Depression: The fault lies in classification

The World Health Organization estimates that more than 300 million people across the world are living with depression. “But that does not mean that all the 300 million people would need medical intervention,” says Vikram Patel from Harvard Medical School and the Delhi-based Public Health Foundation of India. The reason: the current binary classification of … Continue reading Depression: The fault lies in classification

Advertisement

Sin tax reduces intake of energy-dense food in Mexico

That taxing energy-dense, unhealthy food will result in a drop in consumption levels has come out unequivocally clear in Mexico. In January 2014, Mexico introduced 8 per cent tax on foods items with energy density of over 275 kcal/100 g and one peso per litre of sugar-sweetened beverages. Data of household consumption of nonessential energy-dense … Continue reading Sin tax reduces intake of energy-dense food in Mexico

Drug resistance: The antibiotic red line of control

A much-needed public awareness campaign to highlight the dangers of misuse and irrational use of antibiotics was recently launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Called ‘Medicines with the Red Line’, it comes at a time when the consumption of antibiotics in India has increased sharply while the effectiveness of these drugs to … Continue reading Drug resistance: The antibiotic red line of control

MDR-TB spreads less within households

Unlike people with drug-susceptible TB, those with multi drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) are less likely to transmit disease to others living in the same household (also known as household contacts), a study published on June 23 in the journal PLOS Medicine found. Although it may not be right to extrapolate the findings to the community level, … Continue reading MDR-TB spreads less within households

New approach needed to curb open defecation?

At over 620 million, India has the most number of people in the world defecating in the open. Open defecation and lack of sanitation are the leading causes for water-borne diseases like diarrhoea and stunted growth in children. Over 300,000 children aged below five years in India die each year due to diarrhoeal diseases. Hence, … Continue reading New approach needed to curb open defecation?

Brazil: reducing tobacco use is a ‘winnable battle’

Published in the Hindu on November 8, 2012 Brazil provides an excellent example of reducing the prevalence of smoking and, in turn, saving several thousand lives by adopting and strictly enforcing several strategies aimed at making tobacco consumption less attractive. A study published in PLoS Medicine indicates that Brazil achieved a 46 per cent reduction … Continue reading Brazil: reducing tobacco use is a ‘winnable battle’

India’s TB treatment strategy stands vindicated

Published in The Hindu on September 17, 2009 Research based on a study commissioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and published online in the Open Access journal PLoS Medicine, has clearly vindicated India’s position on treating newly diagnosed TB patients. “The papers clearly endorse the stand taken by RNTCP [Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme],” … Continue reading India’s TB treatment strategy stands vindicated

Editorial: Ghosting medical science

Published in The Hindu on September 1, 2009 Medical ghostwriting, according to a researcher, “occurs when someone makes substantial contributions to a manuscript without attribution or disclosure. It is considered bad publication practice in the medical sciences, and some argue it is scientific misconduct.” An extreme case is what the U.S.-based Wyeth Pharmaceuticals did, according … Continue reading Editorial: Ghosting medical science

Bird flu: reducing vaccine dosage to cover more people

Published in The Hindu on June 28, 2007 Even as Indonesia has forced the World Health Organisation to find ways to provide access to bird flu vaccines by developing countries when a pandemic strikes, the current limited capacity to manufacture the vaccines is worrying. This turns the spotlight on the strategies that can make vaccines … Continue reading Bird flu: reducing vaccine dosage to cover more people

MDR-TB spreads less within households

Published in The Hindu on June 25, 2015 Unlike people with drug-susceptible TB, those with multi drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) are less likely to transmit disease to others living in the same household (also known as household contacts), a study published on June 23 in the journal PLOS Medicine found. Although it may not be right … Continue reading MDR-TB spreads less within households