• On Day One, 30,000 kids of 98 schools got the Measles-Rubella Vaccination

    Measles-Rubella Vaccination campaign was carried out at about 98 schools in the city. Around 30,000 students were benefited from the campaign on the first day. According to Civic Officials, this campaign will be carried for a period of six weeks to eliminate the viral diseases.

    "These 98 schools consist of about 42,236 students but from them, 30,777 were vaccinated on the first day which is about 72.8% of the total expected 42,236 students." said a senior BMC official.

    The campaign was flagged by CM Devendra Fadnavis and Health Minister Deepak Sawant flagged off the vaccine drive with students from 10 English-medium and 10 Marathi-medium schools getting the vaccine. "We have a target of providing the vaccine to 10 lakh children every day and we are confident of meeting it," said Sawant. The minister said that till 4 pm there were no reports of any child suffering any reaction to the vaccine.

    Mr Deepak Sawant gave a clarification that the Private Sector had no involvement in the Measles-Rubella vaccination campaign. The main focus for the first three weeks is to cover about 200 students per school per day.

    Some schools used innovative ways to make children feel at ease. "Teachers accompanied the students and made golden stars that were given as a reward to children," said Revathy Srinivasan, principal of Smt Sulochanadevi Singhania School where the pre-primary students were given the vaccination. Civic hospitals such as KEM have special OPD for this vaccine. "All the children who come to the KEM pediatric OPD are told to get the vaccine," said a doctor.

  • Type II dengue cases reported in Kolkata

    For the second time in a row in Kolkata, the Serotype II has been predominant with 85 percent fresh cases of Dengue. Around 73 percent cases of Dengue were Serotype II in 2017.

    The National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) in Kolkata after analysis of many blood samples has revealed a unique changing pattern of the virus strains. The number of cases of Serotype I dengue cases has dropped from 50 percent to around 3 percent from 2016. "Kolkata has a history of being prone to Serotypes I & III types of Dengue, due to which the immunity strains of them are pretty higher. The pattern has changed this year as the cases of Serotype II have accounted around 85 percent of the total cases," said NICED director Shanta Dutta. The institute analysed around 700 blood samples of dengue patients in the city.

    "It is difficult to find the appropriate reason why Serotype II has spiralled and the cases of Serotype I dropped down. There can be a wide number of reasons behind it. The reason can be its load, dynamics or the changing life cycle of the virus. Many reasons still need to be studied." said Shanta Dutta.

    A particular Serotype being dominant for multiple years is rarely found as the population develops an immunity for it, according to Dutta. "Dengue Serotypes keep changing. If a strain is predominant in the present year, in most of the cases it's not the same for the preceding year. As the Serotype II has been predominant this year it needs to be studied if the Kolkatans have not developed sufficient immunity to it. It could even be a different Serotype II. If at all it's a variant of type II, then an examination has to be carried out if the vaccination which is planned for it will work at all." said Datta.

  • Maharashtra joins forces with private players to eliminate Tuberculosis

    NGOs in Maharashtra have decided to get involved with the private practitioners and find all the missing Tuberculosis (TB) patients with ensuring their confidentiality and putting them on treatment. This will take the fight against Tuberculosis at a whole new level.

    The last month signed public-private partnership pact is a part of the Union government's plan to identify the missing TB patients across India in the next three years. Approximately 15 lakh patients will be benefited through this plan. It will be formally launched in Maharashtra on the 15th of December this year. However, it has already started to operate in 13 municipal corporations limits, including in Pune.

    The project, Joint Effort for the Elimination of Tuberculosis (JEET), aims at speeding up the process of finding, treating and tracking every tuberculosis patient in the community till s/he is cured. "The mission of eliminating TB from the country by 2025 can be achieved only if the missing TB cases are treated properly. The national strategic plan (NSP) for TB elimination (2017-25) advocates the strategy of 'going where the patients go' and highlights the importance of engaging the private sector to improve the standards of curing TB." said by the state health department's public health expert Padmaja Jogewar.

    The project will be integrated with the government programme to end TB after three years of operation. The campaign follows the World Health Organization's evidence that the curve of TB incidence (new cases annually) in India is rising. "Use of mass media tools should be made to create awareness about the project amongst the private doctors. The TB cases are not always reported by private practitioners despite being such a notifiable disease. The exact burden of the disease should be understood properly to eliminate the disease from your country." said by health activist Sanjay Dabhade.


    The Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), is dealing with a shortage of medicines. The hospital is now forcing the suffering patients to buy expensive drugs from private pharmacies.

    The administration said that in the next two-to-three days the drugs will be made available for the patients. The Anti-Retro Viral Therapy (ART) centre was established in this central government hospital in the year 2006 and from then it provides counselling, consultation, drugs and follow-up for around 4,000 patients.

    Some HIV positive patients with a CD4 count of less than 350 are also treated at the ART. The Medicine schedule must be strictly followed by the patients. If there would be any irregularity in following the prescribed roaster it can weaken or negate the effect of the medicines.

    Under the central government's AIDS programme, the drugs are first dispatched from Delhi to the distribution centre at Nagpur and then to the GMCH and other ART sub-centres. A software is in place to keep track of the patients, drugs prescribed to them and manage the inventory at the GMCH. Using this software on a daily basis the patients are provided with the schedule to take drugs from the store.

    However, for the last 10 days, the drug store at ART of the GMCH is running short on a key drug for HIV patients. The hospital has put up a board to inform the patients about the same and have asked them to buy the drugs from nearby private pharmacies.

    Meenakshi Bhattacharya, the Head of the Department of Medicine at GMCH said, "Considering the wide number of patients the ART system covers these things happen sometimes. There are more than 3,000 patients in every centre all over India and every medicine regimen costing approximately Rs 1,700 to 4,500 is given free of cost to the patients."

    She added, "Due to the unavailability for some drugs we have asked the patients and their families to get the medicines from private pharmacies until they again become available at the hospital so that their treatment is not affected."

  • Organ donation: Nine patients get new lease of life

    Through the noble deed of organ donation, two families gave as many as nine patients a new hope to their lives at PGIMER, Chandigarh.

    On November 15, a family from Haryana agreed to donate the organs of the 25-year-old deceased son, three patients suffering from last-stage organ failure got a new life with transplantations of Liver, Pancreas & Kidneys. More two patients in PGI will also be benefitted from the same deceased person.

    The 25-year-old deceased had met with an accident on 13th November while going to work on his motorcycle. He was hit by an overspeeding car due to which he suffered many severe head injuries. He was declared brain dead by PGI doctors on 15th November.

    "I want my son's memory to live on, and the world to know that I am proud of him even though he lost his own life, he saved five others," said the deceased man's father after giving his consent for organ donation.

    In another case, a family of the deceased from Punjab extended a similar gesture after consenting to donate the organs of a 62-year-old, retired officer of the Punjab Police Department.

    The donor's wife shared her sentiments while saying, "My husband strongly fought for the safety of others while serving in the Punjab police department by sometimes even risking his own life. Now even in death, he has turned a saviour for four others. His death has been an extension of his true personality."

    The donor had sustained severe head injuries after being hit by a speeding vehicle while walking on a roadside in Phagwara on November 11. Immediately after the accident, he was admitted to a private hospital in Jalandhar, but due to no improvements to his critical condition, he was transferred to PGIMER, Chandigarh, on the same day. Despite struggling for three days, the donor's battle with life came to an end when he was declared brain dead on 14th November.

    Following the family's decision for organ donation, the transplant surgeons retrieved the Kidneys & Corneas from the donor, which on transplantation, gave a second chance at life to two terminally ill patients and the gift of sight to two others, helping four lives in all.

  • Lack of awareness turning fatal for H1N1 cases in Tamil Nadu

    A 41-year-old man from Somandurai Sithur in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu died of H1N1 also known as Swine Flu at the Coimbatore Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) on Tuesday i.e. 23'rd of October even before the doctors could attend to him.

    The hospital stated that it was a clear example of a lack of awareness about the seasonal H1N1 virus which has killed more than a dozen people across the state of Tamil Nadu.

    The deceased, Ramasamy, working as a scrap collector, was suffering from symptoms like severe cold, cough and fever for more than a week but did not consult a doctor until he became breathless on Tuesday. CMCH dean Dr. D. Ashokan said, "By then it was too late. He had a severe respiratory failure with a feeble pulse and hence could not be saved."

    Across 21 centres of the state government, estimated 500 samples have been tested and out of them about 30 have tested positive.

    Most H1N1 deaths are either because of late diagnosis or treatment or because of comorbid conditions. While it may be medically challenging to prevent deaths in people with chronic diseases but late diagnosis or treatment is something avoidable.

    Pulmonologists say up to 15% of people with H1N1 may develop a life-threatening illness.

  • Some patients of dengue may not have fever, warn Delhi AIIMS doctors

    Doctors at AIIMS Delhi have published an interesting case study. The case study mentions that, In rare cases, a person may be infected with the dengue virus but might not have a fever.

    The case explained in the study was that of an orderly working at the hospital who was diagnosed with dengue even though the 50-year-old did not have a fever. The patient was suffering from fatigue which made the doctors go for a blood test. The test reports revealed that the patient had uncontrolled sugar and high levels of acid in the blood. The patient's red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets were also very low prompting the doctors to test him for dengue.

    The result of the NS1 antigen test turned out to be positive and was re-confirmed with a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for the dengue virus.

    The doctors mentioned in the study that, Dengue should be considered as an influencing factor in the diagnosis of patients with leukopenia (low white cell count) and severe thrombocytopenia (low platelet count), even in the absence of fever. Dengue patients who do not show fever are likely to be old, diabetic or suffering from other immunity compromising diseases.

    Senior Consultant of Internal Medicine at Max super speciality hospital, Delhi, Dr. Rommel Tickoo said that patients having diabetes, cancer patients and those who have undergone may have a fever when infected with dengue due to weaker immunity. Such patients show symptoms with general weakness, low blood pressure and low platelet count. But if there is no other explanation for the symptoms, a Dengue test is important.

  • Visa procedures eased for Medical Tourists by MHA

    To reduce the inconvenience for foreign patients, the Ministry of Home affairs has eased the visa procedures for Medical tourists seeking treatment in India.

    Foreign nationals with long-term visas of six months or more need not convert their visas into medical visas for treatment of minor conditions that only require consultation.

    For sudden illnesses that require hospitalization of fewer than 180 days, foreign nationals or their representatives have to submit a medical certificate from a recognized hospital containing information about the treatment to be undergone and its duration to the Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO).

    The FRRO can grant a medical permit of fewer than 180 days against a fee to the foreigners. In such cases, their primary visa will not be cancelled. Foreign nationals having valid visas were facing difficulties in getting medical treatment in India because they were being asked to convert their visas into medical visas before being admitted to the hospital. The changes in procedures are intended to eradicate such problems. This move will provide a huge boost to India's Medical tourism.

    In cases of conversion of a short-duration visa with a duration of fewer than six months into a medical visa, the primary visa will be cancelled. On acquisition of a fitness certificate, the foreign national will be granted exit from the country.

    Foreign nationals holding X1 visas (person of Indian origin, children of an Indian citizen/OCI cardholder) and X2 visas (spouse of an Indian citizen/OCI cardholder) will be allowed to avail treatment in India without converting their existing visas into medical visas and without seeking permission from the concerned FRRO's.

  • Breast milk found to reduce antibiotic-resistant bacteria in babies

    According to a study by researchers, Breastfeeding seems to protect babies from bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

    The researchers at the University of Helsinki in Finland found that infants who were breastfed for at least 6 months had a smaller number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in their gut. The study has been featured in a journal called 'Nature Communications'.

    The Study demonstrates that breast milk contains a significant number of genes that provide antibiotic resistance for bacteria and that these genes, as well as their host bacteria, are most likely transmitted to the infants through milk.

    But, it was found that only some antibiotic-resistant bacteria present in infants originated from their mother. This means that the rest were probably from the environment and other individuals. From this, it could be said that breastfeeding is only for the better of the infant.

    Positive effects of breastfeeding were also detected in infants who were given formula in addition to Breast milk. Another finding was that nursing should be carried out for at least first six months of an infant's life or even longer.

    Bacteria resistant to antibiotics are among the greatest global threats to human health. According to research, bacteria and micro-organisms resistant to antibiotics and other drugs will cause more deaths than cancer by 2050.

  • Mysterious paralyzing illness found among kids in 22 states of U.S.

    A rare paralyzing illness is on the rise in children in the United States. U.S. health officials on Tuesday reported an increase in cases of a rare paralyzing illness in children and said it seems to be following an alternate year pattern.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 62 cases have been confirmed in 22 states this year, and at least 65 additional illnesses in those states are being investigated. Similar events occurred in 2014 and 2016.

    Estimated 90% of the incidents reported are children suffering from muscle weakness or paralysis, including in the face, neck, back or limbs. The symptoms seem to occur about a week after they had a fever and respiratory problems. The condition is called acute flaccid myelitis.

    The incidents occurred in 2014 and 2016 were partly inclined to particular types of respiratory germs called enteroviruses, which spread the most in the summer and fall. Most people infected with enteroviruses suffer only from minor symptoms like cough and runny nose, though enteroviruses have been detected in some paralysis cases, it hasn't been found in others, said CDC officials.

    Around 120 confirmed cases were reported in 2014 and 149 in 2016. In 2015 and 2017 the count was far lesser. The cases this year seem to have spread across much of the country.

  • Sickle cell screening for newborns starts in Nagpur

    The occurrence of sickle cell genetic mutation is around 22-40% among high-risk groups in the Nagpur region. This makes it important for the newborn infants, newly-married youths and the pregnant mother to undergo screening programmes to detect sickle cell genotype.

    While there are many screening programmes available for pregnant women and newly-married youths in maternity homes and medical colleges, there aren't many programmes available for screening of newborn infants, said the president of Sickle Cell Association Nagpur (SCAN) Dr. Anuradha Shrikhande.

    For the first time in Nagpur, a system has been set up to screen newborns for sickle cell disease through HPLC (High-Performance Liquid Chromatography) tests conducted by SCAN, to avoid fatal consequences. SCAN has tied up with SRL Laboratories based in Mumbai and the screening is done for a meagre charge of Rs 500 instead of Rs 2000 and more.

    Under this programme, a pregnant woman and her husband with the sickle cell genotype, or even if one of them has the genotype, will undergo the test before the baby becomes one-month-old.

    Babies diagnosed with sickle cell with the help of the HPLC test will be kept under comprehensive healthcare, where appropriate antibiotics and vaccines will be given to take care of the fatal disease.

    Sickle cell is a hereditary disease, transmitted from parents to children. Sickle cell disease patients suffer from intractable pain in the joints, repeated infections and jaundice. Children under five years of age are prone to respiratory infections such as pneumonia which can be life-threatening, said Dr. Shrikhande.

  • Australia gives $37 million boost to spending on youth Mental health

    Prime Minister of Australia, Mr. Scott Morrison announced on Sunday that Australia will be spending an extra $51.8 million (US $37 million) on supporting young people with mental health issues.

    The money will go to 'Headspace', a government youth group that runs 107 help centres across Australia. The announcement comes just a week before the crucial election for Morrison's ruling Liberal-National coalition.

    "I want to ensure we give hope to young people who are struggling with mental health issues," Morrison told reporters.

    The Help centers already receive an estimated $95.7 million every year from the government and the additional funds from this announcement will act as a bonus for the centers. The funds will be used for improving services and adding more staff, a sum of A $12.8 million is specially designated for online counselling and treatment programs.

    Headspace isn't a group that only caters to counselling services. It helps individuals with every aspect of their life from helping young people get a job to supporting their physical activity to improving their relationships.

    About 5,60,000 children and adolescents are estimated to have mental illness and government data shows that one in four young Australians is suffering from it in any given year.

    The investment in Australia's mental health will reach $4.7 billion this year alone.

  • Around 1,00,000 jobs to be created under National Health Protection Scheme

    According to a government official, approximately 1,00,000 new jobs will be created with the implementation of the country's ambitious Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM), which aims to provide a benefit of Rs 5 lakh per family annually to 10 crore under-privileged families.

    Around 1,00,000 individuals will be deployed at both private and government hospitals under the scheme to assist patients coming to health facilities to avail packages under the scheme. A pact has been signed by the Health Ministry for the recruitment of 1 lakh 'Ayushman Mitras'.

    Every hospital listed under the scheme will have an 'Ayushman Mitra' to assist patients and coordinate with the beneficiaries and the Hospital. A help desk will be set up for handling queries, verifying documents and verifying eligibility and enrolment to the scheme.

    All beneficiaries will be given letters having QR codes which will be scanned and a demographic authentication will be conducted for identification and to verify his or her eligibility to avail benefits under the scheme. All these verification tasks will be handled by the 'Ayushman Mitras' assigned to the Hospitals.

    Announced in the 2018 Annual Budget, the AB-NHPM is considered as the 'world's largest government-funded healthcare scheme'.

  • Zydus Cadila leads the bid race for Complan with Rs 4,500 crore bid

    Kraft Heinz, an American food company which has a portfolio of famous Indian products like Complan, Glucon-D, Nycil and Sampriti Ghee has decided to sell off its India operations.

    Indian pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila has put up an immense Rs 4,500 crore offer for the Kraft Heinz Company's consumer brand business in India, outbidding Coca-Cola's offer.

    Kraft Heinz unexpectedly decided to sell its European holding company that includes the India operations last month and wants the buyer to absorb the tax losses of that entity, registered in Italy. The original plan was to sell only the Indian operations and brands. Now, the Italian company is held by an arm of the US parent that is registered in the Netherlands. In short, Kraft Heinz is a foreign entity with most of its assets in India. Coca-Cola has bid for the European entity, while Cadila has bid only for the Indian operations. "From a financial point of view, Cadila's bid is 10-15% higher than that of Coca-Cola, but it is only for the Indian operations.

    Buying an offshore entity with most of its assets in India would bring a lot of tax complications to Cadila especially after the Vodafone tax matter. The Cadila bid therefore, has certain Terms & Conditions and there are some tax-related issues with Kraft Heinz which Cadila is not willing to absorb. Hence, the negotiations are still going on, said an official.

    Coca-Cola was keen on acquiring only the Glucon-D brand, but due to number of transaction complications in front of them Coca-Cola chose to actively pursue GSK Consumer's 'Horlicks' in a potential $4 billion transaction and has been shortlisted with Nestle and Unilever for the second round of negotiations.

  • Declared dead by doctors in UP, elderly man comes alive

    A 55-year-old man was declared dead by the doctors at a private Hospital in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. Miraculously, he regained senses while being shifted to the mortuary for a postmortem on the same day. He was immediately rushed back to the hospital by his relatives, where he succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment on Monday. The 55-year-old man, Phool Singh had become a victim of a road accident on Sunday.

    His family claimed that he was allegedly declared dead by doctors at Rama Shiv hospital, but was later found 'alive' while being taken to the mortuary at Lala Lajpat Rai hospital for postmortem.

    Unfortunately, Phool Singh died after several hours during treatment. His family members have filed a complaint to the police for investigating the matter.

    The police officials said that Phool Singh had sustained critical injuries in a road accident in Fatehpur on Sunday morning and was admitted to Rama Shiv hospital in Kanpur.

    Devendra Kumar Dubey, SHO-Swaroop Nagar, said that "After preliminary treatment, Phool Singh was declared dead by the doctors at Rama Shiv hospital around 4 pm the same day and was allegedly issued a death certificate. However, while his body was being taken to the mortuary at Lala Lajpat Rai hospital, his family members found him 'breathing' and informed the doctors who later confirmed that he was alive."

    Phool Singh's family members have accused the Doctors and Hospital management of 'Medical negligence' in their complaint.

  • FDA approves first self-assisted hearing aid device

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States sanctioned the marketing of a new hearing aid device that can amplify sounds for individuals 18 years or older with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss.

    It is the first hearing aid device approved by the FDA that enables the users to fit, programme and control the hearing aid on their own with the help of a mobile application, without any assistance from a health care provider, Xinhua news agency reported.

    Permanent or temporary hearing loss can occur due to aging, exposure to loud noises, certain medical conditions and other factors. Individuals having permanent hearing loss can use hearing aids to help them hear the speech and sounds.

    According to the FDA, the Bose Hearing Aid is a user-fitted wireless air conduction hearing aid. Air conduction hearing aids can capture sound vibrations through one or more microphones and then the sound signal is processed, amplified, and played back through an earphone placed in the ear canal.

    Patients can easily adjust the hearing aid through a mobile application on their phone. This technology enables users to set the hearing aid settings themselves, in real-time without any assistance from a healthcare professional.

  • Woman admitted to Guntur hospital in Andhra Pradesh with Swine Flu

    A 40-year-old woman from Narsaraopet town in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh was admitted to Guntur Government Fever Hospital with Swine Flu three days ago. Her condition was stated to be critical. Dr. Talluri Ramesh, district medical and health officer, confirmed that the patient was not infected in Narasaraopet.

    The Doctor said that "The woman had visited a village in Kurnool district called Mantralayam, and stayed there for 2 days. On the second day, she developed symptoms of Swine Flu. She was admitted to Guntur Government Fever Hospital three days ago with high fever and was tested to be H1N1 positive."

    "She is being treated as per protocol and has been put on ventilator. She was put in isolation to restrict the spread of the disease. I hope that she survives as we are providing her the best treatment possible," he added.

    "When the case was reported in the hospital on October 3, around 200 houses in Narsaraopet close to the patient's house were surveyed and it was confirmed that there is no one else with H1N1 symptoms", said Dr. Ramesh.

    There are no signs of H1N1 infections anywhere else in the district. Also, the Guntur Hospital has been supplied with detection kits to detect any patients admitted with H1N1 symptoms.

  • Kolkata witnesses sixth organ donation this year, second in three days

    The city of Kolkata witnessed its sixth organ donation on 2nd October 2018 proving to be the state's best record till date. Itx`'s the second donation in past four days. Kolkata recorded its first organ donation in the year 2012.

    The liver and two kidneys of a private firm employee named Ranjan Ghosh declared brain dead by Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI) on Tuesday, were set to save the lives of three patients. His two kidneys went to two male patients at SSKM, one from Kolkata and other from Rishra. While the kidneys are still being transplanted, doctors found fibrosis in his liver and declared it not viable for transplant after a biopsy.

    Ranjan Ghosh was to join his family for a relative's wedding at Barrackpore after work on Saturday, but he met with a road accident in the afternoon and was rushed to CMRI. When doctors found no brain stem reflexes in Ranjan, the hospital started counselling his family for organ donation.

    Seema Roy, wife of the deceased said: "I have been reading and hearing about organ donations in newspapers and on TV. So when doctors told me if I wanted to donate his organs to save others' lives, I readily agreed. My husband is gone, but in death, he has ensured life for people, who will get his organs".

    Kolkata had four deceased organ donations in 2016, followed by a dismal record of only one the next year. So far, 2018 has witnessed six donations, including two in August and one in September.

  • Nurses to run 10,000 clinics across Tamil Nadu, India

    The State of Tamil Nadu has decided to set up at least 10,000 Nurse-led clinics in order to aid the early detection of non-contagious diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart ailments and cancer as a part of the Universal Health Coverage Scheme. At these clinics, the patients will be able to get medical tests done free of cost and also get free medication with doctor's prescription.

    Dr. K Kolandaswamy, director of public health said that this step is taken to tackle the epidemic of non-communicable diseases in the state. "We are hoping that these clinics will be used by all sections, he added".

    Senior officials said that the State plans to set up these Nurse-led clinics by 2022 along with 3000 other Doctor-led centres in Primary Healthcare regions, secondary healthcare facilities in Districts and Talukas and tertiary healthcare facilities in Medical college hospitals.

    Nurses who have cleared the two-year auxiliary nurse midwifery course will be running these clinics. They will be performing tasks like checking temperature, blood pressure, sugar levels and doing other blood tests.

    While reports for some of the medical tests will be available instantly at the clinics, other samples will be sent to the nearest primary health centre or district hospital for examination. Patients can collect their free medication from these clinics instead of travelling to a primary health centre. Also, the nurses will be updating patients' health status in a centralized platform and alert the doctors in case of an emergency.

  • Passive smoking causes 30% of respiratory diseases in kids

    Experts say that around 30% of the children suffering from respiratory diseases are due to passive smoking. Doctors said that children are very vulnerable to passive smoking and also warned that apart from the risk of contracting lung infections and allergies there can also be a rise in the severity of conditions like sinusitis, wheezing and asthma.

    Dr. G Kamal, director of Tamil Nadu Asthma and Allergy Research Foundation (TAARF), based on his observations said that 3 out of every 10 children he diagnosed with respiratory infection had been exposed to passive smoking. Smoking indoors is very dangerous as the cigarette's harmful smoke remains inside the room for quite a long time, leaving children exposed to the smoke for a longer time and thus causing multiple health problems. People are not really aware of how they are indirectly bringing harm upon their loved ones, he added.

    Irrespective of the extent to which passive smoking can harm a person, it will definitely deteriorate the lung condition.
    Passive smoking affects everyone differently. Children are affected by passive smoking because alveoli, which are an important part of the lungs, would be immature during the growing age and would get damaged because of the smoke inhaled. Though passive smoking doesn't affect the heart of a child to a significant extent. But it's said to have adverse effects on a woman's heart.

  • China HIV/AIDS cases surge by 14%

    The number of people in China battling with HIV/AIDS has increased by 14%. State Media on Saturday said that Most of the cases revealed transmission of the disease through Physical Interaction rather than blood transfusion.

    The Xinhua News agency at an HIV/AIDS conference said that around 8,20,000 people already had AIDS at the end of June. More than 40,000 new HIV/AIDS cases were reported in the second quarter alone, with 93.1 percent having contracted the virus through physical Interactions.

    The number of HIV infections caused by blood transfusions has essentially been reduced to zero although China has been hit by blood transfusion scandals in the past.

    In the 1990's, Henan - a province in China faced the country's most disastrous AIDS epidemic. Its roots were believed to be a government-backed blood donation programme which infected tens of thousands of people, including entire villages.

    In 2015, state media reported a case of a five-year-old girl who had been infected by HIV through a blood transfusion during an operation for congenital heart disease.

  • Bangalore doctors perform rare heart surgery

    Jim from California was on a business trip to Bangalore, India when the fever he faced before the trip flared up again. Jim was brought to Columbia Asia Hospital on Sarjapura Road where he was diagnosed with Aortic valve disease. Jim was aware of this condition but never faced any drastic effects on health because of it.

    The Chief Cardiac Surgeon of Columbia Asia Hospital, Dr. Joseph Xavier said that Due to this Aortic Valve disease Jim faced, blood that was flowing out of the heart was being pumped into it putting it under severe strain. Blood reports stated that bacteria had already started developing in the blood. Also, there was a fluid collection in his lungs and other organs weren't receiving enough blood, resulting in gradual failure of the kidneys and the liver.

    Doctors found that infection was destroying the valve and the heart muscles. The antibiotics wouldn't have been able to clear the infection unless the source of infection within the heart was removed. If they decided to wait for the antibiotics to show results, the kidney and liver failure would worsen making the post-surgery recovery difficult. This meant that an Open Heart surgery was needed to replace the infected and destroyed valve and its surrounding tissue.

    It was a difficult decision to operate on active infection of the heart valve as the tissue inside was in a very bad state, and it is very difficult to fix the valve in such cases. The possibility of the implanted valve getting infected is very high in such situations, Dr. Xavier added. Fortunately, Jim recovered quickly after the operation and safely returned home after a few days.

  • New solar-powered heart monitor can be taped to skin

    A team of Scientists from Tokyo, Japan have developed a human-friendly, ultra-flexible organic sensor powered by sunlight, which acts as a self-powered heart monitor. Scientists from the University of Tokyo and RIKEN in Japan integrated a sensory device called Organic Electrochemical transistor which is used to measure a variety of biological functions into an organic solar cell.

    According to the research published in Journal Nature, they were able to measure the heartbeats of rats and humans under bright light conditions using this device. Kenjiro Fukuda of the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science said: "This is a huge stride forward in the quest to make self-powered medical monitoring devices that can be placed on human tissue."

    Self-powered devices that can be fitted directly on human skin can be used for a number of Medical Applications. They can be used as physiological sensors for the real-time monitoring of heart or brain function in the human body, researchers said.

    However, a practical realization has been impractical due to the bulkiness of batteries and insufficient power supply, or due to noise interference from the electrical supply, researchers said. The study used a nano-grating surface on the light absorbers of the solar cell, allowing for high photo-conversion efficiency (PCE) and light angle independency.

    To demonstrate a practical application, organic electrochemical transistors were integrated with organic solar cells on an ultra-thin substrate, to allow the self-powered detection of heartbeats either on the skin or record ECG signals directly on the heart of a rat.

  • Apollo Cradle launches India's largest network of eNICU

    In an effort to improve the neonatal care facilities in India, Apollo Cradle, India's leading Women & Childrens' Hospital, unveiled its advanced Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (eNICU). For the first time in India, a large network like Apollo Cradle has taken such an initiative. Apollo Cradle is renowned for its clinical expertise and experience in handling complex pre-term babies and high-risk pregnancies. The eNICU will help the Apollo Cradle doctors to monitor minute details like medication levels, feeding pattern, nutrition, calorie and growth charts of babies, whilst in the hospital and also remotely. It will also help the doctors to support NICU's in smaller towns. The real-time monitoring of pre-term babies with complete digital records will improve clinical results and provide top-notch treatment in India. During the launch ceremony of eNICU, Group Medical Director of Apollo Hospitals, Dr. Anupam Sibal said: "eNICU at Apollo Cradle will enable the care of babies that is unachievable in a majority of other hospitals. It will help doctors and medical staff to monitor each baby from a central location. The cloud-based system also manages doctors' workflow, nursing workflow and resident doctor handovers." Mr. Neeraj Garg, CEO of Apollo Health & Lifestyle Ltd. said that Apollo Cradle is investing in this technology to offer Medical Services in India of International level.

  • Arabian Gulf University (AGU) invites construction companies to support a developing Medical City

    Arabian Gulf University (AGU) located in Bahrain, is inviting construction companies to place bids for the construction of the planned "King Abdullah Medical City". The demands from the current Healthcare system are expected to increase due to the growing ageing population in the region. The project is undertaken to thwart the rise of private hospitals. The project aims to fulfill the medical needs of the citizens and cater to increasing high demands of Quality Healthcare in the Middle East. The total worth of the project is estimated to be around US$ 267 million. The successful bidder will construct the project which is set to span one million square metres in Durrat Al Bahrain, an area of land donated by His Majesty King Hamad. The project is set to be funded by a grant provided by the late King of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Dr. Khaled Al Ohali, President of the Arabian Gulf University, stated that "The first stage of the construction of the medical city will include the hospital, the administration building, the staff accommodation and the parking". The project is set to complete in two years and will be undertaken in two phases. The first phase will see the construction of a hospital, accommodating 264-beds, along with staff housing. New academic, medical and pharmaceutical facilities along with 15 operating rooms have been planned in the further phase to support the growing need for research and development, as well as demands for complex surgical capabilities which have grown in demand.

  • Unified Health launches its pilot clinic in Canada

    Canada is presently undergoing a significant shortage of General Practitioners and medical professionals, leading to ongoing pressures within its healthcare system. Approximately 60,000 citizens lack a family doctor in the Nova Scotia province of Canada causing leading acute care teams and medical facilities to be under constant strain. A private healthcare company named Unified Health has taken measures to fill the gap within the public Healthcare sector, by launching a pilot clinic in Halifax city of Canada. Named the Unified Health Community Triage Centre, the facility offers non-emergency care services for a fee, enabling local citizens to see a nurse practitioner. A 15-minute appointment with a nurse practitioner or access services in areas such as mental health counselling, osteopathy, somatic coaching, etc will cost CAN $35. On its website, the company has stated that it solely aims to lessen the number of patients in emergency rooms and hospitals by directing them to the right practitioners for their specific requirements. In addition to this, the company has also expressed its ambitions to expand further across the province, first in Bedford and then Cape Breton. It has also partnered with Health & Wellness clinic Ohana to offer increased support to the patients. In the near future, the company intends to make Healthcare free for everyone

  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana rolls out tomorrow, will secure 2.65L beds for the poor

    Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, the world's largest health insurance scheme will be rolled out in 445 districts across 30 states of India simultaneously by PM Narendra Modi in Ranchi on September 23. The rollout of this scheme will instantly make around 2.65 lakh beds available for the poor in around 10,000 Government and Private Hospitals in the country. The National Health Agency (NHA) which is responsible for implementing the scheme is preparing for the official launch with full force at its Headquarters. In order to identify the Patients at the point of health care, all the beneficiaries identified by the NHA and State authorities are given personalized beneficiary letters with a family card from the PM. Over 14000 'Arogya Mitras' trained by the NHA will be deployed at all the partner hospitals to provide support to the identified beneficiaries. The NHA has started a website - mera.pmjay.gov.in and also set up a helpline number (14555) to help people check whether they are eligible for the scheme or not. The scheme aims to cover approximately 50 crore beneficiaries with over 10.74 crores underprivileged families and also to provide an Annual Health cover of Rs 5 lakh per family. In its first phase, the Scheme will be rolled out in the states of Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, UP, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, MP and Gujarat.

  • Govt cancer hospital serves more than 2L patients in 6 yrs

    The Government Medical College & Cancer Hospital (GMCCHA) in Aurangabad city of Maharashtra completes 6 years today. The Hospital is estimated to have served more than 2.12 lakh patients in 6 years and has turned out to be a boon for affordable Healthcare in Maharashtra. The 165-bed Hospital was inaugurated on 21 September 2012 and received the Status of State Cancer Institute (SCI) on 15th September 2016. Talking about the development of the hospital as SCI, GMCCHA dean Dr. Kananbala Avinash Yelikar said that the Hospital has enough funds available for construction of additional wings and setting up of new Medical equipment. "A second unit of linear accelerator will soon be installed, which will reduce the waiting list to zero," she added. Arvind Gaikwad, an officer on special duty at the hospital said that radiotherapy is provided using a single unit of linear accelerator and 60-source Bhabhatron. The hospital is equipped with brachytherapy unit, CT simulator. Daily 100 to 120 patients are treated through radiation. Considering a large number of patients coming to the hospital, PG course in radiation oncology was started in 2018, under Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), after receiving approval from Medical Council of India. The institute also offers BSc PMT (radiology), a paramedical course. Gaikwad also said that the Hospital also engages in awareness raising activities.

  • 800 TB patients abscond from GTB Hospital since 2013

    An RTI query filed by Chetan Kothari has revealed that an average of 150 TB patients abscond from GTB Hospital in Sewri every year. It is estimated that nearly 800 patients have gone missing from Asia's largest TB facility since 2013, while the hospital claimed that many have been traced to their homes. In 2017, a total of 115 patients disappeared from the 1200-bed hospital without seeking a formal discharge, while the count in 2016 was 163. Around 76 patients have already absconded in the first eight months of 2018 despite the hospital introducing measures to improve the treatment and stay experience. Experts say that this is happening due to painfully long tuberculosis treatment cycles that can stretch up to two years. Dr. Lalit Anande, medical superintendent of GTB Hospital said "For most diseases, the patient's length of hospitalization is predictable. But for TB, it can stretch from weeks, months to years." The longest a patient has stayed in the Sewri Hospital, where abandonment by relatives is common, was 14 years. The number of patients seeking discharge against medical advice from the Hospital also ranges between 500 to 600 every year. The WHO report on TB, released on Tuesday, termed it as the world's deadliest infectious disease, affecting 10 million people in 2017 and resulting in 1.6 million deaths.

  • GMC gets Rs 3 crore for renal transplant unit

    The Government of Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday gave the approval to set up a Kidney Transplantation unit in order to improve State's Healthcare facilities. The Gandhi Medical College in Bhopal run by the State government of Madhya Pradesh will get a Kidney Transplantation facility with 35 new posts for the facility. In a cabinet headed by State CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, an investment of Rs 3.36 crore was approved to facilitate the Kidney transplantation unit in the Gandhi Medical College in an attempt to improve the State's Healthcare facilities. Now with the availability of Kidney Transplantation unit, additional courses of PG and DM/ MCh can also be started in the department of medicine and surgery of the college. The government has also decided to increase the limit of cashless treatment for State's Journalists from 2 lakhs to 4 lakhs INR under the health and accident group insurance scheme. In addition to this, the Accident Insurance assistance amount given to the family of the deceased has also been increased to Rs. 10 Lakhs. By undertaking the afore-mentioned measures, the government aims to improve the Healthcare experience in the State.

  • Maharashtra to unveil India's first oral health policy

    The State of Maharashtra records the highest number of Oral Cancer cases in the country. In order to tackle this, CM Devendra Fadnavis led government has come up with the country's first oral health care policy called 'Swastha Mukh Abhiyan' which will be launched soon. Under this policy, it will be compulsory for all the Private Dental Clinics and Hospitals to screen poor patients for Oral Cancer without any charges as State-run facilities are already doing this. The Government will fund the treatment and the policy aims to screen around 5 crore people. Not only screening, the policy will also focus on creating awareness on oral hygiene and dangers of tobacco use. Swashtha Mukh Abhiyan was finalized for launch after Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel, presented the situation of oral cancer, especially among youngsters, in the state, which witnesses 1 lakh deaths linked to tobacco use every year. Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, a senior oncologist with Tata Memorial Hospital said "Oral cancer is the number 1 cause of death among male patients and number 3 among female patients and majority of the patients are below the age of 35." Most doctors blame tobacco consumption for the high number of oral cancer cases. In December last year, around 3 lakh people across the state were diagnosed with potential symptoms of oral cancer. In India, around 1 lakh new confirmed cases of oral cancer are reported every year, with 50 % of the patients dying within 12 months of Treatment.

  • Kerala floods impacted 50% of state's Medical Tourism

    The Indian State of Kerala had been hit by severe floods in the month of August this year leading to a death toll of 483. The extreme flooding of Kerala and outbreak of Nipah Virus have both affected the Medical tourism industry of India this year. Dr. Sajikumar, MD of Dhathri Ayurveda and also the President of the Kerala chapter of CII said that 50% of State's medical tourism was immediately impacted by the floods. He also stated that there had not been any patient coming to Kerala from abroad even though when 25 to 30 % of their clientele is from abroad, largely from the Middle East. Dr. Sajikumar also said that Activity over the next 3 months is likely to be affected as well. The backbone of Kerala's economy, the tourism industry, was badly hit by the floods. With air traffic affected by the closure of the Cochin International airport, that handles most arrivals into Kerala, the majority of the tourists coming from outside the state canceled their plans. The peak season for Tourism in Kerala begins in October and the industry is keeping its fingers crossed to see if there will be many cancellations or not. In terms of revenue, the sector has taken a hit of 75 to 80% in the month of August.

  • Medical Tourism helps push Bangkok Dusit Medical services to top

    The significant rise in Thailand's Ageing population and increasing demand of Medical Tourism has helped Bangkok Dusit Medical Services (BDMS), a private healthcare group in Thailand, to surpass Malaysia's IHH Healthcare to become the world's largest developing-nation company in the healthcare industry. Founded by Thai billionaire Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth, It is Thailand's largest private Healthcare group. According to The Straits times, The Medical Services Shares of the company have risen by 29% this year and the company now has a market value of estimated US $13 billion. According to KT Zmico Securities Co., its revenue from foreign patients accounted for one-third of the sales after rising 10% in the first half of the year compared to last year. China, Japan, the United Kingdom and Myanmar (formerly Burma) were its top four largest markets. The growth in China was estimated to be around 30% in the same period. The company operates 45 hospitals with combined 8,000 beds under Six brands in Thailand. Much of the company's expansion has come through acquisition of Hospitals, clinics, and 'wellness centers' in tourist places like Phuket and Samui.

  • Vaidam Health gets NABH accreditation

    Within two years of operation Gurugram based start-up Vaidam Health, an online Medical Tourism portal for Medical tourists, has become the country's first and only online platform to get accredited by National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH). NABH is considered to be India's highest accreditation for a healthcare entity. Vaidam Health now has more than 1,200 surgeons and Experts on one single portal from 70 best hospitals across India. The portal was launched in January 2016 with an aim of connecting the Medical tourists with the Best hospitals and Healthcare specialists in India at reasonable rates. The company offers End to End Quality and affordable treatment as well as assistance in Travel and stay. Vaidam is trusted by Foreign patients from more than 60 countries in the world. The Co-founder of Vaidam Health, Mr. Manish Chandra stated "We are extremely delighted to get the NABH accreditation in just two years of starting operations." A majority of Medical tourists prefer to opt for Healthcare Facilitators that are NABH accredited, hence the newly received accreditation is expected to give the company an advantage over other Healthcare Facilitators in the market. The Medical tourism Industry of India is growing at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth rate) of 15% and is expected to reach $8 billion by 2020.

  • National Health Resource Repository

    The Union Ministry of Health has launched the National Health Resource Repository (NHRR), India's first-ever registry for public and private healthcare establishments. The NHRR is the official government list of all public and private healthcare providers. The NHRR has an inbuilt process for updating the data on over 2 million providers.

    NHRR will be the ultimate platform for comprehensive information of both, private and public healthcare establishments including railways, Employees State Insurance Corporation, defence, and petroleum healthcare establishments. It will include hospitals, private doctors, clinics, diagnostic labs, pharmacies, and nursing homes.

  • Cancer care centers in Assam to boost healthcare facilities

    The Healthcare Sector in Assam is on the rise as various steps have been taken to enhance the Healthcare facilities in the State. In yet another step, BJP National President Amit Shah along with Industrialist Ratan Tata laid the foundation of 19 Special Cancer Treatment Centers in Assam to improve the Cancer treatment facilities in the State as well as the whole North Eastern region of India, as the effect of cancer is quite drastic in the region. The North East region of India has the highest incidence of cancer in the country due to various reasons including food habits and other related issues. Amit Shah and Ratan Tata announced this foundation in a special event held in Guwahati, Assam. The Assam government and Tata Trusts have collaborated for a joint venture called Assam Cancer Care Foundation under which 3-tier cancer grids which involve cancer identification, operation and post cooperative care will be set up to boost the Cancer Treatment facilities in North East. The Health and Finance Minister of Assam, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sharma, said that in order to implement this programme an amount of Rs 2000 crore will be needed, out of which Rs 900 crore will be given by the Tata trusts and the Government of Assam will provide a sum of Rs 1030 crore. Amit Shah, BJP National president said that "Such a step had not been taken before and is a historic moment for Assam".