New Delhi: The Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) has been designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) on viral hepatitis and liver diseases.
The Delhi government-run institute is the second collaborating centre in the world on viral Hepatitis and the first for liver diseases. The only other WHOCC in Hepatitis is the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, USA.
WHOCC are institutions such as research institutes, parts of universities or academies, which are designated by the Director-General of WHO to carry out activities in support of the organisation's programmes.
"As a result of this, ILBS would be able to work directly with WHO and collaborate with the world agency in developing strategies and protocols for prevention, diagnosis and management of viral hepatitis and liver diseases. The centre would also help to train and develop skilled manpower and human resource at a global scale," said Dr S K Sarin, Director ILBS.
ILBS is the country's first NABH and NABL accredited autonomous institute for the treatment of liver, pancreas, gall bladder and kidney related disorders.
In less than five years of being operational, ILBS has established itself as a leader in the country by having done 177 liver transplants till date.
Speaking on the occasion Dr Nata Menabde, WHO Representative to India said, "We at WHO are very excited about opening of even better opportunities for collaboration that the designation of ILBS as our Collaborating Centre brings.
"The process of designation of CCs in WHO takes several years of thorough assessment by several expert panels and committees. We are convinced that with unique contribution of this new WHO CC, which is already a recognised excellence hub in Asia and beyond, we will be able to save more lives and prevent more people worldwide from putting their lives at risk," he added.
Sarin said that viral hepatitis and liver diseases are amongst the greatest killers in the world. Asia houses over 75 per cent of all such cases of hepatitis B and C and liver cancer and India has close to 60 million such patients.