The state-run JJ Hospital,Byculla,is set to become the first in the city to offer multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) treatment. Sources in the public health department confirmed that the hospital had already applied for accreditation for the DOTS-Plus programme from the National Tuberculosis Institute in Bangalore .
Increasing resistance to drugs used to treat TB has been identified as one of the major obstacles in the National Tuberculosis Control Programme. According to Director of State Health Services,Dr DS Dakhure,In Maharashtra we have seen that although the rate of MDR-TB is relatively low ,in terms of absolute number of cases,this figure is sizable. A study conducted in March in the state,under the Revised National TB Control Programme,estimated the prevalence of MDR-TB to be about 3% in new cases and 12-17% in re-treatment cases.
Dr Amita Joshi,head,JJ Hospital Microbiology Department said the programme had been in the pipeline for a year now.
We have been upgrading our lab facilities for over a year. The certificate for accreditation was sent last month. While DOTS relies purely on microscopy,in the more advanced DOTS -Plus programme,doctors can take cultures of the bacteria and identify its level of drug sensitivity with precision. The test and complete treatment,estimated to cost about a lakh,will be completely free for patients. Hinduja Hospital,Mahim,has also been identified as a center for DOTS-plus. According to Dr Camilla Rodrigues,Consultant,Hinduja Hospital,We have been selected for the liquid culture programme. JJ Hospital will take cultures in solid form. The former takes 16 days to show results,the latter develops in 6-8 weeks.