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Bobby Ramakant is a development journalist and has been writing on development issues since 1991. Health is one of the key focus areas he writes on. He is also a World Health Organization (WHO)'s WNTD awardee for 2008
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, March 16, 2009 Lower-Cost Female Condom Gets FDA Approval
Earlier this week, the Female Health Company (FHC) announced approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the company's Female Condom (FC2), a woman-initiated barrier method that helps to protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV/AIDS, and unintended pregnancy.
SHARE Friday, May 1, 2009 Sri Lanka: Humanitarian disaster in making
Activists expressed their deep anguish and concern on unabated mass killings in Sri Lanka which is, as they underlined, "no short of a humanitarian disaster in northern Sri Lanka".
SHARE Thursday, March 19, 2009 International tobacco control award for Dr Mira Aghi
Noted tobacco control advocate and a United Nations consultant Dr Mira Aghi was conferred an International Control Award in recognition of her lifetime contribution to advancing tobacco control initiatives for women.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, July 13, 2009 Rohini Episode-Lessons For The Police and society
Rohini Singh is still waiting for justice to be done after being brutally physically abused by the police constable Subhas Mishra, who entered and ransacked her home and also misbehaved with her two minor daughters, all because she was asking for protection against the harassment and domestic violence she was being subjected to by her husband.
SHARE Monday, March 2, 2009 Vitamin A supplements reduces child mortality by over 20 per cent
The vitamin A supplementation of infants and children can potentially reduce child mortality by over 20 per cent, said Howard B. Schiffer, founder and President of Vitamin Angels in an interactive community health literacy programme organized hardly 25 kilometers away from the state council house of Uttar Pradesh in India. I wonder if the policy makers in the state parliament were aware that a cost-effective intervention like
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 15, 2009 Tobacco Industry Interference with Tobacco Control: WHO report 2009
The tobacco industry has historically employed a multitude of tactics to shape and influence tobacco control policy, says a recently released report (Tobacco Industry Interference with Tobacco Control, 2009) of the World Health Organization (WHO).The tobacco industry has historically employed a multitude of tactics to shape and influence tobacco control policy, says a recently released report.
(3 comments) SHARE Saturday, April 4, 2009 Will IMF deliver G-20's booster for world economy?
Earlier this week the Group of Twenty leaders announced a USD 1.1 trillion booster-dose into the world economy by the end of 2010 through multilateral institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF). However, in July 2008, analysts from Cambridge and Yale Universities had reported that tuberculosis (TB) in countries with IMF loans rose sharply.
SHARE Monday, November 10, 2008 National partnership for TB care and control is shaping up in India
A national multi-stakeholder partnership for TB care and control is shaping up in India. Last week on 4 November 2008, representatives from a range of TB stakeholders participated in a day-long meeting at LRS Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases in New Delhi. The meeting was facilitated by the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD, The Union)'s India Resource Center.
SHARE Friday, May 22, 2009 Call for International Action to Combat Epidemic of Non-communicable Diseases
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF), International Union Against Cancer (UICC) and World Heart Federation (WHF) issued a joint statement on 19 May 2009 that calls on the international community to address urgently the epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), responsible for 35 million deaths a year. The statement demands a substantial increase in funding for NCDs and greater availability of essential medicines.
SHARE Monday, April 13, 2009 Will pictorial warnings on tobacco products get postponed again?
The Group of Ministers (GoM) on tobacco warnings is meeting on 8 April 2009 and further dilution or delay to pictorial health warnings on tobacco products is expected. This is a great concern before the nation when the implementation on pictorial warnings is long due now and the deadline is very close (31 May 2009).
SHARE Wednesday, May 6, 2009 World Asthma DaY: Asthma control is appalling in countries
The Global Burden of Asthma Report, indicates that asthma control often falls short and there are many barriers to asthma control around the world. Proper long-term management of asthma will permit most patients to achieve good control of their disease. Yet in many regions around the world, this goal is often not met.
SHARE Sunday, May 17, 2009 Baby victim of acid attack in India gets support
It is extremely disgusting to hear that children are being attacked like this. Such instances were only heard when adults got into altercations, but it is unfortunate that even children as young as 3 months are not being spared now
SHARE Wednesday, January 7, 2009 Citizens of India-Pakistan stand-up for peace
To confront the present war posturing between India and Pakistan, the citizens of both countries are launching a joint signature petition campaign on 9 January 2009, to voice their mandate against terrorism, war posturing and to promote mutual cooperation and peace.
SHARE Thursday, April 2, 2009 If G-20 agrees, health financing might come from Currency transaction levy
There is a growing public movement globally to put pressure on the Group of Twenty (G-20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors that will meet in London, UK, on 2 April 2009, to put a currency transaction levy of 0.005% to raise dedicated resources for funding health programmes. This currency transaction levy of 0.005% can potentially generate USD 30-40 billion a year.
SHARE Sunday, March 8, 2009 Youth against cross-border tobacco advertising in films
Youth from 27 countries that met at the 2nd Global Youth Meet (GYM) in the lead up to the 14th World Conference on Tobacco Or Health (WCTOH) in Mumbai, India, expressed their common ire against cross-border tobacco advertising in films.
SHARE Sunday, March 1, 2009 Evidence is key in improving health responses during financial crisis
The study of causes, distribution, spread and control of diseases in populations, epidemiology, is a fundamental science and an integral part of public health. Epidemiology has helped address old public health challenges and continues to be a tool to investigate new challenges by providing evidence required for sound public health action.
SHARE Thursday, February 19, 2009 Agriculture extension systems should be strengthened in India
The arrangements for agricultural extension in India have grown, over the last five decades, in terms of activities, organizational types and available manpower. However, public investments in agriculture, (investments in irrigation, rural roads, rural electrification, storage, marketing, agricultural research and education, land development, co-operation etc) in real terms have been declining consistently.
SHARE Tuesday, April 7, 2009 Health of Women is Indeed Our Precious Wealth
On this year's World Health Day, let us focus on addressing issues that can improve health status of women. A wide array of socio-economic, cultural and gender-based inequalities continue to aggravate risk for women.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 23, 2009 Time to rethink the development paradigm on Earth Day
Unless sustainable ways of development and living are evolved, it will be very difficult to sustain the prevalent kind of urban lifestyle where exploitation of natural resources goes on unabated by the nexus of private corporations and the state. The overriding question is how to create a mode of production which does not depend on the expliotation of nature.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, April 27, 2009 Pictorial health warnings on tobacco products from 30th May 2009
The long pending pictorial or graphic health warnings on all tobacco products in India shall finally be implemented beginning on 30 May 2009. This is in line with the Cigarette and other Tobacco Products Act and the global tobacco treaty which India has ratified (World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control).
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 29, 2009 One-third of TB cases go undetected: WHO
About 3 million people fail to access TB treatment under directly-observed treatment shortcourse (DOTS), according to the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Tuberculosis Control Report 2009.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 31, 2009 People with drug-resistant tuberculosis are neglected by governments
The countries that report high burden of tuberculosis (TB), particularly, drug-resistant strains of TB, are the ones not moving fast enough to provide life saving treatment. According to the International medical humanitarian organization, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) or doctors without borders, less than one percent of those with multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) get access to proper treatment
SHARE Wednesday, February 25, 2009 Finally, anti-HIV microbicides research gives hope
The anti-HIV microbicides research has finally given a positive outcome - the microbicide gel PRO2000 under research showed 30% reduction of HIV transmission in human clinical trials.
Women who were offered PRO2000 microbicide gel plus condoms had 30 per cent fewer HIV infections than those offered condoms only or condoms plus a placebo gel
SHARE Monday, November 17, 2008 Countries meet to limit big tobacco's influence
Representatives of 160 ratifying countries currently meeting in Durban, South Africa will negotiate guidelines for a provision in the global tobacco treaty that will determine whether millions of people get the health protections they are now guaranteed under the treaty.
SHARE Wednesday, November 26, 2008 Another blow to enforcement of tobacco control policies in India
Right after the strong and effective guidelines to stop tobacco industry interference in health policies were adopted by the government representatives of 160 countries including India, the pictorial warnings on all tobacco products that were supposed to become mandatory from 30 November 2008 in India, were, again delayed - reportedly due to hectic lobbying by the industry allies and other entities like the beedi growers' asso
SHARE Thursday, March 12, 2009 Tobacco cessation can piggy-back ride on health services
The importance of integrating tobacco cessation with the existing healthcare services was emphasized by Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, Head of the Department of Surgery, CSM Medical University, Lucknow, and a World Health Organization (WHO) Director General's Awardee (2005). He was speaking at the ongoing 14th World Conference on Tobacco Or Health (WCTOH) in Mumbai.
SHARE Saturday, August 16, 2008 Two HIV/TB global leaders announce merger talks
Formal merger negotiations were announced between two global leaders on HIV and TB: Health & Development Networks (HDN) and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance - at the XVII International AIDS Conference which concluded in Mexico on 8 August 2008.
SHARE Monday, April 27, 2009 1/3rd preventable deaths can be averted by healthy environment
In the least developed countries, one third of death and disease is a direct result of environmental causes. Proper environmental management is the key to avoiding the quarter of all preventable illnesses which are directly caused by environmental factors
SHARE Wednesday, May 13, 2009 The Asthma Drug Facility brings down cost of drugs
Late last month El Salvador became the first country to take advantage of The Union's Asthma Drug Facility (ADF), which uses pooled procurement and other purchasing strategies to obtain greatly reduced prices from approved suppliers.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, March 7, 2009 Youth Refuse to be 'Targetted' by the Tobacco Industry
More than 80% of the tobacco use begins before the age of 18 years. The tobacco industry loses more than 5.4 million of its best customers every year as they die of causes attributed to tobacco use. Documents recovered from the tobacco industry reveal that the tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship campaigns are targetted to encourage young people and women to begin tobacco use.
SHARE Wednesday, November 19, 2008 Addressing HIV and IDU issues vital for TB programmes
More than 90% of the diagnosed TB patients are successfully completing treatment in Nepal today. Nepal's anti-TB programme has received appreciation in the south-east Asian region which is the result of ongoing government commitment, community support, forging wide range of partnerships, and the use of innovative ways of ensuring access to Directly Observed Treatment Shortcourse (DOTS) - especially in remote areas
SHARE Thursday, April 16, 2009 Demand for CBI enquiry into the death of Dalit leader
Lok Rajniti Manch expresses concern over the mysterious death of Indian Justice Party (IJP) candidate from Jaunpur, Bahadur Lal Sonkar (48 years old), whose body was found hanging from a tree. It is very unfortunate that on the eve of Ambedkar Jayanti such a gory incident has taken place.
SHARE Tuesday, March 24, 2009 Is it Ethical to Provide TB Treatment Without Quality Counselling?
How ethical is it to providing treatment for anti-TB drug resistance without quality counseling? The treatment literacy, infection control, toxicity and side-effects related to the treatment, adherence and a range of other issues need to be addressed in counseling sessions, believes the activist from the West Bengal Network of people living with HIV (BNP+) in India. This indeed provides a food for thought for delegates of the
SHARE Sunday, March 29, 2009 Unified action: The only way forward to control TB
"We simply must stop TB. This succinct but compelling message implies a shared responsibility for unified action at all levels, by health-care providers, national and international partners and communities to control and eliminate TB"
SHARE Monday, April 13, 2009 People to draft the election manifesto of SR Darapuri
In times when manifestos of election candidates are announced by the highest seats of political 'ivory towers', a people centric initiative is taking shape in Lucknow. A series of public meetings led to the nomination of people's candidate from prestigious Lok Sabha constituency of Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh in India.
SHARE Friday, May 15, 2009 Justice, where art thou? Two years of Dr Binayak Sen's imprisonment
Jonathan Mann awardee (2008) Dr Binayak Sen, who is a well-known paediatrician and human rights defender, will complete two years on 14 May 2009 in a Raipur prison on false charges of abetting Maoist activity in Chhattisgarh, sedition, and waging war against the State. Not only in India, but in countries around the world the pressure is mounting for the release of Dr Sen.
SHARE Saturday, March 28, 2009 Involving TB patients in TB programmes will help in Turkey
Involving the TB patients in TB control programmes - particularly those who have successfully completed the TB treatment - might help in Turkey, says Professor (Dr) Nazmi Zengin from Toplum Sagligi Arastirma ve Gelistirme Merkezi (Centre for Research and Promotion of Health) in Konya, Turkey (www.toplumsagligi.org)
SHARE Saturday, February 7, 2009 Will recession impede TB care and control?
Although the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) is falling short of USD 5 billion of its estimated budget for 2009-2010, the Wall Street corporations have disbursed USD 18 billion holiday bonuses in January 2009. The newspapers say this money came from the bail-out money provided by the government (read 'tax payers').
SHARE Thursday, February 19, 2009 How Will the World Begin to See TB Care as a Smart Investment?
Unless the tuberculosis (TB) advocates reach out to decision makers to impress upon them the urgency of strengthening TB care and control programmes, the global economic meltdown is likely to threaten to reverse the gains made in TB care over past decades.