Zarir Udwadia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Zarir Udwadia (born 1960) is an Indian pulmonologist and researcher.[1][2][3] His work on drug resistant tuberculosis has led to improvements in India's National Tuberculosis Control Programme.[1][4] Udwadia was the only Indian invited by the WHO to be part of the TB ‘Guidelines Group’, which formulated the 4th edition of the TB Guidelines, published in 2010.[5][6][2] He was also the only doctor to be named among India's best strategists.[7]

Professional life[edit]

Udwadia is a graduate of the Grant Medical College, Mumbai.[6] He spent five years training in the UK at various centres, including Brompton Hospital, London.[6][4] He practices at the P.D. Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre and the Breach Candy Hospital, in Mumbai.[6][8][9] Approximately 8,000 patients pass through his OPD annually.[10][11] Udwadia established a Chest Medicine Department at the Hinduja Hospital in 1992, and the city’s first Sleep Laboratory in 1994.[6] He serves on the editorial board of Thorax, a respiratory medicine journal,[12] and has authored over 140 publications.[5]

Drug-Resistant tuberculosis[edit]

Udwadia runs a free weekly TB clinic at the Hinduja Hospital, which he set up in 1992, on his return to India, after his training in the UK.[13] It is the busiest outpatient clinic at the Hinduja hospital,[13] with patients traveling from many parts of the country, and some lining up overnight, to be seen by him.[1][4]

In December 2011, Udwadia documented twelve cases of what he called totally drug-resistant ('TDR') TB, a strain of the disease that seemed to show resistance to all known treatments.[14][15][16] There were only two other episodes of TDR-TB reported in the world before this- in Iran in 2009, and Italy in 2007.[14][16] Along with his colleagues at the Hinduja Hospital, he published a letter describing four of these cases in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.[14] The journal letter prompted extensive media attention. Government officials publicly denied the issue, accused him of wrongly spreading panic, and a Mumbai health official seized patient samples from his laboratory.[13]

While the WHO eventually said that defining resistance beyond XDR-TB was not recommended,[4] Udwadia's research drew the attention of the medical community to the growing epidemic of drug-resistant TB.[1] The coordinator of the WHO's STOP TB department called his findings a wake up call.[16] His research eventually led to improvements in the way TB is managed in India, and elsewhere, and forced the government to make changes to the state-run TB control initiative, or the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme.[7] The government increased the budget for the program, and dispatched rapid GeneXpert machines, which can conduct highly sensitive molecular diagnostic testing.[4]

He continues to be an outspoken critic of the government's failures to address the TB problem,[17] and a vocal advocate for newer diagnosis and treatment for TB patients.[13][18][9][3]


  1. ^ a b c d "India's 'tuberculosis warrior'". 2018-03-24. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  2. ^ a b Iyer, Malathy. "No more jabs, now new pills to treat TB". Mumbai News. The Times of India. TNN. Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  3. ^ a b Ubaid, Mir. "The challenges of treating drug-resistant TB in India". Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  4. ^ a b c d e "TB Online - The right dose, the right chance: India's battle with drug-resistant TB". Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  5. ^ a b "'The Ticking Time Bomb': A Doctor on Whether TB Can Be Eliminated from India". The Better India. 2019-04-04. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Chest Physician in Mumbai - Dr Zarir F. Udwadia". P.D. Hinduja Hospital. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  7. ^ a b "India's best strategists: 15 dreamers who have translated their insight into reality". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  8. ^ "Dr.Zarir Udwadia". TEDxGateway - India's Largest Ideas Platform (Mumbai, India). Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  9. ^ a b "Scepticism shrouds India's tuberculosis target". Hindustan Times. 2017-12-11. Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  10. ^ "Dr Zarir F Udwadia | Longitude Prize". Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  11. ^ Taneja, Richa (2017-08-01). "1 Indian Dies Of Tuberculosis Every Minute, No One Is Immune, Says Expert". Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  12. ^ "Editorial Board". Thorax. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  13. ^ a b c d Anand, Geeta (2016-09-02). "Battling Drug-Resistant TB, and the Indian Government". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  14. ^ a b c Loewenberg, Samuel (2012-01-21). "India reports cases of totally drug-resistant tuberculosis". The Lancet. 379 (9812): 205. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60085-3. ISSN 0140-6736. PMID 22272391. S2CID 39443765.
  15. ^ "TB Online - India: WHO's shorter treatment for multidrug-resistant TB, city may not gain". Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  16. ^ a b c "Totally drug-resistant TB at large in India". Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  17. ^ Mushtaq, Ammara (2018-11-01). "United to end tuberculosis". The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. 6 (11): 818–819. doi:10.1016/S2213-2600(18)30416-8. ISSN 2213-2600. PMID 30297271. S2CID 52938483.
  18. ^ "TB Killed Shreya Tripathi, But Her Death Could Have Been Avoided". The Wire. Retrieved 2019-08-26.