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

February 2009

Genderbias - Abusing wife common among GenY men: Study

Mumbai | February 23, 2009

Eighteen to 30 per cent of mar ried women aged 15 to 24 reported physical abuse by their husbands at least once. Fifteen to 24 per cent of the 13,912 women surveyed had experienced violence in the last 12 months, according to the study, which was jointly conducted by the Population Council in Delhi and the International Institute for Population Sciences in Mumbai. Bihar recorded highest prevalence of physical violence and Rajasthan the lowest.

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Ramadoss advocates National Alcohol Policy

New Delhi | February 25, 2009
Union Health Minister Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss today advocated for formulating a National Alcohol Policy to stop the health and social problems generating out of it.

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Foundation laid for ESI hospital in Himachal

Shimla | February 25, 2009

Union Minister of Labour and Employment Oscar Fernades laid down stone of Rs. 1000 crore ESI Medical College and Hospital at Ner Chowk in district Mandi in Himachal Pradesh. Fernandes said that the institution would be instrumental in providing specialised medical services to the common people. "With this new initiative, the state would be able to train about 900 doctors to meet the specialists in different medical disciplines," Health Minister Rajiv Bindal said.

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India, Sweden agree for cooperation in health care

New Delhi | February 25, 2009

India and Sweden on Tuesday inked an agreement for bilateral cooperation in the area of public health, especially strengthening midwifery and nursing skills. "Sweden's achievements in the area of midwifery and maternal and infant health have a lot to offer for Indian efforts," Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said after the agreement was signed.

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Mother sells baby for Rs 6k to pay hospital

Kothagudem (Khammam) | February 25, 2009

A young poverty-stricken mother sold her two-day old son after a government hospital demanded Rs 2,000 for the delivery in Andhra Pradesh’s Khammam, the Lok Sabha constituency. Rajitha, 20, sold her son for Rs 6,500 to a childless couple so that she could pay the money demanded by the hospital staff.

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Panel to study the status of women

New Delhi| February 25, 2009

The government will set up a high-power committee of eminent persons and experts to study the status of women in India to enable it (government) to take expeditious action on their socio-economic development and empowerment. A National Mission of Empowerment of Women will also be formed for implementation of women-centric programmes in a mission mode to achieve better coordination and synergy between the participating stakeholders.

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Free medicines to mentally ill urged

Berhampur | February 25, 2009

Government should start providing free medicines to the patients suffering from mental illness, opined experts and participants of a workshop held in the city on Tuesday. This workshop on providing sustainable livelihood to people with mental illness was organized by the Citizens’ Association for Rural Development (CARD) and Orissa Voluntary Health association.

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Medical care to terminally ill Tihar inmates soon

New Delhi | February 20, 2009

The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked Tihar jail authorities to provide medial facilities to terminally ill inmates and directed the trial court to wrap up the proceedings against ill inmates at the earliest. Replying to the court query, the jail authorities said that of 14 inmates who are suffering from HIV/AIDS, one has died, two were acquitted earlier this week, one is out on bail and one is still in jail and his trial is pending in the trial court.

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India to lay stress on mental health, set up CoEs

New Delhi | February 23, 2009

The country faces an acute shortage of psychiatrists and mental health professionals and to tackle this the government is setting up centres of excellence in mental health. Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare P Lakshmi told the Rajya Sabha on Friday that according to a recent survey by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (Nimhans), the prevalence of mental disorders is about seven per cent of the country's population and of this, three per cent need treatment.

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New welfare schemes in Corporation budget

Chennai | February 22, 2009

A host of new welfare schemes in the fields of education and healthcare and proposals for new facilities, including a multi-speciality hospital in Alwarpet, figure in the Chennai Corporation budget for 2009-10. Addressing the council, Mayor M.Subramanian said the civic body would issue health cards to five lakh slum dwellers.

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Govt's homeopathy scheme does not reach UP

Lucknow | February 20, 2009

A scheme announced by the central government with much fanfare nearly two years ago to promote and provide homeopathic medicines to pregnant women and new-borns is yet to bear fruit in Uttar Pradesh. The state government decided to implement the central government's National Campaign on Homeopathy for Mother and Child Care (NCHMCC) last year after citing its success in Gujarat.

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Four States to form task force against female foeticide

Shimla | February 20, 2009

Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Uttrakhand have decided to constitute a joint task force to check the social menace of female foeticide, Himachal Pradesh Health Minister Rajeev Bindal said on Thursday. Mr. Bindal also said 1172 female panchayat health workers have been appointed across the state for registration of pregnancies in the respective panchayats. The State Government has also announced a reward of Rs 10,000 to person providing information against people indulging in killing of girl child in womb, Mr. Bindal said.

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With battle on their minds, Maoists prefer to go childless

Naxal camp, South Bastar | February 21, 2009

They live under the shadow of the gun but that does not stop them from falling in love. For the Maoists of the Dandakaranya forest, love is as real as their battle against the state. So is marriage, divorce and vasectomy. Yet, there are no children around in the camp. If that seems unreal, no one is saying so.

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NRHM to involve private sector in a big way

Bhubaneshwar | February 21, 2009

The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Orissa, was looking to involve private sector in a big way in providing basic health amenities in remote areas of the State. As many as 30 public health centres (PHCs) were being run on Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode across the State and the NRHM decided to increase the number of PHCs shortly.

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AIIMS facility in Haryana village

Chandigarh | February 21, 2009

Haryana recently got the Centre’s nod for setting up an extension of the Delhi-based All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Badsa village in Jhajjar district and upgrading the PGI in Rohtak. The AIIMS facility in Haryana will ensure better health services not only to the people of Rohtak parliamentary constituency but the entire northern region of the country. The AIIMS Extension would also include establishment of a National Institute of Mental Health and a National Institute of Genetic Care.

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Notice issued to Anbumani, Centre on closure of vaccine units in Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh

New Delhi | February 21, 2009

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss and others on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition challenging the closure of vaccine production facilities in three public sector undertakings (PSUs), two in Tamil Nadu and one in Himachal Pradesh. The Bench, after hearing senior counsel Colin Gonsalves, also issued notice to Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Directors of the three PSUs.

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Bill to prevent damage to hospital property passed

Chandigarh | February 21, 2009

The Haryana Vidhan Sabha passed the Haryana Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Bill, 2009, to prohibit violence against medicare service persons and damage to property in medical institutions. Anyone indulging in violence or damaging property would be punished with imprisonment for three years and also be liable to a penalty equal to purchase price of medical equipment damaged and loss caused to the property as may be determined by the court.

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India signs agreement with World Bank on health project

New Delhi | February 13, 2009
India has signed a Financing Agreement of National Vector Borne Disease Control and Polio Eradication Support Project with the World Bank, here today. The agreement is for a total assistance of approximately 518 million dollar as part of IDA allocation to India.

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Imported lifestyle drugs set to cost less

New Delhi| February 06, 2009

Exorbitantly priced patented drugs for lifestyle diseases, currently being imported by pharma multinationals, may become cheaper. Sources said a committee set up by the pharmaceuticals department has decided that ‘‘a differential pricing mechanism will be in place soon for imported patented drugs which will particularly benefit the public health system’’.

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India to get two more premier referral medical institutes

New Delhi | Feb 05, 2009
Aiming to ramp up the country's healthcare facilities, the Indian government Thursday sanctioned Rs.16.46 billion ($340 million) for setting up two more premier referral institutes on the lines of the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here. The new referral institutes, to be established at a cost of Rs.8.23 billion each, will be located at Raiganj in West Bengal's North Dinajpur district and at a site to be chosen by the Uttar Pradesh government, Chidambaram said.

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Hepatitis B immunisation in India from April 1

New Delhi | February 26, 2009

The central government on Wednesday asked states to launch a mass awareness and immunisation campaign starting April 1 following 46 deaths due to Hepatitis B virus infection in Gujarat. Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said till on Monday about 140 cases of Hepitities B positive cases were detected and 46 deaths were reported in Sabarkantha district of the state in the past two weeks. He also said the state government has filed an FIR against eight doctors for negligence.

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Puri hospital may get ISO tag

Bhubaneshwar | February 27, 2009

Puri district headquarters hospital may become the first government-run healthcare centre to get the prestigious quality certification of ISO 9001-2008. International standard service delivery, its proper documentation and quality service delivery in minimum timeframe at the hospital were some key factors cited as the reasons behind this certification said NRHM , Orissa, which was instrumental in setting the benchmark.

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India tops world hunger chart

New Delhi | February 27, 2009

India is failing its rural poor with 230 million people being undernourished — the highest for any country in the world. Malnutrition accounts for nearly 50% of child deaths in India. More than 70% of children (under-5) suffer from anaemia and 80% of them don’t get vitamin supplements. The proportion of anaemic children has actually increased by 6% in the past six years with 11 out of 19 states having more than 80% of its children suffering from anaemia.

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3rd day of health stir hits patients

New Delhi | February 26, 2009

On the third day of the strike by over 75,000 group C and D employees of Delhi government hospitals on Wednesday, patients were left fending for themselves. The worst hit were Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) beneficiaries with over 750 employees striking work in all 81 dispensaries. Health workers condemned the Delhi government’s decision to impose Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA).

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Puri hospital may get ISO tag

Bhubaneshwar | February 27, 2009

Puri district headquarters hospital may become the first government-run healthcare centre to get the prestigious quality certification of ISO 9001-2008. International standard service delivery, its proper documentation and quality service delivery in minimum timeframe at the hospital were some key factors cited as the reasons behind this certification said NRHM , Orissa, which was instrumental in setting the benchmark.

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Experts favour combination vaccines timely, safe

New Delhi | Feb 12, 2009

This should bring relief to parents who worry about their kids being injected with over a dozen vaccines for immunisation until the age of six. Experts opine that perhaps the ideal way forward is combination vaccines—all rolled into one. Delivery modes of administering vaccines, the experts say, can play a vital role in streamlining the immunisation programme of the country and simplify the current immunisation schedule with better patient compliance.

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ESI ties up with private hospitals in Chennai

Puducherry | Feb 17, 2009

The Employees State Insurance Corporation, Puducherry has tied up with three private hospitals in Chennai and one in Puducherry for specialised treatment to ESI beneficiaries.

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State funds for upgrading Madurai hospital

Chennai | Feb 18, 2009

The State Government will provide land and its share of Rs.25 crore for upgrading the Government Rajaji Hospital, Madurai, as a multi-speciality hospital, Finance Minister K. Anbazhagan informed the Assembly on Tuesday. The total project cost is Rs.150 crore. Presenting the budget proposals for 2009-10, Mr. Anbazhagan said that the Centre had recently agreed to the government’s request for upgrading the Government Rajaji Hospital, on the lines of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences at New Delhi.

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Government wants foeticide show promo taken off air

New Delhi | Feb 19, 2009

The Women and Child Development Ministry on Tuesday asked TV channel colors to withdraw the promo of its new serial Na Aana Iss Des Lado. The promo shows a group of men drowning a newborn girl in a vessel and a man shouting “next year give me a son”

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Vasectomy for gun licence deal sours

Bhopal| Feb 19, 2009

Vasectomy has always been an unpopular operation in the dacoit-infested Chambal district of Madhya Pradesh, but it enjoyed a brief surge in popularity last year. More than 250 men put their private parts under the surgeon’s knife through 2008. All of these men are a disillusioned lot now. Their vasdeferens’ have been sacrificed, but the promised gun licences haven’t come. The non-issuing of arms licences has created a problem for health department officials in the district.

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Improvements in health standards

New Delhi | Feb 16, 2009

There have been remarkable improvements in the health and nutrition standards of women and children, including an 8 per cent decline in malnutrition among children in the age group of 12 to 23 months, in several parts of the country, according to the key findings of a series of 12 working papers on “Women and Child Health”. Published by CARE India, the findings highlight the results of five years of the Reproductive and Child Health, Nutrition and HIV/AIDS (RACHNA) programme .

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City’s first polio case in ’09 from Shahdara

New Delhi | Feb 15, 2009

A 22-month-old girl from north Shahdara has become Delhi’s first polio victim of 2009. Even worse, Bushra, daughter of a rickshaw puller, has tested positive for the P1 polio virus, the most dangerous strain that travels faster and infects more children. India has reported seven cases of P1 infection this year, most of which are from UP and Bihar.

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Child rights panel fumes at kids' death in MP

Bhopal | Feb 12, 2009

"Why must a child die at all?" the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) asked at the first public hearing following reports of deaths due to malnutrition in Madhya Pradesh, non governmental organisations (NGOs) said. The NCPCR on Tuesday reached Satna for the first public hearing on alleged malnutrition deaths, Sachin Jain of Rights to Food Campaign in Madhya Pradesh said.

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Radio, TV programmes on mother and child care launched

Bhubaneshwar | Feb 13, 2009

In a bid to reduce the maternal and infant mortality rate by spreading awareness of correct mother and infant care practices, several radio and television spots were launched under “Deliver Now for Women + Children” campaign in the State recently. Integrated messages were developed in partnership with the Health and Family Welfare Department with the technical support from the National Rural Health Mission, State Institute of Health and Family Welfare, DFID and UNICEF

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Spreading awareness on human rights and HIV

New Delhi | Feb 14, 2009

Bringing together youths and at-risk communities from across the country to promote awareness about sexuality, human rights and HIV risks is a two-day festival opening at India Habitat Centre here this Sunday. “Project 19” will see participants coming from far-flung places like Mysore, Imphal and Sanghli.

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ADB to study health spending impact on Asia

Manila | Feb 13, 2009

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is to carry out a new study into how private spending on maternal, newborn and child healthcare is hurting the poor in the Asia and the Pacific region. The ADB study will carry out an analysis of the link between out-of-pocket medical spending and maternal, newborn and child health.

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Cell phones can be used in critical interventions

New York | Feb 12, 2009

The conference—Web4Dev: Innovation for Access—hosted by Unicef brings together academics, experts in technology, UN officials and development professionals to explore the application of new and existing communication technologies to dire problems in poor and isolated areas of the world

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Doc moves SC, seeks changes in ‘outdated’ abortion laws

New Delhi | Feb 14, 2009

The archaic law on termination of pregnancy that doesn’t permit a woman to abort her foetus even if it is found struck with a terminal disease after 20 weeks has been challenged before the Supreme Court. The obsolete provision in the Medical Termination Pregnancy Act of 1971 has caused much trauma to couples. Even as well-known obstetricians and gynecologists have advised to increase the time-period from 20 weeks to 24-28 weeks, there has been no move to amend the outdated legislation.

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Relief for doctors in cases of negligence

New Delhi | Feb 17, 2009

Coming to the rescue of doctors who are dragged to court on medical negligence charges, the Supreme Court restrained consumer forums and criminal courts from issuing notices to a doctor or hospital without receiving an expert committee’s report on the allegations leveled by the complainant.

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AIDS awareness in Surajkund fest

Surajkund | Feb 06, 2009

The Haryana State AIDS Control Society (HSACS) is using the Surajkund Mela to spread awareness on AIDS by providing counselling to people and conducting tests. HSACS Project Director Narveer Singh said that they have set up a stall on AIDS awareness and so far, counselling has been given to 86 persons and 42 tests have been conducted,”

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‘Sambhav’ to provide round-the-clock medical help to the poor

Berhampur | Feb 06, 2009

A new community health organization “Sambhav’ has come up in the city to provide round-the-clock medical help to the aged and the poor of the city. The organization aims to provide round-the-clock emergency medical help, on the spot consultation and medicine provision, ambulance facility etc to the aged and poor.

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Health scheme for all districts

Chandigarh | Feb 06, 2009

The National Health Insurance Scheme will be implemented in all Haryana districts to provide free treatment to three members of each family living below the poverty line in authorised private hospitals.

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‘Revive ancient medicine systems’

Dehradun | Feb 18, 2009

Uttarakhand Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri on Tuesday underlined the need to revive the traditional forms of medicine by conducting research and upgrading the ancient wisdom to meet present-day needs. Health Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, who convened the workshop, said that two Ayurvedic universities would be established in the State soon and all efforts would be made to promote Ayurveda and other systems of Indian medicine as the common man’s therapy.

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Bid to improve health services

New Delhi | Feb 12, 2009

Delhi Health Minister Kiran Walia on Wednesday stressed the need for society to come together as one to help the poor gain access to proper health facilities. She expressed these views while meeting a delegation from Singapore. The four-member delegation of NRIs and people of Indian origin stated they said they wanted to help the Government emulate international models in primary and tertiary medical care.

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Cheap, ultra-quick TB screening tool soon in India

London | Feb 16, 2009

An innovative TB breathalyser, the outcome of an intensive six-year programme, will be ultra-quick and most reliable yet cost effective mode of detecting early stage tuberculosis. The breathalyser will be launched first in India and South Africa, which are ranked first and fifth respectively on the WHO list of high burden TB countries, reports IANS.

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$521 mn WB aid to help India fight vector diseases

New Delhi | Feb 16, 2009

World Bank will provide US $521 million credit to India for the National Vector Borne Disease Control and Polio Eradication Support Project. The fund will significantly boost effective prevention, diagnosis and treatment services for malaria and kala azar and increase polio vaccinations in India.

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Ban promises aid for NRHM

New Delhi | Feb 06, 2009

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appreciated India’s National Rural Health Mission and promised continued and enhanced technical support of the U.N. agencies for the programme. Mr. Ban called on Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramadoss on Thursday and discussed a wide range of health related issues, including the impact of the global financial crisis on the health sector and climate change.

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Chhattisgarh has 4,082 HIV positive patients

Raipur | Feb 05, 2009
Chhattisgarh has 4,082 HIV positive patients with 43 percent belonging to the 25-34 age group, a survey report of the state government said. The state's insurgency-hit, impoverished tribal-dominated Dantewada district has the lowest of just 13 HIV positive patients, it said. The government has launched a massive awareness campaign across the state of over 20 million people on ways to prevent AIDS, the report said.

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Ambumani: awareness key to reducing infant mortality rate

New Delhi | Feb 12, 2009

Awareness and availability of affordable and equitable health care are the key to achieving better health indices in reproductive and child health areas, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said on Wednesday. Speaking at a governing body meeting of the Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh (JSK) here, he underlined the need to keep the focus on spread of awareness and improving infrastructure to bring down infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate.

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UN lauds bid to help patients

Jaipur | Feb 11, 2009

Two U.N. bodies have applauded a unique initiative taken in the district hospital of Chittaurgarh in Rajasthan to supply generic medicines to patients through the cooperative sector and described it as a “model arrangement” for reducing the exorbitant costs of medical treatment.

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Malnutrition kills 50 children in MP: Survey

Bhopal | Feb 10, 2009

Malnutrition has killed over 50 children in Madhya Pradesh in less than six months, say non governmental organisations (NGOs). The government says it has no information about the deaths.The main reasons ascribed to the deaths are poorly-equipped government health centres and failure of government schemes to reach a majority of the impoverished, say the NGOs after surveys in five districts.

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India to protect traditional medicinal knowledge

New Delhi | Feb 10, 2009

India has established a mechanism to protect its traditional medicinal knowledge from bio-piracy.The maiden Indian effort in creating a Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) database would now be available to the Patent Examiners at the European Patent Office (EPO), which has 34 member states, an official statement said on Monday.

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Concern over large scale marketing of promotional drugs

Berhampur | Feb 10, 2009

The chemists and druggists of the State opposed the large scale endorsement of promotional drugs by doctors The secretary of All India Chemist and Druggists Federation (AICDA) said that in most cases the quality of these promotional drugs was under doubts but still these second rated drugs were being promoted through prescriptions of particular doctors for best known reasons.

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Punjab forms panel for hospital upgrade

Chandigarh | Feb 09, 2009

The Government of Punjab has decided to constitute an expert committee of medical professionals to give their recommendations on how hospitals in the state can be upgraded on modern lines. The committee will comprise eminent doctors from the Post Graduate Institute (PGI), Chandigarh, as well as the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (Aiims), Delhi.

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Govt. plans Health Regulatory Body

New Delhi | Feb 09, 2009

THE DELHI government is planning to set up an independent health regulatory body in the city to keep tabs on the services provided in state hospitals and clinics. With the Commonwealth Games round the corner, the government is keen to push the proposal for ensuring quality treatment in its hospitals and clinics. But the proposal, it seems, does not have many takers within the government, who say that this was just a duplication of the Centre’s efforts in this direction.

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Now, healthcare at doorsteps for rural Chandigarh

Chandigarh | Feb 09, 2009

In a bid to increase accessibility of the rural people for getting better healthcare, the Chandigarh Administration has started a Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) to provide healthcare services at the door steps of the rural people. MMU not only facilitates access to basic services of healthcare, but also provides essential knowledge and information on the kind of services under the umbrella of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

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Court rescues harassed woman

New Delhi | Feb 08, 2009

Holding that a victim of domestic violence can approach any court in the country for relief, a city court has come to the rescue of a woman who was thrown out by her husband from their home in Ghaziabad. Metropolitan Magistrate Kiran Gupta also restored the wife, Sarita's, living rights at her shared matrimonial home and directed her husband, Sunil (names changed) to pay Rs 20,000 as monthly maintenance to the victim

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Policy to secure workers' health, safety approved

New Delhi | Feb 06, 2009

The Government of India has approved the National Policy on Safety, Health and Environment at Workplace to address the issue of securing health and safety of workers in the country. It provides general guidelines for all stakeholders such as governments, inspection authorities, employers, research and development institutions, educational institutions for developing a safety culture and environment at all work places.

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'India should increase budget allocation for health sector'

New Delhi | February 03, 2009

Hailing India's improvement in the health sector, Jeffrey Sachs, chairperson of the international advisory panel of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Tuesday said there should be more investment in the sector. Praising India's dramatic improvement in the health sector, he said that the increase in institutional delivery and drop in mortality is especially impressive.

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Lacking healthcare, 10 lakh Indians die every year

London | February 03, 2009

Ten lakh Indians, mostly women and children, die every year because of inadequate healthcare in a country full of highly-skilled doctors, Britain's Oxford University said. The prestigious university is to discuss the health and environmental challenges at the fourth Oxford India Business Forum to be held in New Delhi next month. According to the report, with India covering 2.4 per cent of the Earth's surface, the country faces the daunting challenge of supporting 16 per cent of the world's population.

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Over 90,000 children immunised against polio

Puducherry | February 02, 2009

The second phase of the intensified pulse polio immunisation programme on Sunday received good response in the Union Territory. A total of 91,262 children in the 0-5 age group were immunised, according to Health Department officials. In Puducherry alone, polio drops were administered to 71,405 children. As many as 14,508 children in Karaikal, 1,668 in Mahe and 3,681 in Yanam were immunised on the first day of the second round of immunisation programme.

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Lepers should beg, not drive cars

New Delhi | February 01, 2009

Two days after World Leprosy Day, HT takes a look at the state of patients in the country. A raft of laws stops them from driving, staying married, travelling by train or contesting elections. Meet the new untouchables. “Leprosy is less infectious than the common cold and completely curable, yet laws stigmatise as much as people do.” —ANBUMANI RAMADOSS, Union Health Minister

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Indian creates compound TO knock out TB pathogen

Washington/New Delhi | February 02, 2009

An Indian researcher has created a compound that knocks out four of the tuberculosis bacterium's crucial metabolic pathways simultaneously, ultimately crippling the pathogen. The development opens the way to designing a single drug that is safe and effective, and may replace the costly cocktail of drugs that people with tuberculosis (TB) currently use to cure their disease, reports IANS.

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Surrogacy gives birth to NEW HOPE

New Delhi | February 01, 2009

Women who rent their womb for surrogate pregnancy are slowly shaking off their inhibition and fear of social ostracism to bring joy to childless couples. The rent-a-womb industry is estimated at around $445 million in the country. While in the US, the process could cost as much as $70,000, the cost of procuring a womb is drastically reduced here.

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Begin work on AIIMS in Patna, HC tell Centre

Patna | February 04, 2009

The Patna High Court has set a deadline of June for starting construction of the Jai Prakash Narayan All India Institute of Medical Sciences
In a directive aimed at improving the health infrastructure in Bihar, the Patna High Court has directed the Government of India to invite tenders in February for construction of the Jai Prakash Narayan All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

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Haryana aid to BPL families

Chandigarh | February 04, 2009

Haryana Health Department is granting immediate financial assistance for expensive specialised treatment of those living below the poverty line from the institutions approved by the government under the Arogya Kosh scheme. Haryana Health Minister Kartar Devi said 58 persons living below the poverty line have so far benefited under the Arogya Kosh scheme. The State Health Society has been designated as a nodal agency for the implementation and monitoring of the scheme.

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Haryana pays Rs. 1 lakh to sexual abuse victim

New Delhi | February 04, 2009

A Class VIII girl student who was alleged to have been sexually abused by a school headmaster in a village in Rewari district of Haryana has been given an interim relief of Rs.1 lakh by the State Government on orders from the National Human Rights Commission. The Commission received the compliance report and proof of payment on January 19. It had ordered the Haryana Government for payment within four weeks after it found that prima facie violation of human rights of the girl had been established.

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Unbranded generic drugs to be sold at people’s shop

New Delhi | February 04, 2008

The Centre is planning to open 40 ‘Jan Aushadhi’ shops, (peoples’ medicine shops) all over the country by March 4 where generic medicines will be sold at half the price of branded medicines. A few Jan Aushadhi outlets have already begun functioning in Punjab. Following Punjab government’s cooperation with the Centre, other states like Haryana, Rajasthan, Bihar and Assam are also coming forward to set up Jan Aushadhi outlets, for which they have to provide space free of cost, preferably in a government hospital.

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India needs IT based health delivery system

New Delhi | February 4, 2009

The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) International Advisory Panel Chairperson Jeffrey Sachs has called upon India to implement IT based health delivery system in the country. The Columbia University Professor, while praising India's effort for closing gap on the health mission under the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) with the other countries, however, said that the country needs to make more investment in the sector.

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Sexual abuse, diseases afflict Naxalites

February 05, 2009

Several activists of Naxalite groups, including some of those allegedly behind the massacre of 15 policemen in the Gadchiroli forests, are suffering from sexually transmitted diseases (STD) including HIV/AIDS, police and medical sources said. This has resulted in several deaths. The revelation emerged from Naxalite literature seized during recent raids. Abused women can’t raise their voice for fear of retribution.

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Doctors of death caught on camera

New Delhi | February 05, 2009

Two Nursing homes in east Delhi have been sealed for illegal sex-determination tests and offering to abort girl foetus. In two separate undercover investigations, an NGO working closely with government agencies caught Delhi doctors in two separate nursing homes on secret camera offering to arrange for termination of pregnancies of girl children

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Free medical facility for BPL families in Rajasthan

Jaipur | January 26, 2009

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has extended the free-of-cost medical facility for the below poverty line (BPL) families introduced during his previous tenure and simplified the procedure for availing of its benefits. The scheme has been renamed as the Chief Minister’s BPL Life Saving Fund.

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Delhi will eliminate polio: Sheila Dikshit

New Delhi | February 01, 2009

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit launched yet another round of the Pulse Polio campaign in the Capital by administering anti-polio drops to a number of children at her residence here on Saturday. Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Dikshit observed that the Government’s initiative to administer anti-polio drops to all children up to the age of five would ensure eradication of the deadly virus from Delhi.

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HC raps govt in pregnant teen’s case

New Delhi | January 31, 2009

A three-judge bench of the Delhi HC on Friday grappled with the case of a pregnant underaged teen and lashed out at the government for having two contradictory provisions in the law on child marriage.

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Report on India's domestic violence law highlights major loopholes

January 19, 2009

A report that studied how the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act was being implemented two years after it came into force, finds that much of the infrastructure, budgetary allocation and interaction between various departments is still lacking. The findings, compiled in a report entitled ‘Staying Alive: Second Monitoring and Evaluation Report 2008’, were presented to the National Commission for Women (NCW) at a seminar in New Delhi.

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International rights group slams Indian government

January 19, 2009

In its ‘World Report 2009’, Human Rights Watch says India lacks the “will and capacity” to implement many laws and policies. India has routinely ignored recommendations from UN human rights bodies including UN committees on the elimination of racial discrimination and discrimination against women. Children and adults living with HIV/AIDS, internal migrants, sex workers, injecting drug users, men who have sex with men, and transgender populations -- face widespread stigmatisation and discrimination, including denial of employment, access to education and healthcare.

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Himachal Pradesh CRI to resume vaccine production

Shimla | January 19, 2009
The central government has finally allowed the Central Research Institute (CRI) at Kasauli town in Himachal Pradesh to restart the production of vaccines for the national immunisation programme. The licence for production of vaccines was cancelled in January last year by the ministry on the ground that the 103-year-old institute was not accomplishing the goods manufacturing practice requirements as per the norms of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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Ahmedabad to get 5,000-bed health city

Ahmedabad | January 20, 2009

Narayana Hrudayalaya, one of the largest heart hospital chains in the country, signed an agreement with the Government of Gujarat to set up a 5,000-bed health city here, a statement issued here said on Monday. According to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Narayana Hrudayalaya and the Gujarat government, the health city will come up on a 37-acre area in Monogram Mills in Bapunagar, Ahmedabad, reports IANS.

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Negative results of clinical trials don’t always get published

Washington | January 21, 2009

While trials showing a positive treatment effect, or those with important or striking findings easily make it to the pages of scientific journals, studies that come out with unfavourable results often go unpublished, revealed a new review. "This publication bias has important implications for healthcare. Unless both positive and negative findings from clinical trials are made available, it is impossible to make a fair assessment of a drug’s safety and efficacy," says lead researcher, Sally Hopewell of the UK Cochrane Centre in Oxford, UK.

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Polio corrective surgery camp

New Delhi | January 21, 2009

Tarun Mitra Parishad will organise a polio corrective surgery camp in East Delhi next month. Patients up to the age of 25 years will be operated free of cost. Needy patients can contact the Parishad’s office at J-88, Laxmi Nagar. Patients will be selected in the first week of February.

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$635 million effort to deal polio in India, Pak

Washington | January 21, 2009

An international effort spearheaded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged US $635 million towards eradicating the crippling polio disease with focus on India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Rotary International said its members will raise US $100 million over the next three years towards the effort. The money will ultimately be used by the World Health Organisation and United Nations Children's Education Fund (Unicef). The money will be focussed on the four countries where polio remains endemic—India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria.

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Modalities for health insurance scheme under discussion

Chennai | January 23, 2009

A day after the government announced its decision to extend health insurance cover to the poor, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi convened a meeting of officials to discuss the modalities of implementation of the project.Emerging from the discussions, he said he had preliminary discussions on the scheme with Finance Secretary K. Gnanadesikan on the method to identify the beneficiaries, financing, floating of tenders and the chronic diseases that needed to be included under the scheme.

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Govt. committed to bettering health services

Chandigarh | January 24, 2009

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Friday said that the State Government was committed to providing better health facilities to each and every citizen. Speaking after laying the foundation stone of a polyclinic to be built at a cost of Rs.370 lakh by Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) at Bahadurgarh, he said that his regime was endeavouring to provide equipment according to the criteria of Indian Public Health Standard in all the health institutes of the State by 2012.

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Turned away by hospitals, woman delivers on platform

Mumbai | January 31, 2009

A 20-year-old woman, deserted by her husband, delivered a baby girl on the platform at Bhayandar in Mumbai after she was refused admission by local maternity hospitals on Thursday night. The mother and the newborn were later taken to the BMC-run Bhagwati Hospital in Borivli (West).

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Compulsory rural posting for docs from next year

New Delhi | January 30, 2009

The one-year rural posting will include four months of service each at the district headquarters, community health centres and primary health centres The proposal for compulsory rural posting of doctors after completing their MBBS would be implemented from next year, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said here today . The decision was taken in an effort to augment health facilities in rural areas.

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India's 32 mn kids don't get early childhood care

New Delhi | January 27, 2009

Around 32 million children in India in the 0-6 year age group do not have access to basic education and healthcare services, says a report called 'Status of Children in India 2008'. A vast group of children living in difficult circumstances, such as children of long-term patients, women prisoners and sex workers, children with special needs, riot, militancy and disaster-affected children, refugee and displaced children, and children from orphanages and foundling homes, are not covered by early childhood education," the report says.

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Medicines found dumped in septic tank

Harda (MP) | February 01, 2009

Medicines worth lakhs of rupees were recovered from septic tank situated behind the staff quarter of the district hospital here, official sources said. The medicines had the marking ‘not for sale’ and ‘government medicine,’ they said.

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New initiative to promote AIDS awareness at IIT Delhi

New Delhi | January 25, 2009

In a new initiative, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, has set up a Red Ribbon Club to spread general awareness and explode myths related to HIV/AIDS. The Delhi State AIDS Control Society (DSACS) in collaboration with the National Service Scheme at IIT Delhi has set up this new club that was inaugurated this past week.

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Rajasthan presents a bleak record in maternal health

Jaipur | January 25, 2009

In a shocking eye-opener, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has revealed that on an average 13 children die every hour in Rajasthan before their first birthday. Besides, at least one woman loses her life every hour in the State due to complications arising out of pregnancy and child birth.

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CAG finds many holes in Rajasthan rural health mission

Jaipur | January 17, 2009

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pulled up the Rajasthan Government for lapses in implementation of the National Rural Health Mission with only 65 per cent of the funds available under the ambitious project utilised from 2005 to 2008. A large number of cases of denial and delayed payment of cash assistance to the beneficiaries have also come to light.

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Most HIV+ widows live as outcasts

Chandigarh | January 17, 2009

“The only thing worse than being HIV+ is being an HIV+ widow,” says 26-year-old Pooja Thakur, who lost her husband, a truck driver in Punjab, to AIDS five years ago. Pooja is one of the many widows in the State who are shunned by society once they contract HIV from their husbands. According to the National AIDS Control Organisation, over 17 per cent of HIV/AIDS cases in Punjab are caused by sharing of infected needles, the national percentage for which is barely 3 per cent.

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Bill to monitor hospitals soon

Thiruvananthapuram | December 29, 2008

Law Department sources told The Hindu here that the model legislation was aimed at curbing vandalism against government and private hospitals as well as monitor the quality of the service being offered. This was being mooted in the context of increasing instances of mob attacks and complaints about casualties due to alleged medical negligence.

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