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Birth defects registries expanding in Latin America
Twelve Latin American countries already monitor children who are born with congenital birth defects in order to better understand why and how often they occur, and how the survival and quality of life of these children can be improved.
Birth defects are the second leading cause of neonatal and child mortality worldwide. In the Americas, approximately one out of every ten deaths of children under the age of five is due to these anomalies. However, there is limited information on the actual burden of these conditions. According to Pablo Durán, Regional Advisor on Perinatal Health at the Latin American Center for Perinatology, Women and Reproductive Health (CLAP) of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), it is essential that the countries have these types of registries, which enable them to determine the disease burden from birth defects as well as their characteristics, which helps plan healthcare provider actions and responses.
CLAP, with support from the ministries of health, seeks to strengthen surveillance systems in the countries of the Region. The registries have proven to be very useful in emergencies, for example when Zika virus-related birth defects were discovered at the end of 2015. In Latin America, there are birth defects surveillance systems in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela … (PAHO, Aug. 8, 2019)
Healthcare News Monitor
Hindustan Times-Ritesh Mishra
Chhattisgarh government will launch a campaign in the state on October 2 to eradicate malnutrition and anaemia in all aspirational districts, chief minister Bhupesh Baghel announced on Friday. The chief minister also announced an increase of scholarship from Rs 700 to Rs 1000 for students of pre-matric hostels and an increase in number of seats in colleges as well. “The campaign was initiated as pilot project in Bastar region from July, 2019 and it will soon be conducted in other aspirational districts of the state as well. In this campaign of anaemia and malnutrition eradication, maximum participation of renowned charitable organizations, public representatives, NGOs, media groups and other competent people of the districts will be ensured. Chief Minister has appealed local representatives and all the sections of society to actively participate in this campaign,” said Taran Prakash Sinha, Director Public Relations, Chhattisgarh government. According to latest data released by NITI Aayog, 37.60% children in Chhattisgarh below five years of age suffer from malnutrition while 41.50% women in the state suffer from anaemia, said Baghel while addressing a state-level programme on World Indigenous Day in Kondagaon.
Deccan Chronicle- Kaniza Garari
The discrepancies in the National Medical Council Act have placed doctors of modern medicine on the edge as they find that a range of issues, right from the medical curriculum to the right to prescription have been objectionably placed in the National Medical Commission Act that was passed by Parliament last week. In a meeting in the city to discuss the finer points of the legislation, the Telangana Indian Medical Association pointed out the contradictions. While the final MBBS exam will be decided by the NMC, the exams from the first to the fourth years will be with the University Grants Commission and state universities. The curriculum of modern medicine will be decided by homoeopathy and Ayurveda doctors, which is going to be an extremely difficult task. Dr Yadagiri Rao, former state IMA president, explained, “The bill is filled with contradictions. There are too many discrepancies in the bill and all the systems are being integrated without realizing that each has its own identity, belief and style of practice. Modern medicine has been based purely on evidence and the process of thinking to be integrated with other systems will not only lead to a clash of the basics but also the fundamental way in which diseases are to be understood, learnt, diagnosed and treated.”
Financial Express - PP Sangal
The Ayushman Bharat scheme, also called the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), is the National Health Protection Scheme that was launched on September 23, 2018. It is also abbreviated as the AB-NHPM (Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission). It is the world’s largest government-funded scheme (estimated expenditure of Rs 12,000 crore per year, with the Centre contributing 60% and the states the rest 40%), and is targeting more than 50 crore poorest beneficiaries or nearly 10 crore households (8 crore rural and 2 crore urban) and each family would have a cover of Rs 5 lakh per year. It must be noted that 50 crore beneficiaries are almost equal to the population of the entire European Union or combined population of the US, Canada and Mexico. The Socio-Economic Caste Census of 2011 is the basis of beneficiary identification under the scheme, and it is extended to those families that were availing of the government’s earlier scheme, i.e. the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY). Ayushman Bharat would provide secondary and tertiary healthcare hospitalisation to the beneficiaries across 23 specialities through 1,390 packages, which include treatment/procedures such as cancer surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, cardiac surgery, stents, neurosurgery, spine surgery and specialised tests such as MRI and CT scan, among others, with the flexibility to include more that are not specified as of now. About 16,000 hospitals, of which a little over 50% are private hospitals, have been empanelled so far.
Pharmabiz India – Shardul Nautiyal
The Ghaziabad-based Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) which is the National Coordinating Centre (NCC) for the Materiovigilance Programme of India (MvPI) has received 1,213 Medical Devices Adverse Event (MDAE) reports from across the country since 2014. During the period, January 1 to March 15, 2019, MvPI received 252 reports. Up till now MDAEs used to be reported through the Pharmacovigilance Programme of India (PvPI). Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) had launched PvPI in July 2010 and MvPI in 2015 to track adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and MDAE respectively. This is a significant milestone as the Union health ministry has also been contemplating to introduce a high risk medical device registry to track MDAEs due to faulty medical devices. MvPI is meant to enable safety data collection in a systematic manner so that regulatory decisions and recommendations on safe use of medical devices for India could be based on data generated in India. This is also envisaged to develop the culture of reporting of adverse events in healthcare institutions in the country. IPC has recently identified 17 medical device monitoring centres pan India to analyse MDAEs exclusively as part of MvPI. This is a welcome change for the consumers and patients who are administered high risk medical devices like stents and implants as part of therapy in cardiac and orthopaedic disorders.
Pharmabiz India – Yash Ved
The Mumbai High Court has dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a Mumbai college lecturer Mayuri Patil against online delivery of Schedule “H” and Schedule “X” drugs. Mayuri Patil had filed a petition in December 2015 in which she had pleaded that Schedule H and Schedule X drugs cannot be sold by a pharmacist except on a prescription prescribed by a registered Medical Practitioner. The PIL draws attention to the Court to the Forms in which licences have to be obtained by those who are engaged in the business of manufacture, distribution or sale of drugs. In its petition, Patil pleaded that Schedule H and Schedule X drugs cannot be sold online. The companies selling drugs online claim that they have statutory licences prescribed under Form 20, 20A, 20b, 20bb, 20c, 20D, 20F, 20G, 21, 21 and 21B. All of them claim that they do not sell schedule drugs merely on the asking. All of them claim that person desirous of purchasing the drug has to upload the prescription by a doctor and transmit the same on WhatsApp. The fact that online sale of pharmaceutical drugs is taking place has been noticed by the ministry of health and family welfare which has proposed to amend the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 1945 by inserting Part VIB in the Rules defining e-pharmacy portals and providing for registration of the same. The draft rules were promulgated on 28th August inviting objections and suggestions, the Bombay HC said. The court further stated, “We have perused the daft rules and note that an attempt is being made to ensure that e-pharmacy portal comply with substantial laws.”