ICMR-National Institute of Research In Tribal Health
The ICMR-National Institute of Research in Tribal Health (NIRTH), formerly known as the Regional Medical Research Centre for Tribals (RMRCT) saw the light of the day in three rooms at the adjoining Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Medical College, Jabalpur in 1984. The RMRCT was shifted to the main building spanning a 36 acre lush-green campus in April 2002 and re-designated to its present name (NIRTH) in 2014. ICMR-NIRTH since then has grown to accommodate established laboratories on viral diagnosis, molecular genetics, molecular parasitology, genomic epidemiology, microbiology, clinical epidemiology, and in vitro research facilities associated with a modern central animal facility.
ICMR-NIRTH conducts research on health issues of the tribal populations of the country, including nutritional disorders, common communicable and non-communicable diseases, environmental health problems, etc. Scientists of ICMR-NIRTH regularly help the state health departments in diagnosis, planning, monitoring and evaluation of tribal health and other health developmental programs in tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and also in training health functionaries of these states. ICMR-NIRTH works on diseases that are mostly prevalent in tribes, such as malaria, tuberculosis, haemoglobinopathies, hypertension, filariasis, fluorosis, dengue, chikungunya, and zoonotic diseases that are of importance to tribal populations. ICMR-NIRTH also takes up disease outbreak surveillance and research in tribal regions and help the state government to control such situations. Apart from biomedical research, scientists of ICMR-NIRTH regularly provide trainings to state heal professionals on modern techniques for diagnosis and diseases interventions. In addition, research on socio-economic, demographic and cultural aspects of the tribal population also have enabled in defining measures for disease prevention and control.
Apart from its presence in Jabalpur, ICMR-NIRTH also has a field unit at Keylong, Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, located at 10,100 feet above mean sea level (MSL) to conduct biomedical and social science research on health issues of the Himalayan tribes.
The ultimate goal of ICMR-NIRTH is to improve health, nutrition and health awareness among the aboriginals through basic, applied and operational research to a level that they are no longer considered under-privileged in term of health research in the country.