Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                             Dated:28th August,2019

Knowledge alone is insufficient to change behavior
Teacher training followed by classroom education with information, activities, and emotional support improves lifestyles in teachers and students, according to research from Brazil to be presented at ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology. The study suggests that knowledge alone is insufficient to change behaviour. In the study, junk food intake in children reduced by health education that addresses emotional issues.

The Happy Life, Healthy Heart programme randomly allocated 10 public schools (473 students aged 6 to 12 and 32 teachers) in the city of Frederico Westphalen, Brazil, to the intervention group (five schools) or control group (five schools). The intervention had two stages: teacher training followed by students in the classroom.

Teachers attended four meetings over a four-month period, were given a booklet, and had access to video lessons. The material was in seven chapters: 1) risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in childhood; 2) choice of healthy foods; 3) food labelling; 4) sodium, sugars and fats; 5) emotional health and quality of life; 6) physical activity; and 7) healthy practices and changes in habits. Each section contained theory plus suggestions for classroom activities based on the theme, age of the children, and intended goals. The researcher visited the intervention schools to stimulate teachers and offer guidance.

For the control group schools, teachers did not participate in the training course and students attended the school’s usual classes about health and healthy eating based on the curriculum.

Both students and teachers benefitted from the intervention. The proportion of students following Brazilian Food Guide advice to avoid pizza/hamburgers and soft drinks increased significantly by 15% and 20%, respectively. In addition, there was a 28% increase in the number of teachers who were physically active.


Bonds for PG Seats: Arm-twisting Doctors
Reproduced from: http://www.indialegallive.com/viewpoint/bonds-for-pg-seats-arm-twisting-doctors-71170, published August 25, 2019

Odisha has proposed a penalty of about Rs 1.5 crore on MBBS students in state-run colleges who don’t sign a bond with it. Is this reasonable and does it not infringe the Constitution?

Anything done under coercion is hardly likely to get the desired results. And if involving doctors, it is very sad, for they are the ones who save lives. An adequate means of livelihood cannot be secured by taking away without any reason the means of livelihood.

And that is precisely what the government of Odisha has done. Its health minister, Naba Kisore Das, announced the state government’s decision to hike the rates of the bond policy for postgraduate and super-specialty medical students in state-run medical colleges in an effort to retain doctors. The move has been met with criticism from the association of government doctors. As per the government, a penalty will be imposed on qualified doctors who do not serve in the state for two years after completing their degrees. Odisha is said to have more than 2,400 vacancies against 6,500-plus sanctioned posts of doctors. But can a bond be the answer for the deficiency? Surely not. ....read more


Mera Bharat Mahan 13: Life after death as explained in Chandogya Upanishad
Life after death is the most difficult subject. Firstly, you, must be a believer of rebirth, have faith in Vedas and have some knowledge of Sankhya philosophy and Advaita Vedanta. You must also understand the concept of unmanifest God and manifest God.

Both Prashna and Chandogya Upanishad answer some of the unanswered questions in modern medicine.

What make life reversible with CPR even after hours if the body temperature is low? Why food is considered Brahman in Vedas? How soul travels in the universe? But also raise some questions which are difficult to understand as on today. ....read more


Healthcare News Monitor

Online pharmacy: Chemists, druggists to meet min today
ET Healthworld-Chaitanya Deshpande

Nagpur: A delegation of chemists and druggists will meet minister of state for chemicals and fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday to discuss key issues related to draft notification on online pharmacy. President of All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) J S Shinde said that the delegation will urge the health ministry to refrain from legalizing the sale of medicines online. “India’s online pharmacies currently operate without any regulation. The central government has prepared a draft to regulate them. While the draft was open for suggestions all these days, it received thousands of objections from various stakeholders of the pharma business. So, to deliberate on key issues related to draft notification, we have been invited to present their views,” said Shinde. The AIOCD has prepared a detailed presentation on this issue. “Buying prescription medicine from online pharmacies can be dangerous. You might get counterfeit medicines, and drugs considered unsafe and ineffective. These medicines may be less effective or have unexpected side effects,” he said.

Study finds new method to deliver nanotech-based drugs
The Hindu Business Line - Susheela Srinivas

Nanotechnology is increasingly being explored to deliver drugs. Efficient transfer of drugs to desired sites in the body, however, would require nano-based drugs to be able to penetrate biological barriers such as intestine barrier, blood-brain barrier and blood-retinal barrier. Now an international group of scientists has found that nano-based drugs could be effectively delivered by hitchhiking on the same transport mechanism that is used to carry iron in the body, without disrupting the natural process. The new process utilises small molecules called ligands, in this case, Gambogic Acid, that can latch on to a body protein called transferrin receptor, and deliver the drug effectively. The receptor is concentrated at the interface of different physiological barriers, particularly the human gut, and is known to regulate iron levels by facilitating binding of iron to another blood plasma protein called transferrin. The study focused on this protein because it may enable injectable drugs used for diabetes and cancer to be administrated via the oral method.

DocsApp acquires doctor-patient engagement platform DocWise for undisclosed sum
YourStory - Sujata Sangwan

Bengaluru-based online doctor consultation platform, DocsApp, recently made its first acquisition with patient-doctor engagement optimisation platform DocWise for an undisclosed sum. DocWise claims to be preferred by more than 1,000 senior consultants from top hospitals to streamline patient communication. The move will help DocsApp’s doctor network and enrich its engagement with the community, said a release. Speaking on the acquisition, Satish Kannan, CEO & Co-founder, DocsApp, said, “DocWise has not only enabled doctors to streamline the queues at their clinic, but also helped bridge the doctor-patient communication gap. At DocsApp, we believe in empowering doctors, and DocWise’s product increases both efficiency and productivity of doctors. Together, we will be able to help patients easily access doctors through our platform”. Founded by IIT alumni Rahul Gupta and Samar Ahmed, DocWise helps doctors optimise their post consultation patient engagement including follow-ups and patient clinic visits. It has completed more than a lakh consultations on its platform. DocWise had previously raised funding from former Flipkart executives, as well as angel investors via LetsVenture. Following the acquisition, Rahul Gupta has joined DocsApp as the Head of Consumer Business, whereas Samar Ahmed will be spearheading the company’s doctor Ecosystem.

Health ministry pushes harder to meet 2030 AIDS elimination target
Hindustan Times - Rhythma Kaul

The Union ministry of health signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ministry of social justice & empowerment to develop mechanisms for drug addiction treatment and extending social protection schemes to the vulnerable section of people that would eventually help in devising specific strategies and action plans for HIV and AIDS prevention. The Director General of National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), Sanjeeva Kumar, signed the MoU on behalf of the health ministry on Monday. The national programme has played a significant role in reducing the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the country, which is faster than the global rates. There has been more than 80% decline in estimated new infections from peak of epidemic in 1995. “Similarly, estimated AIDS related death declined by 71% since its peak in 2005. As per UNAIDS 2018 report, the global average for decline in new infections and AIDS related deaths from peak has been 47% and 51% respectively,” said Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. “The Government is fully committed to meeting all the set goals to eliminate HIV/AIDS by 2030,” he added. The MoU will help in developing human resources and build capacity in order to strengthen the service delivery mechanisms for HIV & AIDS prevention, drug addiction treatment and referral to services offered by the National AIDS Control Programme.

Union health ministry to exempt widely sold contraceptive FDC of centchroman and ethinyloestradiol from Sch H
Pharmabiz India - Yash Ved

Union Health Ministry is planning to exempt widely sold contraceptive fixed dose combination (FDC) of centchroman and ethinyloestradiol from Schedule H based on Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) recommendation. The said FDC of centchroman and ethinyloestradiol is a regular oral contraceptive pill sold under various brand names of contraceptive like Mala N, Mala D, Apsara, Choice, Ecroz, Khushi, Sunheri as part of National Family Welfare Programme (NFWP). Schedule H of the Drugs and Cosmetics (D&C) Act contains a list of 536 drugs which are required to be dispensed on the prescriptions of a registered medical practitioner (RMP). DTAB has recommended Union health ministry to amend D&C Rules, 1945 to exempt the FDC of centchroman 30mg, ethinyloestradiol I.P. 0.03 mg and levonorgestrol I.P. 0.15 mg in tablet from Schedule H. This is meant to provide exemption of labeling requirements as per Schedule H for the chemical contraceptive which also finds mention under Schedule K of D&C Rules, 1945. Drug Consultative Committee (DCC) in its 56th meeting held on June 1, 2019 also deliberated and agreed to amend Schedule H of the D&C Rules, 1945 to exempt the said FDC from Schedule H. This was done following a state drugs controllers objection on the labeling of HLL Lifecare Limited products stating that labeling cannot be made as per Schedule K provision as this is not a labeling requirement.