U.S. Centers for Disease Control, India awards funding to Manipal University

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded a cooperative agreement grant to Manipal University to support hospital-based surveillance of Acute Febrile Illness (AFI) in the Western Ghat Region of India with an extended scope covering the entire nation.

Published On: 2015-09-02

Mumbai,2nd September,2015: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded a cooperative agreement grant to Manipal University to support hospital-based surveillance of Acute Febrile Illness (AFI) in the Western Ghat Region of India with an extended scope covering the entire nation.


Encouraged by the initial data from the four sites in two states --Karnataka and Kerala --and prompted by the needs of neighboring districts and states, Dr. G Arun kumar, Professor and Head, Manipal Centre for Virus Research (MCVR) at Manipal University proposed an expansion of the program for 2015-2016. CDC awarded the cooperative agreement as part of the greater Global Health Security Agenda Initiative, which focuses on strengthening the public health infrastructure in India and across the world to ensure rapid detection and responses to emerging global health threats.


Initially launched in September 2013 with technical assistance from the CDC’s Global Disease Detection Regional Center in India, the project is designed to establish the specific causes of AFI and offer insights on possible data-driven interventions to reduce illness and mortality. Goals include studying disease pattern and clinical features, strengthening lab surveillance for AFI and exploring the specific burden of diseases transmitted to humans from animals. In Karnataka and Kerala, the project has already identified previously undiagnosed fever pathogens like Influenza, Leptospirosis, Scrub Typhus, Dengue, Malaria, and Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD).  Early detection and diagnosis has allowed physicians to treat patients with appropriate medication and/or clinical management, providing for early recovery.
“The CDC grant, with an extended scope, is a demonstration of international recognition of our commitment and an opportunity to contribute to shape the nation’s evidence based public health policy in infectious diseases” said Dr. H Vinod Bhat, Vice Chancellor of Manipal University. “We are extremely happy that Manipal Centre for Virus Research (MCVR) has emerged as a Centre of Excellence in Public Health Virology in a short period of time, thanks to our national and international partners,” he added. 
Manipal Centre for Virus Research is an ICMR Grade-1 Virus Diagnostic Laboratory in addition to being the Regional Reference Laboratory for influenza viruses and the apex referral laboratory for arboviral diseases funded by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India.

With the multi-million dollar funding, Manipal University and CDC India will be able to provide valuable epidemiologic and clinical data for determining the causes of AFI with considerable geographic representation with new study sites being operationalized in north east India. This is critical in terms of effectively delivering public health interventions and protecting the community from public health threats.

About Manipal University:

Manipal University is synonymous with excellence in higher education. Over 28,000 students from 57 different nations live, learn and play in the sprawling University town, nestled on a plateau in Karnataka’s Udupi district. It also has nearly 2500 faculty and almost 10000 other support and service staff, who cater to the various professional institutions in health sciences, engineering, management, communication and humanities which dot the Wi-Fi-enabled campus.


The University has off-campuses in Mangalore and Bangalore, and off-shore campuses in Dubai(UAE) and Melaka (Malaysia). The Mangalore campus offers medical, dental, and nursing programs. The Bangalore Campus offers programs in Regenerative Medicine. The Dubai campus offers programs in engineering, management and architecture, and the Melaka campus offers programs in medicine and dentistry. Every institute has world class facilities and pedagogy, which are constantly reviewed and upgraded to reflect the latest trends and developments in higher education.


In Manipal, these include educational facilities like the Simulation Lab with computer driven Manikins, an Innovation Centre, one of Asia’s largest health sciences libraries, one of the world’s best anatomy museums, a business incubation centre and various other centers of excellence. Academic collaborations and twinning programs with several universities in the US, UK, Australia and other countries ensure that students get international exposure and expertise.

The MARENA, a massive indoor sports complex with five badminton courts, four squash courts, three tennis courts, a basketball court, a hi-tech gym and a walking track, reflects the university’s belief that a healthy mind needs a healthy body. Part of the Manipal Group, the University is ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001: 2004 certified,  and has won the prestigious IMC Ramkrishna Bajaj National Quality Award and the International Asia Pacific Quality Award in 2007- 2008.
The Manipal Group, a pioneer in higher education services with a 60-year-old legacy of excellence, also owns and operates campuses in Sikkim and Jaipur in India, and in Nepal, Malaysia, and Antigua, in the Caribbean.

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“The CDC grant, with an extended scope, is a demonstration of international recognition of our commitment and an opportunity to contribute to shape the nation’s evidence based public health policy in infectious diseases” said Dr. H Vinod Bhat, Vice Chancellor of Manipal University.
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