Early and accurate diagnosis of TB and lung cancer vital: No excuse for misdiagnosis!

Dr Natthaya Triphuridet, Thailand
Early and accurate diagnosis is a public health imperative for both diseases of epidemic proportions in Asia Pacific: tuberculosis (TB) and lung cancer. But since TB of the lungs (pulmonary TB) imitates lung cancer in many aspects including risk factors, symptoms, signs and radiographic findings, often misdiagnosis has a serious public health consequence! "Symptoms of cough, haemoptysis, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats are common in both active pulmonary TB and symptomatic lung cancer. In the meantime, radiographic findings of TB can mimic lung cancer such as mass-like lesion, pulmonary nodule, mediastinal lymph node enlargement or pleural effusion" said Dr Natthaya Triphuridet, Pulmonologist and Assistant Director for Medical Affairs at Chulabhorn Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand.

Strike at the root of the problem to kill TB

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
When I met Goodman Makanda, in Khayelitsha - outside of Cape Town in South Africa, he had already been into almost two years of treatment for extremely drug resistant TB (XDR-TB. He was diagnosed with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) in November 2013, when he was 30 years old. As if this was not enough, after 3 months of treatment, he was told in January 2014 that his MDR-TB had escalated to extremely drug resistant TB (XDR-TB).

[Focus] Political commitment is vital to eliminate TB

Would Bhagat Singh have raised slogan 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai'?

Dr Sandeep Pandey and Dr Rahul Pandey, CNS Columnists
As we know the great revolutionary Bhagat Singh was an atheist. He wrote a famous article 'Why I am an Atheist?' Even after he knew that he was going to be hanged by the British government his commitment to his principles was not shaken. Neither did he regret his action of exploding the harmless bomb in Central Assembly at Delhi nor did he seek any apology from the British.

What does it take to beat drug-resistant TB?

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
I met Lucy in Khayelishta (near CapeTown) on the bright sunny morning of 4th December 2015—just two days after she had celebrated the 10th birthday of her lovely daughter.  A cured multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB survivor, her face glowed with the happiness and pride of winning her battle against two dreadful diseases.

[Call to register] Webinar in lead up to World TB Day 2016

[Webinar recording] We welcome you to register for an exclusive media webinar in lead up to this year's World TB Day. Our governments committed to achieving Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs - by 2030, one of which is to end TB by 2030. We need to ensure that TB rates are declining, and declining fast enough to end TB by 2030, or earlier!

[Focus] Ending TB is possible: No excuse for inaction!

Growing demand for independent inquiry into Kakrapar nuclear plant leak

CNS image library (not of Kakrapar)
Ramon Magsaysay Awardee and former faculty of IIT-BHU and IIT-Kanpur Dr Sandeep Pandey demanded an independent inquiry into Kakrapar nuclear plant leak in Gujarat.  According to the news, "a rupture in the coolant system of one of the nuclear reactors at Kakrapar, Gujarat, on Friday morning forced the authorities to indefinitely shut down the plant."

International Women’s Day: A ‘Pledge for Parity’

Catherine Mwauyakufa, CNS Correspondent, Zimbabwe
International women’s day is marked the world over on March 8 and this year’s theme is ‘Pledge for Parity’. There is need to celebrate success and for Zimbabwean women have a cause to celebrate a number of successes, on the gender equality front, where we have scored high. The International Community of Women living with HIV in Zimbabwe (ICW) commemorated the day in Harare.

[Call for applications] CNS Health Fellowship Programme 2016-2017

[Click here to apply] Citizen News Service (CNS) is pleased to announce that it is currently accepting applications for new fellows for its CNS Health Fellowship Programme 2016-2017. This programme offers  mentorship, peer support, networking opportunities, and technical assistance to health writers on neglected global health priorities. Last date to apply is Friday, 8th April 2016. To learn more about CNS Health Fellows 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, click here

Breaking the stereotype

Avantika Chaturvedi, CNS Correspondent, India
Menstruation is a normal biological process and a key sign of reproductive health, yet in many cultures it is treated as something negative, shameful or dirty. There are many myths and misconceptions that surround the process of menstruation and hide the sexual and reproductive health aspects of it, jeopardising the sexual health of young girls and women and increasing their vulnerability to sexual transmitted infections.

Catch them young: Targeted marketing of tobacco to young women

Alice Tembe, CNS Correspondent, Swaziland
In this era of social networking and global world existence, life styles are defined by what is fashionable— be it the dress they wear, songs they sing and the food they eat. Young people from all over the world do not want to be left behind but rather be centre stage of whatever is touted as ‘cool and trendy’.

Tobacco control for women: We have not come a long way!

Dr Richa Sharma, CNS Correspondent, India
Sometime ago, I saw on the internet the words ‘strong woman’ written against a background of a woman smoking a cigarette. It left a strong impression on my mind and I wondered how a cigarette with some smoke, alongside a woman, can convey ideas of individuality and independence of females. Well, this is how the tobacco industry has been getting to the women for a very long time.

Cancer: Pain and Hope

Dr Amitava Acharyya, CNS Correspondent, India
I was at a loss for words, when an educated lady from Pune asked me: “No smoking, no drinking, no pan, no guthka; and yet he was diagnosed with lung cancer and died within 3 months. Please tell me the reasons of lung cancer?” Obviously, this query came from a person, who had lost a near one to  lung cancer.

India's 2016-2017 budget reflects a mirage for universal health

Dr Sandeep Pandey and Bobby Ramakant, CNS
India's draft National Health Policy 2015 was riddled with privatisation bid and it is no surprise that 2016-2017 budget too takes that agenda forward. Also earlier this month Indian government indicated its intent to exit from hospital 'sector' (along with Air India).