A day after doctors at PD Hinduja Hospital, Mahim, revealed that they have detected 12 patients with totally drug resistant tuberculosis (TDR-TB), a team of state health department and civic officials got in touch with them on Saturday to chalk out a way to deal with the issue. TDR-TB is a condition in which patients do not respond to any TB medication.
“Some officials had come to meet us today to enquire about the details of our study. We are planning to have a meeting with them on Monday. Coordination between the private and public sector is the way forward to improve the situation,” said Dr Zarir Udwadia, consultant physician at the hospital.
Additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar is also planning a meeting with heads of civic hospitals to decide on an action plan to deal with the incurable TB strain. “There is a need for better provision of medicines and diagnostic tests to tackle TB in the city, and the government should look into this requirement,” said Dr Sanjay Oak, dean of KEM Hospital.
The patients, including a 13-year-old girl were diagnosed in October. A 31-year-old woman from Dharavi died in November.
On Friday, Dr PY Gaikwad, joint director for tuberculosis at the state health department, had said that Hinduja hospital findings cannot be relied upon as its laboratory is not accredited to detect such cases. On Saturday, Dr Udwadia said that Hinduja has a WHO-recognised reference laboratory. “Most government centres send their sputum samples to Hinduja hospital’s microbiology laboratory for drug sensitivity test because they don’t have this facility.”