Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                          Dated:30th September,2019

Second Ebola vaccine to complement “ring vaccination” given green light in DRC

(WHO): The health authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have announced plans to introduce a second experimental Ebola vaccine, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, from mid-October. This vaccine, which is given as a 2-dose course, 56 days apart, will be provided under approved protocols to targeted at-risk populations in areas that do not have active Ebola transmission as an additional tool to extend protection against the virus.

“The evaluation of the second Ebola vaccine will help ensure that we have potentially an additional tool to prevent the expansion of the outbreak and also a potential tool to protect populations before outbreaks hit areas at risk,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Regional Director for Africa.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will complement the current vaccine (rVSV-ZEBOV-GP, manufactured by Merck), which has proven highly effective and safe, and which has helped protect thousands of lives. The Merck vaccine will continue to be provided to all people at high risk of Ebola infection including those who have been in contact with a person confirmed to have Ebola, all contacts of contacts, and others determined to be at high risk of contracting Ebola. To date over 223,000 people have received this vaccination during the current outbreak.

Salt shakers should carry tobacco-style health warning label

In an endeavor to reduce dietary salt intake, a position statement published earlier this week in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension suggests that salt sold in supermarkets for consumption and salt shakers in restaurants should be required to carry a front-of-pack, tobacco-style health warning.

This position statement requests that governments require health warnings on packages of sodium chloride (salt) sold for consumption and sodium dispensers. The warning label should be clearly visible and easily readable, indicating that consumption of excess sodium is a health risk and advising consumers to use less sodium.

The authors have proposed a sample warning label: “Too much sodium in the diet causes high blood pressure and increases risk of stomach cancer, stroke, heart disease and kidney disease. Limit your use.” ....read more

The first FDA-approved oral GLP-1: A new treatment for type 2 diabetes?
Semaglutide (Rybelsus) has been approved by the US FDA as the first glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) receptor protein treatment for adults with type 2 diabetes, along with diet and exercise. However, it is not recommended as the first choice of drug for treating diabetes. Also, it is not meant for use in patients with type 1 diabetes and people with diabetic ketoacidosis.

Administration:To be taken at least 30 minutes before the first food, beverage or other oral medication of the day, with no more than 4 ounces of plain water. ....read more

What is the importance of silence?
True silence is the silence between the thoughts and represents the true self, consciousness or the soul. It is a web of energized information ready to take all, provided there is a right intent. The process of achieving silence is what meditation is.

Observing silence is another way of getting benefits of meditation. Many yogis in the past have recommended and observed silence now and then. Mahatma Gandhi used to spend one day of each week in silence. He believed that abstaining from speaking brought him inner peace and happiness. All such days, he used to communicate with others only by writing on paper.....read more

Healthcare News Monitor

Why chemist stores in India are reluctant to stock abortion pills
Scroll- Alfie Habershon

Medical abortion drugs are not available at retail pharmacies in Rajasthan, a study released in August has found. In Maharashtra, only 1.2% medical shops stocked these pills, showed the study conducted across Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan between September 2018 and January 2019. Uttar Pradesh reported better availability – 66% of the pharmacists interviewed said they stock the drugs – as did Bihar at 37.8%. These prescription drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, commonly referred to as medical methods of abortion, account for four out of five abortions in India undertaken by 10 million women every year, as reported by IndiaSpend in 2016. This implies a clandestine market in medical methods of abortion, activists working in the field of women’s reproductive health alleged.

OPPI asks AIOCD to provide women friendly infrastructure at work places
Pharmabiz India – Yash Ved

The Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), which represents the research-based pharmaceutical industry in India, has asked the All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) to provide women friendly infrastructure at work establishments. "As an industry, it is our endeavour to drive more women to take up pharma sales as a career option. To make this reality, we need your assistance in implementing few essential facilities across stockists establishments in the country, so that we together offer a female-enabled workplace, "the OPPI in a communication to the AIOCD said. "From our internal conversation with our female colleagues, we understand that one of the challenges is the lack of women-friendly infrastructure. From having no female washrooms or waiting areas, separate parking lots, separate entrance at the locations they meet distributors at stockists location, it becomes extremely challenging for women in the salesforce, "OPPI added. OPPI further added, "We are confident that this step will go a long way in creating a women friendly ecosystem that encourages more women to choose sales as a career option." "As OPPI, we believe it is our responsibility to work with each of you collectively towards this end," it added. OPPI field force also suggests that only 6 per cent of our field associates are women and the disparity between field and non-field gender diversity stands out in pharma industry. The survey says that women to men field/sales workforce percentage is lower, compared to other industry. This may be due to inadequate female washrooms, waiting or changing rooms, etc.

Device implanted in 90-yr-old to prevent strokes
The New Indian Express

BENGALURU: A month ago, a 90-year-old patient who suffered two strokes previously was admitted to a hospital for atrial fibrillation, a condition wherein the upper chamber of the heart does not contract leading to stagnation of blood. This leads to clotting of blood, thereby causing repeated strokes. Blood thinners used to prevent clotting caused him to suffer from side effects such as urinal bleeding and bleeding excessively from small cuts among others. “Internal organs which generally have erosions and repair themselves were bleeding as well. We needed to close the left atrial appendage of the atrium. For this, we inserted an amulet-like device called cardiac occluder in the region to seal or close off the area. It was done without surgery, by passing the tube through the right leg vein, entering the right and then the left atrium,” said Dr Ranjan Shetty, HoD, Cardiology, at Manipal Hospitals, who performed the procedure. “This was done for the first time in India and South Asia. The procedure will prevent formation of clots and prevent strokes in the future,” Dr Shetty said. After three weeks of follow-up for the patient, who is from Davanagere, it was found that the procedure was successful.

Hyderabad: Don’t use ranitidine for time being, warn doctors
Deccan Chronicle- Kaniza Garari

HYDERABAD: Prescribing ranitidine as medicine for acidity, ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems must be stopped forthwith for patient safety, rather than inspecting manufacturing units in the state, pharma experts have stated. They observed that the need of the hour is to educate people that ranitidine, the most commonly used medicine for diabetes, heart diseases, ulcers, geriatric and gastrointestinal ailments, has traces of carcinogenic elements. They must shift to alternative medications, suggested Dr Sanjay Reddy, president of Telangana Pharma Society. He said, “The Drug Controller must, in coordination with the TS Medical Council and health department, issue instructions that doctors stop prescribing ranitidine. Presently, it is only an advisory that is hardly being followed. Doctors must be ordered to stop prescribing this medicine.” The antacid is used by a large section of the population on a daily basis. This is a cause for concern, as use of this drug leads to buildup of toxic elements in the body and can lead to development of cancer cells, Dr Sanjay warned.

17 Patients Tested Positive with Dengue in Lucknow, Total Number of Cases Reaches 267

Seventeen fresh cases of dengue were reported in Lucknow on Thursday. This is the maximum number of infected patients in a day this season. With these, the total number of dengue-infected cases has reached 267 this year, according to experts. The 17 cases have been reported from Vikas Nagar, Indira Nagar, Sitapur Road, Bangla Bazaar, LDA Colony, Ruchi Khand, Rashmi Khand, Salehnagar and Ravi Khand localities of the state capital. Among these, Ruchi Khand, Indira Nagar, LDA Colony and Bangla Bazaar have been reporting cases consistently this season, The Times of India reported. “The rain that lashed the city during the day has increased the threat of dengue. Hence, people need to take precautions. Safety from dengue requires clean surroundings so that mosquitoes cannot breed,” Dr Vaibhav Khanna, senior consultant at Healthcity Hospital and a public health expert, told Hindustan Times. In a recent press statement, Dr Raman Kumar, president of the Academy of Family Physicians of India, focused on the need to prevent dengue. He said prevention was the best option for dengue. In his statement, he noted, “Make sure children wear full-sleeved shirts, particularly when going out. Also adults need to keep themselves covered to avoid mosquito bites.”