Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                                  Dated:17 October,2019

Malaysia confirms first Zika case since 2016

The Malaysia Ministry of Health (MOH) reported a confirmed Zika virus in a patient from Perak state. This is the first case reported in the country since 2016.

According to officials, the 30-year-old man presented with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea on Sep. 26 and was admitted to the hospital the next day. The patient is in stable condition. Testing performed by the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) confirmed Zika virus this week. Control measures have been implemented by the District Health Office with the Aedes Breeding Inspection activities, Larvasiding to kill the larvae, and issuing a notice to clean up the breeding grounds.

In 2016, eight cases of Zika were confirmed in Malaysia. In 2017 and 2018, there were no confirmed Zika cases in Malaysia… (Outbreaknewstoday.com)

Health check-ups at the 26th Perfect Health Mela
Everybody needs a health check-up. The question then arises, which tests should be done as part of a health check-up? The 26th Perfect Health Mela, which begins on Friday, 18th October at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, gives you the answer to this question.

The A1c or glycosylated haemoglobin is recommended as a diagnostic test for type 2 diabetes. It gives the average level of blood sugar over the last 3 months. A1c will tell you if you have diabetes and if you are a diabetic, it will tell you, whether your diabetes is under control. ....read more

Traumatic microbleeds predict worse outcomes after head injury
(NIH): Using advanced imaging, researchers have uncovered new information regarding traumatic microbleeds, which appear as small, dark lesions on MRI scans after head injury but are typically too small to be detected on CT scans. The findings published in Brain suggest that traumatic microbleeds are a form of injury to brain blood vessels and may predict worse outcomes. The study was conducted in part by scientists at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health. ....read more

Science behind Karva Chauth Fast
  The fast is observed four days after Sharad Purnima and eight days after Dussehra.

  It is a popular fast in Hinduism. It is observed by the married women for the wellbeing of their husbands.

  The fast builds relationship between the husband and wife and is often promoted on the theme “be faithful to your partner.” ....read more

Healthcare News Monitor

India falls to 102 in hunger index, 8 ranks below Pakistan
ET Healthworld/TNN-Rema Nagarajan

India was ranked 102nd on the Global Hunger Index, an index of 117 countries. It was the lowest ranked among South Asian countries (the rest being ranked between 66 and 94) and way behind the other Brics nations, the lowest of which was South Africa at 59. After steady improvement, India's rank slipped from 2015, when it was ranked 93. Even Pakistan, which used to be the only country in South Asia to rank below India, has pulled ahead in the 2019 ranking to 94th place. The GHI score, which reflects data from 2014 to 2018, is based on the proportion of a country's child population that is undernourished, share of children under five years of age who have insufficient weight for their height or whose height is not commensurate to their age, and the mortality rate of under-5 children. Because of its large population, India's GHI indicator values have an outsized impact on the indicator values for the region. India's child wasting rate is extremely high at 20.8% - the highest wasting rate of any country in this report," stated the report on the index. The data shows that India's poor scores were pulling down South Asia to a point where it does worse than even sub-Saharan Africa. The report said only 9.6% of children between 6-23 months in India were fed a minimum acceptable diet (a recent Union health ministry survey had in fact put that figure at an even lower 6.4%). The GHI report praised the progress made by Bangladesh, attributing it to "robust economic growth and attention to 'nutrition-sensitive' sectors such as education, sanitation, and health".

Chandigarh: ‘Rs 200 crore allocated for integrated health research’
ET Healthworld - Shimona Kanwar

CHANDIGARH: A corpus of Rs 200 crore has been created to promote integrated science and health research in the country, said Niti Aayog member Dr V K Paul during his visit at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, on Tuesday. “The government is working on a special research fund and scheme on integrated health research. A corpus has been made and Niti Aayog shall anchor it,” Paul said. However, the PGI is yet to start anything on alternative medicine. On this, Paul said, “AIIMS has an integrative health centre. Why is PGI not promoting it? Our policies on this are clear. We will have a centre of excellence here and GMCH can jointly work with it.” Moreover, the Medical Council of India has changed its ways of promoting medical faculty, said Paul, who is also the chairman of MCI board of governors. “Now, there is no need to be first author to get promoted from assistant to associate professor in medical colleges. This is to allow students to get a chance as real researchers,” he added. “Earlier, two paper publications were mandatory. However, the one paper required now has to be indexed in known sources — Pubmed, scopus, science index etc. The other requirement is to be among the first three authors or the corresponding author. As we all cheat sometimes, students do not get credit for their work, which is why this new system has been designed,” he reiterated.

India yet to adopt EHR data for clinical trials even as hospitals document patient information
Pharmabiz India – Nandita Vijay

India is yet to adopt Electronic Health Records (EHR) even as the country’s healthcare providers document patient information prior to accessing diagnosis and treatment. Even MHRA (Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) in UK is gearing up for a discussion on October 28, 2019 with the UK-based EHR developer companies to ascertain how best the regulatory and clinical trial industry could work together to maximise the population data. Commenting on the MHRA efforts, Dr Chirag Trivedi, president, Indian Society for Clinical Research (ISCR) said that hospitals in India are increasingly adopting EHR. But the use of EHR capabilities for clinical research in India is still in its infancy. India needs to hasten the process of adopting EHR and plough its benefit into clinical research which will help find newer treatment options for the unmet medical needs for patients. In its blog, MHRA stated that its meeting will highlight the importance of EHR systems to ensure the UK remains a global leader in clinical trials. Its legislation on clinical trials mandated EHR and that UK was now looking at how best to work together to meet those requirements within systems already implemented and in use, as well as those in development.

Health Ministry directs state DCs to use common software to process application for grant of drug manufacturing license
Pharmabiz India – Shardul Nautiyal

Union Health Ministry has directed all the state drugs control authorities to start utilising common software platform (statedrugs.gov.in) to process application for grant of drug manufacturing license. The Drugs Consultative Committee (DCC) in its 56th meet recommended on the development of common software platform with support from Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) for online filing and processing of application for grant of drug manufacturing license. C-DAC is an autonomous scientific society of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India - It was also recommended the programme should be rolled out pan-India for which training has already been provided to 5 officials of various state drugs control departments by the C-DAC on June 10, 2019. All state drugs control authorities should utilise common software platform (statedrugs.gov.in) by obtaining login ID and password and validating all application formats. This can be done by getting dummy application from stakeholders or if already validated should start using it in full-fledged manner. In case of any problem, the stakeholders have been directed to mail IT helpdesk at ithelpdesk.sugam@gmail.com and can also take support from zonal or sub-zonal heads of Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).

Uber partners DocsApp to offer healthcare benefits for driver, delivery partners
The New Indian Express – IANS

Cab aggregator Uber on Tuesday partnered DocsApp to avail free medical consultations, subsidised prescription medicines along with lab tests for its driver and delivery partners across Uber rides and Uber Eats platforms. "We are delighted to announce our partnership with DocsApp which aims to enhance the quality of life of our driver-partners, and their families, by providing them with increased access to medical consultations. Backed with this partnership, we believe our driver-partners will be better equipped to deliver their best when driving on our platform," Pavan Vaish, Head of Central Operations (Rides), India SA Uber said in a statement. Under the partnership, the driver and delivery partners will be able to get medical assistance at a nominal cost for themselves and up to 5 family members. Through this partnership, they can get access to free unlimited consultations from doctors on call, along with up to 20 per cent discount on medicines and up to 40 per cent discount on lab tests anywhere in India. Over 50,000 Uber India driver-partners have already registered on the online doctor consultation platform. Additionally, the drivers will be sent a pre-recorded message to help them avail the services, and they will have a separate customer support number for this.