Categories
Public Health

The next 2 weeks are critical to stopping the spread of Corona Virus in India

As I write this the official government of India website is giving us the figures of 110 cases in India. Interesting the cases have doubled by the week. Most schools are shut and offices have been encouraging professionals to work from home.

Many in India feel that the worst is behind us but that’s not the case. Currently our testing rate is around 1.2%, this is higher than UK or France as we are specifically testing those coming from the affected countries, or those in direct contact with these individuals. Our next wave will come from those infected in India itself.

Source: http://truthdive.com/2020/03/13/covid-19-india-has-30-days-to-stop-the-start-of-stage-iii-says-dg-icmr-india-news/ and ICMR

If you refer to the diagram above you can clearly see that India is at STage 2 where we see local transmission from positive cases. But the next stage is where the infection spreads locally.

I had written a piece earlier on the similar guidelines for quarantine for keeping the infection in Stage 2 of STage 3. We also would have to stop mass gatherings, being prepared for the inevitable. Here is the link to the article. https://healthcare-in-india.net/uncategorized/key-steps-for-home-quarantine-during-the-corona-virus-epidemic/

Also, I believe it is important to refer to government sources when it comes to accurate data. I get most of my information from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Site or from other government sites like ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research).

Most of our cases are in states like Kerala and Maharashtra which have a sound health infrastructure and would be able to prevent the spread of the disease. But at the same time, Awareness and Preparation are the two weapons we have that we have in our arsenal.

Please take care and please follow these simple steps to understand if you need testing at all.

https://www.mohfw.gov.in/FINAL_14_03_2020_ENg.pdf

Categories
Public Health

Key steps for home quarantine during the Corona Virus Epidemic

As I write this we have 83 cases of Covid (Novo Corona Virus) cases in India with 2 fatalities. So far I believe the government has done a great job considering the global nature of the epidemic and the fatalities.

Unfortunately during these crises I see many news and internet channels spreading misinformation and rumors. I would advise everyone only to rely on the government of India Sites. In this case the site of the ministry of health and family welfare site, https://www.mohfw.gov.in/

One of the things that I learned on the site is the procedure for self-quarantine. Here are some of the key steps.

  1. Stay in a well-ventilated single-room preferably with an attached/separate toilet.
  2. If another family member needs to stay in the same room, it’s advisable to maintain a distance of at least 1 meter between the two.
  3. Needs to stay away from elderly people, pregnant women, children and persons with co-morbidities within the household.
  4. Restrict his/her movement within the house.
  5. Under no circumstances attend any social/religious gathering e.g. wedding, condolences, etc. He should also follow the under mentioned public health measures at all times:
  6. Wash hand as often thoroughly with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  7. Avoid sharing household items e.g. dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items with other people at home.
  8. Wear a surgical mask all the time. The mask should be changed every 6-8 hours and disposed off. Disposable masks are never to be reused.
  9. Masks used by patients / caregivers/ close contacts during home care should be disinfected using ordinary bleach solution (5%) or sodium hypochlorite solution (1%) and then disposed of either by burning or deep burial. •
  10. The used masks should be considered as potentially infected. •
  11. If symptoms appear (cough/fever/difficulty in breathing), he/she should immediately inform the nearest health center or call 011-23978046.

For more details on the steps please visit the GOI site for the Ministry of health and family welfare. The link is on the side- https://www.mohfw.gov.in/DraftGuidelinesforhomequarantine.pdf

Please also note the following numbers and email for communication on Corona Virus

The Helpline Number for corona-virus : +91-11-23978046

The Helpline Numbers of States & Union Territories for corona-virus

The Helpline Email ID for corona-virus : ncov2019@gmail.com

Please stay safe and prevention is better than cure.

Categories
Wellness

12 easy steps to manage your foot care in diabetes

(The following is a guest post by Dr Anuj Chawla)

Diabetes is a health problem that can affect several body parts, one by one. One in six people with diabetes resides in India with an estimated number of 77 million and the number is projected to rise to 125 million by 2040. It has been observed that 10-15% of people with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer at some point in time. A survey done in 2014 revealed that only 54% of diabetics in India were aware that diabetes could lead to foot problems and only 22% had their feet examined by a health worker or doctor.

Do you know that it can affect your feet too? If you have a minor cut on your feet, it can turn into a significant wound because diabetes impairs wound healing in your body. Also, you may not be able to feel anything in your feet because of nerve damage. Because of diabetes, blood flow to your feet is obstructed as well. This will cause a small wound to amplify into a stubborn infection, due to which you face the risk of amputation.

In case you suffer from diabetes, you need to take precautions to protect your feet and hence avoid any serious foot problems. Guidelines you need to follow to avoid Diabetic foot problem are as follows:

  1. Soaking your feet in lukewarm water: You must always keep your foot clean. Treat your foot like you will take care of a newborn baby. Use lukewarm water to soak in your foot and clean them. Avoid excessively hot water.
  2. Regular inspection of your feet: You need to check your feet regularly for blisters, cuts, swelling, redness, or nail problems. You can use a magnifying hand mirror to check the bottom of your feet. Do seek help from your doctor if you notice something suspicious.
  3. Be gentle with your feet while cleaning it: Use a soft sponge and washcloth to wipe your feet. Dry your feet by gently patting it, especially between the toes. 
  4. Trimming nails carefully: You need to cut your nails straight across. Also, do not forget to file the edges of your nails. Don’t trim your nails too short as it risks the development of ingrown toenails. If you are worried about your toenails, then you can seek the advice of your foot and ankle specialist. 
  5. Moisturizing your feet but not between the toes: Always use a moisturizer to prevent itching and cracking of your dry skin. But you must always keep in mind that the place between your toes should not be moisturized as this may risk the development of a fungal infection. 
  6. Proper treatment of the corns or calluses: If there are corns and calluses, then you should not try to treat them all by yourself. You must visit your doctor to get rid of them.
  7. Getting your foot examined periodically: This is one of the essential guidelines that you need to follow if you want to avoid Diabetic foot problems. You must get your feet regularly examined from your foot and ankle expert.  
  8. Keeping your diabetes under control: It is always necessary to keep a check on your blood sugar level to prevent Diabetic foot problems.  
  9. Quit smoking: Smoking will accentuate the worsening of blood flow in your feet. Hence if you are a diabetic person and also have a habit of smoking, then it is high time that you quit smoking forever.
  10. Wearing slippers or shoes while walking: You cannot afford to walk barefoot even at your home. You must wear a sandal or boots to avoid any cut or injury at your feet.
  11. Inspect inside of the shoe before wearing: Always shake and feel for the inside of the shoe to look for any pebbles or nail inside as you may not feel it when you wear it.
  12. Exercise: Walking helps in controlling weight and improves circulation. Wear properly measured and fitted shoes as the size and shape of your foot may change with time.

In India, barefoot walking, lack of awareness, the paucity of regular proper exercise, delay in seeking appropriate care, and shortage of trained healthcare providers and foot care services are the principal factors that add to the burden of foot disease in diabetes. Hence, prevention and initial management of diabetic foot are of paramount importance. Please visit the nearest foot and ankle expert to learn more and avoid any future complications.

Dr. Anuj Chawla is one of the leading Orthopedics and foot & ankle surgeons in India. He has extensive overseas experience of managing diabetic foot and its complications. He can be contacted at dranujchawla@gmail.com.

For a consultation with Dr. Anuj, book an appointment by visiting the website: http://dranujchawla.com/

Categories
Healthcare Technology

Technology Intervention in Healthcare: Are We Adding “REAL” Value???

Below is a guest post by Healthcare Expert Yatindra Jha

Every Single Day I am discovering startups that are working in the healthcare domain with some or other technological intervention. Whether it is in e-pharmacy, online doctor consultation, doctor discovery platform, online diagnostics booking facility, SaaS for channel partners like pharmacy, laboratories, etc.

One thing which is very evident from the evolution of many healthcare ‘Real’ brand names that we hear is that gestation period seems to be quite long compared to other industries because of the nature of consumer i.e. patient him/herself as well as the end result which is the good quality of life.

Interestingly many startups are getting added into the pool of B2C vertical; just to realize at a certain point of time that way forward must be B2B and not B2C. This leads me to think that why scaling a healthcare model in our country is difficult???

As per my opinion reasons can be different like:

  1. “Trust” between the patient and service provider
  2. High CAC
  3. Increasing Competition
  4. Less Value Addition for the patient
  5. Identifying the right ‘consumer’ / ‘payer’

In the last few years; I have observed that many pharma companies have also started building solutions around patient education, adherence, etc. which previously used to be in conjunction with many companies engaged with HCP communities.

Not to forget there are a bunch of startups doing wonderful work in the space of medical devices as well. But again the question is the same; what should be your go-to-market strategy?

Also, a very important factor is the domain expertise available to the leader at the top because if we see healthcare then the dynamics around it are different from normal consumer startups.

When it’s about startup everything seems to be incomplete without valuation, funding which is available to the companies in the industry and if I see recent fund flow in the healthcare then it is evident that capital is available to second-time entrepreneurs. So, does this mean that first time entrepreneurs should be restricted to being bootstrapped only?

I have written this short article to learn from the experts out here about the way forward for many aspiring entrepreneurs who wish to try their luck in the healthcare…

By Yatindra Jha

Categories
Healthcare Technology

SMART MATERNITY WEAR TO PROTECT FROM “DIGITAL” RADIATION

The exponential growth of Mobile phones and IoT devices has led to a whole new industry that supports numerous applications ranging from consumer to healthcare to industrial and many more. Despite its usefulness, there are problems that need to be considered.

In November 2018, an FDA nominated study under National Toxicology Program concluded on the hazards of high Radio Frequency exposure (Non-ionising Radiation) from Cell Phones.

The conclusions were :

  • Clear evidence of tumors in the hearts of male rats. The tumors were malignant schwannomas.
  • Some evidence of tumors in the brains of male rats. The tumors were malignant gliomas.
  • Some evidence of tumors in the adrenal glands of male rats. The tumors were benign, malignant, or complex combined pheochromocytoma.

It is generally believed that the FCC has set limits on cell phone radiation and if any devices exceed the limits, it will not reach the market. However, the NTP study showed that harmful effects can be seen even at levels below the SAR limits set by FCC. This is because, the SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) requires the devices being tested at a short distance away from the human dummies and not in contact with human body, which is how people use the phones and keep the phones in their pockets.

A wide variety of scientists, clinicians, and national medical associations have raised significant visibility towards this issue, ranging from European Scientists calling for a moratorium on 5G rollouts, until the effects are better understood, to asking for further scientific information from FCC and FDA chairpersons on the radiation hazards.

Whilst this complex problem gets resolved by future scientific studies and regulatory mechanisms, there could be an extremely simple alternative solution.

DFF with technology from AiQ Smart Clothing, has developed an innovative RF shielding fabric, leveraging its leadership position in the conductive textiles industry. The fabric blends very fine stainless steel fiber (typically about 10 micron in width) with a variety of commercially available yarn using special purpose machines to produce what looks, feels and behaves like regular textiles. It can blend all types of textiles, build different structures and yarn counts just like regular textile. The clothing or other textile form factors such as curtains etc built out of this RF shielding fabric are also machine washable just like any other clothes.

It is capable of blocking upto 99.99% of a 30 dB signal at 2.4 Ghz, making it ideal to create a wall of protection around places on the body which typically host the mobile phones. For pregnant women and small children, one could create complete clothing using the shielding fabric. 

By

Dr. Mohan Kumar R, Co-Founder , Digital Fashion Factory™ and Satya Bhavaraju, VP, Biz Development, AiQ Smart Clothing