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

March 2010

Tribals, Dalits still at the bottom in most indicators

New Delhi | March 28, 2010

Indigenous groups and Dalits continue to be at the bottom in most indicators of well-being, the Muslims and the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) occupy the middle rung, while forward caste Hindus and other minority religions are at the top. The “Human Development in India: Challenges for a Society in Transition” survey has found this. These patterns are seen in a variety of indicators, including household incomes, poverty rates, landownership and agricultural incomes, health, and education. The group positions are not immutable, and on some dimensions, there is a difference in rankings.


AIDS drugs centre in all MP districts

Bhopal: March 25, 2010

With Madhya Pradesh reporting over 400 new HIV-AIDS cases in 2009, medical centres are to be set up in every district so that patients, especially rural ones, can get treatment without having to travel long distances. The directive to create more Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) link centres was issued by Health Minister Anup Mishra. He also said grants to NGOs whose work was not evident should be stopped immediately. State AIDS Control Society Director Omesh Mundra said the setting up of ART centres enables easy detection and treatment of HIV-AIDS patients.


India distributed 65 mn pregnancy test cards

New Delhi | March 25, 2010

Aiming to reduce unwanted pregnancy and better antenatal care (ANC) among rural women, India has distributed 65 million pregnancy test strips across the country. The scheme was part of the National Rural Health Mission and was conducted in two phases across India. The first phase took care of 11 states and the next helped 17 states," a Health Ministry official said. The programme addressed key issues like low percent of women starting ANC in first trimester due to late pregnancy detection, contraceptive provisions and high unsafe abortions due to late detection of pregnancy, the official added.


Azad cites acute shortage of health personnel in rural areas

Puducherry | March 23, 2010

Reiterating the need for medical graduates to serve in “difficult and inaccessible” areas, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said here on Monday that there was acute shortage of health personnel in rural areas that needed to be addressed on a top priority basis. Not more than 25,000 doctors were available in primary and community health centres for a rural population of 740 million in the country, he told the first convocation of the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER).


Haryana moots new policy for land to hospitals

Chandigarh | March 23, 2010

The Haryana government in future will allot land to only those private hospitals and give recognition to private educational institutions that provide free or concessional services to economically weaker sections of society. Haryana's Education and Health Minister Geeta Bhukkal said the state government had also decided that the land to private hospitals would now be allotted by Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) with the condition that free or concessional health facilities were provided by them to the people of weaker sections.


Multi Drug Resistant TB cases in India on rise

New Delhi | March 23, 2010

Multi Drug Resistant (MDR) TB has been on rise throughout the world including in India, where it is three per cent of the total new Tuberculosis cases reported every year. With 1.8 million new cases annually, India carries the largest TB burden in the world, which is one-fifth of the world's new cases. In fact, India along with China is home to 50 per cent of the world's MDR TB, the WHO says. Drug resistant TB occurs when patients are not treated with standard treatment protocols or when patients enrolled on standard treatment protocols discontinue their treatments for various reasons.


Govt, IMA at loggerheads over rural MBBS course

New Delhi | March 18, 2010

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has three problems with the government's plan to create a special cadre of rural doctors through a truncated MBBS course, but the Health Ministry has refused to yield to its pressure and will push ahead on the subject as planned. According to a top Health Ministry official, a seven-member delegation of the IMA met Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and apprised him of their reservations over plans for the rural doctors' course. The IMA is the top doctors' association in the country.


Outlay for health sector increased

New Delhi | Feb 26, 2010

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee allocated Rs 22,300 crore for the health sector in his 2010-11 budget, an increase of over Rs 2,700 crore over the previous fiscal year. The Minister said the country was set to conduct a national health survey next fiscal and this would benefit in more than one way. "The findings of the survey should be of immense benefit to major public health initiatives, particularly the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), which has successfully addressed the gaps in the delivery of critical health services in rural areas," he said.