The Union hopes India would participate in STREAM trials for MDR-TB drugs

Is it the dawn of a new era for MDR-TB treatment?

Alice Tembe, CNS Correspondent, Swaziland
It has always been one too many people dying due to Multiple Drug Resistant TB (MDR-TB), a disease that can be cured. Even as the world of TB science has been evolving  since the past few decades, the degeneration of ordinary TB into drug resistant strains- that are more difficult to treat- continues unabated. Today, inroads are being made towards a new era of shorter, cheaper and better treatment drugs for MDR-TB.

New hope for patients with drug resistant TB

Francis Okoye, CNS Correspondent, Nigeria
Patients suffering from multi drug resistant TB (MDR-TB), now have the hope of a higher cure success rate with a more patient friendly treatment that was recently approved by World Health Organization (WHO). The new WHO recommendations aim to speed up detection and improve treatment outcomes for MDR-TB, through use of novel rapid diagnostic tests, and shorter and cheaper treatment regimens.

Is plain packaging threatening Malawi’s economy?

Josephine Chinele, CNS Correspondent, Malawi
It is tobacco selling season in Malawi and there is unrest among the tobacco cultivating farmers due to poor prices. Sales for the past five years indicate that tobacco prices have kept falling with each passing year. Even though the farmers keep blaming the contract system-a system where farmers get into an agreement with a buying company on the amount of tobacco they should grow and the company provides them with the necessary inputs for production on loan. During tobacco selling season (like now) all tobacco from contract farmers is bought on a priority basis.

Struggle to get common school system implemented intensifies

Dr Sandeep Pandey, Magsaysay Awardee and CNS Columnist
[Watch video interview with Dr Sandeep Pandey]
My fast at Gandhi Statue, Hazratganj, Lucknow to get the Allahabad High Court order making it compulsory for anybody in the government system to send their children to government schools implemented ended on the 10th day (15th June 2016) not because of any assurance of the government but because of pressure of my colleagues, well wishers and social activists like Justice Rajinder Sachar, Medha Patkar, Kuldeep Nayar, Dr GG Parikh, Yogendra Yadav, Anand Kumar, Rajendra Singh, PV Rajagopal, Sunilam, Ravi Kiran Jain, Vijay Pratap and my Socialist Party (India) colleagues, both local as well as nationally.

Common school system is essential in democracy: says Dr Sandeep Pandey

Towards a TB free India: It cannot be a lone battle

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
India carries the highest global burden of TB—a curable disease that kills one Indian every 90 seconds. There are 2.2 million new cases of TB in the country every year, out of which an estimated 71,000 cases are of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). This curable disease kills 110,000 HIV-associated TB cases also emerging annually in India, second only to South Africa, and the country accounts for 10% of the global TB/HIV burden. Between 2006 and 2014, TB cost the Indian economy a staggering $340 billion.

Fight against lung cancer: Priorities and challenges ahead

Shobha Shukla - CNS
Lung cancer, the most common cancer worldwide, is a major public health problem. In 2012, there were an estimated 1.8 million new lung cancer cases (13% of all cancers diagnosed), and 1.59 million deaths (19.4% of the total cancer deaths). As of now, there is a 27% 5 years survival rate for patients of lung cancer. According to the latest cancer registry data released by the Indian Council of Medical Research, 0.114 million new lung cancer cases (83,000 in males and 31,000 in females) are estimated during 2016 in India.

What the eye doesn’t see, the mind doesn’t know: Pictorial health warnings

Dr Richa Sharma, CNS Correspondent, India
The first thing that crosses my mind on seeing smokers is whether they are aware of what that one cigarette stick is doing to their health and to the health  of others. Very often their argument is that, well it is their life and others should mind their own business. But they naively forget that their addiction is affecting other people’s health too and so it is very much their business.

TB Elimination: India can lead the way

Madhukar Pai and Barry R. Bloom
(First published in The Huffington Post)
As the Prime Minister of India speaks to the US Congress this week, a neglected epidemic threatens India's progress. It's not Ebola or Zika - but rather tuberculosis, an ancient disease that silently kills one Indian every 90 seconds

[Call to register] Webinar for media on new shorter, cheaper and possibly better MDR-TB treatment

[Watch webinar recording] We welcome you to register for an exclusive media webinar on the latest WHO recommendations regarding shorter, cheaper and possibly better MDR-TB treatment regimen. Accurate and early diagnosis along with shorter, cheaper and more effective treatment can help countries deliver on their promises to end TB by 2030 or earlier (Sustainable Development Goal 3.3).

Curbing Tobacco Usage: Call of the hour

Pritha Roy Choudhury, CNS Correspondent, India
A narrow lane leads us to a poorly lit small dingy room of a four storied building in the suburbs of Delhi. Veer Prakash is lying in a cot, coughing on and off. His wife Lila Devi dusts two small stools in a corner and arranges them for us to sit. “His cough has aggravated with time, the medicines are costly.

India must stub out attractive packaging of tobacco products

Urvashi Prasad, CNS Correspondent, India
Globally there are one billion people who use tobacco, 80% of whom live in low- and middle- income countries. Tobacco use is estimated to claim the lives of over 6 million people every year. An additional 600,000 lose their lives to second-hand smoke. In fact using tobacco is the single biggest preventable risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which are responsible for nearly 63% of all premature deaths globally.

Why countries should implement domestic tobacco control law

Francis Okoye, CNS Correspondent, Nigeria
Health experts from across the world explained why countries should fully implement domestic tobacco control laws in their respective countries, during an exclusive webinar for media organised by Citizen News Service (CNS) in  the lead up to World No Tobacco Day 2016.

[Focus] Same quality of education and health services for all is central to democracy

Tobacco kills: Plain packaging could be the answer

Tuyeimo Haidula, CNS Correspondent, Namibia
Plain packaging on tobacco products makes them less attractive. The death and health risks from smoking is high, and yet the number of new smokers every year continues to grow. In order to address this issue and highlight the devastating impact of tobacco use on health, the World Health Organization commemorates the World No Tobacco Day on 31st May every year. WHO also advocates for policies that help people quit tobacco use and discourage non-users from starting.

To smoke or not to smoke

Catherine Mwauyakufa, CNS Correspondent, Zimbabwe
The global economic cost related to tobacco consumption is unknown but it is likely over US$1 trillion annually, as per the Tobacco Atlas 2015.Tobacco users underestimate the harm caused to their health and are many times not even aware of these dangers. I have come across persons with a deep cough and shortness of breath and at the same time holding a cigarette in one hand.

The tobacco industry to get ready for plain packaging

Alice Tembe, CNS Correspondent, Swaziland
The tobacco industry continues to use aggressive tactics to wedge stumbling blocks to abate and delay tobacco control measures that help to protect the general public from dire health risks. The World No Tobacco Day, that is commemorated on the 31st May every year, was introduced by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1988 to highlight the devastating impact of tobacco use on health, as well as to advocate for policies that help people quit tobacco use and discourage non-users from starting.

Tobacco kills: Can our health systems afford the burden of preventable heart disease?

Akanksha Sethi
A visit to any government health centre will make one realize how heavily (over)burdened are our health systems and how critically important it is to strengthen them. Is it not an irony that a significant burden on our public health system is of preventable diseases? On World No Tobacco Day 2016, let's hope we become conscious of the choices we make in our daily lives so that these choices may not increase the risk of preventable diseases. Tobacco use is a common and major risk factor for a range of life-threatening illnesses including cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and diabetes.

A plain face can take the sheen out of deadly tobacco products

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
Tobacco use poses the biggest threat to public health in the world today, even as more than 1 billion people consume it globally. It is the leading preventable cause of premature deaths worldwide, killing more than 6 million people each year, and is a risk factor for 6 of the world’s 8 leading causes of death.