The institute focused its activities in the areas of tribal health research for more than 33 years in communicable and non-communicable disease, Genetic disorders and human resource development programme and in establishing strong linkage with State Health Department and private sector stakeholders in finding solutions to the regional health problems. Besides basic and applied research, translational research has been taken up in operational mode. Communicable diseases research programme includes studies on filariasis, malarial, tuberculosis and diseases on viral origin. Non-communicable diseases include sickle cell diseases, hypertension glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency and Scabies. The Institute is WHO collaborative centre for the health of indigenous population (WHO CC no. IND-111)
Communicable and non-communicable diseases in the Regional Hospital, Keylong revealed Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI), Acute Diarrhoea Diseases (including gastroenteritis etc.) and ‘Others’ (not classified infections). The cases of Pneumonia, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Enteric Fever, Gonococcal infections, and Chicken pox are reported. Among non-communicable diseases Hypertension, Psychiatric disorder, Accidental injuries and Lung diseases are evident. Two Model Rural Health Research Units (MRHRU) at Datia in Madhya Pradesh and other in Chhattisgarh state are functioning and Construction of Building for Establishment of MRHRU at PHC, Badoni and installation of equipments at District hospital Datia are in under process Two scientists have been appointed at Datia. MRHRU Chhattisgarh site is to changed from PHC Lakharam Block, Bilaspur to PHC Somni, District Rajnandgaon and Modified application for site change is awaited from Govt. of Chhattisgarh.
Besides this the institute has initiated quite a number of promising research projects of public interest. Mention may be made of studies related to Tuberculosis and Malaria. Grade II virus research and diagnostic laboratory (VRDL) withbiosafety level 2 (BSL-2) is providing diagnosis using serological and molecular diagnosis, and conducting research on the viruses of public health importance at NIRTH since December 2011. Initially, the laboratory was providing diagnosis for Influenza A H1N1pdm09 and dengue viruses; however over the period other viruses are also added to the list. Now the laboratory is equipped to provide molecular and serological diagnosis to 20 viral diseases of public health importance and conducts outbreak investigations, research on these viruses. The standard operating procedures and reagents recommended by resource centre of Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratories network, WHO, Centre for Disease Control (CDC), USA, National Institute of Virology (NIV) and NVBDCP etc. are used for testing these samples.
The emerging and re-emerging viral infections resulting in hemorrhagic fevers are causing serious morbidity and high mortality in India. Most of these viruses are vector borne and are capable of causing outbreaks of high magnitude. Viruses such as Dengue, Chikungunya, Kyasanur forest disease virus, Crimean Congo hemorrhagic Fever virus are detected in the country, and more recently Zika Virus too has marked its presence in the country. It is very important to diagnose these viruses in as early as possible to prevent then to cause serious outbreaks in public health. Dengue is an emerging problem in rural and tribal areas. The institute conucts studies on outbreaks and sporadic cases reported from tribal dominated, difficult to reach regions.
The library at the institute continues to cater the documentation and information needs of the scientists, staff and students of the institute as well as to other institute like NSCB Medical College, Veterinary College, Home Science College, Rani Durgawati Vishwavidyalaya, etc. It also extends services to research personnel from other Universities/Institutes.
Library is equipped with modern furniture, air-conditioners, compactors and display racks for display of latest arrivals, i.e. books and periodicals for its readers. At the moment total library collection are 4825. Further e-resource facility is provided to retrieve full text of online articles and conduct specific searches relevant to the user from multiple publishers. During the period, remarkable research contributions, publications in highly peered reviewed journals like The Lancet, Plos One, TMIH, IJMR etc was made.
The institute is also not lagging behind in academic activities as many students are pursuing their PhD and also completed the M.Sc dissertation under the guidance of the scientists of the institute. The institute also organized different seminars, trainings and meetings in collaborations with Universities, Government organizations and eminent NGOs.
The institute is focussing its research interest towards cutting edge technology of developing transgenic mosquitoes for controlling vector borne diseases. In PPP mode the institute is working towards demonstrating a malaria elimination strategy at Mandala district of Madhya Pradesh. Besides this the institute is extending its research expertise in identifying the reason for high malaria and other diseases in various states of the country including Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra in hard to reach insurgency affected areas.
Lastly, I feel from the core of my heart that with the expansion of NIRTH as National Institute, our responsibility for doing good work and reaching the research benefits to the target population has increased many folds and we will do our best to excel to the expectations.