Posts Tagged ‘WHO’

UNC’s Economic Blockade Leads To Health Care Crisis In Manipur

November 13, 2011 Leave a comment

UNC’s Economic Blockade Leads To Health Care Crisis In Manipur, as the two major hospitals in Manipur have suspended normal surgical works for the last three days as stock of oxygen in the hospitals is alarmingly low resulting from the ongoing economic blockade along National Highways 37 and NH-2, sources from the two hospitals said today.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) and Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) hospitals  have limited stock of oxygen and the stock has been kept for emergency use only, the sources said and added that even some medicines prescribed for diabetes, blood pressure, etc. for daily use are not found openly in the markets.

The biggest private hospital in the state, Shija also reportedly faces depleted oxygen stock though the hospital is continuing normal operations to patients. But, how long the stock will last is a question of uncertainty, sources from the hospital said.

The counter economic blockade called by the UNC against creation of Sadar Hills District which started from August 21 has completed 83 days today. Notably, Economic blockade called by SHDDC had called off after signing an MoU with the state government after nearly 100 days of blockade.

Sources:- The Sangai Express

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Dengue officially declared as epidemic outbreak in Churachandpur District of Manipur

November 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Dengue is due to a flavivirus transmitted by the bite of the Aedes mosquito

Symptoms and Signs of Dengue infection


IMPHAL, Nov 11: Follo-wing outbreak of an unknown disease suspec-ted to be dengue in Churachandpur, the State Vector Borne Disease Control Society under the State Malaria Officer has collected blood samples from seven infected persons and sent the samples to RIMS laboratory  which has been accredited by the Government of India.

It is reported that more samples would be collected from different places of Churachandpur starting from tomorrow for further laboratory test.

Talking to The Sangai Express, State Malaria Officer Dr Ibochouba said that contentment measures like fogging and awareness programmes about Tiger mosquito species Ades, the carrier of Slavirus which causes


dengue have been taken up.

However, there is no specific method of treatment  if the samples being tested in RIMS laboratory turn out positive.

Though there is no specific drug for treatment of dengue, there is no reason to panic, Dr Ibochouba said.

Dengue was first discovered at Moreh in 2007, and there was no case of death due to infection by dengue, he said.

Symptoms like fever and ache in different parts of the body do not always mean dengue.

The symptoms include retrobulbar pain (acute pain within eyes) and growth of greenish spots on body parts, Dr Ibochouba explained.

Out of 12 different cases which were tested by the District Malaria Officer, Churachandpur, only one was found dengue-combo positive.

Dengue-combo is not exactly dengue. At the same time, it cannot be said that dengue-combo is not related with dengue.

When blood samples of 1000 people are found positive for Slavirus which causes dengue, only one or two persons may be infected by dengue.

As there is no specific method for treatment of dengue, the general practice is, injection of IV fluids and providing other supportive treatments in order to strengthen immune system of patients.

Growth of purpuric rash (greenish spots) on body parts could be observed on people infected by dengue seriously.

When the condition worsens, the greenish spots would start bleeding and this is an indication that platelet counts have decreased.

In such situation, the patient with be injected wit fresh platelets.

Incidentally, RIMS has the facility to remove RBC and WBC from blood and concentrate only platelets in blood, informed Dr Ibochouba.

Sources:- The Sangai Express

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Measles catch-up campaign

October 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Measles is a highly infectious and potentially fatal viral infection mainly affecting children.
Immunization against measles directly contributes to the reduction of under-five child
mortality and hence to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal number 4.
Deaths from measles occur mainly due to complications of measles. Infants and young children, especially those who are malnourished, are at highest risk of dying. The immunization Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE-2008) and WHO currently recommend that two doses of measles vaccine should be the standard for all national immunization programmes.
With the introduction of measles vaccine in the National Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) from 1985, which is given at 9 to 12 months of age, the disease burden has reduced and this reduction can be further accelerated by improving the coverage of the 1st dose of measles which stands at 69.6% as per DLHS-3 survey and providing second opportunity for measles vaccination.
The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 aims to reduce by two thirds between 1990 and 2015 the under-five mortality rate (U5MR) in the  world. One of the key interventions to decrease U5MR and accelerate achievement of MDG4 is to strengthen measles control activities. As per the draft comprehensive Multi Year Strategic Plan (cMYP, 2010-17) for immunization of India the country aims to reduce by 90%, measles related mortality by 2013 when compared to 2000.
Measles catch-up campaign in India:
India is conducting Measles Catch-up Campaigns as a part of global effort to reduce measles morbidity and mortality. Target age group of this campaign is 9 months to <10 years children irrespective of their previous measles vaccination status or measles infection. Estimated 134 million children will be immunized in 14 states. The 14 states included in the measles catch up campaign are Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Haryana, Rajasthan, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Meghalaya, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Nagaland.
Along with other technical and operational issues, two major challenges in this campaign are huge target group and mass vaccination with injectable antigen. India has a unique health infrastructure at primary care level. These primary care level health facilities are the strength of this campaign. Another strength is availability of a large number of trained vaccinators in health and family planning wings of the Ministry of Health & family Welfare. Ensuring the participation of these trained vaccinators is crucial to overcome the challenge of mass vaccination with injectable antigen considering injection safety of very large target group.
The measles catch up campaign will be a three weeks campaign wherein the 1st week will be held at educational institutes; while the 2nd and 3rd week in existing UIP outreach sites.
The key strategies being followed to achieve the goal are:
• Improving and sustaining high routine immunization coverage;
• Providing second dose of measles vaccine through catch-up immunization campaigns and or routine second dose/follow up immunization campaigns;
• Establishing sensitive laboratory supported surveillance;
• Appropriate case management, including administration of vitamin A.
Rationale for Measles Catch-up Campaign
Analysis of measles outbreak data for the period 2006 to 2009, in states with outbreak surveillance reveals that around 90% of the measles cases were in the age group of <10 years. Although reported coverage for measles vaccination is high, previous CES revealed that it never exceeded 70%. As measles vaccination does not confer 100% protection and seroconversion rate is only 85% when given at 9 months of age, a substantial number of children remain unprotected even if they are vaccinated. Supplementary activities like measles catch-up campaign is required to sustain high measles vaccination coverage and also for providing a second opportunity for the unprotected children. Lessons learnt from this campaign will be useful for future immunization activities.

Measles catch up campaign in Manipur

A measles catch-up campaign, organised by District Health Society, Imphal East is currently underway in different parts of the district.

The campaign was kicked off on October 10 last and would continue till October 31.

With the opening of 606 session sites across the district, it targets to benefit 90553 children at the age group of 9 months to 10 years.

Whom to vaccinate?
• All susceptible children and adults for whom measles vaccination is not contraindicated.
• Asymptomatic HIV infection is an indication, not a contraindication, for measles vaccination. Ideally, the vaccine should be offered as early as possible in the course of HIV infection.
• HIV-infected infants should receive measles vaccine at 6 months of age, followed by an  additional dose at 9 months, in case they are not severely immune-compromised.
• The first dose is given through routine immunization between 9 and 12 months of age and a second dose is given after one year of age.
• In SIA campaigns all children in the target age group (9 months – <10 years) are vaccinated irrespective of previous immunization status or history of measles disease.
1. Overall strategy for catch-up campaign
The highest level of political, administrative ownership, commitment and support needs to be sustained for successfully implementing measles catch-up campaigns. The Central Government, the State Governments, and international and national development partners need to work together and complement each other’s strengths. Measles catch-up campaigns are a one time activity and therefore coverage must be near 100% in the target age-group to impact on disease transmission and rapidly build up population immunity.
State level
At the state level there will be two committees as below.
a) State Steering Committee (SSC)
At the state-level, the State Steering Committee for the campaign will be established under the chairmanship of the State Health Secretary. The role of the State Steering Committee is to mobilize human / other resources and coordinate planning and implementation of activities with other government departments and partner agencies. The State Steering Committee will coordinate activities among Government departments like Education, Women and Child Development (WCD), Social welfare, NRHM, Defence, Youth Affairs, Urban development, Commerce, Labour, PRI etc. to mobilize human and other resources. The SSC will also coordinate with civil society organizations like Rotary, Lions etc; professional bodies like IMA, IAP, IAPSM, etc and partners like WHO, National Polio Surveillance Project (NPSP), UNICEF, USAID, Red Cross and other organizations.
b) State Operations Group (SOG)
The SOG will lead planning and implementation activities at the state. The Mission Director/
DG /Director, Family Welfare will chair the Operations Group. The State Immunization Officer (SIO) will be the member-secretary. State level representatives of key Departments such as Social Welfare, Education, IDSP, Panchayati Raj Institutions, WCD, Transport, Media and partners such as WHO-NPSP, UNICEF, Red Cross, Professional bodies like IMA, IAP etc, religious leaders, minority groups should be invited to attend coordination committee meetings.
District level
District Task Force (DTF)
DTF should be formed under the chairmanship of the District Collector/ Magistrate in each district, CMO/DIO should be the member secretary. District level officers from Education,
ICDS, Police, Media, BDOs, VHCs, Local bodies like municipalities, councils etc, professional bodies and partner organizations along with representatives from religious groups and opinion leaders should be the participating members of DTF.
The role of the district task force is to support, supervise, monitor and ensure implementation of the highest quality measles campaign in the district.
The Department of Health & Family Welfare appeals to all sections of the people including co-ordinating departments, partnering organisations, NGOs, churches, educational institutions, municipal bodies, professional bodies, media etc to join hands with the department in this state-wide effort to contain  measles infection in our state during the three week campaign.

90-minute TB test not a game changer for India

August 30, 2011 Leave a comment


New Delhi : A new diagnostic technique that detects tuberculosis in 90 minutes instead of three months using the conventional method may not be effective in India as the heat and humidity would affect the equipment, experts said.

TB kills two people every three minutes in India, accounting for over three million (30 lakh) deaths a year.

The diagnostic technique, Gene Xpert MTB/RIF, was launched in the US in 2007 and is supported by the World Health Organisation. It was launched in India last year.

However, a health ministry official said the technique may not be a game changer in India due to the staggering burden of tuberculosis the country is currently facing.

The technique enables rapid diagnosis of tuberculosis, multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) and TB in HIV-infected individuals in a span of 90 minutes compared to the conventional test.

“The technique cannot be used for routine testing. We have pilot projects at 18 sites going on to test its feasibility in the Indian situation where the climate and temperature conditions are different from the western countries,” said Ashok Kumar, deputy director general of the central TB control division under the ministry of health and family welfare, at a conference by Stop TB partnership.

When the technique was launched September 2010, health experts pinned their hopes on the test promising a quicker diagnosis of Multi-Drug Resistant TB by looking for bacterial DNA in a person’s sputum.

“The pilot projects are in consultation with the WHO. The idea is to take the test near to the districts and remote areas where the conditions under which TB originates could be different,” Kumar explained.

According to experts, high humidity and high temperature may affect the equipment and cartridges used in the test. Invariable temperature can also lead to inconsistency in the results.

“Solid culture/sputum testing remains the golden standard for Indian conditions. Xpert test can be used for HIV positive patients, but not in routine testing,” Kumar said.

According to officials from the TB control division in the health ministry, the cost would be incurred by the ministry. The test costs around Rs.900 ($20) per sputum sample.

Blessi Kumar, a TB prevention activist and vice chairperson of Stop TB partnership coordinating board, said thought should be given to the technique to make it effective.

“The Indian research community and pharma industry should take on the task of going deeper into the 90-minute test. It can be a scientific advancement or a stepping stone that India needs to reduce TB cases,” Kumar said.

WHO bans blood tests for active TB

August 3, 2011 Leave a comment
By Editor

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has asked to prohibit the prevalent use of blood tests to diagnose active tuberculosis stating that such tests are unreliable, and could lead to incorrect diagnoses, and put millions of lives at risk. Ever since doctors in Manipur decided to go in for multiple medical tests to analyse medical problems all hell has broken loose for impoverished patients. Asking for multiple tests by doctors it seems could well be a fig leaf to cover their wariness to make a diagnosis. Some people say the greater the incompetence of the doctors, the more tests they seek. This has become a caricature of medical help care, as delineated by some of our doctors.

Now that we have come to know from the WHO that blood tests on TB patients may be harmful and life ruiners  and definitely not desirable, one needs to tell our doctors of their duties to perform with cognizance of the WHO findings. Two things come to mind regarding medical treatment. Funds and financing are always a big handicap. The second point is that our doctors are, as we suspect, callous in their judgement of their patients’ ailments.

The important message to the TB patients in the state is that they should no longer agree to go for blood tests to determine whether they are afflicted with TB or not. To go a bit further into understanding the erstwhile practices on TB patients, we should know what has been the real eco-political drive behind this blatantly bogus insistence to go in for serological tests burdened upon TB patients? The WHO report says “mainly Western test kit manufacturers misled their customers in developing countries with unfounded claims about their worth and used perverse financial incentives to boost sales.”

The WHO report is a true eye opener, many people in the state will now realize the futility of the path they had undertaken to be cured or made whole after having had treatment, following blood tests. And a question to our brethren in the medical profession, how are you going to explain your fondness for serological tests for TB patients ? Are you going to explain your stand by saying you had been just following what you were taught ? In which case you are not keeping abreast with the latest medical advances. On the other hand, if you had been playing around to make a quick buck, you might as well leave your profession, that act in itself will create a huge sigh of relief to the people.

Sources:- Hueiyen Lanpao

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

India on high alert against deadly E. coli strain that causes kidney failure

Kounteya Sinha, TNN | Jun 4, 2011, 04.39am IST

NEW DELHI: India is on high alert against the deadly strain of Shiga toxin-producing E coli, that has infected over 1,700 people across 12 European nations. The deadly food-borne bacteria is causing haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) or kidney failure.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has informed its officials posted in the five major ports and four airports which receive imports, to watch out for all food items, especially fruits and vegetables, coming in from Europe. All such items will first be tested in FSSAI labs before being allowed into the country.

Speaking to TOI, FSSAI CEO Dr V N Gaur said, “We are keeping a close watch on all imports into India, especially food items. Records, however, show no food items have come to India in the past five months from Europe.”

He said, “We have alerted our staff in the major ports like Kolkata, Haldia, Mumbai, Chennai and JNPT and airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata to keep a close watch.”

So far, the outbreak has claimed at least 17 lives in Europe. Besides Germany, which is believed to the first country that was affected, the bacterial infection has also been reported from Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Britain and the United States.

The World Health Organisation has urged countries not to impose any trade restrictions in the face of this outbreak. However, Russia and Belgium have clamped a ban on vegetables from Spain and Germany.

E coli is common bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract and part of the normal bacterial flora. However, some E coli strains are able to produce a toxin that could produce serious infection. Humans acquire the infection by consuming contaminated food or water. Following an incubation period of about 3-4 days, a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms appear, ranging from mild to severe bloody diarrhoea, mostly without fever. The one causing infection now is a highly virulent mutated strain.

WHO recently stated that this strain of E coli “is a unique strain that has never been isolated from patients before” and there may be “various characteristics that make it more virulent and toxin-producing”.

WHO says that HUS is characterized by acute renal failure, haemolytic anaemia and thrombocytopenia. It is estimated that up to 10% of patients with this latest infection may develop HUS, with a case-fatality rate ranging from 3% to 5%.

Overall, HUS is the most common cause of acute renal failure in young children. It can cause neurological complications (such as seizure, stroke and coma) in 25% of HUS patients and chronic renal sequelae, usually mild, in around 50% of survivors.

Source:- Times of India