Delhi hospital declares twins as dead, one found alive

Max hospital in Delhi declared premature twins as dead. They were wrapped in a polythene bag and handed over to their parents, Varsha and Ashish.

Tribune informs that police reports suggest that Varsha’s condition was serious and in her six months of pregnancy, the survival chances of the twins were bleak. She was initially at a nursing home at Paschim Vihar, and shifted to the hospital at Shalimar Bhag. She gave birth to a girl and a boy. While traveling to the crematorium to perform the last rites of both the infants, Ashish felt the boy was moving. They discovered that the infant was breathing. They immediately admitted the baby to a nursing home nearby in Pitampura.

Health Minister JP Nanda told reporters that Delhi government would look into the matter, as per instructions by the Centre. The incident will be probed and a preliminary report will be made available in three days.

NDTV mentioned that the boy has been kept on the ventilator, since critical medical care was needed. He would be kept under observation for three months. This would amount to one lakh for the first three days. It would cost 50 thousand each day on other days.  Max healthcare blamed the doctor for the blunder.

Sources- Tribune India, NDTV


Railway food not fit for human consumption: CAG

An annual audit report compiled by the Comptroller Auditor General of India (CAG) has declared the food served in the railways and stations across India as “unsuitable for human consumption”.

After numerous complaints from passengers over the years, it is finally official that there are serious hygiene issues in regards to contaminated food, unauthorised brands of water bottles and packaged food items that are way beyond shelf life.

The audit has put the entire blame on the Railway Ministry for its frequent and unnecessary change in policies that has created a state of uncertainty in the management of catering services, reports TOI.

Screen grab of complaints.
Screen grab of complaints.

The team inspected 74 stations and 80 trains and concluded that the standards of cleanliness and hygiene were way below par at all catering units; the inspection reveals that unfiltered tap water was used to prepare beverages, waste bins were not covered and cleaned and food was being kept in places infested with cockroaches and flies.

The CAG also cracked down on the scam of overcharging passengers for food and beverages. It observed that the caterers did not provide menu cards and food was also served below prescribed quantity.

The report also thrashed the Integral Coach Factory located in Perumbar stating that the policy of progressive switch over from gas burners to electric power equipment in pantry cars to avoid the occurrence of fire accidents in trains was not followed while manufacturing the pantry cars.

News Source: TOI, News18

Image source: Indian Railways 

Maneka favours providing packaged food to Anganwadi children

Delhi: Union Minster for Women and Child Development Minister, Maneka Gandhi, has pitched for providing packaged food under the government’s supplementary nutrition scheme, Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). The scheme will help Anganwadi children deal with increased malnourishment in the country. With an estimated 10.2 crore recipients including children under six years, expectant women and lactating mothers, the ICDS scheme is one of the largest schemes of its kind.

According to World Bank reports, India has one of the highest incidences of malnutrition in the world. The lack of proper nutrition causes nearly half (that is 45%) of deaths in children under five, which is 3.1 million children every year.

But, this move looks to be controversial, as food rights activists fear that this proposal to provide packaged food could give an edge to private players. Supreme Court orders since 2004 have backed the use of self-help groups and village societies to provide hot, cooked meals to children under six.

At the launch of a report on nutrition, the minister said that, “pre-cooked meals would have the required amount of micro-nutrients, healthy grains like millets and ragi and would be manufactured and transported in a hygienic environment.” She also said, “We can put iron or folic acids into these regular foods like poha, so that children can get hygienic and nutritious food.”

One of the problems dogging this scheme is the lack of quality food, irregular distribution, tapping of food and leakages.  Right to food campaigners argue that the move is not just a breach of procedures set by the Supreme Court in 2004, but also beats the logic of the ICDS, which aims to promote not just supplementary nutrition, but also local products through community-owned processes. States like Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, where private contractors were given contracts to deliver supplementary nutrition, have already violated SC regulation.


Source: The Times of India

Image Courtesy:
Image Courtesy:


Man dies of swine flu, Delhi reports first H1N1 death

Image Source: The Times of India
Image Source: The Times of India

At Safdarjung Hospital a 59 year old man who was living in Delhi died due to swine-flu, it is believed to be the first death from H1N1 virus in the national capital this season.

The deceased hailing from Kasganj in Uttar Pradesh was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital in critical condition on Tuesday and died the same night, hospital authorities said, reporting the casualty on Friday.

According to Dr A K Rai, the patient’s condition was very critical at the time when he got admitted and was shifted in the ICU of the hospital. When the test results for swine flu came positive, he was referred to Safdarjung hospital from Apollo hospital.

Apart from that, a middle-aged women, not a resident of Delhi, is being treated at Safdarjung ICU for swine flu. The patient, doctors said, was referred by Fortis hospital.

Also, 2 people from Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh were admitted in the ICU of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital where they are undergoing treatment since 2nd October.

The senior officials of the hospital stated that the patients are critical and have been on ventilator support.

Meanwhile, the government of Delhi has taken the decision to double the number of hospitals beds to step up preparedness against H1N1 Influenza Virus (swine flu).

The health department has already stocked more than one lakh capsules and syrups of Oseltamivir Tamiflu/Fluvir) and if needed more, it will be taken care off.

Swine flu had assumed epidemic proportions last season which continued till mid-April this year afflicting over 4,259 people and claiming 12 lives in the city.

What Avinash Raut Left Behind: A Notebook And Memories

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Image Source-The Indian express

The Pricipal of Hauz Khas asked a question to the students of Class I-A: Who were Avinash Raut’s friends? Sister Sudha confessed, “Everyone raised their hands, it was emotional.”A matter of six days and seven-year-old Avinash has succumbed to dengue after being denied admission in five biggest hospitals in Delhi. The tragedy didn’t end here. What followed was more shocking: his distraught parents committed suicide, following a deep mental trauma they faced, on loss of their only child, by jumping from the terrace of the building in which they lived. Avinash’s school and his classmates are yet to come in terms with the tragedy, which will remain closed on Tuesday in his memory, who according to his teachers, was an “extrovert” young kid: secured full marks in class tests, participated in all competitions and “never complained about anything”.  His class teacher, Sister Prabha took out his notebook: tests with full marks; a traffic signal drawn with red, yellow and green lights; a human face sketch, and again full marks. “He was loved by students and teachers, and actively participated in various competitions. He was an extrovert, always in the company of friends. He never complained about anything,” said his class teacher. Further adding, “Mostly, he got cent per cent marks in class tests, and always submitted his homework on time. He had a bright future.”

Even the Principal still feels wretched at the abruptness of the incident. “At first, we did not believe it. We sent three people to his home and only then realised that the entire family had died,” said Sister Sudha. Yet, trying to sink in the tragedy, the school maintained a minute’s silence during the morning assembly, last Friday. “But we did not tell the students that Avinash’s parents had committed suicide. We just said that they had passed away, too,” said the Principal, keeping in mind the tender age of the students. What engraves the tragedy more in their minds is the fact that just a week before his death,  Avinash was hale and hearty playing with his friends, with no symptoms of any disease. Even last month, he backed the third prize in the debate competition. His topic was ‘My Family’, which does not exist any longer.

Encephalitis Hits Assam Again: 350 dead

Guwahati: An outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) or Acute Encephalitis syndrome has caused the death of over 350 people is Assam, during the past few weeks. The disease is characterized by high fever, body ache and headache, and has affected more than 21 districts in the state.
The virus, carried by mosquitoes, breeds inside the bodies of pigs and migratory birds, and is exaggerated in areas with stagnant water pits and rice crop fields, that serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
 The disease has severely affected the districts of Sivasagar, Barpeta, Nagaon, Baksa, Darrang, Sonitpur, Nalbari and Bongaigaon.
The only way to prevent the disease is through vaccination, but according to the health ministry officials including the experts, the disease vaccination is not effective during the transmission stages. Moreover, the minimum time required for procurement and supply of the vaccine is three to four months, which doesn’t meet the need of the hour.
The Nine districts, that were provided vaccination program in February, have not been affected by the epidemic.
According to figures, Assam received a grant of Rs. 910.4 crore from the National Rural Health Mission in 2013, of which Rs. 57.41 crore was meant to fight vector-borne diseases such as Encephalitis. But despite the grant, district hospitals continue to have poor special care units, medicines and amenities that are not efficient enough to handle the outbreak.
The situation is ironic, as Assam was the first state in the country to start a JE adult vaccination program and the pilot project at Sivasagar in 2011.
 The CM- Tarun Gogoi, is taking alternative measures to tackle the epidemic : “The CM has instructed the health authorities to spread bleaching powders, conduct fogging at the piggeries and hold awareness campaigns. He also enquired about the quantity of medicine available in the hospitals and health centres and instructed the health officials to procure medicines in advance to meet shortages, if there are any,” the CM’s office said.
The use of such measures is however questionable with respect to efficiency and urgency, as the death toll continues to surge.

Smartphones to diagnose diseases in real world


Photo Courtesy –

A team from US is developing a technology that will enable a smartphone and a $20 lens to show the end results. This new device is the brainchild of researchers from University of Houston, Jiming Bao, professor of electrical and computer engineering and Richard Wilson, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering.

The device relies on specific chemical reactions between two things that causes a reaction- for example, a virus or bacteria and a molecule that bonds with that one thing only, like a disease-fighting antibody. The basic design consists of a biosensing device combined with a simple microscope that can assist in reading the results. Nanotechnology will be used in the biosensing device and the smartphone will have the microscope needed.

The device has a simple gold slide with a thousands of holes in it. The slide is covered with thin gold sheet with rows and columns of  transparent holes that allows the light to pass. It diagnoses illness by blocking the light with disease infected anti-bodies. They are put into the holes where they are coaxed to stick to the glass surface. A biological sample is flowed onto the slide. If the sample has bacteria or virus in it, it will bond with the antibody in the hole. Once they bond, another round of antibodies has to be put on the slide. Enzymes, that produces silver particles when exposed to certain chemicals, are attached to these antibodies. With this second batch of antibodies attached to the bacteria in the hole together; they are exposed entirely to the chemicals that help in formation of silver.

After about 15 minutes, the slide is washed off. With special properties of gold, silver does not get washed off and remains in the holes completely blocking out the light. The microscope is then used to see whether the holes are blocked or not. Wilson said  that this can be made possible with a little modification to the smartphones.

The team admits that there are still obstacles that need to be overcome. One of the biggest challenge is to drive the bacteria and virus together in the sample down to the surface of the slide. This will ensure the most accurate results possible. But they are hopeful in overcoming these challenges and to come up with a cheap and portable device to diagnose diseases. The study is featured in ACS Photonics.