Keep people before profit: Comments on the draft National Health Policy 2015

[Download] The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, is seeking comments and feedback on the draft National Health Policy (NHP) 2015. After consultations organized by Socialist Party (India), National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), Asha Parivar, and Vote For Health campaign, Citizen News Service (CNS), we have summarised the comments that came forth on the draft shared by the government. These comments were submitted on 26th February 2015. Download the report summarising the comments here.

Medicines Patent Pool brings hope for kids living With HIV

Citizen News Service - CNS
The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), an organization founded by UNITAID, and backed by the United Nations,  signed today (24th February 2015) a licensing agreement with the American pharmaceutical company MSD (Merck Sharp & Dohme), known as Merck in the United States and Canada, for paediatric formulations of raltegravir- a key medicine approved for children living with HIV, one month of age and older.

Report: Christian response to AIDS, homophobia and violence against women

[Download report] A two-days consultation on "Christian response to AIDS, Homophobia and the Violence against Women" was organized in Chennai, India, by Concern for AIDS Research and Education (CARE) Foundation in association with Center for the Church and Global AIDS, USA (March 2014). Report was prepared by Citizen News Service (CNS) based upon the deliberations in this consultation. This is a draft report and final print version is slightly modified. To download this report, click here.

Lung cancer and smoking are best friends

John Yengkhom, CNS Correspondent, Nagaland
A cancer is a growth in the body, which becomes large with time due to various reasons. It passes through a variety of stages from which either to recover or to die. Among the many cancers happening around the world is the deadly lung cancer; but the good news is that it can be prevented if we understand about its basic cause. According to the World Cancer Report 2014, many lakhs are affected with lung cancer every year. Out of them only few will survive. In India alone, it is considered as a major cancer type and there are specialized hospitals to treat such patients from all over the country including from neighbouring nations.

Increasing lung cancer cases in women ring alarm bells

Diana Wangari, CNS Special Correspondent, Kenya
(First published in The Star, Kenya) 
I remember one time when my grandmother paid us a visit in the city, she remarked on 'How the world has changed.' She was referring to a group of ladies, standing outside a restaurant who, while chatting, would pause every now and then to take a puff from the cigarette clutched between their meticulously manicured nails.

TB Alliance advances next-generation TB drug candidate into clinical testing

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
CNS Image Library (March 2013)
The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) announced on February 19, 2015 the start of the first human study of a new TB drug candidate TBA-354--the first new potential TB drug to begin a Phase 1 clinical study in 6 years since 2009. “There is a critical gap of new compounds for TB,” said Mel Spigelman, MD, President and CEO of TB Alliance. “The advancement of TBA-354 into clinical testing is a major milestone, not only because of the potential it shows for improving TB treatment, but because it is the first new potential TB drug to begin a Phase 1 clinical trial in six years.”

Is too much health research - unnecessary, unethical, unscientific, wasteful?

Too much health and medical research may be unnecessary, unethical, unscientific, and wasteful, warns a new global network, 'Evidence-Based Research Network (EBRNetwork)' - initiated by a group of Norwegian and Danish researchers. Researchers, research funders, regulators, sponsors and publishers of research fail to use earlier research when preparing to start, fund or publish the results of new studies, EBRNetwork experts argue. They stress: To embark on research without systematically reviewing evidence of what is already known, particularly when the research involves people or animals, is unethical, unscientific, and wasteful.

Patients struggle to access quality diabetes care

Owen Nyaka, CNS Correspondent, Malawi
Diabetes in Malawi seems to be nobody’s baby. Speaking from personal experience, Mariam Ladi, a diabetes patient and a Diabetes Club leader at Kawale Township in Lilongwe, rues that people who suffer from diabetes related complications, such as kidney failure, are often unable to access proper treatment due to the prohibitive costs involved.

A suitable prescription for an unfit nation

Dr Anoop Misra, Chairman of Fortis C-DOC Hospital 
(First published in the LiveMint News)
“Doctor, I cannot exercise because of cold/hot/rainy weather; dogs and mosquitoes/ chain snatchers/beggars on the street; parties, etc”—utterances that I hear from my patients ad nauseam. Very few state that the inability to do exercise is primarily because of their laziness. Many of them have a stationary exercise bicycle, treadmill, or even a fully equipped gym at home. Having worked in India, the UK and US, I firmly believe that urban Indians are far more inactive as compared with other races. Is it in our genes? Unlikely.

Lung cancer: Difficult to diagnose, difficult to treat, easy to prevent

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
Dr Surya Kant, KGMU

Just a few days before World Cancer Day this year, an acquaintance of mine succumbed to this dreaded disease within 10 months of diagnosis, and became part of the world statistics of someone dying somewhere of lung cancer every 30 seconds. Of all known cancers, lung cancer has highest annual mortality (1.6 million) as well as incidence (1.8 million) globally, and is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 cancer related deaths.

Childhood pneumonia - the forgotten killer

Diana Wangari, CNS Special Correspondent,  Kenya
(First published in The Star, Kenya)
If you were asked what were the leading infectious disease killers of children under the age of five, what would your answer be? Unless you were a health professional or keep abreast with health information regarding that particular population, I am almost certain that pneumonia would not find a place in the top three diseases that came across your mind.

Deworm to not lose gains made on child health and nutrition

National Deworming Day is on 10th February 2015
Government of India is observing National Deworming Day on 10th February to control infections in children caused by Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH) or intestinal worms, which are among the most common infections worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 241 million children between the ages of 1 and 14 are at risk of STH infection in India. These worms live in human intestines and consume nutrients meant for the human body. They are transmitted by eggs present in human feces, which contaminate soil in areas where sanitation is poor. STH infections can lead to anemia, malnutrition, impaired mental and physical development, and reduced school participation. Safe, inexpensive and effective medicines are available to control infection.

Lung cancer - deadly and yet preventable

Chhatra Karki, CNS Correspondent, Nepal
Since the last decade, the number of lung cancer patients has been rapidly increasing in Nepal. The statistical report released by B.P Koirala memorial cancer hospital (BPKMCH), Bharatpur, Nepal clearly depicts this grim scenario.

Lung cancer - the bane of smokers

Pretty Chavango, CNS Correspondent,  Zimbabwe
 Elizabeth (R):lung cancer victim:
 Photo credit: ECCT

Millions of people from all over the world join together in commemorating the annual  World Cancer Day on the 4th of February. Worldwide, over 14.1 million people are diagnosed with cancer and 8 .2 million people succumb to it every year (GLOBCAN 2012). If proper action, such as modifying lifestyles, is taken in time then perhaps 30%-40% of cancers can be prevented and another 30% can be cured if diagnosed early.

Better to prevent rather than treat lung cancer

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
 Every 30 seconds, someone, somewhere in the world dies of lung cancer. According to the World Cancer Report 2014, more people die from lung cancer than from any other type of cancer. In 2012 lung cancer was the most commonly diagnosed cancer, with 1.8 million cases worldwide, accounting for 13% of all cancer cases. It also resulted in 1.6 million deaths (19.4% of total cancer deaths). Dr Sumitra Thongprasert, Special Content Editor of Journal of Thoracic Oncology, and member, Board of Directors, International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), spoke to Citizen News Service (CNS) team in lead up to the World Cancer Day 2015.