Children and women are at risk of heart disease too: Dr Rishi Sethi

World Heart Day, 29 September
Dr Rishi Sethi
Senior Cardiologist

This year’s World Heart Day (29 September) theme focusses on a life-course approach to the prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) with a focus on women and children. "It is a myth that heart disease and stroke only affect older, male, rich populations. CVDs affect as many women as men however, their risk is seriously underestimated. In fact, heart disease is actually the number one killer of women, causing 1 in 3 female deaths: shockingly, that’s about one death per minute! It is vital that women learn the truth about their CVD risk and take action to protect themselves and their family" said Dr Rishi Sethi, Associate Professor, Department of Cardiology, King George's Medical University (KGMU).

Changing Notions of Masculinity, Preventing Violence Against Women

Swapna Majumdar - CNS
In Bangladesh, a man forced into marriage vents his frustration by beating his wife when she disobeys him. In Cambodia, a husband justifies slapping his wife on the grounds that she must have done something she shouldn’t. In Indonesia, some men believe that if a wife doesn’t look after her husband’s needs, she deserves to be punished.

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena blasts tobacco industry for attempting to bribe

 Manjari Peiris, Sri Lanka 
(First published in The Asian Tribune, Sri Lanka on 26 September 2013)  
The Minister of Health Sri Lanka, recently made a shocking revelation proving the worldwide well established notorious demeanour of the tobacco industry-- their attempts to bribe politicians, policy makers and journalists etc. -- to hinder bringing in people friendly health policies in the country. Generally laws are meant to protect the people of a country, but very strangely the tobacco industry demands and seeks legal remedy for itself to further engage in ‘man slaughtering’.

Tobacco Industries challenge government policies

Chhatra Karki, Nepal
(First published in Kapan Online, Nepal on 26 September 2013)
 The tobacco producers across the world have often been challenging the government’s bid to control the productions and sales of the tobacco containing products. The tobacco industries in different countries of Asia, Africa, Middle-East and Europe have been charged with not abiding by the policies relating to public health.

It is time to completely end the game of tobacco

Mukta Srivastava - CNS
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth (HRIDAY) and World Health Organization (WHO) jointly organized the ‘International Conference on Public Health Priorities in the 21st Century: The Endgame for Tobacco’ recently in New Delhi.

Report: Advocacy Training Workshop on WHO FCTC Article 5.3

[Read/ download full report] The report of the day-long Advocacy Training Workshop on WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Article 5.3 which was organized in Lucknow, India, on Saturday, 7th September 2013 went online on 24th September 2013 and is being disseminated to different government authorities in India. This training culminated with a list of action points, one of which was to create a committee charged with passing and implementing a UP state policy in line with WHO FCTC Article 5.3.

Tobacco industry interference in controlling tobacco consumption

A nineteenth-century, tin box of
 Kyriazi Frères brand, Egyptian cigarettes
Dr. Essam Elmoghazy, Egypt 
The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing nearly six million people a year. More than five million of these deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Approximately one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco, accounting for one in 10 adult deaths.

Did they trick us into smoking?

Carolyn Kavita Tauro - CNS
Most smokers would reply that no one tricked them into smoking. It was and has always been their sole decision to smoke. However, when one looks back it is not uncommon to see the different reasons why people, both young and old smoke. The common ones we all know: “we need it to be part of the group; it makes us look cool; it helps keep my weight down; it relieves my tension; …. the list is endless.

APACT Urges Indonesia To Ratify FCTC And Shun The Tobacco Industry

Shobha Shukla - CNS
The 2013 Asia Pacific Association for the Control of Tobacco (APACT) Conference was held in August, 2013 in Chiba, Japan to address the prevention and control of tobacco use worldwide, with a special focus on the Asia Pacific region. One of the important achievements of the conference was the signing of A Declaration on Tobacco Control in Indonesia which was adopted by over 785 delegates from 42 countries assembled at the conference.

Deserted by family, he seeks solace in PMDT staffers…….

Shobha Shukla - CNS
Anirban Mukherjee is from Kolkata. An only child, he is 32 years old and educated till Class 10. No one else, except him, in his family has ever had TB. He has never smoked nor ever eaten gutkha/paan masala, but used to take alcohol occasionally in the past.

Tobacco industry interests are in conflict with public health

Shobha Shukla - CNS 
The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is the world’s first global public health and corporate accountability treaty and to date 177 countries are Parties to it. By signing and ratifying this treaty, these countries are committed to adopt a range of measures to reduce tobacco use, including increasing taxes on tobacco products, banning tobacco advertising, creating smokefree public and work places, implementing health warnings, combating illicit trade and, above all, preventing industry interference in influencing health policies.

Youth is the cornerstone for tobacco control activities

Mukta Srivastava - CNS 
The ‘International Conference on Public Health Priorities in the 21st Century: The Endgame for Tobacco’, jointly organized by The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth (HRIDAY) was held recently in Delhi. The World Health Organization (WHO) was the technical co-sponsor of this event. The conference, which was attended by around 500 delegates from around 55 countries across the world, proved to be a whistle blower to the tobacco epidemic.

When whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts

Bobby Ramakant - CNS
[Images] Earlier this year we at CNS had visited many biosafety level (BSL) III laboratories in India where one of the latest diagnostic tools were available to do drug susceptibility testing (DST) for tuberculosis (TB). One red-coloured sticker on most of these diagnostic tools caught our attention: UNITAID. This organization not only raises 70% of its core funding by innovative financing mechanisms such as by levying a small fee on airline tickets, but also has made a difference differently when compared with other traditional donors.

The Last Lesson

Mrs Bimla Misra
On 12th September 2013, former Principal of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya Mrs Bimla Misra (84 years) bid farewell to this world - but not before teaching another lesson: as per her wish, her body was donated to the cause of medical education to King George's Medical University (KGMU) sans rituals. Mrs Misra taught her students most of her life till mid-August 2013.

Anatomy, the study of the structure of the human body, is one of the most important courses in the medical education. The need for human bodies is pressing and no doubt Mrs Misra's gift will be valued and honoured.

Affectionately addressed as 'Mamma' by most of us, she always stood as a living example of empowerment and living life with dignity and grace. Mother of CNS Executive Director Shobha Shukla, she could not have given a more powerful example when it was the time to go by donating her body and rising above traditional customs and rituals to support the cause of science.

As her daughter and CNS head Shobha Shukla said, let us celebrate the years she lived...

Go well 'Mamma'....

Citizen News Service - CNS family
September 2013

Integrated TB and HIV care in Myanmar gives hope

Bobby Ramakant - CNS
[Images] There is no doubt that tuberculosis (TB) and HIV care should be integrated at different levels, particularly in high burden settings. Being part of the UNITAID mission to report from the global launch of the largest-ever roll-out of Gene Xpert MTB/RIF machines in Yangon, Citizen News Service - CNS got an opportunity to witness an inspiring work done in Myanmar since 2005 where TB and HIV care services are getting increasingly integrated at different levels, with support from the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) and partners.

Communal Polarization

[हिंदी] Just when it appeared that Samajwadi Party government had handled the 84 Kosi Parikrama incident quite well and had emerged as a hero in the eyes of Muslims, Muzaffarnagar has happened. It has painted the government in a very bad light, said a statement jointly issued by Socialist Party (India), Rihai Manch and National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM).

Overcoming obstacles in managing TB and HIV infections

Okeoghene Oghenekaro, Nigeria 
(First published in National Mirror, Nigeria on 3 September 2013)
The incidence of tuberculosis and HIV seem to be rising in Nigeria, as it has been recorded that more than 3.4 million people are now infected. More agonising is the fact that those diagonised with the diseases are constantly stigmatised in the society. This piece examines efforts being made to mitigate their effects.

Largest-ever push to diagnose tuberculosis within two hours

Bobby Ramakant - CNS 
[Images] Diagnosing tuberculosis (TB) and also getting to know with accuracy about resistance to one of the two most powerful anti-TB drugs (Rifampicin) within two hours is increasingly becoming a reality on the ground. The largest-ever roll-out of Gene Xpert MTB/RIF machines in countries most severely hit by drug-resistant TB was launched on 10th September 2013 at the National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory in Yangon, Myanmar, with support from UNITAID, an organization whose 70% funding is raised by innovative financing mechanisms such as levying a small fee on airline tickets.

Surgical advancements to salvage the diabetic foot

Shobha Shukla - CNS 
Some years ago, 30 years old Tanveer (name changed), a noted tabla percussionist, sustained a fall that lead to a spinal fracture and complete paralysis of both his lower limbs. Although orthopaedic surgeons fixed his spinal bony fracture, he continued to have paraplegia.

HIV patients vulnerable to TB

Chhatra Karki, Nepal
(First published in Kapan, Nepal)
Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV co-infection is now emerging as a big threat in the health sector around the world. As people living with HIV (PLHIV) gradually lose their immune power, they become more vulnerable to the infection of TB. As per a report, there are 34 million PLHIV around the world; and 11 million of them have been affected by severe forms of TB.

Persistent low grade fever and cough….

Shobha Shukla - CNS
40 years old Rukmini lives close to the Civil Hospital of BJ Medical College in Ahmedabad. She used to sell fruits to supplement her daily wage earner husband’s meager income till tuberculosis struck her in 2010. She has a 17 year old daughter and an elder son who is married. Rukmini is illiterate but has managed to educate her children up to elementary level.