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2.12 Memorabilia

Dr. G D Gothi
former Epidemiologist

I did my MPH in USA (Columbia University 1955) but I decided that I would work for my country because money did not matter to me... I must say, my knowledge of TB broadened after joining the NTI, in 1961. I went there with a narrow mind, thinking that I knew all about TB. On 17th August 1961, seven days after I joined, I was sent to Anantapur with a team of six doctors, six LTs and six TOs. This was the first ever on the job field training for medical as well as non-medical personnel. The training lasted six months. What was there in Anantapur? No good hotels, even moderate ones. We had to eat whatever food that was available. I taught X-ray reading and developed from scratch almost everything... For e.g., case index cards were developed by me, Mr I Thorup and Mr SS Nair. I took the burden of training the first five batches and with the experiences gained, the training period was reduced from six months to four months and then to three months.

I also took part in the training activities at the LWSTC in Bangalore... The NTI has given so much. I will give you an example. The direct BCG vaccination studies first began in NTI. As a result, BCG vaccination could be given without a tuberculin test. This increased efficiency and coverages of BCG and saved a lot of money. The NTI should be in the forefront of TB research activities. But, it pains me to tell you that now NTI is in the background. It may be due to administrative constraints in the government...research institutes must be given a free hand. There should be freedom in the day to day management of work. At NTI there was so much freedom then. Even the trainees were free to discuss and share knowledge.

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