New child TB detection centre opens in Dhaka to find out missing cases

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2019-04-07 00:33:39 BdST

A new specialised tuberculosis (TB) detection centre has been inaugurated at the Mugda Medical College Hospital in Dhaka to find out the infectious disease in children.

Childhood TB still remains a major challenge for Bangladesh. The diagnosis is difficult largely due to the fact that the disease in children produces non-specific clinical manifestations.

Sputum examination is the only and widely used test for the diagnosis of lung TB. But young children cannot produce sputum and this makes the diagnosis difficult among them.

According to government statistics, 68 percent of the estimated child TB remained missing in 2018.

This prompted the USAID to help the government set up specialised centres in hospitals through the Challenge TB Bangladesh Project. The Specialised Child TB Centre at Mugda is the second such centre in Dhaka after the Dhaka Shishu Hospital.

Local MP Saber Hossain Chowdhury inaugurated the centre on the second floor of the hospital on Saturday.

It is equipped with efficient specimen collection procedures and trained staff for collection of samples. It is linked with an in-house GeneXpert testing facility to make diagnosis of child TB easy.

Also, the facility will serve as a referral linkage for other public and private facilities to help in bringing more patients to this facility for better management, according to the Challenge TB Project.

Additional Director General Prof Nasima Sultana at the Directorate General of Health Services, Line Director of the government’s TB programme Prof Samiul Islam, country project director of Challenge TB Bangladesh Oscar Cordon, and head of the Mugda hospital’s paediatric department Dr Nazma Begum were also present, among others.

Dr Nazma thanked the Challenge TB Project for this centre. “It’s really difficult to identify TB among the children particularly those who come to outpatient facility,” she said.

“In March we received 8,000 children in outpatient department alone,” she said, “But there was a lack of specimen collection facilities from the children in the outpatient department”.

A third centre is expected to be launched at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital this month while the fourth at Institute of Child and Mother Health in May, covering four major facilities in four parts of the city.