Last week, the Central Tuberculosis Division (CTD) cleared the decks for installing another GeneXpert, a diagnostic tool that detects multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), in the eastern suburbs.
This will be the second such centre in the city after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) started a pilot project by launching Genexpert at Dharavi in March. So far, 1364 people have been tested at the Dharavi centre, of which 224 have been detected with new cases of tuberculosis.
The BMC will most likely install the second Genexpert at Rajawadi Hospital, Ghatkopar, said Manisha Mhaiskar, additional municipal commissioner, BMC.
“We have also issued work orders for repairs at Bahadurji Block, near Sewri TB Hospital which is currently in ruins. After the repairs, there will be 200 beds for drug-resistant TB patients,” said Mhaiskar.
A joint monitoring committee comprising Dr KS Sachdeva, additional deputy director, CTD, Dr Kenneth Castro from Centres for Disease Control and Dr Sanjay Kapoor from United States Agency for International Development visited the city last week.
Dr Castro, while addressing a meeting with private practitioners on Saturday, said that patients he met complained that side effects of the medication are worse than the disease.
Taking this suggestion, the BMC plans to appoint counsellors for patients. “While our door-to-door campaign has improved detection of patients, we need to ensure that the treatment is sustained. Our counsellors will help the patients continue their medication,” said Mhaiskar.
The civic body will continue their door to door campaign every three months, covering Byculla, Parel, Govandi Kurla, among others, said Mhaiskar.