Monday, 31 October 2016

The 23rd HCFI MTNL Perfect Health Mela concludes with star gazing performances and success of mass health awareness campaign

The 23rd HCFI MTNL Perfect Health Mela concludes with star gazing performances and success of mass health awareness campaign New Delhi 29thOctober 2016- Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI), a leading national non-profit organization committed to making India a healthier and disease-free nation concluded its annual flagship event – the 23rdMTNL Perfect Health Mela today. The five-day event was organized in association with the IMA, MTNL, MCD and NDMC, Ministry of Science & Technology and Handicraft, Coca-Cola, LIC, AYUSH GOI, DCW, Women & Child Dev., Govt. of Delhi, DTTDC, Johnson & Johnson, Dept. of Environment Delhi Govt., DSACS, DHS, Drugs Control, Family Welfare Delhi Govt. & Delhi AIDS Cancer Society. The theme for this year’s event was ‘One Health’, a global concept; that recognises that the health of humans is connected to the health of animals and the environment. Experts at the Mela deliberated, debated and formulated a comprehensive strategy for the National management of new age health epidemics such as bird, flu, chikungunya, zika, malaria, dengue and swine flu. The Health Mela is a confluence of tradition and modernity and has successfully since the past two and a half decades been working towards creating mass awareness on all aspects of health; using a consumer-driven model as the medium. The grand inauguration of the event took place on 25th October in the presence of Shri Satyendar Jain – Hon’ble Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of NCT of Delhi and Dr SY Quirishi – Former Election Commissioner. Speaking at the valedictory, Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal, President HCFI & National President IMA urged everyone to have a healthy Diwali and to take necessary precautions to protect oneself and others from injury and harm. He strictly advised all to not burst crackers since the increasing pollution levels in our city are hazardous to one’s health and well-being. The five-day event served as a podium for over 50 on the spot competitions that witnessed participation of over 10,000 students. The various categories included Indian and western dance, fashion show, rock band, Mehendi art, collage making, painting, slogan writing amongst others. Special performances by the Punjabi Academy were the highlight of the event. The purpose behind the event was to bring forward infotainment as a way of imparting health education to the masses. As we all know that present day, India suffers from a plethora of modern day epidemics like Dengue, Swine Flu, and Diarrhea. A special focus was given during the event to educate the public about essential prevention measures and the need to maintain cleanliness and hygiene. A one of its kind inter-religious meet was also organised on the last day of the Mela. The panel constituted eminent Dharma gurus like Dr A K Merchant, Sec. General Temple of Understudy, Ven. Sumithananda Thero, Sec. Mahabodhi Society, Fr. (Dr.) M D Thomas, Christian Priest and Scholar, Dr. Hanif Md Khan Shahtri, Muslim & Hindu Scholar, Dr, Amrit Kaur Basra, Sikh Scholar, Acharya Dr. Ravindra Nayar, Priest, Birla Mandir, Acharya Vivek Muni, Jain Monk and Scholar, Sant Krishan Shah Vidyarthi, Head Prist, Valmiki Mandir, Mr. Keki Darnwala, Zoroastrian Scholar Ayuvedacharya & Hath Yogi, and Mr. Sahil Nath. The discussion ended with a conclusion that "everyone should learn how to tolerate each other in order to maintain peace and harmony and to avoid any disruptions and violence." Speaking at the valedictory Dr Dr ABP Mishra from DST ,said that "We all thank everyone who came and attended the 23rd Perfect Health Mela and made it such a success. We encourage everyone to inculcate healthy habits in their everyday lives and live diseases-free.” Heart disease patients belonging to the economically weaker section in need of surgical intervention were also provided financial and technical assistance by the Sameer Malik Heart Care Foundation Fund another project of HCFI. All visitors were also trained in the life-saving technique of Hands-only CPR 10

Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan

Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan Dear Colleague Government of India (GOI) is launching the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) Programme on 4th November, 2016. Let us all support this programme and offer our services for providing antenatal check-ups to pregnant woman at government premises on 9th of every month. You can send your names to the undersigned or register yourself directly at 1800 180 1104. You can send SMS at PMSMA <space> <name> and send it to 5616115, or you can register at This is an important Government Initiative and IMA is committed to join hands with this Programme. You are requested to register with them and send your team on the 9th of every month. We must make sure that no mother should die due to lack of care during their pregnancy. Currently over 44,000 pregnant women die of annually of preventable high risk pregnancy. Dr S S Agarwal National President, IMA Dr K K Aggarwal National President Elect & Honorary Secretary General, IMA

Professionals are not doing commercial activity

Professionals are not doing commercial activity In the High Court of Judicature at Bo Bombay Nagpur Bench at Nagpur Writ petition no. 4579/2005 Petitioner: Indian Medical Association through its President Dr. Kishor Taori, Having office at IMA House, North Ambazari Road, Nagpur Respondents 1. State of Maharashtra, through its Secretary, Industries and Labour Department, Mantralaya, Mumbai -32 2. The Commissioner of Labour, State of Maharashtra, Mumbai. 3. The Deputy Commissioner of Labour State of Maharashtra, Nagpur Division, 240, Bhosla Chambers, Civil Lines, Nagpur. Shri B.G. Kulkarni, Advocate for petitioner and Shri A.V. Palshikar, AGP for respondents Coram: smt. Vasanti A Naik, and Kum. Indira Jain, JJ. Date: 21.10.2016 Oral judgment (Per: Smt. Vasanti A Naik, J) By this writ petition, filed by the Indian Medical Association, the petitioner has sought a declaration that the establishments of individual medical practitioners and the medical practitioners working in partnership are not commercial establishments within the meaning of Section 2 (4) of the Bombay Shops and Establishments Act, 1948. By amending the writ petition, the petitioner - Association has sought a declaration that the inclusion of the term `medical practitioners’ in the definition of 'commercial establishments' in Section 2 (4) of the act by amendment is violative of the provisions of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. Shri Kulkarni, the learned Counsel for the petitioner - Association states that the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held as early as in the year 1969 in the judgement, reported in 1969 Mh. L.J. 391 that the professional establishments of Doctors do not fall within the ambit of the definition of ‘commercial establishments' under the Bombay Shops and Establishments Act . It is stated that the judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court is followed by this Court in the judgment, reported in 1981.Mh. L. J. 635. It is stated that this Court has held in the order, dated 12.6.2014 in Criminal Writ Petition No.1731/2002 that the amendment, that is, sought to be challenged by the petitioner -Association in this case is ultra vires and is liable to be struck down. It is stated that by the order, dated 12.6.2014, Criminal Writ Petition No.1731/2002 was allowed after striking down the amendment, that is, sought to be challenged. It is stated that a similar view is expressed by this Court time and again and the prayers made by the petitioner need to be granted. Shri Palshikar, the learned Assistant Government Pleader appearing for the respondents does not dispute the position of law as laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and this court in the aforesaid judgments. It is admitted that the questions involved in this writ petition stand answered in favour of the petitioner – Association, in view of the aforesaid judgments. Hence for the reasons recorded in the judgement, reported in reported in 1969 Mh. L. J. 391 and 1981 Mh. L. J. 635 and the unreported order, dated 12.6.2014 in Criminal Writ Petition No. 1731/2002,we allow this writ petition. In fact, we find that the declarations that are sought by the petitioner – Association already stand granted by the judgement that are rendered by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and this Court. Hence, we make the Rule absolute in terms of prayer clauses (i) and (i-a). No order as to costs.

Sulfa allergy

Sulfa allergy What are sulfa-containing antibiotics? Sulfa-containing antibiotics are sulfonamide antimicrobials and include trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX), sulfadiazine and erythromycin/sulfisoxazole. How common is allergy to sulfonamides? About 4% individuals report an allergy to sulfonamide antimicrobials. What are non-antimicrobial sulfonamides? Commonly prescribed non-antimicrobial sulfonamides include furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, acetazolamide, sulfonylureas and celecoxib. Do both causes hypersensitivity reactions? Sulfonamide antimicrobials differ in chemical structure from non-antimicrobial sulfonamides. These structural differences are implicated in the hypersensitivity associated with sulfa antimicrobials. What is drug allergy? Drug allergy or “hypersensitivity” is an immune-mediated response against any drug. The reaction may occur either immediately within an hour or it can be delayed occurring between 1 and 48 hours. • Immediate hypersensitivity is generally immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated and manifests as urticaria, angioedema, rhinitis, bronchospasm or anaphylaxis. • Delayed hypersensitivity is T-cell dependent and may present as either a maculopapular rash or more serious blistering and mucosal involvement, predicting development of Stevens-Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis. Is sulfonamide antimicrobial hypersensitivity immediate or delayed? Sulfonamide antimicrobial hypersensitivity is predominantly T-cell mediated and presents as delayed cutaneous reactions, such as a pruritic maculopapular rash, which occurs 1-2 weeks after exposure. IgE-mediated immediate hypersensitivity with sulfonamide antimicrobials is less commonly reported. What is the hallmark of sulfa antibiotic sensitivity? Skin involvement is the hallmark of most drug allergies. About 63% of reported TMP/SMX allergies are rash and hives. Sulfonamide-induced rashes usually start at the trunk and spread toward the limbs and generally resolve within 2 weeks after discontinuation of the medication. If mucosal membranes are involved or there are blisters, the patient may require hospitalization. More severe cases can present as a syndrome, including fever and organ damage, in addition to a generalized maculopapular rash. Rarely, sulfonamides have been associated with toxic epidermal necrolysis and Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Who are at risk of allergy? Patient-specific risk factors include a history of other drug allergies and previous use of the suspected medication or medication class. Drug hypersensitivity is reported more in women and individuals with comorbidities, such as HIV infection and systemic lupus erythematosus are known to be more susceptible to drug hypersensitivity. Drug-specific factors, including duration of exposure and dose, should be considered to differentiate drug toxicities from drug allergies. If a drug allergy is suspected, it is important to review the current medications, including non-prescription medicines and supplements that the patient may be taking to determine if the sulfonamide drug is solely responsible for symptoms. What is the role of desensitization protocols? Implementation of a desensitization protocol should be delayed for 1 month after resolution of symptoms. Can there be cross-reactivity with non-antimicrobial sulfonamides? Clinically significant cross-reactivity between antimicrobial and non-antimicrobial sulfonamides is not a concern. What are sulfites? Sulfites are found in processed foods and medication preparations, and they can trigger asthma exacerbations in patients with a history of asthma. Sulfites are chemically different from sulfonamides, so this reaction is unrelated to sulfonamide hypersensitivity. There is no risk for cross-sensitivity between antimicrobial sulfonamides and sulfur-containing compounds, such as sulfites. What are sulfur and sulfate? They are found naturally in the body; sulfa-containing amino acids (e.g., cysteine) and sulfate-containing drugs (e.g., ferrous sulfate) and dietary supplements (e.g., glucosamine sulfate) and are not allergenic in patients with antimicrobial sulfonamide hypersensitivity. What are topical sulfonamides? Topical sulfonamides are silver sulfadiazine and ophthalmic sulfacetamide/prednisolone. They are contraindicated in patients with documented sulfonamide allergy. What about sulfasalazine? A small study of 5 participants has reported cross-reactivity with sulfasalazine and antimicrobial sulfonamides owing to similarities in chemical structures. Points to ponder • The onset and types of symptoms, as well evaluation of pertinent patient data including previous exposure to an offending mediation can guide in the differential diagnosis of an allergic reaction to a suspected agent. • Sulfonamide hypersensitivity reactions frequently present as a maculopapular rash that resolves approximately 2 weeks after sulfonamide discontinuation. • Clinicians should be aware of signs of potentially serious delayed reactions, including blistering and involvement of mucosal membranes. • Cross-reactive hypersensitivity between sulfonamide antimicrobials and nonantimicrobials is unlikely. • Cross-sensitivity with sulfur-containing compounds, such as sulfites and sulfonamide antimicrobials does not occur. • Sulfur and sulfate-containing drugs are not allergenic in patients with antimicrobial sulfonamide hypersensitivity. • Topical sulfonamide antimicrobials are contraindicated in patients with sulfonamide hypersensitivity. (Source: Medscape)

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Aging is not bad -- even for blood

Aging is not bad -- even for blood

Dr KK Aggarwal

The view that “when blood transfusions are needed, it may be best to use the freshest blood” is no more true as per McMaster University researchers.

A study of 31,497 patients published in the New England Journal of Medicine of almost 31,500 patients at six hospitals in four countries (Australia, Canada, Israel and the U.S) has shown that having a transfusion with the freshest blood did not reduce the proportion of patients who died in hospital. 

"our study finally puts an end to the question about whether stored blood could be harmful and fresher blood would be better," said Nancy Heddle, lead author and a professor emeritus of medicine for McMaster's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. "Our study provides strong evidence that transfusion of fresh blood does not improve patient outcomes, and this should reassure clinicians that fresher is not better."

Having a supply of stored blood helps to ensure that blood is available when a patient needs it.

The mortality rate was 9.1 per cent with people receiving the freshest blood, and 8.7 per cent among those receiving the oldest blood. 

Advances in blood storage now allow blood to be stored up to 42 days before transfusion and the usual practice is to use up the blood that has been in storage the longest. But, because there are biochemical, structural and functional changes in the blood during storage, there had been concerns about the use of 'older' blood. [source science daily]

Heart Care Foundation of India's (HCFI) annual flagship event, the MTNL Perfect Health Mela, to focus on the global concept of ‘One Health.'

Heart Care Foundation of India's (HCFI) annual flagship event, the MTNL Perfect Health Mela, to focus on the global concept of ‘One Health.' To raise mass health awareness about new age health epidemics like Bird Flu, Swine Flu, Dengue, Zika & Chikungunya The event will be inaugurated tomorrow at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium by none other than Shri Satyendar Jain – Honorable Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of NCT of Delhi & Dr SY Quraishi – Former Election Commissioner
New Delhi, 24th October 2016 - Heart Care Foundation of India, a leading national non-profit organisation committed to making India a healthier and disease-free nation is all set to roll out its annual flagship event – the 23rd MTNL Perfect Health Mela from Oct 25 – 29 at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium New Delhi.
The global concept of ‘One Health’ recognises that the health of humans is connected to the health of animals and the environment. With this as the event’s theme, a primary focus of the 23rd edition of the Perfect Health Mela is to deliberate, debate and deliver a comprehensive strategy for the National management of new age health epidemics such as bird, flu, chikungunya, zika, malaria, dengue and swine flu.
The Health Mela is a confluence of tradition and modernity and has successfully since the past two and a half decades been working towards creating mass awareness on all aspects of health; using a consumer-driven model as the medium. It is being co-organized in association with the IMA, MTNL, MCD and NDMC, Ministry of Science & Technology and Handicraft, Coca Cola, LIC, AYUSH GOI, DCW, Women & Child Dev., Govt. of Delhi, DTTDC, Johnson & Johnson, Dept. of Environment Delhi Govt., DSACS, DHS, Drugs Control, Family Welfare Delhi Govt. & Delhi AIDS Cancer Society. The five-day event will showcase seminars, on-ground checkups, entertainment programs, lectures, workshops, and competitions all centred around preventive health issues. For the first time ever, the entire Mela will offer a free Wi-Fi zone for all visitors. It will also feature regular webcasts on important preventive health issues. A special webcast on bird flu will be held on Thursday, Oct 27, 2016. A special IMA Godhbharai event will also be organised with a focus on antenatal health. Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President HCFI and President Elect IMA said, "Over the past decade we have seen a drastic rise in diseases closely associated with the environment, humans and animals. For this reason, the focus of this year's MTNL Perfect Health Mela will be ‘One Health'. The most recent scare has been that of Bird Flu, a virus that is rapidly killing birds in the city. While it is a contagious virus that can affect birds and humans alike, there is no need to worry as of yet since this version is a milder one and is unlikely to spread to humans. We thank all our partners and look forward to having large audiences at the event”. Adding to this, Sh Sunil Kumar Director EB & HR, MTNL & Sh N K Joshi ED Delhi, MTNL in a joint statement said, “Mass health awareness programmes such as the Perfect Health Mela are much needed in a country like India where chronic lifestyle diseases and other acquired infections like Swine Flu and Dengue plague the society. Preventive health education is key for a healthy society. We are happy to be associated with the event and will continue to support it in the future as well.” "Initial symptoms of bird flu include high fever, sore throat, abdominal pain, chest pain and diarrhoea. But it can manifest into severe symptoms like respiratory distress and pneumonia leading to death. HCFI & IMA will be coming up with guidelines for health providers and the public on early identification of bird flu cases and ways to avoid the spread of infection through a consensus meeting held at the Perfect Health Mela,” added Dr Aggarwal.
The entry to the MTNL Perfect Health Mela is free for all. To know more about the event, please call on the NGO's helpline number +919958771177.

WMA proposes a comprehensive program to prevent childhood obesity

WMA proposes a comprehensive program to prevent childhood obesity The World Medical Association (WMA) has published a comprehensive program to prevent childhood obesity including consideration of a tax on non-nutritious foods and sugary drinks. WMA has also called on governments to regulate availability of food and beverages of poor nutritional value, particularly in the vicinity of schools by way of regulating price, advertising and labeling of unhealthy foods to combat obesity. According to the WMA, a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diets, and lack of exercise are contributing to childhood obesity. In view of this, the WMA Assembly adopted a new statement on ‘Obesity in Children’ at its recent annual Assembly in Taiwan which recommends that schools should incorporate daily physical activity into their daily routine and all children should be encouraged to participate regardless of their economic status. The National Medical Associations should work to raise public awareness about childhood obesity. Physicians should educate parents and children in how to live healthy lives and emphasize the importance of doing so. It’s not only parents and children who need to be educated about childhood obesity, the WMA statement also recognizes that physicians and health professionals should be educated in nutrition assessment, obesity prevention and treatment by strengthening CME activities focused on nutritional medicine. WMA President Dr. Ketan Desai, said: ‘We know there is a link between the extent of advertising and childhood obesity, and so we are recommending that the advertising of non-nutritious products on television be restricted during programmes that appeal to children. Children frequently watch programmes designed for adults, so regulators must ensure that legislation and regulation also limits marketing associated with such programs. ‘We are also urging governments to consider imposing a tax on non-nutritious foods and sugary drinks and to use the additional revenue to fund research into preventing childhood obesity and reducing the resulting disease risk.' IMA Viewpoint • The incidence of metabolic syndrome is rising in urban school children. • This high incidence of metabolic syndrome is contributing to childhood obesity. • Increased consumption of refined carbohydrates – white rice, white sugar, white maida – several times in a day is fuelling the increase in metabolic syndrome. If not checked in time, this will lead to an epidemic of diabetes, hypertension and heart attacks precipitated by obesity. • Avoid replacing saturated fats with refined carbohydrates. • Avoid eating highly refined and processed grains and carbohydrates. • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. • Stay active.

Monday, 24 October 2016

A proud moment for IMA: Dr Ketan Desai takes over the reins of World Medical Association

A proud moment for IMA: Dr Ketan Desai takes over the reins of World Medical Association

Dr K K Aggarwal and Dr Ved Prakash Mishra

Taipei Taiwan: Indeed a historical moment of which every Indian would feel proud was when Dr Ketan Desai took over the reins of World Medical Association as its President at 10 am on Friday 21stOctober 2016 at Hotel Grand Hyatt to a thundering applause by the world 
professional fraternity.  

It was a diligent recognition which came way of an illustrious leader who always with passion rendered himself to the cause of medical profession and medical education alike.

His initiatives on several counts got converted into policy frame and have catered to the public interest in a very substantial manner.

Be it National entrance examination test, doctor pharma relationship, enforceable punishment on those who were committing frauds and misrepresentations and rationalizing minimum standards requirements facilitating development of medical schools in the country, he was the torch bearer and the front runner as well.

It was under his initiative that the Government run medical schools in the country were granted a onetime increase in post graduate seats without any onsite verification exclusively based on furnishing of information by increasing the permissible ratio of registered students against a professor post graduate teacher to 1:2. This in one stroke resulted in an increase of well over 2500 post graduate seats in the Government colleges in the country which were and are open and available for meritorious students within their affordable reach.
His stint as President MCI for two terms is known for his steering roles in shaping the face, facet and future of medical education in the country. It was his initiative to put into place competency based post graduate curriculum and also structure out National faculty development program for the full time teaching faculty in medical schools.

It was under his guidance that the National faculty development program resulted in training and orienting full time medical teachers in medical colleges across the country numbering now to well over 30,000 which makes the MCI as the only regulator of medical education to have taken the onus of such a program on its shoulders in an exemplary and emulative manner.

The efforts initiated by him in the Year 2009 to bring transparency in the process of medical admissions ensuring that merit alone turns out to be the sole criteria for admission to the medical courses in the country that the NEET was conceived and structured which ultimately saw the light of the day as an operational reality in the academic year 2016-17 setting to rest all the speculations that came to be raised on the very issue from time to time.

His ascendancy to the highest office of presidency of World Medical Education is neither an accident nor a conjuncture. IMA is an integral part of WMA and is recognized as a valuable member and a partner because of the significant role it has played on wide and varied issues pertaining to medical professionals within and outside the country.

The inputs furnished by IMA on the various issues at the WMA forum have not only been well appreciated but also have resulted in shaping its global perceptive on vital issues pertaining to the medical education, health care delivery systems and practicing of the profession judiciously and ethically.

In his speech Dr Desai rightly evoked the core issue of professional autonomy which in countries like Turkey, UK and India is under threat of subjugation and marginalization as well. This in his opinion was inconsistent with the well set out democratic norms which mandate participative decision making in an accountable manner. Such attempts for whatever reasons and from which ever quarter need to be dealt by an iron hand.

His observations on this count evoked huge cheers from the professional fraternity around the globe present at the installation ceremony.
He equally emphasized the need of making the world terror free. He observed that be it bruised Brussels, traumatized Paris, school children bombarded in Pakistan or deeply injured Uri all are slur in the name of humanity. Terrorism neither has a color, religion, caste or a creed. It is only terrorism alone. There is nothing like good or bad terrorism. In reality it dehumanizes mankind and traumatizes humanity. It has to be abandoned at all costs in the interest of bringing peace and tranquility to this planet in order to make it worthy of living for all times to come.
He strongly brought to fore the ill tendency of resorting to kickbacks for various reasons by the health professionals which on every count is unbecoming on their part. Profession has to be practiced within the tenets of ethicality, morality and judiciousness its sanctity is paramount and needs to be upheld at all costs and independent of consequence.

In the same breath he also emphasized that there is an urgent necessity to protect the health professional from unprovoked assaults and hurts on any and every count.  They need to be accorded required protection and desired insulation.

He categorically stated that those professional who trespass ethical conduct and take recourse to the sex determination resulting in female feticide should be dealt by the penalty of permeant removal of their names from the medical register  and delisting them from practicing the profession for life.

It is such deterrent measures alone which in his opinion could set the otherwise disturbed house in order.

Bringing to fore the importance of Yoga he recorded his appreciation gratitude to Sh Narendra Modi the Honorable Prime Minister of India for bringing Yoga, a parasympathetic lifestyle, on the global platform as a result of which 21st June has been declared as the World Yoga day by united national organization.

It is only Yogic approach which could be the most cost effective modality for putting into place the preventive and promotive aspects of global health in an affordable and handy manner.

His suggestion to the global partners under the umbrella of WMA  to the effect that time has come where by a serious thought is necessary to structure out a world health keeping force on the lines on which world peace keeping force came to be created.

National Medical Associations across the world that have substantial and huge professional memberships can substantially contribute towards actualization of these perceived realistic needs. This suggestion was very well received by all present there.

World Medical Association President Dr Ketan Desai alarms over political onslaught on medical autonomy

World Medical Association President Dr Ketan Desai alarms over political onslaught on medical autonomy

A strong warning about continued political attempts around the world to marginalise the autonomy and self-governance of the medical profession has been given by the new President of the World Medical Association.
Dr. Ketan Desai, a former President of the Indian Medical Association, was delivering his inaugural speech as President of the WMA at the Association’s annual Assembly in Taiwan.

He told delegates from more than 40 national medical associations: ‘In many countries like Turkey, India, and the United Kingdom, there are continued political attempts to undo or marginalize autonomy and self-governance of the medical profession, including mauling and trampling on the trinity of professional autonomy, clinical independence and self-governance.’

‘Yet professional autonomy is not limited to asking for the privilege to do what we want to do. It is less about physicians and more about patients’ rights. It is the assurance that individual physicians have the freedom to exercise their professional judgment in the care and treatment of their patients without undue influence of any type from any quarter how so powerful and mighty they be’.

‘Regulation of clinical practice, framing evidence-based standard treatment guidelines, defining and checking professional malpractice and medical education all need vital professional independence and a democratic system based on meaningful participative decision making. The WMA has been, is and must continue to be against government attempts to usurp professional independence through bureaucrats and politicians and making the same ‘subservient’, as a part of their calculated nefarious designs.’

He said that in a democratic society, self-governance is an element of horizontal power-sharing and an important pillar of civil society and democracy itself. ‘Doing away with the vital concept of self-governance will not only amount to subverting a valuable element of democracy but end up in devouring the very soul of it.’

Dr. Desai, a urologist and a former President of the Medical Council of India, will serve as President of the WMA for 2016/17.

He emphatically brought out that cross border terrorism anywhere and everywhere needs to be stopped at all costs. Be it the 9/11 terrorist attack in the USA ( twin tower), Mumbai terror attack, traumatized Brussels, victimized Paris, school children massacred in Pakistan, bruised Uri or any other attack Globally disrupts the tranquillity and harmony of the society in an irreparable manner. Terrorism by any name and for any reason is terrorism and terrorism alone.  There is nothing like “good” or “bad” terrorism.  It is a slur on civilization of mankind and hence needs to be dealt with an iron hand and commensurate political will by all the countries in the world.

In his speech, Dr. Desai also called for physicians to receive more protection, whether in war or civil conflict situations. He said physicians were under constant threat throughout the world.

‘They are risking their lives while treating their patients in a committed manner. While on one hand in some parts of the world hospitals are being bombarded, ambulances hijacked, nurses and doctors kidnapped or killed and physicians pressured, threatened and tortured, on the other hand in other parts of the world, especially Asian Countries, doctors are being assaulted and medical establishments attacked and damaged’.
‘The Geneva Convention is practiced more in breach than observance, invariably ending up in flagrant violation of the inviolate human rights’.
‘It is a core commitment of physicians as a part of their basic duty to help patients by their professional knowledge without any distinction or discrimination of any type and magnitude. To a physician, a patient is neither a friend nor an enemy. They legitimately need protection from violence while at work, whether in war or civil conflict situations’.

In a wide-ranging speech, Dr. Desai also warned that professional honesty and integrity were at risk in many countries because physicians were prescribing and referring patients based on pecuniary self-interest or ‘kick backs’. He said the profession should be practices transparently. Physicians should not receive any financial or other consideration for referring patients to laboratories, pharmacies or opticians.

He has emphasised in his speech that perhaps the time has come to seriously think about the need to create a “World Health Keeping Force” on the lines of “World Peace Keeping Force”. By virtue of the fact that National Medical Associations that have substantial membership of Health professionals with them together can jointly go in for creation of such an ‘international health keeping force’ under the aegis of the WMA.

He ended his speech by extolling the virtues of yoga. With the expense of medical care rising and the need for preventive medicine, yoga was a proven way to prevent illness and preserve health. It was totally non-invasive, gentle and soothing and was cost effective. In diligent recognition of the same since last year the United Nations had adopted 21st June as the International Yoga Day.

“IMA National leaders and its 2.7 lakh members congratulate Dr Desai on taking over as the President of the World Medical Association. This is an extremely prestigious post and will allow key issues affecting the Indian healthcare system to be addressed at a global platform”, said Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal – President Elect Indian Medical Association.

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Friday, 14 October 2016

Happy Dussehra: Fighting your health demons for a healthy life!

Happy Dussehra: Fighting your health demons for a healthy life! This Vijaydashmi, people should find ways to beat key lifestyle evils like stress, depression, insomnia, obesity, smoking, alcohol and drugs New Delhi, 11th October 2016: Dussehra is one of the most important Hindu festivals, which marks the triumph of good over evil. During the festival, devotees worship Lord Rama, who ended the rule of Ravana thereby reinstating goodness in the World. Likewise, this Dusshera, each one of us should try and fight the evils within us for a healthy and long life. A balanced state of mind and a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in preventing lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiac ailments and obesity. The life of the 21st century Indian is found plagued with evils such as unhealthy eating habits, a sedentary lifestyle, excessive stress, consumption of tobacco and alcohol. The time has come to reverse this trend and make necessary lifestyle changes. Simple everyday lifestyle modifications can do the trick. Speaking about these, Padam Shri Awardee Dr. K K Aggarwal – President Elect IMA and President HCFI said, “This Dusshera, we must take a pledge to eliminate evils like smoking and drinking from our lives. To restrict the consumption of food containing high levels of trans fat, sodium and refined sugar. We must deal with stress through a holistic approach and to do away with anger and negativity from our lives. Most lifestyle diseases are preventable and manageable, only when necessary precautionary measures are taken. We must work towards beating obesity, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. Only when we do, will the true meaning of a victory of good over evil can be achieved.” Some healthy alterations that one can make: · To avoid stress, you should start taking short breaks at regular intervals whenever working at the office or even at home. Eat foods like brown bread for carbohydrates instead of white bread, oranges and lemons for vitamin C and spinach for magnesium. A healthy diet and sufficient sleep help release chemicals like serotonin, which helps to reduce stress · More often than not, people think that smoking helps in reducing stress, which is nothing more but a myth. Excessive smoking aggravates blood pressure, increases heart rate and reduces the supply of the oxygen to the brain. You should immediately quit smoking for a disease free life · Alcohol is one of the most dangerous evils prevailing in our society; it is responsible for a plethora of medical ailments. Alcohol can worsen heart problems and cause cirrhosis of the liver. It triggers obesity and depression. · The majority of lifestyle diseases stem from our irregular and unhealthy eating habits. People who indulge in overeating and consume primarily junk food can develop long-term chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart issues due to increased cholesterol and obesity. A balanced diet is a key; consume healthy meals, which have the required nutritional meals you body needs to function efficiently. Consuming small but frequent meals, which contain a sufficient quantity of fruits and vegetables, is key. One should reduce the intake of high trans fat, sugar and sodium laden food. · Exercise daily; include a 5-minute brisk walk and a 10-minute stretching in your things to do list whenever you get time. Regularly exercising also helps keep a check on hypertension and obesity.

Bechara Mein: I want to be a mental care provider but……….?

Bechara Mein: I want to be a mental care provider but……….? IMA represent the collective consciousness of over three lakh medical practitioners in the country. During our MBBS, we were not taught any subject like mental health or mental well-being. Psychiatry was taught in a few lectures. During internship, psychiatry was less than a week posting with no psychiatrist in the faculty. During my MD medicine, psychiatry was just a touch-and-go subject. But we were still taught that health is not mere absence of disease but a state of physical and mental well- being. As per the WHO, 1 in 4 persons will suffer from mental disorder in their life time and 10% of us at any given time suffer from mental disease. About 800,000 people commit suicide worldwide every year, of these 135,000 (17%) are in India. Every 40 seconds a life is lost through suicide worldwide. The suicide rate in India is 11.5 % per lakh and every 3 seconds a person attempts to die. Suicide is one of the top three causes of death among the young in the age group of 15-35 years. A large percentage of them try to seek help from friends or doctors just before they commit suicide. But I am helpless as a doctor • We are now being informed that depression is no more a stigma or a social issue. That depression is treatable and a manageable disease and it needs to be diagnosed early. Then why does it not have insurance cover? • Our patients do not want to disclose ‘depression’ when getting admitted so that their claim does not get rejected. Often we are socially bound not to divulge the history of depression when we fill Mediclaim form even though we know it is unethical and we can be prosecuted under Indian Penal Code 191 and 193 or our license to practice can get cancelled under MCI Ethics regulation 7.7 • Once we admit such patients we cannot prescribe them anti depressant drugs on the file for the same reason. We cannot call psychiatrists or counselors as their billing would surely reflect that the patient had a mental problem. • Suicidal ideation is a medical emergency as we all are aware and such patient needs emergent admission. But we often do not admit them for fear of insurance rejection. • Government runs social campaigns and special free clinics for substance abuse disorders, smoking cessation clinics, then why can’t they allow treatment of depression under insurance reimbursement. Government can charge extra premium to those who smoke, drink or take drugs. • Smoking cessation, obesity reduction, alcohol cessation, and drug de-addiction should all be covered under insurance. • The proposed new mental care health bill may have some answers in clause (4) - every insurer shall make provision for medical insurance for treatment of mental illness on the same basis as is available for treatment of physical illness. Also under the new bill, suicide has been treated as a form of severe stress, which will not be punishable under section 309 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). But till the bill is passed in Lok Sabha we all are worried about handling suicidal attempt cases. Under Section 309 of the IPC, whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act towards the commission of such offence, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year [or with fine, or with both]. Though one can be let off with a simple fine but once the case has been made as a medicolegal case and the police is called, the patient and the family is always in a difficulty. Such patients are at risk for future suicidal attempts and hence needs tender and immediate care and counseling. • We face a similar problem while dealing with substance abusers. Under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, Section 27 there is a punishment for illegal possession of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or consumption of such drug or substance. All substance abusers invariably will be in possession of such drugs. Do we call the police when a substance abuser comes for counseling? • But it is also true that under section 39 of the act the courts have the power to release certain offenders on probation for detoxification or de-addiction from a pre-defined institution and to report back within a year that they have been de-addicted. However, ‘Court’ means that we need to inform the police first. • There are less than 6500 psychiatrists in the country with over 150 million mental health patients. Billing by Psychiatrist is not reimbursable under any claim. The answer is to mandate mental health as a subject in family practice. MCI has already mandated 10% credit hours in mental health and IMA has mandated mental health aspects in every medical education class. • Amongst professionals number one suicides are amongst doctors. Over one lakh doctors as per the statistics also need mental counseling. The numbers of psychiatrists are not enough even to manage them. • We are supposed to take mental history in every patient. As per a finance ministry document, average time available with a patient is 4 minutes. In these 4 minutes, we are required to wash our hands twice, greet and acknowledge our patient, brief about our credentials, take detailed history incorporating mental health maintaining privacy and confidentiality, read all the documents, make up our mind and explain investigations and line of management and counsel about rehab, side effects, warning signals and future plan. This is impossible in today’s era. • In Bhagavad Gita, in the first chapter, Krishna only listened to Arjuna when he was in acute depression? Do we have so much time to listen? Will our patents be able to pay us for the extra time spent? May be we need to have mental health counselors, dieticians and pharmacist as our employees in our practice. • Due to paucity of time and in search of giving instant relief, we end up prescribing short-acting benzodiazepines like lorazepam to patients making it the number one addiction drug in the country. • Should we call depression a depression? We have changed the nomenclature of all stigma-related terms then why not depression. We can call it as a mood disorder. We now call impotence as erectile dysfunction, prostitutes as female Sex workers, homosexuals as males havin • g sex with male, penis as male sex organ, vagina as female sex organ, child sexual abuse as sexual violence against children, drug abuse as substance abuse and IV drug addicts as IV substance user.

Regular eye checkup essential for all patients with diabetes

Regular eye checkup essential for all patients with diabetes   Diabetic retinopathy is the major cause of blindness in patients with diabetes mellitus. But, it is largely a preventable or avoidable cause of blindness. Poor glycemic control, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels increase the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.   In most patients, diabetic retinopathy to begin with is usually asymptomatic or may cause only very mild symptoms. Hence, many people with diabetes remain unaware until the disease is at a very advanced stage, when it is too late for treatment. Vision that has been lost cannot be restored.   Hence, regular screening of patients with diabetes to detect retinopathy and early intervention is very important to prevent visual impairment and blindness.   The American Diabetes Association (ADA) 2016 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes recommend optimal glycemic control including blood pressure and serum lipid control to reduce the risk or slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy. For screening, the ADA recommends as follows:   ·         “Patients with type 1 diabetes should have an initial dilated and comprehensive eye examination within 5 years after the diagnosis of diabetes. ·         Patients with type 2 diabetes should have an initial dilated and comprehensive eye examination by an ophthalmologist or optometrist at the time of the diabetes diagnosis as they may have had years of undiagnosed diabetes.  ·         If there is no evidence of retinopathy for one or more annual eye exams, then exams every 2 years may be considered. If any level of diabetic retinopathy is present, subsequent dilated retinal examinations for patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes should be repeated at least annually by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. If retinopathy is progressing or sight-threatening, then examinations will be required more frequently.”   Diabetic retinopathy is included in the list of eye diseases that can be prevented and treated if detected early under ‘VISION 2020: The Right to Sight’ global joint initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). The initiative aims to “Intensify and accelerate prevention of blindness activities so as to achieve the goal of eliminating avoidable blindness by 2020.”

Arthritis weakens the foundational base of the human body by depleting the power of joints

Arthritis weakens the foundational base of the human body by depleting the power of joints Arthritis is a form of disease, which causes painful inflammation and stiffness in the points where the bones meet Reports show that cases of arthritis have been on a rise in women when compared to men and obese individuals On World Arthritis IMA & HCFI warn how arthritis is causing loss of flexibility in the wrists, hands, knees and ankles of women under 30 New Delhi, 12th October 2016: Your body becomes what you wish to make it, but sometimes, even after taking necessary precautions you can’t protect it from something as important as joint inflammation and pain. As we know, a joint is where two bones meet and our body is held together by a variety of those joints. They make our body flexible by lubricating our bones to cause them to move without friction. But we still tend to forget how these joint help us during our daily lives by simplifying all our day-to-day activities. As a result, this frequent usage makes our joints a little more prone to the overuse and ligament tear casualties. Apart from all this, our joints become vulnerable to a severe disease known as Arthritis. As we age, we often report symptoms of pain, inflammation, stiffness and swelling in our joints, which happen very much due to arthritis. Osteoarthritis (green flag) and inflammatory (red flag) arthritis are the two most common types of arthritis. The former happens due to wear and tear of muscles, and the latter happens due to continuous attacks on an individual’s immunity system. The onset of arthritis is described by dull aching pain in the knees. The pain worsens when an individual does a physical activity or makes other movements. Speaking on the issue, Padma Shri Awardee Dr. KK Aggarwal, President HCFI & National President Elect IMA, “It’s all a myth if you think arthritis affects only those above 60 or men specifically. An increased number of rheumatoid arthritis cases in women and juvenile arthritis in youngsters and children are being reported. However, the exact cause of the soaring numbers is not known”. Rheumatoid arthritis in women who are between the ages of 20-40 causes inflammation in multiple joints while older women complain about knee osteoarthritis, which happens due to the wear and tear of the knee joints. Osteoarthritis is preventable and manageable; all you need is a lifestyle change. One must follow a healthy diet, which includes Vitamin C and calcium, and a regular exercise routine. Try to indulge in a variety of leg strengthening and balancing exercises, these will enhance the elasticity of your bones and will not cause them to become stiff. The most integral part is to keep your body weight in check. The problem becomes severe in patients who are obese and overweight.” Osteoarthritis can be compared to rusting of a door joint and rheumatoid arthritis to termites affecting the joints. In osteoarthritis one will get pain on walking and in rheumatoid arthritis the pain will become less on exercise. Follow these to beat arthritis: • Exercise routinely to maintain the flexibility of the bones • Don’t smoke as it can lead you to develop rheumatic arthritis • Consume a low-fat diet; increase the consumption of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. People who eat such foods are on a low risk of developing arthritis • Consume more of vitamin C if you are arthritis, patient. The best sources of vitamin C are strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, kidney beans, cabbage and cauliflower • People who consume Omega 3 have fewer chances of developing swelling and stiffness in the joints. The best sources for the daily dose of Omega 3 are salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel and anchovies. And if you are a vegetarian, then walnuts, fish oil supplements and flaxseed are some of the options

New updated RBC transfusion guidelines

New updated RBC transfusion guidelines AABB, earlier known as the American Association of Blood Banks, has published new guidelines to help clinicians in decision making about red blood cell (RBC) transfusion “Clinical Practice Guidelines from the AABB: Red Blood Cell Transfusion Thresholds and Storage” were published online October 12, 2016 in JAMA. These guidelines are an update of the RBC transfusion guidelines that were released in 2012. The Expert Panel recommends: • A restrictive RBC transfusion threshold of 7 g/dL in hospitalized hemodynamically stable adult patients, including critical care patients instead of the currently recommended 10 g/dL. • An RBC transfusion hemoglobin threshold of 8 g/dL and a target of 8 to 10 g/dL for patients with acute coronary syndrome. • A restrictive RBC transfusion threshold of 8 g/dL for patients undergoing orthopedic surgery, cardiac surgery and those with pre-existing cardiovascular disease. • Patients, including neonates requiring transfusions, should receive standard issue (RBC units selected at any point within their licensed dating period) rather than only fresh RBC units that have been stored for less than 10 days. • Single-unit transfusions should be considered for patients without active bleeding. These recommendations are not applicable to patients with severe thrombocytopenia (patients treated for hematological or oncological reasons who are at risk of bleeding) and chronic transfusion–dependent anemia (not recommended due to insufficient evidence). Individual thresholds and hemoglobin concentration targets should be considered for patients who need regular blood transfusions for chronic anemia. (Source: AABB)

Difference of opinion and error of judgement is not negligience: IMA & HCFI

Difference of opinion and error of judgement is not negligience: IMA & HCFI New Delhi, 13th October 2016: Imagine the following scenario, a person suspected of a serious crime is facing court judgemement for his actions. The lower court offers him death sentence, the case is then taken to the high court where life sentence is offered to the individual. Now comes the supreme court which upon careful reconsideration of facts and evidences, abolishes all the previous sentences and grants freedom to the individual. Had the high court and the supreme court not been involved, our hypothetical individual might have faced the death sentence inevitably. In this case, is the lower court negligient? The answer is obviously, NO. So, difference of opinion is not considered a professional deficiency and is a routine and accepted norm. Then why this same dogma not applied in the medical field where the inability to save a patient’s life directly translates into allegations of negligience on part of the doctor? This is sadly the widespread public perception, and as a medical professional having devoted my career to the field, it is extremely unacceptable to me. “Every now and then, news reports of wrongful allegations on doctors are in the media. Some of these are sound and true but a vast proportion of these allegations of negligience are false or irrational. Such allegations can completely ruin a medical professional’s career. Most of these allegations crop in after the patient gets a second opinion from a physician who happens to have a different set of opinion regarding the treatment method”, said Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal – National President Elect Indian Medical Association and President Heart Care Foundation of India. “The question that needs addressal is, who gets the deciding vote when such a difference of opinion arises in the clinical setting? The answer is, an expert in the corresponding field should decide what opinion is the most accurate one , considering the benefit of the patient. So, if an expert is brought in by the patient or the doctor, his/her view on the matter should be accepted, not subject to any further reconsiderations”, he added. In the following scenarios differences of opinion does NOT mean negligience: 1. A physician who scored 50% marks and another who scored 90% marks, differ in the course of treatment for a patient. It does not mean negligience, simply a difference of opinion that needs careful reconsideration by an expert. 2. Death does not mean negligience. In an I.C.U, 5-10% of the patients will die, even with the best of care. This is the sad truth, because in an I.C.U, the patients are already in a serious clinical state and statistically speaking, 5-10% mortality is inevitable. 3. Sudden death is common and unforseeable. Sudden death is death occurring within one hour of manifestation of symptoms. It can be due to a heart, brain or lung attack. A patient may be seemingly okay and five minutes later, he/she may succumb to sudden death. Thus, unpredicatbility does not mean negligience. It is important in the light of recent events that awareness be generated about the plight of medical health proffessionals wrongfully accused of negligience. Doctors are an important part of the community and safeguarding their right to perform their duties without the fear of such allegations is our duty. More information and special insights about this issue will be discussed in the upcoming MTNL Perfect Health Mela from 25-29th October, 2016 at Talkatora indoor stadium, New Delhi.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Deepika Padukone Launches Nationwide Mental Health Program

Deepika Padukone Launches Nationwide Mental Health Program The setting-Kamal Mahal, Maurya Hotel Delhi, an epitome of luxury. The occasion- the launch of the first Mental Health Campaign in India by Deepika Padukone's NGO The Live Love Laugh Foundation. There is an air of subdued excitement as invited guests and members of the press walk in and mingle over a cup of tea. The buzz and hush is very palpable as all eyes keep looking at the door just waiting for the founder of Live Love Laugh foundation, Deepika Padukone to walk in. One might ask- what relation does depression have with this beautiful, ethereal, stunning, talented and famous goddess of the Bollywood industry? She has everything- beauty, money, fame - what more does she want? This is just a fad of the rich and famous most would say. And that's where they are wrong in their perception of depression. It is thought of as being all in the mind, a by-product of our emotions and stress and possibly a weakness and not as something that is a disease like an authentic diabetes or a heart attack. The numbers are staggering and the resources scarce. And hence the need for an initiative like the Live Love Laugh Foundation founded by Deepika . To educate, empower and prevent , to remove the stigma associated with the word depression and to bring mental health to the fore as a disease entity which can strike anyone, anytime and needs to be treated like any other chronic non communicable disease. While explaining how important it is to take the step of talking to the one suffering from depression, Deepika launched a social campaign through her Live Love Laugh foundation, #DOBARAPOOCHO. “In the times we are living today, we have become so competitive, which is a good thing, but we have become extremely insensitive too. Through this campaign, I dedicate this to people who have survived depression, people suffering through it even now and urge the society to become more sensitive.” According to Indian Medical Association President-Elect Dr K K Aggarwal, "The government estimates that 6-7 per cent of the country's population lives with major to minor mental health concerns. But we have only 6,500 trained psychiatrists and even fewer psychologists. What is worse is that the stigma and discrimination faced by these people and their families prevent them from seeking guidance." Rajya Sabha has already passed the Mental Health Care Bill 2013 which once cleared by the Lok Sabha would replace the Mental Health Act, 1987. The first ever National Mental Health Policy was launched on October 10, 2014 which seeks to provide universal psychiatric care to the population, 20 per cent of which is likely to suffer some form of mental illness by 2020. The campaign has been jointly launched by the IMA, the Indian Psychiatric Society and Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone's Bengaluru-based Live Love Laugh Foundation (TLLLF). IMA, IPS & TLLLF will be conducting CME Programs across the country to train General Practitioners on Mental Health. Dr Veena Aggarwal Executive Editor eMedinews and IJCP Group

“Dobara Poocho” says TLLLF, urging Indians to reach out to those with mental health challenges

“Dobara Poocho” says TLLLF, urging Indians to reach out to those with mental health challenges - India’s First Nationwide Public Awareness Campaign on Mental Health Launched on World Mental Health Day New Delhi, October 10, 2016: The Live Love Laugh Foundation (TLLLF) today unveiled the country’s first nationwide public awareness campaign on mental health aiming to bring conversations around mental health into the mainstream, and inspire people to reach out to those who could be suffering from mental disorders. The campaign has been designed by McCann Worldgroup and uses the tag-line Dobara Poocho (Ask Again). It was launched as part of World Mental Health Day celebrations in the nation’s capital, in the presence of Smt. Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Dobara Poocho will run across television, print, digital and radio and comes even as India prepares to cope with the severe economic and societal burden brought on by the epidemic of mental illness in the country. WHO (World Health Organization) estimates that 10% of India’s population suffers from mental health disorders; 80% of those affected are depressed and / or suffering from anxiety, while the remaining 20% battle with severe mental health issues such psychosis, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia etc. In 2013, India lost 31 million years of healthy life due to mental illness of its citizens according to Lancet. By 2025, it is estimated that 38.1 million years of healthy life in India will be lost (23% increase in 12 years). Lancet data also shows that India accounts for a massive 15% of the global mental, neurological and substance-use disorder burden with depressive disorders and anxiety disorders being the most common. According to a 2014 report by the World Economic Forum and Harvard School of Public Health, mental health was expected to cause a loss of US$1.03 trillion in economic output in the country between 2012 and 2030. “Those facing mental health challenges need love and support. TLLLF’s sincere hope is that Dobara Poocho will inspire all of us to become a little more sensitive to the people around us, look out for those who might have mental health issues and guide them to take the right action on the road to good mental health. We believe the campaign will be an important marker in the long and challenging journey to build more awareness and address the social stigma around mental health,” said Deepika Padukone, Founder, TLLLF. “Not only is it imperative to be aware of depression and other mental disorders, it is also important to spread awareness and sensitise society that all individuals who have some form of mental illness have the right and should be provided the resources to deal with these challenges. Caring and supporting such a person through the journey is the need of the hour; we need to build a nation that promotes social inclusion across every dimension” noted Anna Chandy, Chair of TLLLF’s Board of Trustees. Elaborating on the campaign concept, Prasoon Joshi, Chairman Asia Pacific, CEO & Chief Creative Officer India, McCann Worldgroup, said “Questions like “How are you”?, “How was your day?”, “What’s up?,” are asked as a form of greeting. Very often they are empty tokens of communication – asked and then immediately forgotten. Wedo not wait for an open, heartfelt response and we’d be taken aback if the person actually responded honestly on her or his state of mind at that moment! The truth is that behind that mask, one out of every ten Indians are afflicted with depression and anxiety. Dobara Poocho was born out of this very need to look at someone again, to observe that someone closely again, to be aware of his or her nuances again, to hold the person close again, to ask again.” The campaign film for Dobara Poocho has been shot by Nirvana and features simple stories of regular people courageously facing and fighting depression. It is a testament to the strength and courage of the human spirit. The print campaign showcases real people who have gone through or are going through depression, and fought the illness to become stronger and whole. The Dobara Poocho launch in New Delhi was preceded by a panel discussion featuring an eclectic mix of speakers including Dr. Sadhana Bhagwat - National Professional Officer, Non-Communicable Diseases, WHO-India; Dr. KK Agarwal – National President Elect, Indian Medical Association; Dr. G Prasad Rao - President, Indian Psychiatric Society and Dr. Vikram Patel - Founder and Member of the Management Committee, Sangath. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Shyam Bhat, Trustee of TLLLF. Jio is the Campaign Partner for Dobara Poocho. Other partners include DNA Networks (Event Partner), ITC (Hospitality Partner), Tissot (Initiative Partner) and Vistara (Airline Partner). Background: Mental Health in India has assumed crisis propositions and is being viewed as India’s next biggest health and societal crisis. It is estimated that ~ 15% of the country’s population lives with major to minor mental health concerns. That’s more than 100 million Indians, with the number increasing every year. Despite the large number of people who require mental health attention, India has only ~ 6,500 trained psychiatrists and ~ 22,000- 25,000 mental health workers including social workers, psychologists and counsellors. What’s worse is that stigma and discrimination faced by those suffering and their family members prevent them from seeking guidance. Only about one in 10 people with mental health disorders are thought to receive evidence-based treatment. The Live Love Laugh Foundation (TLLLF) was set up in 2015 as a Charitable Trust to champion the cause of mental health in India and focus on depression in particular. The main aim of TLLLF is to reduce social stigma and create awareness around mental health. TLLLF has spread awareness on mental health via its English / Hindi website ( /, through extensive engagement on social media, outreach to various print, TV, radio and digital media outlets, and by undertaking several on-ground activities such as mental health awareness programs for school students and teachers which has been already conducted in 27 schools, reaching 4804 students and 1332 teachers around the country. TLLLF has also commenced a sensitization program on mental health for doctors in collaboration with the Indian Medical Association (IMA) as well as the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) reaching more than 2,000 doctors so far, with a target of an additional 5,000 doctors during 20016-17. The launch of Doobara Poocho is an important complement to TLLLF’s activities.

The Allopathic Modern Medicine Ramayana

The Allopathic Ramayana

Dr KK Aggarwal Navratras to Diwali is the season of revisiting the messages from Ramayana, the largest epic of our country once classified as one of the Puranas. One can understand the story of Ramayana as the story of mind, body and soul and the story of causation and prevention of a disease. In the mind, body, soul concept, the soul is represented as Rama and the physical body as Sita. Body is made up of five elements with earth being the predominant. Sita was the daughter of earth (prithvi). Soul and body can only unite in presence of a determined mind holding them together. Determination means “aim” and in Hindi it is called “lakshya”. The mind with a defined aim, therefore, represents “Lakshmana”. Rama, Lakshmana and Sita, therefore, represent the union of mind, body and soul. The three will stay together as long as one has his or her ten 10 senses (five motor and five sensory) under control. Senses are Chanchal like horses. Chariot of two horses is called Rath and chariot of ten (das) horses is called “Dasharatha”. Therefore, mind, body and soul will be together with the resultant health only if the body is ruled by “Dasharatha” by controlling all the ten senses. The next part of Ramayana talks about the causation of disease and worries. The causative factors are “kama, lobha and ahankaara”. In Ramayana kama is depicted by Kaikeyi, lobha by Mareech and ahankaara by Ravana. If any one of them was not there Ramayana would not have happened. The sum total of the three is responsible for any disease or miseries in life. When Kama (Kaikeyi) predominate senses (Dasharatha) has to die. When moha (Mareech) dominates the mind (Lakshman) gets diverted and when Ahankar (Ravana) takes over, it controls the body (Sita) and makes the mind (Lakshman) and soul (Rama) wander. The next part of Ramayana is how to win over ego or Ravana. The first step is to win over the mind by controlling the prana Vayu component of the body by indulging in Pranayama. In the context of Ramayana, this means winning over Hanumana, the son of Vayu. Once he is controlled, all the thoughts representing as the Vanar Sena (Chanchal natures) are controlled. The next step is to control the intellect (King Sugriva). He can only be influenced by killing lust (Bali), who is living with Sugriv’s wife. Lust cannot be killed from front and has to be killed from behind and that is what Rama does to Bali. Killing of the lust from behind is depicted as Pratyahara in Yoga and means living a disciplined satvik lifestyle. The next step is to follow “one point contemplation” or living in the present. In Ramayana context it represents one point determination or “the war over Lanka”. Once that happens firstly the tamas (Kumbhkaran), than the rajas (Meghnad) and finally the ego (Ravana) dies. Both tamas and ego die automatically by the consciousness (Rama) but to kill the rajas, one has to conquer it with the mind (Lakshmana). Once this happens, the Satwa or Vibhishana takes over and the mind, body and soul are reunited leading to inner happiness again. Lastly, when Rama, Lakshman and Sita go back to their journey of life, back to Ayodhya, Hanuman goes with them as in Ayodhya, Dasharatha is no more. If you cannot control your 10 senses by yourself, you need to continue Pranayama or carry Hanuman with you for life. These the spiritual messages from Ramayana.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Heart Care Foundation of India to create health awareness this festive season through its annual flagship event – the MTNL Perfect Health Mela

Heart Care Foundation of India to create health awareness this festive season through its annual flagship event – the MTNL Perfect Health Mela Delhites will get their health dose the fun way by participating in various cultural events and health activities, which will be hosted during the five-day celebrations Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain to inaugurate the event New Delhi, 07th October 2016: Heart Care Foundation of India, a leading national non-profit organization committed to making India a healthier and disease-free nation is all set to open the doors to its annual flagship event – the MTNL Perfect Health Mela. A confluence of tradition and modernity, the main aim of the Mela is to create mass awareness about all aspects of health; using a consumer-driven model as the medium. Celebrating 25 years of its inception, the Perfect Health Mela 2016 will be inaugurated by none other than Delhi Health Minister – Shri Satyendar Jain. The event is being co-organized in association with the IMA, MTNL, Coke, LIC, NDMC& MCD and is scheduled to take place from October 25-29, 2016 at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi. The theme of this year’s event is “One Health”.The event will aim at raising mass level preventive health awareness about lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes as well as addressing the current vector-borne disease menace in the country with special reference to chikungunya, dengue, malaria and Zika. A special focus will be laid on anti-natal health. Addressing a press conference, Padma Shri Awardee Dr. KK Aggarwal, President HCFI &President Elect IMA said,“Our main motive behind organizing the MTNL Perfect Health Mela is to educate people about numerous easy ways by which they can prevent themselves from contracting common lifestyle and environmental diseases using entertainment as a medium. We will be focusing our messaging around common lifestyle and mosquito borne diseases this year. For the first time ever we will also be organizing an event called IMAGodhbharai at the Perfect Health Mela year to raise awareness about the importance of pre-natal health and well-being. We thank all our partners for supporting us for 25 years now.” The Perfect Health Mela is designed to cater to people from all age groups and walks of life. It incorporates activities across categories such as health check up camps, entertainment programs, lifestyle exhibitions, workshops, and competitions. For the first time ever, key activities and discussions of the Perfect Health Mela will be webcasted live for those to see who were unable to attend the event. The aim being to raise preventive health awareness amongst the maximum number of people. Speaking about the event, Padma Vibhushan Awardee Dr Sonal Mansingh said, “I congratulate Heart Care Foundation of India for keeping up the healthy legacy. I am proud to be associated with the event, and as they say, nothing is better than saving lives of the individuals and being at the service for the betterment of the society. This event approaches society as a whole and this is what makes it such a huge success.” Adding to this, Dr P K Sharma, Medical Health Officer, NDMC “We wholeheartedly support Heart Care Foundation of India’s out-of-the-box initiative to reinstate the value of preventive health measures. We encourage everyone to come and attend the event for all the health related queries solved in an easy way. The Perfect Health Mela is in line with our aim of making India a healthy and a disease-free country”. For more information about the event, please visit Entry to the Mela is free for all. The other dignitaries present on the dies Dr R N Tandon, Hony Finance Secretary IMA & Dr V K Monga, Deen IMACGP