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

May 2009

Madhya Pradesh likely to adopt direct medicine purchase policy

Bhopal | May 19, 2009

In a bid to facilitate medicine supply in government hospitals, the State Health Department has charted out a new direct medicine purchase policy to replace the current one under which the drugs are acquired via Madhya Pradesh Laghu Udyog Nigam (MPLUN). The Health Department has plans to put the new direct medicine purchase policy in the State Cabinet for the mandatory nod, soon.

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NRHM monitoring to extend to 1,035 villages

Mumbai | May 23, 2009

Community-based monitoring (CBM) under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) will now cover 13 districts of Maharashtra and reach 1,035 villages in its second phase. The decision to expand the CBM was taken at a State level workshop recently held in Pune attended by representatives of social organisations and Madhukar Chowdhary, Mission Director, NRHM, Maharashtra.

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Health is wealth: New govt’s 100-day mantra

New Delhi | May 21, 2009


On top of the UPA’s agenda, in its new avatar, is likely to be comprehensive overhaul of the public healthcare system. With the state-run healthcare system in bad shape, the UPA government is likely to come out with major initiatives to re-prioritise efforts in completely revamping the healthcare infrastructure in its first 100 days.

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Delhi labourers to get health, education facility

New Delhi | May 21, 2009

The Government of Delhi is planning to launch a comprehensive plan to provide health and education facilities to families of labourers engaged in construction activities in the national capital. The state government has decided that departments of health and education would provide medical care and education facilities to labourers for which the department of labour will release funds from Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Fund.

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Health of urban poor should be top priority

New Delhi | May 20, 2009

An ambitious plan — National Urban Health Mission envisaged by former health minister A Ramadoss — failed to take off during his tenure. Whoever now takes over the health portfolio will have to see it go through at the earliest.
Designed on the lines of UPA’s flagship National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) which aims to provide healthcare to the vast rural population, NUHM aims to provide accessible and affordable primary healthcare to the poor and homeless urban population — a number that is steadily rocketing. NUHM aims to improve the health of 22 crore people living in urban slums in 429 cities.

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Woman dies during forced abortion of female foetus

Nabha/Patiala | May 20, 2009

In a state where a skewed female-male ratio is already a cause for concern, there’s some more bad news: an expectant mother died on Monday in Patiala during a forcible attempt to abort her foetus by an untrained midwife. This happened barely hours after a doctor convicted under Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act committed suicide in Bathinda after her plea for acquittal was rejected.

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Multi-disciplinary health care village planned

Thiruvananthapuram | May 11, 2009

A multi-disciplinary health care village has been proposed on 40 hectares of land in Kozhikode as part of providing integrated treatment facilities from all scientific streams of medicine. Conceived by Infrastructures Kerala Limited (InKEL), the village, to be completed in four years, is estimated to cost Rs.417 crore. The project, being implemented in association with the State government, is expected to bring in another Rs.1,583 crore from the private sector in setting up other facilities.

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NRHM plans more initiatives

Bhubaneshwar | May 13, 2009

The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) is contemplating scaling up health services under its initiatives by increasing number of immunisation contact points, placing community volunteers in urban slums and involving urban local bodies. The NRHM on Tuesday said a budgetary provision of Rs 22.79 crores had been made for implementation of various programmes during 2009-10 fiscal.

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President urges nurses to have humane touch

New Delhi | May 13, 2009

Urging nurses to have a humane touch, President Pratibha Patil said it was the human element that made a huge difference in the recovery of the patient. To achieve the national objective of delivering primary healthcare to all, she said, nurses must join in the efforts to take medical services to the doorsteps of the people in villages, remote and tribal areas, including economically weaker sections in cities and towns.

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Drop in infant mortality rate in the country

New Delhi | May 13, 2009

The infant mortality rate (IMR) in the country went down by two percentage points from 57 to 55 per 1,000 live births between 2006 and 2007. While the overall figure has shown a decrease, the number has gone up in Chandigarh, Uttarakhand, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and some northeastern States, according to the latest figures released by the Registrar-General of India as per the Sample Registration System (SRS).

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Uttar Pradesh doctors demand protection through law

Lucknow |May 14, 2009

Wary of being assaulted by relatives of patients, doctors in Uttar Pradesh are demanding a special law for their protection. The Provincial Medical and Health Services Association (PMHSA) - a body of nearly 10,000 government doctors in the state - has submitted a memorandum, asking for legislation to counter cases of attacks on medicos.

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Kerala IT firms to join AIDS awareness campaign

Thiruvananthapuram | May 15, 2009

Companies based in the Technopark IT industrial park here will join hands with the Kerala government to strengthen the AIDS awareness campaign in the state, an industry official said. The Group of Technopark Companies (GTECH), a body representing the chief executives of the Technopark firms, has adopted a corporate policy on HIV/AIDS that calls for strengthening the awareness campaign among the member companies and employees,

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Hope on wheels for Bangalore's homeless and ill

Bangalore |May 15, 2009

At the transit home of Humanitarian Network, an organisation working for the poor and underprivileged, 800 people have been rescued, treated and rehabilitated from the streets of Bangalore by the crew of an ambulance introduced last November. The ambulance service team consists of 12 people, including one doctor and three paramedics, helpers, nurses and a driver. The team visits various parts of the city to pick up destitute people from the streets. Five years ago the NGO also opened Humanitarian Hospital at Bannerghatta Road to treat the rescued people.

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Concern over infant mortality rate in Orissa

Bhubaneshwar | May 16, 2009

Experts and administrators expressed concerns over prevailing infant mortality rate in Orissa and called for concerted efforts to reduce the IMR. Addressing the fourth meeting of the Orissa ‘State Multi-stakeholder Forum on MDGs’ (Millennium Development Goals) here on Friday, UNICEF Chief for the State Shadrack Omol said, “Orissa has made excellent progress in reducing child mortality. However, our progress would be much more if the health status of all children improved at the same rate.”

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HC strives for more convictions in incest cases

New Delhi | May 07, 2009

The Delhi High Court has issued guidelines to enable various authorities to effectively tackle offences like incest and sexual assault on minors. The emphasis is on ensuring that those who have committed the crime get stringent punishment. As per official statistics the conviction rate is a minuscule 16 per cent in such offences due to limitations faced in bringing the evidence on record.

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Chemists see profit in swine flu - Sell anti-viral drugs for Rs 4,000, at four times the price

New Delhi | May 06, 2009

Though India has not been affected by swine flu, many chemists are riding on the scare and selling imported capsules of Tamiflu (oseltamivir), the anti-flu drug used to treat influenza H1N1, at four times the price i.e. a 10-tablet strip, which costs about Rs 1,000, for anywhere between Rs 2,000 and Rs 4,000. Vineet Chawdhry joint secretary ministry of health said that the medicine is stocked at government run hospitals across the country to be used for treating only , confirmed cases of swine flu. He has asked the drug controller general of India to get in touch with the Delhi government to take action against chemists violating the ban.

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APARTHEID-II: - It’s hands off mothers-to-be

Indore | May 05, 2009

Government-funded health workers often refuse to treat pregnant Dalit women. When they do, they demand bribes and then refuse to touch the patients while medically examining them. Even injections are administered without touching the women. A survey by Jansahas, an NGO, and Unicef reveals these, and other, gruesome cases of caste discrimination in four districts — Jhabua, Sheopur, Katni and Ujjain —in Madhya Pradesh. The survey has revealed that assistant nursing matrons (ANMs) or Asha Workers, who are responsible for delivering government-funded health benefits to poor people, seldom visit dalit localities.

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Gearing up health care services for the Games

New Delhi | May 04, 2009

Getting ready to cater to the additional load, beginning October next year, is the State health department which claims to have done its paper work and is now all set to go full throttle into execution of providing a robust and international quality health care service. Confident of being able to deal with the expectations, as part of its preparation for the Games, the Capital will have polyclinics, a stronger fleet of ambulances, additional medical staff and tertiary care hospitals taking care of the athletes, guests, visitors and others persons associated with the Games.

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WHO turns to Pune for flu vaccine rollout

New Delhi | May 02, 2009

India could soon be part of a global hunt to create the world’s first pandemic vaccine against the deadly H1N1 influenza virus. The World Health Organisation is planning to contact Pune-based vaccine makers Serum Institute of India, to see whether it would have the capacity to produce in mass scale a vaccine against H1N1, once the technology is ready.

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Woman delivers child outside health centre

Muzaffarnagar | May 02, 2009

A dalit woman had to deliver a child outside a government primary health centre here as she was not allowed inside due to “absence” of medical staff, her family alleged. The health centre incharge, Sharan Singh, claimed the doctor and nurses had gone to attend a polio meeting to another village when the incident occurred.

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India fully geared, says WHO

New Delhi | May 01, 2009

The World Health Organisation on Thursday said India had a “tremendous capacity” to deal with the swine flu situation in the event of an outbreak. Director of Communicable Diseases (WHO) Jai P. Narain told journalists that neither India nor any of the South East Asian countries had reported any case of swine flu. India had a tremendous capacity to handle any situation and it was in the forefront of preparedness as it was in dealing with SARS and Avian influenza.

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WHO focus on vivax malaria control

New Delhi | April 29, 2009

Ways of effectively controlling vivax malaria are at the centre of this year’s World Malaria Day activities in the WHO South-East Asia and Western Pacific Regions. Representatives from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka met here recently to discuss ways of containing the spread of vivax malaria. Plasmodium vivax causes malaria symptoms and relapses.

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Re-introduce humaneness into medicine, says V-C

Puducherry | May 08, 2009

With technological advances increasing the distance between the patient and doctor, nurses and paramedical staff had the opportunity to fill the gap and encourage healing for the patients, Vice-Chancellor of Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, stressed and hence emphasised the need to re-introduce humaneness into medicine.

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