Nagpur, Akola get Viral Research Diagnostic Labs

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Oct 2018 10:29:39


Staff Reporter,

Viral Research Diagnostic Laboratory will help in continuous monitoring of viral strains

The hospitals in India were lacking specialised laboratories equipped with the latest equipment to identify and control viruses such as H1N1 (swine flu). This has impacted the response time of the government during outbreak of such infections. This was the observation of parliamentary committee on health. Taking a serious cognisance of it, Union Government had last year declared to set up Viral Research Diagnostic Laboratories (VRDL) in country.
Accordingly, four VRDLs were allotted to Maharashtra. Of the four, two will come up in Vidarbha -- one each at Nagpur and Akola.

Presently, the swab samples of the suspected patients are sent to Pune’s institute. Two years ago Nagpur also got a laboratory at small scale being run at Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital (IGGMCH). But the laboratory has too much workload. The VRDL in Nagpur will be established in the premises of Matakacheri (Deputy Director of Health Services office).

The VRDLs, once fully functional, will undertake research for identification of emerging and newer genetically active or modified viruses. The laboratories would also provide training to health professionals to deal with epidemics, said Dr Viral Kamdar, President of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Institute of Medical Science, Research and Human Resources. It was this institute that took initiative for bringing VRDL to Nagpur. It had requested Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to pursue the matter with Union Health Ministry. Gadkari wrote a letter to Jagat Prakash Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare who immediately agreed to the proposal.

With VRDL in city, it will help continuous monitoring of existing as well as new viral activities. This monitoring ultimately make able the healthcare bosses to prevent the outbreaks of various viral diseases. This laboratory is expected to create infrastructure facilities for finding the solution to fight viruses. It will also conduct research for updating themselves in various viral diseases. The VRDL is supposed to train doctors and paramedicals to tackle the viral attacks.

Union Government has followed up the issue with all States, to which very few states responded. Considering the viral disease, a major health problem, a separate budget line was created in 2015-16. There was a provision of supply of diagnostic kits, transport of samples, hiring of additional manpower, etc. The statistics tells the story, according to which 2,266 people died due to H1N1 in 2017, with the highest number of cases in Maharashtra (778), Gujarat (431) and Rajasthan (279).

Dr Yagnesh Thakkar, well-known Microbiologist of Central India told ‘The Hitavada’, “This is a welcome step taken by the Government. It will not only reduce the time of identifying disease but also help in curbing the epidemics. Every year we witness suddenly outbreak takes place and people lose their lives. It will not happen once well-equipped VRDL start functioning.”