Now, lab reports of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) will be available within 48 hours of a patient being tested for the condition at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here.
A laboratory that has been set up for the purpose and equipped with high-tech diagnostic machines was inaugurated at the PGIMER's department of medical microbiology here on Wednesday. Earlier, those tested for the condition at the PGIMER had to wait for 3-4 months for the lab report.
Dr YK Chawla, director, PGIMER, inaugurated the laboratory. A press release issued by the PGIMER said that the laboratory had been established with the help of Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP).
Apart from reducing the time taken for diagnosis, the machines used in the laboratory will also bring down the chances of laboratory workers acquiring an infection while handling TB-causing pathogens, the release said.
It is estimated that 2.2 million people in India have TB; the disease's multidrug-resistant variant afflicts 3-5% of these people.
Dr Sunil Sethi, a PGIMER expert, said the laboratory would be helpful as early diagnosis of the condition would help in patients' treatment, under which a person is give 4 to 6 drugs every day for two years.
More than 100 doctors dealing with tuberculosis were present at the inauguration.