Pvt Labs Roped In For Blood Tests
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06 August 2010
By Sumitra Deb Roy
With samples pouring in from across the city, the BMC has decided to rope in various private laboratories for testing slides of suspected malaria patients from Friday. More than 40,000 samples have already been sent out to state laboratories in Nashik, Jalgaon, Nandurbar, Ahmednagar, Beed, among other places.
The centralised BMC–run testing centre for malaria patients housed in the Kasturba Hospital cannot handle more than 3500–4000 samples a day with the help of 49 technicians. But community volunteers are collecting anything between 8000–9000 blood samples a day.
“We have decided to rope in private laboratories at the ward level for sample examination so that extra cases are taken care of by them,” said Dr G Ambe, executive health officer of BMC. “The laboratories will be paid Rs 20 per sample for examination,” he said adding even bigger players like Metropolis and Ranbaxy have been roped in. He added the emphasis was on getting reports as soon as possible and starting the radical treatment–three days for falciparum and 14 days for vivax, adding labs will provide the reports in 24–48 hours.
Incidentally, the six–member state team, set up this week to provide technical support to the BMC in fighting malaria, too thought the priority was clearing the sample backlogs.
About 10,000 samples were sent to Beed, 5000 to Nashik, Jalgaon and Aurangabad, 6000 to Raigad, and 3000 to Nandurbar and Ahmednagar on Thursday.
“We decided to send the samples to private labs so that testing is started as soon as possible,” said assistant director Dr Narayan Solanki of health services, a part of the team. But he said even with the best of efforts the backlog can’t be cleared before eight–nine days. Each assistant director of the team and a pest control officer visited the most–affected areas.
Former state entomologist Ashok Bhonsale, specially appointed by the BMC, said the city was fighting parasitic load accumulated over 2–3 years.