Breaking the drug-resistant TB transmission cycle important

Nearly two months after the Health Ministry set a highly ambitious target of working towards elimination of tuberculosis by 2025, a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases indicates that India’s TB crisis is all set to snowball by 2040 when one in 10 cases could be drug-resistant. What is even more alarming is that the increased... Continue Reading →

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 →

Lancet gets in touch with Current Science authors on litchi disease ethics issue

In response to an article I wrote on February 3 about Dr. Jacob John raising ethics issues about the way the authors of the Lancet Global Health paper had failed to properly acknowledge his team’s work on Muzaffarpur mystery disease, the journal has got in touch with Dr. Mukul Das, one of the authors of the Current Science... Continue Reading →

Renal failure deaths nearly double in a decade in India

Deaths from renal failure among Indian adults now outstrip deaths from HIV/AIDS, signalling a major shift in causes of mortality in the country over the past decade — away from infectious disease causes to non-communicable disease causes. These are the results of a study published recently in The Lancet. As per a National AIDS Control... 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 →

Indian private sector bears 2-3 times higher TB burden than estimated

A study has found that in 2014 there were 2.2 million TB patients treated in India’s private sector alone. This is 2-3 times higher than current estimates. In all probability, the higher TB burden in the private sector might still be an underestimation as drug-resistant TB cases were not taken into account. Thus, the private... Continue Reading →

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 →

Many Zika cases will be missed if microcephaly screening alone is used

The Zika virus landscape has got a little more complicated. Zika virus infections cannot be accurately diagnosed solely on the basis of microcephaly screening, reveals a study published today (June 30) in the journal The Lancet. “Substantial proportion” of newborns with definite or probable Zika virus infection had normal head circumference. According to the study,... Continue Reading →

Holding Olympics in the time of Zika virus

The World Health Organisation has confirmed that the Olympic Games scheduled to be held in August in Rio de Janeiro will go ahead, the Zika virus notwithstanding. An Emergency Committee meeting convened by the WHO Director-General said there is “very low risk” of the virus spreading globally as a consequence of the Games being held... Continue Reading →

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