Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                               Dated:08 January,2020

New algorithm shows promise to treat childhood cancer

In the long term the discovery, published in the journal Nature Communications, may result in a new form of treatment for children in whom the disease is severe or at an advanced stage.

London: Using a computer algorithm, researchers have identified a promising new treatment for neuroblastoma-- a form of cancer in children, which occurs in specialised nerve cells in the sympathetic nervous system and may be life-threatening.

In the long term the discovery, published in the journal Nature Communications, may result in a new form of treatment for children in whom the disease is severe or at an advanced stage....read more


CMAAO Alert: WHO to monitor China's mysterious pneumonia of unknown virus outbreak

A mysterious lung infection in the central Chinese city of Wuhan is being monitored by the WHO. 59 people had been diagnosed with pneumonia of unknown cause. Seven people are in serious condition. Some of the infected worked at a fresh seafood and produce market in the city.

Pathogen studies have ruled out more common respiratory diseases, including influenza, avian flu and adenovirus. All the patients are being treated under quarantine. Wuhan authorities said on Sunday they had excluded the possibility of SARS, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and bird flu. ....read more


The Science behind eating Khichdi in Paush Month

It is wet winter full of fog and smog.

From Ayurveda point of view, Kapha is aggravating, Vata is accumulating and Pitta is at its minimum.

The food intake should therefore contain Kapha-pacifying foods, which are light, easily digestible, hot, warm and Pitta increasing, so that they can increase the digestive fire to digest. ....read more


HCFI Survey

In 2020 I would like the new healthy policy to


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Healthcare News Monitor

Govt mulls tax break for desi pharma companies
ET Healthworld – Sushmi Dey

In a move to boost research in drug manufacturing, the government is considering to restore tax benefits on research and development (R&D) expenditure incurred by local pharmaceutical companies in the upcoming Budget 2020. This is one of the key recommendations made by the department of pharmaceuticals (DoP) as part of its budget proposal to the finance ministry, an official source said. The pharmaceutical industry is hopeful that the government will restore the weighted deduction on expenditure incurred on R&D to 200%. At present, the industry enjoys 150% weighted deduction on R&D but it is scheduled to come down to 100% from 2020 unless the government takes a call on it. The government had introduced a weighted tax deduction of 200% on expenditure on R&D in the 2010 budget, in order to boost innovation in the country. However, the government slashed the benefit to 150% from 2017 onwards and 100% from 2020.

ChrysCapital exits drug company IPCA Labs in Rs 560 crore deal
ET Healthworld – Rupali Mukherjee

Private equity major ChrysCapital has exited mid-size drug firm IPCA Labs, offloading its entire stake to 10 mutual funds, for around Rs 560 crore. The PE firm offloaded its 4% stake in the company recently, sources said, mopping up returns of nearly 2.5x on its investment. The firm had invested Rs 245 crore spread over two lots - in 2014 and 2016. ChrysCapital, the largest homegrown PE fund, has approximately $4 billion of assets under management (AUM) across eight funds, with marquee investors including sovereign wealth funds, endowments and pension funds. ChrysCapital officials were not available for comments, while IPCA Labs did not respond to a email till the time of going to press. The firm has invested in over 80 companies, with strategic mid-to-high teens' stake in companies like Intas Pharma, Mankind Pharma, GVK Bio and Curatio. At present, ChrysCapital has half a billion invested in healthcare firms, with a bulk - around $320 million in Mankind alone. The firm picked up around 10% stake in Mankind in 2018. This is the second time ChrysCapital invested in the Delhi-based drug firm, after exiting its 11% stake in 2015 to Capital International for $214 million, with a tenfold return in seven years.

The Times of India - Anjaya Anparthi

NAGPUR: Despite being touted as the medical hub of Central India, cases of stillbirth have doubled in last one year in the city. The figure for stillbirth cases in 2019 is five times the national and state average. Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) registered 1,070 stillbirths (death of a baby after 24 weeks of pregnancy and before birth), of which 628 were male and 442 female in 2019. Total number of births was 53,907. Thus, ratio of stillbirth is 19.84 per 1,000 births. In 2018, the civic body had registered 58,403 births and 495 stillbirths for a ratio of 8.47 per 1,000 births. As per National Health Policy’s report, stillbirth ratio of the country as well as the state was 4 per 1,000 births in 2017. The government had set a target to bring down stillbirths to single digit by 2025. Executive member of Vidarbha Hospitals Association Dr Pinak Dande told TOI cases of stillbirth are not a reflection on city’s medical facilities. “Percentage of stillbirth might be high due to migratory labour class and poor people residing in city’s outskirts or in rural areas. It seems to be a social economic problem and not related to medical facilities,” he said. Deputy director (health) Dr Sanjay Jaiswal said the government’s schemes for registering, monitoring pregnant women, and encouraging delivery only in hospitals is being implemented in a very effective manner. “The government has made a provision for Rs5,000 in three instalments for every pregnant woman. Free delivery facility is available in NMC and government-run hospitals. Stillbirth can be avoided if a single doctor and hospital are fixed for regular check-up and delivery. Need is to visit doctor immediately in case of pain or any problem. Also, pregnant woman should go for check up in given time period by doctors, and avoid social and customary practice of delivery at maternal places if there is a lack of proper medical facilities,” he said. Each of NMC’s Urban Primary Health Centres (UPHC) covers 50,000 population in which ASHA workers have to register all pregnant women, monitor and ensure delivery at hospitals only. In case of delivery in NMC-run hospitals, all services are free and mother is given Rs600 for nutritious meals.

Daily News & Analysis

Matters continue to grow worse for the JK Lon Hospital in Rajasthan's Kota, where more than 110 infants have died the past month due to poor medical supervision. In what comes as yet another alarming update, it has now been reported that water continues to drip from the ceiling of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) ward at the hospital, which puts the lives of the rest of the children there, further in danger. To combat the dripping water issue, however, the hospital administration has asked its staff to spread clothes on the floor to soak up the water and prevent it from spreading further. More than 110 kids have died in Kota's JK hospital in the last 35 days due to hypothermia, a medical emergency that occurs when the body temperature falls below 95 degrees F (35 degrees C). The normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees F (37 degrees C). Several politicos and prominent industry leaders have visited the medical facility and expressed their condolences over the unfortunate incident. However, the current crisis begs the question -- was this fiasco really a lone untoward incident or does the problem exist somewhere in the very administrative structure of the JK Lon Hospital, because to tackle it would need identifying the problem where it exists. According to the news agency IANS, one of the reasons for the poor medical supervision in the JK Lon Hospital that resulted in the infants' deaths is a tussle between former hospital superintendent HL Meena and Head of Department (HoD) paediatrician Amritlal Bairwa. Several hospital employees told the news agency that while Bairwa behaved like a guest of honour and visited the hospital only once in a while, Meena was no better and overlooked the poor condition of some of the hospital's life-saving equipment. In fact, according to a hospital official, there were many such pieces of equipment that would probably just need a cloth costing Rs 2 to start functioning; however, the concerned HoD remained busy with his 'self-seeking goals', and hence there was no one to look into the issue.