“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”. This was stated by Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare as he virtually 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).
“The Government under leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji is committed to strengthening the health infrastructure across the country. There has been a shift from “token” to “total” approach where States are our partners in the spirit of collaborative and cooperative federalism to ensure quality, affordable and accessible healthcare to all”. Dr. Mandaviya added that it is vision of the Prime Minister to strengthen health infrastructure across the country. Govt of India has under PM-ABHIM (Prime Minister- Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission) approved Rs. 64,000 cr 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 localized outbreaks but can also lead to a pandemic. NCDC branches in the states and UTs will support the State Govts 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. The state branches will coordinate with NCDC HQR at New Delhi with real time sharing of data and information aided by cutting edge technology. 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 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.
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 Bio-safety 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 whole network of laboratories across the country.
Dignitaries including Shri. V. Muraleedharan, MoS of Ministry of External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs, Dr. Tanaji Rao Sawant, Health Minister (Maharashtra), Shri Alo Libang, Health Minister (Arunachal Pradesh), Shri Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament, Shri Mayankeshwar Sharan Singh, MoS for Health (Uttar Pradesh), Shri Rajeshwar Singh, MLA, Shri Tana Hali Tara, MLA attended the event virtually. Shri Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, MoHFW, Dr. Prof. Atul Goel, DGHS (MoHFW) and Shri Lav Aggarwal, Additional Secretary, MoHFW were also present.