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13 Interns, 7 resident doctors contracted TB in Kem Hospital this year

Two of the 13 interns and one of the 7 resident medical officers have the deadly multi-drug resistant tuberculosis; a total of 35 medical staff from Sion, Nair and KEM hospitals are suffering from the disease

Four interns from the civic-run KEM hospital in Parel have been diagnosed with tuberculosis within a span of just three months, taking the total number of interns who contracted the disease in the past year to 13. “All of them were diagnosed with TB in the last three months, after their sputum samples were sent for testing,” said an intern from the hospital, requesting anonymity.


MARD members however rued that long working hours and poor living conditions were the main culprits behind so many members of the medical staff contracting the disease. File pic

MARD members however rued that long working hours and poor living conditions were the main culprits behind so many members of the medical staff contracting the disease. File pic

The doctors however are still working. “None of them are on a break now, as neither of them had to be admitted. They are now undergoing treatment for TB in the hospital and have resumed work as usual,” added the intern. Earlier this year, between July and August, two interns in the hospital were diagnosed with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).

They had been undergoing treatment for TB for a few months, after which it progressed into MDR-TB. To make matters bleaker, 13 interns contracted TB in the last year. “Four interns who contracted TB in the last three months, making the total number of interns undergoing treatment for the air-borne disease 13. Among them, two interns have MDR-TB, while one female intern contracted spinal TB. The others are suffering from pulmonary TB,” said a doctor from KEM Hospital.

Resident doctors aren’t immune either. Other than the interns, seven resident doctors contracted TB, out of which one was diagnosed with MDR-TB. “Though we were provided with additional rooms in the 22-storey building for 500 resident doctors, the old hostel rooms are now under renovation. Due to this, the ones who contracted the disease cannot be kept in isolation due to lack of space, which makes others vulnerable to TB as well, thanks to the proximity we live in,” added the doctor.

Doctors from the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) say that around 35 medical staff from the three main civic hospitals Sion, Nair and KEM hospital are suffering from the disease. Earlier this year, a 24-year-old intern Dr Samidha Khandare from Sion hospital and a nurse from Nair hospital succumbed to the disease after battling against it for a few months.

Following the death of Khandare, an intern from Sion hospital who succumbed to MDR TB this year, the BMC had started a protein rich breakfast for resident doctors to help them build their immunity against the disease. While the initiative was first started in August in Sion hospital, it was implemented in KEM and Nair hospitals subsequently. MARD members however rued that long working hours and poor living conditions were the main culprits behind so many members of the medical staff contracting the disease. Dr Shubhangi Parkar, dean of KEM hospital, remained unavailable for comment.

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No of interns from KEM hospital in Parel who were diagnosed with tuberculosis within last three months

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