Archive for July, 2011

Doctors press panic button on Hepatitis

Doctors press panic button on Hepatitis

Durgesh Nandan Jha, TNN | Jul 27, 2011, 02.09AM IST
NEW DELHI: One in every 12 people suffers from chronic hepatitis B or C worldwide. According to health experts, the number of cases of the viral infection is on the rise in India due to unavailability of safe drinking water.

With the World Hepatitis Day being observed for the first time this year on Thursday, July 28, by the World Health Organization (WHO), city doctors said there is a need to create more awareness and step up preventive measures.

According to Dr M P Sharma, head of the department of gastroenterology at Rockland Hospital, “Types B and C are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer . People also run the risk of contracting hepatitis B through sexual transmission with an infected individual. “Vaccines are available for hepatitis B and in some states, it has been included in the universal immunization programme. Mother-to-child transmission is one of the causes of hepatitis in children, so pregnant women should be screened for the disease and vaccinated on time. Blood banks need to screen properly and dispose of infected blood because transfusion is one of the mediums for the spread of the disease.”

A senior doctor at AIIMS said hepatitis B and C also spread through injections.

“Hepatitis A and E are spread through faeco-oral transmission. It is present in the faece of infected persons and is most often transmitted through consumption of contaminated water or food,” said Dr Anoop Saraya, professor, gastroenterology department at AIIMS.

Dr A S Puri, head of the department of gastroenterology at G B Pant Hospital, said they have come across many cases in which unsterilized tattoo equipment or contaminated ink was the cause of a Hepatitis C infection. “Hepatitis C is a stealth virus. It can hide in liver cells for years and manifest itself as cirrhosis, liver cancer or liver failure,” said Dr Puri. He said body piercing was another cause along with intravenous drug abuse. Hepatitis viruses are 30 times more prevalent than HIV in Southeast Asia. However, due to the asymptomatic nature of these infections, about 60% of infected individuals remain unaware they are infected, until they show symptoms of cirrhosis or liver cancer; this may take over 20 years. Both cirrhosis and liver cancer are irreversible and cause death.

Sources:- Times of India
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Now, India to churn out 4,452 more doctors

Kounteya Sinha, TNN | Jul 27, 2011, 01.46AM IST| NEW DELHI:

India is all set to produce over 4,400 more doctors every year.  The Medical Council of India (MCI) has increased the number of seats for undergraduate medical education by 4,452 from this academic session (2011-12).

Around 2,650 seats have been increased due to the opening of new colleges. And, the rest of seats (1,802) came about after the strength of the existing colleges was increased.

India has around 335 medical colleges – 185 and 150 in private public sector, respectively – and will produce over 40,000 MBBS doctors every year.

Even though the requirement is much higher, experts say the increased number of seats is a positive step forward.

According to MCI’s governing body member Dr Purushottam Lal, the Council received 86 applications for permission to start medical colleges this year. Around 43 were disapproved on scrutiny, and 43 were inspected. Of those inspected, 22 weren’t cleared.

Of the 21 new colleges cleared, 16 and five are in the private and public sector, respectively.

The MCI received 104 applications from registered colleges for further increase of seats. Around 43 were disapproved on scrutiny, and 61 were inspected. Of those inspected, only 33 (18 and 15 in private and public sector, respectively) fulfilled the criteria, and were given permission to ramp up their strength.

“We’ve an additional 4,452 seats from this academic year itself for undergraduate medical education,” Dr Lal added.

India faces a severe shortage of doctors.

Earlier, a planning commission study had said India is short of six lakh doctors, 10 lakh nurses and 2 lakh dental surgeons because of which it has a dismal patient-doctor ratio.

For every 10,000 Indians, there is one doctor. Another recent paper, “human resources for health in India”, published in the British Medical Journal Lancet, said, there are eight healthcare workers, 3.8 allopathic doctors and 2.4 nurses per 10,000 population. When compared to other countries, this is about half the WHO benchmark of 25.4 workers per 10,000 people.

MCI’s own note on “curricular reform in undergraduate medical education”, available with TOI, says, the current doctor population ratio in India is 1:1700 when compared to a world average of 1.5:1000. The committee came reached a consensus that targeted doctor population ratio should be 1:1000 by 2031.

Sources:- Times Of India

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Two test positive for Japanese Encephalitis, conditions stable Situation not alarming, early test advised

IMPHAL, Jul 20 : It is not an epidemic and though there has been a marked improvement from last year when 15 people passed away from Japanese Ence-phalitis, there is nothing better than to be prepared and to immediately get oneself tested if there is any doubt.

This was the advice given by the State Malaria Officer, Dr Ibochouba in the backdrop of two people testing positive for Japanese Encephalitis recently.

The two are from Kumbi and Lilong Arapti and their conditions are reportedly stable now.

July falls in the high incidence period as Japanese Encephalitis is widespread between the months of May and September.

Talking to The Sangai Express Dr Ibochouba said that not all who are bitten by the carriers of Japanese Encephalitis get infected.

The infection is prevalent among those whose immunity systems are weak, said Dr Ibochouba

The disease is spread from mosquito bites, spread by the breed known as Culex Tritacniorhyncus, Culex Vishnoi and Culex Pseu-dovishnoi.

As yet there is no medicine for the treatment of people infected with Japanese Encephalitis and the doctor has strongly advised that if there is any doubt or suspicion then the best thing is to get tested as soon as possible.

A relatively new comer, in a sort of a way, in Manipur JE was first detected in 1982, said the doctor and added that there have been cases when tests on 100 samples  had revealed 54 positive cases.

The JE virus infects horses and humans and usually attacks the brain, said the doctor.

Though fever is common in all ailments, high fever accompanied by aching of the eyelids has high probability of JE infection, said the doctor and explained that the best course of action is immediate testing of any suspected cases and getting help from medical professionals.  With no medicine yet available for treating JE, the course of treatment mainly consists of strengthening the immune system of the patient.

With the arrival of equip-ments which help in streng- thening the immune system of the patient, there is no need to press the alarm bell, said the doctor.

Symptoms of JE usually starts five days after being bitten by the carrier mosquito, said Dr Ibochouba and added that though only two have tested positive so far, there is the likelihood of many more being infected by the virus.

As the Culex breed are found outside the dwelling houses, fogging may just amount to chasing them inside the confines of a house, said the doctor.

Pigs are the host of the JE virus and rearing them amid human habitation  helps in the spread of the virus.

Pigs however do not suffer from JE, though they can be the host as the virus remains in them after they get bitten by the carrier mosquito. If even the pigs have been dispo-sed off or sold off, there is the need to disinfect the stys.

Source:- The Sangai Express

TB battle: States told to follow WHO guidelines

The Union Health Ministry has asked all state tuberculosis (TB) officers to endorse the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), urging countries to ban “unapproved” blood tests to diagnose the disease.

In a letter to the officers, consultants and senior regional directors, the Deputy Director General, head, Central TB Division, Dr Ashok Kumar, has asked them to “disseminate this message to all stakeholders involved in TB control in India”. According to the WHO, the use of currently available commercial blood (serological) tests to diagnose active TB often leads to misdiagnosis, mistreatment and potential harm to public health.

The WHO has, therefore, urged countries to ban the inaccurate and unapproved blood tests and instead rely on accurate “microbiological or molecular tests”.

The new recommendation comes after 12 months of rigorous analysis of evidence by WHO and global experts. “Overwhelming evidence showed that the blood tests produced an unacceptable level of wrong results — false-positives or false-negatives,” it said.

According to Dr Kumar, the serological tests continue to be used extensively specially in the private health sector.

Source:- The Indian Express

Unique reservation norm enforced in JNIMS 2 seats for faculty State share reduced by two seats

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 18 2011: As against 85 seats received by the State last year out of 100 MBBS seats available in Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), allocation of seats to students of the State would be reduced to 83 seats this year.

The allocation of 83 seats for students of the State has also been approved by the JNIMS governing body headed by the Chief Minister as chairman.

An agreement on reducing the State’s share by two seats as compared to last year was struck during a meeting of the governing body held today at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat with the Chief Minister in the chair.

A well-known member of JNIMS governing body informed The Sangai Express that the meeting agreed on reserving 83 seats for State students and keep the remaining 17 seats open for students coming from other States under the category ‘others’ .

Earlier, JNIMS authority notified that out of 85 seats available to students of the State after subtracting 15 seats for central pool, five seats would be reserved for JNIMS faculty staff thereby reducing the number of available seats to just 80 .

Despite the written intimation sent by JNIMS authority for reservation of five seats for faculty staff, Administrative Department has been withholding the necessary convey order.

Out of 17 seats categorised as ‘others’, 15 seats would be set aside as central pool and the remaining two seats are likely to be reserved for faculty members.

To a query raised by The Sangai Express, the governing body member said that the members were of the opinion that the Administrative Department should issue necessary convey order for reservation of two seats for faculty staff.

The question of reserving five per cent seats for JNIMS faculty staff was already approved by the 7th and 11th meeting of the governing body.

Today’s meeting deliberated on the number of seats and the modality of reserving the seats.

In the event of reserving two seats for JNIMS faculty staff, two students who make to the merit list of the tough MBBS entrance test conducted by the Health Directorate would be compelled to forgo the opportunity of undergoing MBBS course even though they deserved it rightfully.

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RIMS opens promotion line by default as regular posts against recruitment rules

July 18, 2011 1 comment

IMPHAL, Jul 17 : Tutors, Demonstrators and Regis-trars of Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) who were recruited directly to regular posts may now enjoy the possibility of getting promoted to the top post of Director.

A reliable source in RIMS  informed that the new possibility of promotion to the post of Director opened up after some Tutors, Demonstrators and Registrars were given time-scale promotion to the post of Assistant Professors and treated as regular posts against recruitment rules.

However, efforts of The Sangai Express to get an explanation from RIMS authority how and why Tu- tors, Demonstrators and Registrars were given time-scale promotion to the post of Assistant Professors in total contradiction to the recruitment rules proved futile.

According to the recruitment rules, no subordinate official/teacher can be promoted to the post of Assistant Professors.

Professors and Assistant Professors should be appointed through direct recruitment, conveyed the source.

Rather than giving any attention to the time-scale promotion given in total defiance of the recruitment rules, the Union Health Ministry signed and sent back all the documents sent in connection with the time-scale promotion.

Associate Professors may be given time-scale promotion but their posts cannot be treated as regular.

Further, those who were given time-scale promotion cannot be given full-time scale.

However, in RIMS all those who have been given time-scale promotion are being treated as regulars and they have been given full time-scale.

On account of given full-time scale, money collected from different cash counters like OPD, Casualty etc are being utilised in giving salaries to employees. According to rules, all the money collected from OPD and casualty cash counters should be deposited as corpus fund at UBI RIMS branch.

The corpus fund should be used for purchasing necessary materials for patients of the hospital, added the source.

Sources:- The Sangai Express

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Free Drug Delivery Failed at the Ukhrul District Hospital

Free Drug Delivery Failed

It is more than evident that the government’s initiative to provide free medicines to the rural poor who cannot afford the escalating costs of medications on the market has miserably failed to deliver the goods in Ukhrul district. A case in point is the complete failure of the Free Drug Counter opened at the Ukhrul District Hospital which is supposed to be the only one of such in the whole of the district.

Although the said counter has been opened for quite sometime now, the public is yet to reap any benefits out of it since the same does not stock or give out any prescription medicines for reasons best known to themselves. So much so that the openinig of this very counter has been rendered meaningless for the general public.

We know that that in every system of working/service, temporary or occasional lapses are bound to occur and cannot be totally ruled out. But what do we say when a service regularly fails to be of use? This seems to be the case with the counter in question. Little wonder then, that they invariably  fail to provide even one out of 4/5 medicines on the prescription and the same prescribed by doctors of the District Hospital too. And with none bothering to go into the whys and wherefores, this manner of functioning has woefully become the done thing rather than the exception. As it is, walking up to the counter and showing prescription has proved to be a sheer waste of time for many a visitor. Instead, one has to buy all the medicines from the Chemist thereby incurring huge expenses even as free medicines provision is officially in place. In fact, if the so called Free Drug Counter was supposed to render any service to the public, the time is almost overdue.

On the other hand, if rumours are to be believed, then there is no shortage of medicines (read available under the counter) for some people who are well connected with members of staff and that too without the necessary prescription. Considering this sorry state of affairs, isn’t it time the public sit up and raise questions as to whether the provision of free drugs is for the needy common man or for the previledged few only? Or is the Free Drug Counter only for namesake?

All in all, it is a sad reflection on the overall functioning/administration of the Ukhrul District Hospital which has been in the news for the wrong reasons all these years. On their part, the authorities would do well to get their acts together and geared towards streamlining the service of free medicines provision through the Free Drug Counter among many other things. This will go a long way in improving to some extend the strained image of the hospital as well.

Yours faithfully,
Rehoboam Lester Makang,
Hamleikhong-C, Ukhrul.

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