Dengue becomes one of the fastest growing infections around the world

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

Proactive measures needed to keep the disease at bay

New Delhi, 19 September 2018: About 400 million people globally are infected with the dengue virus every year. Another 100 million get progressively sick and 2.5% of these patients die. Dengue is the fastest growing mosquito borne infection in the world. According to the WHO, about 40% of the world’s population is at risk of being infected due to environmental conditions and burden of disease. Most people who are infected have mild or no symptoms.

Dengue is both preventable and manageable. The risk of complications is in less than 1% of the cases and, if warning signals are known to the public, all deaths from dengue can be avoided.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Our roofs and verandahs or open spaces around the houses already are dumping grounds for old tyres, discarded drums, cans, utensils, etc. The mosquitoes, Aedes specifically, therefore have ample breeding sites. India being a dengue-endemic country, these habits need to change. One must learn to keep only what is required and discard what is not. The statement that Aedes egypti is a day-biter and only breeds in indoor freshwater is not entirely true. This variety of mosquito can breed and bite in the evening or night as well. Precautions need to be taken round the clock as the mosquito only recognizes light, not day or night.

Mosquito cycle takes 7 to 12 days to complete. If any utensil or container that stores water is cleaned properly once in a week, there are no chances of mosquito breeding. Mosquitoes can lay eggs in money plant pots or in water tanks on the terrace if they are not properly covered.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “It is customary to clean our houses during the festival season. This is also the time when we dispose of all the unwanted items lying in the house or give it away. A similar Diwali-like cleaning of houses can be customarily done before the onset of monsoons to remove or dispose of all the discarded old containers etc. in which water can collect and become breeding grounds for the mosquitoes.”

In a video on Medtalks. in, a free and complete healthcare learning and patient education platform, Dr K K Aggarwal speaks about his formula of 20 to differentiate between simple and severe dengue. The formula of 20 is: rise in pulse by more than 20; fall of BP by more than 20; difference between lower and upper BP less than 20.Presence of more than 20 hemorrhagic spots on the arm after a tourniquet test suggests a high-risk situation and the person needs immediate medical attention. Medtalksprovides continuous medical education (CMEs), learning and information to stakeholders including doctors, paramedics, nurses, allied healthcare workers, and patients.

Some tips from HCFI

  • Do not let water stagnate in your house and the surrounding areas.
  • Mosquitoes can lay eggs in money plant pots or in water tanks on the terrace if they are not properly covered.
  • Mosquito nets/repellents should be used both during the day and at night.
  • Wearing full sleeves shirt and trousers can prevent mosquito bites. Mosquito repellent can be helpful during the day.

Dr K K Aggarwal appointed President (Elect), Confederation of Medical Associations of Asia and Oceania (CMAAO) at the 2018 CMAAO General Assembly

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  • Universal access to health and wellness will be the focal point of Dr Aggarwal’s efforts for the next one year
  • CMAAO is a 50-year-old body with 19 member National Medical Associations

New Delhi 17th September 2018: Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, took over as the President (Elect), Confederation of Medical Associations of Asia and Oceania (CMAAO) on 14th September 2018. He was appointed to the prestigious body as part of the 2018 CMAAO General Assembly held at Penang, Malaysia. An advocator of preventive and universal healthcare, Dr Aggarwal has already pioneered leading health initiatives in India.

A renowned physician, cardiologist, spiritual writer, and motivational speaker, Dr Aggarwal was the Past National President of the Indian Medical Association (IMA). He was the 1st Vice President of CMAAO and Advisor to the Ethics Committee, World Medical Association. A doctor and social worker par excellence, Dr Aggarwal is also recipient of Dr B C Roy National Award.

Speaking about this, Dr Aggarwal, said, “It is a pleasure and honor for me to assume the office of President (elect) CMAAO for the year 2018-19. I also congratulate my colleague Dr Ravindran Naidu on having been elected the President of the association for the current year. In this capacity, my efforts will be directed towards designing programmes in a way that universal health coverage is inclusive of all determinants. This will help in a better understanding and attainment of holistic health and well-being. It will also enable in prioritizing and mobilizing resources in the right direction. My aim is to bring about a change in the way healthcare is delivered, making it more accessible and affordable to one and all irrespective of their social standing.”

Currently comprising 19 member National Medical Associations (NMAs), the CMAAO has been in existence for more than 50 years now. Dr Aggarwal’s appointment to the body in the current role assumes significance given his rich background and the fact that this will bring India to the center-stage of discussions as well.  He will take over as the President CMAAO on 5th September 2019 at Goa.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Immediate Past National President IMA said, “All my activities since the last many years have revolved around universal health access and how to ensure that every citizen of the country can afford it. India still has a long way to go in achieving this vision. The very first step towards this goal would be to strengthen primacy healthcare and public financing of health. Both quality and affordability need to be balanced, especially in a country like ours, which has one of the highest out of expenditures on health in the world. In my current capacity, I wish to bring India on the radar of world bodies to accelerate efforts in bringing health coverage to all citizens.”

In the past, Dr Aggarwal has served as the Member Ethics Committee of the Medical Council of India (2014), Chairman Ethics Committee of the Delhi Medical Council (2009-2015), Member Delhi Medical Council (2004-09), Honorary Secretary General IMA (2014-16), Senior National Vice President IMA (2013-14), Chairman IMA Academy of Medical Specialties (2006-07), National Honorary Finance Secretary IMA (2007-08), Director IMA AKN Sinha Institute (2008-09), President Delhi Medical Association (2005-06), President IMA New Delhi Branch  (1994-95, 2002-04) and Chairman of the Delhi Chapter of the International Medical Sciences Academy (010-13). He has also served as a visiting Professor of Clinical Research at DIPSAR and at the Muzaffarnagar Medical College.

Dr Aggarwal has also been instrumental in conceptualizing and organizing unique consumer-driven health awareness platforms such as the Perfect Health Mela and the Run for Your Heart.  In recognition of both these initiatives, the Government of India released National Postal Commemorative Stamps (Rs 6.50 & Re 1, respectively). In 2012, he organized the first-ever mega Telemedicine camp at Ajmer. Once again, the government of Rajasthan earmarked the event by releasing a postal cancellation stamp. He is the only doctor in the country to have three postal stamps to his credit.

Timely preventive health checkups a must to avoid kidney diseases

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People with existing risk factors or health complications should be careful

New Delhi, 14 September 2018: As per a recent study, people with acute critical illness and no prior kidney disease have an increased risk of kidney complications and related mortality. Those who had experienced acute kidney illness were at an increased risk of renal complications, developing chronic kidney disease and then end-stage kidney disease, with septicemia and septic shock being the strongest risk factors. It is imperative to get kidney functions checked in a timely manner, especially in those with some pre-existing health conditions.

Chronic kidney disease or CKD is characterized by a gradual loss of kidney function over time and may eventually lead to kidney failure, causing patients to undergo dialysis or a kidney transplant. The signs and symptoms are not noticeable until the disease is fairly well advanced and the condition has become severe. By this time, most of the damage is irreversible.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Kidneys help in filtering out the excess waste and fluid material from the blood. They can eliminate most of the waste materials that our body produces. However, when the blood flow to the kidneys is affected, they cannot work properly. This can happen due to some damage or disease. Problems can occur even when the urine outflow is obstructed. At an advanced stage of CKD, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes, and wastes can build up in the body. Those with underlying conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, abnormal kidney structure, and a family history of the disease are at more risk. Additionally, those who smoke and are obese can also be potential candidates for CKD over the longer term.”

Some symptoms of kidney disease include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue and weakness, sleep problems, decreased mental sharpness, muscle twitches and cramps, edema, persistent itching, chest pain, shortness of breath, and hypertension that is difficult to control. However, these can be confused with other ailments.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “If you have certain risk factors such as high BP or diabetes, it is important to be screened for kidney disease. That usually involves simple laboratory tests: a urine test to look for kidney damage, and a blood test to measure how well the kidneys are working. The urine test checks for a protein called albumin, which is not routinely detected when your kidneys are healthy. The blood test checks your GFR or the glomerular filtration rate, which is an estimate of filtering ability of your kidney. A GFR below 60 is a sign of chronic kidney disease. A GFR below 15 is described as kidney failure.”

Some Golden Rules to avoid or delay reaching the point of reaching kidney failure

  • Keep fit and active, as it helps reduce your blood pressure.
  • Monitor your blood pressure: It is also the most common cause of kidney damage. The normal blood pressure level is less than 120/80. A BP reading above 130/80 is high BP. Discuss the risks with your doctor and monitor your blood pressure level regularly. High blood pressure is especially likely to cause kidney damage when associated with other factors like diabetes, high cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Keep your blood sugar levels controls as about half of people who have diabetes develop kidney damage.
  • Eat healthy and keep your weight in check as this can help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with chronic kidney disease.
  • Reduce your salt intake. The recommended sodium intake is 5-6 g of salt per day (around a teaspoon).
  • Maintain a healthy fluid intake: Traditional wisdom has long suggested drinking 1.5 to 2 liters (3 to 4 pints) of water per day. Consuming plenty of fluid helps the kidneys clear sodium, urea and toxins from the body which, in turn, results in a “significantly lower risk” of developing chronic kidney disease.  But do not advocate “aggressive fluid loading”, which can cause side effects.
  • Do not smoke as it slows the flow of blood to the kidneys. Smoking also increases the risk of kidney cancer by about 50%.
  • Do not take over-the-counter pills on a regular basis: Drugs like ibuprofen are known to cause kidney damage, if taken regularly.

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