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Health Industry
Impact: <b>TN hospital put on scrutiny </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Chennai: Authorities seem to have woken up to the issue of Tamil Nadu government hospitals reusing injection needles and syringes without sterilizing them.

The state government promised action after CNN-IBN special investigation team showed how thousands of patients are being subjected to re-used needles in the government hospitals in the Thiruvallore district.
Thiruvallore's not an isolated case, the needle of suspicion seems to be pointing at hospitals across the country. Government reports indicate 65 per cent of all needles used in the country are unsafe. The general public is already apprehensive about stepping into a government hospital.

“They reuse needles in all government hospitals, even in Chennai,” said one resident<b>. “I am scared to go the government hospitals due to the risk of AIDS with infected needles,”</b> said another.

The need of the hour is to find a solution quickly so that more patients are not exposed to the risk of HIV.
I am not surprised.
In India, used needles are collected from hospitals and repacked and sold in open market.
Used cotton/gauges are used to fill Rajais, pillows, mattress.
Ice slabs from hospital morgue are used in Ice cream stands or corners shops.
Blood transfusion without testing is very common.
Disposable gloves are rewashed and reused in operation.
No surprise, AID is spreading in alarming rate.
<b>Tropic of cancer</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Its findings took even cancer specialists by surprise. It turned out that women in Delhi have the highest rate of gall bladder cancer in the world, with 10 out of one lakh suffering from it. Districts in central, south, and northeast India reported the world’s highest rates of cancer caused by tobacco.

Men in Mizoram’s Aizawl district topped the list of cancer of the lower pharynx (11 out of one lakh) and tongue (seven out of one lakh). They also had the country’s highest rate of  stomach cancer, which was also found frequently in men in Bangalore and Chennai.

In Pondicherry, mouth cancer was prevalent in nine out of one lakh men — the highest rate in the world. The survey also detected high rates of thyroid cancer in women in the coastal districts of Kerala, Karnataka and Goa. In other states such as Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, bacterial infection caused by a stomach bug, Helicobacter pylori, was the leading cause of stomach and gastrointestinal cancers.
<!--emo&:cool--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/specool.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='specool.gif' /><!--endemo--> Simple Injection Shows Promise for Treating Paralysis
By Charles Q. Choi
Special to LiveScience
posted: 23 April 2007
12:55 am ET

Paralyzed lab rodents with spinal cord injuries apparently regained some ability to walk six weeks after a simple injection of biodegradable soap-like molecules that helped nerves regenerate.

The research could have implications for humans with similar injuries.

"It will take a long time, but we want to offer at least some improvement, to improve quality of life for people with these injuries," materials scientist Samuel Stupp at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., told LiveScience. "Anything would be considered a breakthrough, because there's nothing right now."

The soap-like molecules contain a small piece of laminin, a natural protein important in brain development. After these molecules are injected into the body, they react with chemicals there, assembling themselves instantly into scaffolds of super-thin fibers just six billionths of a meter wide, roughly a hundredth a wavelength of orange light. They biodegrade after roughly eight weeks.

The scientists experimented with their molecules on dozens of mice and rats that experienced spinal cord injuries that paralyzed their hind legs, "the kind of very hard blow people might experience after falling off skiing slopes or getting in car accidents," Stupp said. His colleague, neurologist John Kessler, became active in this work after Kessler's daughter was paralyzed in a skiing accident.

After six weeks, damaged nerves regenerated enough for the paralyzed legs of the rodents to regain some ability to walk.

"There's a special scale to monitor how much function they regained, ranging from 0 to 21," Stupp explained. "At 21, function is perfect. At 6 or 7, limbs are just paralyzed, and the mice were just dragging them along. If you go to 9 to 12, the animal can now actually move the limbs. Not perfectly—awkwardly—but they move. So two or three points on that scale makes a huge difference."

"We've been able to go from a 7 to a 9 in the mouse, and in the rat, the highest was 12," he said. The findings are to be presented today at a meeting of the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies in Washington, D.C.

The researchers are currently in talks with the FDA regarding their work and hope to start phase I clinical trials (for toxicity and safety testing) in humans two years from now, Stupp said. The idea he and his colleagues have for these molecules is to administer them within a day or so after spinal cord injuries, before scar tissue begins to form that can suppress healing. Past experiments have shown these molecules can actually turn neural stem cells (which might otherwise become scar cells) into neurons instead.

"Recovering every function a person had before an injury will probably be very hard," Stupp cautioned. "Even if people couldn't walk, if they could recover bladder function, that'd be a good thing. It's the first thing I'd want to recover."

The researchers now are developing versions of these soap-like molecules that could help with regeneration when it comes to other maladies such as Parkinson's disease, stroke, heart attacks, bone trauma or diabetes.
<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Apr 15 2007, 05:10 AM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Apr 15 2007, 05:10 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Tropic of cancer</b><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Its findings took even cancer specialists by surprise. It turned out that women in Delhi have the highest rate of gall bladder cancer in the world, with 10 out of one lakh suffering from it. Districts in central, south, and northeast India reported the world’s highest rates of cancer caused by tobacco.

Men in Mizoram’s Aizawl district topped the list of cancer of the lower pharynx (11 out of one lakh) and tongue (seven out of one lakh). They also had the country’s highest rate of  stomach cancer, which was also found frequently in men in Bangalore and Chennai.

In Pondicherry, mouth cancer was prevalent in nine out of one lakh men — the highest rate in the world. The survey also detected high rates of thyroid cancer in women in the coastal districts of Kerala, Karnataka and Goa. In other states such as Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, bacterial infection caused by a stomach bug, Helicobacter pylori, was the leading cause of stomach and gastrointestinal cancers.
Cancer-Fighting Drug Found in Dirt

By Charles Q. Choi
Special to LiveScience
posted: 24 April 2007
10:10 am ET

The bark of certain yew trees can yield a medicine that fights cancer. Now scientists find the dirt that yew trees grow in can supply the drug as well, suggesting a new way to commercially harvest the medicine.

Scientists originally isolated the drug paclitaxel—now commonly known as Taxol—in 1967 from the bark of Pacific yew trees (Taxus brevifolia) in a forest near the Mount St. Helens in Washington. This yew also yields related compounds known as taxanes that can be converted to paclitaxel. Research since then has revealed other yew species generate paclitaxel and taxanes as well, as do some fungi and certain hazelnut varieties.

A decade ago, University of Portland biochemist Angela Hoffman and her colleagues were interested in growing yew in the lab from cuttings. They discovered small yew branches could secrete paclitaxel into plant food, raising the possibility that yew trees might release the drug into the soil .

Tree farming

The scientists collaborated with Weyerhaeuser, a forest-products company that grows yew trees to extract taxanes. Their research now suggests yew trees might secrete paclitaxel and other taxanes from their roots. The scientists recently presented their findings at the American Chemical Society meeting in Chicago and will detail the results in June at a joint meeting in Boise of the Northwest Region of the American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science Pacific Division.

Weyerhaeuser grows yew trees for several years before pulling them up and replanting the fields. "This means they have acres of soil they could use," Hoffman said. She estimated harvesting paclitaxel from the soil can become profitable if the growers can generate more than 20 grams per acre.

Based on lab experiments, Hoffman and her colleagues calculated that the top foot of an acre of yew dirt should yield roughly 35 grams of paclitaxel and some 70 grams of related taxanes, "stuff that would have just gone to waste anyhow," Hoffman told LiveScience.

In the field

To field test their ideas, the scientists took nearly 40 cubic feet of yew soil from a Weyerhaeuser field and mixed it with a few gallons of rubbing alcohol in a cement mixer for several hours. The taxanes dissolve in the alcohol, which the scientists then filter off and extract taxanes from. The field results suggest an acre of soil would yield about 25 to 30 grams of paclitaxel and about 200 grams of related taxanes.

On average, a single dose of paclitaxel contains about 10 to 200 millionths of a gram of the drug, Hoffman said. Twenty grams of the medicine "would probably be enough to last 30 to 50 people throughout their entire treatment," she estimated.

The reason less paclitaxel was found in the field than in the lab could be because the scientists' lab techniques are currently more efficient than their field methods, Hoffman said. Also, paclitaxel could have broken down when left out too long in the field. In contrast, the reason more taxanes were found in the field than in the lab could be because they are left over from previous yew plantings.

<b>Naresh Trehan removed from Escorts hospital</b> <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Trehan, a pioneer of medical tourism in India, had helped to shape the Escorts Heart Institute and Research Center Limited (EHIRCL) into a premier institute.

<b>He is now focussing on the Rs.10 billion Medicity, in which he is reported to have a personal stake. The healthcare hub, coming up along the lines of Dubai Health City, is expected to be the largest such centre in South Asia</b>.

However, Trehan continues to be a 10 percent shareholder in Escorts, which was acquired by Ranbaxy-promoted Fortis Healthcare Limited in September 2005. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>GE Healthcare and Dr. Naresh Trehan's MediCity sign MoU to develop a visionary Diagnostic and R&D facility</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Under the MoU, GE India and MediCity will collaborate in a number of initiatives to create a medical institute of world standards specifically in the areas of high-end medical diagnostics, clinical research and development, utility services like power generation & distribution, lighting, water treatment and other environmentally friendly solutions. This is GE's first such collaborative venture worldwide and is also the first instance in Asia, where a leading technology provider has entered into a partnership with a center of excellence in healthcare services and research.

MediCity, which has been envisioned as a multi-disciplinary high-tech medical institute spread over 43 acres in Gurgaon, and clinically modeled after global centers of excellence such as Johns Hopkins and Mayo Clinic in the US, is expected to be operational by 2007.
<b>HC clears Trehan's way in Escorts </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->........

“My contract is for 20-years, which is why I came from America. I spent my own money, blood and resources to build this hospital where it stand today. Who are they to stop me from treating these patients,” said Trehan.

My brother was to be operated upon today. This morning we were told it won't happen as Dr Trehan has left,” said Anil Garg Patient's relative.

“This so called heart institute is known for Dr Trehan. Escort is just the building but the institute is that of Dr Trehan. If he is out, then there is nothing more is left in the institute,” said another patient’s family member.

The high drama at Escorts isn’t over yet. Most doctors are supporting Dr Trehan so the Fortis management clearly has a mutiny at its hand. And the next few days will determine who wins this battle of nerves.

This is sad. End of fine hospital. Good warning to those who are thinking to go back. Rambaxy is making money. Nanda made good profit after selling its stake. They bought land and permits on charitable basis at a very low rate and made profit out of it. Govt should put restriction on current owners. They should be forced to keep it charitable basis.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The process of "corporatisation'' of the Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre Ltd (EHIRC) - promoted by the Nanda family in 1983-84 as a charitable society - had commenced in 2000, when it was converted into a company.

However, the recent fissures that have developed between Mr Rajan Nanda and his younger brother, Mr Anil Nanda, seem to be centred around the future course of the healthcare business.

The genesis of the rift over the healthcare business dates back to June 2003, when the Escorts board decided to divest 17.1 per cent of its 80 per cent equity in EHIRC.

Mr Rajan Nanda (through investment companies) and Dr Naresh Trehan each hold 10 per cent equity in it.

While the ostensible reason for the company's decision was to bring a strategic investor, Merlion India Fund, on board to generate funds for expansion, Mr Anil Nanda, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Escorts Ltd, fears that the institution will lose its "charitable" character and "should be reverted to the original status of being a charitable institution."
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Patients revolt over ouster </b>
Jayita Bandyopadhyay | New Delhi

'I have human contract with patients'
Trehan barred, humiliated at escorts

<b>Indians don't deserve icons. It may sound presumptuous but Dr Naresh Trehan, a visionary who changed the face of healthcare in India, is proof of our disdain for talent.</b>

Hurt and angered by the disrespectful manner in which he was "dismissed" from Escorts Hospital, Dr Trehan burst out on Saturday in-between surgeries: "Let the people judge the management decision to sack me. Let the patients I have cured here say that I shouldn't work as a surgeon at Escorts anymore. Let's see if Indians let this injustice happen. I can't do anything. Let the people decide if they want to allow this high-handedness."  
Cops thrash protesting relatives of Trehan’s patients at Escorts Hospital on Saturday as a worried daughter and her father wonder what would happen to her mother who was to be operated upon by Trehan-Pradeep Gaur | Pioneer

On Friday, Shivinder Mohan Singh, managing director of Escorts Heart Institute and Fortis Healthcare Limited, "disengaged" Dr Trehan from the institute in "view of the conflict of interest" vis-a-vis his Medicity project.

Dr Trehan has got a stay order issued till August 6, 2007. The good news for patients is that the surgeries scheduled till then will be performed by him. His office announced this late on Saturday. But before this drama unfolded at Escorts.

Not satisfied with humiliating Dr Trehan, the management threatened staffers close to him. His aides said they had been "warned" by the management not to facilitate Dr Trehan's entry into the hospital. "We have been told if we let him in we lose our jobs."

Henchmen tried to physically stop Dr Trehan from entering the institute, which the New York-returned surgeon has helped build and has been associated with for 20 years. "There was a cordon of private securitymen who tried to stop me from entering but relatives of patients cleared the path for me," Dr Trehan said.

The agitated relatives protested Singh's shabby move and made sure Dr Trehan operated. "The patients want me to treat them. And that's what I am doing. I need to service this hospital and the patients. Nobody has the right to stop me from doing that. Treating people is my right and no one can keep me away from it," Dr Trehan emphasised, insisting he is still very much a part of the institute.

"I was conducting surgeries when I heard of this dismissal notice. This is nothing but a fancy idea to try to hide someone's dirty work. I am not an inconvenience to the hospital or the patients, for whom this institution has been built. I have become inconvenient in someone's dark scheme. And that's why they are trying to get rid of me," he said.

The international Fortis Healthcare Limited, backed by pharmaceutical giant Ranbaxy, acquired EHIRC in 2005 from Rajan Nanda for Rs 585 crore in a disputed deal.

The institute was set up in 1988 as a charitable organisation by the Late HP Nanda of the Escorts Group of Companies with technical help from Dr Trehan, who quit his lucrative US career to serve his country. After HP Nanda's death, Rajan Nanda took over. "He hoodwinked me and other senior staffers and converted the institute into a profitable body. In 2003, Nanda removed the non-profitable clause from the institute's deed.

"When we confronted him with this lapse he promised to reverse his decision. But he didn't. He was caught by the Income Tax department for fraud and we saved him on the promise that he would reverse his fault. He still didn't. Then, one midnight in September 2005, he sold Escorts to Fortis. The case of ownership of Escorts is in court and maybe Fortis doesn't own it. The matter is sub judice.

"In the first hearing in 2005, the court said that prima-facie evidence shows some fraud has been done and the case needs to be investigated thoroughly. With what authority then can they evict me or anyone else?" an angry Trehan asked.

"Maybe they own a company that doesn't have Escorts as a part of its assets," he added.

<b>Over the last few months reputed Escorts doctors have been forcibly transferred by the management to sister institutes. On Friday, Dr Yatin Mehta, Senior Consultant and Head of Anaesthesiology at Escorts, was forced to sign his resignation papers. "Four to five people surrounded Mehta and forced him to sign. </b>

"This is all a part of a larger scam that is being played out by the management. This is against the ethos of Escorts," said Dr Trehan.

What about his 10 per cent stake in the hospital? "The shares were given to me by the senior Nanda as a smokescreen. I never wanted the shares in the first place. Had I been interested, I would have sold them off for the Rs 70 to 80 crore they offered me during the Fortis takeover. I refused to sell my soul.

"Escorts isn't a money-making organisation for me. It is my heart, my soul and my entire life. How can they expect me to sell myself? And as the ownership issue is debatable, may be those shares don't mean anything legally," Trehan said.

Trehan has also been accused of diverting his attention to Medicity, a super-speciality multi-billion healthcare hub being built in Gurgaon. "I have built so many hospitals for Escorts. I have helped build their Jaipur and Amritsar centres. Then they applauded me. Right now, Medicity is nothing but a cement and steel structure.

"It's just another hospital I'm building. So how can I divert my attention from Escorts?" he asked.

As a pioneer and a dependable brand, does he feel cheated by this action? "In life you meet certain people who are simply bad. They can't degrade or upgrade you. But you have to fight them, prevent them from harming society at large. I have a human contract with the patients and I have to uphold that," he said.

Though Trehan operated on patients on Saturday, the hospital said he was doing so at his own responsibility. The future of the patients scheduled to be operated later by Dr Trehan is uncertain. "Till this moment I am a part of Escorts and am treating patients.

"The relatives of patients are protesting, doctors here have signed a letter addressed to the management saying that they don't recognise it and won't obey it. But I don't know what will happen after Monday," he said.
Rajan Nanda is Amitabh Bachan daughter's father-in-law.
He is contributor and supporter of Congress.
How the brain grows? Experts take a peek
19 May, 2007 l 0226 hrs ISTlAP
WASHINGTON: Can you get smarter than a fifth-grader? Of course, but new research suggests some of the brain's basic building blocks for learning are nearing adult levels by age 11 or 12.

It is the first finding from a study of how children's brains grow. The most interesting results are yet to come.
About 500 super-healthy newborns to teenagers, recruited from super-healthy families, are having periodic MRI scans of their brains as they grow up.

They also get a battery of age-appropriate tests of such abilities as IQ, language skills and memory. The project, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is tricky work.

Move during an MRI, and the image blurs. Because scientists cannot sedate healthy children, they are having to get crafty to keep their subjects still. Tired toddlers are put in the scanners at naptime; mom squeezes in for a cuddle and earplugs help block the machines' noisy banging. Six-year-olds wear earphones and watch favourite videos beamed into the scanner.

The MRI images measure how different parts of the brain grow and reorganise throughout childhood. Overlap them with the children's shifting behavioural and intellectual abilities at each age, and scientists expect to produce a long-sought map of normal brain development in children representative of the diverse US population. On Friday, scientists were publishing a sneak peek at some surprising early results.

Performance on a variety of cognitive tasks — working memory, vocabulary, spatial recognition, reasoning, calculation — rapidly improves between age 6 and 10, but then levels off.

"We don't honestly know why," said Deborah Waber of Children's Hospital Boston, who led the analysis published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. This is a snapshot of 6- to 18-year-olds' abilities during their first study visit. Results may change after researchers observe each child's progress with age and compare their MRI scans, she said.

The adolescent brain is still growing. Indeed, the region responsible for things such as impulse control and moral judgment is the last to mature, sometime in the early 20s, said Jordan Grafman of the NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

The study did not evaluate those kinds of skills. "It's an incomplete picture," he said. But the age finding does make sense, suggesting a foundation necessary for higher learning is in place by puberty, said an expert from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Trehan, patients take heart as Fortis bows </b>
Staff Reporter | New Delhi
The tussle between Dr Naresh Trehan and the Escorts management, now being run by the Fortis Group, finally ended with the management making a big climbdown and reinstating the top cardiologist.

Trehan, removed as executive director last week, was reinstated to his earlier position. A joint statement said events of the last few days were due to misunderstanding and regretted by all. "These allegations stand unconditionally withdrawn," it said. 

This ended the faceoff between Fortis Healthcare MD Shivender Mohan Singh who has majority stakes in Escorts, and Trehan. Singh, who took charge of EHIRC, relinquished the new position under the new settlement and will now continue as MD of EHIRC, the statement said. Trehan will continue as executive director of the institute.

Sources, however, said that <b>Trehan would have to give up his 10 per cent stakes in Escorts as part of the compromise formula</b>. The statement said Escorts recognised Trehan's contribution and the management would like to ensure a healthy and smooth work environment. ''The whole idea is to do the healing process so that patients can recover. Shivinder Singh and I have talked and a positive thing has happened between the management and myself,'' Trehan said. Both parties have agreed to withdraw the case in court.

The controversy had erupted when Trehan was asked to quit as head of Escorts by the Fortis management last week. The matter reached Delhi High Court which advised the two parties to resolve the dispute amicably. 
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Trehan quits Escorts, to join Apollo </b>
Durgesh Nandan Jha | New Delhi
Ace cardiologist Naresh Trehan on Wednesday decided to call it quits with the Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre (EHIRC). Announcing his decision, he said that he would be joining the Apollo Group of Hospitals along with a 'sizable' number of doctors and other medical staff of the Escorts Hospital.

The move came just two days after Trehan and Frotis' Director Shivender Mohan Singh announced truce in an out of court settlement. Trehan will start working at Apollo hospital as a surgeon from Monday.

<b>"I could not carry on with the Escorts after what happened in the last ten days. Though I rejoined the hospital, I was not able to do my best in that vitiated atmosphere. That's why I decided to join the Apollo Group of Hospitals," said Dr Trehan. He added that many doctors including Dr Yatin Mehta would be following his suit. </b>

Talking about his patients admitted at EHIRC, Dr Trehan said that he would be visiting the hospital for the next three days to ensure that his patients do not suffer.

However<b>, Dr Trehan had earlier claimed that he had to conduct surgeries for more than 50 of his patients at EHIRC. But it is not possible to carry out all these in a matter of just three or four days. Sources said that Trehan might ask his patients to get treated at the Apollo Hospitals, if they wished to be treated by him.</b>

Dr Trehan said that many hospitals came with offers ever since he was expelled from the Executive Director's post of Escorts. He, however, refused to comment on the reports that he was planning to give away 10 per cent stake he was holding with EHIRC to a member of the Ranbaxy group. "We had decided that the condition of resettlement would not made public," he said.

Industry too is keenly watching the developments. Dr Ashok Seth, head of cardiology at Max said, "We hope the relationship is fruitful and moves in the right direction."
<!--emo&:thumbsup--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbup.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='thumbup.gif' /><!--endemo--> You need blood? Just click the mouse!
16 Jun, 2007 l 1509 hrs ISTlIANS
Write to Editor

MUMBAI: There is good news for patients with rare blood groups and badly needing transfusions. Just click the mouse.

Log on to indianblooddonors.com, and donors for any group will reach you in 30 minutes for free. So says a social service group that has been catering to the needy for seven years.

Concerned about the shortage of blood of rare groups, the group launched the website in March 2000.

"Indianblooddonors.com is an address which can save your life. From Adilabad to Yamuna Nagar, from the most common blood group to the most rare, the site has a huge database of blood donors. So if you need blood, it's a good place to turn to. And it is free," reads the website.

"There is always an acute shortage of blood in most government and private blood banks across the country. Many times, during emergencies and major operations, it becomes difficult for patients and relatives to procure blood," said Nagpur based Khushroo Poacha, who co-founded the website with his wife Fermin.

"From a humble beginning in March 2000, today we have over 45,000 registered donors from across the country. We can get blood donated today to the needy in any part of India in less than 30 minutes," Poacha said.

An Indian Railways computer supervisor, Poacha says any healthy person interested in donating blood can register on the site and provide details like name, age, blood group, residential address and contact number, preferably a mobile phone number.

A needy patient or a relative can access the site and put in a request. An SMS is then sent to the donor located nearest to the hospital where the patient is. The patient or his relative is also informed about the identity of the donor.

As for security and misuse of donated blood, Poacha said specific identification numbers are given to donors.

"Before giving out the donor contact numbers, we also run a few authentication checks on the patients and their relatives.

"All this hardly takes more than 20-30 minutes. So we can get blood donated to a needy patient anywhere across the country within 30 minutes," he said.

Poacha said that Fermin takes care of mails from donors and patients, while he looks after the day-to-day administration of the site.

"The idea of setting up the blood donors site came from personal experience. A friend's employee urgently needed the rare O Negative blood. After searching for the blood group for four days, he died," he said.

For those who are not net savvy, Poacha is devising a new format of blood donation.

"Many patients may not be able to access the site. For them we are shortly introducing donor smart cards. These will be like railway coupons kept with the hospitals across the country.

"When a patient is asked by doctors to procure blood, they can contact the hospital authorities from the coupons on which our contact numbers will be provided along with a scratch out one-time secret code. The patient or their relatives can contact us and read out the code numbers," said Poacha.
Study: Circumcision Removes Most Sensitive Parts
By Ker Than, LiveScience Staff Writer

posted: 15 June 2007 12:53 pm ET

Share this story
Email How much does circumcision alter what a man ultimately feels? Scientific studies aiming to answer this question have been inconclusive.
Now researchers prodding dozens of male penises with a fine-tipped tool have found that the five areas most receptive to fine-touch are routinely removed by the surgery.
The finding, announced today, was detailed in the April issue of the British Journal of Urology (BJU) International.
Circumcision surgery involves the removal of the skin that covers the tip of the penis, called the foreskin. Infant male circumcision is the most common medical procedure in the United States, with an estimated 60 percent of male newborns undergoing the surgery.
Morris Sorrells of National Organization of Circumcision Information Resources Center and colleagues created a “penile sensitivity map” by measuring the sensitivity of 19 locations on the penises of 159 male volunteers. Of the participants, 91 were circumcised as infants and none had histories of penile or sexual dysfunction.
For circumcised penises, the most sensitive region was the circumcision scar on the underside of the penis, the researchers found. For uncircumcised penises, the areas most receptive to pressure were five regions normally removed during circumcision—all of which were more sensitive than the most sensitive part of the circumcised penis.
Circumcision is a procedure practiced in several countries for medical as well as cultural reasons. Most scientists agree that the surgery confers some protection against infection and the risk of contracting sexual diseases. Recent studies have also shown that circumcision can lower the risks of HIV infection by as much as 60 percent in sex between males and females.
But Robert Van Howe, a study team member at Michigan State University, thinks such claims are somewhat overblown. “The [health benefits] that have been consistently shown are very small, and there are less aggressive, less invasive, less expensive ways of dealing with the problems [circumcision] is supposed to address,” Van Howe told LiveScience.
Other practices, such as choosing sexual partners wisely and using condoms consistently, are far more effective in protecting against diseases, he added.
Circumcision is opposed by some groups on the grounds that it is painful and not a life-saving procedure, and that it also makes sex less pleasurable by exposing and numbing the tip of the penis, called the glans. Some have gone so far as recommending foreskin restoration.
Some previous studies found that circumcision led to little, if any, decrease in penile sensitivity, but Sorrells and his colleagues say such findings are suspect because many are based on self-reports from men who were circumcised to correct medical problems.
<!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo--> A type of virus could help kick drinkingAds By Google
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Alcohol FactsIndo-Asian News Service
New York, June 24, 2007
First Published: 16:03 IST(24/6/2007)
Last Updated: 16:42 IST(24/6/2007)

A single injection of a type of virus known as adenoviruses can help give up the habit of drinking, a study indicates.

Researchers have found that rats bred to crave alcohol were found to drink 50 per cent less for more than a month after being injected with engineered adenoviruses.

Many people in East Asia react badly to alcohol because of mutations in the gene for aldehyde dehydrogenase. But these mutations also reduce the risk of succumbing to alcoholism by two-thirds or more.

Aldehyde dehydrogenase is blocked by the drug disulfiram, also known as Antabuse, which is sometimes used to help alcoholics quit the habit, said online edition of New Scientist.

"But you have to take it (disulfiram) every day, so there is a big problem with compliance," says researcher Amalia Sapag at the University of Chile in Santiago.

To provide a longer-lasting effect, scientists engineered adenoviruses to carry an "antisense" version of the aldehyde dehydrogenase gene that blocks the production of enzyme involved in alcohol metabolism.

A single injection reduced the enzyme's activity in rats' livers by 80 per cent, Sapag revealed at the American Society of Gene Therapy meeting in Seattle earlier this month.

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Mysore, June 03, 2007
First Published: 19:21 IST(3/6/2007)
Last Updated: 19:27 IST(3/6/2007)

I went to see my friend in his super specialty hospital after a long time. I marvelled at the Italian granite floor and Hussein paintings on the wall, and thought I had entered a place, which is cross between a five-star hotel and Royal Albert Music Hall.

I knew it would take quite sometime for my feet to negotiate the 6-feet deep Kashmir carpet and reach my friend sitting on the other end of the room.

He smiled broadly and pointed me to a sofa in which I sank inside. I noticed he had a spread of deer-skin with holes on his sofa.

He got up and poured a cold Pepsi and took water from a copper Kamandal.

"Why aren’t you taking a Pepsi?" I asked.

"I don’t trust any of these things. Full of chemicals that eat way your insides. I get weekly supply of Ganga water straight from Alakananda, which I boil and bring it to office."

As I sipped the dreadful drink wondering about my vitals inside, I thought I shouldn’t worry as a doctor was at hand.

"Didn’t go for your rounds today?"

"The concept has changed. We don’t do any more rounds. We let the patients do the rounds."

"I didn’t get you."

He took a small piece, the size of broken chalk, and started chewing and offered one to me.

"What’s this?"

"It’s Amla. I pick these from Baba Ramdev’s Ashram during my fortnightly visits. As you chew, this removes toxins and cleans up intestines inside out… I was telling about patients’ rounds."

From morning I had six patients.

The first patient, a boy of 16 had mild fever, headache and couldn’t sleep for the last couple of days. I have sent him for a CT scan and just to make sure there is no tissue infection, have asked him to get a MRI scan. Two days of sleeplessness can be dismissed as due to stress or whatever. After an ECG, I have asked him to do treadmill and come back with an echo Doppler and an Angio. He will stay here for two days for more tests before we can diagnose what’s wrong with him. Can’t take chances…"

"I see."

"The second patient, an old man of 80+, doesn’t get hungry and has eaten very little, has loose motions and hasn’t slept a wink. He will get his blood and urine test; take an ultrasound scan of his liver, abdomen and pancreas. His liver function test will help us to see any sluggishness of liver. The lack of sleep in this case worries me. We have put him on 0.1 N Glucose and Brine drips. Later, a routine EEG and a brain scan will be done to rule out any infection."

"So this is what you meant when you said, ‘it’s the patient who does the rounds’? By the way, what ever happened to the ‘family doctors’ who gave a couple of doses of a ‘mixture’ which cured almost anything?"

"Family doctor concept is long dead and gone. Even if somebody were to be alive, it will take 10 years for her to understand the modern gadgets and learn what it can do."

"You have maintained yourself very well. What’s the secret of your health?"

"I follow grandmother’s tips down the ages - drink lot of water. Walk twice a day. Laugh at the patients laughing in the park! Keep your anger in check, even if Sachin fails match after match. Forget your patients and hospital once you reach home. It never fails to work."

"I hope you won’t charge for the advice," I said as I started my ‘slow march’ towards the exit.

The surfer can be contacted at erram@rediffmail.com.

<!--emo&:thumbdown--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Only blocked arteries excite Safdarjung cardiologists </b>
Durgesh Nandan Jha | New Delhi
Pioneer investigation

If you have a cardiac ailment other than artery blockage the chances are that the Cardiology department of Safdarjung Hospital will not treat you. According to data available with The Pioneer, out of the 6,110 patients treated by the Cardiology department of the hospital between 2004 and June 15, 2007, as many as 5,420 patients had undergone angiography and angioplasty, the tests and treatment required for artery blockage. The majority of the patients having other heart ailments like congenital heart disease or rheumatic heart disease were referred to the Medicine and CGHS wings of the hospital.

Hospital sources reveal that the main reason behind this is the commercial interest of the doctors who get large sums by way of commission for the use of equipments required for angiography and angioplasty.<b> "For each Angiography test the doctors have a fixed commission of Rs 2,000 and Rs 40,000 for the equipment required for Angioplasty treatment,"</b> claimed the source. The source added that the whole process of commission was worked out through the medical representatives (MR) who work as the go between and provide the equipments needed for these tests. "For all equipments like Sheath, Guide Wire and Catheter required for Angiography tests or the stent required for Angioplasty treatment, the doctors refers to the MR who provides the patient with required equipment and the doctor with his commission," said the source. <b>The Angioplasty process costs from Rs 75,000 to 2 lakhs depending upon the severity of the case</b>.

The patients having other ailments are discouraged by the Cardiac department and are left to struggle for life in the Medicine or CGHS wings of the hospital. The most common heart diseases in India, other than blockages, are Arrythmia (in this disease the heart rate of the patient is abnormal), Cardiomyopathy (in this disease the ventricular walls of the heart become abnormally rigid) and Ventricular failure. In children, congenital heart disease is very common. Also, a large number of young people suffer from rheumatic heart disease.

<b>"Apart from artery blockage, there are several other heart ailments but the doctors in the Cardiology department of the hospital discourage admissions m as no commissions are forthcoming in their treatment," </b>said one of the doctors in the Cardiology department of the hospital. The doctor said that the benefactors of commission are mostly the senior doctors of the department. "Such things are practised in most of the hospitals of the country and it is nearly impossible to stop this until and unless the doctor is morally upright or the administration is strict," he added. But the irony with Safdarjung Hospital is that the Medical Superintendent Dr Jagdish Prasad is unable to check such practices though he himself belongs to the Cardio Thoracic and Vascular Sciences (CTVS) department.

Despite several visits to his office, Dr Prasad was unavailable for comments. CTVS department uses the laboratory of the Cardiology department and most of the Angioplasty treatment or Angiography tests are conducted in the common laboratory. 
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><i>Trauma centre at RML Hospital faces delay </i>
Durgesh Nandan Jha | New Delhi
... CPWD struggling to complete the project
<b>The trauma centre at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML), which was proposed by the NDA Government in 2001, is yet to see the light of the day</b>.

Though the target date for completion ended in October 2004, the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) is still struggling to complete the project.

According to Medical Superintendent (MS), NK Chaturvedi, it would take at least three more months for the CPWD to hand-over the building. The cost of construction of the centre has overrun by several crores due to the delay.

<b>"The monetary provision, recruitment of staff and procurement of equipment everything was planned and sanctioned by the Government in 2001. The present minister and the management of the hospital are delaying the project for reasons best known to them. The work process is very slow and has almost doubled the estimated cost for the building of the 78 bed trauma centre," said CP Thakur, former Union Health Minister who conceived the idea of a trauma centre at RML</b>.

The initial target date for completion of the trauma centre was October 2004 and the original estimated cost was Rs 30.11 crore. The delay in the completion of project by more than three years has overrun this cost by more than double the original cost.

Earlier, the CPWD had intimated the Parliamentary Committee on Health and Family Welfare that the building would be ready for operational use by March 1, 2006.

But had failed to complete it on the given date on which the committee remarked that the project was being constructed without adhering to a prescribed time schedule. <b>Sources said that the delay was caused due to the negligent behaviour of the present Health Minister who has failed to look into the reason behind the delay in project and has never bothered to take action on the CPWD officials responsible for the delay.</b>

When asked, hospital MS Chaturvedi said that it would take at least three more months for CPWD to handover the building. "The CPWD is currently in the process of getting No Objection Certificate from the fire department and is having a trial run for gas pipeline. It will handover the building in about three months," he said.

Because it was started by NDA, Queen Sonia is not interested to complete, this is her service to <i>Aam Adami</i>.
<!--emo&:thumbsup--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbup.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='thumbup.gif' /><!--endemo--> Summit Pledges to Wipe Out World Toilet Inadequacies
By Steve Herman
New Delhi
01 November 2007

Herman report (MP3) - Download 513k
Listen to Herman report (MP3)

Sanitation experts, town planners and economists are among those gathered in the Indian capital for the 7th World Toilet Summit. VOA's Steve Herman reports from New Delhi that those attending the four-day summit are pledging universal access to proper sanitation facilities in less than 20 years.

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
As the World Toilet Summit opens, former Indian president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam leads delegates from 44 nations in a pledge to provide toilets to all people by the year 2025.

"…We solemnly affirm our resolve to accelerate the sanitation coverage in our respective countries to improve health, provide dignity and enhance the quality of life of our people," he said.

India is an appropriate place to highlight the lack of proper sanitation in the developing world. By some estimates, half of the people in the capital have no access to a sewage system. Nationwide, it is estimated that 700 million of the country's billion-plus people defecate in the open.

The United Nations says they are among the more than 2.5 billion people in the world who enjoy no organized sanitation system.

Jon Lane
Summit attendees, in order to make good on their pledge, are planning to publicize the problem throughout 2008 - which the U.N. has named the International Year of Sanitation.

The campaign will have four key messages as outlined by Jon Lane, executive director of the Geneva-based Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council.

"Sanitation is vital for human health,: he said. "Number two: sanitation generates economic benefits. Number three: that sanitation contributes to dignity and social development. And, number four: that sanitation helps the environment."

Netherlands' Prince of Orange
Leading the campaign will be the Netherlands' Prince of Orange, who is chairman of the United Nations secretary-general's advisory board on water and sanitation.

"Policy makers are usually not faced with the horrors of lacking sanitation in their personal surroundings. So we will have to keep reminding them what it is all about," he said.

What it is all about, in the end, is human health. Experts say that at any time, half the people in developing countries are suffering from a health problem caused by unclean water and poor sanitation.

<!--emo&:ind--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/india.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='india.gif' /><!--endemo--> http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Opinio...934,curpg-3.cms
<!--emo&:thumbsup--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbup.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='thumbup.gif' /><!--endemo--> How can healthcare be made affordable?
13 Nov, 2007, 0421 hrs IST, TNN
Shubnum Singh
Chief Physician,Max Healthcare Institute

The key to sustainability of India’s rapid economic growth lies in the health of its people. As our service-oriented economy booms, we as a nation will have to evolve mechanisms unique to our social and economic needs in providing healthcare for all.

Containing rising healthcare costs challenges all nations irrespective of their GDP or quantum of healthcare spends. However, it is not necessary that a higher spend results in better healthcare outcomes.

In India, unlike many other low and lower middle income countries, an individual incurs the largest out-of-pocket expenses on health. This, despite a national commitment which embraces the notion that access to basic, essential health services should be guaranteed to everyone, irrespective to income or ability to pay. The meagre government spend of 1% of GDP is unable to address the needs be it in capacity or spread of healthcare services.

As healthcare costs have increased it is, therefore, not surprising that medical expenditure, which on a yearly basis can amount up to 60% of an individual’s annual income, is one of the leading causes of indebtedness.

If we were to analyse the drivers for rising healthcare costs they would fall into three main categories — consumer, provider and supplier driven.

From a consumers’ perspective the list is huge. India’s population is increasing and ageing: 32.8% of the entire population will be over 50 years of age by 2050. This would mean an exponential increase in the percentile of people suffering from chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, etc. In 2005, it was estimated that chronic disease in India accounted for almost 53% of all deaths and in 2020 will account for 66.7%. This comes close when we have yet to contain the menace of infectious diseases like TB, malaria, AIDS, SAARS, etc.

Decisions in choices of care are largely defined by an acute need for the service and not value based. At best, the consumer transfers it to the provider, that is, the physician.

From a provider’s perspective the constantly evolving nature and technological complexity of health services causes information available to consumers to be inadequate for economic decision-making thereby making physicians the final authority in the process. Physicians, in turn, are influenced by myriad circumstances, from emergence of new epidemics, for example, SAARS, evidence based quality practice of medicine to legal and institutional challenges in providing the best possible care. All these help fuel a perception of what is perceived as “unnecessary hospitalisation and over investigation. “

From a supplier’s perspective, a shortage of capacity exists in terms of beds and manpower coupled with a skew in their urban and rural presence. India, according to Ficci, would require an investment of $78 billion in the next decade to fund the addition of approximately 1,000,000 beds which are needed. It is anticipated that government, given its lacklustre performance in its healthcare spend of 1% of the GDP, will contribute $8.2 billion and the private sector $69.7 billion.

Public health is fundamental. Despite the minimal spend, it has brought down infant and maternal mortality rates (IMR and MMR ) along with increasing life expectancy. So is the private sector, which provides 70% of care.

What we need today is a sound public-private partnership to put into place regulatory, fiscal and reform policies that will promote creation of capacity for labour, infrastructure and innovation on the one hand and institute sustainable financing mechanisms to collect and distribute funds on the other, thereby ensuring affordable quality health care to all.

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