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

January 2011

Madhya Pradesh to launch health project for rural girls

Bhopal | Dec 22, 2010
Aiming to promote health and hygiene among adolescent rural girls, the Madhya Pradesh health department will soon provide sanitary napkins to them, a health ministry official said. However, the official said, it is yet to be decided whether to distribute them free or with a nominal charge of Re.1 or Rs.5. This is part of the National Rural Health Mission scheme, a pilot project of which will be implemented initially in nine districts of Madhya Pradesh. This will later be launched across the entire rural belt in the state. The state health department will distribute the napkins through its Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) cadres.

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Pregnant women, individuals above age of 30 to be screened

Hyderabad | Jan 14, 2011

The three-day national conference of the State Health Ministers and Health Secretaries, chaired by Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad, also came out with several initiatives to bring down Maternal and Infant Mortality Rates (MMR and IMR). The actions to reduce MMR and IMR include ensuring one doctor and nurse at each primary health centre as a mandatory requirement by March 31, 2012; full antenatal care of the pregnant mothers; universalisation of the name-based mother and child tracking system to facilitate full antenatal care; safe delivery; postnatal care; and the immunisation of children.

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Awarded . 50k for giving birth in open, she’s yet to get a rupee

New Delhi | Jan 13, 2011

More than six months after the Delhi High Court made a landmark ruling on the right of poor women to access maternity benefit schemes, following cases of women delivering babies in the open, one of the women who moved the judiciary still lives under a tree, and is yet to see a single rupee in compensation. In 2009, Fatema, a 21-year-old epileptic woman, was denied care by a government hospital, forcing her to deliver her baby under a tree in south Delhi’s Jangpura. Abandoned by her husband, Fatema lives with her mother Jaitun, a widowed former labourer now in her 60s, on an open plot not far from the Nizamuddin dargah, where several other homeless families also live.

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Eradication close with 94% drop in polio cases

New Delhi | Jan 13, 2011

India has seen a 94% decline in polio cases, giving the country a real chance to finally eradicate the crippling disease. Compared to 741 cases of polio in 2009, India recorded just 42 cases in 2010. The number of affected districts too saw a sharp fall from 90 in 2008, 56 in 2009 to just 17 in 2010. The last six months have seen the lowest number of polio cases during the high transmission season (July-September) in any year. Polio hotbed Uttar Pradesh reported just 10 polio cases in 2010 compared to 602 cases in 2009. The state has also not reported a single polio case since April 2010. Bihar, another state badly affected with polio virus, has also reported a sharp drop.

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Villagers make plea for specialists in health centres

Puducherry | Jan 10, 2011

According to villagers in Sorapat, Thavalakuppam, Bahour and adjoining areas, only common ailments are being treated by doctors at the CHCs and Primary Health Centres (PHC). Whenever there was a case of emergency, patients are asked to go to the government general hospital, as these centres lack specialists to treat such chronic ailments. The most affected lot are pregnant women who travel long distances to visit the maternity hospital. They now want the government to make arrangements to get specialists visit their villages at least once a month.

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New govt scheme helps space kids better

New Delhi | Jan 08, 2011

With India likely to achieve population stabilization by 2070 instead of 2045 as originally targeted, the Union health ministry has now started to aggressively use long-acting reversible contraceptives to help women space children better. The ministry’s family planning division has now started a new programme called the post-partum insertion of intra-uterine contraceptive devices (IUCD). Now, under the new programme being implemented by 19 states, pregnant women are counselled for use of IUCDs during the antenatal period itself and the IUCD is inserted soon after she delivers the baby, following proper consent. Ministry officials told TOI that over 5,000 women have already received IUCDs under this programme.

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‘Moms beaten at home led to death of 1.8m girl children’

New Delhi | Jan 07, 2011

The deaths of 1.8 million girl children in India over the past two decades have for the first time being linked to domestic violence against their mothers. After examining over 158,000 births between 1985 and 2005, an international team of researchers found that spousal violence against wives increased the risk of death among girlchildren, but not male kids, in both t h e f i r s t year and the first 5 years of life. According to lead author Jay Silverman, associate professor at Harvard School of Public Health, “Being born a girl into a family in India in which your mother is abused makes it significantly less likely that you will survive early childhood. This violence does not pose a threat to your life if you are lucky enough to be born a boy”.

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Call to arrest declining sex ratio

Chandigarh | Jan 07, 2011

Haryana Chief Secretary Urvashi Gulati exhorted the people to supplement governmental efforts in checking the declining sex ratio and saving the girl child. She said though both Punjab and Haryana were progressive States, the sex ratio had deteriorated alarmingly in both in the past few years. The present Haryana Government, in power since 2005, took many steps to deal with this challenge and to establish a healthy sex ratio, she claimed. In all, 23 doctors and other persons had been convicted under the PNDT Act and two persons had been convicted under the MTP Act.

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Haryana infant mortality rate goes down

Chandigarh | Dec 28, 2010

Haryana Health Minister Geeta Bhukkal claimed that the State had “moved up its health indices ladder'' with the adoption of innovative maternal and child healthcare strategies and effective interventions. The infant mortality rate (IMR) had come down to 42 per 1,000 live births which is way below the national average of 57 per 1,000 live births in the country, according to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-III. Besides, having administered two-thirds of children all the recommended vaccinations, Haryana ranks seventh among the states from the standpoint of highest vaccination coverage, according to NFHS-III. Institutional deliveries had increased to 64 per cent in 2009 from 59 per cent in 2008.

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Health rights coalition condemns Sen's conviction

New Delhi | Dec 26, 2010

Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, a coalition of organisations promoting health rights, has expressed “outrage” at the life imprisonment awarded by a Raipur court to civil rights activist Binayak Sen for sedition and treason. In a statement issued here , the Abhiyan has said Dr. Sen enjoyed an illustrious record of 25 years of selfless service in health and human rights. He was an active member and former convenor of the Medico Friend Circle, a national organisation of health professionals, which worked for an alternative health system to meet the needs of the poor

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Migrants may spread drug-resistant malaria: Study

New Delhi | Dec 23, 2010

Warning that refugees and migrating population could increase the possibility of introducing drug-resistant malaria strains into the non-immune population in India, a review study published in the latest edition of The Lancet Infectious Diseases has suggested that best practices for malaria control along the border areas and in migrant population needs to be established. Overall, a robust and specific plan to combat drug-resistant parasites will be fundamental in fulfilling of commitment to malaria control in India. The study titled “Anti-malarial drug resistance of Plasmodium falciparum in India: changes over time and space'' says that further research and programmes are needed to combat anti-malarial drug resistance in India.

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Assam to set up health centres in riverine areas

Guwahati | Jan 14, 2011

Assam government will soon start 50 new public health centers (PHC) in the interior riverine areas where an estimated 30 lakh population of the state lives. Each PHC building will cost Rs one crore and modern architectural technique would be used to construct the buildings at raised platforms to save them from the annual floods. The PHCs would be well equipped with 57 items of medicines available round the clock to facilitate doctors to serve people without any hassle. The centres will have OPD service, basic laboratory facility, waiting room for patients and proper drinking water facility.

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