Minister finds TB officers out of sync with RGICD

Wants 100 pc success in tackling tuberculosis

Two patients with Tuberculosis with TDR (totally drug resistant) were recently diagnosed at the out-patient department of Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD).

Medical Education Minister S A Ramdas inspects a ward at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases in Bangalore on Wednesday. DH PhotoBut due to lack of co-ordination between Tuberculosis (TB) officers from the Health and Family Welfare Department and the hospital, one patient succumbed to the disease and the other was allowed to leave the hospital by the authorities.

What is alarming is that the hospital authorities and the State TB officers have made no attempt to trace the patient who left, as he can easily spread the illness to others in his family and surroundings. 

This was revealed during an inspection by Medical Education Minister S A Ramdas at RGICD on Wednesday.
 
Ramdas, who inspected the Directly Observed Treatment - Short Course (DOTS) centres at RGICD, took the TB officers and hospital staff to task for the lack of co-ordination.

He said six TB patients had been diagnosed with extreme drug resistance (XDR) and the officers had no clue about the cases. 

“When the country is being lauded for its TB programme, we still have cases of TDR, XDR and MDR (multi drug resistance). I will be issuing a notice to the officers to trace the patient with TDR and isolate him, so that he does not spread the disease,” said Ramdas. He said a three-member commitee will be formed to check on the TDR cases.

However, Dr Sangeetha, State TB officer, clarified that clinically diagnosed patients cannot be considered TB patients with XDR and MDR as sputum and culture tests are a must to continue DOTS treatment.

The minister said, in 2011, out of the 4.88 lakh sputum tests conducted, only 27,311 cases were found positive at RGICD. The hospital has recorded 56 MDR cases. The minister said RGICD has seen 81 per cent success, but must work hard to achieve 100 per cent.

Ramdas also found administrative lapses in the hospital where medical records room did not have a computer back-up.

RGICD will be granted a sum of Rs 289 crore to upgrade it into a centre of excellence under the Centre’s 12th Five Year Plan.

In order to increase the hospital staff strength, RGICD will conduct walk-in interviews on January 12 for 14 posts in both pulmonary and cardio-thoracic departments. There are vacancies for two pulmonologists, four associate professors, two assistant professors in pulmonology and two associate professors and four assistant professors in cardio-thoracic department.  

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