Opinion

How India can help eliminate neglected diseases

How India can help eliminate neglected diseases

By : Dr. Suman Rijal

Neglected tropical diseases are fighting for attention despite the fact, they are major chronic infections that affect the world’s poorest. In an interview to Health Analytics India, Dr Suman Rijal, Director of DNDi (India) talks about challenges of eliminating the diseases, role of data and why there is less investments in the area of neglected tropical diseases.

India’s ambitious new plan to conquer TB needs cash and commitment

India’s ambitious new plan to conquer TB needs cash and commitment

By : Madhu Pai

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of many diseases that affect Indians, and India is clearly under-performing on several key health indicators, as shown by a recent report. India is at the epicentre of this epidemic, with half a million TB deaths annually. An overall greater investment in healthcare and political commitment is much needed to end TB epidemic. 

Child mortality dips, one million Indian children saved

Child mortality dips, one million Indian children saved

By : The Lancet Report

India has avoided about one million deaths of under five children since 2005, owing to significant reductions in mortality from pneumonia, diarrhoea, neonatal infections, birth asphyxia, trauma, measles and tetanus, according to a new study by Lancet. The conditions prioritised under the National Health Mission saw the maximum decline.

Swiss bend rules to provide patients with affordable treatment

Swiss bend rules to provide patients with affordable treatment

By : Anand Chandrasekhar

For a rich country that is a global hub for pharma companies, Switzerland is going to extraordinary lengths to avoid Hepatitis C patients having to pay for pricey drugs. It affects between 50,000 to 80,000 Swiss residents. But only those suffering from a very severe form have the drug needed for treatment covered by their mandatory health insurance.

How reforming Medical Council of India will help eliminate corruption

How reforming Medical Council of India will help eliminate corruption

By : Brookings India Report

National Medical Commission seeks to replace Medical Council of India with a promise to create world-class medical education system. Recently, Brookings India published an impact series of effectiveness and recommendations to be considered for revamping medical education. Here is a short excerpt of major recommendations from  the report.

 

Better data and health worker training may cut stillbirths: study

Better data and health worker training may cut stillbirths: study

By : Bhavya Khullar

Around 26 lakh stillbirths occurr globally every year, India accounts for the largest proportion with 5.9 lakh cases.A major stumbling block is lack of data on stillbirth in India. A new study by PHFI aims to bridge the gap with a focus on getting insights into possible risk factors and ground level changes required to design and implement intervention policies.

Price Controls and Make in India needs convergence

Price Controls and Make in India needs convergence

By : Dr. Karan Thakur

Providing access to affordable and quality healthcare is government's responsibility. Some 1 billion people across the world lack access to basic healthcare, the main reason remains inability to afford healthcare. Indian government's move to control prices of medical devices is a commendable step and work in progress to tackle healthcare challenges. 

TB’s stronghold in India: Grave concern for the rest of the world

TB’s stronghold in India: Grave concern for the rest of the world

By : Jay Desai

A study by Lancet estimated that the percentage of multidrug-resistant TB among all cases in India is set to increase to more than 12% in India by 2040. However, India can put an end to its TB ordeal. Sustained intervention, substantial allocation of funds and better implementation of guidelines by the government are needed. 

Neuroscientist who uses art to communicate science

Neuroscientist who uses art to communicate science

By : Dr. Leslee lazar

What does neuroscience have to do with graphic designing? Stereotype holds that scientists and designers are vastly different thinkers. A neuroscientist and graphic designer Dr Leslee Lazar is bridging art and science gap to create visual representations of scientific knowledge.

Public healthcare:​ Lessons from the Gorakhpur tragedy​​

Public healthcare:​  Lessons from the Gorakhpur tragedy​​

By : Nabeela Khan Inayati

Negligence kills. That is what happened in Gorakhpur where terrible tragedy cruelly crushed lives of so many innocent children because of lack of timely healthcare intervention. This will be remembered as one of the worst tragedies in India’s public healthcare. What are the lessons from Gorakhpur?




Medical Research: Probiotic can prevent infections in infants

Medical Research: Probiotic can prevent infections in infants

By : Dinesh C Sharma

A quarter of the world's infant deaths happen in India, therefore infant mortality is still a major cause of concern. Reasons of such deaths are infections and diarrhea. A group of Indian and American scientists have found that a bulk of these deaths can be prevented with an inexpensive probiotic-based preventive therapy.

Indian scientists resurrect century old malaria drug

Indian scientists resurrect century old malaria drug

By : Jyoti Singh

Malaria is life threatening mosquito borne disease. With time, malaria parasite becomes resistant to the available drug. This is a cause of concern, to solve this issue, a group of Indian researchers have restored an anti-parasite drug which was used against a range of infections during the World War II. 

 

Mental Healthcare: Time to change

Mental Healthcare: Time to change

By : Dr. Mudasir Firdosi

In India, 7.5% of the population suffer from mental health disorders, according to the World Health Organisation.  The new Mental Healthcare Act seeks to change the way we treat mental health and issues around it.  Will the new legislation mark a start of a new era for mental healthcare?

Marriage within castes linked to genetic diseases

Marriage within castes linked to genetic diseases

By : Dinesh C. Sharma

Isolated populations provide useful resources for studies to understand occurrence of genetic diseases specifically in South Asia. Research studies suspect that marriages within own castes may have harmed the health of many communities in India and such people are more vulnerable to genetic diseases. 

Australia: A safe needle can save lives

Australia: A safe needle can save lives

By : Nabeela Khan Inayati

Sixteen years ago Australia started a unique initiative to provide safe injecting rooms to drug users. The aim was to provide a roof to drug consumers, discourage them from injecting in open and to help monitor their health-risks behaviours. It was a controversial decision but it has been a resounding success. 

US and India fall short in childbirth in similar ways

US and India fall short in childbirth in similar ways

By : Neel Shah

A recent Lancet commission, 77 researchers from around the world, on maternal health concluded that primary struggle in maternal health care is to find the appropriate balance to provide the right patient with the right care at the right time. Providing more care is often mistaken for providing better care. 

First trauma registry - hope for accident victims

First trauma registry - hope for accident victims

By : Dinesh C Sharma

Trauma care scientists in India and Australia are working jointly for the past four years in order to improve quality of trauma care. It is critical to enforce road safety norms, improve road engineering design and implement ban on alcohol sale on highways and better data collection  for improved trauma care. 

Australia: Smart phones and mental health

Australia: Smart phones and mental health

By : Nabeela Khan

Could smart phones help provide mental health care? Mobile technology is helping provide mental healthcare in some villages in rural India. And a mobile phone app designed by Australian developers – said to be the first in the world to use evidence-based suicide prevention methods – is making a difference after a trial, say its makers.

The answer to dengue may be more mosquitoes

The answer to dengue may be more mosquitoes

By : Dinesh C Sharma

Scientists at Monash University in Australia are working on a novel research to generate evidence to show that the solution to eliminating dengue lies in breeding mosquitoes that are incapable of transmitting dengue, Zika and chikungunya. The approach has generated huge interest in dengue-endemic countries, including India. 

Medication misuse - threat to India's public health

Medication misuse - threat to India's public health

By : Nabeela Khan Inayati

Medication misuse is a public health emergency in India. By one estimate 50% of family spending on healthcare is on unnecessary medications or investigations in India. Now, the health ministry plans to set up an electronic platform to plug gaps in the sale of medicines. It will be a big step to collect and collate robust data on supply of medicines. 

 

 

Doctors' Day: What Indian doctors want?

Doctors' Day: What Indian doctors want?

By : Jisha Krishnan

Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy was a renowned philanthropist. He went on to become the chief minister of Bengal in 1948 & was bestowed with Bharat Ratna.It’s in his honour that July 1 (his birth anniversary) is celebrated as Doctor’s Day in India.To mark the occasion, we have compiled a wish list of what Indian doctors really want.

 

 

Home care for stroke patients ineffective: Study

Home care for stroke patients ineffective: Study

By : Dinesh C Sharma

Stroke patients require continuous care including physiotherapy to recover and minimise life-long disability. Indian doctors have been recommending home-based care for rehabilitation of stroke patients. But a new study revealed that this does not work and has surprised medical community. 

The gender gap in healthcare

The gender gap in healthcare

By : Shazia Salam

The study of 1.06 million certified deaths in 2014, by the census department revealed that more Indian men are likely to be admitted to hospital during the last moments of life than women. The data and the difference therein reflect a gendered dynamics about basic access to healthcare.

Zika virus in India: Govt kept it a secret

Zika virus in India: Govt kept it a secret

By : Nabeela Khan

The Zika virus has devastating consequences. It has already infected thousands of people since its outbreak in Brazil. To combat the disease, WHO has made obligatory for every country to notify the disease. In India, the government actively concealed information from public.

Why availability of infertility data is crucial?

Why availability of infertility data is crucial?

By : Jisha Krishnan

Indian IVF services market of infertility clinics, sperm and egg banks is on the rise. But there is no data available about infertility clinics and the number of Indians opting for it because the sector is unregulated. It needs to be regulated with a national framework to monitor and examine assisted reproductive technology in the country.

Indian scientists develop new drug for blood cancer

Indian scientists develop new drug for blood cancer

By : Bhavya Khullar

A group of Indian scientists have found a new compound that effectively kills leukemic cancer cells. The drug has been tested in laboratory animals and the new compound has been found to be most effective in leukemic cells, while other cancer cell lines like colorectal and cervical showed less effect.

New superbug prowling in Indian hospitals

New superbug prowling in Indian hospitals

By : Bhavya Khullar

Candida auris is an emerging fungus, resistant to most available antifungal drugs and is a serious global health threat. It is a public health concern as candida has emerged as a cause of hospital-acquired multidrug resistant infection in many countries including India, Pakistan, Japan, Korea, Spain, UK, South Africa, Venezuela, Columbia, and the US.

India's unrecorded deaths show gaps in data

India's unrecorded deaths show gaps in data

By : Nabeela Khan

Data on causes of death is essential to undertake appropriate curative and preventive measures for various health problems. But, almost 80 per cent deaths are officially not documented in India. The country knows only about 20% of its deaths and reasons behind those deaths, so what is official data telling us about million deaths. 

Genomics to help address rare diseases

Genomics to help address rare diseases

By : Dinesh C Sharma

Nearly 70 million Indians suffer from rare genetic disease. Indian scientists are teaming up clinicians to address such diseases by applying knowledge generated through the studyof human genome. The Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology has signed an agreement with the AIIMS for collaborative research in this area.

Healthcare in India: Going public, and private

Healthcare in India: Going public, and private

By : Dr. Karan Thakur

The first private hospital was established in India in 1984.  By 2004 the private sector accounted for three quarters of outpatient treatment, 60% of in patients and three quarters of the specialists and technology. This evolution of hospitals and private health clinics has helped improve access to healthcare in India. 

Tracking TB becomes simpler with mobile phone

Tracking TB becomes simpler with mobile phone

By : Umashankar Mishra

Technological innovation continues to grow with better research and data collection which can help overcome major healthcare challenges. One such innovation is an App E-detection which helps in identifying active cases and follows up on them on a regular basis. Mobile apps that encourage tracking and monitoring of blood sugar allow diabetics a sense of empowerment.

CWG legacy project spreading to more cities

CWG legacy project spreading to more cities

By : Dinesh C Sharma

The system synthesises data on sources of air pollution, its transport over neighbouring states, modelling processes, impact on public health, food and regional climate to arrive on information products useful to government agencies as well as common people. The information to people is available through a mobile application & from project website.

What is wrong with India's healthcare system?

What is wrong with India's healthcare system?

By : Shazia Salam

How good is India’s health system? What are its biggest weaknesses, challenges and how Indian healthcare system can be rebuilt? Former health secretary K Sujatha Rao’s book, Do We Care provides an incisive look into the structural problems of Indian healthcare system. This is possibly the most important recent book on India's healthcare system.

Indian scientists a step closer to new HIV vaccine

Indian scientists a step closer to new HIV vaccine

By : Bhavya Khullar

India has the third-highest number of people living with HIV in the world— 2.1 million at the end of 2015. A new finding raise hopes for sufferers of a disease that kills thousands of people every year. Indian scientists have identified a new antibody against HIV subtype-C from Indian patients. This finding will help design vaccines against HIV in the future.  

What data tells about C-Section surgeries in India?

What data tells about C-Section surgeries in India?

By : Jisha Krishnan

Over 29 lakh C-sec surgeries were reported throughout the country in 2015-16 as per govt data. The number of c-section deliveries is much higher for births in private health facility as compared to corresponding figures in the public health facility; although there is no study and data on how many pregnant women with complications access private hospitals.

Dementia cases on the rise in Switzerland

Dementia cases on the rise in Switzerland

By : Swissinfo.ch

With an increase in ageing population, Switzerland can expect a boom in number of dementia cases. Statistics show far more people with dementia in Switzerland than previously thought, with the number expected to more than double over the next 25 years. There will be about 300,000 cases by 2040 according to Alzheimer Switzerland. 

Two men and a woman running vie for WHO chief

Two men and a woman running vie for WHO chief

By : Nabeela Khan Inayati

At the end of May 2017, health ministers of 194 nations will meet for their annual assembly. They will elect the person who will on July 1st this year replace Dr Margaret Chan as the next Director General of the World Health Organisation. There are two men and a woman running for the top post of global health body. 

Key take-aways from India’s new health policy

Key take-aways from India’s new health policy

By : Jisha Krishnan

Health Minister J.P. Nadda called the new National Health Policy a huge milestone in India’s history of health sector. The new policy has touched upon issues – from ‘Make in India’ for drugs & medical devices to making health, yoga & hygiene a part of the school curriculum; from raising public health budget to establishment of National Digital Health Authority.

How good is India’s millennials mental health

How good is India’s millennials mental health

By : Sidrah Naiyer

Millions of youth today are mentally weak, more fearful, less resilient and more overwhelmed than their parents were when they were growing up. Anxiety and depression among youth is on the rise. A study found that 88% of people who committed suicide had diagnosable mental disorders but only 10% had seen a mental health professional.

Publication should not be the endgame of medical research

Publication should not be the endgame of medical research

By : Abraar Karan

Research is a fundamental part of medical education and it absolutely should be—the benefits of research in medical care couldn’t be overstated. However, while medical students are constantly encouraged to publish academic work, they are rarely instilled with the value of what the potential impact of that work could be.