TMH is committed to promote high ethical standards in patient care, clinical research, and community interest. As a community based initiative we have good reach into the community. Our medical team is evolving unique programmes for the benefit of the community. As an addition to these programmes we will also be engaging in research studies to understand the efficacy of our interventions. As our medical experts are well-known in their field we also have tremendous opportunities to get into clinical trials and research.
Our research will come under the institutional ethics board, to be registered with the Drugs Control Authority of India, New Delhi.
Since 2011, TCT has been offering free dexa scan to its target community. They receive their annual dose of vitamin D injection at the hospital and are prescribed daily calcium supplements, which are replenished by the field staff during their home visits. This unique programme has been ongoing for five years. To understand the effectiveness of this intervention, the medical team is currently carrying out a research study. We had a William J. Clinton Fellow Ms. Priyanka Murali, from the USA, with a background in genetics, for ten-months focused on making this study possible.
We have been carrying out a review of 465 compliant patients with a dexa scan for the 'Before' and 'After' situations for the study. For the patients who have not had much benefit from the supplements alone, another intervention with bisphosphonates is being executed now. The comparison study of the 'Before bisphosphonates' and 'After bisphosphonates' situations is also likely to be carried out.
We propose to undertake research projects to study women's health issues, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and oral cancer.
Research on prevalence of oral cancer among tobacco users
Tobacco is a silent killer and young people are easily addicted to this habit. Tobacco users are prone to chronic conditions. In TCT’s mandate for prevention of NCDs, tobacco use prevention is a top priority. WHO figures 15 – 20% of the deaths are due to tobacco related diseases in the developing countries. In 2010, 4 million people have died because of these diseases, it is estimated that 40 million people will die in 2030. We are working on a research project to study the prevalence of oral cancer in a defined population. To get lead technical support for the research project, we have tied up with Ragas Dental College and Hospitals, Chennai. We obtained clearance from the Institutional Ethics Committee. After the Ragas team trained the hospital and field staff on the techniques of screening for cancer, we began to organize community-based camps to identify possible cancer lesions. Those patients identified had to go through biopsy and these specimens were tested at Ragas for results. The results were communicated to the patients in the ensuing community camps. This project is in progress and it is estimated by 2020 to complete the project by screening around 5,000 users and 10,000 non users.