Site Visits

The organizers were pleased to offer site visits to participants of the 5th Global Forum on TB Vaccines, and thank the host institutions for providing this opportunity to see firsthand how TB research and care are provided in India.

 

Friday, 23 February 2018

8:30 - 12:30* Tehkhand, Delhi (~1 hour from venue)

Operation ASHA

TB care in a community setting using innovative technologies

Overview

Operation ASHA is a nonprofit organization that brings high quality, cost-effective tuberculosis treatment and health services to underserved populations in Indian’s urban slums and rural villages. Operation ASHA has treatment centers established in slums and villages in 9 Indian states and two Cambodian provinces. Services are provided by community health workers that are involved in and often from the communities, and understand the needs of the population.

Operation ASHA uses innovative e-technologies to improve services and outcomes, including tracking treatment and ensuring treatment compliance (eCompliance); identify patients in need of treatment (eDetection); accelerating communication of lab results to healthcare workers (eAlert); quality control and auditing (eQuality); and information sharing and education (eFAQ).

Site Visit

Site visit participants will have an opportunity to visit an Operation ASHA center based within a Delhi community setting. During the visit they will be able to interact with a health care provider and patients, see the technologies that Operation ASHA uses to monitor and track treatment and outcomes, and interact with and ask questions of the technology staff.

Note, this site visit will take place in a New Delhi slum. It involves walking about 200 metres through crowded, narrow streets, and the health center is small. Participants should wear closed footwear with flat heels, and it is recommended that participants not bring large bags or backpacks.

8:30 - 14:00* Faridabad (~1.25-1.5 hours from venue)

Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI)

Research laboratories in an integrated, dedicated campus

Overview

Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), an autonomous institution of Department of Biotechnology, Govt of India, has a mission to improve the public health of India and of the world by integrating the fields of medicine, science, engineering and technology into translational knowledge with the aim to make the resulting biomedical innovations accessible to public health. THSTI has initiated numerous multi-centric projects through collaborations with various academic and clinical institutions across the globe. Vaccine and Infectious Disease Research Center (VIDRC) of the institute has a mission to study several infectious disease agents and generate knowledge for developing prophylactic and therapeutic measures against diseases most prevalent in India. With a strong TB group, VIDRC is focusing on: (i) understanding the biology of TB bacilli; (ii) their interactions with humans, (iii) development of scientific tools to study TB bacilli and (iv) development of new anti-tubercular drugs and novel vaccines against TB.  The HIV Vaccine Translational Research (HVTR) laboratory at THSTI is working on an Indo-South Africa​ Collaborative Research Program on Health Sciences with Emphasis on HIV/AIDS & TB.

The institute endeavors to make fruitful collaborations for creation of new knowledge for innovation, development of innovative solutions based on existing knowledge, and new strategies for implementation of existing solutions.

Site Visit

The visit will cover a tour of the research infrastructure of the institute including the animal house, upcoming ABSL-3 and the incubation centers. The visitors will have an opportunity to visit and interact with the scientists of the institute from the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Research Centre, Centre for Bio-Design and Diagnostics, Drug Discovery Research Centre and Pediatric Biology Centre. The visit will provide an opportunity to form collaborations with a research institute that has a unique structure of a collective of physicians, basic researchers and technologists working closely with the community to tackle the unmet health needs of the public.

9:00 - 11:30* South Delhi (~30-40 minutes from venue)

International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB)

Research laboratories on a scientific campus

Overview

The International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) New Delhi campus is located in South Delhi, comprising an area of 16 acres. It is situated in a bush forest area, and includes a couple of laboratory buildings including the main administrative and experimental block, laboratories, animal house, a national BSL-3 animal facility (Tuberculosis Aerosol Challenge Facility, TACF) and a number of greenhouses for agriculture research. ICGEB New Delhi has 25 Research Groups. The main research areas that ICGEB New Delhi Labs focus on are mammalian and plant biology. Biomedical projects are pursued in virology, immunology and parasite biology – including biology of the immune response in tuberculosis – vaccine development for tuberculosis, malaria, and dengue, structural biology, and basic research as well as development of technologies for biopharmaceuticals and diagnosis of infectious diseases.

Site Visit

A visit to ICGEB New Delhi will include a brief overview of the campus, and a tour of the BSL-3 animal facility, the only one of its kind in India. The BSL-3 facility is spread over two floors, has dedicated microbiological, cell culture and animal infection labs, aerosol challenge facility and a strong support staff to smoothly run the facility. The facility is equipped with several high-end machines to facilitate cutting edge research on tuberculosis. Participants will have an opportunity to interact with staff and researchers to learn about the research undertaken at the facility.

9:30 - 13:00* New Delhi (~30-40 minutes from venue)

National Institute for Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases

Patient care and research at a referral TB hospital

Overview

The National Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases, established in 1956, is an apex institute in India in the field of TB and respiratory disease. It provides comprehensive patient care services and is committed to teaching, training, and research. The NITRD attends to more than 700 patients with TB and respiratory diseases per day on an outpatient basis, and the hospital has 470 beds. The mycobacteriology lab is a national Center of Excellence and reference laboratory under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP). NITRD undertakes TB diagnostic testing and regularly validates new TB diagnostics; it is a nodal centre for drug resistant TB management and Bedaquiline conditional access under the RNTCP; it is involved in a number of multi-centric trials, including clinical studies of new TB vaccines and new TB drugs; and it conducts operational research and field surveys.

Site Visit

Participants vising NITRD will have an opportunity to see how clinical care of TB is conducted, including complicated MDR, XDR and TB-HIV coinfection cases, TB control program activities and a state-of-art Mycobacteriology laboratory. They will also have an opportunity to interact with researchers and clinicians working on TB research, including TB clinical trials.