Two diseases, one patient…

Carolyn Kavita Tauro, India
Tuberculosis (TB) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) – can we continue to tackle these separately? According to the Global TB Report (2012), in 2011, out of 8.7 million people who developed TB worldwide 1.1 million (13%) were HIV positive. An approximate of 0.4 million HIV-associated TB deaths took place in 2011 and TB is the most common opportunistic infection among people living with HIV (PLWH).  HIV increases chances that latent TB infection can become active TB disease and also increases the risk of death due to this.

Advocacy Training Workshop on WHO FCTC Article 5.3

A day-long Advocacy Training Workshop on WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Article 5.3 will be held in Lucknow, India, on Saturday, 7th September 2013. Several civil society and government representatives implementing the domestic tobacco control law are likely to participate.

When he vomited blood one day...

Photo credit: CNS, January 2010
Shobha Shukla - CNS
[Hindi] 48 years old Deepak, was leading a happy normal life with his wife and 3 children. He was working in a government job as a driver in the police department in Ramgarh district of Uttarakhand when, way back in 1997, he suddenly vomited blood one day. The doctor diagnosed him with pulmonary TB on the basis of a chest X-Ray and put him on a 6 month Anti TB Treatment under DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment Shortcourse). Deepak was presumably cured and remained okay for a year and a half. Meanwhile he had been transferred from Ramgarh to Uttar Kashi. There his problem recurred and he vomited blood again.

Are Healthcare workers Tuberculosis Proof?

Alice Tembe, Swaziland
‘I had to choose between being deaf and being dead’, this is what Dalene von Delft, a Medical Doctor from Stellenbosch University in South Africa, said in her testimony at a two-day Southern Africa meeting held recently to strengthen and scale up TB /HIV responses in the workplace. The meet was supported under the TB Care II program by University Research Company in collaboration with USAID. In the meeting, Swaziland, Namibia, South Africa were represented by their government, workers and employers’ organizations working in the field of TB.

Living with HIV and infected with TB: The Double Struggle

Diana Esther Wangari - CNS
Lying in bed at Kenyatta National hospital, Joshua Lule stared at the ceiling lost in thought. The hospital had been his home for the past three months and while the rest of the patients prepared to see their friends and relatives at half past noon every day, Joshua remained in his recumbent position. No one would be coming to visit him; in fact no one had visited him in the past two months. He had remained hopeful during those first few weeks but as days passed by his hopes of seeing a friendly or family face dwindled. The grim reality that they had all given up on him gradually dawned on him.

Combating TB-HIV Co-infection

Shobha Shukla - CNS
Meena (name changed), a 35 years old mother of 3, comes from a village in district Gonda  of Uttar Pradesh, India. She is living with HIV and has suffered from TB also. I met her at the antiretroviral therapy (ART) centre of a Government Hospital in Lucknow and was instantly struck by her infectious smile and cheerful disposition. Three years ago, both she and her husband were diagnosed with HIV. She was immediately put on ART, but not her husband as the doctor did not find his CD4 count below the critical level. Ironically, her husband died six months later of a fall, but Meena is still up and about.

Rainy season: Curse for diabetic foot

(First published in THE HINDUSTAN TIMES on Tuesday, 6th August 2013)
Diabetes has proved itself a silent killer disease. Today in the world maximum numbers of the patients are suffering from this disease, and moreover they are passing through the complications too. The World Health Organisation estimated that in the year 2000, 150 million people had diabetes mellitus, and it is predicted that this number will rise to 366 million by the year 2030.The life style, diet and addictions are adding fuel to fire. Evidence prove that the patho-physiological process of diabetes have put the foot at increased risk for tissue damage. As soon as tissue damage has occurred,the foot is at risk for end stage complication including gangrene and amputations.

Create smoke-free zones, Government urged

Paidamoyo Chipunza, Zimbabwe 
(First published in The Herald, Zimbabwe on 8 August 2013): GOVERNMENT has been urged to create 100 percent smoke-free environments to help reduce the risk of contracting cancer. The calls come amid chilling revelations that more than 4 000 chemicals are found in tobacco smoke, from which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 known to cause cancer. Ministry of Health and Child Welfare deputy director for the department of mental health and drug abuse Mrs Dorcas Sithole said while current laws forbid anyone to smoke in public spaces such as in buses, commuter omnibuses, airlines, halls, schools and public offices, people still do so.

Making air free from diseases

Okeoghene Oghenekaro, Nigeria 
(First published in News Agency of Nigeria, on 6 August 2013): Bidemi, a widowed petty trader, feels her life is crumbling because all her children frequently go down with cold. Joshua, her five-year old son, has just been discharged from the hospital after treating a debilitating cold. After medical tests, the doctor said Joshua had a respiratory tract infection the symptoms which Bidemi’s three other children are already having. She then wonders what could have caused this.

Hiroshima Day: Youth vote for peace and low-carbon, no nuclear energy

Bobby Ramakant - CNS
[Online poster image gallery] [हिन्दी] Over a hundred poster exhibits made on "Lessons From Japan" theme by Lucknow youth had sent a strong message on Hiroshima Day, 6th August 2013 in favour of low carbon and no-nuclear energy. Using nuclear energy for power generation is a very dangerous and expensive option with serious risk of irreparable and/or long term damage to environment and human life, argued the activists. This Lessons From Japan poster exhibition was organized at Daffodils Convent Inter College campus in Lucknow by Vote For Health campaign, CNS, Asha Parivar and National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM).

Communal Violence: Who is to be blamed?

Dr Ram Puniyani
A friend with dogged determination to show that the BJP is a lesser culprit of communal violence and that Congress is the major party to be blamed, listed the major communal riots in India and showed that most of the time when violence took place, it was Congress which has been the ruling party. He asks, so why get stuck with one episode of Gujarat violence and put it as a major point against Narendra Modi or BJP for that matter?