Over last four decades, ICMR-Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences (RMRIMS), Patna has been primarily instrumental in strengthening national kala-azar elimination programme (NKAEP) through multi-disciplinary research support. We have made commendable progress towards elimination of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) , commonly known as kala-azar, at regional and national levels. Successfully conduted clinical drug trials viz. miltefosine, paromomycin, liposomal amphotericin-B, fungisome, amphomul and combination therapy for VL, PKDL and VL-HIV coinfection, and pharmacovigilance of the antileishmanial drugs have strengthened the treatment strategies under elimination program. India has entered into the elimination phase of VL and with sustained support of all stakeholders we shall soon achieve VL elimination. ICMR-RMRIMS, Patna has been a referral centre for diagnosis and clinical management of visceral leishmaniasis (VL), post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) and VL-HIV coinfection.
Time and again, ICMR-RMRIMS, Patna has come forward and served the people of Bihar and its neighbouring states in different capacities for various health crisis viz. Japanese encephalitis, acute encephalitis syndrome (Chamki fever), dengue, chikungunya, swine flu, hepatitis-B & C, tuberculosis, HIV, and COVID-19. It is our previledge to be the first-ever RT-PCR diagnostic centre for COVID-19 in Bihar, started w.e.f. 06th March 2020. Apart from shouldering the maximum test load, we imparted training to the medical and paramedical staffs of various Medical Colleges & Hospitals in Bihar to run RT-PCR testing at their respective centres and we are also running external quality assurance scheme for COVID-19 RT-PCR test in Bihar. We successfully conducted SII/ICMR sponsored phase 2/3 study of Covishield (COVID-19 vaccine) as one of the clinical sites. During initial phase of mass level vaccination drive, we performed telephonic monitoring of ADRs in people vaccinated with COVAXIN in Bihar & Jharkhand. Further, COVID-19 vaccination centre was started on 09thFeb 2021. ICMR-RMRIMS also participated in national and state level sero-surveys for COVID-19 in selected districts of Bihar and validation of Rapid Antibody Kits for COVID-19.
RMRIMS is actively engaged in generation of knowledge through basic, applied and translational research supported by ICMR and other national and international apex funding organizations e.g., DBT, DST, WHO-TDR, BMGF, LSHTM, etc. New clinical drug trials, development of Centre of Excellence (CoE) for diagnosis and clinical management of VL/ PKDL/ VL-HIV, and designated WHO collaborative centre for VL, etc. are under pipeline. We have made seminal developments and contributions towards the surveillance and elimination of VL in Bihar. Vaishali model: a proof of concept for VL elimination received accolades far and wide and has been adopted by NKAEP. Followed by evaluation of the diminishing efficacy of DDT in vector control, it was replaced with alpha-cypermethrin: a synthetic pyrethroid. The conventional stirrup pump was replaced with compression pumps which are more user friendly due to its lower weight, easier to operate, lower operation cost, higher safety and better efficiency in terms of discharge rate and higher area coverage. ICMR-RMRIMS, Patna has been conducting insecticides’ resistance mapping and GIS mapping for VL endemicity.
Of late, a model rural health research unit (MRHRU) has been established in the Kurhani block of Muzaffarpur district, Bihar under the mentorship of ICMR-RMRIMS, Patna aimed to technology transfer at rural level for improving quality of health services to rural population. We are expanding our research mandate from Kala-azar to other tropical diseases of regional importance in phase-wise manner after inception of Samrat Ashoka Trpial Disease Research Centre (SATDRC). We run 5-days a week OPD services for general patients and round-the-clock indoor services for VL/PKDL/VL-HIV patients at SATDRC. The institute is recognised as one of the nodal ART plus centres, OST centres, 1st-line DoT’s centres for tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment and as a Virus Research & Diagnostic laboratory (VRDL). ICMR-RMRIMS, Patna is one of the recognised institutes for pan India epidemiological, virological and genomic surveillance for human influenza and COVID-19 through VRDL network under the DHR. Our central diagnostic laboratory (CDL) is accredited by the NABL under its Basic Composite-Entry Level scheme and the ethics committee (EC) is accredited by the NABH,CDSCO and DHR.
Under academic ambience, we conduct Ph.D. programs in collaboration with Calcutta University, Kolkata; TM University, Bhagalpur; and recently got affirmative nods from other universities too. We also conduct dissertation course on regular basis for post graduate students of biotechnology stream. ICMR-RMRIMS, Patna has been the mentor institute for the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Hajipur since its inception in the year 2007 till the year 2018. Thereafter, our association with NIPER, Hajipur has been continued through MoU for training of postgraduate and Ph.D. students of NIPER, Hajipur at ICMR-RMRIMS, Patna. We have recently developed a training module for the Indian Medical Graduate on rational use of drug for leishmaniasis which has been endorsed by the Secretary DHR & Director General, ICMR.
I acknowledge the concerted effort of all the scientists, technical and admistrative staffs to make this Institute of international repute.