Opinion

Lessons from Gorakhpur tragedy

Lessons from 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?




Probiotic can prevent infections in infants

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.

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.

Healthcare: Technology can solve India’s healthcare crises

Healthcare: Technology can solve India’s healthcare crises

By : Dr. Shameer Khader

Leveraging technology is the key to improving healthcare delivery, accessibility and outcomes in India. Building a digital health infrastructure and compiling a nation-wide electronic medical record system and big data resource of healthcare delivery would help to understand the factors driving the value across high volume patient population. 

Storytelling: How to tell compelling stories about health issues

Storytelling: How to tell compelling stories about health issues

By : Sam Berkhead

From outbreaks like Zika & Ebola viruses to long-term health effects of pollution,health journalists tackle a wide array of stories.Priyanka Vora, winner of 2014 Johnson & Johnson Global Health Reporting Contest & Mini Thomas,2015 winner aren’t strangers to these topics.In their home country-India, they regularly cover issues like diseases, maternal & child health.


India need to deal with its e-waste problem

India need to deal with its e-waste problem

By : Dr. Ipsita Bhattacharjee

India is not only one of the largest waste generators; it is also one of the biggest waste importing countries in the world. Annual generation of unwanted products such as computers, phones, TVs & refrigerators far outstrips the ability to collect and recycle it. Today among the top ten cities generating ​e-Waste, Mumbai ranks first followed by Delhi and Bengaluru.

Salt and health: Take it with a pinch of salt

Salt and health: Take it with a pinch of salt

By : Claire Johnson

Indians are consuming more than double the recommended amount of salt. This hidden salt is killing hundreds of thousands every year in India.  To save lives, India has committed to reduce dietary salt intake by 30% by 2025. There is a need to develop an evidence based programme for a national salt reduction.

What lies ahead for health-trends in 2017?

What lies ahead for health-trends in 2017?

By : Jisha Krishnan

From foreign investments in healthcare sector to alternative systems of medicine to mental health issues. Also, 2017 will be a year of enhanced technological innovations in healthcare sector as artificial intelligence and mobile technology make their way to medicine. 

Budget 2017: 10 healthcare takeaways

Budget 2017: 10 healthcare takeaways

By : Nabeela Khan Inayati

Health is a state subject in India. Every state is responsible to provide healthcare services to the people. To supplement the efforts of states, central government provides financial support. This year the ​central ​government has allocated Rs 47,353 crore for health.  We take a look at big measures that were part of the union budget.

Empowering ingenuity for improved healthcare

Empowering ingenuity for improved healthcare

By : Devmalya Sarkar

The HITLAB World Cup challenges entrepreneurs and innovators to submit breakthrough ideas for improving healthcare access, delivery, and outcomes through technology. It is a platform for young health innovators and will provide an to access the local innovation ecosystem. 

The burden of air pollution

The burden of air pollution

By : Dr. Karan Thakur

Global air pollution-related healthcare costs are projected to increase from $21 billion (using constant 2010 dollar and PPP exchange rates) in 2015 to $176 billion in 2060. In India as well, the effects of air pollution are crippling economy and are putting our long-term well-being and productivity in serious jeopardy.

Collecting data, the Karnataka way

Collecting data, the Karnataka way

By : Jisha Krishnan

Karnataka has many firsts to its credit in data collection including that it is the first state in India to capture health data by computerising all records of the health departments – right from the primary healthcare centre to the state level. Yet the state faces innumerable problems to collect health data.

What Gets Measured Gets Done

What Gets Measured Gets Done

By : Oommen C. Kurian

In India, rates of infant mortality have been falling. The latest official data shows India’s Infant Mortality Rate has come down to 37. That is still high by international standards, but markedly better than the rate of 60 in 2003. Overcoming data challenges to track health and nutrition targets can help to save more babies.