Decent living standards for every Indian child still a far cry in India

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine No Comments

About 3000 children die of malnutrition every year

New Delhi, 17 August 2018: Marking the 72nd Independence Day of India on 15th August 2018, the Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre (JAC) Society organized an event focusing on issues faced by street children. Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) was the chief guest at the event, which was presided over by renowned social activist and Founder of Prayas, Mr Amod K Kanth. Some of the issues highlighted at the event include child sexual abuse, nutrition, and other health problems in children.

Millions of Indian children are forced to live in hazardous conditions on India’s streets due to compulsions such as poverty and hunger. This number continues to increase despite the fact that India, along with 192 UN member states, had committed to achieve sustainable development by 2030, which entitles every child to a decent living standard. Over 59 million children continue to have no access to school, with an estimated 3,000 children dying every year due to malnutrition.

Speaking at the event, Dr K K Aggarwal, who is also the Vice President of CMAAO, said, “The number of children on the streets and homeless is alarmingly high in the country. The problems they face on a daily basis exacerbate their situation further. From lack of food to sexual exploitation, there is no dearth of issues for them. Child sexual abuse, evident or suspect, is common and preventable and is often done by a known person. It is an acute medico legal emergency. Sustainable Development Goals addressing children such as ‘No Poverty’, ‘Ending Hunger’ and ‘Ensuring Healthy Lives’ can be met only when government and private bodies work in tandem to build strong frameworks and policies and implement them.”

Children on the streets mostly work as day laborers at construction sites or restaurants. Across cities, they are physically abused and made to work more than seven hours a day and beaten while at work.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “Article 21 of the Indian Constitution guarantees right to life with dignity to one and all, including children. There is a need to revisit this act and ensure that it is not being denied to the homeless children and those in the lower economic strata of the society. Their health concerns must also be addressed. For instance, girls who attain puberty should be given weekly gurchana (iron and protein). Children need adequate intake of nutrients and vaccination cover to avoid at least preventable diseases. The safety and health of children is a responsibility that cannot be overlooked.”

Ensuring basic nutrition in children is a topic that will be addressed at the 25th MTNL Perfect Health Mela 2018 to be held in October this year.

Some tips from HCFI

There are four major food groups that should form a part of a child’s diet plan.

  • Bread, rice, potatoes, and other starchy foods. This forms the largest portion of the diet and provides calories for energy and carbohydrates that are converted to sugars which provide energy.
  • Milk and dairy foods – Vital sources of fats and simple sugars like lactose as well as minerals like Calcium
  • Fruit and vegetables – Vital sources of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber and roughage for better digestive health
  • Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein – These form the building blocks of the body and help in numerous body and enzyme functions.

HCFI condoles the death of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Social Health Community Comments Off

He was one of the greatest leaders and statesmen of all times

The Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) condoles the death of former Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. An exemplary leader, he was a man of masses and a role model whose words and actions have contributed immensely in the development of the country. Shri Vajpayee was fighting a prolonged illness at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) before he breathed his last today. He was 93.

Offering his condolences, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Shri Vajpayee was a statesman and a leader, par excellence. Not only was he adept in politics but also a great orator and speaker. We, at HCFI, mourn the loss of this great soul who was a democrat to the core. He battled his health problems unflinchingly till the end – Shri Vajpayee had only one kidney, prostate cancer, and dementia in the later stages of life. It is unusual for people with dementia to survive for so long and he proved his fighting spirit right till the end. Shri Vajpayee was also a great poet, who with his words, helped people reach a parasympathetic or relaxed state of mind. With him gone, a golden era of Indian politics comes to end. May God give his near and dear ones enough strength to cope with the loss.”

About Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Shri Vajpayee thrice served as the Prime Minister of India: first for a term of 13 days in 1996, for a period of eleven months from 1998 to 1999, and then for a full term from 1999 to 2004. He was conferred India’s highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna, by the President of India in 2014. In 2014, the Modi government declared that Shri Vajpayee’s birthday, 25th December, would be marked as Good Governance Day.

25th MTNL Perfect Health Mela 2018 to focus on the rise in antibiotic resistance

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25th MTNL Perfect Health Mela 2018 to focus on the rise in antibiotic resistance

Representatives from WHO, ICMR, and NCDC to create awareness on the issue

New Delhi, 15th August 2018: As per recent research, the antibiotics currently in use can cause resistance and may even be more lethal than previous penicillin and chloramphenicol drugs.

Antibiotic resistance is on the rise and it is in light of this that the forthcoming 25th MTNL Perfect Health Mela 2018 to be held in October will focus on excessive use of antibiotics. The WHO, ICMR, and NCDC have been approached to create awareness at the mela.

Antibiotic resistance has made it harder to treat many infections such as typhoid, pneumonia and tuberculosis. There is declining research in the field of newer antibiotics and supporting the formulation of a national antibiotic policy. Children are also becoming increasingly powerless in the fight against even common ailments like urinary tract infection due to antibiotic abuse.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “It is important to create awareness that antibiotics should be taken only when they are really required. unless you really need them. They are not indicated for colds or viral infections or bronchitis, where they are often misused and squandered. Blatant use of these drugs can fuel resistance with unnecessary and cause even mortality in the long term. Although antibiotics such as penicillin and chloramphenicol have less side effects, we still do not take them unless a must. Why then should we self-prescribe more toxic and latest antibiotics? The Perfect Health Mela this year will take up this pertinent issue for discussion.”

Recently, the WHO, in its first global report on antibiotic resistance, warned that ‘a post-antibiotic era—in which common infections and minor injuries can kill—far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is instead a very real possibility for the 21st century.’

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Doctors should run a drug interaction programme for every new medication prescribed, and alert the provider to serious interactions. There is no way anyone can remember all the drug interactions. EKGs should be run before prescribing many common antibiotics. Doctors as well as patients should be aware about and advocate judicious use of antibiotics. Over prescription and self-prescription, both, need to be checked.”

Some tips form HCFI

  • Practice rational use of drugs antibiotics
  • Use when needed and according to guidelines
  • Avoid broad spectrum antibiotics without appropriate diagnosis
  • Prevent infections with the use of vaccination and by improving basic hygiene including hand hygiene and infection control techniques and sanitation in health care settings as well as in the community
  • Farmers and food industry must stop using antibiotics routinely to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance.

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