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The medical infrastructure has shifted quickly towards managing Covid-19 patients, resulting in less emphasis on non-covid patients such as Hemophilia patients.
The low disease awareness amongst patients and lack of accessibility to specialists are critical factors that make the Haemophilia patients furthermore vulnerable.
People with Hemophilia are having a tough time accessing treatment as they are also in constant fear of contracting the coronavirus, being part of the vulnerable category.
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Though the factors required for the treatment are available at hospitals but due to the whole coronavirus situation, the people fear going to the hospitals for their treatment. The critical need for early diagnosis, access to treatment, and physiotherapy is crucial for people with Hemophilia to lead a near-normal life.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: पीटीआई की अनुचित कवरेज से नाराज़ होकर प्रसार भारती ने खत्म किया रिश्ता
According to Shubha Phadke, Professor & Head of Department of Medical Genetics, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow: “The quality of care and treatment of Haemophilia in India has seen significant progress over the last few years. Under the present pandemic circumstances, the number of Hemophilia patients visiting hospital has reduced a bit, though.”
“With the support of social workers and senior doctors we are providing services even during covid 19 times. Some serious bleeds are managed by indoor admissions. Many patients have learned self-infusions. But corona times reiterates the need for prophylaxis or at least on demand home therapy. I advise patients to save joints from bleeding and at the same time save yourself from corona”,
Nita Radhakrishnan, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatric Hematology Oncology, Super Speciality Pediatric Hospital and PG Teaching Institute, Noida, said “We have been working closely with Hemophilia patients and their families, helping them get proper treatment as due to covid-19 many centres providing treatment to Hemophilia patients in Delhi NCR are shut.
“I advise Hemophilia patients to be in touch with their treatment center so that all bleeding episodes can be managed judiciously and advice regarding preventing Covid infection also be provided. It is a difficult time which can be overcome with the cooperation of all the stakeholders.”
Radhika Kanakaratna, Assistant Professor – Pathologist, Nizams Institute of Medical Services, Hyderabad, “The ongoing pandemic has brought some changes in our management of haemophiliacs. The number of Hemophilia patients visiting hospital has significantly reduced and only 5-6 patients visit each month. The diagnosis centre is operational, but the routine prophylaxis is temporarily withheld in view of shortage of factor support.”(IANS)
The aromatic and simple vanilla is actually quite an exotic flavour. It comes with its own history, and is perhaps one of the best discoveries. Vanilla is grown from a unique species of orchid that is native to South America. It was used by the Mayans and Aztecs in a drink that they mixed with cacao, the precursor to chocolate. It arrived in Europe after South America was conquered.
Vanilla did not attract much patronage immediately. It began rather humbly. Queen Elizabeth I was the first person to taste vanilla flavouring and took to its mild but pleasant taste. Prior to this, it was not well received. Since it is pollinated only by the native Melipona bee, Europeans were unable to study it and grow it themselves.
Vanilla beans hanging off a vine at a plantation in Idukki, Kerala Image source: wikimedia commons
One day, a young slave boy Edmond Albius developed what is now practiced as hand pollination. A stick is used to pry the male and female parts of the flower apart, and with a gentle flick of the thumb, it is pollinated. The bulb swells up immediately if the fertilisation is successful. If the process involves any extra force, the entire effort is in vain. The vanilla flowers remain open only for a day, and fall to the ground if not pollinated.
When the Europeans discovered this, vanilla was grown widely. Once the long vanilla bean grows to the required length, it is dried and fermented. This is when the vanilla aroma begins to develop. Vanilla became a much-loved flavour in European food, and today is the most used ingredient in baking.
Vanilla beans being cured and dried Image source: wikimedia commons
Since the production of vanilla is expensive and so laborious, scientists have discovered an alternative. They make a synthetic compound that has the same chain structure as vanilla, called vanillin, which can be created from petrochemicals, lignin, eugenol, and even the anal secretions of beavers. This synthetic vanillin smells and tastes the same as real vanilla and is much cheaper.
Despite protests from activists, vanillin is widely used in the food industry to ease consumer demands. The real vanilla bean takes an entire year to grow and ferment enough to be used as flavouring, and at that rate, it is impossible to meet the global demand.
Keywords: Vannila, Vannilin, Synthetic flavouring, Europe, South America
The world of martial arts has been dominated by the Far Eastern nations, and words like kung fu and karate, immediately create a mental image of Asian men with long hair, white robes, and flexible bodies flying through the air. These arts, although completely assimilated by the Asian cultures, originated in India. Like Buddhism, which is the foundational religion that the principles of martial arts are derived from, the actual art form itself made its way from South India, where it was practiced for many years.
Kerala is known predominantly for coconuts, toddy, boats, and communism. It is also the house of Ayurveda, and Kalaripayattu. Kalaripayattu has become a dance form that is performed at festivals and in cultural programmes, but it began as a medieval fighting technique that was kept a secret among the warrior caste of Kerala, the Nairs.
Kalaripayattu trainees must learn to jump through fire hoops without getting burned. Image source: wikimedia commons
Kalaripayattu deals with bodily, mental, and emotional strength. Before the fighting begins, the warriors are required to practice meditation. They must learn to harness strength from the mind, in order to move in a way that acts as self-defence against the enemy, and serves as healing from temptation and waywardness. According to scholars, this art form is considered the most lethal, as the same hand can deliver a life-taking blow, and restore mobility in a single move.
The word kalarippayattu is an amalgam that means "training ground combat". It teaches the use of psychology in discipling the body and the mind. It was developed nearly six thousand years ago, and is deeply rooted in religion. Its five inter-related parts are fighting, Ayurveda (healing), spiritual practice, astrology, and yoga. Kalaripayattu warriors are taught to harness self-control, and develop their human spirit before they learn to fight. It is an art form that does not involve motive to kill, only to defend. The technique of imitating animal postures originated in Kalaripayattu, the eight animals being the lion, boar, cobra, rooster, buffalo, elephant, tiger and horse.
Young trainees learning to combat with fire Image source: wikimedia commons
In the 6th century, a monk from China came to India and learned the art. His name was Bodhidharma, and he is responsible for propagating martial arts across Asia. China and Japan developed kung fu and karate from the original kalarippayattu. Today, kalarippayattu is regarded more of a dance than a martial art, and it still is a very indigenous craft that has not been shared with the western world.
Keywords: Kalaripayattu, Bodhidharma, kung fu, karate, martial arts
The Reformation in England is notorious for the religious impact it had on the countries of the world, and the current ongoing dispute among the various factions of Catholicism and Protestantism. Three Blind Mice, a rhyme that emerged in 1609, roughly a few years after the death of Queen Elizabeth I, is somewhat a dark reminder of the Dark Ages.
The Reformation began in England when King Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic church because he wanted to divorce his wife, to marry another woman who would bear him a male heir. His wife was a devout catholic and refused to give up her crown to another. The king decided to break away from the Papacy, from Rome, where the Catholic church reigned from. He created the Church of England, and put himself as the legal head. England broke into two factions based on religion, and after Henry's death, the country was plunged in war.
Henry's eldest daughter, Queen Mary I took the throne after her father, and propagated Catholicism, as taught by her mother. Henry's other daughter, through his second wife, Queen Elizabeth I embraced the Protestant faith. Queen Mary was always paranoid of losing her throne to Elizabeth, and she hated the Protestants because of what happened to her mother. She set about ruthlessly persecuting anyone who openly professed their faith, which led to her being known as 'Bloody Mary'.
Illustration of Christian protestants being burned at the stake Image source: wikimedia commons
History has recorded the death of three Bishops, Ridley, Lattimer, and Crammer, known as the Oxford martyrs. They were burned at stake for teaching the Protestant doctrine. The rhyme Three Blind Mice is believed to be an allegorical allusion to the incident of the bishops' execution. They are called 'blind' because of their refusal to recant their confession. Queen Mary is said to have "cut off their tales with a carving knife" and is referred to as a farmer's wife to lighten the scene for children; perhaps to also reduce the ruthlessness of the act.
Three blind mice. Three blind mice.
See how they run. See how they run.
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
As three blind mice (Modern version of the rhyme, Wikipedia)
Three Blind Mice is sung widely in nurseries of the world by little children, often innocent of the true story behind it.
Keywords: Three Blind Mice, Nursery Rhymes, Reformation, Persecution, England, Queen Mary