On Tuesday, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya inaugurated 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 play 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 the NCDC foundation stone virtually.
He emphasised that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal was to improve the nation’s health infrastructure and that the government, under the PM-ABHIM (Prime Minister- Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission), had authorised Rs 64,000 crore for different state-level health infrastructure projects.
He further said that the current COVID pandemic has demonstrated the significance of new and reemerging infectious illnesses that have the potential to not only create localised outbreaks but pandemic. State governments will receive timely help from NCDC branches in the states and Union Territories (UTs) for disease surveillance and monitoring. According to the health minister, this would provide early warning that will result in a prompt response based on data gathered from the field.
These state branches will collaborate with NCDC headquarters (HQ) in New Delhi, using cutting-edge technology to share data and information in real time. The NCDC branches would be essential in ensuring the prompt availability of updated recommendations so that accurate information with scientific support may be easily distributed.
With a current focus on one or two diseases, the NCDC currently has eight branches in the states. These will be repurposed, and new branches will be added with the mandate for integrated disease surveillance activities, dealing with Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), multi-sectoral and entomological investigations, etc.
The National Vector Borne Disease Control Program’s Laboratory Block 1, Residential Complex, and NRL were all officially opened by the Union health minister. Modern testing and referral labs focused on bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic diseases of public health importance will be housed in the NCDC Laboratory Block. 50 high-capacity labs, including 30 Bio safety levels, 3 labs, 5 RT-PCR labs, and 15 additional labs, are available in this facility. In addition to providing testing facilities, the laboratories will be built to give practical training, capacity building, and quality assurance services to the entire network of laboratories throughout the nation.