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

July 2009

Budget gives boost to women, child development schemes

New Delhi |July 06, 2009

Schemes to improve female literacy, credit support and microfinance to rural women as well as children's heath and educationhave been given prime importance in the union budget announced Monday. The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme - for providing health, nutrition and education services to children up to six years of age, pregnant women and nursing mothers - has been granted Rs.6,705 crore (Rs.67.05 billion) in the budget.

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India's health budget up by nearly Rs.4,000 crore

New Delhi |July 06, 2009
India's health budget has gone up by nearly Rs.4,000 crore to Rs.21,113.33 crore ($4.35 billion) with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Monday giving special emphasis to the rural healthcare. The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) that aims to provide quality healthcare to villagers Monday saw its budget allocation increase by Rs.2,057 crore.

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Hospital turns away gas victims

Bhopal | July 08, 2009

Mushtaq Ahmed, a victim of the gas tragedy died at the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC), a super-speciality hospital built for treating gas victims and under the supervision of the Supreme Court after being denied treatment. Twenty-five years after the tragedy, victims are being denied admission and treatment in the hospital, despite the fact that it was built with the compensation money for gas victims.

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Three banned vaccine manufacturing units to be revived

New Delhi |Wednesday, 2009
Three banned public sector vaccine manufacturing units will be revived, a step that will help the national immunization drive in the country, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said Wednesday. In their absence, vaccine procurement for National Immunization Programme was being carried out from other PSUs and some indigenous private firms on the basis of competitive rates after inviting open tenders.

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Only Rs.37 a month for an Indian citizen's healthcare

New Delhi |July, 2009
Indiaspends a mere Rs.37 per head every month to provide healthcare facilities for its one billion plus citizens, a reply tabled in the Lok Sabha has revealed. Azad said the Commission of Microeconomics and Health set up by the World Health. Organisation (WHO) had estimated that the minimum expenditure for essential health interventions for one person should be at least $34 (Rs.1,600) per year.

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Only one doctor for every 1588 people in India


Indiacontinues to face a poor doctor to patient ratio with only one doctor available for 1588 people in the country, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said. Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha, he said that there are only 733,617 registered allopathic doctors in the country.

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Awareness camp on malaria

Puducherry | June 30, 2009
The Office of the Assistant Director (Malaria), Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Services, Puducherry is conducting malaria awareness camp as part of the anti-malaria month on Tuesday at Chinnayapuram.


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Innovative NRHM schemes to be reviewed

New Delhi | July 13, 2009

The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry has recommended an in-depth review of 20 innovative schemes being implemented by States and Union Territories (UT) under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) for scaling up and replication. The NRHM which focuses on decentralised planning, implementation and flexibility to States and the implementation agencies, has resulted in a number of innovations with impressive results, Mission Director Amarjeet Sinha, told The Hindu. “Almost all States have come up with a range of innovations.”

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SMS alert on vaccination schedule

Chennai | July 11, 2009
The Chennai Corporation will send text messages (SMS) to women who have registered with its healthcare facilities, informing them of the vaccination schedule for their babies. This is part of the e-governance initiative of the disease tracking system to be installed at health posts and dispensaries of the civic body.

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Gender parity message on Population Day

Puducherry | July 11, 2009
The need to promote gender equality, to eradicate poverty and provide social security for women, came to the fore at a rally held to mark the World Population Day on Friday. About 250 school students participated in the rally organised by the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Services along with Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), Puducherry branch, on the occasion of the 20th World Population Day.

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Parents boycott school for admitting HIV+ kids

Aurangabad | July 11, 2009

Maharashtra government on Friday ordered an inquiry into the alleged refusal of parents to send their children to a school in Latur after it gave admission to some AIDS/HIV affected students. Ten students of an ashram, Sevalaya, which houses the orphans, HIV positive and AIDS affected children, are studying in the school. The ashram is managed by Amhi Sevak, an NGO.

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Only one doctor for every 1588 people in India

New Delhi |July 10, 2009

India continues to face a poor doctor to patient ratio with only one doctor available for 1588 people in the country, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said. Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha, he said that there are only 733,617 registered allopathic doctors in the country.

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Improvement of maternal health a far cry in Orissa

New Delhi |June 30, 2009

In spite of the government's claims that rural health is undergoing a massive change under its flagship programme, a survey by a federation of advocacy agencies said quality of healthcare is too bad in Orissa and women are dying in hospitals during child-births. A survey by the alliance that is a conglomerate of 1,500 organisations in 12 districts of Orissa found that implementation of safe motherhood policies and programmes have implementation problems.

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New AIDS vaccine ready for trials

Toronto | July 01, 2009

The Canadian University of Western Ontario has developed a new HIV/AIDS vaccine that is ready for human trials. It said the phase one clinical trials of the vaccine will double check its safety on HIV positive volunteers. The phase two trials would assess the immunogenicity of the vaccine.

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More medical colleges to be opened in India: Azad

New Delhi |July 03, 2009
The central government will set up more medical colleges through public-private participation to meet the shortage of skilled doctors in India, union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said His ministry was proposing to set up a National Council for Human Resources in Health as a regulatory agency for the health sector to reform the current framework and enhance supply of skilled personnel.

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Bulk of spurious drugs are from China

New Delhi |July 03, 2009

Three consignments of bulk drugs from unregistered manufacturers in China have been detected in Chennai sea port recently, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said He said a committee has been formed to look into the problems of spurious drugs in the country. Also, several steps like increasing penalty and punishment to prevent manufacture and sale of fake drugs have been taken.

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Delhi High Court strikes down Section 377 of IPC

New Delhi | July 03, 2009
In a landmark judgment, the Delhi High Court on Thursday struck down the provision of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalised consensual sexual acts of adults in private, holding that it violated the fundamental right of life and liberty and the right to equality as guaranteed in the Constitution.


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Court ruling on gays will help fight AIDS, say experts

New Delhi |July 02, 2009

Health experts and activists Thursday said the Delhi High Court ruling decriminalising homosexuality will be a new tool in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS as the closeted gay community is a high-risk group. Gays are considered to be among the high-risk group vulnerable to the spread of HIV/AIDS in India. Apart from them, the other high-risk groups are sex workers, truck drivers and injecting drug users (IDUs).

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India faces shortage of essential vaccines

New Delhi |July 02, 2009

India is the largest supplier of vaccines to the world yet its domestic market of vaccines stands completely crippled, endangering the health and future of millions of its children, especially newborns, according to a report in Down To Earth (DTE), a fortnightly magazine of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

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Shortage of 28,000 health centres in India: Economic Survey

New Delhi |July 02, 2009

There has been an improvement in the health sector but India faces a shortage of over 28,000 health centres, according to the Economic Survey 2008-09 There is a shortage of 20,855 sub centres, 4,833 primary health centres (PHCs) and 2,525 community health centres (CHCs) as per the 2001 population norm. The survey said the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) seeks to strengthen the public health delivery system at all levels. It said as part of the NRHM, 649,000 health workers in rural areas have been selected, of which 563,000 have been given orientation training.

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Double pay for doctors in rural areas

New Delhi | July 02, 2009
As part of monetary incentive to encourage medical personnel to take up rural postings, doctors, specialists and para-medical staff serving in the rural, particularly far-flung and inaccessible areas, will get double the salary their counterparts in other areas earn. The Ministry, through the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), will make funds available for contractual appointments and provide significantly higher monetary incentives based on the location of the posting.


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Legislation to protect doctors soon: Minister

Puducherry | July 02, 2009


The Puducherry government will enact legislation to protect doctors and staff of the Health Department in cases of disputes on hospital premises, Home Minister E. Valsaraj, who holds the Health portfolio, said

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100 Days agenda for health sector

Delhi | July 01, 2009
On the Health sector, the President promised consolidation of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), setting up a National Council for Human Resources in Health as an overarching regulatory body and revival of vaccine producing institutes in the public sector.The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has chalked out medium term and long term policy prescriptions to fulfill the promises made by the government.


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Public sector vaccine institutes to be revived, declares Azad

New Delhi |July 01, 2009
The government Wednesday announced plans to revive the public sector vaccine producing institutes in the country. "An oversight committee has already prepared a roadmap for revamping the vaccine manufacturing facility at CRI Kasauli," Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

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HIV positive pregnant woman denied treatment

Lucknow | July 01,2009

A pregnant woman was allegedly denied treatment in a government hospital in Uttar Pradesh's Ambedkar Nagar district because she was HIV positive, following which she delivered the baby outside the gates of the hospital, media reports said The doctors and other medical staff refused to treat the woman and asked the family to take her somewhere else.

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Kerala village unties the dowry knot.

Kerala | July 06, 2009
Six months of a spirited anti-dowry campaign in Nilambur, 400 km north of Thiruvananthapuram has transformed it into arguably the first village in the country where the giving and taking of dowry has been abolished altogether.

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