National Aids Research Institute to drop focus on HIV, undergo name change
Nearly three decades after it was established, the National Aids Research Institute (NARI) is set to drop its focus on research into the Acquired Immuno-deficiency Syndrome (Aids) and also undergo a name change in the coming months.
NARI director Dr Samiran Panda said in an interview that this was among the issues discussed during the February 8 visit by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) director Dr Balram Bhargava to the institute at Bhosari, Pune.
A number of issues were discussed, “of which the most important was a mandate to change the name of the institute. The reason being, HIV infection has come down majorly, showing a success in controlling and preventing the disease in the country and the incidence rate too has dropped majorly. Hence, to make better use of the institute and its research team in other fields as well, the ICMR has proposed to rename the institute. Now it will not be known as NARI anymore,” Dr Panda said.
According to him, NARI will no longer serve as a single disease centre but will address other areas of public health too. “We will extend our expertise to the sudden outbreak of HIV, as was detected in Unnao of Uttar Pradesh some time ago,” he said.
Dr RR Gangakhedkar, country head of epidemic and communicable diseases, ICMR, said, “We have seen a major drop in number of HIV positive cases in the last few years in the country and now the institute can impart the same knowledge with others and apply the same to other fields of public health as well.”
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