Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                                  Dated:11 October,2019

Health Minister launches WHO IndiaCountry Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023

“The country is passing through a phase of not only transition, but also immense productive transformation in the health sector”. This was stated by Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan as he launched ‘The WHO India Country Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023: A Time of Transition’.

The Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) provides a strategic roadmap for WHO to work with the Government of India towards achieving its health sector goals, in improving the health of its population and bringing in transformative changes in the health sector. Speaking at the event, the Health Minister stated that the four areas identified for strategic cooperation of WHO with the country encompass:to accelerate progress on UHC; to promote health and wellness by addressing determinants of health; to protect the population better against health emergencies; and to enhance India’s global leadership in health. He added that besides the health priorities detailed in the strategy, focus needs to be given on other equally pertinent health areas of environmental and occupational health, accidents and road injuries, and good nutrition and food safety. Emphasizing the need of inter-ministerial collaboration for a healthy nation, Dr. Harsh Vardhan suggested that a mechanism needs to be institutionalized wherein every ministry has a health section/department,so that every policy factors in its health implications.

2.2 billion people globally are blind or visually impaired

Globally, at least 2.2 billion people have a vision impairment or blindness, of whom at least 1 billion have a vision impairment that could have been prevented or is yet to be addressed because they cannot get the care they need for conditions like short and far sightedness, glaucoma and cataract, according to the first World Report on Vision published by the WHO. Changing lifestyles and limited access to eye care, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, are among the main drivers of the rising numbers of people living with vision impairment.

The burden of eye conditions and vision impairment is often far greater in people living in rural areas, those with low incomes, women, older people, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and indigenous populations

Happiness is your choice and not your destiny: Join the movement #MainKhushToHiIndiaKhush
India is unhappy as a country. So, it would seem according to the World Happiness Report for 2019.

India has slipped further down the list in happiness rankings this year as compared to 2018. India now ranks 140 out of the 156 countries surveyed, while last year India was placed at 133rd position out of 156 countries.

Happiness or rather unhappiness therefore is a very relevant topic today and needs to be addressed.

At least 10% of people in society today are depressed. And more than 75% people are unhappy today. The stress of day to day life is making most people unhappy. ....read more

Superior verbal memory skills may mask mild cognitive impairment in women
Women typically score higher than men on tests of verbal memory, and so may not be diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment as early as men are, even when they have the same levels of Alzheimer’s disease-related brain changes, such as the amount of amyloid plaque deposits in the brain or the amount of shrinkage in the hippocampus area of the brain

Using sex-specific scores on memory tests may change who gets diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) by 20%, with possibly more women and fewer men being diagnosed, according to a study published in the October 9, 2019, online issue of Neurology. Mild cognitive impairment, a precursor to dementia, is when people have problems with memory and thinking skills. The study involved 985 people from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative ....read more

Healthcare News Monitor

Haryana, Assam ranked top five in Health Mission index
Deccan Herald-PTI

Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Haryana, Assam, Kerala and Punjab have been ranked top five states and union territory which performed well on various health system strengthening parameters of the National Health Mission. Also, 14 states and UTs with Bihar, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram being the worst performing states have been penalised, which means they will lose out on NHM funds for performance linked conditionalities from the Centre, according to the Health System Strengthening Conditionality Report of states 2018-19. The parameters on the basis of which the states were assessed include operationalisation of the Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs), provisioning of mental health services in districts covered under the NHM programme, screening of 30 population non-communicable diseases and grading of primary health centres (both urban and rural), among others. The incremental improvement as per the NITI Aayog ranking of states on 'Performance on Health Outcomes' is one of the major conditionalities and has been given the highest weightage. Among the eight Empowered Action Group (EAG) states, four were incentivised, one state has earned no incentives or penalty and two states received penalty. All the three hilly states -- Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand -- have received penalty due to non-fulfilment of conditionality. Among the eight North-Eastern states, four could not meet the eligibility criteria. Of the remaining Assam, Tripura and Manipur earned incentives, the report stated. Of the 11 other states, nine were incentivised and two received penalty. Performance-based incentives are a proven way to encourage productivity, increase efficiency and boost growth in any system. Conditionalities under the NHM in India were introduced with a similar rationale, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said.

First of its kind cab & ambulance service for wheelchair-bound introduced in Mohali hospital
ET Healthworld – Shimona Kanwar

MOHALI: A unique cab and ambulance service was launched at Fortis Hospital, Mohali on Wednesday. The cab service is different from normal cab service as it is customised for the elderly coming to the hospital and will also help wheelchair-bound patients to reach the hospital. The doctors feel that the project will help in transporting commuters who have limited mobility because they are wheelchair-bound. "They feel dependent on their family and friends to get from one part of the city to another and of course commuting in public transport is out of question since it is far from accessible," said Ashish Bhatia, Chief Operating Officer, Fortis Healthcare. He said it was a task to bring the wheelchair-borne patients to the hospital and with introduction of new cabs and ambulances it will facilitate easy mobility of the needy. The front seats are customised to facilitate easy mobility of the needy and the elderly. The cab service provides a car and driver for the complete duration of the requirement, starting with a minimum of two hours. The driver and cab is at the disposal of the client for the duration of the journey.

Private clinic busted for conducting sex test in Panchkula
ET Healthworld

PANCHKULA: A team of health department has raided a private clinic for allegedly committing sex determination tests at Swastika Vihar, Mansa Devi Complex. Doctors said violations of PNDT (Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques), MTP (Medical Termination of Pregnancy) and Drug and Cosmetic Act were detected at the "Siddharth Clinic" headed one Dr Shyam Sunder. Dr Parvinderjit Singh, nodal officer, PNDT, said most of the patients forms were found incomplete or signed by operators and doctor. List of patients was partially filled. The display board of the clinic stated "infertility, gynae and ultrasound" but it was not approved by the authorities. The team found medicines used to perform sperm washing, a procedure for which it did not have any permission. The team also detected huge quantity of MTP kits. The clinic was later sealed and cops called. Police registered a case under sections 5, 6, 29, 3, 4, 18, 3A of PC, PNDT and MTP Act, rule 8, 18/27 of Drug and Cosmetic Act and under sections 415 (cheating) and 417 (punishment for cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the Mansa Devi Complex police station. On February 18, the health department caught a quack after sending a decoy patient at his fake health centre in Sector 4. The quack was offering medicines claiming they would help in delivering a male child. He was booked under the PNDT Act.

Delhi: 52-year-old man with situs inversus gets new life
ET Healthworld – ANI

New Delhi: Doctors at Fortis Hospital have given a fresh lease of life to a patient suffering from a rare genetic disorder called situs inversus, in which the organs in the chest and abdomen are reversed or mirrored. When 52- year-old Sunil Dutt, a resident of Rohtak was rushed to Fortis hospital situated in Shalimar Bagh of the national capital after he complaints of chest problems and breathlessness. After the check-up, the medicos detected that that all his vital organs, including heart, gall bladder and liver, were on the exact opposite side of where they should have been. "Situs Inversus is seen in 1 in 10,000 people i.e 0.01 per cent of the population. This does not cause any problem unless it is associated with congenital heart disease or any other congenital abnormality. In Sunil's case, the patient developed severe respiratory distress with worsening pneumonia requiring a ventilator. This condition is called Kartagener's syndrome which is rare of the rarest genetic disorder and is seen in one in 30,000 population," said Dr Vikas Maurya, Head of Respiratory Department at Fortis Hospital told ANI. "Currently, he is admitted with severe pneumonia with respiratory distress with carbon dioxide retention. He is treated successfully and now is in stable condition," said Dr Maurya. While Kartagener's syndrome is a much rarer genetic disorder and is seen in 1 in 30,000 population, doctors say that this disease apart from situs inversus person also has cilia motility abnormality. Cilia are the hair-like structure that forms the lining of the respiratory tract and sinuses. Explaining the complexity of the disease, Dr Maurya said it is important to be aware of this disease by the patient and the physician as the symptoms of organs with disease will also be reversed, for example, gall stone pain will be on the left side and not on right side as seen in normal human anatomy.