Tuberculosis diagnostic network will now be expanded in Telangana

This could lead to long delay in diagnosing a TB case due to possible loss of the detection.

Published: 24th September 2018 03:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th September 2018 03:27 AM   |  A+A-

A relative adjusts the oxygen mask of a tuberculosis patient at a TB hospital in Hyderabad. | AP

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: In the coming months, more number of tuberculosis cases in the State will come to light with the Telangana State TB Control Programme officials going to set up more Designated Microscopy Centres (DMC) at Primary Health Centres (PHC) in the State, which helps in cutting down the spread of infection.

Currently, one DMC is provided per two to three PHCs and on the whole 394 available at PHCs in the State. At least more 400 are required. Since not all PHCs have DMC, patients are referred to the nearest Health Centre which has the facility. This could lead to long delay in diagnosing a TB case due to possible loss of the detection.

For instance, when a person who is incessantly coughing walks to a private clinic or a PHC where TB testing facility is not available, it might take time for the person to go to a PHC that has the facility, or the suspected patient will delay to undergo the test for a long time, leading to the delay.

“If the DMCs are available at all PHCs, then sputum samples can be tested at the earliest. When person tests positive for TB, they can be put on treatment and the patient becomes non-infectious in two-weeks time. On the other hand, if a TB patient who is yet to know that he has contracted the infection waits to undergo the diagnosis test and for results, he  might pass the infection to more people,” said Dr A Rajesham, joint director, State TB Control Programme.

The steps to provide more DMCs are being taken after Ministry of Health and Family Welfare communicated to State government officials a few days ago to undertake expansion of TB diagnostics network expeditiously.

What the communication said

An official from the Ministry requested all States to map all non-DMC PHCs and designate all the PHCs in two phases. They are:

If a lab technician is available at a PHC, technician will be trained and microscope will be provided.

Recruit lab technicians where there are vacancies, train them and provide the equipment.

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