Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) delegation meets Hon’ble Speaker of Lok Sabha to discuss implementation of important measures for better public health

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Apart from demonstrating the CPR technique, the meeting also served as a platform to bring other issues to the Hon’ble Speaker’s attention

New Delhi 13th November, 2019: A 50-member delegation from the Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) recently met with the Hon’ble Speaker of Lok Sabha, Shri Om Birla at his office on 13th November 2019. The delegation was led by the President of HCFI, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal. Apart from discussing the various activities of the HCFI, the meeting also served as a platform to raise some pertinent issues in front of the hon’ble speaker.

During the meeting, Dr Aggarwal spoke about HCFI’s activities in brief and demonstrated the new air purifier that can be made at home using a simple filter. He also demonstrated how to carry out cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), laying the premise for the discussion.

Speaking about this, Dr Aggarwal said, “It was indeed an honor to meet the Hon’ble Speaker of Lok Sabha, Shri Om Birla ji and address various issues and solutions that are the need of the hour. We hope that he will consider our suggestions and take proactive steps towards putting in place processes towards the same. At HCFI, our efforts have always been towards addressing important health-related aspects and bringing them to the attention of stakeholders. This meeting was also an attempt in this direction.”

The following salient points were discussed during the meeting.

· The HCFI recommended that every member of parliament including the staff therein must be trained in the lifesaving technique of CPR.

· Automatic external defibrillators (AED) machines should be available in all public places including the Lok Sabha premises

· Antibiotics should be made available to people only on the basis of a valid medical prescription

· Drugs containing doping substances should have a red mark on them as an indication

· There is a need to cap the price of masks and air filters/ purifiers when the air pollution levels are high

·A green corridor, similar to the one created during a heart transplant, should be made available for ambulances as well.

Repeated eye rubbing is a risk factor for keratoconus

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Keratoconus (KC) is a progressive degenerative condition of the eye in which the cornea becomes progressively thinner and cone-like. If left untreated, it can lead to significant visual impairment.

The word keratoconus originates from the Greek words kerato-idis (cornea) and konos (cone).  The condition was first described by John Nottingham.

Key points about keratoconus

  • Keratoconus is a non-inflammatory, bilateral (but usually asymmetrical) disease of the cornea resulting in progressive corneal steepening
  • It is characterised by paracentral corneal thinning and ectasia so that the cornea becomes cone like in shape.
  • It first becomes evident at puberty, and then progresses until the third to fourth decade of life when it usually arrests. Sometimes, however, it may commence later in life and progress or arrest at any age.
  • Risk factors: Atopic history, especially ocular allergies, rigid contact lens wear and vigorous eye rubbing. Repeated eye rubbing may cause progression of the disease.
  • Symptoms: Initially, keratoconus may be asymptomatic, but significant vision loss occurs in advanced disease. The loss of vision is mainly due to myopia and irregular astigmatism and secondarily from corneal scarring.
  • Diagnosis: Refraction, keratometry, corneal topography and slit- lamp (bio-microscopy) examination
  • Commonly associated with vernal keratoconjunctivitis, retinitis pigmentosa, Leber congenital amaurosis, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Marfan syndromes, mitral valve prolapse, atopic dermatitis and Down syndrome.
  • Treatment: Spectacle correction often helps in early stages; however, contact lenses (Rigid gas- permeable) may be required when irregular astigmatism develops.
  • World Keratoconus Day is observed annually on November 10 to raise awareness about the condition. Since, eye rubbing is a risk factor, eye rubbing should be avoided.

(Source: National Health Portal of India)

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

President Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)

Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Past National President IMA