OBSERVING THAT very less research work is being done at medical colleges in Madhya Pradesh, MGM Medical College Dean and Director (medical education) Dr V K Saini today asked the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to open at least two outreach research centres in the State.
“The research scenario is pretty dismal. Students tend to copy even their thesis. So it would be beneficial for the State and medical fraternity if a research initiative is taken by the ICMR,” Dr Saini said during the inaugural session of the four-day symposium-cum-training programme organised by ICMR at the MGM Medical College here.
Noting that there were certain diseases that cannot be treated fully with allopathic medicines he said that the AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) practitioners claim to have treatment for the same and even the government has given them a place in National Rural Health Mission plans, “ICMR should carry out research to validate these claims,” he said.
As part of its continued research in Reproductive Health and Nutrition, especially of the north-east region, ICMR along with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF, has organised the symposium-cum-training programme for capacity building for region’s young scientists for carrying out nutrition research.
ICMR’s Financial Advisor P D Seth promised to fund research projects at the MGM Medical College if these are compatible to ICMR’s objectives. Director National Institute of Nutrition Dr B Sesikeran said there is a need to re-look at the traditional knowledge we have in India. “We know how important neem is only when it is patented in the US. Similarly, there is ginger, turmeric and several other things which have been part of our traditional diet for ages.” He further said,
“Investing in nutrition is a good business opportunity. If you treat anaemia, productivity of that individual goes up and ultimately helps in increasing the GDP.” Earlier, ICMR Deputy Director General Dr G S Toteja, while speaking about the objectives of the workshop, highlighted the multi-centred study being carried out in the north-eastern region.
Member Statistical Commission of ICMR Dr Padam Singh also spoke on the occasion. Head of the Department of Community Medicine Prof Dr Sanjay Dixit gave the welcome address while Dr Poonam Mathur proposed the vote of thanks.
Speaking immediately after the inaugural session on ‘Nutritional Scenario in India’, Dr Sesikeran said, “Under-nutrition continues to be major public health concern all across the country. Though incidence of communicable diseases has decreased, non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer, obesity and cardio-vascular diseases are fast emerging.”
Almost 80-90 per cent schoolchildren were found consuming less than 50 per cent recommended level of micronutrients, he said and added, “there has been an overall rise in malnutrition and diet related chronic diseases and other morbidities and mortality in India.”
Speaking on ‘Micronutrient profile of Indian population’, Dr Toteja observed, “Micronutrient deficiencies with respect to iron, vitamin A and iodine deficiency disorders have been major nutritional problems.”
Government of India has started several national level programmes to combat these disorders, he said. He also asked the young students and scientists to carry out regular nutrition studies focussing on prevalence of a particular problem and said “students can at least take up small interventional studies.”
A total of 30 resource persons and over 100 participants — all below 40 years — from all across India, including those from the north-eastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Sikkim, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Tripura.