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Feature BMJ Awards South Asia 2018

Ten awards, 1575 nominations, 436 semi-finalists: BMJ’s search for the stars of South Asian healthcare continues

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 06 November 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4672
  1. Jeetha D’Silva
  1. Mumbai, India
  1. j.dsilva{at}

More entries to BMJ’s annual search for outstanding contributors to clinical care in South Asia have been shortlisted than ever before, discovers Jeetha D’Silva. Winners will be announced at Chennai’s Hilton Hotel on 1 December

Tucked away at the end of a labyrinth of corridors in Mumbai’s BJ Wadia Hospital for Children is South Asia’s first and only isolation ward for children with drug resistant tuberculosis (TB). Beyond the air curtain at the entrance are compartmentalised beds, where six children, including a 7 month old baby, are being treated. Part of the Drug Resistant Tuberculosis Centre, the ward is ground zero in India’s fight against paediatric TB.

“Our goal is to eliminate tuberculosis,” Ira Shah, head of paediatric infectious diseases, told The BMJ. A lofty goal indeed: childhood TB constitutes 10-20% of all TB in high burden countries like India. Each year, an estimated 25 000 children in India are diagnosed as having multidrug resistant TB (MDR-TB), in cases where the bacillus is resistant to isoniazid and rifampicin1; and 1200 are diagnosed with extensively drug resistant TB (XDR-TB), a rare type of MDR TB that is also resistant to fluoroquinolone and at least one of three injectable second line drugs.

The paediatric infectious disease department at BJ Wadia Hospital opened the centre in April this year in response to the growing incidence of drug resistant TB among children, especially in poorer populations.

Nine countries

High impact projects such as this abound among the entries to this year’s BMJ Awards South Asia. Contenders from nine countries—Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, …

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