‘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’

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‘Sentinel Project provides guidance on preventive treatment for children with MDR-TB infection’

Mercedes C Becerra is an Associate Professor in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is a TB specialist with Partners In Health and has worked on the implementation and evaluation of drug-resistant TB treatment programmes for over 15 years. She, along with Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Director of Chennai-based … Continue reading ‘Sentinel Project provides guidance on preventive treatment for children with MDR-TB infection’

Sentinel Project gives a fillip to managing MDR-TB in children

  The Sentinel Project on Pediatric Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis is a collective power of a global partnership by experts and others who share the same vision of ensuring that no child dies of drug-resistant TB that is curable. “We are collaborating to raise the visibility of this vulnerable population of children, and to share evidence and … Continue reading Sentinel Project gives a fillip to managing MDR-TB in children

‘Very few children in India are diagnosed and treated for MDR-TB’

  “A child with TB [is] as likely as an adult with TB to have MDR-TB [multi-drug resistant TB],” notes the WHO Global Tuberculosis Report 2013. that was released last month. “It is therefore essential that the identification of MDR-TB in children be strengthened.” WHO did not stop at that. “Efforts should be made to … Continue reading ‘Very few children in India are diagnosed and treated for MDR-TB’

Contact screening: the risk of wrong TB diagnosis

  Of the nine million cases of tuberculosis (TB) across the world annually, children below 15 years of age account for about one million. As per India’s Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP), paediatric cases account for about 12 per cent of the total TB caseload in the country. According to a March 2013 paper … Continue reading Contact screening: the risk of wrong TB diagnosis

Programme to prevent TB in children neglected

The Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) that came into being in 1997 has to its credit some enviable accomplishments. For instance, it achieved country-wide coverage in March 2006 and achieved 86 per cent treatment success rate in recent years. More than 15,000 suspects are examined for the disease every day and about 3,500 patients … Continue reading Programme to prevent TB in children neglected

Is the new TB drug already being misused?

Bedaquiline was the first TB drug to be discovered in more than 40 years, and the first one specifically for multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). MDR-TB arises when the M. tuberculosis bacteria become resistant to two commonly used first-line TB drugs — isonazid and rifampicin. But less than six months after FDA approved the drug under … Continue reading Is the new TB drug already being misused?

Pilot project to test TB drug as prophylactic to HIV-infected

Published in The Hindu on December 15, 2012 The Chennai-based National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (formerly Tuberculosis Research Centre) has started a pilot testing programme of providing for six months isoniazid TB drug as prophylactic to HIV-positive individuals. People recruited will include those on antiretroviral therapy (ART) too. The programme was started about two … Continue reading Pilot project to test TB drug as prophylactic to HIV-infected

TB control: challenges in engagement

Published in The Hindu on September 20, 2012 Engaging the private practitioners in the fight against TB is easier said than done. For instance, there is a dichotomy in the way the public and private sector treat a TB patient. Private practitioners prefer to treat their patients with a daily fixed dose combination therapy while … Continue reading TB control: challenges in engagement

Treating TB, AIDS co-infection

Published in The Hindu on May 21, 2009 The Phase IV trial started in June 2006 to treat patients simultaneously for both TB and HIV has returned some important results. The trial once again reinforced the need to treat the afflicted for both the diseases simultaneously. According to earlier guidelines, patients were to be treated … Continue reading Treating TB, AIDS co-infection