The city will get its first Gene Xpert, a device that detects drug resistant tuberculosis in less than two hours, on March 24, International World TB Day, at the urban health centre of Sion hospital.
The test is called Cartridge Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing (CBNAAT).
The tool called Gene Xpert, which conducts this test, has been approved and recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Experts say the device can lead to three times the detection numbers in drug-resistant TB.
"We are starting a feasibility study at Dharavi for Gene Xpert and we will monitor how the machine helps in early detection of TB and drug resistant TB," said Manisha Mhaiskar, additional commissioner, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The civic body launched a TB programme in February after cases of extremely drug resistant TB (XXDR-TB) were notified by Hinduja Hospital.
The device will be installed at 17 other sites in India for a similar feasibility study under the national TB programme. Most of these sites will be operational in the coming two months. The cost of the device is around Rs 10 lakh and is funded by the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), an international non-profit working for diagnostic tools.
The device can be installed at any place and can be used by paramedical staff. A health worker is required to collect sputum of the suspected TB patient and mix it with a reagent.