Health Alerts

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10 Dec, 2012
Measles vaccination Again! 
Doctors in the city(Noida) have alleged that the district health department is pulling the lives of children at stake in order to avoid being reprimanded for their mistakes from the state government. The health department has made it compulsory for all children below the age of 10 to receive measles vaccination in schools irrespective of whether they have received it previously or not. Free vaccines will now also be provided in private hospitals from December 10.
Private hospital doctors have called the move unnecessary and risky and pointed out that all vaccines have side-effects. This move, which targets 3.24 lakh children in the district, comes within a week of the health department receiving criticism for under-spending the resources allocated to them under the NRHM scheme.
The district health department started the drive on December 3, two days after an assessment meeting of the NRHM scheme of five division of western Uttar Pradesh, wherein free and compulsory immunization was given to schoolchildren. At the meeting, the principal secretary (health) criticized the districts, including Noida, for underutilization of resources allocated to them.
"All children below the age of 10, irrespective of whether they have received the vaccination or not before will have to take the vaccine. This increases their immunity to measles by 95%", said Nepal Singh, immunization officer.
Doctors in private hospitals said that not only are these vaccines not required for children who had undergone the first two rounds of immunization, they also had risks. "No vaccine is without its side effects. Most common side effects of the measles vaccine are fever or rashes. Severe reactions are possible but rare. But a third round of vaccination is not required," said Dr Shalini Tyagi, senior consultant, paediatrics, Fortis Noida.
Even though health department officials deny the charges, sources in the health department claim that the move is simply to finish the resources allocated under the NRHM scheme within the financial year. Meanwhile, a number of doctors whose children study in private schools have refused the 'compulsory' third round of immunization. "My child studies in a school in Noida and I have refused to let her take the booster shot," said Dr Kabir Sardana, a resident of Sector 28, Noida.
source:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/noida/Forced-measles-vaccines-putting-children-at-risk/articleshow/17550535.cms

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04 Dec, 2012
High Fructose Related to Diabetes 
A new study suggests countries that use large amounts of high fructose corn syrup(HFCS) in their food may be helping to fuel the global epidemic of type 2 diabetes. Researchers from the University of Oxford and the University of Southern California (USC) found a 20% higher proportion of the population have diabetes in countries with high use of the food sweetener compared to countries that do not use it.
Ordinary table sugar is made of sucrose, which comes from sugar cane or sugar beets. Sucrose contains equal amounts of fructose and glucose, but HFCS has more fructose. This makes HFCS much sweeter, which helps stabilize processed foods. Food companies also use HFCS to improve the appearance of certain processed foods such as baked goods because it produces a more consistent browning.
This research suggests that high fructose corn syrup can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, which is one of the most common causes of death in the world today source:http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/253484.php

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04 Dec, 2012
Omega3 now added to milk!
It is now possible to incorporate fish oil into milk and other dairy-based beverages in concentrations high enough to promote heart health, and without effecting the product's taste or lifespan, suggests a new study published in the Journal of Dairy Science.
Researchers at Virginia Tech conducted a study with 25 participants who analyzed one-ounce cups of standard two percent milk that was made up of 78 parts butter oil to 22 parts fish oil under institutionally approved study conditions. The researchers tested four different ratios of butter oil to fish oil in the creation of pasteurized, fatty acid-fortified drinks. The formula had no smell and sent to its drinker 432 milligrams of heart-healthy fatty acids per cup, almost the 500 milligram daily target for healthy people, according to many well known guidelines.
The milk passed the sniff test. Previous studies have established that omega-3 fatty acids are are advantageous in the following: preventing coronary disease, reducing inflammation, assisting infant brain development, maintaining brain function,. Research that has shown omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of potentially life-threatening heart arrhythmias, decrease triglyceride levels, slow development of atherosclerotic plaque, and moderately lower blood pressure.
source:http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/253463.php

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05 Nov, 2012
Growing drug resistance to malaria 
Growing resistance to a key anti-malarial drug derived from a shrub used in traditional Chinese medicine is threatening to roll back gains made in combating the disease, said malaria experts at a health conference in Sydney, Australia last week.
Delegates at the Malaria 2012: Saving Lives in the Asia-Pacific conference emphasized the importance of strong political leadership and regional coordination after discussing resistance to anti-malarial drugs in the region’s fight against the disease.
“Anti-malarial drug resistance is one of the greatest challenges to continued success in controlling and eliminating malaria in the Asia-Pacific,” the Director of the Global Malaria Program of the UN World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Robert Newman, told the gathering.
The Asia-Pacific region, which includes 20 malaria-endemic countries, accounted for about 30 million of these cases, and 42,000 of the deaths. India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea bear the largest burden of the disease.
The declining efficiency of therapies based on artemisinin – an extract from the sweet wormwood bush and currently the frontline treatment recommended by the WHO for the most deadly species of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum – raises concern that resistance might spread to India and then Africa, making elimination of the disease impossible.
source:http://www.asianscientist.com/health-medicine/anti-malarial-drug-resistance-asia-pacific-2012/

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Parents with social anxiety disorder are more likely than parents with other forms of anxiety to engage in behaviors that put their children at high risk for developing angst of their own, according to a small study of parent-child pairs conducted at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. Authors of the federally funded study say past research has linked parental anxiety to anxiety in children, but it remained unclear whether people with certain anxiety disorders engaged more often in anxiety-provoking behaviors. Based on the new study findings, they do. A report on the team’s findings appears online ahead of print in the journal Child Psychiatry and Human Development. Specifically, the Johns Hopkins researchers identified a subset of behaviors in parents with social anxiety disorder — the most prevalent type of anxiety — and in doing so clarified some of the confusion that has shrouded the trickle-down anxiety often seen in parent-child pairs.source:http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/Study-Examines-Parental-Behaviors-that-Create-Anxious-Children.aspx

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26 Sep, 2012
Another gene variant to male breast cancer 
Researchers report that they've identified another genetic variation that appears connected to male breast cancer, a rare condition that kills several hundred men in the United States each year.
Male breast cancer is about 100 times less common than female breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. It estimates that this year breast cancer will be diagnosed in about 2,190 men in the United States and will kill about 410 men.
The prognosis for men with breast cancer is similar to that for women with breast cancer, although less is known about the disease in men. A study released last year also found that men are diagnosed on average at an older age (70) than women (62). In the new study, researchers examined the DNA of 823 men with breast cancer and 2,795 similar men without the disease. They then attempted to validate their results by looking at the genes of 438 men with the disease and 474 similar men without it.
Orr said his team found that a variation in a gene known as RAD51B was found in 20 percent of the men with breast cancer, but only 15 percent of those without it. The variation has also been linked to female breast cancer.
The findings add to previous research that has linked mutations in a gene known as BRCA2 to a higher rate of breast cancer in men. Mutations in the gene greatly boost the risk of breast cancer in women.
source:http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-09-links-gene-variant-male-breast.html

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15 Sep, 2012
Adverse effects of medicine in Australia 
The top ten drugs used by Australians were linked to 2925 adverse events and 67 deaths in the last five years, an exclusive analysis of the adverse events data base of the national drug watchdog has found.
Since 2007, the most commonly used drugs have been linked to 950 cases of musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders, 633 nervous system disorders, 331 cases of respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders and 286 cases of psychiatric disorders.
The cholesterol lowering medicine Atorvastatin produced the highest number of adverse events between 2007 and 2011, and was linked to 815 reports of side effects including 13 deaths.
Paracetamol, found in common over-the-counter products such and Panadol, was being taken in more than one third of deaths linked the ten most commonly used drugs.
Twenty-four deaths were reported as being linked to Paracetamol between 2007 and 2011 but the TGA says this does not mean the drug directly caused these deaths.
"An adverse event report does not mean that the medicine is the cause of the adverse event and should not influence a person's decision to stop taking a medicine,'' the TGA says.
source:http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/bad-medicine-takes-toll-on-australians/story-fndo48ca-1226474568593

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08 Sep, 2012
Mammograms aimed at finding breast cancer might actually raise the chances of developing it in young women whose genes put them at higher risk for the disease, a study by leading European cancer agencies suggests.
The added radiation from mammograms and other types of tests with chest radiation might be especially harmful to them and an MRI is probably a safer method of screening women under 30 who are at high risk because of gene mutations, the authors conclude.
Mammograms are most often used in women over 40, unless they are at high risk, like carrying a mutation of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. Having such a mutation increases the risk of developing cancer five-fold. About one in 400 women has the gene
abnormalities, which are more common in Eastern European Jewish populations. Unlike mammograms, an MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging scan, does not involve radiation. In several European countries including Britain, the Netherlands and Spain, doctors already advise women with BRCA mutations to get MRIs instead of mammograms before age 30. In the U.S., there is no specific advice from a leading task force of government advisers, but the American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms and MRIs from age 30 for women with BRCA gene mutations.
source:http://www.myfoxal.com/story/19478328/radiation-may-up-breast-cancer-risk-in-some-women

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04 Sep, 2012
Digested coconut oil a natural antibiotic for tooth decay
Digested coconut oil is a natural antibiotic that may help to fight tooth decay, say scientists from the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland.
The scientists presented their data at the Society for General Microbiology’s Autumn Conference taking place this week at the University of Warwick.
Streptococcus bacteria are common inhabitants of the mouth, and so the team tested the antibacterial action of coconut oil against strains of this bacteria.
Two versions of coconut oil were used in the study: coconut oil in its natural state and coconut oil that had been treated with enzymes, in a process similar to digestion.
Previous studies have shown that partially digested foodstuffs are active against micro-organisms, and the researchers’ earlier work on enzyme-modified milk showed that it was able to reduce the binding of S. mutans to tooth enamel, which prompted the group to investigate the effect of other enzyme-modified foods on bacteria.
As hypothesized, only the enzyme-modified coconut oil strongly inhibited the growth of most strains of Streptococcus bacteria including Streptococcus mutans – an acid-producing bacterium that is a major cause of tooth decay.
Enzyme-modified coconut oil could be incorporated into commercial dental care products as a natural antimicrobial, said Dr. Damien Brady who is leading the research.
source:http://www.asianscientist.com/health-medicine/enzyme-digested-coconut-oil-fight-tooth-decay-2012/

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04 Sep, 2012
Frozen IVF embryos better than fresh embryos 
Women who become pregnant with previously frozen IVF embryos tend to have healthier babies and fewer complications than those who have fresh embryos implanted, research suggests.
Fertility doctors found that mothers had a lower risk of bleeding in pregnancy with embryos that had been frozen and thawed, and went on to have fewer pre-term and low-birthweight babies.
Fertility clinics in Britain usually transfer fresh embryos into women several days after they have been given hormone injections that stimulate their ovaries to release eggs. These are extracted and fertilised before being implanted. Any embryos that are not used can be frozen for use months or years later. The new results raise questions about the way fertility treatment is offered in the UK. If mothers and babies fare better with previously frozen IVF embryos, it may make sense to freeze more or most embryos.
The findings appear in a review of 11 published studies that covered more than 37,000 pregnancies in women who had either fresh or previously frozen IVF embryos implanted in their wombs. The doctors who led the work suspect that IVF embryos that were frozen make for healthier babies because they are implanted long after the woman’s ovaries are stimulated with drugs, so hormone levels in the womb have had time to return to normal. Another theory is that only high-quality embryos survive the freeze-and-thaw process, though survival rates for frozen embryos are now more than 90% in some clinics.
source:http://www.thehindu.com/health/medicine-and-research/article3857871.ece

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30 Aug, 2012
Chocolate can prevent stroke in men 
Eating a moderate amount of chocolate each week may be associated with a lower risk of stroke in men, according to a new study published in the August 29, 2012, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. "While other studies have looked at how chocolate may help cardiovascular health, this is the first of its kind study to find that chocolate, may be beneficial for reducing stroke in men," said study author Susanna C. Larsson, PhD, with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden
en in the study who ate the largest amount of chocolate, about one-third of a cup of chocolate chips (63 grams) per week, had a lower risk of stroke compared to those who did not consume any chocolate. Those eating the highest amount of chocolate had a 17-percent lower risk of stroke, or 12 fewer strokes per 100,000 person-years compared to those who ate no chocolate. Person-years is the total number of years that each participant was under observation.
The beneficial effect of chocolate consumption on stroke may be related to the flavonoids in chocolate. Flavonoids appear to be protective against cardiovascular disease through antioxidant, anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory properties
source:http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120829171933.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fhealth_medicine%2Fstroke+(ScienceDaily%3A+Health+%26+Medicine+News+--+Stroke+Prevention)

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30 Aug, 2012
If the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has its way,then Ayurveda,Unani and Homeopathy practitioners will have to start prefixing vaidya,hakim and homeopath before their names instead of simply calling themselves doctor.
IMA members say this has to be done as just the term Dr misleads the public,as most assume it means an allopathic practitioner.There should be some clarity about medical professionals as there are so many streams of medicine.Also the number of doctors has increased and so has quackery, said Dr Jayesh Lele,secretary,IMA.
We have written to the Indian Medical Council (Ayurveda),National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA),Homeopathic Council of India and other smaller councils as well,regarding this, said Lele.
In the past few years,disputes between allopathic practitioners and those practicing alternative fields of medicines like ayurveda,homeopathy etc have grown stronger.Doctors have time and again said that ayurveda or unani practitioners prescribing allopathic drugs is nothing but quackery.A majority of ayurvedic doctors today prescribe allopathic medicines.People take them unsuspectingly as most of them are not even aware about the doctors qualification, said Lele.For people,a doctor is just a doctor.There is a very small population that is aware about the streams of medicines and one should cross check the qualifications of a medical professional before going to him, he added.
IMA feels that if ayurveda,unani and homeopathy practitioners start using the appropriate abbreviations,it will only benefit the public.As per the rules,anyone who practices ayurveda is a vaidya,a unani practitioner is a hakim and a homeopathy practitioner is a homeopath.So why not just follow the rules and simplify it for the masses said Lele.
The president of the Central Council of Homeopathy,Dr Ramjee Singh said that members will discuss the issue in their upcoming meeting on August 28.They can demand anything.It is not necessary that we give in to their demands, said Singh. Dr K Kohli,director of Ayurveda,Government of Maharashtra,remained unavailable for comments.
A member of Central Council of India Medicine which governs Unani as well as Ayurveda practitioners,Dr Mushtaque Mukadam,said,The abbreviation Dr is a translation of vaidya or hakim.Why complicate the terms for people
source:http://mobilepaper.timesofindia.com/mobile.aspx?article=yes&pageid=10&sectid=edid=&edlabel=BGMIR&mydateHid=22-08-2012&pubname=Mirror+-+Bangalore&edname=&articleid=Ar01001&publabel=MM

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16 Aug, 2012
IMA against AYUSH Doctors 
The Indian Medical Association will not allow ayurveda and AYUSH doctors to practice allopathy, said Indian Medical Association (IMA) president Dr H L Krishne Gowda.

He claimed ayurveda practitioners had sought permission to prescribe allopathic medicines during emergency cases.
The members of IMA stressed that Section 15 of 1956 Act (Indian Medical Council Act) and section 17 of 1970 Act, says, “A professional maybe held liable for negligence on the ground that he did not possess the requisite skill which he professes to have. Thus, a doctor who has qualification in ayurveda, unani or homeopathy will be liable if he prescribes allopathic treatment.” The SC defined a quack as, “A quack is a person who doesn’t have knowledge of a particular system of medicine, but practices that system.” The IMA said the government should not allow any such cross practice. source:http://newindianexpress.com/cities/bangalore/article589715.ece


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15 Aug, 2012
NRHM to NHM expansion 
Government today announced expanding the reach of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to all villages and towns and said it was formulating a new scheme for distribution of free medicines through public hospitals and health centres.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today announced that the NRHM will be converted into a National Health Mission to expand the scope of health services in the towns also. "After the success of the NRHM, we now want to expand the scope of health services in our towns also. The National Rural Health Mission will be converted into a National Health Mission which would cover all villages and towns in the country," Singh said in his Independence Day address.
Singh also said, "We are formulating a scheme for distribution of free medicines through government hospitals and health centres." The NRHM, a flagship scheme of the Congress-led UPA government, was launched in 2005 to provide better health services to people living in remote and rural areas of India.
"Today this Mission is being implemented with the help of 10 lakh health personnel, including 8.5 lakh Asha workers," Singh said. The Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) are local women trained to act as health educators and facilitators in the community.
The extension of NRHM in urban areas was recently opposed by the Health Ministry in the Planning Commission's draft health chapter for 12th Plan, saying the health needs of urban and rural people were different and there should be a separate national urban health mission for people living in urban areas.
source:http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_govt-to-expand-reach-of-nrhm-to-all-villages-towns_1728303




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15 Aug, 2012
Free medicines to the pregnant women
Health is a State Subject and State Governments are providing health care including drugs to the patients. In order to strengthen the hands of the State Governments, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is providing additional support under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) for overall health system strengthening including support for provision of free drugs in public health facilities. Under NRHM, a new initiative called Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK) has been launched under which funding is given to the States for providing medicines free of cost to all pregnant women who access the Government health facilities for delivery as well as sick neonates born to them upto 30 days after birth.

 This information was given by the Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.
source:http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=86108

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08 Aug, 2012
FDAapproves Microchips in medicines 
The Food and Drug Administration in the United States has approved a request by Proteus Digital Health to allow for the inclusion of tiny digestible microchips into medicines to assist health care workers in monitoring intake of medicines by patients. Previously, the FDA had allowed such microchips only in placebo products. Proteus, the maker of the chips, plans to market them to drug manufactures who can then imbed them in individual pills that allow for electronic reporting to doctors letting them know if and when patients take their medicines

The microchip, which is described as about the size of a grain of sand, is made of copper, magnesium and silicon, reacts with stomach juices when swallowed along with a pill. Upon reaction, it sends a signal to a patch the patient has applied to their skin where it is relayed to a smartphone. The smartphone then relays the information to the doctor’s office, allowing physicians to track how well a patient adheres to instructions on when and how often they are to take their meds. Proteus insists the aim is not to prod doctors and nurses into becoming nagging nannies, but to provide information that allows doctors to modify the types of medications they prescribe and the schedules to which the patients are asked to follow. Once the microchip has done its job, it dissolves and passes out of the body along with other digested food.
source:http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-08-fda-electronic-chips-medications.html


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08 Aug, 2012
A boost for AYUSH
India has mooted a proposal for universal coverage of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) under the country's flagship National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). The move will be a major push for the country's traditional medicine, which will not only be made available in all public health facilities — primary and community health centers and district hospitals under the 12th five year plan — AYUSH doctors will also be posted in these centres along with their allopathic counterparts.

So far, only 24.6% of the public health facilities have availed central assistance for AYUSH medicines and 8.7% PHCs, 5.8% CHCs and 13.9% district hospitals used the centrally-sponsored scheme for setting up the infrastructure required for co-location of AYUSH facilities.
source:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Boost-for-traditional-medicine/articleshow/15396590.cms



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08 Aug, 2012

Illegal Unani and other alternate-medicine clinics have mushroomed in the Valley, putting the lives of gullible patients at risk, with state health authorities failing to curb the menace. Reports from various areas said the quacks have a free hand in absence of regulations from the health authorities.
The practice is rampant in every district with Srinagar leading the list where quacks are claiming prowess in the profession of naturopathy and alternate medicine taking patients for a ride and putting their lives to huge risk. This newspaper is in possession of prescriptions written by these self-proclaimed professionals which clearly reveal their criminal acts. One of the prescriptions by a clinic near Rambagh here claims they have remedies for every kind of illness. But the clinic indulges in cross-practice prescribing Allopathy medicines. However, in order to play safe, the clinic operators either write the drug name in code words, like Tab U-T, Tab S-P, Inj Q-6 or give separate slips clearly prescribing allopathic medicines. “Most of the people because of their ignorance fail to judge whether the person curing them is a genuine practitioner or a quack,” a senior Unani doctor said. He said some clinics install ‘therapy machines’ and take huge money from the patients. “Some of them have not even qualified their secondary school examination and are Matric fail. But they just know how to operate different machines. They pretend to be specialists in the field and in the process cheat ignorant people,” the doctor said.
source:http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/2012/Aug/8/illegal-alternate-medicine-clinics-unchecked-in-valley-54.asp



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02 Aug, 2012
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy
Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy with ileal interposition sent diabetes into remission in 20 of 43 adults and reduced the need for diabetes medications in the other 23 patients during an average of 20 months of follow-up.

Among the 30 obese (defined as having a body mass index greater than 27 kg/m2) patients in the study, 26 showed remission of diabetes – an 86% success rate that’s similar to results reported for gastric bypass surgery, Dr. Kirtikumar D. Modi said in a press briefing at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.
Laparoscopic diverted sleeve gastrectomy diverts food away from parts of the small intestine, including the duodenum, where the absorption of nutrients begins, and the ileal segment is shifted more proximally. Patients who underwent this procedure had had diabetes for 15 years on average, and they had an average BMI of 29 as well as stimulated C-peptide levels greater than 4 ng/mL.
At 9 months after surgery, diabetes was in remission in 12 (70%) of the 17 patients, and the other 5 patients needed fewer oral hyperglycemic medications than did those in the first series.
All patients in both studies had poorly controlled diabetes. The investigators defined diabetes remission as a hemoglobin A1c level less than 6.5% and no further need for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents.
The reduction in hemoglobin A1c was disproportionately greater than the decline in BMI, suggesting benefits that are "much more than the weight improvement," he said.
More complications were seen in the second series, including three patients with minor intraoperative complications. Another patient developed ileus with ileal perforation 2 weeks after surgery and underwent laparotomy for repair. Three patients experienced nausea and anorexia for 2 weeks. Two patients developed vitamin B12 deficiency at 12 months.
source:http://www.internalmedicinenews.com/news/diabetes-endocrinology-metabolism/single-article/modified-bariatric-surgery-tames-diabetes-in-small-series/793ee9bd8fa374d3737a787d0156a961.html

related article in march 2012: http://homoeoscan.blogspot.com/p/news-update.html#diabetes-surgery


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31 Jul, 2012
The New Nutrition Mission by UPA Government 
The UPA government, which has been critical of its own 'deficiencies' in tacking nutritional challenges, has chalked out a plan to meet the food requirement of over eight crore children in the country.

"The government plans to convert the existing 'ineffective' Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) into a national mission, which would target eight crore children in the age group of 0-6 years, mostly under two years, in 14 lakh anganwadis," a top government official said.
The idea has been mooted by the women and child development ministry on the lines of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyan.
The 'nutrition mission' would come with an enhanced budgetary allocation, increasing the daily nutritional entitlement to Rs.7 per child from the existing Rs.4. India accounts for one-third of the world's undernourished children even though there are at least eight national programmes committed to improving the nutritional standards.
The 'nutrition mission' aims to strengthen the ICDS by linking it with local health departments and create infrastructure as more than half of the country's anganwadis don't even have proper buildings.
source:http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/malnutrition-children-centre-upa-children-welfare-schemes/1/210904.html



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26 Jul, 2012
The candidates completing undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses this year may have to serve in rural areas to get a permanent registration from Karnataka Medical Council (KMC), if Medical Education Minister A S Ramdas has his way.
Replying to a question by Ramanath Rai (Cong) in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, Ramdas said the draft bill seeking to make one-year rural service compulsory for MBBS and postgraduate medical doctors will be tabled in the ongoing Assembly session.
“If the legislation is enacted, 3,000 MBBS and 1,110 post-graduate doctors will have to work in rural areas. This will help overcome shortage of doctors in government hospitals in rural areas,” the minister said. The rural service is made on a precondition to obtain permanent registration as practising doctors from the Karnataka Medical Council.
Besides, in view of acute shortage of doctors to serve in rural areas, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has been planning to extend the duration of MBBS course to six-and-half years from the present five-and-half years with effect from 2013-14. The proposed move is intended to introduce one-year rural posting, which would be linked to the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).source:http://www.deccanherald.com/content/266923/rural-service-docs-linked-kmc.html


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24 Jul, 2012
States wasted NRHM funds.
The status report on the performance of the first phase of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) published by the Centre says that Kerala has not utilized an amount of Rs 408.90 crore out of the Rs 1682.27 crore sanctioned.
The worst phase of the NRHM fund uitlization in the state was during the period between 2006 and 2009 as per the status report. During 2006-07, the state did not utilize Rs 119.36 crore, in 2007-08, Rs.269.18 crore and during 2008-09, Rs.160.86 crore.
The state was sanctioned a fund of Rs 110.08 crore in 2005-06, Rs 151.40 crore in 2006-07, Rs 293.85 crore in 2007-08, Rs 222.88 crore in 2008-09, Rs 237.61 crore in 2009-10, Rs 253.42 crore in 2010-11 and Rs 413 crore in 2011-12.
A total of Rs 1682.27 crore was sanctioned by the government under NRHM to Kerala in seven years. The state has not utilized more funds meant for augmenting the facilities of hospitals, community monitoring and new initiatives to be implemented in the health sector of the state. The state wasted Rs 144.63 crore in 2007-08 which was allotted for this purpose. In 2006-07 it wasted Rs 69.34 crore and in 2008-09 it did not utilize Rs 68.7 crore.
It is not just Kerala that has wasted the funds. Andhra Pradesh made a similar lapse to the tune of Rs 576.94 crore, Punjab, Rs 504.59 crore, Tamil Nadu, Rs 565.95 crore and West Bengal is the worst, with Rs 1480.01 crore unspent amount in seven years. These states come under the non-high focus category of the NRHM. Only states like Gujarat and Karnataka have been successful in utilizing the entire amount sanctioned by the Centre.source:http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-07-24/thiruvananthapuram/32827138_1_nrhm-national-rural-health-mission-status-report



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24 Jul, 2012
Electro-homeopathy Issue In Supreme Court
A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court has stayed the Allahabad high court order describing the electro homeopath's practice as unrecognized system of medicine.
In February this year, the high court had dismissed a plea filed by the Indian Electro Homeopathy Medical Council and another, which had approached the court with plea that principal secretary, medical and health of UP be directed to decide their representation in the light of a government of India order issued on November 25, 2003, and May 5, 2010. HC had held that electro homeopathy is not a recognized system of medicine and cannot be prescribed for curing the diseases or for any purpose.
source:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/allahabad/SC-stays-order-on-electro-homeopathy/articleshow/15115715.cms


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18 Jul, 2012
Drug patenting of lifesaving drugs to affect the supply and cost.
A long running legal battle in India over drug patents could impact access to affordable, lifesaving drugs to millions of people across the globe.
The case is being seen as a high stakes battle between drug companies supporting intellectual property rights and those who favor the production of cheap, generic drugs.
Dr. Suniti Solomon has treated thousands of men and women suffering from HIV at her clinic in the southern city of Chennai since she detected India’s first AIDS infection 25 years ago. Affordable copies of brand name drugs produced by India’s booming generic drug industry have helped her patients enormously. Like the patients in Chennai, these generic drugs are a lifeline for millions of people in Africa and other developing countries.
Many of them are not aware of it, but a case pending before the Indian Supreme Court could have a far reaching impact on their access to these inexpensive drugs.
It involves a legal challenge by Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis to India’s refusal to grant a patent for a medicine used to treat leukemia. It has been winding its way through the Indian courts for almost six years. Final arguments will be heard next month.
ndia denied a patent for Gleevec saying that it is not a new medicine but a salt formulation of a known drug. India does not allow companies to patent modifications of an old medicine unless its efficacy is significantly improved.
Forty countries, including the United States, China and Russia, have granted a patent for Gleevec. But in India, its generic version is being produced at a fraction of the cost.
Health activists fear that a ruling in favor of Novartis may drastically reduce the global supply of inexpensive, generic drugs being used to treat people suffering from deadly diseases. They say if costs rise greatly, voluntary groups across the world will have to significantly scale down programs assisting patients who cannot afford lifesaving medicines.
source:http://www.voanews.com/content/patent-dispute-threatens-access-to-cheap-drugs-in-india/1441825.html



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18 Jul, 2012
Action against doctors over uterus removal 
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday promised 'strict action' if the uterus of any woman out of the reported 16,000 removed under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) was done without reason.
Kumar said he had ordered a probe in the matter and strict action would be taken against those found guilty.
A vernacular daily had recently published a report that the uteri of 16,000 women were removed in 11 districts over the past two and half years to enable them to take health insurance benefit under NRHM.source:http://post.jagran.com/nitish-promises-action-over-uterus-removal-under-nrhm-1341893097



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17 Jul 2012
Health care indicator worst in UP
Uttar Pradesh (UP) emerged as the state having the worst health indicators in the country.

The Annual Health Survey (2010-11) to assess the impact of the government’s flagship health programme, the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), found that nearly 60% of child deliveries in the nine states surveyed were done outside hospitals.
It also found that every fifth mother in these states did not receive post-natal medical care and that fewer than 50% of the families used contraceptives or other family planning methods.
The survey covered 20.1 million people in 284 districts. It collected data related to nine vital indicators—crude birth rate, crude death rate, total fertility rate, infant mortality rate, neo-natal mortality rate, child sex ratio, under-five mortality, contraceptive prevalence rate, and female’s mean age at marriage.
The survey was conducted between 2010 and 2011 for reference years 2007-2009—two years after NRHM was initiated. It identified 57 districts—including 34 in UP—as having the worst health indicators in the country.
The government will now modify the NRHM programme to address the issues highlighted by the survey, mission director Anuradha Gupta said. “We are hopeful since we now know exactly where our strategies need to be re-evaluated,” Gupta said. “This will give a basis for evidence-based policies and we will tweak NRHM according to the survey findings. One must remember that in 2010, NRHM was still being rolled out and hence the outcomes will not be drastically different. We had expected such outcomes and are hopeful that the next survey will give a more comprehensive picture of NRHM’s policies.”
source:http://videos.livemint.com/2012/07/16225811/NRHM-fails-to-improve-healthca.html?h=B



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17 Jul 2012
Free services and treatment to pregnant women 
A central government programme to provide free services and treatment to pregnant women and newborns will be launched in the state soon.
Besides rolling out the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK), the state government has also decided to set up four more hospitals dedicated to women and children at a cost of Rs 96 crore at Ponnanni in Malappuram district, Vaikkom in Kottayam and in Wayanad's Sulthan Batheri, besides one in Thrissur district hospital.
The JSSK would ensure quality post-natal care for women, since most deaths were reported during the postpartum period. It would also provide free treatment to newborns (up to 30 days) in government-run health institutions.
Though most states have already launched the scheme, Kerala started late due to a JSSK provision which mandated the state to provide free transportation facility to pregnant women to and from the hospital.
"Each mother will be given free food, medicine and blood, if required. If case of caesarean, the hospital will bear even the incidental costs. Though all government hospitals do caesarean sessions free of cost, the patient will have to bear many out-of-pocket expenses. The NRHM will bear all such expenses under the JSSK," said NRHM's Kerala director, Dr M Beena.
source:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/Govt-to-offer-free-treatment-for-pregnant-women-soon/articleshow/15010341.cms


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16 Jul 2012
Findings suggest that internet use has a positive effect on depression
It is known that rates of depression increase with age. Research from the University of Illinois found the incidence of depression was at its lowest around the age of 45, and highest among the over-80s Loneliness, social isolation and lack of emotional support are among the reasons for the trend.

In the new study – the biggest so far on the health effects of internet use among older people – participants were asked whether they regularly used the internet and were then assessed for mental illness.
‘Our findings suggest that internet use has a positive effect on depression,’ says Dr Shelia Cotten, who led the research at the University of Alabama and other centres. ncreasing numbers of older people are going online, with the latest statistics from the Pew Research Centre, a US think-tank, showing that a third of over-65s use social-networking sites, compared with six per cent three years ago.
Six per cent of internet users aged over 65 use Twitter. The think-tank found the internet helps older adults, many of whom have impaired mobility, to keep in touch with friends and family, and expand their social networks.
The study, based on a survey of almost 8,000 men and women aged over 50, shows that regular users of social-networking sites are almost a third less likely to be diagnosed with depression compared with non-users.
source:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2173599/Over-50s-regularly-use-social-networking-sites-likely-suffer-depression.html


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15 Jul 2012 
Unhappy with the government's announcement to allow other practitioners to legally prescribe allopathic drugs in Maharashtra, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) is planning to move court.
On Friday the government had announced that ayurveda, homeopathy and unani practitioners would soon be able to legally prescribe allopathic medicines in Maharashtra provided they completed a one-year course in pharmacology.
The allopathic doctors are unhappy with this decision. IMA state secretary Jayesh Lele said it takes an MBBS doctor five years to learn pharmacology. "Three years are given only to practise it. How can one learn pharmacology from a text-book in one year and be allowed to prescribe allopathic medicines?" he asked, adding it will be like playing with the patient's life.
Homeopathic, ayurvedic and unani doctors had gone on a day's strike earlier this week. Dr Bahubali Shah, president of Homeopathic association, Maharashtra, said that during an emergency, it becomes difficult for general practitioners or rural doctors to prescribe emergency medicines. "For some emergency problems like fever, vomiting, or dehydration, allopathic drugs work faster. It becomes a problem if non-allopathic doctors cannot prescribe them even in times of emergency," he said.
The IMA said its legal cell will soon decide on a date to move court. source:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Indian-Medical-Association-may-go-to-court-over-govts-non-MBBS-doctor-move/articleshow/14924572.cms


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12 Jul 2012
Karnataka to invest on NRHM Projects 
Karnataka health and family welfare department has planned to invest Rs.83 crore under the National Rural Health Mission(NRHM) where it is in the process of finalizing the public private partnerships (PPP) for five infrastructure projects that will help spur the healthcare activities and make the services more efficient in the state. The project is structured under BOOT (Build Own Operate Transfer )will span for a period of five years.
The five projects are for the establishment of MRI centres at the Medical College Hospitals, provide dialysis services at Taluka level hospitals, set up a lab and diagnostic centre at district hospitals, facility management of two government hospitals in Bengaluru and a geriatric clinic cum in-patient wards at district hospitals on corporate social responsibility(CSR) mode, according to officials.
The establishment of MRI centres at Medical Colleges located at Belgaum, Shimoga, Mandya Bidar, Raichur and Hasan will cost Rs.40 crore. It will enhance the service capabilities at these facilities, expand the teaching capabilities, help provide the services to large number of underserved population at the neared possible location. It would also improve the quality medical care penetration in the state. The model could be replicated at other government hospitals. Currently the service charges for MRI is high and makes it unaffordable for the patients below the poverty line. Now these MRI centres will allow the underserved patients the access.
Setting up for dialysis services at taluka level hospitals located at Bijapur, Gulbarga and Raichur at the cost of Rs.18 crore for which the pre feasibility studies were submitted in May by the directorate of health and family welfare. The dialysis service centres will now offer patient at an affordable cost. These patients will not need to travel far to get dialysis every time, said the officials.
The opening up of laboratory and diagnostic centres at the district hospitals in Gulbarga, Dharwad, Uttara Kannada at a cost of Rs.18 crore will help perform tests at the district government hospitals.
source:http://pharmabiz.com/NewsDetails.aspx?aid=70014&sid=1



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12 Jul 2012
MoU signed for teenage health improvement 
Bihar goverment today signed a memorandum of understanding with an international organisation EngenderHealth for important health related programmes for adolescent representative and sexual health (ARSH).
Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH) programme is an important component under Reproductive and Child Health H (RCH H) program of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)
The programme aims at improving the health of adolescents through creating awareness among adolescents on ARSH issues, generating demand for ARSH services and making quality services available and accessible to teenagers.
The MOU was signed by Sanjay Kumar, Executive Director on behalf of Bihar state health society. EngenderHeath representative Hari Singh initialled the MOU on behalf of his organisation.
Adolescents form 24 per cent of the population of Bihar. National family health survey III reveals that 69 per cent of the girls marry before the legal age at marriage.
One in four girls aged 15-19 years are bearing child and 66.40 per cent adolescents are anaemic.
The three factors contribute to increased risk of maternal mortality among adolescents and infant mortality among infants born to teenage mothers. The survey also shows that 35.5 per cent adolescents have unmet needs for contraception.
Infant mortality among infants born to teenage mothers is 84 per thousand live births.
The government of Bihar realising the need for urgent actions to improve adolescent health has developed a comprehensive plan for the year 2012-13 focused on capacity building of service providers, increasing awareness about the adolescent health issues, and ensuring provision of quality adolescents friendly health services, Sanjay Kumar said.
source:http://zeenews.india.com/news/bihar/bihar-signs-mou-to-improve-teenage-health_787063.html



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12 Jul 2012
In pursuance to Government of India Order No. Z-18015/6/2008-NRHM-II dated September 15, 2010, the Government of Nagaland constituted the District Level Vigilance and Monitoring Committee (DLVMC) to monitor the progress and implementation of Nagaland Rural Health Mission, comprising of the following members with CM Chang, MP XV Lok Sabha as Chairman and other members include All MLAs in respect of all District in Nagaland; Chairpersons/Chief Executive Officers/Administrators; Deputy Commissioner of all respective District; District Welfare Officer; District Education Officer and Project Director, Rural Development and Chief Medical Officer as Member Secretary & Convenor.
 The terms and condition of the committee will be: To review the progress of implementation of the annual district health action plan under the NRHM and provide guidance; To review the 5 release of funds by Centre and States, utilisation thereof and unspent balance; To undertake regular monitoring visits to the field, visit to the peripheral health facilities and assess their performance including drug availability; To ensure that a fully functional management structure is in place and is properly utilized; To ensure constructive engagement and participation of all concerned Departments in the District for multi-sectoral intervention; and To recommend corrective measures to ensure that the programme objectives are achieved and service delivered in an effective as well efficient manner. source:http://www.morungexpress.com/local/82806.html



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10 Jul 2012
NRHM to start newborn-screening programme 
The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) is all set to start newborn-screening programmes in all government hospitals in the state. This is part of the mission's bid to save newborn babies from neonatal disorders. The screening tests will be done free of cost. When an infant is subjected to this test, doctors can identify whether the baby has neonatal disorders before he/she shows any symptoms of it. NRHM state director M Beena told TOI that they had received state and Central approval for this programme. "NRHM has allotted Rs 60 lakh for this project and the state health department has sanctioned Rs 44 lakh. The programme will be implemented in all government hospitals soon," said Beena. Blood samples will be collected from the baby within 24 hours of delivery. The blood will be allowed to dry on a piece of absorbent paper and it will be sent to the newborn-screening laboratory for testing, said Dr Prabha Chandran Nair, additional director of health service (planning). The newborn-screening facility will be available in Public Health and Clinical Laboratory, Thiruvananthapuram and regional laboratories in Ernakulam and Kozhikode. source:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/Newborns-to-be-screened-for-neonatal-disorders/articleshow/14789411.cms 


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05 Jul 2012
Two year old kid falls ill after being vaccinated 


A two month old kid fell ill in Ghatampur area(KANPUR) after he was given DPT vaccine by a health worker here on Wednesday. The doctors at Ghatampur CHS referred the kid to LLR hospital after seeing the seriousness of the case. 
 Also, all the vaccines have been sealed in the CHC, which are being administered to kids under ongoing Intensive Routine immunization (IRI) drive. Ayush (two months old) kid started reacting weirdly after getting DTP vaccine by health worker Suma Srivastava in his home on Wednesday. Bablu, father of the kid informed that after uncommon symptoms and vomit, he took him to nearby Ghatamnpur CHS where the doctors after giving initial level treatment referred him to LLR hospital.
source:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kanpur/Child-falls-ill-after-being-vaccinated/articleshow/14682846.cms 


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