The National Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases (NITRD) in association with BD, a leading global medical technology company have established a Centre of Excellence for TB Diagnostics and will jointly conduct training programs and workshops to offer an opportunity to learn and practice in a world class laboratory. NITRD is the National Reference laboratory under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in TB and provides tertiary hospital care for patients suffering from tuberculosis (TB). It functions primarily towards patient healthcare and strategy framework in line with the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) that is the state-run TB control initiative of the Government of India.
This initiative comes at a time when BD and NITRD recognize that it is critical to incorporate advanced TB diagnostic technologies for proper management of the high disease burden in the country. Through the collaboration, workshops, seminars and training programs will be conducted along with operational research to expand the utility of rapid TB culture systems as well as evaluate upcoming TB diagnostics technologies for the benefit of professionals with similar interests.
Dr. V P Myneedu, Medical Superintendent and HOD Microbiology, NITRD said, "BD and NITRD have been associated with liquid culture based diagnosis of TB, MDR-TB and XDR-TB, evaluation projects on Extra-pulmonary, direct DST and many more. The association was taken one step ahead with NITRD with commitment for onsite trainings, workshops and evaluation projects and studies of new technologies. The training programs will help government as well as private institutions and professionals to learn and understand the basic and advancements in tuberculosis diagnosis, and disease management."
Comprising six trainings through the year (the first training was conducted in January 2014.), lab technicians, microbiologists and chest physicians will experience hands-on training on diagnosis and management of TB. The trainings will continue all-round the year in different aspects of laboratory diagnosis of TB, relevant to TB, MDR-TB, XDR-TB management under RNTCP and Programmatic Management of Drug resistant TB (PMDT).
Dr. Sanjay Sarin, Regional Director, Global Health, Asia Pacific - BD said, "India has made great progress in TB control over the last few years. Although RNTCP is investing in building the laboratory capability, management of MDR/XDR-TB remains a challenge and in that respect building laboratory capacity for TB culture and Drug susceptibility test (DST) has been identified as a critical step to enable scale-up of PMDT. BD is privileged to establish a Centre of Excellence in TB diagnostics in partnership with National Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases which will help establish best practices in liquid culture and DST by training microbiologists and healthcare workers."