Posted on 19 June 2013 by Nitin
NEW DELHI: India and Britain have signed a pact to provide a framework for strategic and technical cooperation between the two countries on evidence informed healthcare policy and practice.
The MoU was signed by Department of Health Research (DHR) Secretary V M Katoch and UK-based National Institute for Health and Care (NICE) Excellence chief executive Andrew Dillon in London yesterday.
The MoU followed the signature of an overarching health agreement between UK and India at the World Health Assembly, Geneva, last month by the health ministers of the two countries.
The pact inked yesterday aims at bringing modern health technology to people by encouraging innovations in diagnostics, treatment methods and disease prevention.
The aim is to translate the innovations into products and processes by facilitating synergy with other departments.
The MoU creates provisions for exchange of institutional expertise and experience in clinical practice guidelines pathways and quality standards.
Posted on 18 June 2013 by Nitin
NEW DELHI: The right of mentally-ill patients to decide their mode of treatment, decriminalizing suicide for them and a ban on electric shock treatment without anaesthesia are some of the progressive provisions of the new mental health bill proposed by the government.
“The bill was passed by the union cabinet last week,” health secretary K Desiraju told IANS.
Once passed by parliament, the bill will repeal the Mental Health Act, 1987.
If passed, it will make access to mental healthcare a right for all. Also, such services would be affordable, of good quality and available without discrimination.
An estimated 10-12 million or one to two per cent of the population suffers from severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and nearly 50 million or five per cent from common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, yielding an overall estimate of 6.5 per cent of the population.
Keeping in mind the rising number of people suffering from mental ailments, the new bill aims at introducing progressive and far-sighted steps for patients, a senior health official told IANS.
“If a person has given an advance directive to the state that he or she should not be admitted to a facility without consent, it will be heeded to,” the official said.
This was proposed keeping in mind that a person can be branded mentally ill by family members in property or marital disputes.
Posted on 17 June 2013 by Nitin
It was in Class X that Ria* began to suspect that she suffered from a mental health disorder. She spent hours reading, only to find later that her mind hadn’t absorbed any of it. “I cried all the time and wished I was dead,” says the 20-year-old psychology student.
Alarmed, her mother made an appointment with a psychiatrist, who diagnosed her with a severe anxiety disorder. She was found to be deficient in serotonin — a hormone that helps regulate one’s mood.
Help was not readily available elsewhere. When Ria confided in two trusted college friends, they spread the news after learning that the principal had made some allowances to help her complete her assignments. “Students thought I was faking illness to avoid work,” she says. “Even my relatives said, ‘It’s all in your head’.”
Nothing to crunch
According to a study conducted by the National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health in 2005, nearly 5% of India’s population suffers from common mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety. But mental health experts say apart from several multi-centre surveys and studies, India is yet to have a comprehensive survey of all the states.
Raghu Appasani of US-based MINDS Foundation, says, “There are NGOs and research institutions which collect data. But, there is no national survey or data collection programme related to mental health.”
This will finally be accomplished in July, when the ministry of health and family welfare begins a survey on mental health disorders.
Posted on 15 June 2013 by Nitin
BANGALORE: Health and family welfare development state minister UT Khader on Friday said youths should lead blood donation campaigns and set example for others in the society.
“Despite huge technology and advance, we don’t have substitute for blood. Only blood can replace blood,” Khader, who was addressing the gathering at Chowdaiah Memorial hall to celebrate World Blood Donor day, said.
According to Khader, there is a false belief among people who think that donating blood might end in physical weakness. “It is just a myth. There are many people who have donated blood for more than 20-30 times, and still they are healthy. In fact, blood donation will give you a sense of pride and humanity,” he said.
Recalling how his college mate was stopped by his father from donating blood, Khader said he has donated blood many times. “When in college during early 80s, student association decided to conduct blood donation camp. The camp begun but we did not find the first donor. So my college mate declared he would donate and lay down on the bed. His father, who was watching from a corner, suddenly jumped into the dais and shouted on his son for spoiling his health,” Khader recalled.
“We all should serve society on one or the other and blood donation is one of the greatest ways to do it. Just think that one bottle blood donated by you saves lives and you understand its importance,” he said.
Posted on 14 June 2013 by Nitin
While the overall number of blood donors in India has grown over the years, women constitute only a tiny 10 percent share owing to health problems like pernicious anaemia and low haemoglobin levels or being underweight.
“It is not that woman do not volunteer to donate blood. They do, but most of them are not eligible to donate. For example, many of them have very low haemoglobin levels or suffer from pernicious anaemia (a condition in which the body can’t create enough healthy red blood cells). Many even weigh less than 45 kg. For anyone between 18 and 60 years, the body weight must be 45 kg and above,” NK Bhatia, medical director, Jan Jagriti Blood Bank, said.
A donor must have 12 mdg haemoglobin, which carries blood from the lungs to the rest of the body, including the brain. Most women fail to make the mark.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Database on Blood Safety (GDBS) 2011, 90 percent of blood donors in India were men and only 10 percent were women.
WHO had previously indicated that India reported the greatest increase in blood donors from 3.6 million in 2007 to 4.6 million in 2008. There are no figures for the subsequent years.
Data shows that women make for more than 40 percent of blood donors in 25 countries, among them Australia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Moldova, Mongolia, New Zealand, Portugal, Swaziland, Thailand, the US and Zimbabwe.
Posted on 13 June 2013 by Nitin
HUBLI: The district administration will crack down on gutka manufacturers, dealers and sellers. Companies found manufacturing gutka will be penalized up to Rs 10 lakh while shops selling the product will have to forgo their licence and face legal consequences.
The administration has formed special teams consisting of health safety officers and health department officers to curb the sale of gutka in the district after the state has banned its sale. Special teams have been conducting raids and seizing gutka since a week. But now the teams will act tough penalizing violators.
The ban was a crucial step forward, but the challenge lay in its implementation. According to sources, after banning gutka products on June 1, initially, the government had not issued guidelines on how to implement the ban. But the district administration has received a clear set of guidelines on June 7 from the state government on how to deal with people who defy the ban. Based on this, the district administration chalked out a stringent action plan to act tough against gutka sellers and manufacturers, said sources.
Posted on 11 June 2013 by Nitin
In your fight against weight loss there are temptations that we face daily – easy accessibility of fast food joints, too lazy or tired to exercise, eating out helps you socialize, etc.
We know our own weakness but there are other habits we follow daily that makes up pile on more weight. To help you strike a cord we list out top 20 weight loss plan mistakes you could be making.
Daily cup of coffee adds 4.5 kg to weight annually
A daily cup of latte coffee can add around 4.5 kg (10 pounds) to your weight a year, British experts have warned.
The boom in high-street coffee shops is helping fuel the obesity epidemic in Britain, the Daily Express reported, citing fitness trainers’ body the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPS).
A small cup of latte with full-fat milk contains 153 calories while a cup of black coffee with semi-skimmed milk has only 35.
Even health-conscious people who avoid junk food do not realise how much fat and sugar they are drinking, said REPS, which carried out a dietary study of 2,000 British adults.
30 minutes of daily exercise is enough to lower weight – Not to avoid!
Thirty minutes of daily exercise provides an equally effective loss of weight and body mass as does a 60-minute routine, according to a Danish research.
For 13 weeks, a research team at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences of the University of Copenhagen followed 60 heavy but healthy men in their efforts to get into better shape.
Half of the men were set to exercise for an hour a day, wearing a heart-rate monitor and calorie counter, while the second group was to exercise for 30 minutes, the American Journal of Physiology reports.
Posted on 07 June 2013 by Nitin
PUNE: Indian healthcare system needs innovation and collaboration, rather than confrontation, say experts. The health sector carries huge potential for all the stakeholders like patient groups, government, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies as well as the non governmental organisations (NGO). People need services and they need it at a lower cost. It cannot happen without cooperation from all the sectors, they say.
Pharmaceutical sector has a major role to play in healthcare innovation. However, the pharmaceutical companies are in a fix due to increasing development costs and decreasing margins. Sundeep Kumar, head, corporate and public affairs, Novartis said, “The pharma industry remains concerned about patients’ access to healthcare and are committed to working with the government of India and other stakeholders to find sustainable solutions. Still, product innovation in pharma industry is extremely capital intensive.”
“To sustain this process, pharma companies like any other business have to recover the costs. In a country like India, where 85% of the healthcare costs are paid by the end consumer, to reduce this burden, innovative models of partnership amongst government, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies need to be worked out in order to provide better access,” Kumar said.
Recently, government and a pharmaceutical company have together developed a “Rotavac” vaccine that can save millions of children. This public private partnership sets an example for the rest of the industry; they can follow suit and help in countering the cost of healthcare services. Collaboration of government, patient groups, NGOs and insurance companies could be the game changer for the country.
Posted on 05 June 2013 by Nitin
The UN’s food agency today said obesity and poor nutrition weigh heavily on the global economy and told governments that investing in food health would bring big economic as well as social returns.
Lost productivity and spiralling health care bills linked to malnutrition “could account for as much as five per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP),” equivalent to USD 3.5 trillion (2.6 trillion euros) a year, the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) said.
Improving nutrition would boost earnings, “with a benefit-to-cost ratio of almost 13 to 1,” it said.
In its yearly report, the Rome-based agency said 12.5 per cent of the world’s population (some 868 million people) are undernourished in terms of energy intake, while 26 per cent of children worldwide are stunted by malnutrition.
Some two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies and 1.4 billion people are overweight — of which 500 million are obese. In low- and middle-income countries, a rapid rise in obesity is affecting associated costs, it said.
FAO said rising urbanisation, sedentary lifestyles and the increased availability of packaged foods meant policy-makers faced significant challenges in reversing obesity.
But “the returns are high,” the UN agency said.
“Investing in the reduction of micronutrient deficiencies, for example, would result in better health, fewer child deaths and increased future earnings,” it said.
Posted on 04 June 2013 by Nitin
Summer brings with it a slew of health problems. Dehydration, loss of appetite and allergies are some ailments that can turn this season into an unhealthy one. But certain foods can help cool your body, without compromising on nutrition. “Maintain your body’s water level in the heat, not just by
drinking fluids, but also choosing foods that contain a lot of water,” says nutritionist Mitalee Doshi. Here’s our guide to what you should pile your plates with this summer.
Say yes to
Intestinal infections such as cholera and typhoid go around faster when the weather is warm. Eating curd increases the friendly bacteria in the intestines. “These bacteria promote digestion and boost immunity. Curd also contains vitamin B, which helps soothe ulcers, allergies and heat boils that tend to appear during summers,” says Doshi.
Posted on 03 June 2013 by Nitin
Not everyone binges to beat stress. A study credits good habits for it. Three professionals share theirs
It may sound counter-intuitive, but a new research conducted by habit specialists show that in times of stress, not everyone falls into self-destructive routines such as over-eating, sleeping less, drinking excessive alcohol or even, shopping more.
People who have inculcated good behaviours over the years â€” anything from eating a healthy breakfast to praying before sleeping â€” are at an advantage.
The study, conducted across five experiments appearing in the June issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association, finds that stressful times don’t automatically mean indulgence or hedonism. It’s the underlying routine that matters. If we’re used to a kind of behaviour that is healthful and productive, we’re as likely to do those to cope with stress.
“When we try to change our behaviour, we strategise about our motivation and self-control. But what we should be thinking about instead is how to set up new habits. Habits persist even when we’re tired and don’t have the energy to exert self-control,” says Wendy Wood, Provost Professor of Psychology and Business at USC, who led the research with David Neal.
Posted on 31 May 2013 by Nitin
Eating probiotic yogurt can not only alter your gut bacteria for the better, it may also change your brain function, scientists say.
University of California, Los Angeles, researchers now have the first evidence that bacteria ingested in food can affect brain function in humans. In a small study of healthy women, between the ages of 18 and 55, researchers found that women who regularly consumed beneficial bacteria known as probiotics through yogurt showed altered brain function, both while in a resting state and in response to an emotion-recognition task. The discovery that changing the bacterial environment, or microbiota, in the gut can affect the brain carries significant implications for future research that could point the way toward dietary or drug interventions to improve brain function, the researchers said.
“Many of us have a container of yogurt in our refrigerator that we may eat for enjoyment, for calcium or because we think it might help our health in other ways,” said Dr Kirsten Tillisch, an associate professor of medicine at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine and lead author of the study. “Our findings indicate that some of the contents of yogurt may actually change the way our brain responds to the environment,” he said. PTI
Posted on 30 May 2013 by Nitin
HealthLinc, a Federally-Qualified Health Center, has received funding to open a clinic Saturday at 100 W. Chicago Ave.
In partnership with St. Catherine Hospital, primary health care will be provided to uninsured and underinsured residents of East Chicago.
HealthLinc East Chicago clinic will schedule events at the new location, including health fairs, job fairs and an open house for residents to find out about services at the clinic.
FQHCs are community-based organizations that provide comprehensive primary care and preventive care, including health, dental and mental health/substance abuse services, to persons of all ages, regardless of their ability to pay or health insurance status.
“We are cognizant of the health care needs of the East Chicago community and are pleased to announce that we will be able to continue to provide quality health care to those in need,” said Beth Wrobel, CEO of HealthLinc. “Our target population is people living below 200 percent of Federal Poverty Level.”
Posted on 29 May 2013 by Nitin
The humble date may look like a nondescript dry fruit, but it is packed with health benefits.
High in vitamins, minerals, iron and fluorine, make dates a regular part of your diet, especially if you are battling cholesterol problems. Here are some health benefits associated with dates…
- Apart from having low fat levels, dates have a lot of protein and dietary fibre and are rich in vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, A1 and C. They are known to improve the digestive system since they have soluble and insoluble fibres as well as several types of amino acids.
- Feeling low on energy by the time it’s early evening? Help yourself to some dates â€” they contain natural sugars like glucose, sucrose and fructose.
- With high sources of potassium and low levels of sodium, dates keep your nervous system healthy while the iron content is beneficial for those suffering from anaemia.
- The fluorine in dates is known to delay tooth decay.
- If you constantly suffer from constipation, take a handful of dates and soak them overnight. Have them with water the next morning for relief.
Posted on 28 May 2013 by Nitin
Due to financial difficulties and a lack of incoming donations, the Israeli Public Health Coalition will be closing its doors and dismissing all of its staff members at the end of May, it announced on Monday.
For the past 12 years, the Public Health Coalition has functioned as an advocate for a clean environment and public health, working to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by environmental pollution through policy changes, according to the organization. The Public Health Coalition’s work was focused particularly on improving the conditions of the Haifa Bay region.
“In our decade of activity, we were fortunate to be riding on a popular tide,” wrote Stephen Garnett, chairman of the board, in his farewell letter on Monday. “Al Gore made global warming and the environment subjects of public interest and political weight. I think it is inappropriate to give him importance equal to that of Rachel Carson and Silent Spring 40 years earlier, but he supplied an important and timely push which we benefited from.”
Garnett was referring to the book published by Carson in 1962 about public health and pollution concerns, which was thought to be instrumental in pushing the environmental movement forward.