Kathmandu - IOM Nepal has been awarded a Rana Samundra Trophy by the National Tuberculosis Center (NTC), Department of Health Service, the Ministry of Health and Population, for having introduced the molecular diagnostic tool “GeneXpert” in Nepal. The award was given in a ceremony to mark World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on Monday 24th in Kathmandu.
The GeneXpert technology is a cartridge-based fully automated Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (DNA test). It can simultaneously detect Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (MTB) and Rifampicin (RIF) resistance with a high sensitivity and specificity. IOM has been implementing a TB REACH project since 2011, with funding from the World Health Organization (WHO) STOP TB Partnership TB REACH Initiative. The project aims to increase early case detection of TB through the use of GeneXpert technology in the Eastern Development Region and two places in the Central Development Region of Nepal.
IOM has installed nine GeneXpert machines in nine strategically located microscopic centres of the National TB Programme (NTP). In addition to the installation of the new equipment, the project has trained local health staff in the most up to date methods of laboratory detection. The project has tested over 20,000 suspect TB cases with GeneXpert technology, detecting nearly 4,000 additional TB cases with around 300 drug resistant TB.
“We are proud to be a part of the successful National TB programme and of the introduction of new GeneXpert technology in Nepal. We are pleased to receive this prestigious award which will be instrumental in motivating and encouraging us to continue our effective collaboration with NTP,” stated Dr. Raz Mohammad Wali, IOM Nepal Chief Migration Health Physician.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by germs that are spread from person to person through the air. TB usually affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the human body, such as brain, kidneys and spine. One third of the world’s population is infected with TB and new infections occur at a rate of one case per second. In Nepal, TB is one of the most serious public health issues. 45,000 people get the disease and nearly 6,000 people die of TB every year. TB can be cured if the infection is detected at an early stage and if proper medical treatments are given.
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Raz Mohammad Wali, Chief Migration Health Physician, Migration Health Department, IOM Nepal, Tel: +977 23 585 211