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DU scientists develop rapid HIV testing kit

By Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 1 (UNI) Scientists of the Delhi University have developed a rapid HIV testing kit which has been licensed for marketing by the Drug Controller General of India (DCG).

Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Panabaka Lakshmi told the Lok Sabha today that the Delhi University's Department of Biochemistry has developed a Naked Eye Visual Erythrocyte Agglutination (NEVA) assay technique to detect the presence of antibodies to HIV in blood samples.

The study was supported by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), she said.

DBT has transferred this technology to M/s Cadia Pharmaceutical Ltd, Ahmedabad after the evaluation of its efficacy, the Minister said.

She said since the cost of NEVA was excessive it has so far not been included in the National AIDS Control Programme.

X X X KALA-AZAR DIAGNOSIS KIT All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has developed an indigenous kit for the diagnosis of 'Kala-Azar' and post 'Kala-azar' dermal leishmaniasis.

Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Panabaka Lakshmi told the Lok Sabha today that the field trials were conducted at AIIMS, National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) Delhi and Kala-azar endemic areas of Bihar.

The process and the product have been patented internationally in 2003 by AIIMS.

X X X WESTERN AND EASTERN EXPRESSWAY The Government will construct Western and Eastern Expressways around Delhi for easy movement of non-Delhi bound goods vehicles.

Minister of State for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways K H Muniyappa told the Lok Sabha that the project is likely to be completed by October 2010.

As per the preliminary estimates, the cost of the project, including cost of land acquisition, is Rs 4,120 crore.

The Minister said the project will be executed on Built Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.

The cost of land acquisition, presently assessed as Rs 1307 crore is to be shared by the Governments of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

X X X CLEFT LIP An estimated 1.5 million children have cleft lip and palate in the country, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Panabaka Lakshmi told the Lok Sabha today.

She said as per rough estimates, the incidence of cleft lip and palate was approximately 1 per 700 to 1000 children.

''No large studies have been carried out in India to establish the prevalence of cleft lip,'' she added.

UNI NR MA BS1603

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