Country’s first GeneXpert inaugurated

KARACHI: GeneXpert, a modern technology to diagnose Tuberculosis (TB) just within two hours was inaugurated on Friday here at Indus Hospital. This is first ever breakthrough technology introduced in Pakistan.

Addressing the ceremony, Indus Hospital Laboratory Services Director and Infectious Diseases Society of Pakistan President Dr Altaf said the diagnosing of TB still is being carried out in the country through obsolete tools such as direct sputum microscopy and chest radiographs.

He showed concern that there are 250,000 new cases being reported every year in the country.

“By deploying GeneXpert System’s MTB/RIF Assay in our laboratory, we at Indus Hospital are proud to take the lead in introducing the latest innovation in TB diagnostic technology in the country for its TB reach programme. This is a major milestone for Indus Hospital and a huge breakthrough for Pakistan’s healthcare system,” he stated.

He stressed the need for innovative diagnostic methods to accelerate TB detection and improve public health in Pakistan, and added, there is a dire need in the country for a more accurate and inexpensive diagnostic test in primary healthcare settings to increase patient access to effective diagnosis.

A recent innovation in diagnostic technology that effectively detects MTB and is widely recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), GeneXpert System’s MTB/RIF Assay is an integrated hands-free sputum processing and Real Time PCR system with rapid, on demand, near patient technology to simultaneously detect MTB and Rifampin resistance. It is a highly effective and user-friendly system, which can detect MTB directly from the sputum in less than two hours, he informed.

Indus Hospital Medical Services Director Dr Zafar Zaidi acclaimed the support of the government’s National Tuberculosis Programme and Provincial Tuberculosis Programme towards furthering the Indus Hospital’s TB reach programme.

He also mentioned that the GeneXpert Technology is a welcome addition to other state-of-the-art diagnostic modalities currently in use at the Indus Hospital, which include smear testing and the liquid culture method. – Dailytimes