Health Minister virtually lays foundation stone of NCDC branches in 6 states

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New Delhi, Sep 6 (IANS) Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday laid the foundation stone of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) branches in six states — Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh.

“Disease surveillance plays a crucial part in disease prevention, control and management. Towards this end the regional branches of NCDC will pay a pivotal part. They will provide a boost to public health infrastructure with prompt surveillance, rapid detection and monitoring of diseases thereby enabling early interventions,” said Mandaviya, while launching virtually the NCDC foundation stone.

Mandaviya added that the government was committed to strengthening the health infrastructure across the country. “There has been a shift from ‘token’ to ‘total’ approach where the states are our partners in the spirit of collaborative and cooperative federalism to ensure quality, affordable and accessible healthcare to all,” he said.

Underlining that it was the vision of the Prime Minister to strengthen health infrastructure across the country, he said that the government under PM-ABHIM (Prime Minister- Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission) has approved Rs 64,000 crore for various health infrastructure in the states.

He added that the present pandemic of Covid-19 has shown us the importance of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases which can not only cause localised outbreaks but can also lead to a pandemic. NCDC branches in the states and UTs will support the state governments in timely disease surveillance and monitoring. These will enable early warning leading to timely intervention based on evidence gathered from the field, he pointed out, health minister said.

These state branches will coordinate with NCDC HQR at New Delhi with real-time sharing of data and information aided by cutting edge technology. The NCDC branches would also be crucial in ensuring timely availability of updated guidelines so that accurate scientifically backed information can be disseminated easily.

Currently, NCDC has eight branches in the states with focus on one or few diseases, these will be repurposed and new branches are being added with the mandate for integrated disease surveillance activities, dealing with Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR), multi-sectoral and entomological investigations, etc.

The Union Health Minister also inaugurated the NCDC Laboratory Block -1, Residential Complex and NRL of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme. The NCDC Laboratory Block will house state-of-the-art testing and referral laboratories concerned with bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic diseases of public health concern. This laboratory is equipped with 50 high-capacity labs which include 30 Biosafety level3 labs, 5 RT-PCR labs and 15 other labs. The laboratories will be designed to not only offer testing facilities, but also provide hands-on training, capacity building and quality assurance services to the whole network of laboratories across the country.

–IANS

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