“National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has contributed phenomenally in elimination and eradication of several diseases of public health importance such as smallpox, polio, guinea-worm and yaws.” This was stated by Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare at the 110th Annual Day celebrations of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), in New Delhi.
At the function, the Union Health Minister inaugurated the laboratory complex (Lab 3) at NCDC and the new building of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) in presence of Ashwini Kumar Choubey, MoS (HFW).
The L3 laboratory complex has five floors and houses 22 Bio safety level(BSL) II laboratories. Setting up of this state-of-art laboratory will give impetus to laboratory diagnosis of various emerging diseases of public health importance. Thanking the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his visionary leadership and constant guidance, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that under the charismatic Prime Minister, India is going to witness the elimination of diseases like Tuberculosis, Leprosy, Measles, Malaria and Kala Azar where NCDC is poised to play a very pivotal role. Dr Harsh Vardhan further said that the Ministry is committed to end TB by 2025, five years ahead of the global target of 2030.
Congratulating NCDC for its contribution in containing Nipah, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the recent multi-sectoral response co-ordinated by the government for combatting Nipah outbreak in Kerala is another feather in the cap. “It is quite impressive that during the recent reporting of Nipah in Kerala,NCDC has been pivotal in coordination of the response and communication among various sectors and State Govt. It has strengthened the outbreak detection and response capacities and reduced turnaround time for quick decision making. We will take measures to further make it a state-of-art Emergency Operations Centre”, the Union Health Minister added. He also commended NCDC’s role in supporting the state of Bihar in managing AES.
The NCDC’s upgradation plan is also an ambitious plan to keep pace with the changing public health needs of the country and there is a blueprint to build 50 labs in this campus alone, Dr Harsh Vardhan mentioned. He also stated that that six centres of NCDC will soon be set up across the country in Lucknow, Ranchi, Patna, Imphal, Dimapur and Thiruvananthapuram.
Ashwini Kumar Choubey, MoS (HFW) stated that NCDC provides a gamut of services to the people through its laboratories, and strengths in epidemiology, public health capacity building, entomology, etc. NCDC’s role in steering the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Containment Programme in the country is commendable. “NCDC can act as a focal point with greater authority and resources for disease surveillance, monitoring of health status, educating the public, providing evidence for public health action and enforcing public health regulations,” Choubey mentioned. He also stressed on the importance of public awareness and people’s participation in keeping today’s lifestyle diseases at bay.
As part of the Annual Day celebrations, a scientific session on “Climate Change: Resilient Health Sector” was also organized by NCDC which was attended by academicians, NCDC and NVBDCP faculty and other eminent experts from the field of public health.
Sanjeeva Kumar, Special Secretary (HFW), Dr AK Saxena, Director General Health Services, Dr Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India, Lav Aggarwal, JS(HFW) and Padmaja Singh, JS(VBD) were also present along with other senior officers from NCDC, NVBDCP and the Ministry during the inaugural function. – Bio Spectrum