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Dr. Madhukar Pai launches studies in India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Peru
Sep. 29, 2020
Source: Health E-News. Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on tuberculosis (TB) services. Large numbers of patients with TB have been underserved during lock-downs, and thousands have failed to receive their anti-TB medications. As a result, TB mortality is expected to increase in the coming years.
Dr. Madhukar Pai, Director of the McGill International TB Centre and senior scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), has been advocating for a damage control plan to help mitigate the disruptive effects of the pandemic on essential TB services in low- and middle-income countries. The TB Centre has supported a large survey to track the impact of COVID-19 on TB care.
Last week, Dr. Pai received a $1.6M grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help track disruptions caused by the pandemic on TB services in the private health sector in India, Indonesia and Nigeria. In these countries, the private health sector is the major service provider, and this sector is becoming harder and more expensive to access.
This past summer, Dr. Pai also received a $400K grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and International Development Research Centre (CIHR & IDRC) to try out an integrated approach to testing for COVID-19 as well as TB in Peru. Since cough and fever are symptoms of both infections, an integrated testing approach might help ensure that TB is not missed during this crisis.