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

January 2009

10 yrs after side effects of polio drop kills infant, court orders govt to pay Rs 2 lakh to family

New Delhi | January 05, 2009

In a decision aimed at making public authorities more accountable, a city court has directed the Delhi Government to pay Rs 2 lakh as compensation to the parents of an infant who died after being administered with Pulse Polio drops in 1999.

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Government hospitals nursing major grievance

Puducherry | January 19, 2009

Increasing flow of patients to government hospitals in Puducherry and Karaikal and shortage of nursing staff are affecting the quality of health care services at these hospitals. Except government health centres in rural areas, major government hospitals such as Indira Gandhi Government General Hospital and Post Graduate Institute (IGGGH and PGI), Government Maternity Hospital (MH) in Puducherry and Government Hospital, Karaikal, are in dire need of adequate nursing staff.

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40 p.c. child marriages in India: UNICEF

New Delhi | January 18, 2009

Forty per cent of the world’s child marriages take place in India, resulting in a vicious cycle of gender discrimination, illiteracy and high infant and maternal mortality rates. According to the UNICEF’s latest “State of the World’s Children-2009” report. discrimination on the basis of gender has a direct impact on maternal health.

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IMA demands Ordinance for protection of medicos

Patna | January 18, 2009

The Indian Medical Association on Saturday demanded promulgation of an Ordinance or bringing a Bill by the Bihar Government for protection of medical service professionals and institutions in the State. It goes without saying that doctors and their establishments have become soft targets of irresponsible and unsocial elements hampering their professional work.

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Drop in infant mortality rate

Puducherry | January 17, 2009

Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) has dropped in the Union Territory, as per the latest SRS report of the Registrar-General of India. The IMR has come down from 28 per 1,000 live births to 25 per 1,000 live births in the last three years . Neonatal care services had also increased over the years with death of infant within the first week of birth - neonatal death rate - considerably reduced.

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Small steps for big gains - Ordinary people, extraordinary feats.

New Delhi | January 16, 2008

In MP a hospital goes beyond the call of duty to secure the future of children. DR PRAKASH C. Verma, 32, is part of the small four-doctor team that works in the neonatal department of the government-run District Hospital in Guna in Madhya Pradesh. What makes him a newsmaker is that he has snatched more than 1,500 malnourished and underweight children from sure death in 2008.

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UNICEF report highlights grim condition of women, children in state

Mumbai | January 16, 2009

The United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) flagship report, State of the world’s children- 2009, has recognised the experimental programme, undertaken two years back, on reducing maternal and child mortality in the tribal belt of rural Maharashtra. The programme showed a significant reduction in neonatal mortality. It was replicated in other states and certain developing countries.

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HIV takes root in Yerawada: 13 prisoners test positive

Pune | January 16, 2009

Thirteen out of the 165 prisoners or eight per cent of Yerawada central prison who voluntarily underwent tests for HIV between October and December 2008 have turned out to be HIV positive. There are over 3,300 prisoners in Yerawada jail. If the first lot is a representative sample of what is to come, the prospects of a large number of prisoners at Yerawada turning out to be HIV positive cannot be ruled out.

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Expectant mothers should be given monthly allowance: Planning Commission

New Delhi | January 15, 2009
The Planning Commission has suggested that expectant mothers in rural areas be provided Rs.1,000 during the last three months of pregnancy and six months after delivery to ensure that women don't ignore post-natal care and immunization of their babies.

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78,000 Indian women die in pregnancy, childbirth annually: Unicef

New Delhi | January 15, 2009
As many as 78,000 women die each year in India from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, according to a Unicef report released here Thursday. This implies that on an average every seven minutes, one woman dies from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, reports the Unicef State of the World's Children 2009.

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US drug regulator opens two offices in India

New Delhi | January 15, 2009
To expedite the process for Indian drug companies to receive approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), America's Health and Human Services (HHS) department Thursday announced setting up of two offices in Delhi and Mumbai.

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FDA to approve effective new malaria drug

Washington | January 12, 2009

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is likely to approve a new malaria drug with artemisinin, a wormwood derivative from China that has proven effective for the infection in Africa and Asia. Named Coartem, the drug is made by Swiss company Novartis.

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DOCTORS WANTED - Only two docs run the show here

New Delhi | January 12, 2009

The 60-BEDDED AIIMS trauma centre is almost always full, with 130-150 surgeries being conducted every month. What’s astounding is that the workload is shared by only two senior resident neurosurgeons against the sanctioned strength of 14. Hospital records show that only five-20 per cent seats of neurosurgery were filled at any given time since the centre became operational 2-1/2 years ago.

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Health cards for tyagis under consideration

Bhubaneshwar | January 19, 2009

The Orissa Government is contemplating issuing health cards to freedom-fighters who were suffering from diseases related to old age. Under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) Programme, the freedom-fighters will be given ‘Swasthya cards’ whereby the cardholder will receive certain benefits.

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Quality health care lacking, says study

New Delhi | January 19, 2009

“Eight-six per cent of the rural population do not have adequate provision for the most basic diagnostic tests required for managing chronic diseases,” a study has revealed. Titled “Non-communicable chronic diseases in India: A study of the gaps, quality and cost of care”, conducted across government and private facilities at all levels of service delivery (primary, secondary and tertiary), was commissioned by Chronic Care Foundation across four regions of India.

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Women at risk due to less gap between deliveries

New Delhi | January 19, 2009

Indian women aren’t spacing their children well. An average Indian woman delivers her second baby within 31 months of giving birth to her first child and this is adversely affecting mothers’ health and children’s chances of survival. Shockingly, the figure hasn’t changed over the last 17 years.

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A new drive against domestic violence

New Delhi | January 09, 2009

Insufficient budgetary allocation and lack of political will is leading to ineffective implementation of the Domestic Violence Act , according to the Centre for Social Research. CSR has conducted regional consultations in which bureaucrats, law enforcement agencies, elected representatives and civil society organisations discussed the roles and responsibilities of the authorities notified under the Act as well as the provisions for victims of violence

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India needs gender specific drugs: Expert

Chandigarh | January 07, 2009

Most of the drugs available in the market in India are made by keeping in focus the needs of men and in the whole process of manufacturing. There is a need to manufacture drugs based on the different needs of males and females, says an expert NK Ganguly, advisor at the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, part of New Delhi's National Institute of Immunology.

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Ansari expresses concern over healthcare in U.P.

Lucknow | January 07, 2009

Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari on Tuesday expressed concern over the low level of human development in Uttar Pradesh and pointed out that deficiencies in the State’s health sector would have disastrous consequences for the poor.

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With new funds, primary health centres in for makeover and more

Mumbai | January 06, 2009

The medical officer in-charge of the primary health centre (PHC) at Khed-Shivapur village in Pune district hated conducting deliveries behind a curtain in a narrow passage and the ward where they had squeezed six beds where there was space for four. The constant power cuts and water shortage added to his and his patients' woes. That was in 2006. Dr Karanjkar is now a proud and busy man. The health centre has been transformed with funds from the government's National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

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Booster shot for rural health

New Delhi | January 06, 2009

Pilot projects in telemedicine have been available in fits and starts for almost a decade, but the past year has seen a significant jump across a dozen states because of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). Chunampet is just one example of how villagers don't have to spend a day travelling to a city for treatment. With a budget of Rs 11,930 crore for 2008, the NRHM has empowered primary healthcare facilities like never before.

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Rockland turns away patient seeking free follow-up.

New Delhi | January 05, 2009

Hospital says there’s a limit to free treatment. R.K. Garg, executive director: Rockland Hospital. "We have complied with the High Court order but there is a limit to free treatment. Garg said if the government wanted private hospitals to treat the poor for free, they should be willing to bear part of the costs.

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Eight more states to offer second line treatment for HIV

New Delhi | January 05, 2009

Second line treatment -- the only hope of life for HIV patients who have become resistant to the standard first line Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) -- has been rolled out in eight more states. Till now, only two centres -- Mumbai's J J Hospital and Chennai's Tambaram ART centre -- were treating drug resistant HIV patients.

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Govt tut-tuts at pharma firms ‘bribing’ docs

New Delhi| January 05, 2009

If you thought the government would crack the whip on pharmaceutical companies offering freebies to doctors for prescribing their products, think again. The department of pharmaceuticals has indeed taken note of the dubious practices reported by TOI on December 15, but in a surprisingly mild, almost apologetic tone.

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Latest polio victim is also from UP

New Delhi | January 04, 2009

Delhi ushered in the new year by reporting a fresh case of P1 infection — polio virus’ most dangerous strain. A one-and-a-half-year-old boy who lived for two weeks near Okhla railway station under the Modi Mill flyover, has become the city’s latest victim to be infected with the crippling disease. Even though the infection was confirmed only on Friday, the case dates back to the first week of December. The latest infection takes last year’s polio toll in the city to five, of which four are the deadly P1 cases.

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Medical team probes death of five kids in Bihar

Patna | January 04, 2009
A medical team is investigating the death of five Dalit children in Bihar's Darbhanga district where media reports said several kids are suffering from measles and chicken-pox. However, the medical team that visited the village two days after five children's death, has now started treating the other children suffering from measles and chicken-pox.

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Haryana to upgrade health facilities

Chandigarh | January 02, 2009

The Haryana Government has decided to upgrade the health infrastructure in terms of manpower, equipment and infrastructure in all the old and new health institutions as per Indian Public Health Standards so as to provide quality health services to the people in the State.

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Public hearing on safe motherhood held

Koraput | December 30, 2008

While the district Health Department has several programmes to present before the participants, there were more grassroot realities being shared by affected poor people disturbing the claims made for health for all in Koraput district. An Asha worker from Ranikota in Peta panchayat of Lamtaput block presented reasons for the failure of NRHM at the grassroots.

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Sikkim conferred Tata memorial award for health achievements

New Delhi | January 09, 2009
Pawan Chamling, the chief minister of Sikkim Friday received the fourth J.R.D. Tata Memorial award from Vice President Hamid Ansari for outstanding performance in the health sector. Himachal Pradesh and Kerala have been the previous recipients of the same award.

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