Andaman's RMRC re-designated as WHO collaborating centre

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Port Blair, May 8 (UNI) The Regional Medical Research Centre(RMRC) of Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been re-designated as World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Leptospirosis, also known as Andaman fever.

Based on documents on the facilities, expertise and the quality of the work carried out by the Centre, the RMRC had been re-designated as WHO Collaboration Centre, Dr. Vijayachari, Director, Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Port Blair told the media today at Port Blair.

The Centre's capability to function as WHO Collaborating Centre for Southeast Asia was evaluated by a team in WHO recently which concluded that the Centre had adequate facilities and expertise for this.

The Regional Medical Research Centre was established in 1983 as one of the permanent Centres of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

''The mandate of our Centre is to carry out biomedical research on communicable and non-communicable diseases prevalent in Andaman and Nicobar Islands with special emphasis on the health problems of the indigenous tribes of these islands and also to develop technical manpower locally,'' Dr. Vijayachari added.

In 1993, the Centre initiated research of the cause of 'Andaman Haemorrhagic Fever', which was causing repeated outbreaks in South and North Andaman since 1988. Within a period of one year, the Centre proved that the disease (AHF) is a clinical variant of Leptospirosis.

After this, the Centre took up Leptospirosis as the thrust area of research. During the next few years, the Centre developed significant capacity for Leptospiral research with state-of-the-art laboratories, the director added.

In 1999 for the first time the Centre was designated the National Leptospirosis Reference Centre and in 2004 as the WHO Collaboration Centre for Diagnosis, Research, Reference and Training in Leptospirosis.

The RMRC, Port Blair had also sent its expert team during the outbreak of Leptospirosis cases in Maharastra and various other flood hit areas of India.

UNI SKR PL MSJ GC1650

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