Will set up TB research centre at JJ Hospital, says Sawant

The Asian Age.

Metros, Mumbai

Ms Gaikwad represents Dharavi assembly segment, which is consist of Dharavi slum area.

Dr Deepak Sawant

Mumbai: Maharashtra health minister Dr Deepak Sawant on Wednesday assured the Assembly that the state government would set up a tuberculosis (TB) research centre at the state-run JJ Hospital in south Mumbai. MLAs from opposition and government complained that TB patients do not get treatment on time and hospitals lacked the required facilities to cater to them.   

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Parag Alavani had sought state public health ministry’s reply over the measures taken for curbing contagious disease like TB. He claimed that more than two lakh fresh TB cases were reported during 2017 in the state while a number of total deaths due to the disease were over 1,000. MLAs also asked what measures that ministry has initiated for people who travel on highly congested local trains as TB is an airborne disease.

In his reply, Mr Sawant said, “We will set up a research centre at JJ Hospital in Mumbai for TB. There are 117 Cartridge Based Nucleic Acid Amplification testing (CB-NAAT) machines for Maharashtra provided by the centre of which 28 are for Mumbai. I think this number is sufficient for Mumbai for performing detection tests on patients suspected to have TB infection.”

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former deputy chief minister of Maharashtra Ajit Pawar raised said, “As per my information, Rs 2,000 crore are allocated for the TB, but the state somehow manages to spend 50 per cent of it. This is unacceptable as people are dying from the infection, but the state has consistently failed to utilise the allocated funds.”

Congress MLA Varsha Gaikwad asked whether the state public health ministry is keen on launching a pilot project to eradicate TB from one particular locality. She also pointed out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of eradicating the disease by 2025 from the country. Ms Gaikwad represents Dharavi assembly segment, which is consist of Dharavi slum area.