Times of India
06 May 2010
By Sumitra Deb Roy
In a bid to check random HIV/AIDS testing without proper counselling and precautions, the Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS) has started accrediting laboratories.
The decision comes after the MDACS found that several private hospitals and laboratories were flouting the standard protocol while testing patients.
For instance, a well–known hospital in south Mumbai was found to be using the same machine for checking samples for the blood bank as well as for HIV/AIDS testing. “It’s a very serious offence and can have damaging health implications,” said an MDACS official.
It was also found that around 2,000–odd maternity homes were sending blood samples to local laboratories for testing. According to Dr SS Kudalkar, project director of MDACS, most of these laboratories do not follow HIV/AIDS testing protocol and their findings are always doubtful. “Accreditation will ensure that patients get the right diagnosis,” he said.
So far, nearly 10 labs, including Ranbaxy and Metropolis, have approached the MDACS for accreditation. “It’s likely to come in the next three months,” Kudalkar said. “A team has already started visiting these labs. We’ll train the staffers of these labs in testing and counselling methods,” he added.
One of the foremost requirements for a certified lab is the presence of counsellors. “Counselling is vital and no hospital or any other institution should perform the test without explaining the repercussions of the test,” said Dr Tushar Rane, HIV/AIDS specialist at the UNICEF.
Friday, Feb 24th
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