Monday December 11, 2017

Maharashtra Governor calls for developing drugs against lifestyle ailments

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NewsGram Staff Writer

Mumbai: Maharashtra Governor CV Rao on Saturday called upon the Indian pharmaceutical industry to develop drugs to combat lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular ailments and tuberculosis.

Speaking at the golden jubilee celebrations of the Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) in Mumbai, the governor said lifestyle diseases were playing havoc in the country.

Rao urged the research-based pharma industry to lay renewed thrust on research and innovation and significantly hike investments in drug development and research activities.

“The senior population in India, which is currently 90 million, would touch around 173 million in the next 10 years and the OPPI must make comprehensive plans for their physical, financial, emotional safety and well-being,” Rao said.

He lauded the OPPI for “improving the life quality of Indian and also from other under-developed and developing countries” besides partnering India’s growth and development vide technical collaborations, disease awareness programs, patient-access initiatives and drug safety efforts.

To mark the OPPI milestone, Rao felicitated eminent people like Dr Tarun Gupta, Dr J N Banerjee, Prof RD Joshi, Ranjit Shahani, Dr Prathap Reddy, Dr D B Gupta for their outstanding contributions to OPPI.

OPPI is an organisation of research-based pharma companies in the country with members like Abbott, Bayer’s, GSK, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi, etc.

(With inputs from IANS)

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WHO launches a new global effort to end TB by 2030

The announcement was made in the Global Ministerial Conference in Moscow.

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WHO will start working towards ending Tuberculosis
Dr. Simon Angelo (L) examines Iman Steven suffering from tuberculosis, held by her mother (R) at the hospital of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), June 15, 2016, at the Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Malakal, South Sudan. VOA

Delegates from 114 countries have agreed to take urgent action to end tuberculosis (TB) by 2030, the WHO said.

The announcement on Friday came as the delegates gathered in Moscow for the first WHO global ministerial conference on ending tuberculosis, Xinhua news agency reported.

The delegates promised to achieve strengthen health systems and improve access to the people regarding TB prevention and care so that no one is left behind.

They also agreed to mobilize sufficient and sustainable financing through increased domestic and international investments to close gaps in implementation and research.

Resources are expected to advance research and development of new tools to diagnose, treat and prevent TB, and to build accountability through a framework to track and review progress on ending TB.

“Today marks a critical landmark in the fight to end TB,” said World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“It signals a long overdue global commitment to stop the death and suffering caused by this ancient killer.”

Though global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 53 million lives since 2000 and reduced the TB mortality rate by 37 per cent, progress in many countries has stalled, global targets are off-track and persistent gaps remain in TB care and prevention, according to the WHO.

As a result, TB still kills more people than any other infectious disease. Due to its antimicrobial resistance, TB is also the leading killer of people with HIV.

Representatives at the meeting, which was attended by over 1,000 participants, also promised to minimize the risk and spread of drug resistance and do more to engage people and communities affected by or at risk of TB. (IANS)

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Now Rats may help in Detecting Tuberculosis

The rats learn to recognize the presence of TB in samples of mucus that is coughed up from the patient's lower airways.

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Rats and treatment of Tuberculosis
FILE - An African Giant Pouch rat is seen before a training session where the rats will learn to detect tuberculosis (TB) at a laboratory in Sokoine University for Agriculture in Morogoro, Tanzania, Jan. 31, 2006. VOA

London, November 16,2017:

Giant rats are probably not the first thing that come to mind to tackle tuberculosis but scientists hope their sniffing skills will speed up efforts to detect the deadly disease in major cities across the world.

Tuberculosis, which is curable and preventable, is one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), killing 1.7 million people in 2016 and infecting 10.4 million others.

African Giant Pouched Rats, trained by Belgian charity APOPO, are known for sniffing out landmines in countries from Angola to Cambodia and for detecting TB cases in East Africa.

Over the next few years, APOPO plans to fight tuberculosis at the source by launching TB-detection rat facilities in major cities of 30 high-risk countries including Vietnam, India and Nigeria.

Rats can play a role in containing Tuberculosis
Dr. Simon Angelo (L) examines Iman Steven suffering from tuberculosis, held by her mother (R) at the hospital of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), June 15, 2016, at the Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Malakal, South Sudan. VOA

“One of the best ways to fight TB at source is in major cities that draw a lot of people from the rural areas,” James Pursey, APOPO spokesman, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“It is a vicious circle. You can be reinfected. To fight TB, you have to hit it hard,” he said by phone from Zimbabwe.

Many people get infected in big, densely populated cities and spread the disease to rural areas, according to Pursey.

The rats learn to recognize the presence of TB in samples of mucus that is coughed up from the patient’s lower airways.

In Tanzania, people in communities where TB is most common, including in prisons, often fail to show up for screening because of a lack of money or awareness, placing a huge burden on health authorities, health experts said.

“TB is a disease of poverty,” said Pursey. “If nothing changes it can only get worse.”

The APOPO has seen the TB detection rate increase by 40 percent in clinics it has worked with in Tanzania and Mozambique, according to Pursey, who said that using rats to screen did not negate the need for proper diagnostic testing.

While a technician may take four days to detect a case of TB, a trained rat can screen 100 samples in 20 minutes, and a rat screening costs as little as 20 US cents, APOPO said.

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Intake of Coffee can Reduce the risk of Death for Kidney Patients

Drinking Coffee may increase the lifespan of patients with chronic kidney disease.

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Drinking Coffee reduces mortality in Kidney patients
Drinking Coffee reduces mortality in Kidney patients. Pixabay
  • Want to live longer? Charge up on your cup of coffee. According to a study, caffeine consumption may prolong the lifespan of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Drinking coffee can Reduce mortality 

The findings showed a dose-dependent inverse association between caffeine and all-cause mortality.

People who had the highest intake of coffee had 24 percent lower risks of dying, while those in the second, third quartile of caffeine consumption had 12 percent and 22 percent lower risk.

“These results suggest that advising patients with CKD to drink more caffeine may reduce their mortality. This would represent a simple, clinically beneficial, and inexpensive option,” said Miguel Bigotte Vieira from Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte, in Portugal.

However, “this benefit should ideally be confirmed in a randomised clinical trial”, Vieira added.

For the study, the team examined the association of caffeine consumption with mortality among 2328 patients with CKD. The results will be presented at the ongoing ASN Kidney Week 2017 in New Orleans.

Moreover, this observational study cannot prove that drinking coffee reduces the risk of death in patients with CKD, but only suggests the possibility of such a protective effect, Vieira stressed.

Drinking coffee can also reduce diabetes risk, revealed a reported in the American Chemical Society Journal of Natural Products.(IANS)