Hyderabad: Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu here on Saturday inaugurated a pediatric rare genetic disorders laboratory at the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD).
Referring to the increased incidence of non-communicable diseases in India, the vice-president said that rare genetic disorders form a major group of the NCD.
Observing that an estimated 350 million people were suffering from rare diseases worldwide and about 70 million (1 in 20) in India, Naidu pointed to the cascading effect of the burden of these disorders on the economy and social structure of the society since most of them are untreatable.
Appreciating the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) for promoting genome-based public health research and for asking CDFD to take up a major research program on pediatric rare genetic disorders, he said the programme would contribute positively towards the government of India's sustainable development goals regarding human health and mitigate the societal burden of genetic diseases.
Noting that the CDFD has provided services for genetic testing and counselling of patients with genetic diseases to more than 60,000 families since its inception, Naidu lauded the institution for establishing nationwide collaborations with several clinical centres for the evaluation of patients with unexplained genetic disorders.
He asked the CDFD to create awareness among the people through media on the services, it was offering on genetic diseases.
Referring to the unprecedented challenges faced by humankind in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, he commended CDFD's COVID19 warriors for providing an accurate diagnosis of COVID-19 infection. "I am told that CDFD has undertaken the testing of more than 40,000 samples in the past 10 months," he said. Regarding CDFD's contribution towards understanding the mutation spectrum of Coronavirus in the Indian population, he said such efforts go a long way in ensuring our readiness to tackle any variants of the virus.
Pointing out the problem of increased crime rate in the world, he lauded CDFD for providing state-of-the-art DNA fingerprinting service to courts, the National Investigating Agency (NIA) and CBI for ensuring correct judgment in criminal cases, and in providing relief to the families of disaster victims.
Lauding the contributions made by the CDFD scientists and scholars, Naidu urged them to ensure that the outcomes of the research benefit the common man and improve the quality of their lives. "The ultimate aim of science must be to make people's lives happier," he added.
Telangana home minister, Mohammed Mahmood Ali, CDFD director, Dr K Thangaraj, senior officials from the Department of Biotechnology, scientists, research scholars and staff were present on the occasion.