Health Ministry Current Affairs - 2019

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Renovated National Food Laboratory inaugurated at Ghaziabad

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan inaugurated regulator Food Safety and Standard Authority of India’s (FSSAI) National Food Laboratory (NFL) in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. It was inaugurated on the occasion of 13th anniversary of enactment of Food Safety and Standards Act, (FSSA) 2006.

About National Food Laboratory (NFL)

It has been established as a result of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP). It makes it first-of-its-kind in the food laboratory sector. It houses state-of-the-art collaborative training centres, namely Centre for Microbiological Analysis Training (C-MAT) and Food Safety Solution Centre (FSSC). It is equipped with latest technologies and facilities to conduct analysis as per global accreditation standards for testing and calibration.

Note: NFL is one of two premier referral laboratories under direct administrative control of FSSAI. The another laboratory located in Kolkata is also being upgraded. FSSAI will also be establishing NFLs at Mumbai and Chennai in the near future along the same lines.

ICMR finalizes India’s first National Essential Diagnostics List

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has finalized India’s first National Essential Diagnostics List (NEDL). With this, India has become the first country to compile such list that will provide guidance to government for deciding kind of diagnostic tests that different healthcare facilities in villages and remote areas require.

About National Essential Diagnostics List (NEDL)

Objective: It aims to bridge current regulatory system’s gap that do not cover all medical devices and in-vitro diagnostic device (IVD). It is meant for facilities from village till the district level.

Significance: It builds upon Free Diagnostics Service Initiative and other diagnostics initiatives of Union Health Ministry to provide an expanded basket of tests at different levels of the public health system.

Its implementation will enable improved health care services delivery through evidence-based care, effective assessment of disease burden, disease trends, surveillance, and outbreak identification and effective utilisation of public health facilities etc.

It also encompasses tests relevant for new programmes such as Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) under Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana. In addition to tests, it also has recommended corresponding IVD products.

Note: WHO released first edition of essential diagnostics list (EDL) in May 2018. It acts as reference point for development of national EDL. However, India’s diagnostics list (NEDL) has been customised and prepared as per landscape of India’s health care priorities

Present Scenario

In India, current diagnostics system (medical devices and in vitro diagnostics) is equipped to manage only the few notified devices. It follows regulatory framework based on drug regulations under Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 1945. Whereas, diagnostics are regulated under regulatory provisions of Medical Device Rules, 2017.