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New York based Guyanese wins Community Queen Pageant

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New York: Nandita Dasrath won the title of “The Community’s Queen” on Sunday when she participated in the Community’s Queen Pageant. The twenty-eight-year-old Dasrath is a New York-based Guyanese.

Speaking with reporters immediately after the Community’s Queen Pageant, the brilliant Dasrath said that winning the title was not easy. A very emotional Dasrath said that she was happy that she made Guyana proud competing against six other contestants from around the world including India, Trinidad, Haiti and Italy.

“The competition was stiff and posed a real challenge; I didn’t give up. I am truly honoured to win the title as Community’s Queen,” the newly-crowned queen told.

When asked what she intended to do during her reign, the classical dancer said, “I am expected to be a role model for our young women. I plan to do this by working closely with Fashions By Renu, Guyana Chunes Radio, and the Save Abee Foundation to organise and participate in a variety of fundraisers.”

Nandita Dasrath after winning the Community's Queen Pagaent
Nandita Dasrath after winning the Community’s Queen Pagaent

She said her goal was not to wear a crown for fame but to help mould young women in society. The pageant focused on empowering young women from various countries and communities.

There were four segments in the pageant: cultural wear, business attire, evening gown and a question-and-answer.

The swimsuit segment was removed, Dasrath said, to help the community understand that young women should not be seen as eye candy but rather be appreciated for their minds and intellect.

The pageant was organised by Fashions By Renu Production, the dominant force in New York’s Indo-Caribbean community. Over the years, it has used its business to assist and help young people garner confidence in themselves through various activities.

(The report was first published in

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Pentavalent vaccine: Doctors raise red flag

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive

the new Hepatitis B vaccine for adults is called Heplisav-B.
India's PV to be reexamined because of its harmful effects. .
  • Pentavalent vaccine was introduced in India six years ago
  • It is since then have been a cause of many deaths
  • Doctors want it to be reexamined before continuing its use

Pentavalent vaccine (PV), that was introduced by India a little over six years ago, doubled the deaths of children soon after vaccination compared to the DPT (Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus) vaccine, according to a new study that calls for a “rigorous review of the deaths following vaccination with PV”.

Health officials have launched a campaign targeting nearly 24 million people with a one-fifth dose of the vaccine. Wikimedia Commons
PV has been cause of many deaths in past years. Wikimedia Commons

Government records show that there were 10,612 deaths following vaccination (both PV and DPT) in the last 10 years. There was a huge increase in these numbers in 2017, which the Health Ministry has promised to study. “The present analysis could be a starting point in the quest to reduce the numbers of such deaths,” authors of the new study say.

The study by Dr Jacob Puliyel, Head of Pediatrics at St Stephens Hospital, and Dr V. Sreenivas, Professor of Biostatistics at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), both in New Delhi, is published in the peer-reviewed Medical Journal of Dr D.Y. Patil University.

PV is a combination of the DPT vaccine and two more vaccines against Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) and hepatitis B. Starting December 2011, PV was introduced into India’s immunisation programme to replace DPT vaccine in a staged manner with a view to adding protection against Hib and Hepatitis B without increasing the number of injections given to infants.

Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons
Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons

But sporadic reports of unexplained deaths following immunisation with PV had been a matter of concern. Puliyel, Sreenivas and their colleagues undertook the study to find out if these deaths were merely coincidental or vaccine-induced.

The authors obtained data of all deaths reported from April 2012 to May 2016 under the Right to Information Act. Data on deaths within 72 hours of administering DPT and PV from different states were used.

For their study, the authors assumed that all deaths within 72 hours of receiving DPT are natural deaths. Using this figure as the baseline, they presumed that any increase in the number of deaths above this baseline among children receiving PV must be caused by this vaccine.

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According to their analysis of the data provided by the government, there were 237 deaths within 72 hours of administering the Pentavalent vaccine — twice the death rate among infants who received DPT vaccine.

Extrapolating the data, the authors have estimated that vaccination of 26 million children each year in India would result in 122 additional deaths within 72 hours, due to the switch from DPT to PV.

“There is likely to be 7,020 to 8,190 deaths from PV each year if data from states with the better reporting, namely Manipur and Chandigarh, are projected nationwide,” their report says.

It is important to make sure that these vaccines are reexamined peroperly. VOA

The authors note that while the study looks at the short-term increase in deaths (within three days of vaccination) it does not calculate the potential benefits of PV on infant mortality, for example by protection against lethal diseases like Haemophilus influenza.

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive. “These findings of differential death rates between DPT and PV do call for further rigorous prospective population-based investigations,” the study concludes. IANS