'Lifetime Achievement' and 'IDRF Gold Medal Oration' Awards

In an effort to increase awareness regarding diabetes among the common public and as an advocacy incentive, the India Diabetes Research Foundation (IDRF), established by Prof A Ramachandran in 2007 in Chennai, has instituted two awards, to honour eminent people who have made significant contributions in the field of diabetes. Read more

Repatriate 100 Indian fishermen whose sentence is over: Pakistan's Court

As per reports from civil society groups, Supreme Court of Pakistan has agreed to release 100 Indian fisher-people whose sentence is over. It is indeed a landmark judgment from Pakistan and Indian judiciary is encouraged to reciprocate this gesture of at least, releasing those Pakistani fisher-people and other citizens whose sentence is over. Earlier there were reports that the Pakistan's Supreme Court had informed 454 Indian fishermen (out of total 582 currently detained) have completed their sentences in Pakistani jails, should be repatriated. Read more

Repatriate Indian fishermen after sentence is over: Pakistan's Supreme Court

Supreme Court of Pakistan informed 454 Indian fishermen (out of total 582 currently detained) have completed their sentences in Pakistani jails, should be repatriated. Pakistani ministry of Foreign Affairs told Supreme Court that four hundred and fifty four (454) Indian fishermen (out of total 582 currently detained) have completed their sentences and that they have been verified to be Indian nationals by the Indian high commission in Pakistan. Foreign Affairs has recommended to the Interior ministry to expedite their repatriation to India. Read more

TB response for women is grossly inadequate

Poverty is major driver of TB
[To listen to audio recording/podcast of CNS Exclusive interview with Dr Ann Ginsberg, click here]
In developing countries TB remains the third leading cause of death among women of reproductive age (15-44 years), disproportionately affecting pregnant women and the poor. This calls for immediate action to address the suffering caused by TB and to eliminate the disease as a leading killer of women. Read more

Rural child health initiative reaches out to UP's poor

Photo credit: Kulsum Mustafa
Wednesday and Saturdays are Routine Immunization days in Uttar Pradesh. From morning one witness rural women with infants in arms making a beeline for primary health centres. But June and December are more special months for little children in India's most populous state with very poor development indicators. It is in these two months when health call beacons all the under five in remotest corners of the state. Read more

Fighting TB With Community Support Can Transform Lives

To download or read the Patients' Charter for TB Care click here
The necessity of involving common citizens in the ongoing battle against TB was discussed at the recently concluded Open Forum 4: Critical Path to TB Regimen: New Hope of Life for TB Patients in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Read more

Tuberculosis And Poverty: Partners By Default

There is a direct link between TB and poverty. It is indeed a vicious cycle, as one begets the other. The stark reality is that tuberculosis saps the economy of the community, which in turn increases the likelihood of contracting TB. This point emerged several times during the recently concluded Open Forum 4: Critical Path to TB Regimen: New Hope of Life for TB Patients, which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The meet was organized by TB Alliance with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Stop TB Partnership Working Group on New Drugs, Treatment Action Group among others. Read more

Regulatory Conference Shows The Way Forward From Lessons Learnt In The Past

The 4th Open Forum Conference was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 18th and 19th August to address key issues in developing new drugs for tuberculosis, which kills nearly 2 million people every year and is becoming increasingly resistant to the current drugs. The conference, with a special focus on Africa, brought together regulators, scientists and other interested stakeholders, from all around the world, to share knowledge and build a proper infrastructure needed to adopt new and improved TB treatments. They deliberated over an innovative drug development model which will reduce the usual time taken to develop safer and more effective TB drug regimens by almost 75%. Read more

Theatre-media can help dispel myths around HIV/AIDS

"If theatre and media join hands I am sure that they will be able to shatter many myths that abound in society about AIDS," this is what Ms Tripurari  Sharma, associate director, National School of Drama (NSD) said while addressing media persons at 'Media for Children' –a capacity building session organized by Media Nest with support of UNICEF at UP Press Club on Saturday, 14 August 2010. Read more

IDF and CNS-DMI join hands for improving responses to diabetes care

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and CNS Diabetes Media Initiative (CNS-DMI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to acknowledge the commitment of both agencies to scale up documentation, reporting and online information exchange, dialogue and news monitoring services on issues related to diabetes-care. Read more

The Critical Path to Tuberculosis Regimen: A New Hope Of Life For TB Patients

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The Open Forum 4 on key issues in tuberculosis (TB) drug development is all set to begin in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (18-19 August 2010). This Open Forum 4, will raise and address key issues in TB drug development, with a special focus on regulatory affairs. The Forum will include sessions on the current global TB drug development portfolio, key issues in the critical path to TB drug registration, designing pivotal trials, conducting registration trials in high TB burden countries , challenges in TB drug development for resistant disease and developing regimens containing multiple novel agents. Read more

Why TB Matters to Women's Health?

TUBERCULOSIS (TB) has a major impact on women's sexual reproductive health and that of their children. For pregnant women living in areas with high TB infection rates, there are increased chances of transmission of TB to a child before, during delivery or after birth. The disease, especially if associated with HIV, also accounts for a high incidence of maternal and infant mortality. Unfortunately, there is little to no attention to women's vulnerability in the current discussion and media blitz of a resurgent TB internationally, and in particular, sub-Saharan Africa. Read more

Maa Tujhe Salaam! - 64th Independence Day of India and Pakistan

This special day is once again upon us, swelling our hearts with pride as we try to manoeuvre our way through traffic diversions (to make way for the iconic appearances of our political and bureaucratic bigwigs) amid the loudspeakers blaring out patriotic songs—some of them almost as old as our freedom. There is always a lump in my throat as I bow my head, saluting the national tricolour on this momentous day when India awoke to freedom as the rest of the world slept. Read more

Indo-Pak Peace Caravan to merge with candle lighting at Wagah

The India Pakistan Peace Caravan, a yet another citizens' initiative in both nations, where people are marching towards Wagah border with a message of peace and harmony on both sides, is all set to merge with the traditional candle lighting ceremony at Wagah on Independence Day eve this year (14 August 2010). The India Pakistan Peace Caravan began from Mumbai in India and Karachi in Pakistan, and is moving towards Wagah border in both nations. Many noted peace activists in India and Pakistan are the key organizers of this Peace Caravan including Magsaysay Awardee (2002) Dr Sandeep Pandey, Gurudayal Singh Sheetal, Faisal Khan, Saeeda Diep, Karamat Ali among others. Read more

India-Pakistan Peace Caravan 2010 - अमन के बढ़ते क़दम

[To read this article in HINDI language, click here]
Yet another landmark people's initiative is unfolding in India and Pakistan where citizens are marching towards the Wagah border. The India Pakistan Peace Caravan began from Mumbai in India and Karachi in Pakistan, simultaneously, and Caravan on both sides will reach Wagah on 14th August 2010, where it will merge with the legendary candle light ceremony organized every year by noted journalist Kuldip Nayar. Read more

A long wait for Independence

(Special CNS article reproduced in lead up to the India's 63rd Independence day eve - 15 August 2010)
Jajupur is a village in Sandila Tehsil, P.S. Atrauli, of Hardoi District of UP. 107 dalit landless families were allotted land pattas in 1976 by the Gram Sabha but till today the dalits have not been able to cultivate their fields. The reason is that a politically influential feudal family of the neighbouring village Majhgaon doesn’t give up its control on these lands which it exercises directly or indirectly. Read more

Hiroshima Day: Citizens oppose nuclear energy and nuclear weapons

Hiroshima Day: August 6th
To raise public consciousness about issues related to nuclear energy and nuclear weapons, including the  life-threatening hazards, is one of the key missions of peace activists, many of whom are presently mobilizing support for India Pakistan Peace Caravan that is currently underway in both the nations on people's initiatives. "Even after 63 years of the most ghastly act of violence on Earth – the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing in 1945, the country that masterminded that deadly bombing – USA – hasn't apologized even once. The keenness with which India is going ahead with the Indo US Nuclear Deal with USA, is of utmost concern" said Arundhati Dhuru, firebrand social activist of Narmada Bachao Andolan. Read more

Manual Scavenging to be flushed away from UP

Honey combed shaped pits 
sustain pour flush toilets for yrs
Badaun: He is on a mission, one that few would like to take on, but then Amit Gupta, District Magistrate, Badaun a small district in western Uttar Pradesh seems to enjoy challenges. And the latest one he has taken on since July 2010 is unmatched by any that he has tackled so far. Intrigued? Then read on. Read more

CNS coverage in lead up to and on-site from the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010)

Seven CNS writers (Anjali Singh, Bobby Ramakant, Chief Masimba Biriwasha, Jittima Jantanamalaka (daily FM Radio broadcasts 102.5), Medha Patkar, Shobha Shukla and Sugata Mukhopadhyay) wrote on issues around HIV and TB-HIV co-infection from their local contexts, in the lead up to and during the XVIII International AIDS Conference (IAC/ AIDS 2010) in Vienna, Austria. Bobby Ramakant was supported by the Stop TB Partnership and PANOS Global AIDS Programme and some of the articles below were published in PANOSCOPE - daily on-site newspaper published at IAC. Read more

Islam and supportive HIV responses among MSM and transgender people

Jeffrey O'Malley, UNDP
In a press conference at the XVIII International AIDS Conference to mark the launch of a new study by UNDP and Asia Pacific Coalition on male sexual health (APCOM), a journalist from Bosnia asked the impact of Sharia law on health outcomes, particularly in context of HIV prevention and care programmes among men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) and transgender people this study refers to. This study report “Legal Environments, human rights and HIV responses among MSM and transgender people in Asia and the Pacific” is co-published by the UNDP and APCOM. Read more

Despite high risk, HIV services don’t reach 9/10 MSM and transgender people

Shivanand Khan OBE
Despite of AIDS programmes prioritising men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) and transgender people as high risk communities, not only the existing services are reaching appalling low numbers of MSM and trangender people, but also the funding for programmes targeting these communities is shockingly, namesake. “Funding for programmes that address sexual health needs of MSM people in Asia Pacific is left to 4% of total HIV-related funding” said Shivanand Khan, who was conferred upon the Order of British Empire (OBE) by the British Queen in recognition of his contribution to HIV prevention among MSM. Shivanand Khan is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Naz Foundation International (NFI). Read more

Spotlight on TB-HIV co-infection at AIDS 2010

It is so nice to see that TB/HIV has been given due importance, focus and limelight in the recently observed IAC of Vienna. There were several oral sessions and poster presentation in the conference to share research, clinical and programmatic experiences on combined TB/HIV interventions around the world, chiefly from Africa. The conference has given us opportunity to know about the key lessons learned from the TB/HIV collaborative activities in the countries though it is also felt that the experiences of Asia should have been highlighted more. Read more

Should tuberculosis (TB)-preventive therapy (IPT) be given to all?

A raging issue on the first day of XVIII International AIDS Conference was whether Isoniazid (INH) Preventive Therapy (IPT) be given to all –regardless whether people have TB or not? A full-course of IPT can prevent latent tuberculosis (TB) infection from becoming active TB disease. It is very crucial and often life-saving for people living with HIV (PLHIV) who are co-infected with tuberculosis (TB) as TB continues to be the biggest killer of PLHIV. Read more