WMA TB & HIV-AIDS Resolutions revised in coordination with IMA

Health Care Comments Off

Dr KK Aggarwal

In the recently concluded Annual General Assembly in Chicago held from October 11-14, 2017, the World Medical Association (WMA) passed two resolutions on Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV-AIDS, after undergoing major revisions.

Indian Medical Association (IMA) volunteered to be the coordinating national medical association for these resolutions. This was only the right thing to do given the high prevalence of the two diseases in the country and hence, of great public health concern to us.

India accounts for one-fourth of the global TB burden, including MDR TB, as reported in Global TB Report 2016. And, India is among the top three countries with the highest number of people living with HIV. The total number of people living with HIV in India is estimated at 21.17 lakhs (17.11 lakhs–26.49 lakhs) (India HIV Estimation 2015 report). Of these, only 14 lakh are diagnosed.

As the coordinating national medical association for both these resolutions, suggestions from all member national medical associations were sent to IMA, who compiled and finalized the resolutions, which were then passed by the recent Assembly at Chicago.

Both these Resolutions on TB and HIV-AIDS were first adopted in October 2006 by the WMA Annual General Assembly in South Africa.

WMA Assembly also passed a Revised Declaration of Geneva incorporating various changes and additions. IMA was a part of the workgroup that worked on the amendments to ‘The Physician’s Pledge’.

IMA is also coordinating revisions to another WMA document on Reproduction Rights.

Some salient points of the two resolutions are as below:

WMA Resolution on TB

• “Screening of high risk groups including PLHIV (people living with HIV) and vulnerable populations including migrants, prisoners, and the homeless should be considered within each national epidemiological context as a component of tuberculosis prevention.

• Rapid diagnosis with molecular tests and supervised daily treatment started early should help arrest the spread of disease.

• The WMA supports the WHO “End TB Strategy” and its visions, goals and milestones.

• The WMA calls on National Medical Associations to support their National TB Programmes by generating awareness among healthcare professionals about TB management and early reporting of cases in the community.”

WMA Resolution on HIV-AIDS

• “In addition to representing a staggering public health crisis, HIV/AIDS is also fundamentally a human rights issue.

• Discrimination against HIV / AIDS patients by physicians is unacceptable and must be eliminated completely from the practice of medicine.

• Patients with HIV/AIDS must be provided with competent and appropriate medical care at all stages of the disease.

• Physicians must ensure that patients have accurate information regarding the treatment options available to them.”

Better be safe than sorry during the festival of lights

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India Comments Off

Those with cardiac and respiratory ailments should be particularly careful

Eating and drinking should be healthy and in moderation, with adequate physical activity

New Delhi, 18 October 2017: Diwali, the festival of lights and harbinger of prosperity and cheer, is characterized not just by this. It is also that time of the year when health risks escalate. From the ghee-laden sweets to the pollution-inducing crackers, there is a lot to think about in terms of one’s health. According to statistics, the annual carbon dioxide emissions from fireworks is 60,000 tonnes. The IMA says that this is not only to the environment but also to the health. Add to this the sweets and savories and alcohol binge, and one’s weight is sure to catapult.

Diwali is that time of the year when people lose track of their eating, drinking, and fitness habits. Apart from this, noxious gases such as carbon monoxide from crackers can be detrimental for those with asthma or heart ailments.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “There is a sudden change in both eating and sleeping patterns during Diwali. Late night parties binge-eating, alcohol, and lack of exercise affect health in many ways. People also do not drink enough water to keep themselves hydrated. White sugar in sweets can lead to uncontrolled diabetes and gain weight in individuals. Adulterated khoya can cause GI upset. Artificial coloring in sweets can cause cancer in long run. Those with COPD (adult asthma) need to be careful as the smoke from crackers can worsen respiratory illnesses. Excessive noise pollution during Diwali can cause hearing loss, high blood pressure, and mental irritation. It can also exacerbate heart ailments in people sometimes leading to a cardiac arrest as well. One should also be careful of candle pollution as petroleum is a known human carcinogen and can cause indoor pollution.”

Diwali fire hazards are also not uncommon and can result in burns and loss of life. Particlesof crackers can cause eye burn and irritation. People also indulge in excessive consumption of alcohol which is injurious to health.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “The best item for Diwali is fruits and dry fruits. Avoid ‘chhena’ and ‘khoya’ sweets, along with sweets and milk products from roadside shops. One should not drive after consuming more than 30 ml in one hour. While gambling one should not argue with others as someone under the influence of alcohol may cause harm. Those with COPD should use wet clothes whenever they are exposed to smoke. It is imperative to remember that health is above all and no festival or occasion should be an excuse to compromise on health.”

Here are certain things one can observe to stay away from harm and ensure good health during Diwali.
• Limit the use of firecrackers and avoid loud explosives. Those with asthma should wear face masks to prevent inhaling the poisonous mix of gases. Those with cardiac problems and hypertension should wear ear plugs to prevent the impact of the cracker explosions.
• Check the manufacturing and expiry dates of sweets and snacks before buying them. Avoid buying anything from roadside shops.
• Replace oily snacks with a combination of fresh fruits, curd dips, raw salads, roasted food items and nuts like almonds and pistachios. Replace carbohydrates and proteins with fibre and vitamins in your diet. Ensure that you stay hydrated by drinking lots of water through the day.
• In case of burns, the affected part should be put in running water till the burning sensation disappears. Blisters should not be punctured, as they work like a natural dressing.