Application helps record more TB cases in city

City anchor: Launched in 2012,Nikshay is an online system which helps monitor TB patients.

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai | Published: November 19, 2013 1:38 am

A year after Nikshay,an IT application,was launched across India,more than 10,000 additional TB cases have been recorded by private laboratories and practitioners in the city. The city has recorded 40,000 TB cases so far this year. Experts,however,claimed that the actual figures are even higher.

Nikshay,jointly set up by Central TB division and National Informatics Centre (NIC) in May,2012,is an online record system to monitor TB patients.

“Earlier,reports were made quarterly. So surveillance was delayed. With this software,live updates can be achieved,” said Imran Sayed,a WHO consultant based in the city. He added that in the past one year,the state has recorded 1.5 lakh TB cases. “The recorded figures are lesser than the actual count. By 2015,all cases from private and public hospitals will be recorded online,” he said.

Whenever a person is diagnosed with TB,the details are fed into Nikshay. “After registration,automated messages are sent to patients to remind them of their medication and check-ups,” Sayed said. According to Revised National TB Control Programme,around three lakh people succumb to tuberculosis in India every year. According to BMC’s health department,the maximum number of TB cases are recorded in Dharavi (2,993 cases) and Govandi (1,649 cases).

Meanwhile,after a delay of more than a year,the city’s only civic tuberculosis hospital will start its 100-bedded new wing for multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB cases from November 26. “We are also installing a gene expert machine and Line Probe Assay in Sewri’s TB hospital for early diagnosis,” additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said. According to her,while two more gene experts will be set up in Kurla’s Bhabha and Kandivali’s Shatabdi hospital within a week,three will be set up in J J Hospital,R N Cooper Hospital and in one of the tertiary hospitals by next year. The city now has only two gene expert machines.

“The conventional solid culture method took around three months for assessing MDR samples. With gene expert,the process would get over within hours,” Sewri hospital’s medical superintendent Dr Rajendra Nanaware said. A specialised state drug store,which will house all TB medicines,will be operational from November 26.

tabassum.barnagarwala@expressindia.com

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