Outrage against delay in pictorial warnings on tobacco products in India

In a detractive decision of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India (GOI), the implementation of new pictorial health warnings has been deferred to December 1, 2010 from the earlier commitment of introducing them from June 1, 2010. In March 2010, civil society organizations had joined hands to applaud the government's efforts in notifying effective pictorial warning of cancer-stricken mouth on packs of both smoking and smokeless tobacco. However, this delay in implementation of new pictorial warnings by the GOI is worrying civil society organizations, as in the past, this oscillating stand of the Government had led to further weakening and dilutions of warnings. Read more

Jha Commission begins inquiry into fake registries at Alirajpur

Justice Shravan Shankar Jha Commission of Inquiry constituted by the Madhya Pradesh (MP) High Court in August 2008 to enquire into the multi-crore scam of fake registries of Sardar Sarovar affected victims started its next phase of proceedings in Alirajpur today. The immensely corrupt nexus of authorities and touts has derailed implementation the rehabilitation of the Sardar Sarovar Project oustees and has denied the affected, their right to agricultural land. This large scale corruption in the whole process has led to a loss worth crores of rupees to the treasury of the Indian State. Read more

People's Tribunal led by Justice AP Shah calls for review of Narmada Projects

Tribunal expresses grave concern on severe non-compliance by authorities
A Panel of eminent citizens who came together as an Independent People's Tribunal (IPT) to assess the true scale and impacts of the large dam-projects in the natural-resource rich region of the Narmada Valley, delivered their verdict today on various aspects concerning the massive displacement, rehabilitation, environmental compliance and overall cost-benefits of the Sardar Sarovar and Jobat Projects as also the large canals of Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar. Read more

Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) issues legal notice to MoEF on Narmada Canals issue

A legal notice was issued by the Narmada Bachao Andolan to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, on the issue of continued land acquisition and excavation for the large canals of Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar, which is causing an irreversible damage to the best of agricultural land in the region. Read more

Think Health, Not Drugs

The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which falls on 26th June, is a grim reminder of the detrimental effects of drug abuse which is destroying lives, encouraging crimes and threatening economic development all over the world. The theme for this year's drug campaign is 'Think Health, Not Drugs,' with the aim to to sensitize the people in general and the youth in particular, to the harms of using drugs. Read more

Caregivers come with a cost

While community home based care is the preferred means of providing care for people living with HIV in many parts of Southern Africa, it comes with massive costs especially to caregivers in terms of time, effort and commitment, according to a study published recently in the Journal of the International AIDS Society. Read more

Time for pronouncement of award: People's Tribunal on Narmada

Pronouncement of Award on Sardar Sarovar, Indira Sagar, Omkareshwar and Jobat
You must be aware of the Sardar Sarovar Project embroiled in the controversy over last 25 years. The project has now reached a critical juncture with 2 lakh (200,000) people still in the submergence area while the authorities who are monitoring social and environmental measures have been reporting non-compliance. The cost and benefits are being questioned by various authorities and organizations, while the Planning Commission has recently given a revised investment clearance of Rs. 39,000 crores. Read more

CNS coverage from "Research and development of new TB vaccines" Symposium, Zaragoza, Spain

Babs Verblackt wrote on issues around the tuberculosis (TB) vaccines, on-site from the "Research and development of new TB vaccines" Symposium, Zaragoza, Spain (3-4 June 2010). Babs is freelance journalist, a Fellow of CNS Writers' Bureau and Associate Communications at TuBerculosis Vaccine InitiativeTBVI). Read more

Mumbai slum dwellers gherao MPCC President: Struggle continues

As the indefinite Satyagraha of thousands of Mumbai’s anguished, albeit resilient poor completed one whole week today, a group of slum dwellers from Anna Bhau Sathe Nagar gheraoed Shri. Kripa Shankar Singh, President of the Mumbai Congress Committee at Kurla, where he had come to inspect the progress of Mithi River cleaning. The slum dwellers challenged the indefensible silence of the Congress Party over the gross violation of their legal and human rights. Read more

Narmada Ghati salutes Ashishbhai's life-long struggle for displaced

साथी तेरे सपनों को, मंजिल तक पहुंचाएंगे
We, the adivasis, farmers, fish workers, potters, labourers, women, men, and children from the Narmada valley and the activists of Narmada Bachao Andolan are deeply shocked and shattered by the sudden and most undeserving demise of our dear colleague Shri Ashish Mandloi at his ancestral village Chhota Barda in Badwani district due to a cardiac arrest. Read more

Spare The Ruler But Do Not Spoil The Child

The nation is abuzz with the news of Rouvanjit Rawla, a class VIII student of Kolkata’s prestigious La Martiniere School for boys, who hanged himself four months ago, reportedly unable to bear the humiliation after he was caned by his school principal Sunirmal Chakroborty, and allegedly by some other teachers as well. What was his crime? Read more

Fighting TB in Asia: Public and private health sector should partner up

Babs Verblackt writes for CNS from "Research and development of new TB vaccines" Symposium, Zaragoza, Spain
In Asia, partnerships between public and private healthcare providers are especially relevant in the fight against tuberculosis (TB). "These partnerships can help guarantee quality of care and improve information on the national TB situations," says Giuliano Gargioni, Team Leader, Partnering and Social Mobilization at the Stop TB Partnership. Read more

Opposing the auction of Karnataka

Over a hundred people from Karnataka representing various human rights groups/issues gathered on the rainy evening of 3rd June 2010 on the steps of Bangalore's Town Hall. Using informative leaflets and slogans, we jointly protested the two day Global Investors Meet (GIM) held in Bangalore that day and the next. Read more

UP is home to 20 per cent of India's child labourers

State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights is still not top priority of government
It is indeed a matter of grave concern that 20 per cent (1,927,997 to be exact) of India's total (12,666,377) child labour force lives in Uttar Pradesh. It is a fact that there is no dearth of grants, aid, projects and schemes for creating a child-labour-free state and yet, instead of declining, the percentage of child labour is growing by leaps and bound in the state. Read more

Women Deliver 2010: Promise of an Optimal Future for Women and Girls

In 1910, a meeting of 35 women in Copenhagen started a worldwide movement demanding universal voting rights for women. That was a turning point in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men. Now, 100 years later, over 3000 delegates (40% of who were men) from 146 countries, gathered together in Washington DC to press for universal access to maternal and child health. 2010 is as transforming a mile stone as 1910 was, in the journey of achieving basic human and health care rights for all women and children. Read more

Group health insurance for newspaper persons and families

Media Nest, a Lucknow-based pan-India forum of journalists that works for the welfare of media persons and their families has initiated a group medical insurance for newspaper persons and their families. The premium rates will be highly subsidized and as per health insurance norms will be 100 per cent exempt from income tax. Read more

Women Deliver 2010: Harnessing Technology to Empower Women

While new information technology enables instantaneous access to vital health information, advances in medical technology for use in low-resource settings enable access to cutting edge care in some of the poorest and most under served places in the world. Read more

Women Deliver 2010: Women and Power

On the 1st day of Women Deliver 2010 conference, taking place in Washington DC, USA, leaders from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and CARE International announced an agreement to enhance collaboration on maternal health programs in more than 25 countries, by working with national governments and by engaging local communities. However for women to deliver, they need power. Successful women change makers have to deal with their power --getting it, keeping it and using it wisely. Read more

Symposium shows progress in TB vaccines

Babs Verblackt writes for CNS from "Research and development of new TB vaccines" Symposium, Zaragoza, Spain
Steady progress is made in the development of new vaccines against tuberculosis (TB), researchers showed at a symposium in Spain. Several vaccine candidates are now being or soon will be tested in people.
European scientists gathered at the international symposium "Research and development of new tuberculosis vaccines" in Zaragoza, Spain, to share and discuss the progress in vaccines against the airborne infectious disease. At the second and last day (4 June 2010), Professor Stefan Kaufmann of the Max-Planck-Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, Germany, illustrated that TB infection is a vicious circle: Each day about 125,000 infections result in roughly 25,000 TB cases, or 10 million new cases of TB disease a year. Around 5,000 people die of tuberculosis every day. Drug resistant TB strains, and HIV/TB co-infection further challenge global TB control. Read more

Women Deliver 2010: Lot more needs to be done to save women's lives

To listen to the audio podcast of exclusive interview with Women Deliver 2010 co-chair Dr Sai, click here
"At the global level we don't only have the issue of deaths of women and child, pregnancy and child-birth related situations, but it is the discrepancy between these deaths in the northern and more industrialized countries and in the developing countries. In fact, today as we speak we know that practically no woman dies in child birth in Europe or North America. But they do die in South Asia, Africa and Latin America" said Dr Frederick Torgbor Sai, an internationally recognized gender and reproductive health advocate from Ghana, who is the co-chair of "Women Deliver 2010" in Washington DC, USA (7-9 June). Read more

Women Deliver 2010: Invest in women, it pays

The world's largest conference on women's health and empowerment in more than a decade opens on Monday, June 7, at Washington DC, USA, with a call to increase funding commitments for maternal, reproductive, and newborn health. The conference comes at a critical moment, three weeks before the G8 Summit, where host country Canada has made it a major focus, and represents the return of the United States as a strong partner, in promoting global maternal and reproductive health. Read more

World Environment Day (WED 2010): Smoke-free environment is a right

World Environment Day, June 5
Second-hand tobacco smoke is dangerous to health. It causes cancer, heart disease and many other serious life-threatening diseases in adults. "Almost half of the world's children breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke, which worsens their asthma conditions and causes dangerous diseases. At least 2 lakhs workers die every year due to exposure to second-hand smoke at work" said Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General's WNTD Awardee in a media interface to mark World Environment Day (WED 2010), on 5th of June.

Incidentally, this year 2010 is the Year of the Lung to recognize that hundreds of millions of people around the world suffer each year from treatable and preventable chronic respiratory diseases like asthma. This initiative acknowledges that lung health has long been neglected in public discourses, and understands the need to unify different health advocates behind one purpose of lung health, informed Dr Nils Billo, Chair of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS). Read more

People's Tribunal in Narmada Valley shocked by non-compliance on rehabilitation

An Independent People's Tribunal (IPT) led by Hon'ble Justice (retd) AP Shah (Retired Chief Justice, Delhi and Mumbai High Court), Dr. Devinder Sharma (International Researcher and Agriculture Policy Analyst) and Prof. Jaya Sagade (Faculty, Indian Law Society, Law College, Pune) concluded their two-day visit and mass public hearing in the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) affected region in Narmada valley today evening. Read more

Further research into field of new tuberculosis (TB) vaccines needed

Babs Verblackt writes for CNS from "Research and development of new TB vaccines" Symposium, Zaragoza, Spain
The development of new vaccines against tuberculosis (TB) is progressing in promising ways, but many issues remain to be further researched, European scientists explained on 3 June 2010 at a symposium in Spain.

At the first day of the International Symposium "Research and development of new tuberculosis vaccines" in Zaragoza, Spain, researchers reinforced the need for new vaccines against tuberculosis (TB), pointing out that TB is a continuously growing health problem and the only currently available vaccine, BCG, has limited efficacy in adults and safety issues in HIV-infected newborns. Read more

Women: Tobacco's future face

As tobacco consumption rises among women and youth, warning sign has gone out to the world on World No Tobacco Day (31 May 2010), also from the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) foundation Thailand.

This year 2010, also marks the "Year of the Lung" campaign and the studies show that 50% of all deaths from lung disease are linked to tobacco use. "Currently, we know that 9% of Thai women are using tobacco and that over 1 million are actually exposed at home to harm from second hand smoke" said Anne Jones, Technical adviser of The Union. Read more