HIV patients in the district can now heave a sigh of relief. The relevant test required to be undergone by every HIV patient to determine whether they are suffering from Tuberculosis, can be done locally.
The equipment required to conduct the test which diagnoses whether a patient has Tuberculosis or not, known as 'Cartridge-Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test' (CBNAAT) has been set up at KR Hospital.
Officials say, the machine is helpful in the early detection of TB among HIV positive patients and children. The diagnostic tool can not only detect whether a persons is infected with TB or not but also can identify whether it is a drug resistance TB type or drug sensitive TB, all within a span of just two hours. The instrument prints out the report, which can be operated by any trained laboratory technician.
Earlier, 10-12 samples of sputum were sent to Bengaluru for diagnosis every month. It took considerable time to get back the report. The delay may lead to further increase the infection. Thus, CBNAAT is a boon for patients, as the diagnosis can be done easily. With early detection their life span can be increased and prevent further spread of disease.
The machine can also be deployed to easily identified whether children too have symptoms of TB. This is a pilot project and in coming days the facility will be extended for all other cases of suspected TB.
The machine is being set up in seven districts including in Mysore.
Required training is already being imparted to the staff and the machine will be operational in the next couple of days. Mysuru, Mandya, Chamarajanagar, Kodagu patients can make use of this new equipment.
Speaking to Express, District TB Control Officer Dr Suvarna said that to strengthen the HIV and TB Collaborative activities, as per the WHO guidelines the machines is being presented to KR Hospital. “As HIV patients are more vulnerable to TB, it becomes crucial to identify TB affliction among HIV Positive patients at the earliest. This new testing equipment will fasterdiagnosis of HIV patients with TB,” she added.
The Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) in collaboration with Central TB Division has set up the CBNAAT.