A cardinal omission in the COVID-19 package

Source: The Hindu Relevance: India needs to focus on Healthcare human resources for improving healthcare. Synopsis:  The Government’s COVID-19 health package II again overlooks the need for and availability of healthcare human resources. Why healthcare human resources are essential? In the mid-1980s, there were a number of government healthcare facilities across the country, with newly constructed… Continue reading A cardinal omission in the COVID-19 package

Health above faith

Source: The Hindu What is the news? Recently, the Supreme Court canceled the annual Kanwar Yatra and held that the health of the public and their right to life are paramount. What is Kanwar Yatra? It is a pilgrimage organised in the Hindu calendar month of Shravana (Saavan). In which Kanwarias, devotees of Shiva, make a… Continue reading Health above faith

Why India is missing its vaccine targets

Source: The Indian Express Relevance: India’s problem of vaccine shortage needs large scale capacity building and government commitments. Synopsis: The production capacity of vaccines has not risen as claimed by the Centre. Several other issues are leading to vaccine shortage in India. About Vaccine Shortage: India’s problem of vaccine shortage is not yet resolved. Currently, India… Continue reading Why India is missing its vaccine targets

India needs a renewed health-care system

Source: The Hindu Relevance: Public health must be reformed to meet the post-pandemic medical needs. Synopsis:  India needs to focus on the core lessons from the pandemic and rebuild trust in public health. The pandemic and the vulnerability of the public health system: For any population, the availability of functional public health systems is literally a… Continue reading India needs a renewed health-care system

What the post-Covid doctor must know

Source: The Indian Express Relevance: To cater to the demands of future medical needs, India has to reform medical education. Synopsis: The lessons learnt during the Covid-19 should catalyse changes in medical education, enhance the profession’s orientation towards scientific sensibility and compassion. About the Western model of medical education: Major reforms in Western medical education began after… Continue reading What the post-Covid doctor must know

Women suffer more health-related misery than men

Source: TOI What is the news? Recent findings of World Health Statistics report of 2021, indicating gender inequality in terms of quality of life of women as compared to men. Key findings Gender inequality mars the quality of life as women age, in much of the world. Hostile social norms undo women’s bodily advantage –… Continue reading Women suffer more health-related misery than men

Let’s keep pace with the world on covid research

Source: Livemint Relevance: Covid-19 research is essential for controlling the pandemic. Introduction: India has been behind the curve on tracing virus variants by their genomes. However, a new brain-study initiative points to the potential of forging ahead with work on Covid’s pathology. About India’s Covid-19 research capability: So far, India has mostly been behind the curve… Continue reading Let’s keep pace with the world on covid research

How a PPP can overhaul India’s health infrastructure

Source: Times of India Relevance: Public and private sectors can work together to modernise the Indian healthcare system. Synopsis: The coronavirus pandemic has exposed many weaknesses in India’s healthcare system. But it has also presented an opportunity to change the healthcare landscape. Present needs for the Indian healthcare system: India can get ICU beds, ventilators… Continue reading How a PPP can overhaul India’s health infrastructure

Govt labels Delta-plus ‘variant of concern’, urges caution

Synopsis: The Government of India has categorised the Delta Plus variant as a ‘variant of concern’.   What is Delta+ variant?  The Delta variant formerly known as B.1.617.2 is believed to be the most transmissible variant of Covid -19 yet. It has been initially detected in India.   The Delta plus variant (B.1.617.2.1 or AY.1) has been formed due to a mutation in the Delta variant.  A mutation means… Continue reading Govt labels Delta-plus ‘variant of concern’, urges caution

Measles vaccine effective against COVID

News: Measles-containing vaccines (MCVs) might offer children some protection against Covid-19 infection, shows early evidence from a study by researchers from BJ Medical College in Pune.  The study analyzed 548 participants (aged 1 to 17) who were split into two groups – those who have tested positive for Covid (via RT-PCR) and those who haven’t.  Findings of the study … Continue reading Measles vaccine effective against COVID

World not on track to meet 2020 milestone for malaria control: WHO

According to the report by WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group on Malaria Eradication (SAGme), the world is not on track to meet the target of eliminating malaria. The report also noted that currently, less than one per cent of the global funds for health R&D investment are allocated to develop tools to fight malaria The world… Continue reading World not on track to meet 2020 milestone for malaria control: WHO

Where India stands in battle against measles, How Sri Lanka eliminated it

WHO has declared Sri Lanka measles free. Sri Lanka is the fifth country in WHO’s Southeast Asia region to eliminate measles. The other four countries are Bhutan, Maldives, DPR Korea and Timor-Leste. Sri Lanka’s success follows its persistent efforts to ensure maximum coverage with two doses of measles and rubella vaccines being provided in the… Continue reading Where India stands in battle against measles, How Sri Lanka eliminated it

82% shortfall in specialists puts healthcare on sick bed

According to data from the Health Ministry, the gap between required and available specialists in health centres, is in the range of 80-99%. Further, there is a wide regional disparity in gap in demand and supply of nurses and pharmacists. For example: UTs and smaller states have a surplus. However, states like Bihar, Himachal Pradesh,… Continue reading 82% shortfall in specialists puts healthcare on sick bed

Five countries had zero malaria cases in 2018: WHO

According to WHO’s E-2020 initiative: 2019 progress report, 5 countries viz. China, Iran, Malaysia Timor-Leste and El Salvador reported no indigenous cases of malaria in 2018. China and El Salvador reported zero cases for the second consecutive year; Iran, Malaysia and Timor-Leste had zero cases of malaria for the first time in 2018. In 2015,… Continue reading Five countries had zero malaria cases in 2018: WHO

PM Modi reaches India after attending SCO meet

Indian PM has concluded his two-day visit to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) summit in Bishkek,Kyrgyzstan. During his visit,Indian PM has held successful bilaterals with China, Russia, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan apart from addressing the SCO summit. He coined the acronym HEALTH during his address at the Summit, which is a template for strengthening cooperation amongst… Continue reading PM Modi reaches India after attending SCO meet

Nipah case: 7 in isolation and 314 quarantined in Kerala

The numbers of suspected Nipah virus infection cases in Kerala has risen to 7. Samples from the patients have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) labs at Alappuzha and Pune. The National Institute of Virology is an Indian virology research institute. It was previously known as ‘Virus Research Center’ and was founded… Continue reading Nipah case: 7 in isolation and 314 quarantined in Kerala

Imperative to test all pregnant women for gestational diabetes

A recent paper published in the Journal of the Association of Physicians of India has highlighted the need to screen every pregnant woman for gestational diabetes even if no symptoms are exhibited. Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is defined as Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) with onset or first recognition during pregnancy. Undiagnosed or inadequately treated GDM… Continue reading Imperative to test all pregnant women for gestational diabetes

Most healthy Indians resistant to common antibiotics: Study

A study published by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has found antibiotic resistant organisms in the digestive tracts of 2 out of every 3 healthy persons that it tested. The study was based on analysis of stool samples of 207 individuals who had not taken any antibiotic for at least a month and… Continue reading Most healthy Indians resistant to common antibiotics: Study

Nipah is confirmed, precautions in place

The Nipah virus has resurfaced in Kerala with the confirmation of the infection in a 23-year-old college student. Earlier, in 2018, there was a Nipah outbreak in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of Kerala. Nipah Virus is a zoonotic virus i.e. transmitted from animals to humans. It is a member of the genus Henipavirus in the… Continue reading Nipah is confirmed, precautions in place

Kerala man being examined for Nipah, no confirmation yet

The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is investigating a sample from a man in Kerala who is suspected to be carrying the Nipah virus. Previously, in 2018, there was a Nipah outbreak in Kerala which claimed 17 lives in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of the state. Nipah Virus is a zoonotic virus i.e. transmitted… Continue reading Kerala man being examined for Nipah, no confirmation yet

E-cigarettes pose public health risk, says ICMR

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in its white paper on Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS), published on the eve of World No Tobacco Day, has said that ENDS adversely affects almost all the human body systems. It has recommended a complete ban on e-cigarettes and other ENDS. The ICMR has noted that e-cigarettes… Continue reading E-cigarettes pose public health risk, says ICMR

As hypertension prevalence rises, 50% of Indians are unaware of diagnosis

According to a new study by PLOS Medicine, though prevalence of hypertension is rising fast among Indians, awareness, diagnosis and treatment of the condition is significantly low. The study was conducted by researchers from Germany’s Heidelberg University, Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health and Public Health Foundation of India. It was based on… Continue reading As hypertension prevalence rises, 50% of Indians are unaware of diagnosis

Worrying rise in number of non-smokers getting lung cancer

A recent study published in the ‘Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine’ has noted that lung cancers is being increasingly diagnosed in non-smokers. According to the study, around 6000 people, who never smoked, died of lung cancer in UK. The study has highlighted the major contributors to lung cancer among non-smokers. These include: a)… Continue reading Worrying rise in number of non-smokers getting lung cancer

Key malaria vaccine set for field trial

A large-scale trial of the world’s most advanced experimental malaria vaccine, Mosquirix, to give partial protection to children has begun in Malawi, Africa. In the upcoming week, the vaccine would be rolled out in Kenya and Ghana. Mosquirix has been developed by British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline in partnership with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative. It… Continue reading Key malaria vaccine set for field trial

Global measles cases up 300% year-on-year: WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that measles cases worldwide rose by 300% during the first three months of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018. Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that is spread by contact with an infected person through coughing and sneezing. It can be entirely prevented with a… Continue reading Global measles cases up 300% year-on-year: WHO

Rise in obesity, vision-related issues in Indian schoolchildren, says study

A report titled “Enhancing the Effectiveness and Impact of Schools: Insights from School Health Screening Program” has noted that obesity, vision and dental issues are the major health problems faced by school-going children across India. The report has been published by Jarma Wellness, an organisation working in the area of healthcare consultation. Jarma Wellness, an… Continue reading Rise in obesity, vision-related issues in Indian schoolchildren, says study

Time to push for a sustainable food system, say scientists

At a recent event organised in New Delhi, EAT- Lancet Commission has launched Eat-Lancet Report-India. The event was organised by FSSAI with the support of Tasting India and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). The Eat-Lancet Report was first launched in Oslo, Norway in January, 2019. Since then the report has been released in over… Continue reading Time to push for a sustainable food system, say scientists

‘Early brain function affected in poor kids’

A new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) has revealed that poverty significantly impacts brain development in children. The researchers had studied the brain function of children aged between four months and four years in rural Uttar Pradesh, India and compared them with children from families in Midwest America. The researchers examined the… Continue reading ‘Early brain function affected in poor kids’

U.S. modifies Zika advisory

The US government’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has modified its advisory against travelling to India. In 2018, CDC had issued the advisory after zika cases were reported in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The travel advisory stated that India has an ongoing outbreak of the disease in Rajasthan and its surrounding states. It… Continue reading U.S. modifies Zika advisory

Sharp rise in H1N1 cases

Recently, there has been a sharp rise in cases and deaths from H1N1 influenza. The data on H1N1 cases has been collected by Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, National Centre of Disease Control, Delhi. Influenza is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus belonging to the family Orthomyxoviridae. Influenza viruses are divided into three broad… Continue reading Sharp rise in H1N1 cases

Preparedness for West Nile fever reviewed

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and officials from National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has reviewed the Kerala’s preparedness and actions taken to deal with West Nile Fever (WNF). The review comes in the backdrop of the recent death of a boy who was undergoing treatment for West Nile fever in Malappuram district,… Continue reading Preparedness for West Nile fever reviewed

India on the brink of dry eye disease epidemic, says study

According to a study published in the journal “The Ocular Surface”, nearly 40% of India’s urban population is likely to get dry eye disease by 2030. Dry eye disease, also known as dry eye syndrome, is a medical condition in which quantity and quality of tears fail to keep the surface of the eye adequately… Continue reading India on the brink of dry eye disease epidemic, says study

Alert in Malappuram after boy dies of West Nile fever

The Health Department has issued an alert in Malappuram district, Kerala, after a boy undergoing treatment for West Nile fever died. The West Nile fever is a zoonotic disease. It is caused by the West Nile Virus. Birds are the natural hosts of West Nile virus (WNV). According to world Health Organization (WHO) West Nile… Continue reading Alert in Malappuram after boy dies of West Nile fever

Mosquito-killing drug offers new tool for fighting malaria

In a randomized trial in Burkina Faso, the antimalarial effects of ivermectin has shown that it has the potential to reduce malaria episodes. Burkina Faso is a country in western Africa. Ivermectin reduces new cases of malaria by making a person’s blood lethal to the mosquitoes who bite them, killing mosquitoes. It therefore reduces the… Continue reading Mosquito-killing drug offers new tool for fighting malaria

Malappuram boy diagnosed with West Nile fever

A boy from Malappuram district, Kerala has been diagnosed with West Nile fever. The West Nile fever is a zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases are those that are naturally transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans. West Nile fever is caused by the West Nile Virus. Birds are the natural hosts of West Nile virus (WNV). According… Continue reading Malappuram boy diagnosed with West Nile fever

WHO strategy to fight flu pandemics

The World Health Organization has released a Global Influenza Strategy for 2019-2030. It aims at protecting people across the world from influenza. Influenza or flu is a contagious disease caused by influenza viruses. According to WHO, influenza is one of the world’s greatest public health challenges. The objectives of the strategy are a) prevent seasonal… Continue reading WHO strategy to fight flu pandemics

PM seeks to know more about IIT project on dyslexia children

Prime Minister Modi’s remarks on dyslexia at a recent event in IIT Roorkie has created a controversy. Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. It causes problems with reading, writing and spelling. It can also create difficulty with other skills such as comprehension, math, language, etc. However, intelligence is not affected by dyslexia. Specific Learning Disabilities… Continue reading PM seeks to know more about IIT project on dyslexia children

Study food borne diseases cost India $15 billion a year

According to a WHO report titled “The Safe Food Imperative: Accelerating Progress in Low- and Middle-Income Countries”, food borne diseases (FBDs) costs India $15 billion annually. Foodborne diseases encompass a wide spectrum of illnesses and are a growing public health problem worldwide. They are the result of ingestion of foodstuffs contaminated with microorganisms or chemicals. … Continue reading Study food borne diseases cost India $15 billion a year

Spain named world’s healthiest country

The 2019 edition of the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index has ranked Spain as the world’s healthiest country, followed by Italy, Iceland and Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Singapore and Norway. These are also the countries with universal healthcare where over 70% of healthcare spending is done by the government.  Cuba (30) is the only country not classified… Continue reading Spain named world’s healthiest country

WHO prescribes ‘aerobics 150’ to stay fit

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has prescribed 150 minutes of weekly physical activity. The WHO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health The WHO has stated that physical inactivity is identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. Physical Inactivity has major implications for the… Continue reading WHO prescribes ‘aerobics 150’ to stay fit

Kerala takes the lead in tackling trans-fat hazard

In a first, Kerala has formulated a draft action plan against trans-fat. Trans-fat are made by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. It is used to increase the shelf life of foods. The WHO estimates that consumption of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVOs) high in trans-fat leads to more than… Continue reading Kerala takes the lead in tackling trans-fat hazard

TB survivors challenge patent to end J&J monopoly

Two tuberculosis survivors from Indian and South Africa have challenged Johnson and Johnson’s application to extend the patent over Bedaquiline, in order to keep it affordable for everyone. Bedaquiline is a drug used to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). MDR-TB is a condition where the TB bacteria has developed resistance to most antibiotic drugs. The J&J… Continue reading TB survivors challenge patent to end J&J monopoly

Medical devices to be treated as drugs

The Health Ministry has announced certain medical devices such as all implantable devices, CT / PET / MRI equipments, dialysis machines, will be now treated as a “drugs” as defined in Drugs and Cosmetics Act with effect from 1st April 2020. Drug & Cosmetics Act, 1940 regulates the import, manufacture and distribution of drugs in… Continue reading Medical devices to be treated as drugs

NGOs call for funds to eliminate tuberculosis

NGOs working towards eliminating tuberculosis have appealed to the Indian government to ensure adequate funding and effective implementation of the National Strategic Plan to End TB. This was done at the a preparatory meeting before the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (or Global Fund/ GFATM), is an… Continue reading NGOs call for funds to eliminate tuberculosis

67% cancer patients in SE Asia die before 70: WHO

According to WHO Southeast Asia, 67% of cancer patients in the South-East Asia die before the age of 70 years. In 2018, 18.1 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed globally while 9.6 million people succumbed to the disease- 70% of which occurred in low and middle income countries. Availability of cancer treatment services is… Continue reading 67% cancer patients in SE Asia die before 70: WHO

Global fight on malaria stalled: WHO

Global fight on malaria stalled: WHO News: As per the WHO World Malaria Report 2018, India is the only high-burden country moving in a positive direction, with Odisha emerging as the best performing state in its fight against Malaria. Important Facts: Findings of the report: The report reveals a plateauing trend in the number of… Continue reading Global fight on malaria stalled: WHO

A research hub for antibiotics resistance

A research hub for antibiotics resistance News: Denmark has announced to create an international research centre focused on the fight against resistance to antibiotics. Important Facts: Denmark signed a memorandum of understanding in Seattle, US, with the international network of research centres CGIAR, to establish the centre. The International Centre for Interdisciplinary Solutions on AMR… Continue reading A research hub for antibiotics resistance