ID Division Director Sees Success of Dharamshala Partnership Firsthand During Recent Visit

Dr. Amita Gupta, Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, was recently invited by Dr. Kunchok Dorjee to visit Dharamshala, India, the site of a collaborative project between Dr. Dorjee and Dr. Richard Chaisson, in partnership with the Central Tibetan Administration in India, Delek Hospital, and the Tibetan Central Village (TCV) schools. The project focuses on reducing tuberculosis disease among Tibetan communities residing in exile in Dharamshala through a variety of initiatives, like annual TB screening and LTBI treatment in school children (Zero TB in Tibetan Kids). These collective efforts have yielded impressive success, reducing rates of TB infection in these communities by more than 80%.

Dr. Dorjee grew up in Dharamshala and attended TCV schools; he was also the head of TB services at Delek Hospital before coming to Johns Hopkins to continue his training. He now travels back frequently to serve his community and, with his mentor Dr. Chaisson, has devised an important program to address TB in Dharamshala. Last week, Dr. Gupta accompanied Dr. Dorjee to India and visited Delek Hospital and the TB clinic, observed the school TB screening, and spoke at the TCV School graduation.


L-R: Dekyi Lhadon, Nurse Head at Delek Hospital’s TB Program and Zero TB Kids program in Dharamshala, India;  Amita Gupta; Kunchok Dorjee; Dr. Sonam Topgyal, TB Program Director, Delek Hospital and Head of the Zero TB Kids Program.


Kunchok Dorjee and Amita Gupta (second and third from left, respectively) meet with the Zero TB Kids Team during an annual tuberculosis screening program at the Tibetan Children’s Village School in Dharamshala, India.


L-R: Kunchok Dorjee, Amita Gupta, and Tsultrim Dorjee, Director of the Upper Tibetan Children’s Village School in Dharamshala, India


Using an ultraportable digital x-ray equipped with AI, a girl at the Tibetan Children’s Village School in Dharamshala receives a chest x-ray during Kunchok Dorjee’s annual Zero TB Kids screening. The x-ray equipment was secured with support from the TB REACH grant and with philanthropic funding.