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Launch of “Manage TB” – an Online Course for Doctors

The Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (ICMR-NIRT) launched an Online Course for Doctors entitled “Manage TB” on 3 rd of May 2018 at a function organised at the Institute premises in Chennai. This 8-week course was designed by the scientists of the NIRT in technical collaboration with the National Programme for Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) of the IIT, Chennai. After a brief welcome address by Dr. Srikanth Tripathy, Director-in-Charge of NIRT, Dr. Banu Rekha, Scientist, presented an overview of the online course. She said that the course had been prepared in consultation with experts in the field of TB management and covered the epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control of TB as a public health problem

The course was officially launched by Shri. Madhusudhan Reddy, IAS, Deputy Commissioner (Health) of Greater Chennai Corporation. He said that A course like this was very much needed in view of the End TB strategy and the TB free Chennai initiative that have been rolled out recently. He said he would urge all the doctors in the Corporation of Chennai to enrol in the course and requested the IMA President to help to disseminate the information to the larger body of practicing doctors. He also said that courses aimed at the paramedical staff involved in TB control would be very helpful.

A message from the Director General of the ICMR was read out by Dr. Tripathy. Dr. Sanjay Mehendale, former Additional Director General of the ICMR recalled that it was the Institute of Epidemiology (NIE) of which he was the Director, that had first ventured into online teaching in collaboration with NPTEL with their course on Fundamentals of Health Research. He expressed his happiness at the launch of the course on TB management but urged the scientists to carefully evaluate the course periodically.

Dr. Rupak Singla, Head of Department of TB and Respiratory Diseases, National Institute for TB and Respiratory Diseases, (NITRD), Delhi and Dr. Uma Shankar,Head of Epidemiology &Research Division of the National TB Institute (NTI), Bangalore and Dr.Lakshmi Murali,DTO, Thiruvallur also addressed the gathering and congratulated the NIRT for having coming up with this course. Dr. J A Jayalal, President of IMA, Tamil Nadu expressed his support in dissemination of information about the course to the IMA fraternity and suggested to explore accreditation for the course or in the awarding of CME credit points. Prof Andrew Thangaraj of the NPTEL briefly described the organisation and functioning of the NPTEL and highlighted the huge reach of it courses, mainly in the field of engineering.Mementoes were distributed to the faculty of the course and the meeting concluded with a vote of thanks by Dr. Mohan Natrajan, Head of Department of Clinical Research, NIRT .


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“Paediatric TB Symposium” 15th May, 2018.



Swachhta Pakhwada (April 1st – April 15th)

As part of the Swachhta Pakhwada for Department of Health Research scheduled from 1st April to 15th April, 2018, the following activities were carried out at ICMR-National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT), Chennai:

Two public parks and one corporation playground which were near the office campus were cleaned by the staff of NIRT who volunteered from different departments on 12.04.2018. Around 20 bags of garbage were collected, segregated into biodegradable and degradable waste and handed over to the Corporation staff for disposal. The staff of various departments of the Institute were involved in voluntary cleaning of the office space including proper rearrangement of files, office supplies, lab supplies, organizing and installing newly purchased instruments, proper storing of old instruments for disposal, etc. A team of doctor, nurses and other staff of the Institute visited a corporation middle school on 13.04.2018 which also had an orphanage attached. The children were educated regarding the importance of personal and environmental hygiene. Toiletries were distributed to these children. Necessary cleaning materials were distributed to the managing staff. The whole campus including the school and orphanage which was situated above the school were cleaned by the staff of NIRT.

A special lecture on “Environmental hygiene and quality of life” was delivered by Dr. B.M. Shrinivasa, Scientist ‘B' of our institute, who is a Public Health specialist on 11.04.2018 stressing the importance of clean environment and the impact on human life. Posters containing various cleanliness messages were displayed in various departments, lunch rooms, restrooms, front office etc. Posters depicting the theme of World Health day 2018 “Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere” were displayed for staff awareness. Many trees inside the campus were destroyed during the last rain-storm which struck the city. New tree saplings and plants were planted in the garden to maintain the official campus as a green and clean environment.


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Awareness Lecture on Anti-Women Sexual Harassment at Workplace

Dr. Sudha Subramanyam, Scientist ‘E' & Chairperson, Anti-Women Harassment Committee of NIRT organised a talk on the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) on Monday, 26 th March, 2018.

The talk was delivered by Shri. P Murugesan (STO, Social Scientist of NIRT) in coordination with Shri. C Saravanan (STO of NIRT). The talk was in Tamil (local language) for the benefit of the contractual and daily wages-based women workers. The audience comprised largely of women with a sizeable number of male colleagues. The talk was divided into three parts-

•  Prevention
•  Prohibition and
•  Redressal.

Each of these were presented in detail with examples from situations arising from daily work routine. There was good attendance and the interactive session was very much useful wherein questions were raised and answered appropriately. The concept of SHE- box (Sexual Harassment Electronic-Box) launched by the Ministry of Women and Child Development was explained to the audience.


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Farewell to Dr.Soumya Swaminathan-DG, ICMR

A felicitation cum farewell event was organised for Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Director General, ICMR on obtaining the post of Deputy Director General, WHO, Geneva. This was attended by the staff of NIRT existing, retired and Scientific Advisory Committee members.

This event was creatively done and stood apart from usual farewell function held in NIRT (ICMR). It started with our Director General been escorted with female staff holding light up Diya on their palm while she entered the gathering seated in the atrium. This entry was accompanied by loud music “waving flag (football anthem)” and an energetic dance from different corners by the staff holding up balloons. After the lighting of the lamp there was a song by the staff with catchy lyrics and own composition.

Celebrate people celebrate (2)

She is our Hero

She is a shining Star

She is the global face

India's Pride

Who is she?

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan

Celebrate people celebrate (2)

She is the warrior

Mentor friend and guide

She's the DG

Now the DDG




Celebrate people celebrate (2)


This was followed by classic renderation of Dr. Soumya Swaminathan favourite song titled “Mahro Pranam Banke Bihari Ji“. Tribute was given by Dr. P. R. Narayanan, Dr. Srikanth P. Tripathy, NIRT Welfare Association and Senior Administrative Officer Mr. Jagdish Rajesh.

A surprise item on the agenda was a song sung by our Director General accompanied by few staff of NIRT. This reflected the hidden talents of singing of our Director General who is internationally recognised for our scientific expertise and leadership quality. Following this was a take home message rendered beautifully by our Director General going down memory lane of how she started her career at NIRT and reminding the staff on the need to keep the NIRT flag flying high through commitment to team works, development of scientific research and the need for a holistic multi-disciplinary approach.

We wish our Director General the very best in the future as she takes up a prominent leadership role as Deputy Director General, World Health Organisation, Geneva.


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World TB Day Programme at NIRT

The World TB Day (March 24) is designed to build awareness on the global epidemic of tuberculosis and on the elimination of TB. It commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr.Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB. The World TB Day celebrations 2018 at ICMR-National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) was held on 23 rd March, 2018. The programme was very much in line with the World TB Day theme “Wanted: Leaders for a TB-Free World”. Dr. Srikanth Tripathy, Director-in-charge of ICMR-NIRT welcomed the gathering and stressed on the need to eliminate TB epidemic by 2025, as envisaged by the Hon'ble PM of India.

The cultural programmes emphasised the need for public awareness about the early diagnosis, treatment initiation and continuance and the importance of alcohol and smoking cessation. An interactive session with treated TB patients was also held where the patients shared their experiences. All health care workers were updated on the Latest TB guidelines. A booklet on “Prof. Wallace Fox, a Pioneer in TB research” was released in the gracious presence of Dr. S Radhakrishna, Ex-Director, IRMS, Shri Paul Somasundaram, Dr Santha Devi, Dr M.S. Jawahar, retired senior scientists of our institute. The scientists of NIRT gave an over view of the future projects namely the ‘Manage TB” – A Online TB Course for Physicians, TB-Free Chennai initiative and use of Next Generation Sequencing for TB Research.


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Research Methodology and Biostatistics workshop for
Medical Professionals

ICMR-National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chennai conducted the Research Methodology and Biostatistics workshop for Medical Professionals from 1 st -12 th January 2018, which was funded by the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Fifteen participants from various Medical Colleges in India including North East participated in this workshop. The participants included mid-level Medical College Faculty and Post Graduate Students. They were trained on various aspects of research methodology including identifying health problems, framing the right research question and objectives, choosing appropriate methodology, data collection, analysis plan and presentation of data. Hands on exercise was given on doing literature search using Pubmed, reference management using Mendeley and data analysis using Epi-Info. The participants developed and presented a concept note an identified research topic.

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A training session & demonstration on Fire Safety will be conducted by Mr. A.K. Kumar, Fire Safety Officer, Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services 7th March, 2018.


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ICMR National Ethical Guidelines 2017




Dr. S. Ramesh Kumar, Scientist E(Medical), received Gold medal for Ist Rank holder in the MPH course(Clinical trials) at SRM University.





A Technical consultation on Latent Tuberculosis Infection in India National Institute for TB Research,
Chennai, 29-30 June, 2017




Raashtriya Ekta Diwas” being celebrated at ICMR-NIRT
Pledge being taken by the employees of ICMR-NIRT





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A glimpse of the 61stAnnual day celebrations in NIRT on 11.08.17

The 61st Annual Day started with the invocation to God by reciting the Tamizh Thai Vazhthu. This was followed by a welcome speech by Dr. Srikanth Tripathy, MD, Director-In-Charge, NIRT. Two of the eminent Chest physicians in the city, who were also the heads of their respective institutions, Dr. A. Mahilmaran, MD (Chest)-(Director, ITM) and Dr. R. Sridhar, MD (Chest)-(Superintendent, GHTM, Tambaram), appreciated the efforts of NIRT in TB research and commended our Institution and its Directors for the achievements of NIRT. They recalled the goal of starting this institution, with a motto to frame guidelines for the National TB Programme, and also elaborated on their never-ending friendship with the institute and its staff that had been built over decades of effective, fruitful and eminent collaboration. The staff, who had completed 25 years of selfless and memorable service, were felicitated by the dignitaries. This included Mr.C.Gopala Krishnan, Mr.D.Thangaraj, Mr.C.Uthara Bahadur, Mrs.R.Saraladevi, Mr.B.Durairaj and Mrs.A.Gunasundari. The Director-in-charge, in his address, gave a vivid description regarding the role of various staff, both past and present, who had contributed immensely to the progress and scientific development of this prestigious institution. Various achievements and awards that have been obtained by the staff during this year, were enlisted by the head of the institute. The Senior Administrative Officer stressed that each one of the staff should strive to make this institution, a pioneer in TB research .This was followed by the Cultural programme that stole the lime light, lightening the hearts of the entire audience who keenly watched the show and enjoyed the programme. At the end of the day, the members of the Annual Day Committee had done their job efficiently and satisfactorily, to make the entire event a grand success. This was followed by the Vote of thanks by Dr.G.Narendran, DNB (Chest),ScE, NIRT and the programme ended with the National Anthem.



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Media Advocacy Program

TheA Media Advocacy Program on Tuberculosis was held on 10th June 2017(Saturday) from 11. AM to 12.00 PM at Madurai Reporters hall, Madurai. The program titled "Partnership for TB Care and Control" was aimed to sensitize and create awareness to the media on tuberculosis, organised for journalists and to request the media to spread the information on TB to public via their media. Director of REACH (NGO) Dr.Nalini Krishnan and other people from NGOs working on TB also attended. Dr.S.Ramesh Kumar, Scientist E (Medical) of ICMR-National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) was invited as resource person on TB, and he delivered some message on TB to media which was expected to be conveyed to public through their media. After basically briefing about NIRT centre, delivered speech on TB, insisting on treatment compliance, TB associated with - HIV, Diabetes and Smoking and also briefing about MDR/XDR TB. MLA of Madurai North, and former Mayor of Madurai - Mr.Rajan Chellappa presided over function and he delivered his address, some social issues like increasing the incentives to TB patients from Rs.1000/- to Rs.2000/- was discussed and he said he will try to take up this issue to the government. The news on the program was published in English and Tamil dailies.







Dissemination Meeting on the study ‘Investigating Pre-treatment Loss to Follow-up (PTLFU) of smear positive Tuberculosis patients in the RNTCP in Chennai and Tiruvallur districts, Tamilnadu' June 23, 2017






Workshop on “Socio Behavioural Interventions – Changing Trends”
Date: June 15th 2017; Venue – National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, ICMR





YOGA Day Celebrations @ NIRT

The rich cultural heritage of Mother India and the spirituality of its soul were revisited by the reverberation of the Yoga day celebrations at NIRT, fulfilling the vision of the senior leadership of our country.

The Yoga day started with the invocation to almighty by Dr.N.S.Gomathi, followed by recital of Adi- sankara’s Guru Ashtakam reiterating the greatness of the Guru by Dr.G.Narendran, the convenor of this programme,.“Speak only when your words are more beautiful than silence” is the rule we followed, starting the session with the meditation.

This was followed by the Welcome address by Director –In-Charge , Dr.Srikanth Tripathy , who stressed the need for regular practice of yoga, not only in the office but also carry home the message of the eternal love, benefitting the society . He added that Yoga has the dual advantage of increasing concentration and reducing stress simultaneously, enhancing the efficiency of the working environment.

This was followed by the YOGA demonstration by the Simplified Kundalini Yoga (SKY) group members trained by the Sky instructors, Mr. SriRamachandran and Mrs. Girijalakshmi . Mrs. Girija Lakshmi was the recipient of the SKY award recently for her contribution to Yoga. This Yoga teaching initiative was started under the leadership of Dr. Soumya Swaminathan who is currently the Director General ICMR and Health Secretary DHR. These yoga classes have been successfully continuing for the last 6 years. This demonstration was attended by around 80 staff with 15 of them performing various “Asanas”, led by Mr. Sri Ramachandran.

Prof. Ganesan, the Chief Guest, who was one of the direct disciples of Shri Vedathri Maharishi himself, provided practical solutions and salvations from day to day problems through the practice of yoga. He said that the life of the human beings has become mechanical and a revolution needs to take place where the individual starts allocating time to understand his health, body and mind rather than spending more time and money when he becomes ill and his homeostasis gets disturbed. He suggested simple life modifications based on ancient practices which could benefit the human body. His speech was interspersed with anecdotes that were filled with humour and humanity.

Mr.T.N.Venkatesan, Yoga therapist cum instructor from the prestigious Krishmacharya Yoga Mandiram, talked about the significant contributions of his eminent institution in the field of Yoga and the use of Yoga for remedial measures. As his interactive session commenced, he impressed the entire audience by demonstrating simple exercises which could be routinely practised by merely sitting in a chair. He explained the importance of synchronising respiratory movements with the body and the soul.

Dr.G.Narendran explained the scientific principles behind some of these exercises performed during the Asanas, integrating science and religion. Quoting that life is a journey between human being and being human, he laid emphasis on the need for spirituality in life. He reckoned the efforts of the great sons of our “Mathru- bhumi” like Swami Vivekananda and Shri Sankaracharya who were active in spreading Yogic practices.

Dr.Mohan Natrajan, HOD Clinic, shared similar views and remarked that a tiny individual contribution finally could make a mass appeal. He confessed that he could perceive the internal peace in his mind and soul, with just 10 minutes of participating in this programme.

Mr.Jagdish Rajesh, Sr.Administrative Officer delivered the vote of thanks and appreciated the staff for the active and zealous participation. He said that in the world of stressful life, yoga helps in overcoming these problems providing us with a balanced mind to solve our problems.

The programme ended with the National Anthem, with all the staff singing in unison, the glory of our motherland,



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NIRT implemented TIE-TB Mobile TB Diagnostic Vans flagged off by the Honorable Chief Minister of
Gujarat Shri Vijay Rupani on 08.06.2017 in Dahod district.

Targeted Intervention to Expand and Strengthen TB Control in Tribal Populations under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme, India (TIE-TB Project) Multi-centric implementation research study.

National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) is implementing this project in four (pre dominantly tribal) districts of Gujarat in support with Revised National TB Control Programme, India. The primary objective of this project is to improve the tribal population's access towards early diagnosis of Tuberculosis and further treatment. This project employs Mobile Tuberculosis Diagnostic Vans (MTDV) as primary intervention tool which are equipped with sputum microscopy and digital X ray facilities. MDTVs will undertake periodical visits to the hard to reach remote villages and difficult terrains to provide onsite diagnosis for TB. On the 8th of June, 2017 the Seven MTDVs have been flagged by the Honorable Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Vijay Rupani in Dahod district.






TB sensitization programmes held in

commemoration of World TB Day 2017





International symposium on 'Genomics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis'


International symposium on 'Genomics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis" had been organized and conducted by the Department of Bacteriology from National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) – ICMR on the 17 th and 18 th Feb 2017. This symposium was part of capacity building for whole  genome  sequencing (WGS) facility at NIRT for sequencing mycobacterial  strains; in collaboration with Centre for disease control (CDC) Atlanta , USA , Cambridge University , UK along with Central TB Division, New Delhi .


Dr. Srikanth Tripathy, Director in charge, NIRT welcomed the gathering during inaugural session and Dr. Soumya Swaminathan,   Secretary, Department of Health Research and Director General of  Indian Council of Medical Research presided over the meeting and delivered the key note address, followed by three sessions spread over one and half days with three themes namely WGS data analysis and Management, WGS in transmission dynamics of Tuberculosis followed by Phenotype and NGS/sequencing based DST. These sessions were chaired by Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Dr Sharon Peacock, University of Cambridge UK , Dr. Patrick Mooran CDC, Atlanta , USA .


International and national experts from the field of Mycobacterial whole genome sequencing and drug resistance, participated in the symposium and delivered lectures on their contributions towards Tuberculosis and emphasized on the need for Whole Geneome Sequencing. The prominent speakers were, Dr Sharon Peacock University of Cambridge UK, Dr Akhilesh Pandey Johns Hopkins University U.S.A, Dr Patricia Campbell and Dr. Patrick Mooran, CDC, Atlanta, USA , , Chennai, Dr Tim Walker, University of Oxford , UK , Dr Sujatha Narayanan Scientist G (Retd) NIRT, Dr Nerges Mistry FMR, Mumbai. Dr. Camilla Rodrigues, Hinduja Hospital , Mumbai. In addition, inputs and concerns towards implementation of this technique into the program were discussed with the experts, Dr C N Paramasivam FIND, India and Dr Mayank Ghedia CTD, New Delhi and Dr. Reshu Agarwal, CDC India.


During the final day discussion, pros and cons of the utility of this WGS technique was widely discussed and recommendations were made to move forward with whole genome sequencing and data management for national program and research which will lead to development of a national database for genotypic and phenotypic drug resistance tuberculosis strains in India . These recommendations were of great importance and right in time, when whole genome sequencing facility, with MiSeq a next generation sequencer, together with pyro sequencing have been established at National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT). The two major ongoing projects namely (1) Protecting and improving public health globally: Building laboratory, surveillance and workforce capacity to detect, respond to, and prevent drug resistant tuberculosis in India and (2) Cambridge-Chennai Centre Partnership on Antimicrobial Resistance in Tuberculosis: Focus on Novel Diagnostics and Therapeutics aims for potential use of whole genome sequencing of mycobacterial strains for early diagnosis, transmission and treatment management of MDR-TB. The meeting was concluded with valedictory remarks and vote of thanks proposed by Dr. Uma Devi, Head, and Department of Bacteriology who thanked the participants, speakers and her entire organizing team members and staff for making this event remarkable and successful.




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World TB Day celebrations on 24th March 2017 at Grant Lyon village near Redhills by joining hands with ITM & IMA, NIRT conducted a mass screening programme for Tuberculosis detection.


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The National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis-ICMR, Chennai in collaboration with Paediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS-PENTA organized a training programme 'Tr@inforPedHIV/TB-India' on 'Prevention and Management of Tuberculosis and HIV in Children and Young People' at Chennai from 23rd to 25th January 2017.

The National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) is India 's foremost national research institute for TB under Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and a WHO collaborating centre for Research and Training in Tuberculosis. Apart from capacity building the healthcare workers on prevention and management of Tuberculosis infection, our other priorities are developing safer and more effective diagnostic tools and TB treatment regimens in adults and children as well as undertaking basic research in the areas of TB diagnosis and treatment.

Paediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS-PENTA has designed the Tr@inforPedHIV course for all healthcare professionals caring for children living with HIV and TB, including training doctors, nurses, counsellors and psychologists. This course has been running successfully since 2005 with over 40 courses in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America . PENTA ran the course in India for the first time in Pune in January 2016, there was a great demand for a follow on course.

This Tr@inforPedHIV/TB course was organized for the first time in Tamil Nadu at Chennai and for the second time in India with an objective to capacity build paediatricians and medical officers in the early prevention and management of paediatric tuberculosis and paediatric HIV across medical colleges from Tamilnadu and other states of India . The faculties comprised of eminent medical researchers and academicians from Europe, South Africa as well as India . Most of the participants invited to attend this training course were paediatricians and medical officers from medical colleges across Tamil Nadu and other parts of India, which was an vision of Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Secretary to Govt. of India, Department of Health Research and Director general, ICMR to capacity build every paediatricians and medical officers working in the medical colleges in the prevention and management of paediatric tuberculosis and paediatric HIV.

Inauguration of 'Tr@inforPedHIV/TB-India' training programme was attended by Dr.T.Ravichandran, Director in-charge, Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children, Egmore; Dr. Sridhar, Medical Superintendent, Govt. Hospital of Thoracic Medicine, Tambaram; Dr. Mohan Natarajan, Director in-charge, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chetpet; Prof. Di Gibb, Professor & Consultant Pediatrician, University College London, UK; Dr. Steve Welch, Consultant Paediatrician & PENTA education lead, UK; and Dr. Syed Hissar, Medical Scientist, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chetpet, Chennai. The 3 day programme mainly focussed on Epidemiology and pathogenesis of TB and HIV, newer guidelines (both national and International) on Diagnosis, management and prevention of HIV-TB co-infection. The course also had sessions on some of the burning issues like Long term complications of Antiretroviral therapy(ART) ,adolescent care, treatment during TB and HIV treatment during pregnanacy and pharmacokinetics of ART and ATT drugs.

On 25 th January 2017, the Valedictory function was attended by Prof. Dr. S. Geethalakshmi, Vice-Chancellor, The Tamil Nadu DR.M.G.R. Medical University, Chennai; Dr. Pradeep Menon, Director in-charge, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chetpet; Dr. Steve Welch, Consultant Paediatrician & PENTA education lead, UK; Dr.PK Bhavani, Dr. Angeline Grace and Dr. Syed Hissar, Organizing team & Medical Scientists, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chetpet, Chennai. Prof. Dr. S. Geethalakshmi, Vice-Chancellor, The Tamil Nadu DR.M.G.R. Medical University , Chennai congratulated the NIRT, International and national faculties and delegates on organizing a very successful training programme involving most of the medical colleges under the Tamil Nadu DR.M.G.R. Medical University on a much needed and very important topic of Paediatric Tuberculosis and Pediatric HIV. The Govt. of Tamil Nadu through medical colleges across the state has taken various steps for early diagnosis and management of pediatric tuberculosis and pediatric HIV. This state of art training programme will certainly augment the local efforts in the early prevention and management of pediatric tuberculosis and pediatric HIV. Prof. Dr. S. Geethalakshmi urged the delegates to implement the updated knowledge for the benefit of public at large. 


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