DNA: Daily News & Analysis (India) (12.28.2013)
DNA India reported that Pune, a district in the Indian state of Maharashtra, has documented 32 cases of extremely drug-resistant TB (XDR TB) in the last six months. Overall, Maharashtra documented 9,600 multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB) patients and 124 XDR TB patients in 2012. Most XDR TB patients were from Mumbai. Three major government hospitals in Maharashtra reported an increase in suspected XDR TB cases in 2012: Mumbai recorded 191 suspected cases; Nashik reported 113 suspected cases; and Nagpur reported 109 suspected cases.
Dr. Manohar Pawar, joint director of Pune’s directorate of health services, believed that the actual number of the district’s TB patients remained constant, but improved diagnostic methods and increased awareness resulted in a statistical increase in TB cases in 2012. Maharashtra reported 30 XDR TB cases in 2011 and 124 XDR TB cases in 2012, with a cure rate of less than 40 percent. The districts of Pune, Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Latur, and Akola all reported 100-percent increase in XDR TB diagnoses.
Pawar noted that XDR TB required more than 27 months of uninterrupted treatment with multiple medicines and injections, which resulted in a low success rate. Maharashtra has responded by implementing MDR TB treatment in several districts and planned for more XDR TB diagnostic centers. Pawar stated that Mumbai’s Hinduja Hospital had received permission to set up a diagnostic center and would commence operation upon installation of the new equipment. Having the advanced equipment in Hinduja Hospital would eliminate the month-long delay of sending samples to Bangalore for testing and would enable patients to start taking medicines earlier. Maharashtra’s government also has proposed adding 50 GeneXpert machines to assist with MDR TB diagnosis in the state.