New Delhi, India
Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology was quoted saying that the Union Ministry of Health has now been given access to the first indigenous rotavirus vaccine.
The announcement was made at the 11th International Rotavirus Symposium, held at the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi. Mr. Singh termed this launch as a ‘proud’ moment for the country. According to him, the Rotavirus vaccine, developed from the Indian strain 116E, and a newly DBT (Department of Biotechnology) made injectable polio vaccine have now been provided to the MoH (Ministry of Health) and other non Indian health agencies, to be used for clinical applications.
With symptoms such as vomiting, copious watery diarrhoea, fever and abdominal pain, Rotavirus is generally found to affect children. In the past, a number of such cases have resulted into appalling dehydration or even death. The introduction of this vaccine comes as a major relief to the parents whose child might get infected with this dangerous disease. Mr Singh also highlighted the significance of injectable polio vaccine, saying that this indigenous vaccine would provide a reliable and a cost effective mechanism to achieve prevention of polio.
Pointing out this achievement as a major milestone of his brief tenure, the minister also said that such discoveries would go a long way in helping India claim the position of leadership when it comes to preventive medicines. He also pointed out the much acclaimed ‘guidelines for prevention of Diabetes in pregnancy’ which have been given an official go-ahead by the WHO to be used as a standard while treating pregnant diabetic patients. Mr Singh was himself a part of the Indian group that came up with these guidelines.
According to him, with such discoveries, it is just a matter of a few decades before the west starts looking towards India to seek inspiration in the field of Science, rather than the other way around.
This symposium was also attended by other noted dignitaries including Dr. Mathuram Santosham, Johns Hopkins University; Dr. Roger Glass, Director of Fogarty International Center, US NIH; Dr K Vijay Raghavan, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology and Dr M.K.Bhan, former Secretary, Department of Biotechnology.