Aleksey Chekunkov discusses healthcare, science, and technology development directions with heads of leading Arctic universities
Suring his visit to Arkhangelsk, Aleksey Chekunkov, Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic visited the region's leading universities and research centers – the Northern State Medical University (NSMU) and the Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NAFU).22 July 2022
The progress of the project to create the Federal Centre for Arctic Medicine (FCAM) was discussed at the NSMU venue. Key objectives of the Centre will be the development of methods for the prevention and early diagnosis of diseases, based on genetic and postgenomic technologies, as well as the creation of pharmaceuticals from biological resources, aimed at the prevention and treatment of conditions caused by living in high latitudes. One of the priority activity areas of the FCAM will be the development and implementation of telehealth technologies for monitoring the condition of patients and reducing the sickness rate, as well as of new educational programmes for training doctors.
According to the Governor of the Arkhangelsk Region Aleksandr Tsybulskiy, the creation of the Federal Center for Arctic Medicine in Arkhangelsk will help create a systematic approach to the introduction of a modern disease prevention and treatment model.
Aleksey Chekunkov commended the preparatory work to establish the Centre for Arctic Medicine carried out by the region. The university conducts large-scale scientific research. NSMU scientists have already obtained numerous patents and are developing new innovative biotechnology products. A production laboratory for pharmaceutical biotechnology has been established here. Its developments include products derived from medicinal plants harvested in the region. Genetic and external risk factors for the development of circulatory system diseases in the Northern conditions are being investigated.
The research results are in wide demand. They helped create a network of anticoagulant treatment facilities in the region's primary healthcare institutions, which helps reduce the mortality rate from myocardial infarction and strokes. This is the first region in Russia to introduce new technologies in monitoring, anesthesia, and intensive care in cardiac surgery, diagnosis, and treatment of sepsis, shock, and other critical conditions. This already helped reduce the hospital stay by 26%, and mortality in critical conditions by 20%. Several projects have been implemented here, including the technology for rapid molecular genetic diagnosis of tuberculosis, research into mycobacteria drug resistance, and the development of rapid treatment regimens for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. A new diagnostic method has been developed here.
'Living in the harsh conditions of the Russian North is key to Russia's civilisational development. We must cooperate to earn special attention and attract additional resources to the issue of healthcare development in the wider Russian Arctic Zone. Our goals are disease prevention, as well as the battle for longevity, quality of life, children's health, upbringing, and growing up,' stated the head of the Ministry of Far East and Arctic Development of Russia.
NAFU's key projects and the activities of the Russian Arctic: New Materials, Technologies, and Research Methods Science and Education Centre were discussed at the meeting held by the Minister at the university. The head of the Ministry of Far East and Arctic Development was introduced to the scientific and laboratory facilities and the projects currently being implemented at the university. NAFU cooperates with the regional government and IT industry leaders to implement the Digital Arctic project. Under it, the main building of the Digital Arctic research and technology IT park will be commissioned in 2022. It will become a regional digital springboard and a talent factory for the region's digital economy. Three more facilities, including a building with classes and laboratories, a student training office with an exhibition area, and a complex of IT competency centres and pilot factories, are to be commissioned next year.
Another project being implemented at NAFU is the Aquaculture Development Center. It will serve as the base for a comprehensive project covering the creation of a breeding stock, an incubation shop, and a shop for growing freshly hatched fry, and the production of fish feed.