IPAQT (Initiative for Promoting Affordable and Quality Tests) recently held a seminar on “Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment of Tuberculosis”.
A speaker from IPAQT, Dr A. Haseeb, talked about gene Xpert for MTb. He said, “It is highly specific and sensitive, and can be done on sputum, pus, body fluids but not on blood.” He added that it was computer based, and produced results in 2 hours, and was also able to detect Rifampicin resistance. In case of Rifampicin resistance it would mean that there is MDR Tb.
Sputum smear is also a cheap and reliable option but the report time is 24 hrs, and so the patients have to make two visits. However, the gold standard test for diagnosis remains culture of specimen for MTB. It helps in detecting different species of MTB; drug sensitivity could also be done, but the results become available after 6-12 weeks.
Sana Rafiq, Project Manager IPAQT, talked about facilities available at Sehatmand Zindagi free of cost or at discounted prices.
In the end, Imran Shaikh, Project Incharge of IPAQT, thanked the speakers and participants of the seminar.