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Determining the presence of tuberculosis will no longer be a two-month-long ordeal for patients in the district.

The newly installed CB NAAT (Cartridge-based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test) equipment at the Department of Microbiology at the Government Medical College here can give the required results in just two hours, and more accurately that earlier.

Joint effort

The equipment has been installed through a joint effort of the Central TB Division, New Delhi, and the State Department of Health.

The equipment, earlier allotted to the District TB office, was handed over to the Department of Microbiology due to space constraints at the office.

Rs.26 lakh

The equipment costing Rs.26 lakh, and around 200 cartridges, that cost Rs.600 each, were provided free of cost by the Central TB Division, which has agreed to supply more cartridges as the need arises. The District TB Centre has provided all material support to the Microbiology Department to run the equipment.

The CB NAAT is a polymer chain reaction-based method for TB detection in place of the chest X-ray, AFB staining, microscopy, culture and mantoux test methods followed so far.

“Sometimes doctors initiate treatment even as patients await results. Later the treatment may prove futile if the test results turn out to be negative. Such confusions can be avoided with the equipment providing instant results. Also, the equipment is capable of detecting multidrug-resistant TB”, said P.P. Pradeep Kumar, District TB Officer.

Kozhikode is the eighth district in the State to get the facility.

The equipment installed in Kozhikode is capable of testing four sputum samples simultaneously.

The CB NAAT was inaugurated by Additional District Magistrate T. Jenil Kumar on Thursday. Medical College Principal P.V.Narayanan presided over the programme.

The equipment is capable of testing four sputum samples simultaneously.