Updated on 18 September 2012
(From L-R): Dr Premalatha, professor, department of pediatrics, Vani Vilas Children’s Hospital, Bangalore Medical College; Dr Nisarga, professor and HOD, department of pediatrics, AIMS, Bellur; Dr K L Ravikumar, professor and head, department of microbiology, KIMS; at the launch of India's first pneumococcal disease surveillance program
Bangalore: Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), Bangalore, announced the launch of India's largest pneumococcal disease (PD) surveillance program. The nationwide program aims to create a robust model for collating and centralizing national data on pneumococcal infections thereby enabling pediatricians to identify drug sensitivity and resistance patterns and also serotype distribution of Streptococcus pneumoniae.
A comprehensive data collection and management system program will help to standardize treatment procedures, strengthen epidemiological surveillance, provide data on the disease burden and promote technical expertise in vaccination and prevention activities.
The study involved three hospitals, including KIMS, AIMS Bellur and Vani Vilas Children's Hospital, Bangalore Medical College, in the region of south Bangalore as these three hospitals treat 52 percent of the patients in Bangalore. Over the period of last two years, more than 9,500 samples were collected from south Bangalore to carry out this project.
To combat PD, 30-to-32 of India's leading microbiologists, pediatricians and geriatricians came together from different parts of the country to review the opportunities for driving the pneumococcal surveillance program. This will be the first time that such a robust mechanism will be adopted for the surveillance of an infectious disease in the country, gathering data from 15 centers spread across the country including Ludhiana, New Delhi, Jodhpur, Chennai, Vellore and Hyderabad. The program will allow pediatricians to analyze disease patterns, document information and monitor disease management techniques, which will in turn help strengthen preventive measures for pneumococcal disease.
The pneumococcal disease surveillance program kick-started with a workshop organized to educate doctors about the surveillance mechanism. The participants underwent comprehensive laboratory training on pneumococcal identification, characterization and serotyping. To bolster existing efforts and augment future plans, the expert group will continue to identify knowledge gaps and opportunities to strengthen the surveillance system.