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Busting Swine Flu Myths- Dr. Mukesh Batra

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The death toll thanks to the H1N1 viral flu is increasing. Famous homeopath Dr. Mukesh Batra talks about homeopathy treatment for the disease.


Swine flu is creating panic all over the world and there are many myths, misconceptions, and rumours going around that are only making matters worse. Under these circumstances, it is therefore important for people to stay calm and composed so that they act responsibly and appropriately. Many think that a vaccine for swine flu will do the trick and protect against the virus. However, the truth is that no one can be sure about this because viruses are known to mutate easily, thereby rendering such a vaccine useless. Some scientists are even afraid about the possibility of another mutation taking place when the swine flu virus H1N1 comes into contact with the Bird flu virus H5N1. This again is just a remote possibility and not a certain outcome. People were under the impression that just because bird flu spread by eating infected poultry, swine flu could spread by eating infected pork. It is now confirmed by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention that that it is safe to eat hygienically cooked pork. The amount of protection offered by masks is also not very clear. Although they could definitely reduce the likelihood of contracting the infection, they cannot really assure complete protection. Thus, it is safer to avoid coming in close proximity with patients with flu-like symptoms. Another trend is closing down schools, colleges, or other institutions to prevent the spread of the disease and advising people to stay at home. This, however, is not a feasible option and is hence not recommended. The biggest solace is the fact that the infection seems to be moderate in intensity in majority of the patients with only a small section, especially those with underlying pathologies or poor immunity, succumbing to the disease.


With so much of uncertainty around, giving Homeopathy an opportunity to prevent or treat the disease makes perfect sense for two reasons. Firstly, disease causing organisms can never get resistant to homeopathic remedies because homeopathic medicines do not target the causative organisms directly. They stimulate the body’s defences instead to attack and overpower the invaders. Secondly, being free of adverse side-effects, homeopathic medicines can be safely administered in infants, pregnant women, and the aged. Knowing that conventional medicines are strong, aggressive, and at times even invasive, it goes without saying then that Homeopathy should ideally be the first line of treatment. As homeopathic medicines themselves behave like vaccines by modulating the immunity of an individual, these should be immediately employed in the meanwhile before a successful swine flu vaccine actually enters the market. Antiviral preparations should be used only if the desired curative response is not seen in spite of homeopathic treatment. In acute illnesses like flu, patients usually respond very fast to Homeopathy; and therefore, a homeopath can easily tell within a day or two following the commencement of treatment whether the disease is responding positively, progressing, or heading towards complications. All said and done, one thing is for sure. In pandemics like these, the patient has to be closely monitored by the treating physician, irrespective of his or her specialization, so as to ensure that an unnecessary delay in treatment never occurs. In fact, an approach in which Homeopathy is boldly backed by conventional medicine, where the latter is used wisely and not indiscriminately, seems to be the way to go!



What does homeopathy have to say about swine flu?

The fact that diseases are not caused by the mere presence of disease-causing organisms in the internal or external environment, but rather due to the weakening of the body’s defence mechanisms, has always been recognised by homeopathy. Therefore, while the use of antibiotic and antiviral preparations can be rendered useless if the organism gets resistant to them by undergoing a mutation, this can never happen with homeopathic remedies because unlike medicines from other medical systems that target only the disease-causing germs or aim to offer symptomatic relief, homeopathic medicines act upon the immune system and restorative energies of the body so that it heals itself. Other systems simply suppress symptoms and treat the body in parts, whereas homeopathy recognises the body as a unified whole and confronts the problem from deep within. Thus, swine flu for homeopathy is just another type of flu that can be treated by stimulating the immune system to overpower the virus. 


Which homeopathic medicines should be taken to treat the disease?

In the past, various flu epidemics such as the Spanish flu and bird flu have been successfully treated and prevented by homeopathic remedies like Gelsemium, Bryonia, Influenzinum, and Oscillococcinum. These could certainly be of value even in the prevention or treatment of swine flu. In homeopathy, remedy selection depends upon the disease manifestation and not merely the diagnosis; therefore, the prescription varies from case to case. During epidemics, however, since the disease symptoms are more or less similar in most of the cases, a single remedy may help to treat the disease. Such a homeopathic medicine is termed the ‘genus epidemicus.’ The theory of vaccination borrows from the isopathic concept of homeopathy where medicines prepared from the causative organisms (isodes) or affected tissues themselves (nosodes) are used to treat the same or similar diseases in the same or other patients. Preparing an isode or nosode of the swine flu virus is another option that homeopathic pharmaceutical companies could consider in the prophylaxis or therapeutics of the disease. 


What precautions should be taken by the affected person?

The affected person should avoid meeting people till the disease runs its course. Covering the nose and mouth with a handkerchief when coughing or sneezing is important to prevent spreading the virus to others. Wearing a mask will also help for the same purpose. The patient should not share his or her clothes, towels, soap, and other personal objects with others and must not eat or drink from the same utensils as others. This is necessary because the virus is usually present in all the secretions of the body such as saliva, sweat, phlegm, urine, and stool. As in all viral infections, the patient should drink a lot of fluids to stay well hydrated. Eating nutritious food and resting adequately is a must to help the body to recover as well as to prevent complications or secondary infections. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, majority of the cases that require hospitalization or succumb to the disease are those people who concurrently have underlying pathologies like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, obesity, or extremely poor immunity. Therefore, such patients should be closely monitored.


Can homeopathic medicines cure the disease?

An acute illness like flu always heals by crisis or lysis, i.e., it runs its natural course leading to recovery, complications, or death. Thus, in such cases, it is the body that cures itself and homeopathic remedies facilitate this curative process. The logic behind the treatment is not just to relieve symptoms. It is to cut short the natural course of the disease or to allow it to run its course uneventfully without any complications or mortality. Viral infections further drop the immunity of an individual so as to lead to secondary bacterial infections or can even evoke abnormal responses from the body to give rise to autoimmune diseases or pave the way for the development of some cancer. Since homeopathic remedies basically correct the imbalances of the immune system, such problems can largely be prevented.  


Is homeopathy the preferred choice of medication?

Homeopathic remedies, being infinitesimally small doses, are absolutely safe. They are palatable, non-invasive, and do not produce any deleterious side-effects even when taken for prolonged periods of time. Natural and harmless, they can be administered to infants or the aged without any risk of any adverse reactions. Another major advantage is that homeopathic medicines are cost-effective too as thousands of serial dilutions can be created out of a single drop of the source material. homeopathic remedies are curative as well as preventive; besides, a single remedy can treat symptoms related to multiple organs or systems and also offer protection against complications. There is no question of the causative organisms getting resistant to homeopathic drugs as the latter have no direct action on the former. Considering all these plus points, Homeopathy definitely should be the preferred choice of medication


Written by sreelakshmi

23 August, 2009 at 8:06 am


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Stark figures on smoking initiation after exposure to onscreen smoking, reveals US survey

In another step towards proving that onscreen smoking does have a definite negative impact on adolescent, and a villain’s smoking makes even more impact than a hero’s smoking; two studies were published recently from the USA.

A study to determine exposure to movie smoking in relation to smoking initiation among US adolescents was conducted by random–digital-dial survey on 6522 adolescents aged 10 to 14 years. Prevalence of smoking was about 2% among those with the lowest exposure to smoking in movies, steadily going up to almost 30% among those with highest exposure.

This study demonstrates, in a nationally representative US sample of young adolescents, that exposure to movie smoking has a strong association with smoking initiation and that the association holds within broad racial and ethnic categories and regardless of where the adolescent resides. It also suggests that, exposure to movie smoking is a primary independent risk factor, accounting for smoking initiation in more than one-third of US adolescents 10 to 14 years of age.

In light of the recent unfortunate comments made by the Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad that smoking in movies has little effect on children, these studies provide definite proof that exposure to smoking in films does impact the youth and influence them to initiate smoking.

In another longitudinal, random-digit-dial telephone survey of 6522 US adolescents, conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, current smoking status and movie exposure was assessed 4 times over 24 months. The adolescents surveyed were asked whether they had seen any recently released movies, in which smoking by major characters was identified, along with the type of portrayal. The portrayal was divided into negative, positive, and mixed/neutral categories.

By the 24-month follow-up survey, 15.9% of the baseline never-smokers had tried smoking. Within the sample of movies selected, 3848 major characters were identified, of whom 69% were male. Smokers represented 22.8% of 518 negative characters, 13.7% of 2486 positive characters, and 21.1% of 844 mixed/neutral characters.

The study clearly shows that smoking in movies and impacts adolescent smoking initiation – regardless of character type, which demonstrates the importance of limiting exposure to smoking as it is portrayed on screen. In fact, the study has also shown that negative character portrayals of smoking have stronger impact on low risk-taking adolescents; undercutting the often-repeated argument that smoking by villain in a film is ok.

“These are just some of the multitude of studies that have been, and are being conducted internationally that prove that depiction of smoking in films does have definite impact on the smoking behaviour of youth across geographies,” said Dr. P.C.Gupta, Director, Healis – Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health. “In light of such conclusive research reports, it is essential for the authorities to recognize the health risks that such exposure creates, and take necessary action to see to it that smoking in films is banned. The urban and semi-urban youth in India are either avid moviegoers or watch movies at home, and when they see their favourite stars on screen, whether hero or villain, they try and emulate this by beginning to smoke themselves. By curbing scenes which depict smoking in movies, a lot can be accomplished in preventing initiation smoking among youth” he added.

In India today, the movie-watching population – especially among adolescents – is in the millions, and since it is proven that any depiction of smoking on-screen has the ability to impact these young moviegoers and influence them to initiate smoking, the authorities need to take immediate steps to curb such on-screen depiction of smoking, and not pass such depictions in the name of ‘creative freedom, as is being done today.

Written by sreelakshmi

17 July, 2009 at 6:06 am


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Anticipates Delivery As Early As July

Baxter International Inc. announced recently that it has completed testing and evaluation of the A/H1N1 influenza virus and is now in full-scale production of a commercial A/H1N1 vaccine using its Vero cell culture technology. Baxter received an A/H1N1 strain from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center] in early May and is diligently working to deliver a pandemic vaccine for use as early as July.

WHO raised the pandemic alert level to phase 6, indicating a global influenza pandemic involving the 2009 A/H1N1 strain. Baxter is in contact with WHO and other global public health authorities regarding the pandemic. A number of national public health authorities have existing pandemic agreements with Baxter that allow them to place orders for a vaccine now that a pandemic has been declared by WHO. These

public health authorities will be evaluating their needs to determine their orders for vaccine supply. Despite the company’s existing obligations to supply vaccine under a pandemic phase 6 alert, Baxter is also committed to working with WHO to allocate a portion of the company’s commercial production to address global public health issues deemed most urgent.

 Using its Vero cell technology, Baxter has received European Medicines Agency (EMEA) approval for a mock-up pandemic vaccine called CELVAPAN, the brand name for the company’s pandemic vaccine. The qualification, development and manufacturing processes used in gaining mock-up licensure for CELVAPAN apply as the company uses this new influenza A/H1N1 virus strain to produce a pandemic vaccine. The CELVAPAN EMEA licensure supports fast track approval of a pandemic vaccine containing the A/H1N1 virus strain. Baxter will submit the A/H1N1 vaccine for approval upon completion of initial manufacturing runs.

Baxter’s research and development, manufacturing capabilities and pandemic planning expertise allow the company to efficiently develop candidate vaccines against potentially emerging influenza viruses. Baxter believes that its Vero cell technology can be used to safely and reliably produce a vaccine in response to this global public health issue. It is possible that Baxter’s Vero cell technology may offer advantages, in that it may allow more rapid production and delivery of pandemic vaccines.



Written by sreelakshmi

15 June, 2009 at 10:04 pm

Bajaj Allianz Launches Invest Plus and revolutionizes the Insurance market YET AGAIN!!!

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Bajaj Allianz once again revolutionizes the life insurance industry by launching Invest Plus – a traditional plan that offers transparency and flexibility of ULIPs with minimum guaranteed investment returns, which is guaranteed at the beginning of the year itself. This is the first of its kind traditional plan that offers upfront minimum guaranteed investment returns at the beginning of each year and an guaranteed maturity value so that customers can feel protected at all times and plan their investments without any worries.

Kamesh Goyal,
Country Manager, Allianz & CEO, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, said, “Invest Plus offers guaranteed benefits in these uncertain times. The USP is the transparency of a ULIP product in a traditional product. The Minimum Guaranteed Investment Return works towards the benefit of the customer as he gets an upfront minimum guaranteed rate of return. This would be beneficial irrespective of market conditions as he is equally compensated by a Guaranteed Return.”

“This is the first traditional insurance plan which offers unmatched flexibilities and transparency similar to a ULIP. Flexibility of choosing life cover is another benefit offered to customers” commenting on the product Anil Singh, Head Product Development, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance.

Minimum Guaranteed Investment Return stands for a rate of return which is declared at the beginning of each financial year itself and promises to offer the customer the same return for the year irrespective of the market scenario. Like, for the current financial year 09-10 it is 7%.

Another unique feature of Invest Plus is that it offers Guarantees like Guaranteed Maturity Value (GMV) and Guaranteed Investment Return (GIR), GIR is declared at the beginning of each financial year and GMV is equivalent to the total regular premiums paid till maturity date.

Flexibility Features:

  • Flexibility to pay additional premium when every you like- Gain upto 121% credit on Additional premium paid
  • Flexibility to decrease premiums as per choice.
  • Flexibility in choice of amount of life insurance cover

Advance Features:

  • Refund of up to 100% of cost of insurance cover paid
  • Take a loan against the policy
  • Loyalty Addition from 11th policy year onwards to enhance the accrued maturity value by an amount equivalent to 10% of each Net Premium paid.

Written by sreelakshmi

15 June, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Return Empty Tetra Pak packages, Get Recycled Gifts

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Now this is something really good that is taking place. Recently, Tetra Pak and Hyper City has launched awareness and environment campaign for shoppers at HyperCity, Mumbai to mark the occasion of World Environment Day.

On the occasion of World Environment Day, HyperCity and Tetra Pak with support from Gujarat-based Tetra Pak package recycler Daman Ganga Board Mills are running a green initiative for the environment – conscious shoppers of Hypercity hypermarket’s two locations – Malad and Vashi in Mumbai.  The initiative is called “Good for You, Good for the Earth”.

The initiative involves educating shoppers – over a ten-day period which has started from June 5th about how Tetra Pak packages are not only “Good for You” (i.e. they help protect foods through aseptic processing and packaging technology and keep them safe) but also “Good for the Earth” (i.e. the packages are 100% recyclable and more and more facilities exist for cartons to be collected and sent for recycling).

 Speaking on the occasion Mr. Jaideep Gokhale, Programme Head – Food for Development Office & Environment, Tetra Pak India Pvt. Ltd said “Tetra Pak prides itself in being an environment conscious organization and over the past few years has taken lead in creating environment awareness among people. On the occasion of World Environment Day we are determined to create awareness amongst the public by educating them and making them see the health as well as environment benefits of choosing well, for example, choosing Tetra Pak packages and we also want people to follow some good waste management practices. We thank Hyper City for partnering with us for this novel initiative”.

“HyperCity sees this partnership with Tetra Pak as an educational initiative, of using the occasion of World Environment Day to make consumers more conscious of their health as well as their environment and to make the right choices based on information provided to them.”  says Hyper City’s Venkateshwar Rao, Category Manager – Staples, Beverages and Dairy.

 At both locations, promoters will approach shoppers, detail the benefits and also make them conscious of the proper steps to dispose empty Tetra Pak packages.  Shoppers that bring back empty Tetra Pak packages over the next 10 days stand to win exciting and free recycled gifts on-the-spot.  What’s more, separate collection bins for Tetra Pak packages and other recyclables (bottles, plastic bags, paper waste etc.) have been arranged by HyperCity and Tetra Pak for permanent placement in the stores, so that a culture of waste segregation and recovery is inculcated amongst shoppers.  Through Daman Ganga’s and Tetra Pak’s network with the waste dealer community, the bins will be emptied and the collected waste will be recovered to be sent for recycling.

 Tetra Pak over the last few years has taken a 360 degree approach towards environment conservation. The company has undertaken measures such as reduction in noise levels and electricity consumption besides waste recycling at its production facilities on a mass scale. Tetra Pak’s initiatives in the recycling space have been highly credible – the company has identified recyclers and helps them collect cartons with the help of waste-pickers and waste paper dealers. Simultaneously, Tetra Pak invests in educating consumers, waste trade and recyclers about the benefit of waste segregation, the recyclability of cartons and the value of used cartons. It must be noted that 100% of the carton – including the polyethylene and aluminum – can be recycled into various useful products. In partnership with WWF, Tetra Pak has taken steps to spread awareness on environment through the ‘Young Climate Savers’ program. For more information, please



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Remarks termed as irresponsible; scientific evidence from global studies proves adverse effects of on-screen smoking on viewers

Recently, the new Union health minister, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad, has made certain comments that are detrimental to the massive tobacco control efforts in India and keenly supported by the erstwhile health minister Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss and the tobacco control communities in the country. “On-screen smoking in movies and television was defended as creative expression and freedom.” This is in direct contradiction to the efforts to curb the portrayal of smoking on screen earlier by the health ministry.

There seems to be little awareness of the fact that the demand for restrictions on such depictions of smoking has been made on the basis of scientific research. In a recent survey conducted by WHO on the same clearly showcases that exposure to onscreen smoking causes the impressionable youth and other non-smokers to light up.
The WHO has currently made demands based on scientific evidence that countries should enact enforceable policies that would severely restrict on-screen depiction of smoking. The WHO report on the issue has also recommended that all future movies with scenes of smoking should be given an adult rating, with the possible exception of movies that reflect the dangers of tobacco use or that depict smoking by a historical figure who smoked.

The Union Health Ministry is responsible for the upkeep of public health standards in the country, and through such statements, it is not only sending out a wrong message but also is totally contradictory to the efforts being put up by Government & non-governmental organizations to curb the menace of Tobacco related issues.

Reacting to the comments made by Mr. Azad, Dr. P.C. Gupta, Director, Healis Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health, said, “The tobacco control movement has gained a lot of impetus in India with the support of the union health ministry in the past. However, the comments made by the new health minister are extremely detrimental to the cause, and could actually derail the progress made in this regard. The Union health ministry should realize that smoking on screen does lead to non-smokers, especially the impressionable youth, to try and emulate their on-screen heroes by beginning to smoke.”

When the new government was elected, Public Health was announced as one of the key areas that will receive focus and Tobacco related health issues are definitely on the verge of reaching epidemic proportions in India. At this juncture, when all efforts are being made to control the use of this deadly substance, such remarks from an elected official of the ministry responsible for public health are quite unwarranted, and show lack of concern for public health,” he added.

WHO reports state that tobacco kills more than five million people every year. Alarmingly, the reports also state that approximately, a staggering 100,000 young people take up smoking every day. Based on a recent study on on-screen smoking, the WHO has come to the conclusion that “voluntary agreements to limit smoking in movies so far have

not – and cannot – work,” and that “logic and science now support enforceable policies to severely restrict smoking imagery in all film media.” Under circumstances where studies clearly reflect that smoking in movies misleads the youth into thinking that tobacco use is normal, without any portrayal of the harm of tobacco, national policies to restrict smoking in movies can produce wide-ranging global benefits.

In such a situation, public remarks that do not take into consideration such scientific evidence, and instead promote on-screen smoking are singularly inappropriate. If an issue of such high importance is so lightly disregarded, then in the long term it is bound to be extremely detrimental to the health of millions who view smoking on screen everyday.

Written by sreelakshmi

2 June, 2009 at 10:08 pm

India to implement pictorial health warnings on packets of tobacco products

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Cancer survivors speak out against tobacco and make case for stronger warnings

India has one of the highest incidences of tobacco use in the world. The World Health Organization has estimated that India has the second largest number of smokers in the world after China. According to the report “Tobacco control in India”, 800,000 – 900,000 Indians die annually due to diseases attributable to tobacco – 50% of cancer deaths, 40% of all health-related problems, and a majority of cardio-vascular and lung disorders in the country. WHO predicts that nearly one million Indians will die from smoking alone in 2010 and 70% of these deaths will be premature.

Every year, May 31st is internationally observed as World No Tobacco Day. This year, the World Health Organization has chosen on the theme of “Pictorial Health Warnings” on tobacco products. There is significant research to show that large graphic warning labels increase knowledge about risks associated with tobacco, motivate smokers and other tobacco users to quit and to discourage non-tobacco users from starting. From 31st May 2009, all tobacco products in India (sold in the market) should have pictorial warnings on their packets.

As a party to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the Government of India is obligated to implement pictorial warnings as highlighted under Article 11 of the FCTC, which states that parties to the convention must enforce the use of health warnings which “should be 50% or more of the principle display areas but shall be no less than 30% of the display areas” and may be in the form of or include picture warnings. For most cigarette packages, the “principal display areas” are the front and back of the package. The warnings to come into effect on May 31 do not meet the FCTC standards to which India is obligated, and under which, India was due to implement pictorial health warnings from 27th February, 2008, more than a year ago.

Despite the delay in implementing the pictorial warnings, the diluted pictorial warnings are welcomed with mixed reaction.

According to Dr. P.C. Gupta, Director, Healis Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health, “The beginning of Pack Warning labels on all tobacco products from May 31, 2009 is welcome, but it should be recognized that the original set of pack warnings have been considerably weakened and diluted. We can only hope that when the warnings are reviewed every six months as per the provisions in the Act, they would be stronger and more effective as it has been adopted in other countries.”

Recently, in an event themed Voice of the victim held at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, cancer patients from across the country came together on a common platform to complain against the sale of tobacco in the country without any mention of the health hazards on any of the tobacco products being sold. They highlighted the circumstances under which they became addicted to tobacco, and the singular pattern that emerged was that the patients did not fully realise the impact that tobacco could have on their bodies and lives. This was mostly due to the fact that tobacco usage was glorified by the tobacco industry, and tobacco manufacturers did not provide any specific warnings to highlight the dangers that threaten tobacco users.

Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi, Associate Professor, Head and Neck surgery service, Tata Memorial Hospital said, “The cancer patients who are speaking out against tobacco clearly highlight the vital need that pictorial warnings be implemented on tobacco products effectively, so that those who do not know the ill effects of this deadly substance can be made aware of it. There is nothing out of ordinary in the demand as the manufacturers of every product have to inform the consumers about the risk of the products.

Voicing his opinion on the effectiveness of the pictorial warnings, cancer survivor Mr. Deepak Kumar said, “It is a good start, but not sufficient. The pictorial warnings need to be improved. The warnings should cover 50% and that too on both sides of the pack with the picture of skull and bone on one side and pictorial warning on the other.”

According to another cancer survivor Mr. Pradeep Lahiri,There should be big pictorial warnings which show the reality of cancer and convey the message of anti-tobacco. These warnings should make the people feel guilty subconsciously and stop smoking. That is when the pictorial warnings would be effective.

The warnings in place definitely do not serve the purpose required of them. For one it is still unclear and worrying as to what the public would make of these images as there is no direct link for these images to the threat of cancer and other diseases caused by tobacco. Besides, the entire intention of issuing the stronger pictorial warnings covering 50% of the packet is to highlight the uneducated or unaware public of the dangers of tobacco. These images, on the other hand, simply do not match the standards required to highlight the grave threats posed by tobacco. Strong action needs to be taken to ensure that the effort towards implementing stronger pictorial warnings on tobacco products continues.

GARDASIL® is First Cervical Cancer Vaccine to Receive WHO Pre-qualification

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Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women worldwide. Almost 80 percent of cervical cancer cases occur in developing countries.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is estimated to cause about half a million new cervical cancer cases every year, with a majority affecting women in developing countries. For most women, HPV goes away on its own, however, for some, certain high-risk types of HPV, if unrecognized and untreated, can lead to cervical cancer.
HPV types 16 and 18 cause approximately 70 percent of cervical cancer cases. Not all vulvar and vaginal cancers are caused by HPV and the exact number of cases caused by HPV types 16 and 18 is unknown. However, it is estimated that HPV types 16 and 18 account for 40-50 percent of vulvar cancers and about 70 percent of vaginal cancer. Genital warts are abnormal skin growths caused by HPV, particularly types 6 and 11, which cause more than 90 percent of genital warts.

Now for some good news:

[Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent (Types 6, 11, 16 and 18) Vaccine, Recombinant], Merck Sharp & Dohme’s cervical cancer vaccine, has been awarded World Health Organization (WHO) pre-qualification. GARDASIL® is the first cervical cancer vaccine to receive WHO pre-qualification.

WHO pre-qualification means that GARDASIL® is now eligible for procurement by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other United Nations (UN) agencies including the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), for use in national immunization programs.

“We recognize the significant impact cervical cancer has on women and families, especially in the developing world, which is why Merck Sharp & Dohme is committed to improving access to innovative vaccines like GARDASIL®,” said Margaret G. McGlynn, president, Merck Sharp & Dohme Vaccines and Infectious Diseases. “WHO pre-qualification is an important step in helping to ensure greater global access to GARDASIL® and to help protect against cervical cancer and other HPV-related diseases caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18 in more countries throughout the world.”

WHO pre-qualification aims to ensure that vaccines meet WHO standards of quality, safety and efficacy, which in conjunction with other criteria, is used by the UN and other agencies to make purchasing decisions.

“Cervical cancer is a significant burden in developing countries. WHO pre-qualification of an HPV vaccine signifies a move to help protect young women and improve access to better health care, particularly in the poorest countries,” comments Graça Machel, Founder and President of the Foundation for Community Development (FDC), Mozambique and a passionate advocate for women’s health.


GARDASIL® is currently indicated for use in girls and young women 9 through 26 years of age for the prevention of cervical cancers, vulvar and vaginal pre-cancers caused by HPV types 16 and 18; genital warts caused by HPV types 6 and 11; and precancerous or dysplastic lesions caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18. HPV types 16 and 18 are responsible for approximately 70 percent of cervical cancer cases and HPV types 6 and 11 are responsible for approximately 90 percent of genital warts and about 10 percent of low-grade cervical changes/lesions/dysplasias.

GARDASIL® is contraindicated in individuals with hypersensitivity, including severe allergic reactions to yeast, or after a previous dose of GARDASIL®

About access to GARDASIL® in the developing world

WHO pre-qualification is a significant part of Merck Sharp & Dohme’s approach to accelerating access to GARDASIL® in the developing world through four key pillars:

  • Innovation
  • Partnerships
  • Pricing
  • Implementation

This development follows the recent WHO position paper on the use of HPV vaccines.

Merck Sharp & Dohme will offer GARDASIL® to the public sectors of GAVI-eligible countries at a price at which we do not profit. Additionally, Merck Sharp & Dohme is exploring several ways to further reduce product cost for the developing world, including manufacturing efficiencies and reduction of royalties paid out to licensors on GARDASIL® doses sold in the developing world.

In 2007, Merck Sharp & Dohme made a commitment to donate at least 3 million doses of GARDASIL® over five years to help address the problem of HPV infection in under-resourced communities through the GARDASIL® Access Program which is managed by Axios Healthcare Development. In February 2009, the first doses of the donated GARDASIL® were shipped.

Additionally, Merck Sharp & Dohme is partnering with PATH, an international non-profit organization, to conduct demonstration projects of GARDASIL® in the developing world by providing vaccine and technical support at no cost. These demonstration projects are designed to support the accelerated availability of cervical cancer vaccines in the world’s least-developed countries. The projects are complete in Peru and ongoing in Vietnam and India.

Merck Sharp & Dohme is also sharing clinical data on GARDASIL®, HPV epidemiology and cervical cancer rates from studies done in 41 countries and more than 38,000 patients with health authorities, governments, non-governmental organizations and physicians around the world.

Additional important information about GARDASIL®

  • The health care provider should inform the patient, parent or guardian that vaccination does not substitute for routine cervical cancer screening.
    Women who receive GARDASIL® should continue to undergo cervical cancer screening.
  • GARDASIL® is not recommended for use in pregnant women.
  • GARDASIL® is not intended to be used for treatment of active genital warts, cervical, vaginal and vulvar pre-cancers, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) or vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VaIN).
  • GARDASIL® has not been demonstrated to provide protection against disease from vaccine and non-vaccine HPV types to which a woman has previously been exposed through sexual activity. GARDASIL® has not been shown to protect against diseases due to HPV types not contained in the vaccine.
  • Not all vulvar and vaginal cancers are caused by HPV and GARDASIL® protects only against those vulvar and vaginal pre-cancers caused by HPV 16 and 18. Vaccination with GARDASIL® may not result in protection in all vaccine recipients.
    In clinical studies for GARDASIL®, headache was the most commonly reported adverse reaction. Common adverse reactions that were observed at a frequency of at least 1 percent among recipients of GARDASIL® and also greater than those observed among recipients of control group, respectively, were pain, swelling, erythema, fever, nausea, pruritis, dizziness and bruising. In addition, syncope has been reported following vaccination with GARDASIL®, sometimes resulting in falling with injury: observation for 15 minutes after administration is recommended.

Dosage and administration for GARDASIL®

GARDASIL® is a ready-to-use, three-dose, intramuscular vaccine. GARDASIL® should be administered in three separate intramuscular injections in the deltoid region of the upper arm or in the higher anterolateral area of the thigh. The following dosage schedule is recommended: first dose at elected date, second dose two months after the first dose and the third dose six months after the first dose.

GARDASIL® is approved in 111 countries

GARDASIL® has been approved in 111 countries, 23 of which are GAVI-eligible, and additional applications are currently under review with regulatory agencies in more countries around the world.

Lifebuoy organises Health Rally for awareness of Swine Flu

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Holding placards, shouting slogans enthusiastically, scores of people joined a rally organized for awareness on Swine Flu by India’s largest Health & Hygiene soap brand, Lifebuoy in Hyderabad. Amongst the eminent people present at the event were Mr. L.V. Subramanyam (IAS), Principal Secretary, Medical and Health, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh, who flagged off the rally, Dr Subhakar Kandi, MD FCCP (USA) State Coordinator H1N1 Influenza, Dr. Myriam Sidibe (Dr PH), Global Social Mission Manager, Lifebuoy. The walk was held in support with the leading twin city NGO, Concern for Twin Cities. It also saw an active support of various other NGOs & Social organizations like the Lions Club, Freemasons, Walkers, SIP Academy, Jaycees, Indira Park’s Walker Association, Allipuram Foundation, Smile Foundation, MV Foundation, and many more.

Dr. Subhakar gave an overview on the H1N1 virus and in very simple terms explained about Swine Flu. He also spoke about the interventions required to protect the spread of the endemic. He apprised the public on the simple techniques to safeguard oneself from infections and spread of disease, the most accessible being the act of washing hands correctly. Washing hands regularly with soap and water can protect against both direct (for example, shaking hands with an infected person who has touched his mouth or nose) and indirect contact (for example, touching a doorknob handled by an infected person) with the flu virus. The doctor also said, “In a recent study on Child Health conducted by Lifebuoy, it was distressing to see that Hyderabad was the only city to fall beneath the average country score from the 4 southern states. The concern that came out in the study was around minor illnesses that seemed to bother mothers across the country. Minor illnesses are mostly classified as colds, coughs, normal flu, diarrhoea etc. It is extremely important to practice and maintain good hygiene habits, irrespective of an epidemic. Inculcating the habit of regular hand wash can help lower the risk of catching various infections and hence make us healthier.”

Mr. Subramanyam spoke about the pro-active measures taken by the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh in restricting the disease. He said, “It is an excellent initiative undertaken by the Lifebuoy in creating awareness around Swine Flu and bringing forth issues and concerns of the virus. Such programmes not only help in spreading the right message but also help in controlling anxiety levels and reduce panic amongst public. We are extremely happy that Lifebuoy has extended a helping hand to support the cause of public health”

Dr. Sidbi from Lifebuoy said, “It is overwhelming to see such an enthusiastic support from the lovely Hyderabadis. As this is the first case detected in the country, we felt the need to reach out to larger audience and spread awareness about the incurable virus. The govt. and the doctors here are doing an excellent job and we as Lifebuoy felt it was our duty too as a Health and Hygiene brand to extend our help in our own way towards their efforts, which is why this public awareness rally. We believe that a simple habit change like washing hands at least 5 times a day could go a long way in prevention of various infections and diseases. Our aim is to get this message across so we all can, together make a healthy Hindustan!”

About Swine Flu:

Swine influenza, or “swine flu”, is a highly contagious acute respiratory disease of pigs, caused by swine influenza H1N1 virus. The virus is spread among pigs by aerosols and direct and indirect contact. Pigs can carry the virus without showing any signs of the disease. The virus is transmitted from pigs to people and in some cases can be transmitted from human to human. The flu virus is most likely to spread among people who are in close proximity of pigs which are infected with the virus. The virus spreads among humans in much the same way as seasonal flu, via the mouth, nose or eyes. Transmission occurs in aerosols, droplets and indirect contact via hands and surfaces. Swine flu symptoms are very similar to seasonal influenza and generally include fever, fatigue, lack of appetite and coughing, although some people also develop a runny nose, sore throat, vomiting or diarrhoea


Lifebuoy recommends the following simple Hygiene Steps to reduce the risk of spreading Flu and Flu-like illnesses:

  • Avoid touching your face, nose, mouth or eyes with your hands, especially when you’ve been in public places. If you have to, make sure you wash hands with soap and water beforehand.

    Wash your hands often especially after blowing your nose, touching items that may be contaminated, or dealing with children and others more vulnerable to infection. You should wash your hands with soap under running water for at least 20 seconds and make sure you rinse and dry them so they don’t get re-contaminated

  • Keep yourself and your kitchen clean by washing your hands with soap and drying thoroughly: a) before preparing food, b) after touching raw food, especially meat, c) after going to the toilet

Written by sreelakshmi

25 May, 2009 at 3:30 pm


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Exclusive health check up packages for up to 40% discount


I know I am late in giving this news. In fact I was busy with my exams and boy did I miss wordpress. By the end of this week I would complete my course. In one’s life there is no one as important as your mother. Every year Metropolis Health Services organise special health camps for women to celebrate Mother’s Day. This is a really good initiative on their part. After all, who wouldn’t wish for their mother’s wellbeing.

Metropolis Health Services, India’s leading multinational chain of diagnostic centres has started special health check up camp pan India for women to commemorate this Mother’s Day. This special health check up camp includes health check up packages for women at a special discount of up to 40% and is available from the 10th of May 2009 up to 31st of May 2009.

Metropolis is providing these checkups for over 20 days at their centres in Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Surat, Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore, Kerala, Delhi and Kolkata. The rates of these packages will vary according to the city. In Mumbai, this service can be found in 14 Metropolis Health Services centres.

Metropolis has exclusively designed the following three packages keeping in mind the need for an overall check up for today’s women. Besides the essential tests, Metropolis also offers stress tests (TMT) and Electrocardiogram (ECG) at a discount up to 20%.





  • Complete Blood Test (CBC)
  • FBS
  • Lipid Mini
  • Creatinine
  • Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
  • Urine Routine
  • Serum Glutamic Pyruvic Transaminase (SGPT)
  • Iron, Calcium
  • Complete Blood Test (CBC)
  • FBS
  • Lipid Mini
  • Creatinine
  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
  • Urine Routine
  • Serum Glutamic Pyurvic Transaminase (SGPT)
  • Iron, Calcium
  • PAP Smear
  • Complete Blood Test (CBC)
  • Haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)
  • Cholesterol
  • Creatinine
  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
  • Urine Routine
  • Serum Glutamic Pyurvic Transaminase (SGPT)
  • Iron, Calcium

Ameera Patel, Executive Director, Metropolis Health Services, commenting on the rationale behind “Mom’s Special Health Check Up”, said, “Metropolis identifies the need of the hour for today’s mothers who are constantly juggling with time and the many roles they play in life. Every family must celebrate the women in it, the one who holds it together and realize the importance of her holistic wellbeing. We have always actively supported the Indian women’s health and it is important for women to be aware and alert when it comes to their health and that is the inspiration behind this Mother’s Health Check Up initiative.”

. To find out about the closest centre to you, contact Metropolis Health Services on +91 9987858328.

Written by sreelakshmi

22 May, 2009 at 12:09 am