KERALA has received international recognition for its effective prevention measures against Nipah virus outbreak. The Institute of Human Virology in Baltimore honoured Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Health Minister K K Shylaja for the government’s efforts in curbing the outbreak.
Noted bio-medical scientist and co-founder of the institute Dr Robert C Gallo presented awards to the chief minister and the health minister.
Dr Robert Gallo, who was part of the scientific team that discovered the HIV, along with other scientists in the institute held talks with the Kerala delegation. The team discussed the scope of research association with Kerala in addition to the International Virology Institute proposed to come up in Thiruvananthapuram. Dr M V Pillai and Dr Sarngadharan took part in the discussions.
On the occasion, the chief minister said Kerala has been taking up healthcare to international standards. He also expressed the state’s willingness to associate with the Institute of Human Virology in mutually beneficial research areas.
The chief minister said the state was able to provide free treatment to its citizens. As far as health indices are concerned, Kerala has been ranked along with developing countries. “The changing lifestyle and new food habits have been posing some challenges in the state’s health sector. The attempt is to find a solution to these issues through the Aardram Mission,” he said.
He also elaborated on how the state waged a war against the Nipah virus. When the first patient was identified with Nipah, all those who came in contact with him were brought under strict monitoring. Special guidelines were issued and a coordinated effort by all government machinery was ensured. Special training was given to the medical and paramedical staff. A collective and cautious effort helped reduce the number of casualties, he said.
The reception accorded to the chief minister and the health minister is the biggest recognition that the state has ever received in the health sector. It’s for the first time the institute is honoring a people’s representative. The globally-acclaimed institution decided to honour the state after detailed analysis on the measures taken by Kerala following Nipah virus attack.
(Courtesy: Indian Express, July 8)