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Dr. S. Ramesh Kumar, Scientist E(Medical), received Gold medal for Ist Rank holder in the MPH course(Clinical trials) at SRM University.


 

 

 

 

A Technical consultation on Latent Tuberculosis Infection in India National Institute for TB Research,
Chennai, 29-30 June, 2017

 

 

 

Raashtriya Ekta Diwas” being celebrated at ICMR-NIRT
&
Pledge being taken by the employees of ICMR-NIRT


 

 

WORLD DRIVERS DAY @ NIRT

 

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A glimpse of the 61stAnnual day celebrations in NIRT on 11.08.17

The 61st Annual Day started with the invocation to God by reciting the Tamizh Thai Vazhthu. This was followed by a welcome speech by Dr. Srikanth Tripathy, MD, Director-In-Charge, NIRT. Two of the eminent Chest physicians in the city, who were also the heads of their respective institutions, Dr. A. Mahilmaran, MD (Chest)-(Director, ITM) and Dr. R. Sridhar, MD (Chest)-(Superintendent, GHTM, Tambaram), appreciated the efforts of NIRT in TB research and commended our Institution and its Directors for the achievements of NIRT. They recalled the goal of starting this institution, with a motto to frame guidelines for the National TB Programme, and also elaborated on their never-ending friendship with the institute and its staff that had been built over decades of effective, fruitful and eminent collaboration. The staff, who had completed 25 years of selfless and memorable service, were felicitated by the dignitaries. This included Mr.C.Gopala Krishnan, Mr.D.Thangaraj, Mr.C.Uthara Bahadur, Mrs.R.Saraladevi, Mr.B.Durairaj and Mrs.A.Gunasundari. The Director-in-charge, in his address, gave a vivid description regarding the role of various staff, both past and present, who had contributed immensely to the progress and scientific development of this prestigious institution. Various achievements and awards that have been obtained by the staff during this year, were enlisted by the head of the institute. The Senior Administrative Officer stressed that each one of the staff should strive to make this institution, a pioneer in TB research .This was followed by the Cultural programme that stole the lime light, lightening the hearts of the entire audience who keenly watched the show and enjoyed the programme. At the end of the day, the members of the Annual Day Committee had done their job efficiently and satisfactorily, to make the entire event a grand success. This was followed by the Vote of thanks by Dr.G.Narendran, DNB (Chest),ScE, NIRT and the programme ended with the National Anthem.

 

 

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Media Advocacy Program

TheA Media Advocacy Program on Tuberculosis was held on 10th June 2017(Saturday) from 11. AM to 12.00 PM at Madurai Reporters hall, Madurai. The program titled "Partnership for TB Care and Control" was aimed to sensitize and create awareness to the media on tuberculosis, organised for journalists and to request the media to spread the information on TB to public via their media. Director of REACH (NGO) Dr.Nalini Krishnan and other people from NGOs working on TB also attended. Dr.S.Ramesh Kumar, Scientist E (Medical) of ICMR-National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) was invited as resource person on TB, and he delivered some message on TB to media which was expected to be conveyed to public through their media. After basically briefing about NIRT centre, delivered speech on TB, insisting on treatment compliance, TB associated with - HIV, Diabetes and Smoking and also briefing about MDR/XDR TB. MLA of Madurai North, and former Mayor of Madurai - Mr.Rajan Chellappa presided over function and he delivered his address, some social issues like increasing the incentives to TB patients from Rs.1000/- to Rs.2000/- was discussed and he said he will try to take up this issue to the government. The news on the program was published in English and Tamil dailies.

 

 


 

 

 

 

Dissemination Meeting on the study ‘Investigating Pre-treatment Loss to Follow-up (PTLFU) of smear positive Tuberculosis patients in the RNTCP in Chennai and Tiruvallur districts, Tamilnadu' June 23, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Workshop on “Socio Behavioural Interventions – Changing Trends”
Date: June 15th 2017; Venue – National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, ICMR

 

 

 

 

YOGA Day Celebrations @ NIRT

The rich cultural heritage of Mother India and the spirituality of its soul were revisited by the reverberation of the Yoga day celebrations at NIRT, fulfilling the vision of the senior leadership of our country.


The Yoga day started with the invocation to almighty by Dr.N.S.Gomathi, followed by recital of Adi- sankara’s Guru Ashtakam reiterating the greatness of the Guru by Dr.G.Narendran, the convenor of this programme,.“Speak only when your words are more beautiful than silence” is the rule we followed, starting the session with the meditation.


This was followed by the Welcome address by Director –In-Charge , Dr.Srikanth Tripathy , who stressed the need for regular practice of yoga, not only in the office but also carry home the message of the eternal love, benefitting the society . He added that Yoga has the dual advantage of increasing concentration and reducing stress simultaneously, enhancing the efficiency of the working environment.


This was followed by the YOGA demonstration by the Simplified Kundalini Yoga (SKY) group members trained by the Sky instructors, Mr. SriRamachandran and Mrs. Girijalakshmi . Mrs. Girija Lakshmi was the recipient of the SKY award recently for her contribution to Yoga. This Yoga teaching initiative was started under the leadership of Dr. Soumya Swaminathan who is currently the Director General ICMR and Health Secretary DHR. These yoga classes have been successfully continuing for the last 6 years. This demonstration was attended by around 80 staff with 15 of them performing various “Asanas”, led by Mr. Sri Ramachandran.


Prof. Ganesan, the Chief Guest, who was one of the direct disciples of Shri Vedathri Maharishi himself, provided practical solutions and salvations from day to day problems through the practice of yoga. He said that the life of the human beings has become mechanical and a revolution needs to take place where the individual starts allocating time to understand his health, body and mind rather than spending more time and money when he becomes ill and his homeostasis gets disturbed. He suggested simple life modifications based on ancient practices which could benefit the human body. His speech was interspersed with anecdotes that were filled with humour and humanity.


Mr.T.N.Venkatesan, Yoga therapist cum instructor from the prestigious Krishmacharya Yoga Mandiram, talked about the significant contributions of his eminent institution in the field of Yoga and the use of Yoga for remedial measures. As his interactive session commenced, he impressed the entire audience by demonstrating simple exercises which could be routinely practised by merely sitting in a chair. He explained the importance of synchronising respiratory movements with the body and the soul.


Dr.G.Narendran explained the scientific principles behind some of these exercises performed during the Asanas, integrating science and religion. Quoting that life is a journey between human being and being human, he laid emphasis on the need for spirituality in life. He reckoned the efforts of the great sons of our “Mathru- bhumi” like Swami Vivekananda and Shri Sankaracharya who were active in spreading Yogic practices.


Dr.Mohan Natrajan, HOD Clinic, shared similar views and remarked that a tiny individual contribution finally could make a mass appeal. He confessed that he could perceive the internal peace in his mind and soul, with just 10 minutes of participating in this programme.


Mr.Jagdish Rajesh, Sr.Administrative Officer delivered the vote of thanks and appreciated the staff for the active and zealous participation. He said that in the world of stressful life, yoga helps in overcoming these problems providing us with a balanced mind to solve our problems.


The programme ended with the National Anthem, with all the staff singing in unison, the glory of our motherland,
-JAI HIND.

 

 

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NIRT implemented TIE-TB Mobile TB Diagnostic Vans flagged off by the Honorable Chief Minister of
Gujarat Shri Vijay Rupani on 08.06.2017 in Dahod district.


Targeted Intervention to Expand and Strengthen TB Control in Tribal Populations under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme, India (TIE-TB Project) Multi-centric implementation research study.

National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) is implementing this project in four (pre dominantly tribal) districts of Gujarat in support with Revised National TB Control Programme, India. The primary objective of this project is to improve the tribal population's access towards early diagnosis of Tuberculosis and further treatment. This project employs Mobile Tuberculosis Diagnostic Vans (MTDV) as primary intervention tool which are equipped with sputum microscopy and digital X ray facilities. MDTVs will undertake periodical visits to the hard to reach remote villages and difficult terrains to provide onsite diagnosis for TB. On the 8th of June, 2017 the Seven MTDVs have been flagged by the Honorable Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Vijay Rupani in Dahod district.





 

 

 

 

 

TB sensitization programmes held in

commemoration of World TB Day 2017

 

 

 

 

International symposium on 'Genomics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis'

 

International symposium on 'Genomics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis" had been organized and conducted by the Department of Bacteriology from National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) – ICMR on the 17 th and 18 th Feb 2017. This symposium was part of capacity building for whole  genome  sequencing (WGS) facility at NIRT for sequencing mycobacterial  strains; in collaboration with Centre for disease control (CDC) Atlanta , USA , Cambridge University , UK along with Central TB Division, New Delhi .

    

Dr. Srikanth Tripathy, Director in charge, NIRT welcomed the gathering during inaugural session and Dr. Soumya Swaminathan,   Secretary, Department of Health Research and Director General of  Indian Council of Medical Research presided over the meeting and delivered the key note address, followed by three sessions spread over one and half days with three themes namely WGS data analysis and Management, WGS in transmission dynamics of Tuberculosis followed by Phenotype and NGS/sequencing based DST. These sessions were chaired by Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Dr Sharon Peacock, University of Cambridge UK , Dr. Patrick Mooran CDC, Atlanta , USA .

 

International and national experts from the field of Mycobacterial whole genome sequencing and drug resistance, participated in the symposium and delivered lectures on their contributions towards Tuberculosis and emphasized on the need for Whole Geneome Sequencing. The prominent speakers were, Dr Sharon Peacock University of Cambridge UK, Dr Akhilesh Pandey Johns Hopkins University U.S.A, Dr Patricia Campbell and Dr. Patrick Mooran, CDC, Atlanta, USA , , Chennai, Dr Tim Walker, University of Oxford , UK , Dr Sujatha Narayanan Scientist G (Retd) NIRT, Dr Nerges Mistry FMR, Mumbai. Dr. Camilla Rodrigues, Hinduja Hospital , Mumbai. In addition, inputs and concerns towards implementation of this technique into the program were discussed with the experts, Dr C N Paramasivam FIND, India and Dr Mayank Ghedia CTD, New Delhi and Dr. Reshu Agarwal, CDC India.

 

During the final day discussion, pros and cons of the utility of this WGS technique was widely discussed and recommendations were made to move forward with whole genome sequencing and data management for national program and research which will lead to development of a national database for genotypic and phenotypic drug resistance tuberculosis strains in India . These recommendations were of great importance and right in time, when whole genome sequencing facility, with MiSeq a next generation sequencer, together with pyro sequencing have been established at National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT). The two major ongoing projects namely (1) Protecting and improving public health globally: Building laboratory, surveillance and workforce capacity to detect, respond to, and prevent drug resistant tuberculosis in India and (2) Cambridge-Chennai Centre Partnership on Antimicrobial Resistance in Tuberculosis: Focus on Novel Diagnostics and Therapeutics aims for potential use of whole genome sequencing of mycobacterial strains for early diagnosis, transmission and treatment management of MDR-TB. The meeting was concluded with valedictory remarks and vote of thanks proposed by Dr. Uma Devi, Head, and Department of Bacteriology who thanked the participants, speakers and her entire organizing team members and staff for making this event remarkable and successful.

 

 

 

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World TB Day celebrations on 24th March 2017 at Grant Lyon village near Redhills by joining hands with ITM & IMA, NIRT conducted a mass screening programme for Tuberculosis detection.

 

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‘Tr@inforPedHIV/TB-India'

 

The National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis-ICMR, Chennai in collaboration with Paediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS-PENTA organized a training programme 'Tr@inforPedHIV/TB-India' on 'Prevention and Management of Tuberculosis and HIV in Children and Young People' at Chennai from 23rd to 25th January 2017.

 

The National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) is India 's foremost national research institute for TB under Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and a WHO collaborating centre for Research and Training in Tuberculosis. Apart from capacity building the healthcare workers on prevention and management of Tuberculosis infection, our other priorities are developing safer and more effective diagnostic tools and TB treatment regimens in adults and children as well as undertaking basic research in the areas of TB diagnosis and treatment.

 

Paediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS-PENTA has designed the Tr@inforPedHIV course for all healthcare professionals caring for children living with HIV and TB, including training doctors, nurses, counsellors and psychologists. This course has been running successfully since 2005 with over 40 courses in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America . PENTA ran the course in India for the first time in Pune in January 2016, there was a great demand for a follow on course.

 

This Tr@inforPedHIV/TB course was organized for the first time in Tamil Nadu at Chennai and for the second time in India with an objective to capacity build paediatricians and medical officers in the early prevention and management of paediatric tuberculosis and paediatric HIV across medical colleges from Tamilnadu and other states of India . The faculties comprised of eminent medical researchers and academicians from Europe, South Africa as well as India . Most of the participants invited to attend this training course were paediatricians and medical officers from medical colleges across Tamil Nadu and other parts of India, which was an vision of Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Secretary to Govt. of India, Department of Health Research and Director general, ICMR to capacity build every paediatricians and medical officers working in the medical colleges in the prevention and management of paediatric tuberculosis and paediatric HIV.

 

Inauguration of 'Tr@inforPedHIV/TB-India' training programme was attended by Dr.T.Ravichandran, Director in-charge, Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children, Egmore; Dr. Sridhar, Medical Superintendent, Govt. Hospital of Thoracic Medicine, Tambaram; Dr. Mohan Natarajan, Director in-charge, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chetpet; Prof. Di Gibb, Professor & Consultant Pediatrician, University College London, UK; Dr. Steve Welch, Consultant Paediatrician & PENTA education lead, UK; and Dr. Syed Hissar, Medical Scientist, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chetpet, Chennai. The 3 day programme mainly focussed on Epidemiology and pathogenesis of TB and HIV, newer guidelines (both national and International) on Diagnosis, management and prevention of HIV-TB co-infection. The course also had sessions on some of the burning issues like Long term complications of Antiretroviral therapy(ART) ,adolescent care, treatment during TB and HIV treatment during pregnanacy and pharmacokinetics of ART and ATT drugs.

 

On 25 th January 2017, the Valedictory function was attended by Prof. Dr. S. Geethalakshmi, Vice-Chancellor, The Tamil Nadu DR.M.G.R. Medical University, Chennai; Dr. Pradeep Menon, Director in-charge, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chetpet; Dr. Steve Welch, Consultant Paediatrician & PENTA education lead, UK; Dr.PK Bhavani, Dr. Angeline Grace and Dr. Syed Hissar, Organizing team & Medical Scientists, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chetpet, Chennai. Prof. Dr. S. Geethalakshmi, Vice-Chancellor, The Tamil Nadu DR.M.G.R. Medical University , Chennai congratulated the NIRT, International and national faculties and delegates on organizing a very successful training programme involving most of the medical colleges under the Tamil Nadu DR.M.G.R. Medical University on a much needed and very important topic of Paediatric Tuberculosis and Pediatric HIV. The Govt. of Tamil Nadu through medical colleges across the state has taken various steps for early diagnosis and management of pediatric tuberculosis and pediatric HIV. This state of art training programme will certainly augment the local efforts in the early prevention and management of pediatric tuberculosis and pediatric HIV. Prof. Dr. S. Geethalakshmi urged the delegates to implement the updated knowledge for the benefit of public at large. 

 

 

 

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Nutritional Supplement for adults with pulmonary tuberculosis on a
re-treatment regimen in Vellore District, Tamil Nadu

 

Under nutrition is both an important risk factor for, and a common consequence of TB. It is associated with longer time to sputum conversion, higher risk of liver toxicity, malabsorption of drugs, TB recurrence, drug resistance and also death. A large study of pulmonary TB patients from rural India showed that 80% of women and 67% of male had moderate to severe under nutrition. We propose to give nutritional supplement to 1000 pulmonary TB patients on a re-treatment regimen in the 7 TUs of Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, for a period of eight months. The supplement will consists of finely ground mixture of millets and nuts. This initiative supported by Janssen, pharmaceutical division of Johnson & Johnson Pvt. Ltd. was launched by the Director-In-Charge of NIRT, Dr. Srikanth Tripathy, on 21/12/2016. We believe that a larger number of malnourished and underweight TB patients receiving a retreatment regimen along with ATT will go on to complete their treatment course, resulting in lesser default, higher cure rates, faster reconstitution of body weight, better quality of life and will return to work (normal functionality) much earlier and then those who receive only ATT.

 

 

 

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National Florence Nightingale Award 2016

 

Ms. Shyamala Gopu, Nurse has received the "National Florence Nightingale Award 2016" from the Honorable President of India on 12th May 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

Report on the dissemination workshop on the study titled
“HIV prevention through mobile phone technology among male sex workers
in India”

A dissemination meeting was held at the  National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) – ICMR  on the  5th March, 2016  to share the findings of the Intervention study using mobile phone technology for HIV prevention. The study was undertaken by the Department of Social and Behavioural Science Research (DSBR) in collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School (Boston, USA). The work shop was attended by around 100 members which included representatives from the state HIV prevention programme (TANSACS), NACO, CBO representatives, MSM community members and representatives from NIRT.

 

 Dr. Soumya Swaminathan,   Director General, ICMR welcomed the gathering and delivered the inaugural address. The importance of disseminating the findings which are key to translating research to policy was highlighted by her. Dr Swaminathan emphasized that impact in public health can be brought only by understanding the behaviour and the need for socio behavioural research.

 

The findings of the study were presented by Dr Beena Thomas (Indian PI) and Dr. Mathew Mimiaga ( US-PI). The findings reflected the effectiveness of mobile phone technology in sexual risk reduction and as a feasible and acceptable HIV prevention strategy. Mr.Vivek Anand-CEO of Humsafar, a community based organisation (CBO) shared their experiences using technology through the internet as another strategy for those MSM who used the internet for risky sexual behaviours. Dr Thanikachalam, the joint Project Director of TANSACS appreciated the study and said that this was an intervention that needed to be advocated as a powerful HIV prevention strategy. The discussions from the floor were interactive and lead by a panel which include Dr Shyamala Nataraj founder of SIAAP(NGO), Jeya from Sahodaran(CBO) and Sankari from Neerankal (CBO). Dr Shyamala complimented the team for undertaking such a challenging study and commented on the professional expertise that the team had displayed in reaching out effectively through an innovative intervention to the MSM hard to reach community.

 

 

 

 

Annual Day 2016

 

The Annual day of the National institute for research in tuberculosis was celebrated on the first august-2016 in our campus. The annual extravaganza started with the usual pomp and splendour .The programme was presided by the Director, Dr.Sanjay Mehendale. Other distinguished members on the dais were Dr.Srikanth Tripathy Sc G, HOD HIV and immunology division, Dr.Mohan Natrajan .Sc F and HOD clinic and special guest Dr. S. Radhakrishna, Retd. Director, IRMS. Dr.Mohan Natrajan welcomed the enthusiastic gathering with Dr.Tripathy and Dr.Radhakrishna delivering succinct speeches on the greatness of NIRT and what is expected of the current staff to maintain its global reputation. Dr.Sanjay Mehendale ‘s speech was the hallmark of the show. His speech narrated his administrative capacity and his love for his staff. It was an in-depth overview of the achievements of the entire institute, the individual accomplishments of nearly each of the scientists and a summary of events that had taken place in the last annual year including the sad demise of some of the NIRT staff including Dr.V. Kumarasami. It was an astonishing and adorable speech thoroughly appreciated by the audience for the meticulous effort. The felicitation of staff who had completed 25 years of service followed suit. Dr.Vanaja Selvakumar was welcomed to briefly describe her newly patented drug-Transitmycin. Dr.Gomathi exhibited her talents as an enthusiastic comparator for the cultural programme that had a fine blend of humour but had important messages to the society. The recital by Ramakrishnan, the dramas by the two teams from bacteriology and department of social behavioural research received a pounding applause. The efforts of the annual day committee and the administration to have arranged for the day with a short notice under the leadership of  
Dr.L. Sekar and Dr.P. Kannan deserves a special mention. Mr. Sankaran, Mr.Asokan , Mr.Rajkumar and Dr.P.K.Bhavani had contributed effectively to the organisation of the function that culminated in making the progarmme, a grand success once again. Dr.G.Narendran delivered the vote of thanks and the programme ended with the National Anthem.

 

 

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“Best Participant Award”

A twelve week Foundation Training Programme for Scientists & Technologists was designed by Indian institute of Public Administration, New Delhi to provide the young scientist a holistic view of the Inter-relationship between Science, Society and Development. Dr N.Saravanan, Scientist C from NIRT is one among the 15 participants from various discipline and geographical region of the country. the programme was planned to develop administrative, behavioural and problem solving skills in order to prepare the participants for future senior positions. The various components of the programme were lectures, panel discussions, workshops as well as field visits. The entire programme was sponsored by Department of Science and Technology, and initiated in the month of 23rd Nov. 2015 and concluded by 12th Feb. 2016. After the successful completion of the programme Dr N.Saravanan was awarded "a best participant" award . 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Workshop on ‘'Pharmacovigilance & Pharmacoepidemiology
in RNTCP''

A workshop on ‘'Pharmacovigilance & Pharmacoepidemiology in RNTCP'' was conducted at NIRT during 4th and 5th March, 2016. The workshop was funded by the USAID through WHO-SEARO, New Delhi through the Model DOTS project.

 

The objectives of this workshop were two-fold – firstly, to gain a better understanding of the ongoing pharmacovigilance programme and the challenges faced by the adverse drug reaction (ADR) monitoring centres in reporting ADRs, and secondly, to develop an operational research protocol related to daily anti-TB treatment in RNTCP.

 

We were fortunate to have experts from diverse disciplines - clinicians, program managers, microbiologists, clinical pharmacologists, health economists, statisticians, public health experts etc. The workshop participants comprised of programme managers representing the Central TB Division, WHO, Pharmacovigilance programme of India, Directors and their representatives from ICMR institutes, Pharmacology professors from Medical Colleges across India, STOs, DTOs, epidemiologists, clinicians in TB Patient Care etc.

 

There were presentations by experts on topics such as, Pharmacoepidemiology, RNTCP's perspective on ADR Management and Pharmacovigilance, Role of medical colleges in Pharmacovigilance, Pharmacokinetics of anti-TB drugs, Pharmacoeconomics and Experience from RNTCP, ART and PvPI centres. ICMR institutes highlighted their role in the Pharmacovigilance/Pharmacoepidemiology and the future directions.

 

Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Secretary, Dept of Health Research & Director General, ICMR emphasised the importance of the Pharmacovigilance programme and the need for ICMR to participate and strengthen it.

 

The participants were divided into groups, which worked on different components of the operational research proposal. Each group presented their component which was further discussed.

 

 

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