The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will appoint an infection control officer, who will supervise the infection control measures at civic hospitals in Mumbai, starting with Sewri Tuberculosis Hospital next month. The post of the infection control officer is the first of its kind in the city.
The decision was taken after an internationally renowned infection control expert, Dr Rod Escombe, visited Mumbai on September 14. He visited Sewri TB Hospital, Bahadurji block, where the 200-bedded hospital for multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB will be built.
“After our meetings with him, we decided to appoint, for the first time in the city, an infection control officer, who will start work at Sewri TB Hospital. This officer will be responsible for infection control in the city’s hospitals including supervising the engineering design, having training modules for all health care workers, and eventually the community,” said Manisha Mhaiskar, additional municipal commissioner, BMC. Mhaiskar said that the chosen officer would have a doctor’s degree with a background in microbiology and international infection control protocols. The infection control officer will also look into how infection can be reduced at community levels before the diseases are diagnosed.
Tuberculosis is one of the biggest killer diseases in Mumbai and had claimed as many as 8,035 lives last year.
Dr Escombe visited the city for the first time in 2011, when concerns about the rising number of deaths among TB Hospital staffers were raised. The staffers are now provided with N-95 masks and given protein supplements at their workplace to increase their immunity.
Following a detailed inspection of the blueprints of the Bahadurji block, Dr Escombe suggested that there should be wide open windows to improve air circulation, instead of glass windows as planned earlier.
“He suggested that there should be a good play of sunlight and cross ventilation. This reduces the risk of transmission by 80%,” said Mhaiskar. The work in this block has started and likely to be completed by next May.