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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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