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Health care

Agony of the waiting

Issue Date: Nov 15, 2000
Government hospitals in India have a reputation for being noisy places. But there is a noticeable difference if you reach the oncology department. Even if it is more crowded than most other sections, you can sense a strange calm in the Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences ( aiims ), New Delhi.

Heading off fever

Issue Date: Sep 30, 1997
researchers at the New York University Medical Centre have recently identified a protein on the surface of the single-celled malaria parasite, Plasmodium , which helps it to invade human liver and blood cells. The find, the second such in the past year, has created ripples of excitement among scientists. An antimalaria 'wonder' vaccine may soon be a reality.


Author(s): Anjani Khanna
Issue Date: May 15, 1995

The microbes strike back

Issue Date: Jan 15, 1995
Malaria -- whose incidence dropped from an estimated annual 75 million cases with 0.8 million deaths before Independence to 0.1 million cases with no deaths by 1964 -- showed feverish activity in the '70s. It is stabilising now at about 2 million cases a year. Of late, however, a potentially fatal form of malaria, caused by Plasmodium falciparum, is accounting for as much as 35-40 per cent of the cases and is spreading to new areas.

A plague on this country

Issue Date: Oct 31, 1994
ONE of India's most outstanding economic jewels has lost its glitter. All that Surat could do is wait weak-kneed and groggy for a Pied Piper to slough off its gigantic army of rats and bandicoots, which recently sent the world's most dreaded disease rustling insidiously through India.

Where’s the fire alarm?

Author(s): Sonal Matharu
Issue Date: Jan 15, 2012
Close to a hundred people died in a major fire that engulfed the Advanced Medical Research Institute (AMRI) Hospital in Kolkata on December 9. Majority of them were patients, in so critical a condition that they could not even move their limbs. They helplessly saw smoke enter their cabins as they suffocated to death. Those administered sedatives died in sleep. The cause of fire is still not known. What’s known is that despite warnings, the hospital had not taken steps.

HIV bill at risk

Author(s): Sonal Matharu
Issue Date: Dec 31, 2011
In October, a government hospital in Delhi refused to give an infant born to an HIV-infected woman a dose of Nevirapine. This drug, which prevents mother-to-child HIV transmission, must be administered within 72 hours of birth. Under the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) guidelines, hospitals must always be stocked with Nevirapine.

Letters - December 31, 2011

Issue Date: Dec 31, 2011
Cautious Warning It appears that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has tightened its procedures in the hope of preventing errors in terms of the language used in its report (‘Future shock’, November 16-30, 2011).

Leprosy looms

Author(s): Sonal Matharu
Issue Date: Dec 15, 2011
In 2006, India boastfully declared it had eliminated leprosy, achieving the WHO target of less than 10 cases per 100,000 population. But a national sample survey in 2010-11 shows an alarming trend: annually 14 new leprosy cases are being detected per 100,000 population.


Issue Date: Dec 15, 2011
Sundarbans in peril This refers to the article, “The secret garden” (November 1- 15, 2011). The Sundarbans is one of the largest mangrove forests and home to the famous Royal Bengal Tiger and numerous fauna, including spotted deer. Situated in the Ganga-Brahmaputra delta of the Bay of Bengal, the forests cover an area of 10,000 sq km, of which about 4,000 sq km lies in India. The rest is in Bangladesh. In 1987 it became inscribed as a UNESCO world heritage site. But today the ecology of the Sundarbans is at risk due to illegal felling of trees and rampant poaching.
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