Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                                  Dated:23 October,2019

What can you do about flu?

  Get vaccinated:Anyone can benefit from influenza vaccination, but it is particularly important if you are in a high-risk group. WHO recommends that older people, pregnant women, children under 5 years old, and people with an underlying health condition such as asthma or diabetes get vaccinated. If a loved one falls into one of these categories, encourage them to get the vaccine.

   Use good manners when you cough and sneeze:Coughs and sneezes spread the germs that cause influenza. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze using your arm or a tissue. Make sure you throw any tissues away before washing your hands with soap and water.

  Keep your hands clean:Washing your hands regularly throughout the day can help protect you from influenza and other germs.

  And if you have flu, remember that hospital emergency departments are only for serious cases. If you have symptoms like fever, sore throat, coughing and sneezing, go home and rest so you don’t infect others. Keep warm and drink plenty of fluids. You can also contact primary health-care providers, local clinics and pharmacists to seek advice on your symptoms ... (Source: WHO Europe)

Medical Guidelines Vs Regulation: Cracking Down
Reproduced from: http://www.indialegallive.com/viewpoint/medical-guidelines-vs-regulation-cracking-down-73706, published October 17, 2019

With the ICMR pulling up clinics allowing geriatric pregnancies using ART, doctors need to question their own role towards patients in the absence of a law in this regard

All medical marvels may not be legal. A case in point is that of 74-year-old Erramatti Mangayamma who delivered twins on September 5 using Assisted Reproductive Technique (ART). Now the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued a notice of closure to Guntur-based Ahalya IVF clinic where Mangayamma was treated.

Terming it an unethical practice, the ICMR has asked the clinic to explain why it performed IVF on a senior citizen, thereby risking her life. If the reply is not satisfactory, its licence may be cancelled. ICMR’s 2017 guidelines cap the age limit for ART at 45 for women and 50 for men. The Assisted Reproductive Technologies (Regulation) Bill, which is yet to be passed by Parliament, also caps the age limit at 45 for women to undergo IVF. ....read more

American Indians at a higher risk for atrial fibrillation
American Indians are at higher risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) compared to other racial and ethnic groups, according to new research published in the journal Circulation. The higher frequency of atrial fibrillation in this population group persisted after controlling for other factors such as age, sex, income and cardiovascular and other diseases.

The retrospective observational study reviewed 300,000 new cases of AF treated in an emergency department, inpatient hospital or ambulatory surgery clinic between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2011, in California. Nearly 400,000 patients were excluded due to pre-existing AFib. ....read more

The Five Interior Powers
To be in a state of happiness, bliss and ananda is what the ultimate goal of life is. Everybody is born with certain inherent powers, which if cultivated in the right direction will lead to inner happiness.

The ancient Shiva Sutra text talks about the concept of Shiva and Shakti. Shiva is silence, Shakti is power; Shiva is creativity, Shakti is creation; Shiva is love, Shakti is loving.....read more

Healthcare News Monitor

In a first, PMJAY rewards 3 hospitals with 'gold certificate' for quality culture
ET Healthworld/ANI-Priyanka Sharma

New Delhi: In a first in India, three hospitals have been rewarded by the government with 'gold certificates' for bringing in quality culture in providing healthcare services to the patients under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY). These hospitals are UN Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre based at Ahmedabad, Cygnus Super Speciality Hospital in Haryana and Spine Institute of Orthopaedic in Ahmedabad. "We have a very robust system, which closely monitors the compliance with the norms related to the quality certificate given by the PMJAY. So far we have received four applications for the certificate," said Dr JL Meena, General Manager, Hospital Networking and Quality Assurance at AB-PMJAY while talking to ANI. "Three hospitals have fulfilled the criteria for the gold certificate. Application for one hospital is still under scrutiny. This entire process is aimed at building a culture of quality healthcare for the patients," added Dr Meena. Last month, the implementing body of AB-PMJAY - the National Health Authority framed comprehensive guidelines for hospitals to be empanelled with the healthcare scheme to apply for a quality certificate. This list of guidelines includes infrastructure, human resource requirements, appropriate space for the ambulance in hospital for patient movement, proper lighting facility inside and outside the hospital, medical instruments and equipment, their maintenance, fire fighting equipment and basic amenities like safe drinking water, hygiene, canteen, suitable toilets for men and women.

Resistance to common antibiotic rising among Indian patients
The Free Press Journal- Bharat Upadhyay

Resistance to commonly-used antibiotic clarithromycin is rising among Indian patients and that too at quite a fast pace, health experts have warned. Clarithromycin is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. This medication can also be used in combination with anti-ulcer medications to treat certain types of stomach ulcers. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development today. Sunil Sofat, Additional Director, Department of Interventional Cardiology (Adult) at Jaypee Hospital in Noida, said that every antibiotic medicine has its own mechanism to treat diseases. "Yes, this is true that the resistance to clarithromycin is rising among the Indian patients and that too at quite a fast pace. There are multiple factors for the same but one of the major reasons behind it is self-medication," Sofat told IANS. "In India, a huge population prefers to consume over-the-counter (OTC) drugs without even consulting a doctor. In the long run, this may make them resistant to most of the antibiotics including clarithromycin," Sofat added.

Drug sales reveal our lifestyle woes
ET Healthworld - Sushmi Dey

Anti-infectives along with medicines for cardiac diseases, diabetes, gastro-intestinal and respiratory problems garnered the highest sales in the Indian pharmaceutical market in last one year, pointing to a rapidly growing burden of lifestyle-related ailments. Indians spent over Rs 1,36,000 crore on medicines in last one year ending September 2019, of which 31% was spent on medicines for diabetes, heart disorders and other chronic ailments. This is also the fastest growing segment at 13% as compared to acute therapies which accounted for 47% of the market but grew by 11.7% and sub-chronic segment at 10.7%, according to data released by All India Organisation of Chemists & Druggists (AIOCD). While anti-infectives topped the list of medicines with highest sales value, those for cardiac problems, diabetes and gastro-intestinal disorders were among the top five, with only cardiac and anti-diabetes drugs registering double digit growth of 12.6% and 14.9%, respectively, for the year. The overall drug sales grew by 9.8% during the period. People spent over Rs 17,000 crore on cardiac drugs, around Rs 15,400 crore for gastro-intestinal disorders and over Rs 13,360 crore on anti-diabetes medicines in the last 12 months. Anti-infectives accounted for the highest sales of over Rs 18,413 crore. “Sales of anti-diabetic drugs has increased due to multiple factors like increased number of patients, more frequent diagnosis, increasing use of more expensive drugs and insulin. Importantly, use of conventional low cost drugs/insulin could help manage about 60-70% cases of diabetes in India, thus reducing out of pocket cost for patients,” says Dr Anoop Misra, Chairman Fortis C-Doc. Maximum drug launches were in cardiovascular and respiratory segments. Around 78 new drugs were launched in September alone. Of these, 18 were to treat cardiovascular diseases, 17 were vitamins, minerals and nutrients and 14 were in in the respiratory segment.

Study: Govt facilities rare for transgender healthcare
ET Healthworld- Jisha Surya

Thiruvananthapuram: Though state became a pioneer in the country by introducing a transgender policy four years ago, a study has found that there is a huge gap in gender-affirmative healthcare here. The study prepared by Queerala, an organisation for LGBTIQ community, has found that government facilities for gender-affirmative healthcare were rare or non-existent in the state. It found that no government hospital provided sex reassignment surgeries (SRS), forcing transgender persons to approach private hospital, which is costly. As transgender persons often face social stigma, gender-affirmative healthcare is more than surgical and biomedical procedures, but also involves long-term support and social acceptance. Though the state government opened exclusive clinics for transgender persons in general hospital Kozhikode and Kottayam medical college, only general health services are provided there and they function only once a month. One successful free top surgery was performed for a transwoman this year at MCH Kottayam. One case of sex reassignment surgery conducted at Thiruvananthapuram medical college resulted in severe complications, finds the study. “There is a distinct trend of privatization of gender-affirmative services in Kerala, which has important implications. While private players like Renai Medicity and Amrita are setting the standards for gender-affirmative healthcare and offering cost-effective services, there is the danger that this trend would restrict healthcare to those transgender people who can afford it. It can also add to the idea that processes like hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery (SRS) are ‘luxury’ cosmetic services rather than essential welfare measures to address the right to live of a certain section of people in society,” the study observed.

Researchers developing ayurvedic alternatives for treating bacterial, fungal infections
ET Healthworld- PTI

New Delhi: Researchers at AIIMS, Bhopal, are working on developing ayurvedic alternatives for antibiotics used for treating bacterial and fungal infections with the global medical fraternity pitching for rational use of drugs amid rising cases of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Preliminary results of the ongoing research have indicated that herbal drug Fifatrol can be a suitable alternative to allopathic antibiotics without causing any side effects, a senior doctor at the institute said. The ayurvedic drug, enriched with immune-enhancing herbs, has been found to be effective in curing major bacterial infections such as staphylococcus species that causes fever, cough and cold, and skin diseases among others. If not treated in time it can be fatal for people with weak immune system, he said. The research also indicates that the drug is suitable in controlling spread of infectious diseases caused due to E. coli bacteria and others. Giving details about the research, the doctor said, "Ayurvedic medicines generally increase immunity, but Fifatrol so far has shown very promising results against combating bacteria too."