Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                                Dated:4 November,2019

WMA urges all governments to introduce Sugar Tax

In a new policy statement, the WMA calls on all national governments to reduce the affordability of added sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages through a tax on sugar. The tax revenue collected should then be used for health promotion programs aimed at reducing obesity and non-communicable diseases. The WMA wants to see a reduction in sugar consumption, compulsory labelling of sugar products by food manufacturers and strict regulation of advertising targeted at children.

WMA President Dr. Miguel Jorge said: ‘We want all governments to restrict the availability of sugar-sweetened beverages and products that are highly concentrated with free sugar from educational and healthcare institutions and replace them with healthier alternatives. ‘And we want all national medical associations to advocate for healthy sustainable food with limited free sugar intake that is less than five per cent of total energy intake. That is around six teaspoons a day.

‘We believe it is time for much tougher action by governments and we hope that the WMA’s new policy guidelines will bring this about.’ (WMA, October 29, 2019)

Charity begins at home: Look after your health first

Doctors often neglect their health because of the increasing demands of their profession. There is a common perception among the public that doctors are never ill. But, this is not true.

Learning on the job gives doctors their clinical skills, which help them to practice medicine safely and in an effective manner. But, at the same time, doctors are also exposed to factors that are potential health risks such as exposure to infections (HIV, TB, hepatitis B and C) and radiation, long and unregulated working hours, high work load, poor sleep quality or sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, work-related stress. ....read more

In utero exposure to acetaminophen increases risk for autism spectrum disorder in childhood
(Excerpts from NIH): Exposure to acetaminophen in the womb may increase a child’s risk for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder, suggests a study funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality. The study appears in JAMA Psychiatry.

Researchers analyzed data from the Boston Birth Cohort, a long-term study of factors influencing pregnancy and child development. They collected umbilical cord blood from 996 births and measured the amount of acetaminophen and two of its byproducts in each sample. ....read more

Relieve Stress by Changing the Interpretation
Stress is the reaction of the body or the mind to the interpretation of a known situation. Stress management, therefore, involves either changing the situation, changing the interpretation or taming the body the yogic way in such a way that stress does not affect the body.

Every situation has two sides. Change of interpretation means looking at the other side of the situation. It is something like half glass of water, which can be interpreted as half empty or half full. ....read more

Healthcare News Monitor

ET Healthworld- TNN

VELLORE: Relatives and family members of a one-month-old boy staged a protest on the Government Vellore Medical College and Hospital premises on Friday alleging that the infant died due to medical negligence on the part of doctors at Gudiyatham Government Hospital where he was born. The baby was born to Imaya Varman, 27, of T T Mottur and his wife Jancy Rani, 23, on September 30. Varman said, “Within three hours of the birth, the doctors in Gudiyatham GH asked us to shift our son to Government Vellore Medical College and Hospital (GVMCH) due to a medical emergency. However, they refused to disclose what had happened. The same thing happened when he was admitted to GVMCH. They didn’t give us any information. We were not allowed to see our son.” “We requested the doctors to refer my son to a private hospital. However, they denied our request and told us that my son would get well soon,” he said.

ET Healthworld- Rupali Mukherjee

MUMBAI: The proposed launch of the recently-approved 'breakthrough' drug, Pretomanid, for extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis in high-burden countries including India has sparked a massive debate on the pricing of TB drugs. The three-drug cocktail, drug developer TB Alliance's Pretomanid combined with Linezolid and Johnson & Johnson's Bedaquiline, will be priced at $1,040 for a complete regimen of six months - over double the price being proposed by many health activists. Advocacy groups, who have waged a long battle against pharma companies over exorbitant medical treatments, feel high prices are barriers to access and prevent their scale-up. Pitched against them are MNCs and innovators who feel a lower price will be 'unsustainable', given the low numbers and niche population. The XDR-TB population is around 10% of multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR) TB segment, which affects about five lakh patients globally. Of these, only around 12,000 were treated for XDR-TB globally in 2018, so this is the market for the three drug regimen, people close to the development told TOI. Of those 12,000 patients, around 2,700 treated for XDR-TB were from India.

ET Healthworld - Vicky Pathare

Kin of a newborn baby have alleged medical negligence by the radiologist and diagnostic centre, alleging that they failed to detect defects. The family was shocked after the child was born with the deformity of an underdeveloped limb, despite the reports provided by the centre, stating the baby was healthy. The family has complained to the director of health services, who has now initiated inquiry based on the complaint. According to the aggrieved father’s complaint, the girl child was born on October 30 at the Mai Mangeshkar Hospital, during which it was found that her right leg below the knees was underdeveloped. The father, a teacher and resident of Ambegaon, has complained to the deputy director of health services against the radiologist Dr Shriyesh Jaiswal of Nucleus Diagnostics, Sinhagad Road branch, demanding stringent action. The aggrieved father claimed, “All prenatal tests like sonography, anomaly tests, etc, were done by us at Nucleus Diagnostics and none of them ever told or informed us that there was any deformity. The reports said that the ‘fetal limbs appear normal and both hands and feet were visualised. Even the radiologist in his reports stated, ‘no obvious congenital abnormality is seen at present. Fetal heart, spine, head, stomach, both kidneys, bladder, hands and feet are normal’, then how was my child born with deformity? The doctors and the centre have committed a gross negligence and this will have a lasting impact on my child.”

ET Healthworld - Hemanta Pradhan

BHUBANESWAR: Medical students and practising doctors are demanding the state government to increase the upper age limit for recruitment of doctors in hospitals to 40 years from 32 at present. The move follows a recent government advertisement for the recruitment of 3,278 physicians in the state. Pramod Meherda, secretary of the health and family welfare department, on Monday wrote to the Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC) to conduct the necessary tests for the recruitment of doctors in hospitals. The medicos said the state received less number of applicants for the post of doctors because of the upper age limit. "If the state government can relax the upper age limit for teachers, why can't it be done in case of doctors? There is a shortage of doctors in our state and the government does not get too many candidates for the posts," a doctor said. He added that the government had earlier received 1,700 applicants, against 1,900 vacant posts. "The same thing may happen this time if the state government does not take precautions. If the government increases the upper age limit, more candidates will be willing to join," he added.