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Citizen News Service (CNS) specializes in in-depth and rights-based, health and science journalism. For more information, please contact: www.citizen-news.org or @cns_health or www.facebook.com/cns.page
Pushed Into the Flesh Trade; Whither Future Development Goals?
Will future sustainable development goals (SDGs) help in improving the lives of Bela and thousands of others like her who are pushed into the flesh trade due to poverty, greed and a skewed power dynamics. It is not enough to make survivors mere brand ambassadors for a cause. They need to be rehabilitated too.
Monday, September 29, 2014
When natural disasters happen: do more good than harm!
Whenever natural disasters and humanitarian crises occur, enormous amount of resources are spent on relief and aid services, albeit without knowing whether they will do more good than harm. Despite best intentions, lot of interventions are happening without strong evidence that they actually do more good than harm.
Should India Sacrifice Agriculture For Trade?
Well, any right-minded person would say NO. But the global, as well as the local media, has castigated India for not ratifying the Protocol of Amendment for the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) at the recent World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations in Geneva in July 2014, and for linking it to discussions for a permanent solution to the G-33's Food Security Proposal. India's refusal to tow the line of developed countries
Friday, September 19, 2014
Indian scientists developing a diagnostic algorithm for female genital TB
Genital tuberculosis (TB) is one of the major causes of tubal infertility. But the challenge is that current range of standard diagnostic tests are less likely to pick up every case of genital TB.
Not only most cases are asymptomatic but also the number of bacteria in the sample is very low (compared to the number of TB bacteria which is present in samples of people with pulmonary TB).
Friday, September 12, 2014
Know your epidemic: First-ever national anti-TB drug resistance survey launched
India took a historic step for control and management of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) when the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister of Government of India, Dr Harsh Vardhan formally launched the first-ever nationwide anti-TB drug resistance survey (2014-2015) on 6th September 2014 in New Delhi. This is the largest nationally representative survey on anti-TB drug resistance ever done, covering 100% population
Past, present, and future attempts to measure childhood TB
The first estimates of the global burden of TB in children given by WHO in 2012 suggested that there might be 530,000 children suffering from it. Subsequently there has been an uptake in research in this field. A recent mathematical-modelling study on the burden of childhood TB in 22 high-burden countries (published in the Lancet) has revealed that there may be 650,000 annual cases of TB in children.
Can innovation drive HIV responses to meet 90:90:90 targets by 2020?
Without innovation, at current pace of HIV responses on the ground, we are very likely to fail meeting the targets. We not only need to accelerate the search for better and effective technologies to help fight AIDS effectively but also need to improvise and innovate in rolling out evidence-based approaches.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014(2 comments)
'If I Could Do It, Anyone Can!'
Well, here is the empowering story of Esther from Indonesia (who has been a prisoner, an injecting drug user, a sex worker, and a person living with HIV) as told to Citizen News Service during the just-concluded 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) in Melbourne.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Multipurpose prevention technologies for HIV and STIs in spotlight at AIDS 2014
Women of reproductive age have a need for prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, and family planning methods. More importantly, women need prevention tools/methods that are under their control and do not leave them at the mercy of their partner, in as far as their sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is concerned.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Alarm rings on low uptake of existing prevention options for anal STIs and HIV
Despite overall progress in HIV prevention, rates of HIV infection among key affected populations such as men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people remain alarmingly high. For example, recent data indicates that MSM are up to 19 times more likely to have HIV than the general population -- transgender women are almost 50 times more likely.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014(1 comments)
'When bacteria and virus can work so well together, why can't we?'
Setting the pace for the press conference, Dr IS Gilada, President, AIDS Society of India, emphasized that collaborative activities between national TB and HIV programmes can help maximise public-health outcomes. He said if HIV programmes do not pay adequate attention to TB, or TB programmes ignore HIV, then the progress made in responding to HIV and TB gets threatened.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Stigma blocks access to care for young gays and transgenders
Stigma related to HIV not only blocks access to existing services for key affected populations but also increases risk of HIV acquisition manifold. When self-stigma or shame seeps in, it pushes people into depression, aggression, self-harm, addictions or even suicide. HIV-related stigma and discrimination in the community further escalates self-stigma.
Break the silos: drug use, HIV, HCV, TB, laws and funding
Vietnam is one of the countries in the world that has made remarkable progress over the last decade in not only making harm reduction and HIV services available and accessible for people who use drugs but also reforming laws for supportive health policies on the ground.
Friday, July 25, 2014
'Every TB-HIV case is a public-health failure...'
So said Helen Ayles. She was quoted by Dr Diane Havlir who was speaking in the plenary of the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) in Melbourne, Australia. Dr Diane Havlir, who is a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, was hopeful that "Every HIV/TB case prevented and every death averted should become a public-health success and put us one step closer to ending the dual epidemic of HIV and TB."
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Australia reinforces its commitment in fight against AIDS
Australia has taken a lead in supporting public health in India over the years. With XX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) being held in Melbourne, Citizen News Service interviewed Bernard Philip, Deputy High Commissioner of Australia to India. "The conference is providing an opportunity to showcase Australia's leadership in the global HIV response, particularly in Asia and the Pacific.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
New Drug Regimen: A miracle treatment for TB is a near possibility
Global Alliance for TB-Drug Development (TB Alliance) raised hopes of a novel drug regimen to treat both forms of TB--drug sensitive (DS) and multi-drug resistant (MDR)--at the XX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) in Melbourne, offering a new paradigm in TB treatment to treat patients with drugs to which they are sensitive, rather than based on what they are resistant to.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Are we hyping infection control inside clinics?
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious bacterial disease and spreads through the air. When people with pulmonary TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air and a person needs to inhale only a few of these germs to become infected. On the other hand, HIV/AIDS is a viral disease that is transmitted chiefly through unprotected sexual intercourse and contaminated blood.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
'Do not be a statistic, but own the information that shapes programmes'
We cannot wait till the research and development of a product gets over and then begin figuring out how to roll it out to communities in need. Female condoms are perhaps another example in this context. Female condoms were approved by US FDA in 1993 but we are yet to see the expected optimal public-health outcome as its availability, accessibility and affordability is severely limited.
Indian Doctor Trupti Gilada to get Fellowship Award at AIDS 2014
A Mumbai-based Indian doctor, Dr Trupti Gilada Baheti, is a recipient of the prestigious Fellowship Award on HIV and Drug Abuse Research from the International AIDS Society, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and French National Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis. This fellowship will be formally awarded on 23rd July 2014 at the XX International AIDS Conference.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
What has TB got to do in an AIDS Conference?
Well almost everything. Tuberculosis (TB) remains the most common AIDS-defining illness and the leading cause of death in people living with HIV (PLHIV) with 1 in 5 HIV-associated deaths in 2012 attributed to TB. At least one third of the 35.3 million living PLHIV worldwide are infected with latent TB. An estimated 1.1 million (13%) of the 8.6 million people who developed TB in 2012 were HIV-positive too.
Saturday, July 5, 2014
Tobacco use a big 'No' for people with TB and diabetes
Tobacco use is anyways harmful for all, but it is especially hazardous for people living with diabetes and those suffering from or at risk of tuberculosis (TB). For the former it acts as an hindrance in their control of blood sugar and in case of the latter their ability to transmit the disease can be enhanced.
Saturday, July 5, 2014
Is it Asthma or COPD?
Both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are chronic diseases involving airflow obstruction and are consequences of gene environment interaction. COPD includes progressive respiratory diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis and is characterized by decreased airflow over time and increased inflammation.
Oxygen therapy is like a prescription drug: Use it rationally
An optimum amount of oxygen is essential for the functioning and survival of all body tissues and even a few minutes deprivation can prove fatal. When saturation level of oxygen in the body falls due to some respiratory illness or injury then we need to replenish it artificially to maintain an optimum level by giving oxygen therapy to the patient.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Tackle hepatitis C to save people living with HIV
The WHO recognizes that the 'silent epidemic' of viral hepatitis affects a large part of the world's population causing over 1.4 million deaths every year, yet remains largely unknown or ignored. It is estimated that 240 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and more than 185 million people are infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV).
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Unhealthy diets are threatening global health
An estimated 65% of the world's population lives in countries where obesity leads to more deaths than underweight. In 2012, over 40 million children under the age of five were considered overweight or obese, 30 million of who were living in developing countries. Around 3.4 million adults die each year as a result of being overweight or obese.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Despite progress, long way remains for gender justice
Despite women's rights to economic, social and cultural equality, poverty and discrimination still remains the reality for a large majority of them in the Asia Pacific region. Women not only comprise 70% of the world's poor, they are also victims of the greed and avarice of the powers that are. They are the ones who endure physical, mental and emotional hardships and are yet denied any political or economic gains.
Monday, June 2, 2014
Gender justice to be at the heart of development justice
The Asia and the Pacific region contains some of the world's most powerful economies and the 21st century is often touted to belong to this region. Yet the region is home to 66% of the world's poorest poor. Denouncing such stark disparities, the 1st-plenary session at the 2nd Asia Pacific Feminist Forum (APFF 2014) is being held in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Monday, June 2, 2014
Building feminist movements to stimulate change
Grassroots women of the Asia-Pacific region have borne the brunt of the unrelenting global desire for increased consumption and accumulation of wealth by a tiny minority. Their aspirations and livelihoods are regularly trampled upon in this new Asian century, prompting thousands of women to be at the forefront of leading movements in their communities for social justice, economic equity, and accountability.
Saturday, May 31, 2014(3 comments)
Pak tobacco tax reforms could help half million quit, up taxes by Rs 27.2 billion
A potentially path-breaking report shows that the introduction of a uniform specific tax accounting for 70% of Pakistan's average cigarette price could lead to half a million smokers quitting, and reduce premature deaths among adult smokers by over 180,000. At the same time more than Rupees 27 billion (USD 277 million) would be generated in new cigarette-tax revenues.
Saturday, May 31, 2014
2nd APFF 2014: Creating Waves, Fostering Movements
The 2nd Asia Pacific Feminist Forum, organized by the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), kick started in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It has brought together nearly 300 feminists from 30 countries of the five sub-regions of Asia and the Pacific as well as global allies.
Friday, May 30, 2014(2 comments)
Reduce Tobacco Consumption, Save Lives
For World No Tobacco Day 2014, World Health Organization and its partners call on countries to raise taxes on tobacco. Increasing taxes on tobacco is considered to be the most cost-effective tobacco-control measure. An increase of 10% in tobacco prices is said to decrease tobacco consumption by about 4% in high-income countries and by up to 8% in most low- and middle-income countries.
Monday, May 26, 2014(3 comments)
Connecting the dots: Tobacco use, diabetes, and tuberculosis
The nexus between tobacco use, diabetes, and tuberculosis cannot be ignored. Dr Anthony Harries, Senior Advisor, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, cites a study done in Korea last year, which shows that patients with TB who smoked and had diabetes were six times more likely to die than non-smokers and non-diabetes persons.
Monday, May 12, 2014
Seeking honest politics distinguishes AAP from BJP and Congress
In a recent article I wrote that most of the people campaigning for Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) come from different social strata but are united by a common desire to seek honest politics. On reading the article a friend asked me if I believed that everyone in AAP was honest and everyone in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or Congress was corrupt.
Saturday, May 10, 2014(1 comments)
Likely impacts of BJP and AAP on the Indian society
Dr Rahul Pandey writes on effects of BJP & Modi's rise: "...The first is corruption and the other two are intrusions of business corporations and communal forces into India's natural resources and socio-cultural fabric respectively..."
It Is Time To Control Asthma
This is the sub-theme of this year's (2014) World Asthma Day (WAD), which was first celebrated in 1998 in conjunction with the first World Asthma Meeting in Barcelona. It is an annual event aimed at improving asthma awareness, diagnosis, treatment, and, ultimately, control, and is organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) on the first Tuesday of May.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Translational Research For The Benefit Of Public Health
"Translational research involves converting a basic research idea into a product; then developing that product for industrial production and finding out if it is safe and efficacious; and finally using it to improve public health. This is the line of translation."
Monday, May 5, 2014(1 comments)
Coordinated response for control of STIs is lacking
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, are known to be primarily transmitted through sexual route, which has created a major impact on sexual and reproductive health worldwide. They are caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasitic microorganisms that are transmitted through sexual activity with an infected partner.
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Dividing India on communal lines
While Modi has been able to ward off the communal image, his colleagues from the Sangha Parivar ensure that people are reminded of the basic character of Modi's associations.
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Call for no more new HIV-infected children
According to UNAIDS Report 2013, an estimated 260,000 children below 18 years were newly infected with HIV in 2012 in low- and middle-income countries. While the first paediatric HIV case in India was recorded in 1987, in 2012 out of the 2,100,000 people living with HIV in India, 200,000 were children below 15 years.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
MPTs are innovative strategies to transform women's health
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, are known to be primarily transmitted through sexual route, which has created a major impact on sexual and reproductive health worldwide. Although some of the STIs are curable, others still do not have any effective preventive or therapeutics available.
Implications of foreign funds received by Congress and BJP
We learn from a Delhi High Court judgement on a PIL filed by retired IAS officer E.A.S. Sarma and an organisation relentlessly working for electoral reforms Association for Democratic Reforms, that Congress and BJP have been illegally receiving donations from foreign companies. They have violated the Representation of People Act, 1951 and the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 1976.
Rise in global health financing, but funding priorities shift
A new research done by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), at the University of Washington, indicates that globally the total development assistance for health (DAH) hit an all-time high of $31.3 billion in 2013 (a year-over-year increase of 3.9%), although funding priorities shifted. Findings of the research were presented in a new report.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014(1 comments)
"I did not choose HIV. HIV chose me..."
This article is written by someone who is living with HIV for over 20 years now... this focuses on how his life changed after he was receiving free antiretroviral treatment (ART) from 2004 onwards...
Call for public-private health sector to follow standards of TB care
Data suggests up to 40 to 50 percent of tuberculosis patients are likely to be accessing healthcare services in private sector. A study done in Lucknow by Dr Rajendra Prasad, former Professor and Head of Pulmonary Medicine, King George's Medical University (KGMU), showed 44 different prescriptions from physicians for the same TB patient--this is when TB treatment should have been the same in private and public sector both.
Monday, March 31, 2014
Accurate and affordable TB diagnosis in private sector becoming a reality
Are we diagnosing people with presumptive TB early enough? Data suggests otherwise. "An average TB patient is diagnosed with TB after a delay of 2 months and has consulted till then at least 3 physicians or healthcare providers before getting diagnosis," said Dr Pai. Nearly 50% TB patients seek healthcare in private sector so role of private sector in TB care and control cannot be ignored.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Smoking Tobacco Doubles Risk of Recurrent Tuberculosis: New Study
Research published on 24 March 2014 provides critical new insight on the harmful links between smoking tobacco and developing tuberculosis (TB). Regular tobacco smoking doubles the risk that people who have been successfully treated for TB will develop TB again--a condition known as "recurrent" TB. The study is the most robust-ever conducted into how smoking tobacco increases the risk of recurrent TB.
Indian approach to limb salvage for people with diabetes
The Global Diabetic Foot Conference (DFcon 2014) concluded earlier this week in Los Angeles US. Citizen News Service (CNS) had an opportunity to interact with one of the key faculties and experts on an Indian approach to saving the limb for people who are living with diabetes.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Journalists awarded for best reporting on TB
In the run-up to World TB Day on 24 March, the REACH Lilly MDR-TB Partnership Media Awards 2014 were presented in New Delhi, to recognize outstanding and responsible reporting on tuberculosis (TB). The awards were presented by Dr RS Gupta, Deputy Director General (TB), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.