By Sahil Pandey
New Delhi [India], May 31 (ANI): The Resident Doctors' Association (RDA) of AIIMS Delhi on Sunday wrote to Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, seeking the implementation of gargle lavage method to detect COVID-19.
The medicos' body, in its letter, also sought due credit for the research done by them in highlighting the feasibility of the method.
The Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) announced the development of an "innovative patient-friendly saline gargle RT-PCR testing method".
"However, this is not the first time that someone has looked into this account. A research paper published last year by a team of doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AllMS), Delhi, and research scientists at Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad had already validated gargle lavage as a viable alternative to traditional swab testing," AIIMS RDA President Amandeep Singh stated in the letter.
"Even though CSIR-NEERI scientists' effort is commendable as it makes testing more cost-effective their work is yet to be published. At the same time, it is pretty discouraging for young researchers and resident doctors of the AIIMS, Delhi that their work went unnoticed," he added.
Singh requested the implementation of the gargle lavage method for COVID-19 diagnosis at the earliest and due acknowledgment of the young researchers from the AIIMS and the Translational Health Science And Technology Institute (THSTI) as they already developed this technique a year ago.
AIIMS RDA vice president Amit Malviya said if their recommendation to use the gargle lavage technique was put in practice then it could have saved much money.
"Those who have gone through RT-PCR find it traumatic, so we decided to use normal saline on 50 patients and all came positive and CT value was also the same. If we replace RTPCR with Gargle lavage then the result will still be the same. On July 10, 2020, we published the paper. If our recommendation to use the gargle lavage technique was put in practice then it could have saved much money," Malviya told ANI.
"NEERI can take the credit for the RNA extraction technique but they should give due credit and acknowledgment to our resident faculty member for this result. It is a sampling technique change which can be revolutionary," he added.
Chief advisor to AIIMS RDA Dr Rajeev Ranjan stressed that the institution is famous for publishing research papers and if the credit is given to some other institution, researchers can get demoralised.
"Our message is that acknowledgment should be given to our people, there should be Multicentric study. This technique involves taking samples without healthcare workers, just like giving a urine sample," Ranjan said. (ANI)