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

FSSAI issues draft notification for regulating food sold to school kids

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a draft notification for regulating the food sold to school children in school canteens and periphery. Called the Food Safety and Standards (Safe Food and Healthy Diets for School Children) Regulations, 2019, these regulations are based on FSSAI’s 10-point charter for food sold, supplied to school children.

As per the norms, the FSSAI has sought a prohibition on sale of food commonly called as ‘junk food’ to school children. The apex food regulator has said that foods which are referred to as foods high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) cannot be sold to school children in school canteens/ mess premises/ hostel kitchens or within 50 m of the school campus … The draft also talks about general guidance for providing safe and wholesome food to children in which thefood is divided into three categories.The Eat Adequatelycategory which will include 70-80% food of the menu, Eat Moderately category which includes packaged food and other similar stuff to be eaten occasionally in small portions and third wasEat Sparinglywhich includes HFSS food and regulation says it should be discouraged (FSSAI, Nov. 7, 2019)

Repeated eye rubbing is a risk factor for keratoconus
Keratoconus (KC) is a progressive degenerative condition of the eye in which the cornea becomes progressively thinner and cone-like. If left untreated, it can lead to significant visual impairment.

The word keratoconus originates from the Greek words kerato-idis (cornea) and konos (cone). The condition was first described by John Nottingham.

Key points about keratoconus

Keratoconus is a non-inflammatory, bilateral (but usually asymmetrical) disease of the cornea resulting in progressive corneal steepening

It is characterised by paracentral corneal thinning and ectasia so that the cornea becomes cone like in shape. ....read more

Sudden cardiac arrests over the weekend have poor prognosis
(Excerpts from AHA, Nov. 11, 2019): People who experience cardiac arrests over the weekend are less likely to survive long enough to be admitted to a hospital, compared to those who had the same medical event on a weekday, according to preliminary research to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Resuscitation Science Symposium 2019 — November 16-17 in Philadelphia.

U.K. researchers investigated “survival-to-hospital admission” for patients who suffered an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest and were treated by a publicly accessible automated external defibrillator (AED). They analyzed data of nearly 3,000 patients worldwide and noted that 27% survived to hospital admission, in line with other independent studies. ....read more

Why do we apply holy ash?

Bhasma is the holy ash produced from the Homa, the sacrificial fire, wherein special wood along with ghee and other herbs are offered as a part of pooja. By the time a Bhasma is formed, no trace of original matter remains in the ash. Ash obtained from any burnt object is not bhasma. The ritual involves worshipping the deity by pouring ash as abhishek and then distributing it as Bhasma, which is then applied on the forehead (usually), upper arms, chest, or rubbed all over the body. Some consume a pinch of Bhasma when they receive it. The word Bhasma is derived from “bha” or "bhartsanam" ("to destroy") and "sma" or "smaranam" ("to remember"). It denotes "that by which our sins are destroyed and the Lord is remembered". Bhasma is also called vibhuti, which means glory. Bhasma is associated with Lord Shiva who applies it all over His body. ....read more

Healthcare News Monitor

ET Healthworld - Chaitanya Deshpande

The ministry of health and family welfare has proposed amendments in the drugs and cosmetic rules 1945 by which it will allow many health professionals to supply medicines to their patients on the lines of doctors. In a gazette published on November 6, the government has proposed to allow health functionaries, including community health officers, nurses, auxiliary nurse midwives and lady health visitors, to supply medicines to patients. At present, only doctors are allowed to give medicines to their patients, bypassing the pharmacists. The Doctor of Pharmacy Association has strongly objected to this proposal. In the official statement issued on November 10, Dr SAI Kumar Katam, national president of the association, has claimed that no medical professional, including doctors, should be allowed to supply medicines directly by bypassing pharmacists. They have also demanded revocation of Schedule K (5) in the D & C Act which mandates doctors to stock and ‘supply’ medicines to their own patients visiting their clinics or hospitals. “The proposed amendment is very dangerous to public health,” said Dr Katam. “No category of professionals except pharmacists should be allowed to keep, sell and dispense medicines. Direct selling of medicines by doctors and other health professionals to patients can lead to serious misuse of drugs,” he said.

The Tribune

The decision of the state government to cap the price of buprenorphine, a de-addiction drug, has been hailed by local activists working on the issue. Ravinder Sultanwind, a local RTI activist and social worker, who had also filed a Public Interest Litigation on the issue, said: “Private de-addiction centres had turned the tables in their favour and were minting huge money by selling one tablet for around Rs 35 to Rs 40.” He said now, the government needed to make sure that patients got the medicine at the price fixed by it and private centres were not able to hoodwink the law. The Punjab government had last week fixed the price of one tablet at Rs 7.50. Sultanwind said: “Some de-addiction centres are making huge profits in the name of drug de-addiction. The distress of the affected families is being encashed on.” Rajinder Sharma, another activist, said: “The decision of the government to fix the sale price of the medicine was a much-needed one. With lakhs of drug addiction patients, it was a huge burden on the poor families and a big business for private centres.”

Pharmabiz India - Peethaambaran Kunnathoor

Alleging that the union government is trying to dilute the Drugs and Cosmetics Act under the pretext of amending Section 23 of Schedule K, various national level pharmacist associations are likely to throng at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on December 1, asking the government to withdraw its decision. The protest will be in the form of a peaceful agitation by pharmacists belonging to different states and union territories, it is learnt. The agitation is mainly intended to highlight the motto, save pharmacy profession and save people’s health. Prominent associations in New Delhi are coordinating other pharmacists groups from all the states and union territories across the country to make the agitation a strong one on the day. According to information from various states, Jantar Mantar will be flooded with agitating pharmacists on the day of the strike. Another allegation from the pharmacist community is that the health ministry’s decision to amend the Schedule K will degrade the professional status of pharmacists in the country and it will create adverse effects on the health of the people. Prior to the agitation, the pharmacist groups will submit a memorandum to the Union health minister, for which signature campaigns were started all over India. Before the agitation takes place, the memorandum will be given to the minister by national leaders, it is learnt. Dipak Trehan, president of Pharmacy Graduates Welfare Association (PGWA) in New Delhi, has commented that although this notification for amendment will help unite all segments of healthcare professionals like pharmacists, nurses, ANMs and ASHA workers, empowering other categories of professionals to dispense drugs in health centers is a kind of professional encroachment by totally neglecting the dispensing category of the healthcare system. He said dispensing by pharmacist is not only a professional right, but it is a constitutional right as well.

Express Healthcare

Aiming to empower all specialised medical professionals, initiative will help train them in management of polytrauma patients and deliver Golden Hour care Fortis Hospital Mulund launched the ‘National Trauma Life Support Programme’ in association with the Society for Emergency Medicine India, at the hospital. It was launched by Dr Sandeep Gore, HOD-Emergency Medicine, Fortis Hospital Mulund (who is the Director of this programme) under the guidance of Dr S Narayani, Zonal Director, Fortis Hospital, Mulund. Dr Ramesh Punjani, President, Indian Medical Association (Mulund) was the guest of honour. The programme is accredited by Maharashtra Medical Council for 3 CPD credit points and is endorsed by the Association of National Board Accredited Institute (ANBAI), Association of Health Provider (AHP) and Society for Emergency Medicine India (SEMI). It is designed to train doctors involved in Emergency Care and Acute Trauma care. Aiming to empower all specialised medical professionals in Mumbai, the initiative will help train them in management of polytrauma (Major Trauma) patients and deliver Golden Hour care. The programme includes lectures and training modules on lifesaving skills such as airway management, inserting chest tube, FAST etc. To be hosted every quarter, the participants will be certified upon completion of the course, and after passing the examination. Speaking about the importance of the programme, Dr Sandeep Gore, HOD-Emergency Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Mulund and Course Director, National Trauma Life Support Programme, said, “Trauma is a neglected disease in India. As per statistics, every 1.9 minutes someone dies due to injury, 80 per cent of trauma victims don’t get Golden Hour care, 30 per cent of trauma patients die even before they reach the emergency department. There is a dearth of proper pre-hospitalisation care and deficiency of well trained professionals in administering polytrauma care. To progressively change this scenario, we designed this programme. For budding medical professionals, it is very important to understand and master art of saving lives within the Golden Hour. We aim to further our belief in saving and enriching lives through this initiative.”

ET Healthworld- PTI

New Delhi: A 16-year-old Delhi girl, suspected to be suffering from dengue, has died here, officials and hospital sources said on Sunday. A resident of East Kidwai Nagar housing complex, she was admitted to Max Hospital here and was running fever for the last 8-10 days, officials said. "Today, an information was received from area inspector regarding the death of a young girl of 16 years, a resident of E-1 type-3 tower 16 of East Kidwai Nagar complex here," a senior official of the Delhi health department said. However, it has not been confirmed if the fatality was due to dengue, the official said. Max Hospital sources said the girl was a suspected dengue case. Further details from the hospital was awaited. As the relatives of the patient were not available, the hospital papers could not be accessed, officials said. More than 1500 families are residing in various towers of East Kidwai Nagar complex. The National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) is responsible for cleaning, sweeping, collecting garbage and carrying out anti-malarial and anti-larval activities at the complex.