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‘Liquid culture lab’ at Ruia for TB diagnosis

‘Liquid culture lab’ at Ruia for TB diagnosis
Highlights

Patients with tuberculosis disease can heave a sigh of relief as Sri Venkateswara Ramnarain Ruia Government General Hospital, popularly known as Ruia...

  • 4.5-cr Central TB Division aid for Tirupati project
  • To benefit Rayalaseema, Nellore, Prakasam districts

Tirupati: Patients with tuberculosis disease can heave a sigh of relief as Sri Venkateswara Ramnarain Ruia Government General Hospital, popularly known as Ruia Hospital, in Tirupati is all set to get Rs 4.5-crore liquid culture lab and line probe assay lab for the advanced diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB).

The Central TB Division under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, has formally sanctioned the laboratories to Ruia after a committee appointed by it visited Tirupati and identified the location at the hospital.

The main advantage of this facility will be that it can detect Multi Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR TB) which is caused by the strains of the TB bacteria resistant to the two most effective anti-tuberculosis drugs available – Isoniazid and Rifampicin and can be diagnosed in a specialised laboratory only.

According to District TB Control Officer Dr B Ramesh Babu, there were four CBNAAT sites in the district. Though it diagnose TB 100 per cent, it cannot identify to which available drugs the bacteria of a particular patient is resistant and without knowing this there will be no use of taking treatment.

At the liquid culture lab and line probe assay lab, this resistance can be accurately diagnosed and start early treatment so that the patient’s health can be improved faster.

Presently there was only one such lab at Visakhapatnam in AP and sputum samples from all the 13 districts should go there for testing. With heavy load, it takes even 3-4 months to get report from there and by that time the disease spreads to others and patient health will be further deteriorated.

Dr Ramesh Babu has said that, the MDR TB survey undertaken by Central TB Division in 2014 has found that in every 100 TB diagnosed patients, 2-3 percent new patients were there.

There are 14 drugs for the treatment of TB and 27 percent of TB patients were having drug resistant for any one of these 14. Without knowing that exact drug proper treatment cannot be administered.

There lies the importance of these advanced laboratories. Central TB Division has been giving these laboratories in phased manner and now identified 22 sites for these.

AP has got one which was allotted to Tirupati and it can cater to the needs of four Rayalaseema districts along with Nellore and Prakasam districts.

He said that, MDR TB diagnosed cases were increasing during the last five years and from 2017 to the first 10 months in 2018 there was huge increase in these cases.

“Though India resolves to end TB by 2025, the Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu was very much particular to eradicate it from the State by 2020 itself.
And these new advanced laboratories will help in fulfilling the target set by the CM”. He said that the central committee visited the place at Central laboratory of Ruia hospital in July and suggested some civil works.

If they are completed before the end of December, they will send the material and other equipment to start the test run from April 2019. From next August the lab is expected to function completely.

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