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

November 2008

11 government hospital staff suspended

Chennai | November 18, 2008

Eleven hospital workers of the Government RSRM Lying-In Hospital at Royapuram were suspended on charges of corruption and extorting money from patients. Seven ward boys and four ayahs were served their suspension notices for demanding and receiving money from patients in the surgery and labour ward.

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New Haryana scheme to curb anaemia

Chandigarh | November 15, 2008

The Haryana Women and Child Development Department has decided to implement a new scheme to curb anaemia among children, adolescent girls and pregnant and lactating mothers, State Women and Child Development Minister Kartar Devi announced on Friday. She said the State Government had already allocated Rs.10 crore in the budget for this scheme for the current financial year.

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Kerala explores healthcare pact with UAE

Dubai | November 21, 2008
A visiting delegation from Kerala is discussing a proposed agreement on healthcare manpower with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government here. According to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), the two sides discussed ways of having a memorandum of understanding for training medical, nursing cadres and exchange of expertise in the first aid care and preventive medical sectors.

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South Asian experts call for gender sensitive sanitation

New Delhi | November 20, 2008
Experts from South Asia converged in Delhi for an international sanitation conference Thursday calling for gender sensitive sanitation in schools and inclusion of the subject in regional countries' public health policies.

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Punjab to spend Rs 1,000 Cr on health for the poor

Chandigarh | November 20, 2008

The Government of Punjab will spend Rs 1,000 crore to make medical and health care accessible to all, irrespective of socio-economic status of an individual. The state government had started the Bhai Kanahaiya Scheme for the poor via cooperative societies under which they could get free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh in any hospital by giving an insurance premium of Rs 2,000.

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Court notice on privatisation of ambulance services

New Delhi | November 19, 2008


The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre, 12 States and the Emergency Management Research Institute (EMRI) on a petition challenging the privatisation of ambulance services or emergency response services under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

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DHL help to reduce child mortality in Maharashtra

New Delhi | November 19, 2008

Leading courier company DHL on Tuesday partnered with United Nations Children's Education Fund (Unicef) and gave a grant of US $650,000 to reduce child mortality in 1,000 villages of Maharashtra. Unicef will use the fund to strengthen health infrastructure, which includes educating villagers on the prevention and treatment of common communicable diseases, providing immunisation, and micronutrients to infants and young children.


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Cloud over critical care : One ambulance service across 10 states: A Rs 5,600cr scam?

New Delhi| November 18, 2008

Health minister Anbumani Ramadoss's ambitious project — to start 108 ambulance services in various cities across India in collaboration with Satyam Computer's Emergency Management Research Institute (EMRI) — has run into trouble with a PIL in the Supreme Court alleging that it smelled a gigantic scam to the tune of Rs 5,600 crore.


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Emergency ambulance services for Coimbatore

Coimbatore |November 18, 2008

The district got on Monday 12 ambulances equipped with resuscitation and other modern facilities to rush victims of accidents or other medical emergencies to hospitals. Health Minister M.R.K. Panneerselvam launched the free ambulatory service introduced by the Hyderabad-based Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI). Coimbatore was the third centre to get the facility after Chennai and Madurai.

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Prison hospital to be modernised

Tiruchi | November 17, 2008

The Central Prison authorities have proposed to procure a host of medical equipment for the prison hospital from the fund sanctioned by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Anbumani Ramadoss. The Minister has sanctioned Rs. 5 lakh from his Member of Parliament Fund for purchase of various equipments.

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Bone marrow transplant may offer HIV cure

New Delhi | November 13, 2008
Researchers from Berlin's Charite hospital were successfully able to ward off HIV virus from a patient's body with the help of bone marrow transplantation. Bone marrow transplants are generally used to fight leukaemia, however, during the present study the researchers found that the procedure can also prove effective against HIV virus.

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Delhi HC pulls up private hospitals

New Delhi | November 13, 2008

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday pulled up several private hospitals in the capital for not providing free treatment to poor patients—a pre-condition for getting land at subsidised rates. The Delhi government was criticised for failing to take action against such hospitals while they were flooded by poor patients from all over the country.

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Injectible polio vaccine for UP, Bihar soon

New Delhi | November 12, 2008

India will soon introduce an injectible polio vaccine (IPV) in the nine troubled districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, considered to be the hotbed of polio in the country, to check the spread of the epidemic. Though Uttar Pradesh was earlier described as the world's most tenacious reservoir of P1 poliovirus by WHO, the state remained free of the most dangerous and fast travelling virus for a record one and a half years.

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Rs 911 Cr plan to facelift Ahmedabad Civil Hospital

Gandhinagar | November 12, 2008

The Ahmedabad-based Civil Hospital, the biggest state-run hospital in Gujarat, will be modernised at a cost of Rs 911.68 crore, Chief Minister Narendra Modi announced here on Wednesday. The hospital, set up in 1952, will be renovated and its capacity would be increased from 2,150 beds to 5,150 beds, Modi said.

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$2.75 bn global grant to fight malaria, TB, Aids

Geneva | November 12, 2008

The Global Fund to fight Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (Aids), tuberculosis and malaria has approved 94 new grants worth US $2.75 billion over two years to support programmes fighting the three diseases. It is the eighth time the Global Fund Board approved new proposals in New Delhi and is the largest round in the history of the organisation, well over twice the size of any previous round.

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Only 55 per cent children fully vaccinated in State

Bangalore | November 14, 2008

The public health system has failed our children in a crucial aspect of well-being. Only 55 per cent children in the age group of 12 to 23 months in Karnataka are fully vaccinated against six major childhood illnesses – tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, and measles.

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Teen pregnancies higher in India than even UK, US

New Delhi | November 14, 2008

The phenomenon of teenage pregnancy seems to be a worldwide trend with countries like the US and UK reporting high rates along with India and others in South Asia. Grappling with issues like early marriage, illiteracy and high infant mortality could be possible causes for the high number of young girls getting pregnant between the ages of 15-19. Teen pregnancy in India is high with 62 pregnant teens out of every 1,000 women

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33 die of mosquito-borne diseases, fever in Bengal

Kolkata | November 14, 2008

Mosquito-borne diseases and a type of fever have claimed at least 33 lives in West Bengal since September, officials said on Friday. In Kolkata, malaria claimed 10 lives, while six people died of dengue and one each of Japanese encephalitis, meningo encephalitis and viral encephalitis, while six people died of a fever whose cause has not yet been identified.

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Orissa moots tough law against attacks on doctors, hospitals

Bhubaneswar | November 21, 2008
Orissa planned to bring in a new law to check increasing attacks on doctors and damage to private and government hospitals in the state, an official here said Friday. The state cabinet headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Friday approved the proposed bill on security to doctors.

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Haryana to recruit 800 doctors

Chandigarh | November 22, 2008

The Haryana Government is going to recruit 800 doctors so that prompt health services can be provided to the people at their doorstep. Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda announced on Friday that the State Government had adopted the Indian Public Health Standard (IPHS) and decided that all new constructions would be as per IPHS and existing buildings of the health institutions would be upgraded in a phased manner by 2012. Also, 40 Community Health Centres have been identified for upgrading to IPHS.

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Vaccine shortage hits immunisation programme

New Delhi | November 09, 2008

Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat on Tuesday urged Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss to permit the Pasteur Institute, Coonoor; the BCG Laboratory, Chennai, and the Central Research Institute, Kasauli, to resume production of vaccines to meet the shortage in DPT and DT vaccines.

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Himachal to extend health insurance in 10 districts

Shimla | November 10, 2008

The Government of Himachal Pradesh has decided to extend the Health Insurance Scheme, launched in Kangra and Shimla districts for the below poverty line (BPL) families, to the remaining 10 districts in the hilly Indian state and extend the scheme to the above poverty line (APL) families as well.

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Kalam for best health care to the poor

Kottayam | November 10, 2008

Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has called upon doctors to be humane in their conduct as medical professionals as the aim of medical education should be to facilitate application of medical technology for providing the best care to the poor at affordable cost.

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HIV: more focus needed on patients' care

Koraput | November 10, 2008

Condition of a large number of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) might go worse if immediate attention was not given to their needs. Two PLHAs have been turned down recently by the ART centre at Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh from getting the desired service.

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In Transit - India has time to reverse its HIV epidemic: expert

New Delhi | November 10, 2008

India should use its legendary IT skills to drive its health sector programmes, including HIV/AIDS information and treatment and thus ensure everyone everywhere has access to information and healthcare facilities," said Jeffery O'Malley, director, HIV/AIDS group, Bureau of Development Policy, UNDP


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India going through social change: U.N. official

New Delhi | November 08, 2008

Mr. O'Malley appreciated the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry's move to amend Section 377 that makes unnatural sex (men having sex with men) an offence. Evidence and experience had shown that where provisions like Section 377 prevailed, discrimination was rampant and access to HIV/AIDS treatment was less and prevalence of the disease high.

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More doctors, nurses needed: Anbumani

Mumbai | November 09, 2008

While the budget allocation for the health sector has gone up from Rs. 42,000 crore in the Tenth Five Year Plan to Rs. 1,40,000 crore in the Eleventh Plan, still there is a huge need for doctors and nurses, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said here on Saturday.

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More facilities for HIV patients

New Delhi | November 7, 2008
Biometric cards with a person's medical data will be given to all HIV positive people being treated free at government centres to allow them to access AIDS medicine across the country.

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Anti-AIDS body feels recession heat

New Delhi | November 07, 2008
The global economic crisis has hit the US $20 billion Gobal Fund, the Geneva based international agency that fights AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis that funds programmes to 136 countries


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India Inc, Rotarians donate to fight polio

New Delhi | Nov 7
Rajashree Birla and Rotary International hosted a fund-raising lunch for polio eradication that was attended by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and his family. Business leaders present took a leaf out of the Gates book of corporate responsibility and donated to help the world become polio-free.

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Pregnant woman gives birth on roadside in Uttar Pradesh

Lucknow | November 05, 2008

Turned away by a community health centre, a pregnant woman gave birth on the roadside in Uttar Pradesh, officials said Wednesday. According to reports, when Jamuna Devi, 26, arrived at a community health centre in Arkha village in Rae Bareli district, health officials there allegedly demanded bribe from her family members.

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Suspected polio case spurs health officials into action

Berhampur | November 04, 2008

Following reports of a child being identified with suspected polio virus on Monday, the health officials of Ganjam district of Orissa are on their toes. According to CDMO, although confirmatory tests are awaited yet measures have been started to eradicate possibility of rise in infection of polio virus in the area from where the child came.

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Chest physicians from across the globe to gather in Lucknow

Lucknow | November 04, 2008
Chest physicians, researchers and pulmonary disease experts from across the globe would gather in Lucknow to attend a three-day international meet starting Thursday, officials said.

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Bill Gates visiting India on polio eradication mission

New Delhi | November 03, 2008
Microsoft founder Bill Gates will meet Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss Wednesday and launch a major initiative for India's public healthcare with a special focus on eradicating polio, a disease that the country is combatting for years.

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Scientists discover bacterial pathway to pave the way for TB treatment

London | November 03, 2008

In a new study, scientists have uncovered a new pathway in which disease-causing bacteria dodge the host's immune system to survive and grow in the cells that were to destroy them. The discovery may pave the way for new treatments and vaccines for tuberculosis (TB) and some other chronic bacterial and parasitic infections.

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Bengal blood banks facing severe shortage

Kolkata | November 03, 2008
Over 100 blood banks in the state are facing an acute supply shortage as social organisations and clubs were too busy with Durga Puja to organise their regular blood donation camps. Most of the blood banks, 58 of which are state-run and the rest are private, have failed to meet the average requirement of blood units, particularly causing problems for thalassemia and blood cancer patients.

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Need for public health professionals stressed

Bhubaneshwar | November 03, 2008

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday launched Asian Institute of Public Health (AIPH), a private venture, which was being supported by the US-based University of Maryland. Mr. Patnaik said, “non-availability of public health professional is a major concern for health care managers and policy makers.

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“Health sector facing manpower shortage”

Kolkata | November 02, 2008

The state healthcare system is facing a shortage of human resources including doctors, nurses and paramedical personnel, State’s Minister of Health, Surjya Kanta Mishra, said while addressing the Health Economic Summit 2008 organised by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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Hyderabad to get 5,000 bed health city soon

Hyderabad | November 11, 2008

Narayana Hrudayalaya Group of Hospitals, which has the world's largest heart hospital in Bangalore, has announced its plans to set up a 5,000 bed multi-specialty health city here. The group, which charges Rs 65,000 for a heart surgery on poor and working class patients, promised that the cost will be brought down to Rs 45,000 once it reaches a bed strength of 30,000.

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