Completion of COVID-19 vaccine trials could take at least six-nine months, says Soumya Swaminathan

A realistic (but very optimistic) timeline from the start of Phase-1 to the completion of Phase-3 could be about six to nine months (if all goes exactly according to plan), says Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization. She stressed that any vaccine must demonstrate efficacy and safety in a sizable number … Continue reading Completion of COVID-19 vaccine trials could take at least six-nine months, says Soumya Swaminathan

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, stop spreading vaccine misinformation

At the United Nations, talking about the importance of vaccines and how they have saved millions of children from debilitating illnesses across the world, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev ends up spreading the very misinformation that anti-vaxxers spread on social media. I was today alerted about a dangerous tweet and message on vaccination by Jaggi Vasudev. The … Continue reading Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, stop spreading vaccine misinformation

ICMR wins the 2017 Kochon Prize for TB research

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has won the Stop TB Kochon Prize for excellence in TB research and development. The $65,000 Prize is awarded annually by Stop TB Partnership to individuals and/or organizations that have made a significant contribution to combating TB. The ICMR emerged the winner from amongst 18 nominations. The 2017 Kochon Prize was awarded … Continue reading ICMR wins the 2017 Kochon Prize for TB research

Three Zika cases reported in Ahmedabad, India in Januray 2017

The dreaded Zika virus has finally reached the Indian shores. On May 15, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare reported to the World Health Organisation three laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus disease in Bapunagar area, Ahmedabad District, Gujarat. “This report is important as it describes the first cases of Zika virus infections and provides … Continue reading Three Zika cases reported in Ahmedabad, India in Januray 2017

‘India should show leadership in TB research’

With a $9.1 million funding in 2014 by several Indian government agencies, India is ranked fifth in the world with documented investments in TB research. India is ranked ninth in terms of money spent on TB research as a percentage of GDP. India's spend of $9.1 million on TB research in 2014 is in line … Continue reading ‘India should show leadership in TB research’

‘Child-friendly paediatric TB drugs will be a game changer’

Treating young children afflicted with drug-sensitive TB disease will no longer be the same. After years of neglect, the availability of flavoured, easily dissolvable first-line TB drugs in correct doses marks a watershed moment as the special needs of these children will be met. The tablets, which are a combination of two and more medicines … Continue reading ‘Child-friendly paediatric TB drugs will be a game changer’

TB treatment programme in India may be generating more MDR cases

  The Joint Monitoring Mission 2015 has come down heavily on the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for their inability to handle the MDR-TB crisis in the country. The report released last month reflects on the findings, conclusions, and recommendations made by it in 2012. Despite … Continue reading TB treatment programme in India may be generating more MDR cases

Working towards personalised TB treatment

Three major global research centres in India will receive funding coming out of collaboration between the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Department for Biotechnology (DBT), India. The Department for Biotechnology will match the funding provided by UK through MRC and Newton Fund. The Chennai-based National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) will get … Continue reading Working towards personalised TB treatment

Increase in life expectancy more in women in India

A Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 published today (December 18) in the journal The Lancet points out that in the case of India, the life expectancy at birth during the period 1990 to 2013 had increased for both men and women. In the case of men, the increase in life expectancy was from 57.3 … Continue reading Increase in life expectancy more in women in India

Training doctors to diagnose paediatric TB to start soon

In a few months from now, children in India with paediatric TB will stand a better chance of being diagnosed early and treated without much delay. This will become possible with the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) partnering with the Child TB Division of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and RNTCP to train … Continue reading Training doctors to diagnose paediatric TB to start soon