Ronald Ross Institute cries for attention

Staff Reporter

Attempts to revive the museum and develop it into a research centre on malaria have failed

HYDERABAD: May 13th is the 153rd birth anniversary of Sir Ronald Ross, the Nobel laureate who found the link between malaria and mosquitoes. It was in 1897 when Sir Ronald Ross discovered the parasite in the mosquito that, when transmitted to humans, causes malaria. The epoch making discovery took place in Secunderabad.

Sir Ronald Ross made the discovery, considered as a great landmark in medicine, at Sir Ronald Ross Institute of Parasitology, Begumpet. And despite its unique place in the annals of medical history, the institute continues to struggle to take centre stage.

Successive attempts in the last one decade to revive the museum and in the process develop it into one-of-its-kind research centre on malaria have failed. The facility has now once again gone back to where it was, a decade back. It lies secluded, decrepit, devoid of academic or research activity and without steady source of financial support.

Researchers had planned to develop the institute into a “powerful bio-medical centre for research on parasitic and tropical diseases”. Attempts have been futile and those attached to this project since long time blame it on lack of funds and political will.

“Because of its history, the facility has the potential to attract world-class researchers from everywhere. We can tap into their knowledge base by making them interact with our young researchers. This is only possible if we nourish this facility it into a research centre,” says Director of the Institute, Dr. B. Reddya Naik.

Impressive list

Dr. Naik has an impressive list of academicians and foreign bodies that have promised to help the institute “academically”. Bodies like Royal Society of Tropical Medicine, London and researchers from University of York have expressed interest in attaching themselves with the institute.

“There is an empty land abutting the facility, which belongs to airport authority. The airport authorities do not use the land and we need that space to develop a research centre. That will happen only with political intervention,” points out Dr. Naik.

Recent attempts to renovate the facility by spending Rs. 45 lakh proved to be a non-starter. The project, which was to be taken up by Department of Archaeology, was transferred to Road and Building (R&B) department. “It is caught up in bureaucracy,” he regrets.