The United States has announced a financing of USD 122 million to top three Indian medical research institutes to prevent preventable epidemics, early identification of disease risks, and prompt and efficient response. The entire funding of USD 122,475,000 will be awarded over a five-year period to the three leading Indian health research institutions: the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the National Institute of Virology (NIV), and the National Institute of Epidemiology (NIE).
Announced by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday, the fund will accelerate the progress towards an India which is safe and secure from infectious disease threats through ICMR institutions’ focus on emerging and re-emerging pathogens. Prominent among these include detecting and controlling zoonotic disease outbreaks through a ‘one health’ approach; evaluating vaccine safety monitoring systems; capacitating the public health workforce in field epidemiology and outbreak response; and combating antimicrobial resistance, a media release said. CDC said ICMR is in a unique position to conduct this work, as it was originally established as an apex body for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research in India, and has taken up most of the laboratory-based surveillance of infectious diseases in recent years.