Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                               Dated:12 November,2019

Rapid HIV testing saves lives – It’s time to make the switch, says WHO

(WHO Europe, Nov. 11, 2019): The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a strong recommendation on HIV testing, urging countries to stop using the slow, less accurate western blot and line immunoassay methods in favour of simple, rapid tests.

It is vital that people who are unknowingly living with HIV are tested and given antiretroviral treatment (ART) without delay. ART prevents HIV from developing into AIDS and, once the virus level in the blood is so low it is not detectable in a blood test, it enables people to live with the virus without passing it on to others.

Dr Masoud Dara, Coordinator for Communicable Diseases at WHO/Europe, said:" “Rapid HIV testing saves lives by making testing more accessible and reducing waiting times. When such testing is conducted in the community with a caring and people-centred approach, people are more likely to come forward to be tested. If the test is positive, then treatment should follow as soon as possible; if the test is negative, then there’s an opportunity for advice on steps to avoid future infection, such as taking HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis and using condoms. Either way, testing is where care starts.”

World Pneumonia Day: Deaths due to pneumonia are largely preventable
Today is World Pneumonia Day. And this year too, the day reiterates our commitment to the fight against pneumonia, which is treatable in most cases. Hence, deaths due to pneumonia are largely preventable.

Immunization for at-risk individuals and/or early and accurate diagnosis followed by appropriate antibiotic treatment can save lives.

Here are some quick facts about pneumonia.

Pneumonia is a public health concern and can range in seriousness from mild to life-threatening. ....read more

Five points to remember when suspecting pneumonia
The gold standard for diagnosis of community-acquired pneumonia is the presence of an infiltrate on plain chest x-ray in a patient who presents with signs and symptoms that are clinically suggestive of pneumonia (cough, fever, pleuritic chest pain, dyspnea, sputum, crackles, decreased or bronchial breath sounds on auscultation). ....read more

The spiritual meaning of the word ‘Artha’

Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are the four fundamental principles of our very existence which means earning righteously with a desire to fulfill the inner happiness.

Righteous earning is called ‘Artha’ and mistakenly it has been linked to materialistic money. In mythology, Artha is synonymous with Lakshmi, Saraswati and Kali where Lakshmi represents righteously earned materialistic wealth, Saraswati represents wealth of knowledge and Kali represents wealth of wisdom to fight the bad in you and in the society. ....read more

Healthcare News Monitor

TNN-Siddharth Tiwari

GURUGRAM: The dense smog that engulfed and choked NCR last week, pushed the region into a health emergency. Its repercussions were felt in the Millennium City too, with residents complaining of incessant coughing, breathlessness, skin allergies, eye infections among others. While the administration implemented measures under the graded response action plan (GRAP) to control deteriorating air quality, patients flooding the OPD of district’s civil hospital is ceasing to see a downward trend. According to the doctors, there has been around 50% increase in the number of patients coming for treatment for pollution-related diseases and health conditions this year. Thus, in an attempt to help patients suffering due to the increasing pollution levels, the health department has directed officials to compile the data of number of patients coming to civil hospital for pollution-related diseases. The data, officials claimed, will help in analysing the impact of air pollution on health and whether or not the steps taken under GRAP is helping or not. Acting on the directives, civil hospital has started sending daily reports to the health department which is being complied to understand the load of patients and diseases being reported. “We’ve been sharing daily records with the government and administration. There has been an increase in cases of respiratory diseases, skin allergies, and eye infection. There was a spike in the number of patients after Diwali. The number is coming down now with the improvement in air quality,” a health department official said. According to the staff at civil hospital, over 100 pollution-related cases were reported on Thursday and Friday.

ET Healthworld- TNN

New Delhi: One of the reasons behind student suicides in AIIMS, especially ones involving students from poor socio-economic background, is language barrier. While some of them find it difficult to understand English — the primary language for teaching in medical courses — because they come from Hindi-medium schools, there are others from non-Hindi speaking states also who find it difficult interact in Hindi. To bridge this language barrier, the institute is going to hold Hindi and English classes for its medical and postgraduate students. “We have written to the chiefs of all centres and heads of departments to submit a list of names of students who want to learn Hindi and English. Arrangements will be made accordingly,” said an official. He added that nearly one-fourth of medical students come from non-Hindi speaking states. “It is important to teach them Hindi also so they can interact better with the patients,” said a senior faculty member. He added that an English language course is needed for those coming from rural background.

ET Healthworld- PTI

Kolkata: The West Bengal Medical Council on Friday cancelled the registration of three doctors after holding them guilty of negligence in treating a four-month-old baby who died at a hospital in April 2017. The baby was admitted to Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals for colonoscopy, an outpatient procedure in which the inside of the large intestine (colon and rectum) is examined. As per the order of the WBMC, the names of the three doctors would be removed from the council's website and they would not be allowed to work at any medical facility in the state, a senior official said. The council in September conducted the final hearing in the Kuheli Chakraborty death case. When contacted, her parents Abhijit and Shalu Chakraborty expressed their unhappiness about the council's decision and said they would apply for a review of the decision. "This seems that the doctors were sent for a vacation of three months. We will appeal for a review of the decision. The review must be conducted by a separate committee," Abhijit Chakraborty said. The parents had alleged medical negligence after the infant died at the hospital on April 19, 2017 and approached the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission (WBCERC) and the WBMC.

Pharmabiz India - Shardul Nautiyal

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) has invited stakeholders’ suggestions on regulating imported products like adhesives for fixing wigs on scalp or hair; products which are used for cleansing scalp and artificial nail systems as cosmetics. In a notice, Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) Dr VG Somani stated, “It is to be brought to the attention of all stakeholders that after receiving applications for grant of no objection certificate (NOC) for import of products like adhesives for fixing wigs on scalp or hair, products for cleansing scalp and artificial nail systems, CDSCO examined the matter submitted by various applicants and has come to the conclusion that specific products mentioned should come under the definition of cosmetic as per Drugs and Cosmetics (D&C) Act, 1940.” The products like adhesives which are used for fixing wigs on scalp or hair and the products which are to be used for cleansing scalp will be considered under the category named "Products for Temporary Hairs" which is already mentioned in the column 3 of the guidelines for import of cosmetics. With regard to artificial nails, it has been decided to incorporate a new category named "Artificial Nail Systems" in column 3 of the guidelines for import of cosmetics in order to follow the requirements of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) IS 4707 (Part I and Part 2) since requirements of Artificial Nail Systems is already prescribed in IS 4707 (Part 2): 2017.

Pharmabiz India – Peethaambaran Kunnathoor

The pharmacist community in the country is opposing tooth and nail the Union health ministry’s move to empower community health workers to dispense drugs at the public health centres. Coming down heavily on the draft amendment rules issued by the ministry in this regard on November 6, pharmacy professionals from all over the country have demanded to the government to refrain from such move of amendment of the drug rules as it denies the services of pharmacists in the healthcare sector. Condemning the draft rules very strongly, the FIPO vice-president and member of Andhra Pradesh Pharmacy Council, B Rajashekhara Reddy has written a letter to the under secretary (drugs), Government of India, wanting him to stop the move to incorporate the present draft into the D&C Rules with immediate effect for the sake of the health of people and for a healthy drug dispensing system to be maintained. He alleges that this is a deliberate attempt from the side of health ministry to deny the services of pharmacists, and terms it as an open challenge to the necessity of pharmaceutical care so emphatically advocated by WHO for the greater interest of the public. Talking to Pharmabiz from Tirupati, Reddy asked if the government is going to make a rule to empower community health workers to dispense drugs, what for the pharmacists are created and engaged for services. When pharmacy professionals altogether make attempts to strengthen their service field for a healthy healthcare system, the proposal of the Union health ministry is ill-conceived and hazardous to public health. The safety and efficacy aspect of allopathic medicines is a matter of great concern all over the world, but it is getting disparaged in India, he criticized.

ET Healthworld- Antriksh Singh

INDORE: The Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh high court on Thursday granted two months to MY Hospital to file status report in a petition filed over lack of oxygen supply that led to death of 17 people in 2017. Social activist Pramod Kumar Dwivedi, in his petition through advocate Manish Yadav and advocate Nivedita Sharma, said that 17 people including children died within 24 hours on June 22, 2017. MY Hospital told the court that work for installation of piped oxygen supply to wards in hospital was underway and would be completed soon. The court sought status report from the hospital. A division bench of justice SC Sharma and justice Virendra Singh gave time to the hospital for filing of report and fixed the next date of hearing on January 17 next year. Though the hospital doctors attributed deaths to dangerous diseases, through newspapers and media reports, it came to the fore that disruption in oxygen supply caused deaths, said Sharma.