Truenat machine installed for Comprehensive Tribal TB Management Project under KIMS-ICMR collaboration


The“Comprehensive Tribal TB Management Programme for decentralized TB care services project” flagged off during last month in 2023 in  Koraput district, is making steady progress in the project mandates.

The project team is headed by a senior Community Medicine member team of Prof Dr Sonali Kar from Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS). Other members include: Prof. Dr S Panda from VSS Medical College, Burla and Dr. Aurobind Samantaray of SLN  Medical College and Hospital, Koraput and the State NTEP head Dr.PK Hota and District ADPHO Dr. PK Samal.

The Truenat TB test is a new molecular test that can help in diagnosing TB in one hour as well as testing for resistance to the drug rifampicin. There are several different assays which have expanded the capability of the test.

A four-member team is now doing qualitative assessment in three sampled blocks of Jeypore, Borigumma and Kunduli.  Borigumma is the largest block of Odisha and there a need for molecular diagnostics for TB was inferred as the  Truenat machine was not functional since few months. An addressal decision to install the Duopanel Truenat at Community Health Centre (CHC) Borigumma was unanimously taken by the project management team on March 27.

The installation programme was managed by project Co-PI Dr Aurobindo Samantaray, Dr Pravin Kumar Dash, Medical officer (O&G specialist), CHC Borigumma and Dr Nirmalya Mohapatra, 1st year PG student, Dept of Community Medicine, KIMS (representing PI Dr Sonali Kar). A training of use of Truenat by Molbio Engineer followed which was attended by the KIMS team (one research assistant, one lab technician, and two health assistants) besides the core staff of the CHC, Designated Microscopic Center (DMC).

The team is extremely thankful to Odisha State TB Officer Dr P K Hota (Co-PI), District TB Officer Dr PK Samal (Co-PI), Koraput, Banita Samal, District Project Coordinator, Koraput, and the National TB Elimination Program (NTEP) staff for the essential handholding in this initiative. This is likely to facilitate the diagnostics of sputum negative TB cases besides deciding the resistance pattern.

Borigumma for its expanse and the high percentage of vulnerable tribal population, is targeted for the 1st active case-finding camp under this project in the coming days. The Truenat machine is likely to be put into best use in the case searching scenario and the project team braces itself, as well as the district and state NTEP team for the wholehearted effort in the near future.

The team also thanked Prof Dr BK Behera, HoD Community Medicine, KIMS for unconditional support, Brig. Prof Dr AP Mohanty, Principal KIMS for all administrative encouragement and the blessings of Founder KIIT and KISS Dr Achyuta Samanta at every step and hopes to achieve success in this project.

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