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: 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.

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.

Public Health

Now an easier way of avoiding UTI for Women

One in two women in India have been or will be affected by UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) in their lifetime. One of the main reasons for this are unhygienic public toilets in India. As it is easier for the bacteria to reach the bladder in women, UTI affects women more than men.

In men with enlarged prostate glands and those affected by diabetes, UTI has been observed as well. Symptoms of UTI range from burning sensation in the lower part of the bladder and specifically while passing urine. It also manifests itself as pain, swelling, and fever. While mostly transient, UTI can spread and cause infection in the kidneys. That makes it a serious condition especially in the case of senior citizens.

A lot of emphasis in the management of UTI goes with prevention including awareness about cleanliness in public restrooms and overall sense of hygiene. Also exercise and drinking enough water can result in lowering the chances of contracting UTI.

Medically UTI is managed with Anti Biotics, with both broad-spectrum and narrow-spectrum antibiotics used to treat the condition. Cephalosporins and Quinolones are the medicines that are the treatment of choice. But the ultimate defense against UTI is prevention. While public campaigns like Swacch Bharat are taking shape the improve the public health and sanitation, these have been concerted efforts from the private sector to raise awareness and reduce instances of infection.

Bangalore based startup Pee Easy is one of the players that has recently launched a product to help women and men to overcome the challenges of UTI. They have used food grade paper to create a contraption that can help women and men to pass urine standing up. This would really help reduce the chances of infection. Pee Easy has been set up with vending machines across malls, hospitals and airports and also available at pharmacies.

Such devices are also useful in medical departments like gynecology, orthopedics, urology, oncology and HIV, pathology (for easier collection of a urine sample (under testing)), and post-surgery. In addition to women, senior citizens can really help in reduction of infections.

Healthcare Technology

Three Indian Hospitals in the finals of the Asia Pacific HIMSS-Elsevier Digital Healthcare Award 2018

Elsevier, the information analytics business specializing in science and health, and HIMSS Asia Pacific have announced the finalists of the sixth Asia Pacific HIMSSElsevier Digital Healthcare Award 2018. This award recognizes outstanding achievements and innovations globally in the implementation and usage of health information and technology.

Public Health

Ayushman Bharat Yojana : Decoded

Last month saw the launch of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. It is a bold and ambitious step in the history of healthcare reforms in the nation. For the first time, a government has gone beyond lip sympathy on such a large scale. So what is this scheme all about and how can you participate, let’s discuss this in the next few paragraphs.

Healthcare Delivery

How to solve the Nursing dilemma in India ?

Last week there was a lot of activity in my neighborhood, as my neighbor’s daughter was leaving for the UK. A qualified nurse, she had been working for one of the premier hospitals in Bangalore, and only a month ago was accepted at the NHS in the UK. As my neighbor rejoiced and thought about the sorry state of the nursing in India.

Truth be told I hate to see nurses leave the country. I hate to see doctors leave too. A country like ours with a billion plus people cannot afford to have medical personnel leaving the country. When the

Last year we had focused on the situation with nurses in India. As you all know we continue to lose talent to the west. UK, Australia, and Canada have emerged as leading destination for nurses with more than 5 years of experience. Last year we had spoken to Col Binu Sharma at Columbia Asia. Even in the discussion then it emerged that a lot needs to be done to grow the profession in India.

Earlier this year I was at the Smart Tech Healthcare Summit in Bangalore and explored this topic further with the healthcare leaders and delegates. During the session, I got talking to Dr. Lalit Singh from Elsevier and was pleasantly surprised, by a new initiative by Elsevier to raise awareness about nursing as a profession. They have created a program where they take successful nurses from across major hospitals, across areas like clinical nursing, staff nursing, nursing informatics, nursing education among others and documented their success stories. These include the key changes they made in their careers that made them successful. Based on these stories and anecdotes Elsevier is developing a program and going back to nursing colleges, schools, and hospitals, and help the students and other professional nurses find their career path.

I think this is a very good step and in many ways, I feel the government should be doing this. But as long as it gets done, I feel a good beginning has been made.

Below is the full discussion between me and Dr Lalit Singh on this topic.

As always would love to hear your views. What can be done to revive nursing in India?