Times of India (11.19.2013)
Aids Weekly Plus
The Times of India recently reported that the Govandi and Dharavi wards had the highest multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB) prevalence in Mumbai, India. Govandi’s Shatabdi Hospital reported that approximately 43 percent of people tested for TB since March had MDR TB, and 35 percent of those tested in Dharavi had MDR TB. The number of MDR TB diagnoses in Mumbai increased from 53 in 2010 to 2,502 in 2013. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) identified 10 Mumbai wards that were “critical” for TB.
Municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar noted that the government designated TB a notifiable disease a year ago, requiring private physicians to report TB diagnoses. The government-run National Tuberculosis Control Program reported 30,000 TB cases that responded to first-line TB medications. For the first time, BMC also reported 10,000 TB patients from the private sector. Government officials had expected to identify 30,000 private TB patients. Since use of the Nikschay computer program only began in May 2013, the number of cases reported by private physicians could increase next year.
In response to the drastic rise in MDR TB cases, BMC planned to increase the number of GeneXpert machines across the city. Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar attributed more than 50 percent of MDR TB diagnoses to the use of GeneXpert machines, which could detect drug-resistant strains within two hours. Both Shatabdi Hospital and Dharavi’s civic urban health center had GeneXpert machines. Under Mumbai’s special TB control plan, the city would get three additional GeneXpert machines next week, according to Mhaiskar.
In another high-incidence Mumbai ward, Sewri’s TB Hospital planned to inaugurate a 100-bed dedicated TB wing. Future plans called for an additional diagnostic lab and a 10-bed intensive respiratory care unit.