Mangaluru, Jan 07, 2016: Superintendent of Wenlock hospital Dr. H.R. Rajeshwari Devi told the media that sputum sample of a person suspected of Tuberculosis from the district will no longer be referred to Vijayapura or Bengaluru for diagnosis. Equipment for quick diagnosis of TB - Tuberculosis and multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) will be installed at the Government Wenlock Hospital this month-end.
The Cartridge-based Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing (CBNAAT) machine, which is popularly know as Gene X-pert, would be installed at the Directly Observed Treatment Centre for TB, located on the first floor of the hospital. A separate ward had been opened in the hospital for providing treatment for initial few weeks after confirmation of TB.
Superintendent of Wenlock hospital Dr H.R. Rajeshwari Devi also said that the machine, which would cost around Rs. 17 lakh, was likely to be installed by January 11. After making arrangements for power supply and other alterations at the centre, the machine would be put to operation by the end of this month. This machine would be one of the 13 new ones to be installed by the State government in different parts of the district under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme.
Before such a centre was opened at Mangaluru, persons suspected of TB were being sent to a similar facility at the Mysore Medical College for diagnosis and treatment. In 2013-14, patients had been sent for diagnosis to Vijayapura and Bengaluru and the treatment was being provided at the DOT centre in Wenlock Hospital. For the last few months, the DOT centre was sending only sputum samples for tests by the CBNAAT machines located at Vijayapura and Bengaluru.
Pulmonologist Dr. Chandrik Babu said that with the installation of the new CBNAAT machine, there would be no need for patients to wait for reports from Vijayapura and Bengaluru. The new machine would provide reports within two hours. The report would also provide findings on resistance to Rifampicin — a critical drug for TB treatment. This would help screen the patients with multi drug Resistant TB and begin treatment immediately.