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15 April 2009

Updating Technology
The Armed Forces Medical College, Pune has focussed attention on quality control techniques to ensure the maximum safety of blood product through a Continuing Medical Education (CME) programme entitled National Update in Transfusion Medicine from April 11 to 12. Lt Gen Shiv Kumar Sharma SM, VSM, director and Commandant, AFMC, inaugurated the CME. Dr Zarin Bharucha, chairperson of Federation of Bombay Blood Banks and formerly Who Consultant delivered the Lt Col GWG Bird Oration on National Blood Policy– The Implications. According to Col R S Sarkar, professor and head of department of Transfusion Medicine, AFMC, the field of transfusion medicine is rapidly expanding through increased automation, greater application of blood components in clinical practice and the vast emerging potential of stem cell therapy. The Cme will deliberate on newer concepts in transfusion medicine. The delegates and the audience will exchange their experiences during the scientific sessions.

Going places
A multi–specialty hospital, Shri Shakti in Pimple Saudagar has been started by a group of doctors. Among the directors are – Dr Mahendra Gulati, senior radiologist; Dr Jyoti Gulati, physician and iabetologists, Kamalmani Gulati, Dr Chandrakant Walke, senior physican. Apart from having an OPD and diagnostic facilities, the hospital now plans to start the intensive care unit by next month. It also inaugurated its diabetic club of April 7 that offers regular blood sugar checks, cardiac check up, dietary counseling, eye check up, kidney check up, detection of neuropathy and foot care advise.

Prepared for future
Dr M J Rathod, joint director, Hospitals, Maharashtra, on Wednesday, said that hospitals should have a disaster management plan and should be well stocked with emergency medicines. He was speaking at a function organised to celebrate World Health Day. The theme this year is Save Lives –Make hospitals safe in emergencies. “The state health department and district officials gathered at the Arogya Bhavan at Vishrantwadi to participate in the workshop on the same subject,” says Yashwant Doiphode, deputy director of Health, Pune circle. Rathod pointed out that there were 23 district hospitals, 76 sub district hospitals,366 rural hospitals, 46 trauma centres, eight hospitals that catered solely to women, and two super specialty hospitals. We have urged the hospitals to have their own disaster emergency action plan and instructions have been given on what measures should be taken. The workshop also elaborated on how to make hospital buildings earthquake resistant. Professors from the Government College of Engineering spoke on the technical criteria that needs to be met by hospital buildings, while medical officials from Symbiosis also spoke on how to administer medical aid. Dr P P Doke, executive director of the State Resource Centre presided.

Workshop on medical equipment
The Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences conducted a workshop on Medical Equipment Technology recently for the students of the medical technology course, wherein they were showed techniques to understand and handle advanced medical machinery better. Faculties from varied fields spoke on various key aspects of medical instrumentation like applied physics, electricity and electronics to medical equipment, care, preventive maintenance and management of medical equipment and many other. Dr Vinay Vaidya, CTO and vice president, KPIT Cummins was the chief guest for the event. Col Anil Dhaka, from Army forces Medical Store Depot, Girish Sonawane from the Government Polytechnic college and Commandant Pratap Pawar from ammunition factory were some of the speakers for the event.

New test for cancer biology
The OncQuest Laboratories has recently announced that they will be expanding their test range with the launch of new tests in the areas of cancer biology. The tests will include a variety of tools for screening, diagnosis and prognostication of infectious agents like Hepatitis and HIV. Aditya Burman GM, OncQuest Laboratories said, “These tests will help in diagnosing the cancerous growth in its early stages. The tests are result of extensive research done at our in–house laboratory and are an endeavor to promise accuracy in diagnosis of infectious diseases, which are causative agents of cancer. They will be a useful resource for the clinicians, helping them make critical decisions on therapeutic front and will be able to monitor drug response in a better way and thus, modify the therapy based on test results.” The tests offered by them are: Real Time Qualitative PCR for HIV, Hepatitis B & Hepatitis C Real Time Quantitative PCR for HIV, Hepatitis B & Hepatitis C, Elisa for HIV, Hepatitis B & Hepatitis C, Elisa for Tumor Markers i.e. CA19.9, CA–125, CA–15.3, CEA, AFP, PSA and Allele – specific PCR for K– Ras & Reverse Transcriptase PCR for inversion 16.

Women’s health
Pune Obstetric and Gynaecological Society (POGS) conducted its 24th Continuing Medical Education ( CME ) and awareness programme on various issues of women's health on April 11 at Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital auditorium. Dr Sanjeev Khurd, president of the POGS said that various issues will be taken up by the society like decreasing maternal mortality through Anaemia Chale Jao campaign. The UNICEF Report shows the maternal mortality in India is 450 deaths per one lakh live births, higher than the global average of 400. Anaemia is an important cause of this high maternal mortality. Prevention of anaemia in adolescent girls and young brides will reduce the incidence of maternal mortality in India. Again, another issue of importance is TB of the genital that causes permanent damage and might result in infertility (20 per cent cases of infertility ). Even highly advanced sophisticated treatments like IVF cannot help such patients bear a child in majority of cases. The POGS will also take an active campaign about no scalpel vasectomy.

Hope gets shape
Dr SC Sada with a team of Dr R Balakrishna and Dr Shrikant Yatnale of OOSITE Centre for Human Reproduction proved no less than angels for a childless couple. The couple was childless for past 19 years until they were suggested of having a vitrified embryo baby at Salisbury Park Assisted Conception Centre for IVF IUI and ICSI. And the result was a vitrified embryo baby at Mothercare Hospital. The procedure has been recently introduced in India it is common in the UK and the USA.

Public health
Anand Grover, UN special rapporteur on the Right to Health on Tuesday released the People's health manifesto that demands a comprehensive national Public Health Act. The manifesto was prepared by Jan Arogya Abhiyaan – a network of health and science organisations working for the people's health movement in Maharashtra. Dr Anant Phadke of Jan Arogya Abhiyaan said that political parties are unable to identify the gravity of health problems faced by the public health sector. The main demands of the manifesto include enactment of a comprehensive national public health act regulating private and public health sectors, increase in government expenditure on public health which is currently only one per cent of the GDP to three per cent in the next five years and five per cent in ten years and reduction of prices of medicines and price control for all essential medicines.

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