The National Institute of Epidemiology (NIE) was established in July, 1999 by merging the CJIL Field Unit, Avadi with the Institute for Research in Medical Statistics (IRMS), Chennai with the main objective of strengthening the epidemiological base in the country. Epidemiological studies were also conducted at the Institute for Research in Medical Statistics (IRMS), New Delhi.
National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai
In collaboration with the Diabetes Department of the Voluntary Health Services, Chennai, the NIE conducted a cluster sample survey in Chennai City to find the prevalence of known diabetics. Thirty Corporation Divisions were chosen by PPS linear systematic sampling procedure. A cluster of 1200 households was surveyed in each selected Division. Analysis of the data indicated that the age-standardized prevalence of known diabetics was 2.55% (95% CI 2.5% - 2.8%). The prevalence of type II diabetes was 4.2% (95% CI 4.0%-4.3%).
A survey was conducted in a district in Tamil Nadu to identify the disabilities and handicaps in the elderly population. Thirty villages were selected by PPS techniques and 105 households were covered in each village. A total of 974 individuals were studied. The interim findings of this study reveal that 68% of the elderly had at least one functional limitation and visual disability (50%) was found to be most important preventable disability influencing the daily activities of the geriatric population.
INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH IN MEDICAL STATISTICS, NEW DELHI
The IRMS, New Delhi has undertaken several studies of current national health importance. Coverage evaluation surveys have been undertaken in 90 districts of the country giving due representation to all States and Union Territories. The evaluation covered all vaccines viz. BCG, DPT, OPV, measles for children and TT for pregnant women. For this the WHO 30 cluster survey methodology was used. Information was collected for about 19,000 children and an equal number of pregnant women. The survey revealed that the immunisation programme covered about 90 per cent of target children and over 85 per cent of pregnant women. About 63 per cent of children received all the vaccines and 78 per cent of pregnant women received both the doses of TT booster. Further, 53 per cent of pregnant women received full package of antenatal care (ANC) i.e. minimum three ANC visits, 2 doses of TT booster and iron-folic acid tablets. In the states of Bihar, Rajasthan, UP, MP and NE states (combined) coverage levels were relatively lower. Further, the coverage levels were also lower for children of illiterate mothers and in small, inaccessible and tribal villages. Efforts are needed for information, education and communication (IEC) activities targeted to educate the mothers specially in rural areas.
The Indo-Foreign Cell (IFC) of the Council coordinates collaboration in biomedical research between India and other countries/international agencies. During 1999-2000, the IFC facilitated (with financial support) the organisation of two Indo-German Workshops _ one on `Molecular Aspects of the Regulation of Ovarian Function' at AIIMS, New Delhi, in October, 1999 and another on `Biological Aspects for the Individualisation of Radiotherapy' at Thiruvananthapuram in February, 2000. An Indo-US Meeting on HIV/AIDS was organised at TRC, Chennai in January, 2000. The IFC also supported the visit of Government of India delegates for various international meetings.
The WHO Country Budget for 1998-99 facilitated the organisation of Workshops on Leprosy, Tribal Health, Leishmaniasis and Research Management in ICMR institutes during the year 1999-2000.
Intellectual Property Rights
The activities relating to intellectual property rights continued during the year under review. The ICMR institutes as well as the Technical Divisions of the Hqrs. are being provided necessary technical inputs in terms of advice and assistance on all intellectual property rights related issues. Some patents were filed during the year.
The IRMS continued to provide necessary consultancy services and support to biomedical scientists. Need-based training and orientation programmes were organised for students and trainees from International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai; Central Statistical Organisation, Delhi and M.Sc. students of Kurukshetra University.
The Institute continued its collaborative arrangement with various Universities for Ph.D. in Statistics. Other ICMR institutes such as IRR, Mumbai; NIN, Hyderabad; IOP, Delhi; NIOH, Ahmedabad etc. conducted training programmes in their respective areas.
The facilities of the TRC have been utilized by the WHO and the Central Tuberculosis Division to organize a training programme for newly recruited WHO TB consultants. The TRC has also been chosen by International Clinical Epidemiology Network (INCLEN) to impart training to laboratory technicians attached to various medical colleges in the country. The Centre is also assisting the National Tuberculosis Institute, Bangalore to carry out a national sample survey to determine the prevalence of infection in the country.