Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee

Dated: 8th July, 2019

Heat stress spike predicted to cost global economy $2.4 trillion a year

An increase in heat stress at work linked to climate change is set to have a massive impact on global productivity and economic losses, notably in agriculture and construction, UN labour experts said on Monday.

Highlighting that the world’s poorest countries will be worst affected, particularly in West Africa and South-East Asia, the International Labour Organization (ILO) warned that the lost output will be equivalent to 80 million full-time jobs – or 2.2 per cent of total working hours worldwide - during 2030.

The total cost of these losses will be $2.4 trillion every year, ILO’s Working On A Warmer Planet report maintains, based on a global temperature rise of only 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century.
“The impact of heat stress on labour productivity is a serious consequence of climate change,” said Catherine Saget, Chief of Unit in the ILO’s Research department and one of the main authors of the report. “We can expect to see more inequality between low and high-income countries and worsening working conditions for the most vulnerable.”

In the ILO report,heat stress is defined as generally occurring at above 35 degrees Celsius, in places where there is high humidity.Excess heat at work is an occupational health risk and in extreme cases can lead to heatstroke, which can be fatal.

Besides agriculture and construction, other at-risk sectors include refuse collection, emergency services, transport, tourism and sports, with southern Asian and western African States suffering the biggest productivity losses, equivalent to approximately five per cent of working hours by 2030… (UN)

Malaria to be made notifiable disease

Monsoons bring welcome relief from the scorching heat, but they also bring with them a host of illnesses, notably dengue, Chikungunya.

In a meeting held to review the preparedness for prevention and control of vector borne diseases (malaria, dengue, and chikungunya) in the national capital, the Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan urged the state government and the Mayors to work towards making hospitals, schools and government buildings 'Vector-Free'.

He also suggested that Malaria should be made a notifiable disease, which was assured by the Delhi Health Minister......read more

Low vitamin D in early childhood predicts high BP in adolescence

Deficiency or insufficient levels of vitamin D in early childhood predisposes children to greater risk of high blood pressure during later childhood and adolescence.

  • Compared to children born with adequate vitamin D levels, low vitamin D status at birth was associated with higher risk of elevated systolic BP at ages 3 to 18 years: odds ratio, 1.38 (95% CI, 1.01–1.87).

  • Low vitamin D status in early childhood was associated with a 1.59-fold (95% CI, 1.02–2.46) higher risk of elevated systolic BP at age 6 to 18 years.

  • Children with persistently low levels of vitamin D through early childhood was associated with higher risk of elevated systolic BP (odds ratio, 2.04 [95% CI, 1.13–3.67]) at ages 3 to 18 years.

The prospective birth cohort study published in the journal Hypertension followed 775 children from birth to age 18 at the Boston Medical Center. Most lived in a low-income urban area, and about two-thirds were African American.......read more

Do we get a human birth each time we die?

As per Vedic sciences, Hindu philosophy believes in rebirth unless your Sanchit and Prarabdha Karmas are totally exhausted.

It also believes in liberation wherein once your past karmas debt is over, you do not take a rebirth.

On the other hand, Garuda Purana says that you can take rebirth in animal species, which means you can be born like a donkey or a dog. Vedic science, on the other hand, says that once you get a human body, you will either be liberated or only get another human body.....read more

Healthcare News Monitor

Nothing to fuel growth in healthcare, pharma sectors: Dr Reddy's

ET Healthworld- IANS

Hyderabad: Pharma major Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd on Friday said that the Union Budget 2019-20 has nothing to fuel growth in the healthcare and pharma sectors. "The expectations from the Union Budget 2019 were that of a bold reformist budget, however, it turned out to be an incremental budget at best," said Satish Reddy, Chairman, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories "The emphasis on start-ups and on the education sector is a good move. However, there was nothing to fuel growth in the healthcare and pharma sectors, which is disappointing. "I was particularly keen on seeing a change in the weighted deduction for R&D which did not happen. A positive policy move of this kind would have spurred R&D and innovation in pharma and other sectors," he added. Apollo Group of Hospitals feels that the budget has a number of measures which will reduce illness and promote wellness in the community. Dr. K. Hari Prasad, President, Hospitals Division, Apollo believes that open defecation free India, clean fuel for cooking, emphasis on electric vehicles, clean drinking water, promotion of yoga and 'Khelo India' initiative will contribute to the government's vision of a healthy India in a decade.

This BP drug may up risk of bowel condition

India New England News

Researchers, including one of an Indian-origin, have identified a blood pressure-lowering drug — non-dihydropyridine, a calcium channel blocker — that may increase the risk of a bowel condition called diverticulosis. This condition causes small bulges or pouches to appear in the lining of the intestine. Particularly affecting the elderly (as many as 65 per cent of people aged above 85 may be affected), diverticulosis can in some cases lead to a medical emergency if the pouches become infected or burst. “This is the first time that this class of blood pressure drug has been associated with diverticulosis. We’re not sure of the underlying mechanism – although it may relate to effects on the function of intestine muscles, which perform contractions to transport food through the gut,” said Dipender Gill from the varsity. In the study published in the journal Circulation, researchers from Imperial College London investigated the effectiveness and side effects of three common blood pressure lowering medications — ACE-inhibitors, beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers. For the study, the research team used genetic analyses to study the effects of the drugs. First, the researchers identified proteins targeted by the drugs, and which help lower blood pressure. Next, they analysed genetic data from around 750,000 people and identified genetic variants that code for these proteins. According to the findings, the genetic variants were linked to lower heart disease and stroke risk. However, after assessing the risk of around 900 different diseases, the team found that the versions of genes related to the effects of a particular type of calcium channel blocker — the non-dihydropyridine class — were linked to an increased risk of diverticulosis. (IANS)

MSDE asks health ministry to issue advisory for participation of pharma, biopharma units in RPL-BICE scheme

Pharmabiz- Shardul Nautiyal

With the objective of upgrading skills of persons employed in life sciences sector in the country, the Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has asked the Union health ministry to issue an advisory for active participation of pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical manufacturing units in the Recognition of Prior Learning with Best-in-Class Employers (RPL-BICE) scheme under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 2016-20. The RPL-BICE certificate and formalization will lead to an increase in skilled manpower, improved safety and productivity. RPL is envisaged to enable advancement of formalized skilling in the industry which will serve as a benchmark for internal improvements and comparison amongst various players in the industry. RPL under PMKVY was initiated by MSDE with an aim to recognize the existing skill sets and prior experience of the beneficiaries and provide certification after assessment through RPL camps, employer premises and centres. Government of India has entrusted the work relating to development of qualification packs under National Occupational Standards (NOC) to the Life Sciences Sector Skill Development Council (LSSSDC) with the objective of upgrading the skills of persons employed in the Life Sciences sector in the country. RPL was launched in September 2016 at LSSSDC under the mandate of MSDE. This was envisaged to encourage and initiate the process of creating a registry of skills, enable and mobilize a large number of healthcare professionals to take up training and acquire requisite skills for employment apart from capacity building and strengthening of Qualified Person for Pharmacovigilance (QPPv) as per the requirement of the schedule Y of Drugs & Cosmetics (D&C) Act. In August 2016, Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) had issued a circular for upgrading skill sets of persons employed in pharma manufacturing units. “Keeping in view the objective of bringing substantial improvement in the quality of pharmaceutical products, it has become imperative that all personnel employed in pharmaceutical manufacturing units shall undergo the certification programmes developed by LSSSDC and with effect from January 1, 2018, no person shall be employed in any pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical manufacturing units unless he has obtained a formal degree in the relevant area, or has been certified by LSSSDC or equivalent organization in the area in which he has been deployed,” as per the DCGI circular. In Maharashtra, LSSSDC set up under auspices of MSDE has mandated Pollux Life Science Solutions LLP to conduct broad based skilling which offers practical training of ten prominent roles that covers 90% of the functions in pharma business. India workforce stands at 3.7% in terms of the NOC laid down while it is 97% in South Korea and 50% in China.

West Bengal likely to frame policy to reimburse hospitals donor maintenance charges

The Times of India-Sumati Yengkhom

The state may soon come up with a policy to reimburse hospitals the charges for donor maintenance, that is maintaining the organs of the deceased donors before the organs are actually retrieved for transplant. Activists and doctors who have been working in organ donation movement feel that such a move will boost the movement. But in the state, going by the previous donations, the time gap between brain death declaration and the actual organ retrieval have been 24 hours to 48 hours. For example Anjana Bhowmick whose heart, liver and two kidneys were transplanted into four new patients on Wednesday had suffered the brain death on Monday itself. Doctors at Narayana Superspecialty Hospital Howrah where she was admitted, kept maintaining her organs. In between convincing the family for the donation to the actual retrieval, more than 24 hours had lapsed. “I am sure the hospital must have incurred must have incurred around 75.000 in maintaining the donor organs. Is it fair to ask the donor family to cough up this amount or ask the hospital to bear the cost? That is the reason why there has to be proper system of compensating the donor maintenance cost to the hospital that declares brain death of the donor,” said Dr Vatsala Trivedi, a pioneer in organ donation movement in Maharastra.

MD student ends life at Mayo Hospital hostel

The Times of India- Soumitra Bose

NAGPUR: Dr Manyukumar Vaidya, 26, a first year student of post-graduation in Obstetrics and Gynaecology department, committed suicide by hanging himself at hostel room in Mayo Hospital . The suicide has come to fore on Friday morning. Vaidya, a native of Karnataka (https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/karnataka), had sent a message of his disappointment and being upset with life to his elder brother's cellphone. He likely sent the message before taking the drastic step last night. Vaidya, Junior Resident (1), had joined on May 2 this year. It's learnt that Vaidya was supposed to join his duty at outdoor patient department (OPD) on Friday morning. Worried over his absence from duty, his colleagues went to his room to check. Vaidya did not respond to the repeated knocks on the door which prompted the security personnel and friends to break open the door after which he was spotted hanging. Police said Vaidya had used a nylon rope to hang from the ceiling fan to end life. A case of accidental death has been registered at Tehsil police station.