"Kothis" reducing risk to HIV and sexual violence among their community

Clinic manned by MSM doctors
providing medical aid to
Kothis in Lucknow
Having faced ages of neglect, denial and invisibility, "Kothis" (feminised males) are now being mobilized by groups like 'Bharosa' in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (India) to be empowered and demonstrate leadership in reaching out within their community for increasing access to essential services including HIV prevention, care, treatment and support services. They are routinely encouraged to practice safer sexual practices and protect themselves from any kind of abuse or exploitation. Read more

No more Kandhamals!

Photo credit:
Deepak Srinivasan, 
In August 2008, one of the worst communal genocide attempts on the Christian community occurred in Orissa's Kandhamal district, among India's poorest places. Over 100 people including women, differently-abled, children, Adivasis and Dalits were killed. 3 women were gang raped and many were injured. 295 churches were destroyed. Educational and medical institutions were not spared. 15,000 fearful and threatened survivors who cannot return to their villages unless they convert to Hinduism are still living in tents. Read more

Not Screening For Diabetes During Pregnancy Is Dangerous And Costly

The theme for the World Diabetes Day 2009-2013 campaigns is: "Diabetes Education and Prevention"; with a view to "Understand Diabetes and Take Control". Diabetes, mainly type-2 diabetes is very common in India and there are 50.8 million people living with diabetes currently in the country. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates this number to rise to 70 million by the year 2025. So there is an urgent need for a national diabetes control programme. Read more

Let Us Live In Honesty And Harmony

We Indians have a tendency to delve in the past and then either gloat over it or cry over it. We love to waste time and energy, reminiscing about the yesteryears, with scant thoughts of improving our present and future. We do not let 'Bygones be Bygones', but rather cling to them in a sadistic sort of way. It rarely occurs to us to learn lessons from the past mistakes in order to improve upon our present.  What’s the point in revelling about India being the land of ‘milk and honey’ in the eras gone by, when the present chaos (compounded by hunger and violence) promises to get worse with every passing day? Read more

TB doesn't get the prioritization it needs

Tallinn, Estonia: Tuberculosis (TB) is considered a major public health issue by decision makers, yet commonly doesn't get the place of importance it needs as a health care priority. These are the preliminary results of a study presented at the Second Global Forum on TB Vaccines in Tallinn, Estonia, on Wednesday, 22 September 2010. Read more

New effective TB vaccine would be 'game changer'

Tallinn, Estonia: Despite progress made in recent years, tuberculosis (TB) remains a challenge for the world, participants heard at the special opening session of the Second Global Forum on TB Vaccines in Tallinn, Estonia. New vaccines could make a significant difference. Read more

Justice Jha Commission Case: Jabalpur HC seeks full assistance of Chief Secretary

A Special Bench of Justice Shri K K Lahoti and Justice Shri Ajit Singh issued directions to the Chief Secretary of the Government of Madhya Pradesh (GoMP) to personally ensure full assistance to the Court on all issues pertaining to the Justice Jha Commission of Inquiry which has been investigating into the massive corruption of a few hundred crore rupees in the rehabilitation of the Sardar Sarovar Project affected oustees. Read more

ICPS aims at building a protective environment for children

"Child protection is a way of ensuring that children, under-privileged children in particular, are brought under a safety net umbrella. It is a system under which the most unwanted child is ensured the warmth of security, and full enjoyment of the basic rights," said Ratna Saxena, Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) consultant, UNICEF. Read more

UN High Level Summit On Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

With just a year to go, the countdown to the UN Summit on Non Communicable Diseases (to be held in September, 2011 in Brussels) has already begun. The Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Alliance, (consisting of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), World Heart Federation, Union for International Cancer Control, and the International Union for Tuberculosis and Lung Disease - The Union) is gearing up to play a prominent role in this movement to drive home strong outcomes. It is a unique alliance representing the four priority NCDs (cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases) identified by WHO, and has more than 880 member organizations in over 170 countries and territories. Read more

ASEAN health advocates push for sustainable funding mechanisms for health promotion and tobacco control

Tobacco control and other health advocates from 15 countries around the Southeast Asian and Western
 Pacific regions, North America and Europe recently held a regional workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam, to strengthen capacity for health promotion and tobacco control through sustainable funding mechanisms such as dedicated tobacco taxes. The Vietnam Steering Committee on Smoking and Health (VINACOSH) co-hosted the meeting with the World Health Organization’s Western Pacific Regional Office (WHO-WPRO) and the Bangkok-based Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA). Read more

Delhi High Court Dismisses Petition against Medha Patkar

Medha Patkar
The criminal revision petition filed challenging the medical certificate of Medha Patkar and seeking revision of dismissal order of the Metropolitan Magistrate was rejected admission by the single judge bench of Justice Ajay Bharhoke of the High Court of Delhi. The petition challenged the order of dismissal by Metropolitan Magistrate of Patiala High Court, Delhi. Before the learned Metropolitan Magistrate, an application was filed under section 197 and 198 of Indian Penal Code on grounds of perjury alleging Ms Patkar's medical certificate as fake. Read more

WHO SEARO Flags Self-Discipline As Key To Diabetes Fight

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the number of people in Thailand living with diabetes, in the age group 20-79 years, has risen from 3,162,400 in 2007 to 3,538,000 in 2010. Thus, during the past three years 375,600 more Thais have joined the band wagon of this non communicable disease, increasing the national incidence of diabetes from 7.2% in 2007 to 7.7% in 2010. This is more than the current prevalence in India (7.1%) and China (4.5%) in the age group of 20-79 years. Thailand urgently needs to increase efforts to raise awareness of diabetes among its population in order to stem the potential of a burden epidemic. Read more

CNS coverage from OPEN FORUM-4 on key issues in TB drug development, Ethiopia

Three CNS writers (Shobha Shukla, Chief Masimba K Biriwasha and Bobby Ramakant) wrote on issues around the TB drug development, in lead up to the Open Forum-4 meeting held recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (18-19 August 2010). One CNS writer (Shobha Shukla) was writing on-site from this meet (Open Forum-4 on key issues in TB Drug Development) with support from the organizers: Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Treatment Action Group (TAG) and Stop TB Partnership Working Group on New Drugs; and Citizen News Service (CNS). Read more

"TREAT TB" research aims for shorter and more effective MDR-TB treatment

[To listen to the audio podcast of CNS Exclusive interview with Dr ID Rusen, click here]
One of the main objectives of the "TREAT TB" research grant is to conduct a clinical trial to look at relatively shorter and more effective multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) treatment than the current regimen for MDR-TB. "One of the colleagues had done a study in Bangladesh which was just published few months back – that a shortened standardised regimen of just nine months was effective in treating MDR-TB patients. One of the challenges of treating MDR-TB is that it is a long and difficult treatment regimen – so this was a big breakthrough. What we are trying to do in our MDR-TB trial, which is called "STREAM" is to see whether the same results of Bangladesh trial can be replicated in four other countries. India is one of the countries being considered but final countries will be selected at the end of November 2010" said Dr ID Rusen, Director, Department of Tuberculosis, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union). Read more

People with diabetes up to 2-3 times higher risk of TB

[To listen to audio podcast of CNS Exclusive interview with Dr Anil Kapur on TB-diabetes, click here]
People with diabetes are at a high risk of tuberculosis (TB). "There are several studies that have been done, there are systematic reviews that have been done which indicates that people with diabetes might have 2 to 3 times higher risk of getting TB" said Dr Anil Kapur, President of the World Diabetes Foundation (WDF). "Not only that, patients with TB and associated diabetes, have increased mortality. The risk of mortality is much higher in TB patients who have co-existing diabetes. There are also evidences to suggest that when there is co-existing diabetes it takes longer for the sputum to become negative (for TB) with anti-tubercular treatment" said Dr Anil Kapur. Read more

ANPUD Board advocates for universal access to harm reduction approaches

ANPUD Board Meet, Bangkok
The Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD) is the first registered regional network of people who use drugs, and was established by people who use drugs to unify the voices of their communities to advocate for changes in drug laws and policies that negatively affect their lives and for better access to prevention, treatment and care services across Asia. ANPUD currently has over 190 members throughout the Asian region. ANPUD's first meeting of the Executive Board was held in Bangkok on 25th-27th August 2010. Read more

Broadcast Launch of Community Radio in Lalitpur

Alapur, Birdha Block, Lalitpur: Community Radio (CR) achieved another milestone on 3rd September 2010. Its first Community Radio (CR) station 'Lalit Lokwani' went on air in Uttar Pradesh (UP) state, India, and officially began its broadcast to over 80 villages in Lalitpur district of Budelkhand region. A combined effort of UNICEF, Ideosync Media Combine and Sai Jyoti, a Laitpur based NGO, the region's first radio station was jointly put on air by Ranvir Yadav, District Magistrate (DM Lalitpur, Jugal Kishore, Joint Director Bharatendu Natak Academi UP and well known theatre personality who also recently made an appearance in Amir Khan's Peepli Live and Rajeshwari Chandrashekar, Programme Manager, UNICEF Lucknow at a gala function organized at the Lalit Lokwani station in Alapur. Read more

WDF addressing diabetes among children of developing nations

[Listen to audio podcast of CNS exclusive interview with WDF President Dr Anil Kapur, click here]
Recognizing the compelling need to improve prevention, treatment, care and support services for children with diabetes, the World Diabetes Foundation (WDF) has scaled up initiatives to address both types of diabetes among children: type-I and type-II, said Dr Anil Kapur, President of WDF, who spoke to CNS after receiving the IDRF Lifetime Achievement Award. Read more

Not caring for children with diabetes is a human rights violation

[Listen to audio podcast of CNS exclusive interview with WDF President Dr Anil Kapur, click here]
Predominantly type-I diabetes affects children. "In case of these children with type-I diabetes, when they don't get insulin it is deciding whether they will survive or they will die" said Dr Anil Kapur, President of the World Diabetes Foundation (WDF) who was conferred upon the IDRF Lifetime Achievement Award last week. "So it is a basic human rights to live issue here. It needs to be stressed that governments in every country in the world should make sure that these children get access to proper  care - in terms of supply of insulin, diagnostics and for monitoring and also they  should receive information on how they should remain healthy day-to-day" said Dr Anil Kapur. Read more

Patient Friendly Research To Fight Tuberculosis (TB)

Dr Christian Lienhardt
[To listen to two part-audio podcast/ recording of an exclusive CNS interview with Dr Christian Lienhardt who heads the Research Movement at the Stop TB Partnership, click here1, here2]
The present diagnosis and treatment regimen for tuberculosis is almost 40 years old. According to the WHO, with the currently available diagnostic tools, we are able to diagnose just 61% of TB cases globally.  This means that 40% of the cases go undetected and inadvertently help in further transmission of the disease in healthy people. Read More