The Central University of Orissa (CUO), Koraput signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Council of Medical Research – National Institute of Research in Tribal Health (ICMR-NIRTH), Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh on 23 December 2021 for academic collaboration to promote research on tribal health. CUO Vice-Chancellor, Prof.Sharat Kumar Palita and ICMR-NIRTH Director, Dr. Aparup Das, signed the MoU in presence of visiting Professors, teachers and officials of the CUO and the ICMR-NIRTH.
During the MoU Prof. Palita highlighted various objectives of the MoU including that it will cover research collaboration on tribal health, nutrition and ethnomedicine along with training of students and faculty on the above aspects. It also covers faculty and scientist exchange, joint project supervision and research guidance. The students and faculty of Departments like Biodiversity & Conservation of Natural Resources, Anthropology, Sociology, Economics, Journalism and Mass Communication and Statistics of CUO will benefit out of the MoU.
Prof. Palita said “Undivided Koraput is one of the tribal populated regions of the country and the major population here are with poverty and poor health conditions. The MoU with ICMR-NIRTH is a landmark event expected to work jointly towards alleviating health related issues of the tribal rich region of Odisha.
Dr. Aparup Das, Scientist ‘G’ & Director, ICMR-NIRTH on a two day visit to CUO interacted with faculty, research scholars and students. He informed the house about several new and out-of-box research initiatives undertaken by ICMR-NIRTH, Jabalpur on the health of tribal communities in India. He specifically emphasized connecting the tribal traditional healers to the public health system (connecting the unconnected). He said “health issues are one of the components of development. If we think about the development we must focus on the good health condition of the tribal population. He expressed that the MoU with CUO has opened up opportunities to reach the unreached and work for their development through taking up health and nutrition related issuesHe expressed his satisfaction that the University has already adopted five adjacent villages where the research on health, highline and social condition can be carried out.
Dr. Das along with his Nodal Officer Dr. K.B. Saha, Scientist-F, visited the University on 22.12.2021. During his visit he attended one special seminar on ‘Tribal Health and Development’ organized on 22.12.2021 in the University campus under the chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor Prof. S. K. Palita. He spoke about the major health research activities among tribal populations including communicable disorders, hemoglobinopathies, non-communicable disorders, viral and zoonotic diseases and ethno medicine. He focused on major challenges in tribal health including malnutrition, malaria, child mortality, maternal and women’s health, and infertility, knowledge gap on health of the tribal population. Prof. Palita, the Vice-Chancellor of the University inaugurated the programme and Dr. Kapil Khemundu, HoD I/c, Sociology & Hony. Director of Centre for Tribal Welfare & Community Development, CUO delivered a welcome address.
He interacted with the faculty members and research scholars with regard to carryout research activities on tribal health. He said “ as ICMR-NIRTH is one of the premier central institutions, we must join hands towards socio-economic development and health by enhancing tribal community engagement”. The Public Relations Officer of the university coordinated the above programme.