Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurates new research building ‘Desikan Bhawan’ at ICMR- NJIL & OMD, Agra

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Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India, Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the new research building ‘Desikan Bhawan’ equipped with a 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 the COVID-19 Diagnostic Laboratory is around 1200  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 can be reported within a day. 

The honourable minister 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 our beloved Prime Minister. 

The Director General Prof. Balram Bhargava appreciated the work being carried out at ICMR NJIL&OMD in the field of mycobacterial research. The DG, ICMR 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. 

The 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 in 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 by his presence. The Director of ICMR- Regional Medical Research Centre, Gorakhpur, Dr Rajni Kant and Director BMHRC, Dr Prabha Desikan were also present on the occasion. On this occasion, people from local administration, MP, State ministers, Vice-chancellors and Principals of Agra University, S N Medical College and other institutes were also present.

About the Institute: 

ICMR- National JALMA Institute for Leprosy and Other Mycobacterial Diseases, Agra was established in 1967 by the 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 mycobacterial 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.

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