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TRC to develop MVA-II

By Staff
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Chennai, Feb 26 (UNI) The Tuberculosis Research Centre (TRC), Chennai is going to develop a Modified Vaccine Ankara-II (MVA) to protect people who were not infected with HIV from contracting HIV/AIDS, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said today.

Dedicating the HIV Vaccine trial centre at TRC here, he said the trial was initiated already towards developing MVA. He said the vaccine consists of a recombinant MVA targeting HIV-I subtype C, the most predominant HIV subtype in India, he added.

He said already the Pune laboratory had developed another vaccine for HIV/AIDS 'Adino Associated Vaccine' and the first clinical trial of this vaccine had been successfully completed.

Dr Anbumani also declared open Rs 11.25 crore Golden Jubillee block of the TRC, and said the World Health Organisation (WHO) had hailed India's efforts to brought down the Tuberculosis rate in the last five years.

He said three years ago, every year 20 lakh people in the country were affected with TB. The figure had not now come down to 18 lakh.

He said under the National TB Control Programme, the TRC Chennai and Bangalore, which had come out with a noval project 'Directly Observe Ttreatment Short Course (DOTS) for the benefit of TB affected persons, had proved great success.

While 52 lakh TB patients in the country were cured through DOTS so far, the DOTS had last year cured 12 lakh patients, he added.

But for the continuous efforts to fight against the TB, the death rate due to TB had come down to four per cent from 29 per cent in the country, he added.

He said there were four lakh DOTS providers all over the country to look after the TB patients under the ongoing DOTS and they were paid Rs 200 per month. The honorarium would be increased shortly, he added.

The entire country had been covered under the DOTS in November last year, he said adding that already medical research was going on to reduce the treatment period from six months to two months under the DOTS system.

The Mnister said the National Institute of Health US had selected TRC in Chennai as a centre of excellence.

Speaking on the occassion, Union Telecommunication and Information Technology Minister Dayanidhi Maran underlined the need for creating more awareness among the people about the environmental and hygenic aspects to protect the society from the diseases like Tubercolocs.

In his address, Prof N K Ganguly, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) said the TRC was globally recognised for its pioneering research in chemotherapy, epidemiology and laboratory aspects of tuberculosis.

It is a WHO collaborating centre for Tuberculosis research and training and also serves as a reference laboratory for mycobacteriogy for South-East-Asia. TRC is currently the world's largest single centre for integrated tuberculosis research.

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