New Hope: The Dots Plus Site at the Hirapur campus of PMCH in Dhanbad on Saturday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Dhanbad, March 2: After Ranchi, Dhanbad is going to hold out hope to patients suffering from tuberculosis (TB).
The Hirapur campus of Patliputra Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) in Dhanbad today threw open to the public a centre that will provide free hospitalisation and treatment to patients suffering from multi-drug resistant TB.
The centre — the second in the state after Itki in Ranchi — was primarily expected to cater to people from the districts of Santhal Pargana, namely, Dumka, Deoghar, Godda, Jamtara, Sahebganj and Pakur, sources said.
The 12-bedded centre, to be called a Dots Plus Site, will be run by a PMCH committee headed by hospital superintendent Arun Kumar. The PMCH superintendent will have help from district tuberculosis control officer P.K. Bhagat and assistant professor (department of medicine) Vinay Kumar who has been named nodal officer of the centre.
A host of general nursing staff and ward attendants, along with a medical officer, would also be at hand to ensure smooth day-to-day running of the centre.
Speaking to The Telegraph, tuberculosis officer Bhagat said the centre would have online facilities using which it would send reports to the state health department about patients and treatments being offered to them. A dedicated computer operator will be employed for this purpose.
“Earlier, we collected sputum samples from patients suffering from drug-resistant TB and sent them to Itki. The Ranchi centre is equipped with an intermediate reference laboratory that determines cases on the basis of a technique called liquid probe assay. In short, patients had to wait for at least three days before the results came in,” Bhagat said.
Though the Dhanbad centre would not have facilities to test sputum, it would be able to admit and treat patients immediately after the results arrived.
Bhagat said they would admit patients at the centre for at least seven days during which time several drugs would tried on them to see which one worked. They would be released only after it was established that he/she was responding to a particular drug, which would then be prescribed to him for the next 24 months.
Dhanbad, after Ranchi, was selected under the Dots Plus Scheme for treating multi-drug resistant TB cases in 2010.
“Since then, we have collected and sent for examination sputum samples of 244 patients. Of them, 34 cases were found to be positive” Bhagat said.