03 February 2012
A network of 234 laboratories will be set up in the next three years across the country to fight diseases, said V M Katoch, director general of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) at the diamond jubilee celebration of National Institute of Virology (NIV), here on Thursday.
The move is aimed at bridging the shortage of laboratories dedicated to early detection and diagnosis of diseases. “Of the total number of proposed labs, 20 are already ready and have started rendering services,” Katoch said.
He exhorted scientists and students of virology to choose researches on diseases that need to be conquered and dedicate themselves to the work. “On one side we are excelling in sciences, but on the other, we are losing many lives to common fever and infections,” he said.
Professor V I Mathan, former ICMR’s Chair of Epidemiology, also urged scientists to take up research on viral infections that affect many. “The NIV has given excellent diagnostic tools to the country. But, can we make a diagnostic tool for diseases like malaria and dengue that could be used even by a village health worker? The way the glucometer has reached masses, scientists at NIV should take up the challenge to prepare diagnostic tools which can be used even by a layman.”
In a lecture held prior to the main function, Mathan emphasised on involving clinicians on research projects. “The ICMR and its related research organisations should adopt or involve clinicians in their research projects. There are many doctors out there who are eager to join research work,” Mathan said.
A C Mishra, director of NIV, spoke about the work culture and functioning at NIV. “The institute has created a mark of its own with sheer hard work and work culture that promotes learning. There is no babugiri (babudom) at NIV.”
Talking about the institute’s future progress, Mishra said, “The NIV is getting younger each year. The institute is 60 years young now. It will remain young because hope is attached to NIV.”