Nipah virus outbreak exposes the chinks in Kerala’s health-care armour

If Kerala was taken by surprise last year by the first outbreak of Nipah virus infection, its recurrence this year strongly suggests that the virus is in circulation in fruit bats.  After all, a study published on May 25 this year demonstrated that fruit bat was the source of the virus. In the absence of … Continue reading Nipah virus outbreak exposes the chinks in Kerala’s health-care armour

A glimmer of hope as India’s war on TB gets more funding

There is a glimmer of hope with India registering a slight drop in the number of new tuberculosis cases and TB deaths in 2016 compared with 2015. From an estimated 2.84 million new cases in 2015, the number dropped marginally to 2.79 million in 2016, according to the World Health Organisation’s Global tuberculosis report, 2017. … Continue reading A glimmer of hope as India’s war on TB gets more funding

A looming threat of tuberculosis in children

The RNTCP guidelines on contact screening are heeded mostly in the breach. About 5,500 of over 76,000 children tested in nine Indian cities have been diagnosed with tuberculosis, 9% of them with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), highlighting the silent spread of the disease. Though the actual prevalence of MDR-TB among children in India is not known, … Continue reading A looming threat of tuberculosis in children

MDR-TB spreads less within households

Unlike people with drug-susceptible TB, those with multi drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) are less likely to transmit disease to others living in the same household (also known as household contacts), a study published on June 23 in the journal PLOS Medicine found. Although it may not be right to extrapolate the findings to the community level, … Continue reading MDR-TB spreads less within households

Childhood TB: symptom-based contact screening safe, reliable

  From total neglect till a few years ago, childhood TB is now taking centrestage. A couple of days back, the WHO released an updated guidance for national TB programmes (NTPs) on the management of tuberculosis in children. The updated guidance takes into account many important developments and published evidence on childhood TB since the … Continue reading Childhood TB: symptom-based contact screening safe, reliable

‘Nuances of childhood TB are never taught in medical schools’

If diagnosing tuberculosis in children, particularly those aged under five years, is fraught with problems, health-care workers at different levels who are unaware of the latest advancements in childhood TB diagnosis and treatment make it even worse. “Tuberculosis is a part of the training programme when doctors go through a M.D course. So a basic … Continue reading ‘Nuances of childhood TB are never taught in medical schools’

Child-friendly, first-line TB combination drugs will be available in 2016: Dr. Mel Spigelman

Dr. Mel Spigelman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts in tuberculosis and TB drug development. He was instrumental in forging key organisational partnerships and building the pipeline of TB drug candidates when he was the Director of … Continue reading Child-friendly, first-line TB combination drugs will be available in 2016: Dr. Mel Spigelman

Second-line TB drugs: ‘It is more difficult to assess adverse effects in children’

  Prof. H. Simon Schaaf,  a clinical researcher from the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Desmond Tutu TB Centre, Stellenbosch University, South Africa has worked extensively on childhood TB and multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) in children. Last year he was awarded an A-rating by the National Research Foundation, South Africa. … Continue reading Second-line TB drugs: ‘It is more difficult to assess adverse effects in children’

‘Children metabolise TB drugs much faster than adults’

  Dr. Peter R. Donald, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University, South Africa was awarded an A-rating by the National Research Foundation, South Africa. An A-rating is the highest award given to scientists by the Foundation. He was also awarded the Union … Continue reading ‘Children metabolise TB drugs much faster than adults’

Malnourished children in India below three years are underdosed for first-line TB drugs

“The ultimate goal of evidence-based drug treatment is to produce a desired pharmacological response in a predictable manner and also to minimise adverse effects,” notes a June 2013 paper published in the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. The two goals can be achieved only when the correct therapeutic drug dosage of anti-TB drugs … Continue reading Malnourished children in India below three years are underdosed for first-line TB drugs