What is a GeneXpert Machine?
The Xpert MTB/RIF is a cartridge-based, automated diagnostic test that can identify Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB)DNA and resistance to rifampicin (RIF)by nucleic acid amplification technique(NAAT). It was co-developed by the laboratory of Professor David Alland at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)., Cepheid Inc. and Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, with additional financial support from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).
In December 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) endorsed the Xpert MTB/RIF for use in TB endemic countries and declared it a major milestone for global TB diagnosis. This followed 18 months of rigorous assessment of its field effectiveness in TB, MDR-TB and TB/HIV co-infection. This test, and others that are likely to follow, have the potential to revolutionize the diagnosis of TB.
Dr Touai Giara and Dr Laiam Kirau explains the seen and unseen obstacles present in Goilala in the Fight Against Tuberculosis.
Firstly, a GenXpert Machine is way too expensive to purchase and is also costly to purchase cartridges to run it. This is the case if the GenXpert machine is to be acquired outside the Health Department Procurement System.
Secondly, it is wise to sort out the basics first. That is, establish a sputum microscopy lab and x-ray facility to implement and improve the DOTS strategy. Then GeneXpert technology comes in later upon reviewing the DOTS program outcomes. Because MDR-TB results from failed DOTS.
District Hospital with doctor position is the prerogative of the provincial health. Local MP needs to continuously liaise with Provincial Health for a fully functioning District Health System and then it is up to the Member to push for that. But we can come in to advice both the MP and the provincial health. [if requested/invited]
Just few explanations;
DOTS (directly observed treatment, short-course), is the name given to the tuberculosis control strategy recommended by the World Health Organization. According to WHO, “The most cost-effective way to stop the spread of TB in communities with a high incidence is by curing it. The best curative method for TB is known as DOTS.” DOTS has five main components:
• Government commitment (including political will at all levels, and establishment of a centralized and prioritized system of TB monitoring, recording and training).
• Case detection by sputum smear microscopy.
• Standardized treatment regimen directly of six to eight months observed by a healthcare worker or community health worker for at least the first two months.
• A regular, uninterrupted drug supply.
• A standardized recording and reporting system that allows assessment of treatment results
MRDT-TB stands for Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis simply meaning tuberculosis bugs that do not get killed by TB treatment available.