Times of India (09.17.2013)
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) reported that approximately 54 healthcare providers from Mumbai’s public hospitals were receiving TB treatment under India’s Revised National TB Control Programme. A “miniscule” number of these TB-infected healthcare workers had multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB), according to BMC officials. Most of the TB diagnoses occurred among Grade IV staffers who did not have patient contact, or among nursing and Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) students. However, seven TB patients were doctors in post-graduate training in tertiary hospitals. Mumbai reported more than 30,000 TB cases annually. Although veteran healthcare providers asserted that TB was the “commonest” occupational hazard, recent MDR TB deaths have drawn fresh attention to the disease. A Sion Hospital MBBS student died of MDR TB in June 2013, and 13 other Sion healthcare workers currently were receiving TB treatment. A Nair Hospital nursing student also died of MDR TB in June, and a nursing college hostel has reported three TB cases among 400 students in 2013. Mumbai TB Officer Dr. Minni Khetarpal attributed TB incidence among nursing students primarily to nutrition, work stress, and climatic conditions. Dr. Sujata Baweja, head of Sion Hospital’s microbiology department, noted that some patients who arrived with TB left the hospital with drug-resistant TB. CDC and Harvard School of Public Health infection control experts recently arrived in Mumbai to consult with BMC architects, engineers, and specialists. According to CDC Expert Paul Jensen, ventilation control issues, including design, operation, and sustainability, could assist with infection control.