FIND awarded for expanding paediatric TB diagnosis in India

On 7 December 2018, FIND’s work in paediatric tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis in India was awarded the prestigious Public Health Initiative prize at the India Health & Wellness Summit and Awards, hosted at the Hyatt Regency, New Delhi. In attendance were Sanjay Sarin (Head of FIND India), Sarabjit S Chadha (Regional Technical Director) and Rajashree Sen (Senior Manager, Programmes & Partnership Management).

FIND supported the implementation of a unique initiative for diagnosing paediatric TB, which enabled over 94,000 children in India to be tested for TB, and resulted in 6,270 children being diagnosed and linked to treatment. The project started in April 2014 in four cities (Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata), and was subsequently extended to 10 cities (Nagpur, Surat, Visakhapatnam, Bengaluru, Indore, and Guwahati), ultimately engaging 1,426 hospitals and clinics.

The award highlights FIND’s contribution to the roll-out of Xpert MTB/RIF, a highly rapid, sensitive and accurate assay for use on the GeneXpert system for diagnosis of TB in children (0 to 14 years of age). Xpert MTB/Rif can also identify whether the strain of TB is drug-resistant. Diagnosing TB in children can be particularly difficult as they often cannot produce sputum. The FIND paediatric TB initiative is one of the first times that such a high number of children has been provided upfront access to improved diagnostics.

FIND’s work in collaboration with the Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP) contributed towards national policy on the use of GeneXpert for the diagnosis of TB in children. The project was supported by USAID through KNCV under the Challenge TB Project.

From L to R: Rajashree Sen, Sarabjit S Chadha, Sanjay Sarin (all from FIND); JVR Prasada Rao (former Union Health Secretary, Gov’t of India); Pankaj Gupta (President, IIHMR); Nikky Gupta (Co-Founder of India Healthcare and Wellness)