Health News update is a weekly news collation of health news which is shared on the Repro health list serve and archived on this website.

Health News

October 2008

Protest over govt-funded pharma research incentive Bill

21 October 2008

The government's plan to boost research and development using public funds has raised sharp reactions from public interest groups on the commercial rights of the products that would reach the market at the end of such research.

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Traditional medicine to maintain highest standard

New Delhi | October 31, 2008

With the growing interest both globally and nationally in traditional medicine, the Government has renewed its commitment for quality control in all the facets of traditional medicines.

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20 primitive tribals die in Jharkhand in one month

Jharkhand | October 31, 2008
Despite a plethora of welfare schemes, 20 members of three primitive tribes of Jharkhand have died in the last one month, with the government attributing this to food poisoning while social workers say the deaths occurred due to malnourishment.

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India to set up telemedicine facility in Afghanistan

Kabul | October 30, 2008
India and Afghanistan Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to set up a telemedicine facility in the war-ravaged country, an Afghan health ministry statement said.

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Mental illness biggest health risk by 2010, but who cares?

New Delhi | October 30, 2008
According to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which released a report last month on mental health , morbidity on account of mental illness is all set to take over from cardiovascular diseases as the number one health risk in India in the next two years.

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Bihar's deadly polio strain creating havoc in UP

New Delhi | October 27, 2008

Uttar Pradesh has once again emerged as a hotbed for P 1, the most deadly polio strain, which was slowly being eliminated in India. But the India's most populous state is again seeing a surge in the paralytic disease thanks to the virus being imported from neighbouring Bihar.

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Delhi to have All India Institute of Ayurveda

New Delhi | October 24, 2008
The government has approved the setting up of an All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) in the national capital for research and scientific validation of ayurvedic medicines.

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Haryana to subsidise sanitary napkin manufacturing

Chandigarh | October 24, 2008
The Haryana government will subsidise the manufacture of sanitary napkins in the state, it was announced here Friday. The Haryana health department plans to provide the subsidy through the states Women Development Corp (WDC).

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Haryana to recruit 800 doctors

Chandigarh | October 24, 2008
Nearly 800 doctors will be recruited by the Haryana health department in the next one and a half months. The states health minister Kartar Devi said minister said that recruitment of 200 of these doctors was already in process and the remaining recruitments would also be done shortly.

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Suspected botched vaccination claims four infants in Assam

Guwahati | October 22, 2008
Four infants have died and at least eight have taken ill in western Assam in what appears to be a case of botched vaccination, parents and locals said though the state government Wednesday denied the charge and ordered a probe.

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Medical tools manufacturing unit soon in Tripura

Agartala | October 21, 2008

Mining giant Vedanta group will set up a health and medical equipment manufacturing unit in Tripura, state Industry and Commerce Minister Jitendra Chowdhury said here on Monday.

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India launches health management info portal

New Delhi | October 21, 2008

The Government of India on Tuesday launched the Health Management Information System (HMIS) portal to convert local health data into real time useful information, management indicators and trends which could be displayed graphically in the reports.

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Four booked for unauthorised vaccination

Lucknow | October 21, 2008
Four people working with an NGO face action for unauthorised sale of hepatitis-B vaccines in Uttar Pradesh's Lucknow district. Despite not having necessary papers to undertake such an exercise, the NGO members were taking money from people for vaccination.

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Hospital asked to compensate woman for not providing ambulance

New Delhi | October 21, 2008
Hitting out at government hospitals for their casual and cavalier attitude towards patients, a consumer court Tuesday imposed a fine of Rs.50,000 on an Employees State Insurance (ESI) hospital for not providing ambulance to a pregnant woman who was forced to deliver in an auto rickshaw.

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Centre plans drug stores in all districts in India

22 September 2008

The government has decided to set up a retail network of drug stores across the country in public-private partnership that would sell 350 essential medicines at half the rate of its branded substitute. The project, being launched in 15 states in the first phase, would ultimately ensure at least one such store in every district of the country

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Infant mortality rate comes down

Koraput | October 22, 2008

Infant mortality rate(IMR) in Koraput district has come down over the last few years from 1,338 in 2007 to 1,518 in 2006 . According to the CDMO, this was achieved because of various skill development programmes initiated for the health workers at the grassroots and the situation could improve further with the introduction of IEC activities.

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Shortage of vaccines

Koraput | October 21, 2008

There was shortage of DPT vaccines, including polio, BCG, measles and DT vaccines, in the health centres of the district for the last four months. As the vaccines for measles reached last week and DPT vaccines on Monday, infants could get the needed immunisation from now on, the CDMO added.


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New vaccine holds promise in protecting against TB

Washington | October 20, 2008

Researchers at Saint Louis University are one step closer to developing a vaccine that provides better protection against tuberculosis. The investigational vaccine for TB tested at the university appears likely to offer significantly better protection against the potentially fatal disease than the one in current use.

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For achieving U.N. goals

Jaipur | October 19, 2008

The Rajasthan government intends to strengthen the implementation of development plans at the district level to achieve the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and bring about a quality change in education, health care and livelihood generation

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Declining sex ratio forces import of brides

Chandigarh | October 19, 2008

Declining sex ratios have compelled farmers of Punjab to "import" brides from states such as Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh leading to large-scale trafficking of women in the State. Usually, the girls are between 12 and 17 years of age.

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Dengue, chikungunya, Japanese Encephalitis hit West Bengal

Kolkata | October 16, 2008

Chikungunya, dengue and Japanese Encephalitis have affected at least 300 people in West Bengal in the last eight days, killing three people, health authorities said Thursday.

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Gujarat aims to reduce infant, maternal deaths: CM

Ahmedabad | October 15, 2008

Committed to offer a new model to the nation for a healthy society and in the battle against malnutrition, the Government of Gujarat aims to reduce its infant and maternal mortality rates, Chief Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday

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MCD to upgrade all maternity centres

New Delhi | October 16, 2008

In the wake of the incident earlier this week where a woman delivered a baby outside the Maternity and Child Care Centre of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi at Jwala Vihar, the civic body has decided to launch a comprehensive programme for upgrading all maternity centres in the area under its jurisdiction.

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Minister calls for strict norms on import and export of drugs

New Delhi | October 15, 2008

Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said the government proposed to expand the national pharmaco vigilance programme across the country by linking 284 medical colleges, research institutions, and hospitals by introducing Information Technology-enabled services in the regulatory framework in the food and drugs sector.

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India fares badly on global hunger index

India ranks 66 out of 88 countries on the 2008 Global Hunger Index (GHI), far behind comparable developing countries as well as smaller, less diverse and resource deprived nations. The index was based on an average of three leading indicators — prevalence of child malnutrition, rates of child mortality and the proportion of people who are calorie deficient.

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Free treatment course for TB patients

Chandigarh | October 14, 2008

Haryana is going to launch the Directly Observed Treatment Short course (DOTS)-Plus Programme for TB patients who have become multidrug-resistant because of incomplete and inadequate TB treatment, Health Minister Kartar Devi said here on Monday.

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Turned away from Maternity Centre, woman delivers on road.

New Delhi | October 14, 2008

The municipal corporation of Delhi (MCD) on Tuesday ordered an inquiry into an incident in which a 30-year old woman was forced to deliver a baby on the road at the busy Jawala Nagar area of west Delhi on Monday night.

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India's first vaccine for cervical cancer launched

Kolkata | October 20, 2008
MSD Pharmaceuticals India, part of US pharma giant Merck & Co, Monday launched India's first vaccine to help prevent cervical cancer. Low awareness of this type of cancer is the sole cause behind high mortality rate among women.

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Court pulls up government for calling homosexuality a disease

New Delhi | October 20, 2008
Delhi High court Monday pulled up the government for terming homosexuality as a disease and arguing that, if legalized, it would lead to spreading of a disease. It is an accepted fact that it is a main vehicle that causes (AIDS) disease but it is not a disease itself," the bench said

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Quality medical care facilities should be available in villages: Kalam

Puducherry | October 16, 2008

Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Wednesday said there was a need to address together many aspects of medical innovation, technology, training, public awareness, sanitation and ethics to keep the country free from malaria and tuberculosis. This would also help to bring maternal and infant mortality ratio to near zero and reduce cost of medicines.

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Crackdown on sex determination centres

Ghaziabad | October 12, 2008

The district health department of Ghaziabad have decided on a unique way to catch and curb those conducting illegal sex determination test through sting operation. The state authorities have passed the said orders in 10 sensitive districts including Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar which indicate low male-female ratio in adults and children as well.

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Kurup's prescription for reporting medical errors

Kochi | October 12, 2008

The culture of blame, shame, punishment, and peer condemnation are clear shackles in reporting medical errors, said K. Narayana Kurup, the former Acting Chief Justice of the Madras High Court at a State-level Anaesthesiology Conference held at Kottayam.

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Health mela

Karaikal | October 11, 2008

A health mela will be conducted in Karaikal in November by the Karaikal Health Mission. Collector N. Vasanthakumar said that Rs. 2.58 crore had been received from the Centre for various schemes and the district administration planned to upgrade PHCs and other basic facilities.

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Unicef: SCs/STs account for 50% pregnancy deaths

New Delhi | October 11, 2008

Of the 301 women who die annually for every 1,00,000 live births, there are many stories that go untold. New data suggests that among the women dying during pregnancy, delivery or post-partum complications, a large proportion — about 50% — are from the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

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World Health Organisation: make hospitals immune to disasters

New Delhi | October 10, 2008

The World Health Organisation has urged member-states in Southeast Asia to ensure that all hospitals and other health facilities are disaster-resilient as when health facilities got damaged or failed to function after disasters, it added to the suffering and increased the risk of death or disability among the affected people.

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150 new ambulances in Delhi for emergency response

New Delhi | October 10, 2008

The national capital is all set to have 150 new fully equipped ambulances and 20 responder (two-wheeler) vehicles in efforts to boost its emergency medical services, the state cabinet decided on Wednesday. Out of the 150 ambulances, 141 would be basic life support ambulances and nine would be advanced life support

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New tool to analyse maternal mortality in India

New York | October 08, 2008

The United Nations Children's Fund ( Unicef) has unveiled a new tool that is designed to help health-care experts, policymakers and local communities across India understand the root causes of its high rates of maternal mortality. The tool collects data and analyse pregnancy cases of women across India to show the underlying medical and social reasons behind maternal deaths

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Pregnant women bear the brunt of Orissa violence

Bhubaneswar | October 13, 2008

The relentless persecution of Christians in Kandhmal, forcing them to remain in relief camps scattered across Orissa, is now presenting a new problem — unsafe deliveries by women. Stranded without access to doctors, hospitals or medical kits, most women are delivering in relief camps with the help of fellow refugees and — if they are fortunate — some anganwadi workers.

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Welfare package sought for AIDS children

Dublin | October 07, 2008

A global forum on children affected by HIV and AIDS has called world community for a package of social welfare services to tackle child poverty and assist households in developing countries affected by HIV and AIDS.

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Approve clinical trial in 30 days: Industry lobby

New Delhi | October 06, 2008

An industry lobby on Monday sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's help to get approval for clinical trial of drugs within 30 days of a pharmaceutical firm fulfilling the requisite norms. Presently, a pharmaceutical firm has to wait at least eight months before the clinical trial is approved.

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Delhiites urged to contribute for TB eradication

New Delhi | October 07, 2008

The Delhi Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna has exhorted the citizens of the national capital to contribute for prevention and control of tuberculosis as well as welfare of TB patients by making generous contributions to the Delhi Tuberculosis Association.

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Punjab, H'yana spend more on health than insurance

Chandigarh | October 08, 2008

Punjab and Haryana stood at ninth and 19th places respectively in the health insurance penetration rankings carried in India. People in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh set aside a huge part of their annual income for health expenses, but spend very little on health insurance, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

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Plasma fractionation centre in India soon

New Delhi | October 10, 2008

In a major boost for patients who require repeated transfusions, the Government of India on Wednesday approved the establishment of a plasma fractionation centre at a cost of Rs185 crore. The facility, to be set up in one of the metros, will be able to process 1.5 lakh litres of blood annually.

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HIV and Tuberculosis: exploding myths and enlightening students

Puducherry | October 04, 2008
Creating awareness of HIV and Tuberculosis among students, a team from the Tuberculosis Research Centre (TRC), Chennai, spoke to the students of Sinnatha Government Girls Higher Secondary School here on the causes of HIV and TB, treatment and care available.

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MCD schools help out anaemic students

New Delhi | October 03, 2008
By extending its anaemia control programme to Municipal Corporation of Delhi-run schools in Shahdara (South) Zone recently, the civic body is aiming to cover more school children under the ambitious venture. According to MCD Medical Relief and Public Health Committee chairman Dr. V. K. Monga, 80,000 tests have been done on students so far and 88 per cent of them have been found to be suffering from anaemia.

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Health ministry offers sops to HIV+

New Delhi | October 03, 2008

If the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) has so far mobilised $700 million to fight the AIDS menace, the health ministry has gone beyond its mandate and requested the concerned ministries for making available free transport, BPL cards and extension of the NREGA scheme to the socially stigmatised 2.5 million HIV positive people.

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Commercial surrogacy legal and an industry in India: SC

New Delhi | October 03, 2008

Japanese surrogate baby Manji may have thrown up a huge debate between purists and the needy about the ethicality of surrogacy, but the Supreme Court not only validated "commercial surrogacy" but also termed it a virtual industry in India.

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Health insurance cover for poor spreads to 11 states

New Delhi | October 03, 2008
A national health insurance programme, under which people below the poverty line (BPL) pay only Rs.30 and become entitled to treatment of up to Rs.30,000, has just become operational in 11 states.

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Rural health system only on paper: SC

New Delhi | October 02, 2008

In a strong indictment of the country's rural healthcare infrastructure, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said primary health centres (PHCs), conceived as the pillar of the system providing medical care in the countryside, had become totally defunct.

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Citizens cry foul over health project

Bhubaneshwar | October 01, 2008
With benefits of loan lent by the World Bank towards Orissa Health System Development Project (OHSDP) allegedly not trickling down to people, a citizens' group has said the loan should not be paid back.

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Punjab health, education sectors need Rs 3K crore

Chandigarh | October 01, 2008

Refurbishing health and education sectors in Punjab need an investment worth Rs 3,000 crore, as people are dying here due to lack of medical facilities, and education sector suffers due to lack of funds according to state Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal.

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Wake up to global reality on gays: Ramadoss

New Delhi | September 29, 2008
A combative Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, who has lost his battle with the government on legalising homosexuality, says India should wake up to the growing global acceptance of gays as this would ensure "an effective fight against AIDS".

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Four Maharashtra officials suspended after infants' death

Aurangabad | September 28, 2008
The Maharashtra government Sunday suspended four employees of the Jategaon primary health centre near here for dereliction of duty and dismissed one after the death of four infants following administration of measles vaccine Friday.

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Global effort to develop TB drug

Hyderabad | September 29, 2008
The 'Open Drug Discovery Programme', a CSIR-led initiative to provide affordable healthcare to the developing world, was formally launched for global participation at the 13th Human Genome Meeting here on Sunday.

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Floods in State throw health sector out of gear

Bhubaneshwar | October 04, 2008
Around 200 medical institutions were affected in the recent devastative flood and the damage was estimated to above Rs. 5 crores. The institutions included district headquarters hospital (DHS), sub- divisional head hospital, public health centre (PHC), community health centre (CHC) and health sub-centres.

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Free cancer care for kids, insurance for poor in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram | September 30, 2008
A new, free-of-cost insurance for 2.1 million families and free cancer care for all children below 16 years are among the slew of new schemes that will be launched soon.

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