Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee

Dated: 18th July, 2019

Philippines declares National Dengue Alert

The Health Secretary, Philippines has declared a National Dengue Alert due to the rapidly increasing number of cases observed in several regions, according to the DOH Statement on the Declaration of National Dengue Alert on 15th July. Among regions which have exceeded the epidemic threshold are MIMAROPA (Region IV-B), Western Visayas (Region VI), Central Visayas (Region VII) and Northern Mindanao (Region X). Some regions are being monitored after having exceeded the alert threshold.

In coordination with the National Disaster Risk Reduction management Council (NDRRMC), through Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad of the Office of Civil Defense, code blue alert is activated. DOH as lead agency will be convening the NCRRMC Health Cluster.

According to the press release, the most effective way to prevent dengue is still the 4S strategy: Search and destroy mosquito breeding places, Self-protective measures like wearing long sleeves and use of insect repellent, Seek early consultation on the first signs and symptoms of the disease and Say yes to fogging if there is an impending outbreak. “Dengue is preventable through the 4S strategy and early detection. Do the 4S and know its signs and symptoms,” Secretary Duque urged the public.

Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill 2019 introduced

Now cashless treatment for RTA victims, compulsory insurance and protection of good Samaritans

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha on Monday. It has been passed in the Lok Sabha and is pending in the Rajya Sabha.

The new Bill has proposed some radical amendments such as imposing hefty penalties for violation of traffic rules and holding the owners of the vehicle or guardian of the juvenile liable in case of juvenile offences. It provides for protection of Good Samaritans and empowers the Central Government to recall vehicles which do not meet standards.

The compensation and insurance provisions in case of motor vehicle accidents have also been modified. The new Bill provides for cashless treatment for RTA victims, compulsory insurance and good Samaritans......read more

Music therapy

Music therapy can ameliorate physical and emotional distress. It can improve distress caused by pain, decrease muscle tension and promote relaxation, decrease anxiety, improve chemotherapy-related nausea and emesis, and improve overall mood [1,2], help manage postoperative nausea and vomiting [3] and reduce pain intensity levels and opioid requirements [4,5].....read more

Healthcare News Monitor

Make violence non-bailable offence: Indian Medical Association

Daily News & Analysis

Indian Medical Association (IMA), which is representative body of doctors of modern scientific system of medicine, has made a fresh appeal to the union government for an early enactment of a law to curb attack on doctors with a provision of stringent action against attackers. The trigger was attack on three resident doctors of the civic-run Nair Hospital in central Mumbai on Sunday by the relatives of a patient. IMA's appeal comes at a time when the NDA government recently has formed an inter ministerial committee to frame a Central legislation covering the important features of the acts already enacted by 22 states to deal with attack on doctors and health establishments. Already, the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) has condemned the attack demanding a strict Central Protection Act for doctors. IMA Maharashtra former secretary Dr Parthiv Sanghvi told DNA, "The Central act should make the violence against doctors and healthcare establishments a non bailable offence. Are we asking anything more? Isn't security a basic right of a doctor?'' He said IMA has been fighting for security of doctors and demanding their safety at all places including government and municipal hospitals.

Goal is to make India a global model for ‘Health for All’: Harsh Vardhan

Hindustan Times

Dr Harsh Vardhan began his second term as minister in the National Democratic Alliance – II government by cycling from home to the health and family welfare ministry in Vigyan Bhavan to highlight the importance of physical activity for health and green transport for the environment. He had not even hopped off his bicycle when his staff informed him about a Nipah case being confirmed in Kerala, which was followed a week later by nationwide protests and strikes by doctors and health professionals after two junior doctors were assaulted at Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College in Kolkata. Dr Harsh Vardhan speaks to Sanchita Sharma on the firefighting his ministry has done over seven weeks and its plans for the next five years.
Edited excerpts: Q. Your taking charge was immediately followed by one of India’s biggest doctors’ strikes. How can hospitals be made safer for doctors? Doctors often work under stressful and difficult conditions and I strongly condemn assault against them. The violence in Kolkata that led to doctors’ strikes across the country gravely affected healthcare services. The health ministry has set up a 10-member committee on violence against doctors with representation from the ministry, Indian Medical Association (IMA), Federation of Resident Doctors Association, Medical Council of India, AIIMS, and the Union ministry of home affairs and the law department. The first meeting was on July 10th, during which the home and law ministries concurred on the need for a central legislation. It was decided to have the first draft of the proposed Act readied within a week.

2,500 drugs samples out of 76,000 examined found substandard in 2018-19

Financial Express- PTI

Of the 76,101 drug samples examined in the country last fiscal, over 2,500 did not meet the prescribed quality standards, while more than 200 were found to be spurious, the government told the Rajya Sabha Tuesday. Answering a query in the Upper House, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey said the figures were provided by the drugs controllers of various states and Union Territories. He said that of the 76,101 medicine samples tested in 2018-19, 2,549 were found to be substandard and 205 were adulterated. The minister said the government is committed to ensuring that the quality, safety and efficacy of drugs are not compromised. Asked about the steps being taken in this regard, he said the government has put in place several measures including “strengthening of legal provisions, conducting workshops and training programmes for manufacturers and regulatory officials and measures such as risk based inspections.” “Drugs manufactured in the country…whether generic medicines or branded medicines, are required to comply with the same standards as prescribed in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules made thereunder for their quality. “The State Licensing Authorities are empowered to take action against violations of any of the requirements,” the minister said.

Government readies nationwide genome analysis plan in bid to reduce disease burden

Mint– Neetu Chandra Sharma

The government is exploring recreational genetics, a new area in the field of genome testing, for reducing India’s disease burden. Private DNA testing laboratories offering recreational genetics tests are already burgeoning in India. Now, the department of biotechnology (DBT) has initiated a programme called human genetics and genome analysis in which the country’s genetic resource is being utilized to develop baseline data initially on various ethnic groups for disease susceptibility. “We are focusing on improving human health by promoting the development and dissemination of genomic methodologies and tools for prediction and prevention of human disease, and for therapeutic intervention. The aim is to improve disease management through lifestyle modulation, improvement in public health, reduction of disease burden, and lowering of treatment cost with more genetic laboratories and trained personnel in the area," said Renu Swarup, secretary at DBT. Several private laboratories are using recreational genetic tests to offer a tailor-made lifestyle, diet, weight loss, and disease prevention plan for each individual for maintaining optimal health and fitness. While recreational genetic tests are common in the US and several European countries, in India the genetic testing market is still at a nascent stage. The addressable market for recreational genetic tests is 500,000, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).