King George Medical Universitys (KGMU) Special DOTS Plus ward has become the first ward in the state to begin treatment of Multi Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR TB) patients.
The universitys Intermediate Reference Laboratory (IRL),which detects the bacteria of MDR TB,has also become the first IRL in the state to start the new rapid test for MDR TB through Line Probe Assay,which will reduce the diagnostic time for MDR TB from over two months to a week.
Both the facilities were inaugurated today after the first patient of MDR TB was given the DOTS Plus drugs by the universitys vice-chancellor Dr D K Gupta. With the two facilities starting in Lucknow,patients suffering from MDR TB from seven districts including Lucknow,Barabanki,Rae Bareli,Allahabad,Kanpur,Etawah and Ferozabad will finally get the benefits of DOTS Plus programme under Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP).
The 20-bedded ward of KGMU for MDR TB patients was inaugurated in March 2012 on World TB Day. However,because the sputum test of MDR TB takes almost three months for diagnosis,the final reports confirming the patients with MDR TB arrived earlier this month,said Dr Surya Kant,head of department of Pulmonary Medicine at KGMU.
We were able to give the seven admitted patients their first dosage of DOTS Plus medicine today. Now,the facility will be regularly available at our centre, he said.
Till now,the traditional method of detecting MDR TB bacteria was available with the IRL at KGMU. However,with the new facility coming in,the patients will be able to get their reports within a month,said Dr Surya Kant,adding that this is the only facility in the state which has such diagnostic tools.
Though the national laboratory at JALMA,Agra also has the facility for rapid test,they only use the diagnostics for research purpose. At KGMU,we will be able to use it for the masses, he said.
The patients of MDR TB have to be admitted in the wards for at least one week. After initial treatment,the patient is sent home and their district TB officer takes the treatment further. The patient of MDR TB is given the DOTS Plus medications each day for two years,said Dr Surya Kant.
DOTS Plus is a Centre-sponsored TB control programme,which targets Multiple Drug Resistant Tuberculosis.