In a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on Monday between All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Jodhpur, and Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR), Lucknow, the institutes have agreed to work in the field of toxicology research to diagnose people’s health problems in Rajasthan.
As per the agreement, the Jodhpur institute will provide research problems related to the people’s health to the Lucknow institute, which will work on the problems to find solutions.
In exchange, IITR will provide the access of their high-end equipment, bioinformatics lab and expert scientists to the students and faculty of AIIMS for carrying out training and research. The Lucknow institute will also extend a helping hand for the existing health-related problems in Jodhpur and Rajasthan such as silicosis, fluorosis, micronutrient deficiency diseases and study of heavy metals toxicity.
IITR labs can detect any element which is mentioned in the current periodic table up to a level of part per trillion (ppt), said officials familiar with the matter.
Dr Sanjeev Misra, director, AIIMS, Jodhpur, and Dr Alok Dhawan, director, IITR, Lucknow, signed the MoU in the presence of IITR’s dean (research) Dr Praveen Sharma and Dr Kuldeep Singh, dean (academics) of AIIMS, Jodhpur.
A team from AIIMS, Jodhpur, also visited the lab and other facilities of IITR.
“The collaboration will also help the students of Masters of Public Health, as it will give a new dimension to their approaches for public health condition related to environment,” said Dr Kuldeep Singh, dean (academics), AIIMS, Jodhpur.
“It is to be noted that recently collaboration has been initiated between AIIMS Jodhpur and Sweden for mutual exchange of students, faculty and research in need based areas. AIIMS Jodhpur had already entered into collaboration with IIT Jodhpur last year in the area of innovative technologies for affordable healthcare and services,” Dr Singh added.
“India is passing through a phase of triple burden of diseases. On one hand, we are still struggling with infectious diseases, on the other hand, we are faced with challenges of malnutrition and added to this is the burden of non-communicable diseases such as cancer, hypertension, diabetes and mental health problems. To some extent development of technology in the field of medicine has brought down the diseases to a great extent. Still, we are unable to diagnose disorders due to certain environmental agents. The excess or deficiency of many of the metals can have a long-term impact on our body especially liver, kidney, lungs, skin and nervous system,” he further added.
Dr Singh said that many of the rare conditions are difficult to diagnose. “Prevention is possible if we have robust technology to detect the toxic element in various environmental material such as water, air, soil, foods and other consumable items. In this context, joint research of both institutions will prove useful to the public,” he added.