Dr Ira Shah

Student spotlight details

Dr Shah has established the PID Department at B.J.Wadia Hospital for Children, the first of its kind in Mumbai where children with infectious diseases get a complete treatment at one place.

'Prior to doing the Diploma in PID at Oxford in 2010, I had previously done a visiting fellowship at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London and St Mary’s Hospital, London. I was also heading the Pediatric HIV and TB clinics at B J Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai, India as well was the associate professor of Pediatrics. I had several publications in the field of pediatric infectious diseases especially in HIV and TB and was also Asian Editor of Journal of Pediatric Infectious Diseases as well as Editor of Pediatric Oncall. With our hospital being the only children’s hospital in this part of the country, and since infectious diseases are the most common problems encountered in pediatric age group, there was a need to develop a full-fledged department of pediatric infectious diseases. Since I was already working full time in our hospital, this course was the best opportunity for me learn more about pediatric ID.

'This course was really good as I could work in my hospital and still go ahead and learn everything about Pediatric ID. However, this also turned out to be most challenging as I had to manage my hospital work (looking after patients, looking into my students’ research, teaching medical students) and also find time for the course. The most important aspect was the case based discussions that was really useful in this course. Also it gave me the flexibility of doing the course at my time.

'After the course, we further expanded our HIV and TB clinics and also included ID clinic. I developed the antibiotic policy of our hospital and was a part of the Hospital Infection Control Committee. Our TB clinic has the highest number of pediatric patients in Mumbai and we have an extensive number of drug resistance TB patients. This led to joining hands with the government to establish a DR-TB centre at our hospital for all children. With increase in number of patients, we also upgraded our lab facilities and started the Biofire Filmarrary Multiplex PCR for syndromic diagnosis of Infectious Diseases and GeneXpert for TB diagnosis. We established isolation wards for infectious patients – a facility that is available in very few hospitals. We then established a formal infectious diseases department looks into diagnostics (ID LAB), outpatients (through our clinics) and inpatients (through the isolation wards). We now look forward to making our hospital a CENTER OF EXCELLENCE for Pediatric DR-TB.

'Our department is the first of its kind whereby children with infectious diseases get a complete treatment at one place. For patients who require isolation facilities, this has been a real boon. Also with our tie-up with the government, most patients with TB get free treatment and free diagnostics.

'The course is good for students wanting to pursue a career in clinical pediatric infectious diseases. A prior hands on experience with UK medical system would be useful to help students understand the subject more clearly.'

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