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Posts Tagged ‘women

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.

A Mother’s Day special workshop conducted by LifeCell International in association with “Me n Mom’s” in Mumbai

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Talking about Mother’s Day, really how bad of me. I couldn’t wish my mom thanks to my hectic study schedule. However, here is another good initiative that helps in building relationship of wellbeing between a child and its mother even before the child is born.

On the eve of Mother’s Day, LifeCell International, India’s first & largest umbilical cord blood stem cell bank in association with “me n Moms” organized a free workshop for all first time moms and expecting mothers. The workshop was conducted at ‘Me n MomsJuhu Store @ 7/11 Amrapalli Shopping center VM Road, J.V.P.D, Mumbai
by Dr. Sourabh Dani, Dr. Sanjay R. Pal, Dr. Sonali Shivlani and Dr. Chaula Shah and was attended by 50 enthusiastic mothers.

The workshop was built around the birth process offering information for the to-be parents by explaining on what happens and what to expect during each of the pregnancy stages. The session was a forum for expecting parents to discuss and share various tips which would help the to-be mothers to accept the physical, psychological and hormonal changes happening in their body during pregnancy and handle this turbulent phase effectively. The session also focused on the basic tips on diet and nutrition, relaxation techniques, pre -natal and-post natal exercises necessary for a safe and uncomplicated pregnancy.

It is very essential for husbands to pay utmost attention and provide emotional support to their wives during this period. More emphasis should be given on diet with summers being on full swing. The mom should not miss her meals and drink plenty of water, milk, fluids to beat the temperature. According to experts a pregnant woman should drink atleast7-8 glasses of water every day.

Pregnancy is an important phase in a woman’s life. We at LifeCell always try to connect and reach out to our consumers to educate them and create awareness on pregnancy management. We believe that giving expectant parents the information and knowledge on pregnancy will help them make the right decisions and deal with this period better.. We have conducted this workshop just to ensure that the importance of antenatal and postnatal care is spread among all.” said Mr. Mayur Abhaya, Executive Director, LifeCell International.

The session also focused on tips on parenting as raising children is one of the most crucial and fulfilling experience in the world and the one for which a new mom may be the least prepared. The seminar covered the core care that every healthy woman and healthy baby should be offered during the first 6-8 weeks after the birth. Overall the seminar was very educative and informative providing better insights on topics related to both the mother and her child.


Written by sreelakshmi

22 May, 2009 at 12:29 am


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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

Bajaj Allianz gives women the “Confidence” to make their own choices

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In a first of its kind initiative, set to revolutionize and strengthen the Indian insurance industry’s focus on women, Bajaj Allianz, one of the leading private insurance companies in India, announced the launch of a sub-brand – Miss Confident Plans, in association with the winners of the Pantaloons Femina Miss India 2009 pageant.

Bajaj Allianz has always been a pioneer for creating innovative and new products & services in the insurance industry. “Miss Confident” is one big step towards offering women specific products and services catering to women. The next step is to offer financial products and insurance services to a woman who has many roles to fulfill. To emerge truly confident and feel secure & independent, Bajaj Allianz has designed a bouquet of products and services which cater to the needs of a woman of all age groups.

Offerings under Miss Confident Plans

  • Education Plans for the Confident Girl Child

    Education solutions for your princess, that allow you to plan for your her future, including schooling, higher education and marriage and also takes care of any uncertainties that may happen along the way.

Available as: Bajaj Allianz ChildGain

    Plans for the Confident Young Lady

Products which help check, plan and keep all her finances in order, as well as take care of your other needs and more importantly help keep you financially independent.

Available as: Bajaj Allianz YoungCare | Bajaj Allianz UnitGain Plus Gold

  • Plans for the Confident Home Maker

    For today’s home maker and decision maker to spread her warmth to the entire family and also ensuring that she is also adequately taken care off

Available as: Bajaj Allianz InvestGain | Bajaj Allianz Family CareFirst

  • Plans for the Confident Future Grand Mother

    Plan for financially free retirement and maintain your current lifestyle, for savings as low as Rs. 500.

Available as: Bajaj Allianz Future Income Generator

  • Plans for the Confident Lady driver
    • Exclusive services like free, round-the clock, on-the-spot assistance for lady owner driver
    • Assistance in case of mechanical problem like key locked inside, tyre replacement, survey at door-steps in case of small claims

Available as: Bajaj Allianz Motor Insurance

Speaking at the launch, one of the leading women,Mrs. Ujjaini Dasgupta Head – Health Insurance, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance,said, “Financial independence is the key to happiness and confidence for the modern woman. Women today are more aware of financial planning and play a key role in making important decisions in the household. Bajaj Allianz’s “Miss Confident” is one such initiative, which aims at providing them with improved products and services for at every stage of their life. These offerings not only help secure and make her completely independent but also ensure that her loved ones are also taken care of in case of any uncertainties. Our aim is to help women realize their dreams and fulfil their responsibilities throughout their journey in life.”

Also speaking on the occasion, Mr. Akshay Mehrotra, Head Marketing
and Corporate Communications, Bajaj Allianz, commented, “
We, at Bajaj Allianz, understand that women’s needs are different and through this endeavour, we are attempting to expand our insurance business beyond conventional verticals and reach out to more women with customised products and services to suit their requirements.” He added, “We have been one of the few insurance companies to focus on the rapidly increasing women segment. The winners of the pageant are the epitome of modern beauty with brains, independence & buoyancy and it is through them that we aim to educate women across India about the importance of customized insurance plans.”

Vijay Kumar, Head –Motor Insurance, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, said, “We would like to offer free, round-the clock and on-the-spot assistance for lady owner driver in case of mechanical problem like key locked inside, tyre replacement and survey at door-steps in case of small claims, which I am sure would make lady drivers confident.”

Key highlights: of “Miss Confident” Plans

  • Stay financially independent with a host of investment plan specially designed for women
  • Stay confident with Health Insurance and specially designed women specific Health Riders
  • Pamper yourself with a host of women specific services
    • Home pick up facility for Renewal Premium Payment,
    • Spot assistance for lady car drivers, which include:
      • Assistance services like Tyre Replacement, Key locked inside & survey at doorstep in case of small claims.
  • Secure a independent future with savings plan starting as low as Rs. 500 per month

Another major source of stem cells – menstrual blood

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Stem cells are one of the most fascinating areas of biology today. But like many growing fields of scientific inquiry, research on stem cells raises scientific questions as quickly as it generates new discoveries.

In India, menstruation blood has been considered as dirty and polluting. There have been a lot of myths, taboos and various practices related to menstruation. In olden times, the lady would be made to sit in some corner, wear only particular clothes, use a separate set of vessels for eating and drinking, and she was not allowed to cook. Other members in the family were not to even go near her, let alone touch her!!! At the end of the period, she would ‘cleanse’ herself by taking a hair bath.

Thankfully, while in some of the homes in rural India these restrictions might still be prevalent; in urban homes these rules seem to have lost effect. However, menstrual blood is still today considered sanitary waste. Yet recent findings have revealed menstrual blood to be a rich and easily accessible source of adult stem cells.

LifeCell is the first and the largest private cord blood stem cell bank and stem cell solutions provider in India which facilitates the cryogenic preservation of umbilical cord blood stem cells at its central facility in Chennai, India. They have been doing research on menstrual blood as a source of stem cells. Here is what Dr. Ajit Kumar, Chief Scientific Officer, LifeCell International has to say:

A woman’s role in society and the family is constantly changing. She dons the role of a daughter, sister, wife, mother, an entrepreneur, a working professional, a friend and much more with élan. The master stem cell or the zygote, wherein human life begins, is created when a woman’s egg is fertilized by her partner’s sperm. Shortly thereafter, this master stem cell begins to multiply into hundreds of millions of cells, including a large number of other stem cells, as the embryo develops during the early stages of pregnancy. The less specialized stem cells give rise to more specialized cell types and the process continues throughout pregnancy leading to the formation of all the cell types within the human body such as skin, muscle, nerve, bone, etc. Following birth and throughout adult life, our bodies continue to produce stem cells that serve as a vital source for regeneration and repair throughout our lifetime.

While the concept of stem cells becomes intuitive if one considers the development of complex organisms such as humans from a single cell such as the zygote and also the constant requirements for repair and replenishment of cells, it is only within the last fifty years that stem cells have been recognized for their therapeutic value. It is these therapeutic applications that have become the primary focus of studies by researchers and scientists from around the world. Since the very first bone marrow transplant in the 1950’s, to the 1980’s and ’90’s, when more than 16,000 stem cell transplants were performed to treat leukemia and immune system diseases, research into regenerative cellular therapies for a wide range of human diseases has rapidly advanced. Most recently, medical researchers have discovered adult stem cells in the endometrial lining of the uterus.

Another path breaking discovery in this area is that menstrual blood itself is a rich source of stem cells and serves as a potential source for promising regenerative therapies to treat heart disease, diabetes, neurological disorders like spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, in addition to cosmeceutical applications such as anti-aging therapies, to name a few. In simple terms potentially life-saving stem cells are found naturally in menstrual blood.

The Menstrual stem cell comes from the uterine lining (endometrium), which is shed as part of a woman’s menstrual period. These menstrual stem cells are unique because they have many properties and characteristics similar to both bone marrow and embryonic stem cells.

Until now, menstrual blood has been discarded as unsanitary waste. However, as recent research has shown menstrual fluid contains self-renewing stem cells that can be easily collected, processed and cryo-preserved for potential cellular therapies that may emerge in the future. They multiply rapidly and can differentiate into many other types of cells such as neural, cardiac, bone, fat, cartilage and possibly others; demonstrating great potential for cell therapy. Preliminary research suggests that in addition to possible use by the donor, these stem cells may also be used to benefit other family members who are genetically related to the donor, such as perhaps a parent, sibling or child.

More information on stem cells is available on

Written by sreelakshmi

6 January, 2009 at 7:32 am