( Dr Harsh Vardhan)

Speed Post News Network

New Delhi : Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the new research building ‘Desikan Bhawan’ equipped with new  COVID-19 diagnostic facility at ICMR-NJIL & OMD, Agra, in the presence of Director General ICMR & Secretary, Department of Health Research, Prof. Balram Bhargava.

The building is dedicated to research facilities like animal experimentation, COVID-19 diagnosis, whole genome sequencing of different Mycohacteriu: species and phytochemical extraction from medicinal  plants for anti-TB drug development. The capacity of COVID-19 Diagnostic Laboratory is around 1,200  samples per day. This COVID diagnostic lab is loaded with Biosafety level II (BSL I) cabinets,  automated RNA extractors, and Real Time PCR machines with which the diagnostic results ean be  reported within a day, according to a PIB release.

Dr Vardhan highlighted and appreciated DG, ICMR, for the work done during COVID-19 pandemic which can help in preventing and managing emerging infectious diseases in future, and also the efforts towards ICMR in tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment to achieve the goal of end TB by 2025, the  dream of the Prime Minister.

Director General, ICMR  Prof. Balram Bhargava, appreciated the work being carried out at ICMR NJIL & OMD in the field of mycobacterial research.  He also remarked that ICMR has been very robust in managing COVID-19 by intense diagnosis of COVID-19 across the ICMR institute labs which has facilitated the prompt management of the pandemic. It is the effort of ICMR which brought the  vaccine for COVID-19 with 81% efficacy.

Director of the institute  Dr.Shripad A  Patil briefed about the patient care activities related to leprosy and TB at the institute and also about the research facilities at the new building at ICMR-NJIL& OMD.

The new building is named after Institute’s first Director Dr K V Desikan, who also graced the occasion. The Director of ICMR- Regional Medical Research Centre, Gorakhpur, Dr Rajni Kant,  and Director BMHRC, Dr Prabha Desikan were also present on the occasion.

ICMR- National JALMA Institute for Leprosy and Other Mycobacterial Diseases, Agra, was established  in 1967 by Japan Leprosy Mission for Asia (JALMA) and was handed over to the Indian Council of  Medical Research in 1976. ICMR-NJIL& OMD carries out basic and applied research on leprosy, TB, and  other myeobacterial diseases in the following thrust areas: (i) Early diagnosis and treatment, transmission  dynamics (ü) prevention of deformities in leprosy (ii) field studies (iv) operational research (v) laboratory  research on mycobacterial diseases and MIP vaccine to leprosy.