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Saturday, 15 January 2011

Shortage of female docs affecting health plans

India is facing a dire shortage of female doctors. And, this under-representation of women in the healthcare workforce is seriously affecting women's access to medical facilities. At present, nearly two-third or 66% of all health workers are men. The number of female allopathic doctors (medical graduates with a bachelor's or post-graduate specialist diploma or degree registered with the Indian Medical Council is especially low.Only 17% of all allopathic doctors and 6% of allopathic doctors in rural areas are women. This means that there is less than one female allopathic doctor per 10,000 population in rural areas (0.5) whereas it is 6.5 in urban areas. The number of female doctors per 10,000 population ranges from 7.5 in Chandigarh to 0.26 in Bihar.According to the paper "Human resources for health in India", published in the British Medical Journal 'Lancet', one in five dentists are women while the number stands at one in 10 pharmacists. Women, however, dominate the nursing and midwife category as expected. Around 80% of nurses and 85% midwives are women. "The safety of female health workers in rural areas is also a concern," the paper says. Overall, too, India is facing a serious dearth of healthcare workers. There are eight healthcare workers, 3.8 allopathic doctors and 2.4 nurses per 10,000 population.When compared to other countries, this is about half the WHO benchmark of 25.4 workers per 10,000 population. When adjusted for qualification, the number falls to about a quarter of the WHO benchmark. In a strange dichotomy, even though the public sector is the main provider of preventive care services, 80% of outpatient visits and 60% of hospital admissions are in the private sector.Consequently, 71% of health spending is out of pocket, and, every year, such expenditure forces 4% of the population into poverty, the paper said.According to the 2005 estimates, India had almost 2.2 million health workers, including 6.7 lakh allopathic doctors and 2 lakh practitioners of ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy.India has roughly 20 health workers per 10 000 population. The total healthcare workforce consists of allopathic doctors (31%), nurses and midwives (30%), pharmacists (11%), practitioners of ayurveda and yoga (9%) and others (9%). Health workers are also unevenly distributed across the country. The number of such workers per 10,000 population ranges from 23.2 in Chandigarh to 2.5 in Meghalaya.




Canada Lays New Nutrition Rules for Street Food

Battered fish and chips with tartar sauce without fruits and vegetables on side will no longer be available at any of Vancouver streets, Canada.No more hotdog vendors will be approved. The authorities will not look favorably to sell items that are high in sodium, sugar or fat. All the new street vendors will offer wholesome, nutritious food that will not cake a person's arteries or lead to a heart attack. If these vendors offer vegetables or fruits that will balance out the cholesterol-laden food items, they can get past the city's food police. Deputy city manager, Sadhu Johnston said, "Our goal is to provide more diverse, healthier food options on the street. It's not just about providing healthy foods, it's about diversity, improved food access and affordability." Stanley Park, Spanish Banks, Locarno Beach and New Brighton Park still have fish and chips on the menu. 



Liver Damage Linked to Heart Drug

The US Food and Drug Administration has said that a heart drug by French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis has been linked to liver damage in some patients, two of whom had to receive transplants.Dronedarone, marketed as Multaq, was approved in 2009 and has been prescribed at least 492,000 times to people in the United States for treating abnormal heart rhythm.The FDA issued its warning to the public and to health professionals, saying labels to the medication would be changed to advise of possible liver dangers.People taking the drug should call their doctor if they experience symptoms such as itching, yellow eyes or skin, dark urine, loss of appetite, or light-colored stools, the FDA said. Two elderly women were found to have severe liver failure four and a half and six months after they began taking the drug, the FDA said. Both had to have their livers removed and doctors could find no other reason why they would have sustained that degree of damage, the FDA said. The drug is already not supposed to be given to patients who have severe heart failure or have recently been hospitalized for heart failure, the FDA said. "In a study of patients with these conditions, patients given dronedarone had a greater than two-fold increase in risk of death," the FDA said.




In US More People Are Interested in Alternative Medicine to Save On Health Care Costs

 Many of the health problems people have can be remedied with exercise,  fasting, a change in diet and cleansing. Take charge of the health naturally to lower health care costs.  Few medical professionals will deny it. Modern medicine is more expensive than ever before and as a result, more people are interested in alternative medicine than in the past.Kathy Gruver, Doctorate in Traditional Naturopathy and author from the new book The choice Medicine Cabinet, says, “We can’t control what is outside of us, but we are able to change our opinion and what we eat, and we can be healthier and stronger. It’s very simply an informed decision we should make for ourselves.”Ms. Gruver says that eating naturally is really a conscious choice. “The stuff that we consume everyday are earning us fatter and sicker. If we get rid of the fast food, the soda, the MSG, and also the GMOs, (genetically modified organisms)”, she says, “we can reclaim our health.”Mainstream medicine is generally needed when things go really wrong. Exist times those activities are needed?“You betcha,” she says. “but we’re too reliant, too hypnotized through the quick fix and also the happy bouncing egg advertising the newest drug on television. We underestimate our very own power to avoid health problems. ”
“Take charge of your own health. Make the decision to stop eating artificial foods, to lose weight naturally, exercise more, and you’ll have more energy and be ill less often”.
Here are a few quick tips in the Alternative Medicine Cabinet:
If you’re suffering from muscle cramps, headaches, constipation, sleep or mood issues or PMS, Magnesium could just be what your body needs.
For those who have sleep issues, B vitamins might help, but do not take them too late in the day as they can cause sleeplessness. Adding Melatonin or L-Tryptophan can also help, but do not take L-Tryptophan if you are on special drugs for depression.
Gruver says that the best thing people can perform is to eliminate the following things from your diet for better health: MSG, artificial sweeteners, GMO foods (corn, soy, cotton), artificial coloring and flavoring, soda, milk, wheat, high fructose corn syrup and processed foods.“It might seem like a challenge, however the rewards count it,” she says.Headaches, depression, asthma, skin disorders, allergies all can be caused by the toxic chemicals in artificial foods.One of the greatest quick fixes people could make to feel better every day she says, is to just increase the fiber to add more health.Ms. Gruver says that individuals have problems with repetitive stress injuries because over time our bodies have become weak.“We rely on machines and computers for a lot of what was previously done with old fashioned elbow grease. I am not saying I wish to go back to the times of wringer washers and push lawnmowers, but if we can increase our exercise rather than near a screen, our bodies and minds is going to be healthier and less apt to injury.”
Courtesy:Nutrition and Diet News

Common painkillers increase risk of heart problems: Study

A new study has associated common painkillers to increased risk of heart problems.The drugs include traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) as well as new generation anti-inflammatory drugs, known as COX-2 inhibitors.NSAIDs have been the cornerstone of managing pain in patients with osteoarthritis and other painful conditions.So researchers in Switzerland performed a comprehensive analysis of all randomised controlled trials comparing any NSAID with other NSAIDs or placebo.They included 31 trials and 116,429 patients taking seven different drugs (naproxen, ibuprofen, diclofenac, celecoxib, etoricoxib, rofecoxib, lumiracoxib) or placebo to provide a more reliable estimate of the cardiovascular risks of these drugs than previous studies.Overall, the number of harmful outcomes that could be compared for placebo versus treatment was low. n 29 trials there was a total of 554 heart attacks; in 26 trials there were 377 strokes, and in 28 trials there were 676 deaths. So the absolute risk of cardiovascular problems among people taking painkillers was low, but the researchers did find that, relative to placebo, the drugs carried important risks.For instance, compared with placebo, rofecoxib and lumiracoxib were associated with twice the risk of heart attack, while ibuprofen was associated with more than three times the risk of stroke.Etoricoxib and diclofenac were associated with the highest risk of cardiovascular death.Naproxen appeared least harmful in terms of cardiovascular safety among the seven analysed preparations. 

5 easy steps to pump up your heart

 Want to keep your heart healthy? Then you need to know the following.Holly Andersen, director of education and outreach at the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital has offered some easy steps to improve heart health and overall well-being throughout the year.
Step 1: Know your numbers. Your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels are the most important numbers you will need to know before you begin on the path to good heart health.
Step 2: Start walking. Exercise is the fountain of youth. A simple 20- to 30-minute walk a few days a week can actually reduce the risk of premature death by more than 50 percent.Step 3: Laugh out loud. Laughter really is the best medicine. Just 15 minutes of laughter is about equivalent to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise with respect to our cardiovascular health. Laughter has also been linked to the healthy function of blood vessels, an increase of the brain hormones that improve mood, and reduction of pain and anxiety.
Step 4: Focus on your waistline, not your weight. Your waistline is a better measurement of your overall health than your weight because the amount of fat around your waistline is directly linked to high blood pressure and high cholesterol and can place you at increased risk for diabetes.Step 5: Get a good night's sleep. Sleep is one of the most undervalued elements of our daily routines, but it is absolutely vital to good health. Lack of sleep increases your blood pressure, induces stress, increases your appetite and slows down your metabolism, dampens your mood and decreases your cognition. 

Friday, 14 January 2011

'Feeling good with yoga': The secret of Giggs' success

Ryan Giggs, a footballer associated with grace, poise and muscular suppleness, is attempting to teach me (associated with none of the above) the art of yoga and it is the quiet persistence of his attempts to get me to "pull up from the obliques" for a third time that reveals how different a manager he will be, one day, from the one for whom he has performed 599 times in the league ahead of this weekend's trip to Tottenham.Sarah Ramsden, the yoga professional who has done so much for Giggs and is leading this session, warns in her preamble that "if you've stopped breathing you've gone too far," which sounds rather ominous, though Giggs does not seem to require oxygen as he flattens his spine against his yoga mat and eases up his legs.Sarah Ramsden, the yoga professional who has done so much for Giggs and is leading this session, warns in her preamble that "if you've stopped breathing you've gone too far," which sounds rather ominous, though Giggs does not seem to require oxygen as he flattens his spine against his yoga mat and eases up his legs.Giggs is here to discuss the new DVD on which he and Ramsden have collaborated, which provides an insight into the mixture of yoga, Pilates and conditioning work without which we would not be witnessing the winger standing on the cusp of two more of those landmarks which seem to litter each of his seasons: the 600th league appearance, if he plays a part at White Hart Lane tomorrow, will be followed in a little over a month by the 20th anniversary of the cold spring day when he first appeared for United.The career progression across the decades seems so elementary and effortless now, though it was not like that on a bitterly cold night in Munich, on 19 November 2001, when an ill-fated training session pushed Giggs towards yoga. It was in the old Olympic Stadium, ahead of United's Champions League tie with Bayern, where Giggs, now 37, sustained another of the series of hamstring injuries which were causing so much devastation in the middle part of his career and which, on that occasion, forced him to reappraise every aspect of his life."I would have been playing in that match," Giggs recalls. "The manager had already told me I was playing. It was the day before the game, we were training at the stadium and it was just coming towards the end of the session when it happened. It was cold – that didn't help – and right at the end I'd gone on a jinking run when I felt my hamstring. I was just so depressed it was unbelievable. I remember going back to the hotel and sitting there, gutted. I had travelled over and trained, I was feeling good and suddenly I'm missing out, which is something that shouldn't happen."It was that day I just thought: 'I need to do something, I need to not drink as much alcohol, I need to look at my diet, I need to do everything I can, my bed, cars – everything to stop this happening.' The hamstring injuries were stopping me probably playing 10 or 15 games a season and I was coming up to 30."The mattress was the easy bit and the car, after a little soul-searching, relatively straightforward. (Giggs settled for a Mercedes 500, rather than buy a new sports car each year, with the stiff clutches that put extra stress on his left leg and hamstrings.) But the yoga was something he hardly knew was there. A yoga practitioner, remembered only as "Louise" by United players of the time, had started work a fortnight earlier at the club's new Carrington training complex. "The physio had brought her in," Giggs recalls. "I was just looking at any angle so I just wandered over to her, talked to her, told her my problems and she just said: 'Yeah, come next week then.'"Giggs wasn't the only intrigued United player. Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Mikaël Silvestre all started yoga at about the same time in the hope that muscular suppleness might extend their careers. Silvestre may be the less illustrious player of that quartet, but the relish with which he took to the discipline was typical of the French players who have always been years ahead of the British in this field."Mikaël was like a yoga teacher," Giggs says. "Foreign and British players have the same approach to coming in and doing yoga. But, from my experience, you see players who come from France they have got better flexibility because they are taught to stretch; it's a massive part of their game from a young age. They have just got more flexibility, or they seem to. It's part of what they do – whereas British players stretching is just something that you either do wrong or you are sat around pretending to stretch, having a chat just before you go out to train."The consequences have been profound for Giggs. The hamstrings are not immune – he played only three games in two months through last autumn because of a hamstring injury sustained at Bolton and aggravated against West Bromwich Albion – and he provides a revealing insight into the anxiety which players prone to injury take into every game when he reflects on the fact that he has not run flat out in a match since sustaining his first injury, in a league encounter with Ipswich Town in the early 1990s."I'd say I haven't sprinted since I was 19, 20 or 21 at full pace because I was always wary of my hamstrings since that first calf injury. How old would I have been? Twenty? Up to then I'd had no injuries, but once you get that first hamstring injury you are always wary of sprinting full pelt."Needless to say, Giggs did not imagine when he made the mental decision to play within himself that he would one day eclipse Sir Bobby Charlton by turning out in comfortably more games in all competitions for United than any other player – and do so by opting for yoga. Back in those early days at The Cliff, stretching hardly came into it. "Training would start at 10.30am so I'd be there at twenty past ready to go," he recalled in a recent interview with Men's Health magazine, whose interest in Giggs reveals everything about the way he has carried a torch for new forms of physical preparation. "There would be a lot of football, no gym work at all. We'd finish at midday, have lunch and I'd be home by half past 12."These days he is in at 8.30am – Ramsden was driving through the Carrington gates before that yesterday – and doesn't leave until 2pm. That debut day at Old Trafford – Giggs appearing as a late substitute for Denis Irwin in a 2-0 home defeat to Everton on 2 March 1991 – is one which will be replayed on a loop in the weeks with the 20th anniversary looming. Giggs seems surprised when told of it – "I was wondering where you were going there," he says, when the question is out. "I was aware it was coming up to 20 years but I didn't know when" – and his recollections are certainly not as muscular as he is, where that otherwise rather grim afternoon is concerned. United were in desperate form, missing Bryan Robson, Steve Bruce, Neil Webb and Mark Hughes through injury, and it was as a strike partner for Danny Wallace – Giggs never shared Sir Alex Ferguson's initial belief that he could be a front man, feeling he lacked technical finishing ability – that he was sent on, to do his best on a dreadful playing surface which was half sand, half ankle-deep mud."I've watched that game recently and it struck me how little of it I remember – not a thing," Giggs says. "I remember crossing a ball for Danny Wallace, he got a header in and it went just wide and feeling quite chuffed about myself. I remember Dave Watson going right through the back of me, it was a 'welcome to the big boys'. I had a mark down my knee where he had studded me. It wasn't dirty, though you couldn't get away with it now – just one of those things I suppose."It is while searching back through his mental encyclopedia that another memory of the game comes to mind. "I went through and I was against [Everton goalkeeper] Neville Southall and I sort of like tried to knock it and it was 50-50 and he's got there first and I've just gone tumbling." It is his full debut in the Manchester derby against City at Old Trafford two months later, in which Giggs was credited with a goal deflected in off Colin Hendry, that he recalls best.Fittingly, the 600th appearance will coincide with evidence in north London of another player blessed with powers of longevity. David Beckham will not appear for Tottenham against United but that is not the point of his value to Spurs, Giggs reflects. "He's been away eight years but he has still got that quality of producing a cross, a free-kick or goal. It will be great for the Tottenham players, especially the younger players, to see the professionalism of him, how he conducts himself. The thing about Becks is he has always prepared himself right."And with that Giggs is away. Not to a wholly yogic domestic life, it should be said – there's no yogic flying at home in Worsley and the culinary and spiritual parts of yoga don't come into things either. "We have everything laid out for us, foodwise [at United], and that side of it is not what interests me really." The absorbing part, as he puts it, is "just being able to train every day and feeling good." Which, the morning after "pulling up from the obliques" is not a description of your correspondent, with or without Giggs as a mentor.
Source:The Independent

Fruits, Vegetables Consumption Results in Healthy Glow

Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables gives you a more healthy golden glow than the sun, say scientists. 

Their research has shown that men and women whose skin has a yellow glow are thought to be particularly attractive and healthy - and yellow pigments called carotenoids, found in certain fruit and vegetables play a key role in giving the skin that hue.Study's co-author Ian Stephen said that just two months of increased consumption could produce visible results. It could lead to new strategies for encouraging the young to eat more fruit and vegetables, he said. 
"Telling people they might have a heart attack in 40 years' time if they don't eat more healthily is one thing," the Daily Mail quoted him as telling The Grocer magazine. "What we can do is say, "This is what you could look in a couple of months if you increased your fruit and veg intake",' he added. As part of the study by St Andrews and Bristol universities, 40 volunteers rated 51 Scottish Caucasian faces for healthiness and attractiveness.Source-ANI



Obesity, Sedentary Lifestyle Shortening Youth's Life Expectancy

Today's youth regularly snack on junk foods, watch more television and are less active than their parents were. 

So it was less shocking when a new research suggested that today's younger generation would live shorter lives than their parents."Diseases such as Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions and joint deterioration - what were once considered 'adult' diseases - are regularly being diagnosed in children, due to the prevalence of obesity," said Jessica Bartfield, weight loss specialist at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, part of the Loyola University Health System. "What is particularly tragic is that studies have suggested that obesity in children today may contribute to a 2-5 year decline in their life expectancy, shorter than that of their parents, due to obesity related diseases that are largely preventable," she added. She said the causes are 'multifactorial, including environment and culture'. Genetics and parental weight status also plays a role."If one parent is obese, a child has a 50 percent likelihood of being obese, and if both parents are obese, that skyrockets to 80 percent likelihood," she said. Research by the Center for Disease Control found that 80 percent of obese children between the ages of 10-15 continue to be obese at age 25.




Hindus congratulate Mrinalini Mata on being elected Self-Realization Fellowship President

Congratulating Sri Mrinalini Mata on her election as President of Los Angeles (USA) headquartered worldwide Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) and Yogoda Satsanga Society (YSS) of India, Hindus hope that she would further promote the ancient concept of “realization of Self”.
 Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said: Ancient Hindu scripture Katha Upanishadpoints out that when wise realize the Self, they go beyond sorrow. Self is supreme and those who meditate on Self are freed from the cycle of birth and death. When one realizes Self, there is nothing else to be known.Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, added that he wished Mrinalini success in spreading Parmahansa Yogananda’s teachings and wisdom about yoga, divine unity, etc.She succeeds Sri Daya Mata, who died on November 30, to become spiritual leader of Yogananda’s worldwide network. Said to be one of Yogananda’s close disciples with over 60 years in the organization, Mrinalini, 79, born as Merna Brown in Wichita (Kansas, USA), has been Vice President of the Fellowship since 1966. She was a teenager when she first met Yogananda. She has made various visits to India to spread the Fellowship message.SRF is a worldwide religious organization founded in 1920 by Yogananda, who is known for acclaimed spiritual classic “Autobiography of a Yogi” (1946) which has been translated into over two dozen languages. It reportedly has about 600 temples, retreats, ashrams, and meditation centers worldwide and has presence in about 175 countries and lays stress on Kriya Yoga. Its sister organization, YSS of India, founded in 1917 at Dakshineswar near Kolkata, reportedly runs over 100 centers, retreats, and ashrams in India and neighboring countries besides 21 educational institutions and some charitable facilities.Aims/ideals of SRF include: to disseminate among the nations a knowledge of definite scientific techniques for attaining direct personal experience of God, to reveal the complete harmony and basic oneness of original Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ and original Yoga as taught by Bhagavan Krishna, to point out the one divine highway to which all paths of true religious beliefs eventually lead, to unite science and religion through realization of the unity of their underlying principles, etc.Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Circumcision Cuts HPV Risk for Both Sexes

Circumcising men reduces the risk of transmitting types of human papilloma virus associated with cervical and anal cancer to women, according to a study published in The Lancet. This protection is however only partial; it is important to observe safe sex practices.Genital human papillomavirus (also called HPV) is perhaps the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). Infection with HPV is common in sexually active individuals, especially in developing countries. More than 85% of the HPV disease burden is in developing countries.  Human papilloma viruses are classified as either low-risk or high-risk. High-risk HPV can lead to cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, and anus in women. In men, it can lead to cancers of the anus and penis. Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer in women worldwide. Male circumcision has been done for many years as a religious tradition. It has been thought to confer protection against sexually transmitted infections and diseases such as cervical cancer since the 19th century. A low incidence of cervical cancer in Jewish women—women who were married to circumcised men was noted as early as in 1901. Cervical cancer is rare in communities in which men are circumcised. A number of observational studies found a protective role for circumcision; definitive evidence was not obtained until randomised trials of adult male circumcision were completed. 
The following observations come from previous trials done in Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa:
·        Male circumcision substantially decreased the risk of HIV acquisition in men
·        It also reduced the prevalence of penile high-risk HPV infection by about 35%
·        The practice also reduced the acquisition of new high-risk HPV infections, and increased clearance of pre-existing high-risk HPV infection in men without HIV infection.
·        Compared with female partners of uncircumcised men, female partners of circumcised men had lower rates of genital ulcer disease, Trichomonas vaginalis infection, and bacterial vaginosis.
·        Male circumcision did not reduce the rate of HIV transmission from men with HIV to their female partners 
Two parallel but independent randomised controlled trials of male circumcision which enrolled HIV-negative men and their female partners between 2003 and 2006, in Rakai, Uganda were performed. The effectiveness of male circumcision to prevent high-risk HPV infection in HIV-negative female partners of HIV-negative men was assessed in these trials. ‘Circumcision of adolescent and adult men in a rural Ugandan population significantly reduced the prevalence and incidence of both low-risk and high-risk HPV infections and increased clearance of high-risk HPV infections in their female partners,’ reported The Lancet.
The finding of the recent trials accords with observational studies that show lower rates of cervical cancer associated with male circumcision. Male circumcision should be accepted as an efficacious intervention for reducing the prevalence and incidence of HPV infections in female partners. Since this protection is only partial it is also important to promote safe sex practices. 
Source: The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 7 January 2011






Kerala-style Shirodhara Instrument is soon Estabilished at Gopabandhu Ayurveda college, Puri, Oddisa

 The state-run Gopabandhu Ayurveda College in Puri will soon have tourists soaking in the goodness of shirodhara and other ayurvedic massages once the Centre-run Ayush department opens a centre of excellence for panchakarma at the college for the promotion of health tourism. "The town has the potential to attract visitors through the promotion of ayurveda and health tourism. The Gopabandhu Ayurveda College has the necessary infrastructure to start a centre," said central adviser of ayurveda, S K Sharma."States like Kerala and Goa have been wooing overseas tourists with their ayurveda panchakarma therapies. Since Puri witnesses a good footfall of tourists, the state government should cash in on the potential of ayurveda and yoga," advised Sharma. The central adviser said he had asked the college authorities to construct a separate building to make ayurveda facilities available for tourists. "There should be huts and cubicles where tourists can enjoy the benefits of ayurveda massage and other rejuvenating treatments from experts," he said. "Central funds up to Rs 2 crore can be granted to the college to develop it into a centre of excellence for panchakarma," Sharma added. Dr Deba Dash, head of panchakarma department, said, "The official offered a good suggestion to attract tourists to the beach town. We will soon send a proposal to the ayush department." Notably, taking a leaf out of Kerala, the state government in 2003 opened an ayurveda club in the college to woo tourists. The club had all ayurveda panchakarma therapeutic facilities, including massage and shirodhara; but after two years, the idea petered out. "Even though we have all resources and facilities at the club, there are very few takers. In fact, very few people know we have such facilities here," a college official said. "The club could not gain popularity because of lack of government patronage and marketing. Taking advantage of this, a number of hotels and standalone spas came up with panchakarma facilities," the official added.



‘Naturopathy cheaper, more accessible than regular medicine’

Naturopathy is an easily accessible and less expensive system to approach for the people of India, said S Gandhiselvan, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare .
Gandhiselvan was in the city to visit the National Institute of Naturopathy (NIN) here on Wednesday.He spoke about the scope of naturopathy along with the conventional medicine.
“A blend of naturopathy and other systems of medicine will be very useful for the treatment of the ailments and improve the public Health.”Systems such as Naturopathy and Yoga play key roles in the present health scenario and are expanding across the country and abroad,The NIN, which is celebrating its silver jubilee, on Wednesday announced the construction of a new treatment section building in order to upgrade its treatment facilities. The foundation stone was also laid.
Source:Indian Express

Canadian Actress Lisa Ray says hot yoga key to her cancer survival

 Canadian actress Lisa Ray says she's easing back into the spotlight with projects that include plans to open a hot yoga studio just outside Toronto.The "Water" star says Moksha yoga, which is practised in a heated room, was an "essential element" of her journey back to health after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
Ray announced in 2009 that she was suffering from multiple myeloma, which attacks the bone and can be fatal.
She embarked on an intense treatment regime that put the cancer in remission last year.
Now, the 38-year-old says she's got an "eclectic" mix of projects on the go, including a six-part travel series she's hosting for Discovery Channel International in India.She says she plans to open a yoga studio in Brampton, Ont., in late February or March, and is eager to share the benefits of the practice.
"Life's great and I'm really thankful. I'd say this is my rebirth in a sense, my resurrection and I'm taking that very seriously but with a light touch," Ray says."Whatever I do I make sure it's aligned with my core values of having fun, friends, family, and doing stuff that just makes sense to me."

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

India needs more health workers: Lancet

While reliable data on health workers in India is difficult to obtain, a report in The Lancet: India series says that the country has roughly 20 health workers per 10,000 population.The figure is arrived at when the workforce is calculated including allopathic doctors (31%), nurses and midwives (30%), pharmacists (11%), practitioners of ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha, and homoeopathy (9%), and others (9%).In their paper ‘Human Resources for Health in India’, experts Mohan Rao, Krishna D Rao, A K Shiva Kumar, Mirai Chatterjee and Thiagarajan Sundararaman have called for urgent reforms. Associated with the Public Health Foundation of India, Rao regrets the absence of adequately trained health-care providers in public and private sectors.The National Rural Health Mission has brought in Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) services into mainstream medicine and by helping accredit 70,000 social health activists.
Source:Indian Express

Maharashtra’s first geriatric centre to come up at JJ Hospital

Maharashtra’s first geriatric treatment centre will be set up at JJ Hospital after the central health department decided to fund such departments in eight states.Under the ‘National Health Care Programme for Elderly’ scheme, the Centre will give Rs2.13 crore to JJ Hospital in the first year. The hospital will create a special ward for patients over 60 years old with age-related diseases.Geriatrics is a sub-specialty of internal medicine that focuses on healthcare for the elderly. It aims to treat any disease that a patient is suffering from and to decrease the effects of aging. There is no set age at which patients may be under the care of a geriatrician or physician who specialises in the care of elderly people.

Intersection: Traditional and Modern Medicine Cross Paths, Aiding Each Other and Patients

As the pharmaceutical industry rakes in billion-dollar profits and lawmakers tinker with healthcare reform, disease such as cancer and obesity continue to rise at alarming rates. Threatened by a plunging economy, unaffordable insurance and holding steadfast to strong cultural and religious roots, people across the ethnic communities of Los Angeles turn to traditional medicine practiced by healers and shamans, developed eons before the advent of modern medicine.While the debate of traditional vs. modern medicine sporadically rears its head in health forums, some patients use them in tandem to compliment each other to improve their overall well-being and prognosis. From Indian Ayurvedic rituals to healing practices used by the Hmong, many are seeking to marry generation-tested techniques with technological advances within hospitals, especially when it comes to the management of chronic diseases.In some Asian and African countries, 80 percent of the population depends on traditional medicine for primary health care, according to the World Health Organization, which also highlights new anti-malarial drugs developed from a plant used in China for almost 2,000 years. And traditional medicine, like that of ancient Iran, honored for thousands of years has in some cases contributed profoundly to the development of modern medicine.This generally unexplored intersection is happening deep within LA's ethnic neighborhoods, where one day, men and women call on healers one could never find in the Yellow Pages to alleviate their pain, and then the next day go to their chemotherapy appointments. This dependency seems to be gaining speed – with the advent of integrated pharmacies like Pharmaca which offers “traditional pharmacy services alongside holistic remedies” and employs pharmacists alongside naturopathic doctors and herbalists.How does the intersection of ancient remedies and modern medical advancement aid patients? How do healers and board-certified doctors work to weave a common thread where well-being is the top priority? Is the use of traditional medicine spreading beyond the cultural communities it evolved from? Does it have the potential to become a more affordable, mainstream model of healthcare? Does the exposure and continued use of traditional medicine have the power to lessen future medical problems, thus reducing costs?
How it will Help:At a time when healthcare is a hot button topic for lawmakers and the public alike, the exploration of this medical intersection will bring a different perspective to the issue as well as unearth and expose ethnic and cultural practices that often go ignored and give them a place at the medial podium. It also has the potential to showcase the importance of how mental and emotional well-being compliment and aid physical health and vice versa.
Author:Liana Aghajanian

Brain Surgery - A Breakthrough

Chetan Shiv Kumar underwent the awake craniotomy, a major breakthrough in the history of brain surgeries.
Awake craniotomy is an operation that involves accessing the brain through a part of the skull that is removed and then refixed when the surgery is over. This is usually done on a patient under local anaesthesia, while all his vital parameters are monitored though multiple monitoring techniques. The patient is awake all throughout the procedure, listening to his surgeon’s instructions. Hence, lifting his hands, making facial movements, and even verbally responding to the surgeon’s instructions help in the intra-operative assessment of the neurological status of the patient.In the case of Chetan Shiv Kumar, Dr Satish Rudrappa, his neurosurgeon at the Manipal Hospital said, “The tumour involved some functionally important areas of the brain."  So, awake craniotomy was carried out to prevent post-operative deficits. Chetan had developed a severe headache and his blood pressure had shot up, when alarmed, he went to the hospital for scans and x-rays. When he was told that there was a small tumour on the right side of his brain and of the surgical procedure the doctors wanted to carry out, he was fully cooperative and went through the surgery. If he had opted for the conventional surgery, he would have been left with a speech dysfunction. But with the surgeon talking to him all throughout the surgery, the speech centre of the brain was being constantly monitored, as were the other parameters. 



Michelle Williams to launch yoga centre

Actress Michelle Williams is all set to launch a yoga centre for single mothers. The "Brokeback Mountain" star, who has been raising her five-year-old daughter Matilda as a single mother since her ex-boyfriend, actor Heath Ledger, died of an accidental overdose in 2008, credits yoga to help cope with the tragedy.Williams said the inner peace she found through the exercise inspired her to co-found "The Yoga for Single Moms Project", which is now launching a pilot programme in Boston, reports dailystar . "Yoga gave me relief like nothing else. It made be a better person and a better mother. I could come back to my daughter anew. And then I started to think about how expensive it is to get a babysitter to take a yoga class, which makes it out of reach for so many women," she said. "The idea behind the programme is that if you can clear the time, we do the rest. It provides childcare while the mum is in the yoga class, and it's all free," she added. 



Naturopaths cannot be called doctors: Gujarat HC

The Gujarat high court has once again refused to recognise practitioners of naturopathy in the state as 'doctors'. For the past one decade, practitioners of naturopathy are approaching the court for the purpose, but the court has refused to direct the government to consider them as doctors. In 2001, the high court had turned down an application by a naturopathy practitioner, Kalkisinh Duleray Godsan, who wanted to open an institute to impart education of nature cure practices. Godsan wanted the court to ask the government to recognise his institute and the degree so that his students too could be called doctors. Godsan also demanded that criminal proceedings against him be dropped; he was booked for adding 'doctor' to his name. The court refused to interfere with the earlier observation that such naturopathy practitioners are members of one Nature Cure Practitioners' Association, and having its membership alone would not amount to acquiring specific qualification under any law. They should therefore not be declared doctors. "This would mislead the public and would be a gross abuse to the science of naturopathy as well," the court had noted a decade ago.Another association of naturopathy practitioners, Prakrutik Chikitsak Sangh from Bhavnagar, approached the high court in August last year after the nature cure practitioners were asked by the registrar of Gujarat Medical Council to complete the formalities of registration with a competent body. The association urged the court to direct the registrar not to insist them for registration as naturopathy consultant. They wanted to practice naturopathy as doctors and called doctors too. To their demand, the division bench headed by the chief justice remarked, "There is nothing on record to suggest under which law one can be permitted to practice naturopathy and can be conferred with title like doctor. How can a naturapthy practitioner be called a doctor? In the absence of any such provision brought on record, we are not inclined to express any opinion." The court observed that the Centre is considering the regulatory framework for naturopathy and the discipline has been accepted as one of the AYUSH systems, and there is no central regulations to regulate naturopathy unlike in the case of Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha, which are regulated by the Indian Medicine Central Council Act. However, the high court has allowed them to approach the state government, which is already in the process of drafting an application to enact a law for the practice of naturopathy in the state.



Tuesday, 11 January 2011

India's Mobile Healthcare

India can look forward to a secure m-health future as the global mobile health technology sets its sights on tripling its growth by 2014.The healthcare sector would undergo a dramatic change with mobile broadband making electronic medical records, insurance and claims data, scheduling, billing, drug information and other patient management systems easily accessible.In a country where seventy percent of the population lives in villages, and eighty percent of healthcare professionals lives in cities, “m-health could provide high quality services at low prices even in remote areas,” states Hemant Joshi, partner, Deloitte Haskins & Sells, India. The Apollo Group has already set up tele-centres in Chennai and Kolkata where medical services would be available at a call on a mobile phone. Sangita Reddy, ED, operations, Apollo Group says, “We are also running a pilot project to handle emergency pregnancies through video streaming.” ‘Text4baby initiative’, educating expectant mothers on the phone is being planned to be introduce in India by Voxiva. ZMQ Software Systems, Delhi, is also launching ‘Freedom TB initiative’ which is aimed at using mobile phones to build awareness about the disease.Ericsson and Nokia, two leading mobile phone companies, have already introduced projects on healthcare. Smartphones would be the tool of the future in global healthcare, concludes a research study carried out by a Berlin-based research company, Research2guidance. India will not be left behind. For, as Rajiv Sodhi, corporate delivery head, healthcare, HCL remarks, “Mobility in healthcare will introduce preventive care in India.”   



Quarter of British Children Have Looked at Pornography in 2010 ‎

An LSE research used in a Panorama programme about the sexualisation of young children, has indicated that a quarter of children looked at pornography in 2010. It showed that one in eight of young people aged between nine and 16 received messages of a sexual nature while surfing online or through their mobile phones.In addition, more than half - 52 per cent - go online when they are in their bedrooms on in a room alone, making it hard for parents to monitor what they are doing.The findings come from a study carried out by Sonia Livingstone into the UK aspect of a European wide survey into children's habits on the Internet and other media.According to the research, 24 per cent of nine to 16-year-olds have seen some form of pornography in the last year - through the Internet, television, magazines or DVDs. Of those, 41 per cent of parents believed that their children had not seen any such images.Livingstone said there was cause for concern about the amount of time children spent online and what they do while on the Internet. 
"I think there's a lot of experimentation going on," the Telegraph quoted Livingstone as saying."I think a lot of that is about sharing experiences, being in touch, seeing if other people are living the life that you are. "Within that there is clearly a lot of flirtation and some degree of sexual experimentation," added Livingstone.





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