Release of study report on tobacco package warnings
Institute of Public Health, Bengaluru had organised a press conference on 17th September 2016 at Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan to release the findings of compliance study for 85% pictorial health warnings on tobacco products. The fact Sheets of Karnataka study was released by Freedom Fighter and Social Activist Shri. H S Doreswamy, Minister for food and Civil supplies and consumer affairs GOK Shri. U T Khader, Senior BJP leasder and former Law Minister Shri. Suresh Kumar, Shri. Puttaswamy Gowda from Bharathiya Kisan Sangha, Shri. Mallikarjuna Jakati from Karnataka Krisika Sangha, Dr. U S Vishal Rao, head and Neck Oncologist and Member of High power committee for tobacco control GOK, Dr Pragati Hebbar from Institute of Public Health along with Mr.Senthil Kumar, a cancer survivor from Voice of Tobacco Victims who had initiated thanking petition on change.org appreciating the step taken by the government regarding 85% pictorial warning on tobacco products.
Releasing the fact sheets, speakers highlighted the importance of larger pictorial warnings in safeguarding public health and appreciated the efforts of governments for the effective enforcement of new health warnings. During the event packets of major brands in all three categories(Cigarette, beedi, Smokeless) which were used for compliance study had been displayed to showcase the compliance level in our state. Dr. Pragati Hebbar and Dr Vishal Rao mainly focused on the findings of compliance study and also gave details about the efforts put by Industries to rollback pictorial warning using farmers and labourers as front group. Representative of farmers association explained that the new pictorial warning has not impacted negatively on farmers and also denied the claim made by the industries about the loss of farmers livelihood due to new pictorial warning.
“70pc of cigarette products in K’taka comply with new pictorial warning rule.”
IPH Comments on ICMR
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is revising the Ethical Guidelines for Health and Biomedical Research.
IPH submitted detailed comments on the revised draft of 2016.
IPH Responds to Draft National Medical Commission Bill
The Niti Aayog invited comments on the draft National Commission Bill, 2016 to replace the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.
IPH sent its comments on the draft bill to regulate medical education to the Niti Aayog.
‘India lags behind in key therapy for HIV patients’ – IPH staff quoted in BangaloreMirror
In an official release last year, WHO said that ART should be initiated in everyone living with HIV, no matter what their CD4 cell count (CD4+ T cell is a type of white blood cell vital to fighting infection, and its levels are key indicators of the condition of the patient’s immune system).
However, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, though about 21.17 lakh people (India HIV estimation 2015 report of WHO) are estimated to be living with HIV in India, ART is started only in those patients whose CD4 count is less than 350.
The total number of patients with CD4 count of less than 350 in the country is estimated to be 13,45,678. Of this, the number of people on ART is 9.40 lakh,
making a coverage rate of 70 per cent.
“It is possible that when this policy was formulated, we did not have enough treatment centres. ART may also have side-effects, so that could be another factor why India decided to start ART only for those patients whose CD4 count was less than 350. However, I believe we should comply with WHO guidelines. The reason being that a person diagnosed with HIV, may not have a CD4 count below 350 as he or she has been leading a healthy lifestyle, and that person may not come back for follow-ups at the same hospital. We will also not be able to track the incidence of HIV in the country,” said Aneesha Ahluwalia, a health expert from the city-based Institute of Public Health.
‘Move to remove transgender from mental illness long-awaited, say city doctors’- IPH staff quoted in BangaloreMirror
Aneesha Ahluwalia, staff at Institute of Public Health, said that putting transgender under mental disorders classification is not the right thing to do scientifically and has some serious implications.
“According to a 2011 census, India has 4.9 lakh transgenders and it is estimated that this number is likely to be six to seven times more. If we look at it, transgenderism is a biological phenomenon affecting the reproductive health of the individual. As rightly pointed out in the report, transgenders face stigmatisation, which can lead to stress, depression and other mental disorders. If we consider transgenderism as a mental illness, it has serious consequences. It is a well-known fact that transgenders fall under the high-risk groups for diseases like HIV. Since mental disorders fall under the purview of psychiatrists, other health-related conditions may remain undiagnosed and may cause further deterioration in their health,”.