collaboration with the state health department in effective management of COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last 5 years, the centre has expanded its horizon to Zoonotic diseases, OneHealth, Health system research, Non-communicable diseases, geriatric health and made its presence strong in 10 different states of the country through research collaboration. Shri Manohar Agnani, Addl. Secretary, Health Ministry, Dr Rajiv Bahl, DG ICMR and Dr Sanghamitra Pati, Director, ICMR-RMRC, Bhubaneswar were present on the occasion.