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Transcript of HEALTH/EPIDEMICS – 2016 - Indian Social .HEALTH/EPIDEMICS – 2016 ... before it enters the SRS,

  • HEALTH/EPIDEMICS 2016 (January to April - 2016)

    Compiled By

    Fr. Paul G Documentation Centre

    1. Environmental factors too behind antibiotic resistance? (3)

    New York: Can the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria be squarely blamed on the misuse and

    overuse of antibiotics? No, there is more to the problem than the misuse of common medications,

    says a University of Georgia researcher. J. Vaun McArthur believes environmental contaminants may

    be partly to blame for the rise in bacterial resistance, and he tested this hypothesis in streams on the

    U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River Site. McArthur tested five antibiotics on 427 strains of

    E. coli bacteria in the streams. His research team collected samples from 11 locations in nine

    streams, which included sediment as well as water samples. The level of metal contamination among

    these locations varied from little to high. The results revealed high levels of antibiotic resistance in

    samples from Upper Three Runs Creek and on two tributaries located in the industrial area, U4 and

    U8. McArthur said Upper Three Runs Creek flows through residential, agricultural and industrial areas

    before it enters the SRS, so the bacteria in this stream have been exposed to antibiotics. In contrast,

    U4 and U8 are completely contained within the site and have no known input from antibiotics. But the

    contaminated streams U4 and U8 had the highest level of antibiotic resistance. "These streams have

    no source of antibiotic input, thus the only explanation for the high level of antibiotic resistance is the

    environmental contaminants in these streams -- the metals, including cadmium and mercury,"

    McArthur said.IANS (The Hindu 1/1/16)

    2. Womens health: implementation of welfare schemes has to be ensured (3)

    Though Tamil Nadu has various welfare schemes for girls and women, disaster-preparedness to deal

    with emergencies can have an adverse effect on their health, making them vulnerable to

    diseases.The need of the hour is public pressure, said Ramya Kannan, Tamil Nadu Bureau Chief,

    The Hindu , while emphasising the need for civil-society organisations to invest in private partnerships

    to ensure implementation of the key objectives of Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the

    United Nations in September, 2015. She was addressing a meet for journalists organised recently by

    the Family Planning Association of India and Citizen News Service on Sustainable Development Goal

    and Sexual and Reproductive Health at Hotel Aadithya. Umesh Aradhya, president of FPA India said

    that sexual and reproductive health was very much part of human rights. Sexual and reproductive

    health rights include right to equality and protection from any stigma and discrimination, he added.

    Muniappan, ex-Demographer, Government of Tamil Nadu, said that sexuality education was not given

    much priority in the State. Though the sex ratio and maternal mortality ratio in the State are

    impressive, there are cases of girls dropping out of school once they attain puberty. Many of them are

    anaemic and ignorant about where to access services, he said. Geeta Sethi, Secretary General, FPA

    India, emphasised the medias role in highlighting the success stories and creating awareness about

    the issue. (The Hindu 3/1/16)

    3. Rs 16cr plan to check maternal deaths (3)

    Pune: The state government has made a provision of Rs 16 crore to improve services at state-run

    healthcare centres handling high-risk pregnancies. Delivery room facilities at 110 district and sub-

    district women hospitals are expected to be transformed within six months to check infant and

    maternal mortality rate. "Women with high-risk pregnancies pose a challenge before, during and after

    delivery and they need special care and monitoring to avert complications. The project aims to

    upgrade labour rooms, build the capacity of the staff, improve clinical practices and reorganise labour

    This is a collection of previously published news and views from the print as well as the electronic media, whose

    reference marked at the end of each news items. Department of Documentation and Library (DDL) of the Indian Social

    Institute, New Delhi neither claims to the veracity of the facts in the news nor subscribes to the views expressed.

  • rooms," said Archana Patil, additional director, State Family Welfare Bureau. "We have identified only

    those hospitals where a sizable number of deliveries take place every month. We have already

    started to procure the required equipment and the upgradation work will be over within six months,"

    Patil said. The objective is not just to handle a woman with high-risk pregnancy, but also ensure that

    she has a smooth passage all through labour and post-delivery. "Of the total maternal deaths

    recorded in the state, 52% occur in postnatal stage - the time between the baby's birth and six weeks

    thereafter. Half of the deaths occur soon after the delivery in the first six weeks, followed by 28%

    deaths that occur during pregnancy; 18% deaths happen during childbirth," said a state health

    department official. The state's current maternal mortality rate is 68 per 1 lakh live births. The mortality

    rate is defined as the number of deaths of pregnant women per 1,00,000 live births where the cause

    of death is directly attributed to pregnancy or a pregnancy-related complication. It is a direct

    parameter of healthcare services available in a geographic area. Senior gynaecologist Charuchandra

    Joshi said, "In developed countries, the maternal mortality rate has been brought down to a single

    digit. In Maharashtra, it is unacceptably high. In rural areas, it is double than that in urban areas. In

    states like Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, it is more than four times the national

    average of 178 deaths per lakh." "There has been no major change in the causes of maternal deaths

    over the years. Deaths due to anaemia, obstructed labour, hypertensive disorders and sepsis can be

    prevented with adequate antenatal care, referral and timely treatment of complications of pregnancy

    and promoting institutional delivery and postnatal care," Joshi said. When contacted, an official from

    the state health ministry said, "We are making available a large number of first referral units, providing

    training to skilled birth attendants, emergency obstetric care training to doctors and nurses among

    others. There is a well thought out and designed system of reporting and analysing maternal deaths.

    Local, facility-based regional committees have been formed to analyse the information, plan

    strategies and give recommendations." (Times of India 9/1/16)

    4. NGO disputes Kerala govt. claim over infant mortality in Attapady (3)

    Palakkad: Hardly a week after Kerala Minister for Panchayats and Social Welfare M.K. Muneer

    claimed that only 14 infant deaths were reported from Attappady in 2015, a non-governmental

    organisation has come out with statistics proving there were 24 such cases during the period. The

    Centre for Tribal Education, Development and Research (Thambu) has prepared a detailed list of

    infant deaths, miscarriages, and neonatal deaths which occurred in 2015 and dispatched it to the

    Chief Minister, Health Minister, and the Scheduled Tribes Welfare Minister. Talking to The Hindu here

    on Wednesday, Thambu convener K.A. Ramu said the agency had documentary evidence to prove

    that 26 cases of miscarriages and neonatal deaths were reported from Attappady last year. According

    to him, three infant deaths occurred at Government Medical College in Thrissur while another

    occurred at Palakkad District Hospital. Seven such cases were reported from Government Tribal

    Specialty Hospital at Attappady and five deaths reported from Medical College Hospital, Coimbatore.

    An infant died while undergoing treatment at Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences &

    Technology in Thiruvananthapuram and one such case was reported from a private hospital at

    Attappady. Six infants died at tribal settlements in Attappady, he said. According to Mr. Ramu, there

    was a concerted effort to claim that tribal health in Attappady had improved considerably following

    effective government intervention since 2013 when 47 infant deaths were reported. Thambu president

    Rajendra Prasad demanded a peoples audit of ongoing government-sponsored welfare schemes in

    Attappady. (The Hindu 14/1/16)

    5. A tribal hospital crying for attention (3)

    Palakkad: Two tribal infant deaths since the beginning of 2016 have added to the chorus for

    improving facilities at Government Tribal Hospital at Kottathara in Attappady. The second death was

    reported late on Sunday night from Mettuvazhi tribal settlement where a seven-month-old boy died of

    diarrhoea, high fever, and dehydration. The baby boy of Pappathi-Ratheesh couple was born

    underweight and was suffering from multiple diseases. It was on January 4 that the first infant death

    this year was reported. A two-day-old infant from Mulli tribal area was rushed to the tribal hospital

  • following acute respiratory problems. The infant died on the way to the hospital. The area had

    witnessed 24 infant deaths last year. An additional 26 cases of miscarriages and neo-natal deaths

    were also reported during the period. Following t