Saturday April 20, 2019

AAPI’s Global Healthcare Summit 2016 will focus on women’s health issues

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Women

By Shilpika Srivastava

The World Health Organization’s 2000 World Health Report ranks India’s healthcare system at 112 out of 190 countries, which presents a sad picture of India. When compared to the United States of America, which spends 18% of its national GDP towards healthcare services, India spends a meager 4.2%. The problem is exacerbated by the huge gaps between the rural and urban populations.

Furthermore, sanitation facilities are only available to a small population of India, which greatly impact the women inhabitants, especially in rural areas.

With a mission to facilitate excellence in patient care, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) is working towards creating means for better health facilities in India.

Anwar Feroz Siddiqi, Honorary Advisor for AAPI, told NewsGram how women’s health is significant for the future generations. He said that women, being someone’s daughter, wife, mother, take care of every member of the family, and helps in their individual development. However, in that entire scenario, she is the one who greatly neglects and sacrifices her health leading to tons of health issues. “Keep a woman healthy for a happy and healthy family,” he added.

Commenting on where AAPI’s 10th Global Healthcare Summit 2016 to be held in Delhi, Siddiqi said the summit will majorly focus on brain injuries and women related issues.

Ironically, despite the international commitment, women belonging to the poorer classes and marginalized sections face differential access to health care facilities.

The United Nations estimated that in the developing world as a whole, one third of all pregnant women receive no health care during pregnancy. It also projected that women account for 70% of the world’s poor and poverty ridden, marred by inequality and limited decision making power; this in turn also adversely impacts their health.

Women, being the nation builder, are worthy of special concern in the health sector. In addition, the time demands for a need to explore and understand the health concerns of women belonging to marginalized sections, since they are particularly exposed to discrimination.

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New York City’s Mandatory Measles Vaccination Order Stands Still

The health department's lawyers argued that quarantining was ineffective because people carrying the virus can be contagious before symptoms appear.

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Materials are seen left at demonstration by people opposed to childhood vaccination after officials in Rockland County, a New York City suburb, banned children not vaccinated against measles from public spaces. VOA

Brooklyn judge on Thursday ruled against a group of parents who challenged New York City’s recently imposed mandatory measles vaccination order, rejecting their arguments that the city’s public health authority exceeded its authority.

In a six-page decision rendered hours after a hearing on the matter, Judge Lawrence Knipel denied the parents’ petition seeking to lift the vaccination order, imposed last week to stem the worst measles outbreak to hit the city since 1991.

The judge sided with municipal health officials who defended the order as a rare but necessary step to contain a surge in the highly contagious disease that has infected at least 329 people so far, most of them children from Orthodox Jewish communities in the borough of Brooklyn.

Another 222 cases have been diagnosed elsewhere in New York state, mostly in a predominantly ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Rockland County, northwest of Manhattan.

The New York outbreaks are part of a larger resurgence of measles across the country, with at least 555 cases confirmed in 20 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health experts say the virus, which can cause severe complications and even death, has spread mostly among school-age children whose parents declined to get them vaccinated. Most profess philosophical or religious reasons, or cite concerns — debunked by medical science — that the three-way measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine may cause autism.

The judge rejected the parents’ contention that the vaccination order was excessive or coercive, noting it does not call for forcibly administering the vaccine to those who refuse it.

He also dismissed assertions in the petition disputing the “clear and present danger” of the outbreak. “Vaccination is known to extinguish the fire of contagion,” the judge said.

FILE PHOTO: A sign warning people of measles in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg in New York City, April 11, 2019.
A sign warning people of measles in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg in New York City, April 11, 2019. VOA

Secret identities

The vaccination order, which was extended this week, requires residents of certain affected Brooklyn neighborhoods to obtain the MMR vaccine unless they can otherwise demonstrate immunity to measles, or face a fine.

The court challenge was brought in Brooklyn’s Supreme Court by five people identified only as parents living in the affected neighborhoods. Their identities were kept confidential to protect their children’s’ privacy, their lawyers said.

In court on Thursday, they told Knipel the city had overstepped its authority and that quarantining the infected would be a preferable approach.

Robert Krakow, an attorney for the parents, estimated that just 0.0006 percent of the population of Brooklyn and Queens had measles. “That’s not an epidemic,” he said. “It’s not Ebola. It’s not smallpox.”

The health department’s lawyers argued that quarantining was ineffective because people carrying the virus can be contagious before symptoms appear.

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The vaccination order, which was extended this week, requires residents of certain affected Brooklyn neighborhoods to obtain the MMR vaccine unless they can otherwise demonstrate immunity to measles, or face a fine. Pixabay

The judge cited 39 cases diagnosed in Michigan that have been traced to an individual traveling from the Williamsburg community at the epicenter of Brooklyn’s outbreak.

Also Read: Short-Circuit Likely The Cause of Notre Dame Fire, Claims Police Investigators

The surge in measles there originated with an unvaccinated child who became infected on a visit to Israel, where the highly contagious virus is also running rampant.

The number of measles cases worldwide nearly quadrupled in the first quarter of 2019 to 112,163 compared with the same period last year, the World Health Organization said this week. (VOA)