One out of 20 children with TB has drug-resistant infection
Three chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra being readied to be pulled from Badadanda to Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri on Wednesday.
One in every 20 children, who were diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) at Mumbai’s private hospitals between September 2014 and April 2016, had drugresistant forms of the infection, revealed data by Private Provider Interface Agency (PPIA), which operates under the supervision of the BMC. Under the PPIA initiative, 1,826 paediatric cases were reported by 116 doctors during the period.
PPIA was launched in August 2014, under the civic body’s Mumbai Mission for TB control, to increase the notifications of TB cases from private hospitals. Around 50% of the city’s population seeks first-hand medical help at private hospitals.
“Two years ago, we did not have diagnostic GeneXpert to analyse drug resistance in TB cases. But some doctors are using GeneXperts liberally, which has given us this data,” said a PPAI official.
GeneXpert is a molecular test, which diagnoses TB by detecting the presence of TB bacteria, as well as tests the bacterium DNA for drug resistance. While this is preliminary data, doctors said the number of children with drug-resistant TB could be higher after data from the government-run hospitals is also taken into account.
Dr Daksha Shah, BMC’s TB officer, told HT it will take time to release data on drugresistant cases in children. However, an official from the state’s TB control office said 2,159 cases of children with TB were reported in Mumbai in 2015. But the BMC is yet to study how many of these were drug resistant, the officer said. “Until two months ago, we did not separately capture the portion of paediatric drugresistant TB in our routine reporting mechanism. Now that it has been instituted, we will have more data about drug-resistant infections in children,” the official added.