Opinion

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.

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.

Uncovering the rising kidney failure deaths

Uncovering the rising kidney failure deaths

By : Dr Vivekanand Jha

In India, deaths due to renal failure constituted 2.9% of all deaths in 2010–13 among 15–69-year-olds, an increase of 50% from 2001–03. Diabetes being the largest contributor to renal failure deaths. Data provide strong evidence of the rising contribution of kidney failure to premature deaths in India.

Data Tools for Healthcare reporting

Data Tools for Healthcare reporting

By : Surbhi Kaul

It is no secret that data tools can help journalists immensely in crafting stories from raw data. A good visualisation not only earns more readers but creates a lasting impact on readers's mind. Here are some hands-on tools which can help health journalists tell better stories through data visualisation.

What is the biggest threat to global health?

What is the biggest threat to global health?

By : Nabeela Khan

Are emerging epidemics the biggest threat to global health or it is the increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases or antimicrobial resistance? Are climate change consequences the biggest underreported issues? Six candidates who want to run WHO share their vision & what they consider the biggest health threat?

And India's best hospital is…

And India's best hospital is…

By : Jisha Krishnan

Hospital surveys are known only to the bigger players leaving little chance of that neighbourhood clinic with an impeccable medical record making it to the coveted list. Usually survey is done in metros & bigger cities. This leaves us with a lot of questions and room for doubt about how hospitals are ranked in India. 

India’s new healthcare policy

India’s new healthcare policy

By : Dr. Karan Thakur

The government of India is working on a new national health policy. Health will not become a fundamental right. That is a major departure. But the govt is embarking on an ambitious plan to revamp the health sector with staged reforms to help create a health system in-tune with the 21st century needs of India. 

Suicide, the hidden epidemic

Suicide, the hidden epidemic

By : Dr Mudasir Firdosi

Proper record keeping and effective data can help reduce the number of suicides. But India lags far behind when it comes to exact figures of suicide deaths. The NCRB data over the past has been much criticised for providing inaccurate numbers on suicides in India. This in turn hide the real toll of mental health.

 

 

Health emergency in India's capital

Health emergency in India's capital

By : Nabeela Khan

Delhi has shut down schools, halted construction & closed a coal-fired power plant as Delhi is engulfed by toxic air pollution. But the measures taken by the government are too little, too late. Many of the problems that turn Delhi’s air so toxic continue unabated.

Food safety: not yum

Food safety: not yum

By : Manpreet Kaur Singh, Shamsher Kainth

Two Indian-Australian journalists, Manpreet Kaur Singh and Shamsher Kainth, carried out an investigation that reveals that several food items available in Australia and imported from India are “unfit for human consumption”. 

An app a day…

An app a day…

By : Jisha Krishnan

Widespread adoption and growing popularity of mobile technology in healthcare, or mHealth, is viewed as inevitable by more than half of the doctors and healthcare payers in developed and emerging markets around the world, including 60 per cent in India. 

India's insurance divide

India's insurance divide

By : Oommen C. Kurian

Over 30 million health insurance claims were made in India in 2014, as per latest official data. Of these, nearly 8% did not have gender-related information. For the rest, the data shows three alarming findings including that 70% of claims honoured were those of males.

From HuffPost to Health

From HuffPost to Health

By : Nabeela Khan

Why America’s celebrated editor who co-founded and built the Huffington Post into one of the Web’s most prominent liberal media giants, left the Post to focus on health-and-wellness startup. She says her mission now is to end “the collective delusion that burnout is a necessary price for success.”

How India should deal with low organ donation?

How India should deal with low organ donation?

By : Dr Vivekanand Jha

Data from Tamil Nadu shows that 100% of the 603 kidneys and the 268 livers retrieved from deceased donors went to Indian citizens, only about 75% of the 34 hearts were transplanted into Indian Nationals, with the rest going to foreigners. Prevalance of commercial transplants worsen the situation.

The oral contraceptive pill problem

The oral contraceptive pill problem

By : Jisha Krishnan

Official data shows that number of Indian women using the oral contraceptive pill has declined over the last decade. 10 out of 18 states and union territories surveyed showed a decrease in the use of contraceptive pills.  And in Delhi and Kerala, there is no data available about the use of the pill.

How chikungunya has grappled India

How chikungunya has grappled India

By : Nabeela Khan

WHO has criticised the system of data collection in India and has said that the figures by the government does not reflect the true picture of about Chikungunya cases in the country. Official data is contradictory and shows that states like Bihar, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Rajasthan have no Chikungunya cases.

What can be done to boost doctors’ numbers?

What can be done to boost doctors’ numbers?

By : Isobel Leybold-Johnson

Indeed, with 4.0 doctors per 1,000 of the population, Switzerland comes in at 7th on the OECD listings for 2013 (neighbour Austria heads the rankings at 5.0). This puts it on a par with Germany and France - and it far outstrips the Anglo-American world in this respect.