Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                             Dated:8th August,2019

Seven common myths about children’s eye health
The American Academy of Ophthalmology had listed seven common misunderstandings about children's eye health

1. Pink eye only happens in young children. While young kids are known for getting pink eye, due to close contact in day care centers, so can teenagers, college students, and adults — especially those who don’t clean their contacts properly. The best way to keep pink eye from spreading is to practice good hygiene including washing your hands, not touching your eyes, and using clean towels and other products around the face.

2. Antibiotics are necessary to cure your child’s pink eye. Antibiotics are rarely necessary to treat pink eye. Most cases are caused by viral infections or allergies and do not respond to antibiotics. Antibiotics may be prescribed for bacterial conjunctivitis depending on severity. Mild cases of bacterial conjunctivitis usually resolve on their own within 7 to 14 days without treatment.

3. Sun is bad for your eyes.While it’s true that long-term exposure to the sun without proper protection can increase the risk of eye disease, some studies suggest sun exposure is necessary for normal visual development. Children who have less sun exposure seem to be at higher risk for developing myopia or nearsightedness. Just make sure they’re protected with UV-blocking sunglasses and sunscreen.

4. Blue light from screens is damaging children’s vision.Blue light is not blinding you or your screen-obsessed kids. While it is true that nearsightedness is becoming more common, blue light isn’t the culprit. In fact, we are exposed to much more blue light naturally from the sun than we are from our screens. The important thing to remember is to take frequent breaks. The Academy recommends a 20-20-20 rule: look at an object at least 20 feet away every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds.

5. Vision loss only happens to adults.The eyes of a child with amblyopia (lazy eye) may look normal, but this eye condition can steal sight if not treated. Amblyopia is when vision in one of the child’s eyes is reduced because the eye and brain are not working together properly. Strabismus (crossed eyes) is another eye condition that can cause vision loss in a child. Strabismus is when the eyes do not line up in the same direction when focusing on an object.

6. All farsighted children need glasses.Most children are farsighted early in life. It’s actually normal. It doesn’t necessarily mean your child needs glasses because they use their focusing muscles to provide clear vision for both distance and near vision. Children do need glasses when their farsightedness blurs their vision or leads to strabismus. They will also need glasses if they are significantly more farsighted in one eye compared with the other, a condition that puts them at risk of developing amblyopia.

7. There is no difference between a vision screening and a vision exam. While it’s true that your child’s eyes should be checked regularly, a less invasive vision screening by a pediatrician, family doctor, ophthalmologist, optometrist, orthoptist or person trained in vision assessment of preschool children, is adequate for most children. If the screening detects a problem, the child may need to see an ophthalmologist or other eye care professional. A comprehensive exam involves the use of eye drops to dilate the pupil, enabling a more thorough investigation of the overall health of the eye and visual system.

(Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology, Aug. 5, 2019)

FAQs on National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill 2019 (Part 1)
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has released FAQs on the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill 2019, perhaps in a bid to allay the prevailing apprehensions regarding certain aspects of the Bill such as Clause 32, NEXT.

“Clause 32: Limited License to practice at Mid-level as Community Health Provider:

India has a doctor-population ratio of 1:1456 as compared with the WHO standards of 1:1000. In addition, there is a huge skew in the distribution of doctors working in the Urban and Rural areas with the urban to rural doctor density ratio being 3.8:1. Consequently, most of our rural and poor population is denied good quality care leaving them in the clutches of quacks. It is worth noting that at present 57.3% of personnel currently practicing allopathic medicine does not have a medical qualification......read more

All patients should undergo colonoscopy after acute diverticulitis
Routine colonoscopy is usually recommended following an episode of acute diverticulitis to rule out coexistent malignancy. Although it continues to be recommended in guidelines, CT imaging has gradually taken over.

In a meta-analysis on the role of colonoscopy after an episode of left-sided acute diverticulitis, colorectal cancer was detected in 2.1% (95% CI 1.5-3.1) of patients. This risk is higher than the 0.4-1.0% prevalence of colorectal cancer in the general population who undergo screening colonoscopy......read more

Ganesha, the Stress Management Guru
If Lord Krishna was the first counselor who taught the principles of counseling, Lord Ganesha taught us the principles of stress management.

We should worship Lord Ganesha and become like him whenever we face any difficulty or are stressed out.

The elephant head of Lord Ganesha symbolizes that when in difficulty, use your wisdom, intelligence and think differently. It can be equated to the Third Eye of Lord Shiva. Elephant is supposed to be the most intelligent animal in the kingdom. Here, wisdom means to think before speaking. Lord Buddha also said that don’t speak unless it is necessary and is truthful and kind......read more

Healthcare News Monitor

Lok Sabha passes Surrogacy bill, Health Minister calls it ‘Need of the hour’

The Surrogacy Regulation Bill 2019 which seeks to ban commercial surrogacy in India has been passed by Lok Sabha. Referring to the bill, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday said that the ban on commercial surrogacy was the ‘need of the hour.’ Amidst heavy protests by several parties, the bill was considered and was moved for passage. As per the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the bill, only Indian couples who have been legally married for at least five years would be allowed to opt for surrogacy. Moving the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha for consideration and passage, Vardhan said that “A rough estimates says there are about 2,000-3000 surrogacy clinics running illegally in the country and a few thousand foreign couples resort to surrogacy practise within India and the whole issue is thoroughly unregulated.” As per the bill, a woman should be allowed to act as a surrogate mother only once and be a close relative of the intending couple and should be an ever married woman having a child of her own and between the age of 25-35 years. “There have been reports concerning unethical practices, abandonment of children born out of surrogacy and exploitation of surrogate mothers,” Vardan further said.

To prevent severe diarrhoea among kids, Rotavirus vaccination starts in Delhi
Hindustan Times- Anonna Dutt

The Rotavirus vaccine, an oral vaccine to prevent diarrhoea deaths in children, will be given free in all government hospitals and dispensaries beginning Wednesday. The vaccine has been made a part of the government’s routine immunization programme that covers 3.6 lakh babies born each year in Delhi. Three doses of five drops each will be given to children at ages 6 weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks to protect against rotavirus infection, which is one of the leading causes of diarrhoea. “The vaccine will now be available at about 650 cold chain points – all government hospitals and dispensaries – run by the Delhi government, central government, the civic bodies, the railways, the Central Government Health Scheme and the Employees State Insurance. Apart from that, it will also be available in the Anganwadis on rotation as per the schedule under our outreach,” said Dr Suresh Seth, Delhi’s state programme officer for immunization. “This is the twelfth vaccine to be introduced in Delhi. This is a good step; the next step has to be to ensure 100% immunization. In a city like Delhi with enough health centres, the entire population can be covered easily and should be done. Connecting every child to a health centre and having computerized medical records will also help in ensuring that each and every child gets vaccinated, even if in private centres,” said Delhi’s health minister Satyendar Jain.

PvPI study reveals major suspected ADRs in anti-retroviral drugs like lamivudine, efavirenz and tenofovir
Pharmabiz India- Shardul Nautiyal

The Pharmacovigilance Programme of India (PvPI)’s recent study has revealed that major suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs) have originated from anti-retroviral drugs like lamivudine, efavirenz and tenofovir. Ever since its inception in April 2011, PvPI has been receiving reports from healthcare professionals, industry and consumers. Data-mining was done to identify the most occurring reactions with associated medicines. After a determined analysis of database it was also learnt that gastrointestinal and skin were often reported as associated System Organ Class (SOC) for suspected adverse events. The study was done through VigiFlow which is a web-based Individual Case Safety Report (ICSR) management system. The system is available for use by national pharmacovigilance centres of the WHO Programme for International Drug Monitoring. The study also points to the major role by regional pharmacovigilance centres or ADR Monitoring Centres (AMCs) in reporting suspected adverse events. Of the 61,104 ICSRs submitted in 2018, as many as 52,587 were reported by AMCs, 7,569 by pharmaceutical companies, 1,261 by healthcare professionals and 28 by the regulatory authorities. Besides this, VigiLyze is an online resource that delivers useful search and analysis functions and provides a quick and clear overview of VigiBase.

Delhi: 10,000 smartphones to power anganwadis' big digital leap

New Delhi: The management of anganwadi centres is set to get a digital push with Delhi government's decision to distribute 10,000 smartphones to anganwadi workers. Currently, such workers have to maintain 18 different records manually. Digital entry of records will enable them to devote more time for the welfare of beneficiaries. The smartphones will be distributed by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in an event at IGI Stadium on Wednesday. The government will also launch the early childhood curriculum for children of anganwadi workers aged between three and six. The government has developed two mobile apps to ease the burden of anganwadi workers. The AWW app has been designed to allow users to record daily opening of anganwadi centres and carry out household-wise, name-based, UID-linked registration of members. It will also help them capture real-time information on service delivery facilitating monitoring and the services due. The centres will also be able to send through the app photographs of children receiving supplementary nutrition daily. The second app, lady supervisor, will assist the supervisors in real-time monitoring of child development services to the beneficiaries enrolled at the centres. Apart from this, the supervisors will be able to give priority to the centres that are not performing according to expectations.

Mumbai doctors cure 3-yr-old Latur girl with rare syndrome
Daily News & Analysis

A three-year-old girl from a village in Latur, who has been bedridden for more than a year will now be able to walk and do all her daily activities on her own. Prachi Sagar, a patient suffered from hurler syndrome with cervical spine deformity and was operated by a team of doctors from state-run Gokuldas Tejpal (GT) Hospital. While her parents claim that she had a fall while playing a year ago after which she was bedridden due to paralysis in all four limbs, it was later diagnosed that she is suffering from a rare syndrome. Earlier, her parents who are farm labourer in Latur visited various private hospitals. Her syndrome was misdiagnosed to be epilepsy by a local doctor and she was treated for epilepsy for a few months. After starting her treatment in GT Hospital, Prachi was advised investigation like MRI, CT scan, X-ray. Prachi was operated on July 31 and is now recovering in the hospital.