Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                                  Dated:13 October,2019

Use of non-pharmaceutical forms of Artemisia: WHO Position Statement

Following an extensive evidence review on the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical forms of Artemisia, conducted in 2019, WHO has issued a new position statement on this issue “The use of non-pharmaceutical forms of Artemisia,” published in October 2019, with a clear message: WHO does not support the promotion or use of Artemisia plant material in any form for the prevention or treatment of malaria.This position is based on several considerations, a few of which include:

  The content of the Artemisia herbal remedies given for malaria treatment and prevention varies substantially

  The content in Artemisia herbal remedies is often insufficient to kill all malaria parasites in a patient’s bloodstream and to prevent recrudescence

  Widespread use of Artemisia annua herbal remedies could hasten the development and spread of artemisinin resistance

  Artemisinin in any form does not work well as prevention against malaria

  Affordable and efficacious treatments for malaria are available

Hand washing with soap and water: Use good quality soap with TFM above 76%
Hand washing with soap and water is the simplest and also the most economical way to remove dirt and prevent transmission of harmful microorganisms and control spread of infection. But, it is important to choose the right type (quality) of soap.

The quality (or grading) of soap is determined by the total fatty matter (TFM), defined as the total amount of fatty matter (fatty acids - oleic, stearic and palmitic), which can be separated from a sample after splitting with mineral acid (hydrochloric acid).....read more

Test for Giardia in patients with chronic diarrhea
The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) has published updated practice guidelines on laboratory evaluation of patients with functional diarrhea and diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D).

These guidelines are applicable for the evaluation of the immunocompetent patient with “watery” diarrhea of at least 4 weeks duration. They exclude patients with bloody diarrhea; diarrhea with signs of fat malabsorption; presentations with alarm features (weight loss, anemia, and hypoalbuminemia); patients with a family history of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), colon cancer, or celiac disease; and those with a travel history to regions with recognized specific diarrhea-related pathogens....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 fulfil the inner happiness.

Righteous earning is called ‘Artha’ and it has been mistakenly 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

AIIMS Delhi wins top cleanliness award, bags Rs 3 crore
ET Healthworld-PTI

NEW DELHI: The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Friday bagged the first prize from the Centre for maintaining cleanliness within the institute premises and showing dedication towards the mission of the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, along with Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey, presented the Kayakalp Awards to winners during an event held at the India Habitat Centre here. AIIMS was awarded the first prize of Rs 3 crore. The Health Ministry had prepared a list of central government institutions, district and private hospitals and community health centres for their work in maintaining high standards of sanitation and hygiene in public health facilities and awarded these hospitals under the 'Kayakalp Awards Scheme'. "Kayakalp award has made you an inspiration towards 'swachhta' in your community and region. Now you should become role models for other health facilities and inspire and lead your community and districts towards achieving the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene," Harsh Vardhan said while urging the winners during the national felicitation ceremony of Kayakalp awardees (2018-19) for their work in maintaining high standards of sanitation and hygiene. Harsh Vardhan commended the awardees and said cleanliness is no more a one-time activity but is integrated in our day-to-day practices and should become a habit.

IMA seeks to make health a poll issue, demands hike in govt spending in sector.
Express News Service

“The ‘Health First’ initiative aims is to provide a holistic approach to the healthcare sector with the common man as a focal point,” said Dr Avinash Bhondwe, president-elect, IMA (Maharashtra), on Thursday. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) is planning to launch an initiative in which it will act as a think tank as well as a support and pressure group to the government at the national and state levels to bring health to the forefront of the agenda of political parties. “The ‘Health First’ initiative aims is to provide a holistic approach to the healthcare sector with the common man as a focal point,” said Dr Avinash Bhondwe, president-elect, IMA (Maharashtra), on Thursday. The IMA, which has more than 3 lakh modern medicine doctors as direct members across the country and another 5 lakh indirect members through its wings such as junior doctor network, medical students network, federation of medical association and women’s wing, released a health manifesto on Thursday. “In our manifesto, we have demanded increased public expenditure in healthcare, universal health coverage through government funding, private-public partnership facilitated by not-for-profit institutions, emphasis on primary care and rural healthcare, structured universal three-tier reference system, primary, secondary and tertiary care, no criminalisation of medical profession, and public funded quality medical education, governed by autonomous democratic regulation,” said Bhondwe.

WHO to collaborate with govt to accelerate Ayushman Bharat
The Pioneer-IANS

The WHO India Country Cooperation Strategy 2019-2023 has identified accelerating progress of the Ayushman Bharat programme as the top strategic priority. As per the strategy document released on Wednesday, accelerating progress on universal health care (UHC) will be the top priority with a focus on equitable access and all aspects of health service delivery, from the implementation of the Ayushman Bharat health sector reforms aimed at expanding access to quality primary health care services. This will include providing financial protection for those requiring hospital care, eliminating neglected tropical diseases, controlling vaccine-preventable and vector-borne diseases, and ensuring digital health interventions are appropriately used to deliver health care. The Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) provides a strategic roadmap for WHO to work with the Central government towards achieving its health sector goals, in improving the health of its population and bringing in transformative changes in the health sector. The CCS covers the period 2019-23 and it notes that significant improvements in health have been achieved in the past two decades - including sharp reductions in child and maternal mortality, the elimination of several infectious diseases (polio, maternal and neonatal tetanus, yaws), a dramatic decline in HIV/AIDS incidence, and a doubling of the percentage of births taking place in health facilities in 10 years. Building on this success, the document notes that the government has set a series of ambitious goals in its National Health Policy 2017, including achieving universal health coverage, with a focus on poor and vulnerable populations, and doubling public spending on health. Speaking at the event, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said 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. Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India, said: "The implementation of this CCS will build on the remarkable successes in public health that India has demonstrated to the world. It's a great opportunity to showcase India as a model to the world in initiatives such as digital health, access to quality medicines and medical products, comprehensive hepatitis control program and Ayushman Bharat."

Mental Health Day: There is a rise in 'eco-anxiety' as climate change affects mental health
FirstPost-The Conversation

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) recently declared climate change a health emergency, reflecting similar positions taken by a growing list of peak medical bodies around the world.
The AMA’s statement highlights the significant impacts climate change is having on physical health, including an increase in climate-related deaths. The World Health Organisation regards climate change as “the greatest threat to global health in the 21st Century”. But the statement also draws the very important issue of mental health out of the shadows. Climate change can affect people’s mental health in a number of ways, both directly and indirectly. We know experiencing extreme weather events is a risk factor for mental illness. And many thousands of people around the world are displaced from their homes as a result of climate events, putting them at perhaps even higher risk of mental illness. More generally, people feeling distressed about the state of the planet may find themselves in a spiral of what’s been termed “eco-anxiety”. Unprecedented weather events across Australia are already demonstrating clear and devastating impacts on the mental health of Australians, particularly in rural areas which are being hit the hardest by unseasonal drought, fires and floods. These extreme weather events have resulted in the loss of homes, land and livelihoods. Research has found these experiences are taking a significant psychological toll on Australian farmers, who feel their sense of place and identities are under threat. Meanwhile, we’ve seen increasing rates of suicide among rural communities.