Fake news alert: A newspaper article claims astrology can ‘combat’ coronavirus

An article published today in The New Indian Express on "How to survive coronavirus" is not just rubbish but a public health hazard. I have come across a few fake claims about cures for novel coronavirus infection (SARS-CoV-2) and disease (COVID-19) on WhatsApp. Even the AYUSH Ministry’s press release claiming that certain Unani medicines can … Continue reading Fake news alert: A newspaper article claims astrology can ‘combat’ coronavirus

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Coronavirus: AYUSH Ministry’s dangerous prescription

When a passenger with symptoms suggestive of novel coronavirus infection is found at an airport, should he/she be quarantined and tested/treated in a hospital or allowed to go home and receive supportive management with Unani medicines? At a time when the number of novel coronavirus cases has touched 7,711 and deaths at 170 in mainland … Continue reading Coronavirus: AYUSH Ministry’s dangerous prescription

AYUSH’s dangerous prescription: Unani medicines for ‘symptomatic management of coronavirus infection’

The AYUSH Ministry appears to be encouraging people to self-medicate. It has sent out a press release listing out specific Unani medicines that would be “useful in symptomatic management of coronavirus infection”. Ironically, the release does not even mention the symptoms that people infected with coronavirus exhibit. Nearly four weeks after China first reported to … Continue reading AYUSH’s dangerous prescription: Unani medicines for ‘symptomatic management of coronavirus infection’

Debate: Can the National Medical Commission Bill address rural healthcare deficit?

On August 1, the Rajya Sabha passed the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, 2019 which has a provision to train people connected with modern medical profession to practice modern medicine. The Commission intends to grant about 3.5 lakh licences. The duration of the training programme has not been specified. The licensed Community Health Providers will … Continue reading Debate: Can the National Medical Commission Bill address rural healthcare deficit?

Scientists studying AYUSH drugs must involve domain expert, advisory says

An April 2 advisory issued by the AYUSH Ministry makes it mandatory for any non-AYUSH scientists undertaking research on AYUSH drugs or treatment to involve an AYUSH expert. The provocation for the advisory is publication of papers on AYUSH drugs and treatments by non-AYUSH scientists with unfounded statements and conclusions damaging the credibility and sanctity … Continue reading Scientists studying AYUSH drugs must involve domain expert, advisory says

The yawning gap in tuberculosis care in India

The dismal state of tuberculosis (TB) care in the private sector in India has been exposed by a November 2015 study (The Lancet) that employed a novel strategy of using standardised TB patients — healthy individuals trained to pose as TB patients and interact with health-care providers. Standardised patient method has been widely used in India … Continue reading The yawning gap in tuberculosis care in India

Trials with antibiotics lead to TB diagnosis delay

Tuberculosis patients in India who seek care in the private sector face a delay of as long as two months before they are diagnosed correctly — if at all — according to systematic reviews of Indian studies. This becomes alarming as private sector accounts for almost half of the TB care delivered in India. A … Continue reading Trials with antibiotics lead to TB diagnosis delay