Now, special grants for tech-driven TB solutions

IANS| Updated: Nov 18, 2013, 21:05 PM IST

New Delhi: In a bid to bolster tuberculosis control in India, a new programme was announced by a private firm Monday allowing special grants for technology-driven ideas to control the disease.

The grants will be made available by the "Grand Challenges in Tuberculosis Control" (GC-TBC), an initiative by Innovation Knowledge Progress (IKP) Knowledge Park, Hyderabad.

This year, the programme primarily focuses on seeding Indian innovators to better TB treatment methods, using innovative techniques, a release said Monday.

IKP Knowledge Park is a premier science park facilitating business-driven research. It is being helped by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the US Agency for International Development in this effort, the press release said.

The treatment for TB is lengthy, requiring adherence to full medication course. While patients in the public sector obtain medication through a Directly Observed Therapy (DOTS) for a minimum of six months, those in the private sector are said to receive little or no support during the treatment process.

Taking this discrimination into consideration, such technology-oriented solutions for monitoring treatment are the need of the hour, the release said.

"Going by the overwhelming response to our call for proposals on adherence to TB treatment, I see a surge in interest among individuals to solve socially relevant issues that plague India," Deepanwita Chattopadhyay, managing director and CEO of IKP said.