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Mandate

The mandate of the Institute broadly covers three areas viz. services, trained health manpower development and research

1.       Services

The Institute takes leading role in undertaking investigations of disease outbreaks all over the country employing epidemiological and diagnostic tools. It also provides referral diagnostic services to individuals, community, medical colleges, research institutions and state health directorates. The service component provided by the Institute also includes making available scientific research material, teaching aids, storage and supply of vaccines and quality control of biologicals. A brief of different services provided are mentioned below:

A. Outbreak investigations
   
The institute investigates and recommends control measures for the out-break of various communicable diseases in the States/UTs all over the country as well as to some neighbouring countries in the South East Asia Region. The institute also undertakes monitoring of outbreaks through-out the country, especially during its early rising phase by collecting information from the states and districts.  The institute conducts emergency preparedness training for the officials in the state as well as investigates rumors in cases of diseases that have been considered as eradicated e.g. Smallpox case rumors.

B. Referral Services

i) Referral Diagnostic Services: The institute provides referral diagnostic services for various communicable diseases of microbial origin specially for those for which diagnostic facilities are ordinarily not available in hospitals and medical colleges. These include:

 
  • Viral diseases- Poliomyelitis, Measles, Coxsackie virus, other Enteroviruses,Hepatitis virus, AIDS, Rabies, Arbo-viral infections, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus etc.
  • Bacterial diseases- Meningitis, Diphtheria, Acute Respiratory Infections, Cholera and newer Entero-pathogens, Plague, Anthrax, Brucellosis ,Rickettsioses etc.
  • Mycotic diseases- Common fungal infections, superficial as well as deep.
  • Parasitic Diseases- Malaria, , Kala-azar, , Leptospirosis, Hydatidosis
 

C.        Other Services
The Institute also provides other important services some of which are as follows:

    1. Quality Control of Biologicals: The institute routinely provides quality control services for various vaccines like BCG, OPV and diagnostic test kits for AIDS, Hepatitis, Meningitis, etc.
    2. Storage and supply of vaccines and other biological materials: The institute stores reagents, test kits and vaccines on behalf of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and distributes to various state health directorates and medical colleges on request. It also provides larvivorous fishes for the biological control of mosquitoes to various public health agencies.
    3. Entomological investigations: Includes identification of arthropods of medical importance specially during disease out-break situations,
    4. Evaluation of chemical compounds:The institute undertakes laboratory and field evaluation of insecticides/biocides to meet the requirements of the registration committee of Central Insecticide Board.
    5. Assessment of biochemical parameters to establish clinical diagnosis e.g.Thyroid function tests etc.
 

2.       Trained Health Manpower Development

This component of the mandate of the Institute is addressed through the following activities
  1. Training: Special emphasis is given to trained health man-power development that is essential for the successful implementation of different health programmes in the country. Besides the regular training programmes, numerous short-term training activities are conducted every year. The course curricula of these training programmes are designed to develop the necessary need-based skills. The participants to these courses come from different States/Union Territories of India. In addition, trainees from some of the neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Nepal also participate in some of the training programmes. The institute also conducts separate training programmes specifically designed for international participants. Some of these courses are sponsored by international agencies like WHO, UNICEF, World Bank and USAID. The institute has developed training modules on different communicable diseases based on its field experiences, which are extensively used during training programmes at NICD. The trainees in various Epidemiology courses are exposed to the application of computers and related softwares in Epidemiology and disease surveillance.

  2. Expert group meetings: The Institute organizes meetings for formulation of guidelines for surveillance, management, prevention and control of various communicable and non-communicable diseases. The meetings are attended by experts of the respective field, senior administrators of health services of the states, programme managers from medical, veterinary, agriculture and animal husbandry departments.

  3. Supply of teaching and research material:The institute provides teaching material on various communicable diseases in the form of slides, charts, maps, procedure manuals, pamphlets, books etc. to Medical Colleges and Teaching Institutions. Various bacterial and fungal isolates, cell lines, slides of malaria, filaria, kala-azar, rabies, diphtheria, meningococcus, live cultures and preserved materials of arthropods are also provided to medical colleges and research institutions on request.

  4. Fellowships: Scientists, research workers and health professionals, from India and abroad on WHO fellowships are placed in the institute for training and exchange of technical knowledge
 

3.       Research

Applied integrated research in various aspects of communicable as well as some aspects of non-communicable diseases has been one of the prime functions of the Institute. To achieve this, the institute is actively engaged in research in the following broad areas.
 
  1. Applied research in the field of bacteriology, virology, mycology, parasitology, immunology, biotechnology, epidemiology, entomology and quality testing of vaccines and other biologicals with an aim of improving diagnostic capabilities of diseases of public health importance and providing laboratory support to the investigation and control of disease out breaks. The important diseases include Cholera, Polio, Measles, Yaws, Diphtheria, Meningitis, Tetanus, Hepatitis, AIDS, Rubella, Rabies, Dengue, Japanese Encephalitis, Kala-azar, Guinea Worm, Malaria, Filaria, Plague ,Leptospirosis, Anthrax etc.
  2. Applied field based research through longitudinal surveillance studies of various epidemic prone diseases.
  3. Laboratory and field oriented research in the transmission dynamics of arthropod borne diseases with the ultimate objective of vector control.
  4. Evaluation of new formulations of insecticides and biocides and screening of indigenous herbs to evaluate their insecticidal properties. Studies on biological hazards of pesticides.
  5. In- vitro cultures of organisms, development of reagents, rapid diagnostic tests including molecular techniques using modern equipment and latest technology.
  6. Research on hormonal disorders

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