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

April 2009

Child marriages still child’s play

New Delhi | April 28, 2009

They have altered the tradition to keep the social ill going. Akha Tec , or Akshava Tritva,an auspicious day in Hindu calendar was the chosen day for child marriages in Rajasthan. A revised law and a watchful administration have seen fewer children, some as young as one, being married off on the day but underage marriages are rampant across the state. Two years after the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 was notified, fewer marriages are solemnised on the day.

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Two million kids die in India every year

New Delhi | April 06, 2009

Two million children die in India every year and over 60 per cent of them die in the first 28 days of birth, international charity Save The Children said on the eve of World Health Day on Monday. It highlighted that a majority of these deaths are because of diseases that are curable - diarrhoea, pneumonia, malaria, measles and pre- and post-natal complications - and urged the Indian government to keep its commitment to reduce child mortality by two-thirds by 2015.

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India to acquire 200-bed mobile hospitals

New Delhi | April 07, 2009


India would soon have its own mobile hospitals to deal with emergencies like Tsunami and earthquake and terror attacks like the 26/11 Mumbai incident in the country. The country has already chalked out plans and is all set to launch five mobile hospitals that could be airlifted to areas that have either been hit by man-made or natural disaster.

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Health cover for Panjab University students soon

Chandigarh | April 14, 2009


Punjab University (PU) has decided to provide all its students a health insurance cover of Rs 200,000 from the next academic session. The University has also decided to provide a separate insurance cover of Rs 100,000 for the students' parents which will be available from the next session—for both new and old students studying in the campus.

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Phase I prime-boost AIDS vaccine trial on

Chennai | April 19, 2009

The first volunteer for the Phase I prime-boost AIDS vaccine trial, which will have a duration of two years, has been enrolled by the Tuberculosis Research Centre (TRC) here. The Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) cleared Phase I trials at the TRC recently. Although it showed good immune response in all the volunteers who received it, the level of immune responses was modest and the persistence of the responses was not very encouraging. Hence the decision to conduct a Phase II trial using MVA was dropped. Instead, a prime-boost vaccine trial strategy using MVA as a boost was considered. ADVAX, a DNA vaccine, will be the prime.

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AIDS awareness campaign on wheels

Chandigarh | April 20, 2009

In an innovative way to educate the people about HIV/AIDS, a young lecturer drives around Chandigarh and its surrounding areas in his vibrantly coloured, slogan-bearing car, distributing free condoms, pamphlets and booklets about the disease. Panjab University (PU) lecturer in Social Work Gaurav Gaur has painted his Maruti-800 in bright colours and written awareness slogans all over it, transforming it into the only one of its kind "knowledge disseminating unit" about AIDS.

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Conference to address premature, stillbirth

New Delhi | April 22, 2009
Scheduled from May 7 to 10 in Seattle, the conference will discuss maternal, newborn and child health and propose a roadmap for future research. With over three billion stillbirths and a billion premature deliveries reported around the world every year, global health organisations on Tuesday came together to address the crises. In a meeting held at Seattle in the US, Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS) announced a collaborative effort to examine the causes of premature and stillbirth and identify and promote effective interventions.

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Government reviews preparedness for Swine Flu

New Delhi | April 27, 2009

After keeping in view the reported human cases of Swine Influenza A (HINI) caused by a re-assorted Swine flue virus, the Government has instituted a series of preventive actions that include surveillance at Ports and International Airports. The Health Ministry is keeping watch on the situation through Integrated Disease Surveillance units in the states and has issued travel advisory for those traveling to the affected areas to defer their plan.

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Pharma firms stock up drugs to tackle swine flu

New Delhi | April 28, 2009

As countries around the world reach out for the panic button over reports of swine influenza (H1N1 virus) striking human populace in Mexico, domestic companies like Roche, Cipla and Hetero Drugs have developed generic, and thus more affordable versions of the bird flu drug and are gearing up to supply the bird flu drug, oseltamivir, to the Indian and overseas markets in case of a global outbreak.

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Gates targets Indian researchers for health grants

New Delhi | April 03, 2009

The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has announced US $100,000 grants for researchers to develop innovative ideas to address maternal and child health care issues. The third round of the world-wide initiative is targeted particularly at Indian researchers. In the previous two rounds, the project received around 7,000 applications from 118 countries and Indians accounted for just three per cent of it.

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