Preterm babies don’t gain growth by early initiation of complementary food

Babies born preterm (before 37 completed weeks of gestation) have a higher energy requirement than babies born full term and therefore fail to gain weight adequately. Parents of preterm babies and doctors alike are not sure whether breast milk or formula milk alone will meet the energy requirements after the first four months and whether... Continue Reading →

Can health spending of 2.5% of GDP only by 2025 help achieve the goals set by India’s National Health Policy?

The long awaited National Health Policy announced a few days ago proposes to raise public health expenditure as a percentage of GDP from the current 1.15% to 2.5% by 2025. The resource allocation to individual States will be linked with their development indicators, absorptive capacity and financial indicators. “There will be higher weightage given to... Continue Reading →

Five-month-old babies know what’s funny

By Gina Mireault Before they speak or crawl or walk or achieve many of the other amazing developmental milestones in the first year of life, babies laugh. This simple act makes its debut around the fourth month of life, ushering in a host of social and cognitive opportunities for the infant. Yet despite the universality... Continue Reading →

Non-communicable diseases killed more Indians in 2015

  In 2015, India, like other developed countries, had more number of deaths caused by non-communicable diseases. In the case of males, deaths due to non-communicable diseases (3.6 million) were more than double that caused by communicable diseases (1.5 million), while it was nearly double in females (2.7 million due to non-communicable diseases and nearly... Continue Reading →

Zika: ‘I think WHO should declare an emergency’

The World Health Organization faced flak for its delay by two months in 2014 in declaring the Ebola epidemic as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). This might not happen in the case of Zika virus when the WHO convenes an emergency committee on Monday (February 1) to help determine the level of the... Continue Reading →

Women live four years longer than men in India

People in India live significantly longer now compared with 1990. Life expectancy increased by 6.9 years for men and 10.3 years for women between 1990 and 2013, notes a study published in the British medical journal The Lancet . In 1990, the figures were 57.25 for men and 59.19 for women. This rose to 64.16... Continue Reading →

Why rural children in India die of diarrhoea and pneumonia

The reason why a large number of children under the age of five years die of diarrhoea and pneumonia, generally in rural India and especially in Bihar, has become abundantly clear. The results of a study were published a couple of days ago in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. Diarrhoea and pneumonia are the biggest killer diseases... Continue Reading →

Editorial: Strengthening care of the newborn

Tamil Nadu has come to realise in a most tragic manner the high mortality risk faced by preterm babies (those born before 37 completed weeks of gestation), and its unfinished task of saving these lives. Of the 13 neonates who died recently in district hospitals in Dharmapuri and Salem, five were preterm. Both preterm and... Continue Reading →

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