NCDC to be apex disease controlling body

December 2nd, 2010 - 12:53 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 1 (IANS) The union cabinet Wednesday approved the health ministry’s proposal for declaring the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) the apex institute for communicable diseases on the lines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at Atlanta in the US.

The NCDC will be transformed into an apex body looking after communicable diseases at an approximate cost of 382.41 crore. According to officials, the need for an apex centre was felt in the wake of viruses like H1N1, dengue and malaria affecting many across the country.

Established in 1909 as Central Bureau of Malaria at Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, and renamed Malaria Survey of India in 1927, the NCDC shifted to Delhi in 1938 and was called National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in 1963.

It was rechristened NCDC in July 2009. The institute is a centre of excellence for building up capacity for surveillance of outbreak prone communicable diseases and provides technical expertise in disease prevention and control.

“The upgraded institute will be in a better position to provide leadership in the field of public health, strengthen the capabilities of states in disease outbreak, investigation and response. It will also be better prepared against possible threat of bio-terrorism and in a better position to respond to public health emergencies of international concern,” a heath ministry official said.

The concept plan for upgrading the centre has been developed in consultation with the Indian Council of Medical Research, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organisation and the World Bank. An independent appraisal of the proposal was carried out by the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi.

“The upgrade will include civil works for the creation of new infrastructure in terms of labs, advance bio-safety levels and upgraded labs. The administrative block, auditorium, library, hostel and residential facilities will also be upgraded while retaining the heritage character of the existing structure,” the official added.

A total of 245 additional posts, consisting of 210 technical and 35 administrative posts, are to be created by March 2013.

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