Kashmir’s first NAT-PCR facility a lifesaver for residents

Srinagar: Kashmir’s first Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT-PCR) facility at the Government Medical College (GMC) here is an addition to the long list of development initiatives in the Union Territory by the Central government.

Atal Dulloo, financial commissioner of the Health and Medical Education Department at GMC inaugurated the facility in August for safer quality blood transfusion funded under the National Health Mission.

According to Dr Shazia, Associate Professor and in-charge of NAT-PCR here, the blood transfusion facility will help in the early detection of infections like HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C in a short period of time.

“The biggest advantage of having this technology is that the window period between taking the test and receiving the results has drastically reduced.

HIV testing which used to take 21 days with the previous facility, now takes only 2.93 days. Hepatitis B used to take 40 days and now takes only 10 days, and Hepatitis C, which used to take 60 days now takes just 1.34 days,” Shazia told ANI.

She said that there are very few government hospitals and colleges in the country that offer such technology.

“We follow guidelines that are prescribed in international testing facilities. We are very glad to have one facility here in Kashmir in GMC,” she concluded.

Musadiq Nazir, a blood donor here, said, “I am very grateful to the central government for such a huge improvement in the healthcare system in Jammu and Kashmir. This facility is much better than the previous one. I express my gratitude to the government on behalf of all the Kashmiri people.”

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