75% diabetic-foot related lower limb amputations preventable

Nearly 25% of people with diabetes face diabetic foot related complications in their lifetime. “People with diabetes can develop many different foot problems. Even ordinary problems can get worse and lead to serious complications. Foot problems most often happen when there is nerve damage, also called neuropathy, which results in loss of feeling in your feet. Poor blood flow or changes in the shape of your feet or toes may also cause problems” said Dr Gyan Chand, Associate Professor, Breast and Endocrine Surgery Department, Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS).

IIT-BHU students protest against Coca Cola

Dr Sandeep Pandey, CNS Columnist
On 17th February, 2014, some 300 students of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) took out a march through the campus against the multinational giants Pepsi and Coca Cola on Banares Hindu University (BHU) campus in Varanasi. There is a plant of Coca Cola in Mehdiganj, Rajatalab on the Varanasi-Allahabad highway about 20 km outside Varanasi where a farmers' movement has been going on against Coke for the last decade. In 2003 and 2004 there were big protests outside the plant on which lathi charges were ordered and hundreds of farmers went to jail. The march by IIT students was in support of the farmers.

Why at present the AAP offers the best hope for governance and policy

Dr Rahul Pandey, CNS Columnist
In a short period of time the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has shaken up India’s political landscape by offering an honest alternative to the mainstream national parties, specifically the Congress and the BJP.  This article is an attempt to understand AAP’s credibility on certain crucial dimensions, namely, the integrity of senior leadership; their policy agenda for the underprivileged sections of society; and for the economy and business sector.  While doing so, a brief comparison of AAP with BJP and Congress is also attempted. High personal integrity of senior leaders is a fundamental pre-requisite for good governance.  It is a starting condition for a party to collectively try to envision an India without vested self interests. 

E-Cigarettes: Is it the advent of the end?

Alice Tembe, CNS Correspondent 
Akin to the biblical and religious association to the end-times, unprecedented events occur and humanity perpetuates its own destruction. Having survived atomic bombs, years of epidemic diseases like the Ebola, Human Immune-deficiency Virus and its associate Tuberculosis, the establishment of a chemical mixture to suppress a craving for another equally destructive chemical like nicotine defies the logic to save the human race.

Is E-cigarette Smoking Safe?

Chhatra Karki, CNS Correspondent 
Tobacco companies all over the world are selling Electronic Cigarettes (E-Cigarettes) under the banner of 'safe smoking' in times when 5.4 million people die every year from tobacco related causes. Globally, various campaigns against smoking are on their feet while at the same time the increasing use of E-Cigarettes threatens to thwart all the commendable work done by tobacco control activists.

The gender insensitive leadership of AAP

Dr Sandeep Pandey, CNS Columnist
The comment made by Kumar Vishwas on nurses from Kerala and the Delhi Law Minister’s insistence that Delhi police raid a place which he alleged was being used to run a sex and drug racket have exposed certain weakness of the AAP party. Since it is a party created in a hurry obviously its cadres have not received any kind of training, leave aside ideological training. Unfortunately the top leadership of AAP is bereft of any prominent female member or anybody with feminist outlook.

E-Cigarettes: Friend Or Foe

Carolyn Kavita Tauro, CNS Correspondent
‘Tobacco is one of the leading killers in the world’; ‘smoking is harmful for our health’; ‘smoking can cause lung cancer, heart disease’… We have heard it all before. We also know how once someone gets into the habit of smoking it is very difficult, if not impossible for him/her to quit due to the addictive nature of nicotine. So the tobacco industry, with all its so called concerns for the dying population, has come up with a new alternative to smoking – E-Cigarettes.

'207 against 377' campaign

More than 100 community stakeholders and activists met in New Delhi on 6th February 2014 for a national consultation on Section 377 and for the launch of a new advocacy campaign, '207 against 377' initiated by Pehchan— a 5 year programme (funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria) that works in 17 states of India in close collaboration with India's National AIDS Control Programme to strengthen and build the capacity of community-based organizations to advance and focus on HIV prevention in vulnerable sexual minorities like men who have sex with men, transgenders and hijras.

Breast cancer survivor's crusade to be the change....

Swapna Majumdar - CNS
It was just by chance that Renuka Prasad discovered a pea-sized lump in her breast in 1997. After ignoring it for a couple of days, she consulted a local gynaecologist in Bhatinda, Punjab, where her husband, an army Corp Commander, was posted. She was reassured when the doctor told her that the mammogram showed fatty tissues probably due to hormonal changes in her body – at 49, she was approaching menopause.

Do we really believe in cancer 'prevention is better than cure'?

World Cancer Day: 4th February
Despite alarming cancer rates globally, with worst impact in low- and middle-income countries, one is forced to ponder if we really believe in 'cancer prevention is better than cure'. Cancer treatment is challenging and expensive, with very worrying 5-year survival rates (average 5-year survival varies for different cancers). Still evidence-based list of cancer prevention action-points is lying neglected in most low- and middle-income countries around the world.

Break the silence around cancer

Shobha Shukla - CNS
The focus of this year's World Cancer Day (4 February 2014) is on Target 5 of the World Cancer Declaration: Reduce stigma and dispel myths about cancer, under the tagline 'Debunk the myths' (the 4 myths of-- we do not need to talk about cancer; there are no symptoms of cancer; there is nothing I can do about cancer; I do not have the right to cancer care). Myths indeed these are, and coupled with gender inequities, they restrict women in low resource settings from accessing essential cancer services for early detection and cancer prevention programme.

'Change the Girl's Journey and Change the World'

Swapna Majumdar - CNS
Kate Gilmour UNFPA
If all adolescents in the world were put together they would be the size of India, a country with a population of over 1.2 billion. More than half of the world’s young people entering their reproductive years live in the Asia Pacific. Yet, the young people in this region, many of whom live in poverty, are denied access to sexual and reproductive health information and services. "Their rights are violated, denied and betrayed. It is no wonder that South Asia has the highest levels of child marriage in the world. Six million adolescent pregnancies occur in Asia Pacific, 90 per cent inside marriage. Clearly, very few have autonomy over their bodies," said Kate Gilmour, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director (Programme), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Using social media to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights

Shobha Shukla - CNS
Social media is an effective means to promote broader public discourse on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) by translating technical information into forms that are easily understood by a young audience globally, thus educating them about SRHR issues and, more importantly, correct the misinformation - taboos, stigma and superstition, including religious extremism - that negates SRHR. It is a versatile tool treating people as agents of social change and not mere numbers.At the 7th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights (7th APCRSHR) held recently in Manila, experiences of Philippines, India, Cambodia and Pakistan on the relevance of social media in engaging youth for meaningful dialogues on SRHR were discussed at length.