31 May 2009

Manish Bhardwaj ~ MIT PhD to Lead India TB-treat

I had an excellent brunch this morning at the Miracle with one of my favorite people, Manish Bhardwaj, newly minted MIT PhD who will soon be heading to Bihar, India to start building up a transformative TB-treatment delivery organization. He and colleagues have really big goals -- to treat 1 Million patients within the decade -- but the problem they're addressing is even bigger since India has nearly 2 Million new TB patients per annum. TB or Tuberculosis is a widespread infectious disease caused by mostly Mycobacterium Tuberculosis which usually attacks the lungs. The central challenge is not only identifying infected patients, but getting them to consistently take a 6-months treatment without lapse. Those who stop too early or take medicine only intermittently run a very high risk of developing MDR-TB -- multi-drug resistent TB -- which costs orders of magnitude more money to treat and is more deadly. For Manish and colleagues to succeed they need to figure out scalable solutions which fit in with the current political and medical and other players in each locale.

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