Tuesday March 26, 2019

Social acceptance more important to empower the disabled: UNICEF official

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photo credit: pages.rediff.com

New Delhi: Louis-Georges Arsenault, UNICEF’s representative to India, said to motivate persons with disabilities (PwD) to do better and come up in all walks of life, the government needed to focus more and more on community-based rehabilitation programmes that can teach people to accept physically-challenged persons.

index“There’s always much more to be done while addressing the cause of disability. While India is doing its part to solve the issue with various policies and programmes, I think the focus should be more on community-based rehabilitation programmes,” Arsenault told IANS.

“These programmes would help teach normal society the manner to deal with persons with disabilities,” he said, adding: “Acceptance of these people by society is the most important step in empowering them.”

Asked whether India has suitable infrastructure for PwDs, Arsenault said: “It’s not about the infrastructure; the mindset first needs to be changed and then the infrastructural plans could come in.

“Creating an appropriate infrastructure is not a big deal– not that expensive either– but the way we think about the persons with disabilities is something that matters a lot,” Arsenault added.

According to the 2011 census, over 2.2 per cent of the Indian population is disabled, while the erstwhile Planning Commission placed the figure at five per cent. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates it to be eight per cent.

In a bid to help these people, the Narendra Modi government has launched its Accessible India Campaign that aims at building accessible government buildings for PwDs and providing them accessible transportation facilities.

Happy with the government’s initiative, Sminu Jindal, the managing director of Jindal Saw Ltd and the founder of NGO Svayam, said: “Inaccessibility of public infrastructure remains a major challenge. When people with disabilities cannot come out of their homes, use pedestrian pathways or means of public transport, all the benefits and facilities conferred by the state like right to education and three per cent reservation in public employment, among others, fail to bring desired empowerment.”

“Similarly, despite inclusive education being a legal mandate, access to education continues to be a challenge due to lack of accessible infrastructure and special educators and lack of will to include children with disabilities,” added Jindal, who was crippled after an accident in 2011.

She said the government needs to focus more on implementation of its programmes related to persons with disabilities and added: “Though the government has started various social schemes for the marginalized, there is need for a concentrated and focussed approach with stipulated timelines to ensure inclusion of persons with disabilities and the elderly in the mainstream.”

Nikhil Gupta, the co-director of the ESCIP Trust India that works for the empowerment of people with injured spinal cords, felt that persons with disabilities are “bound to live a miserable life” in the absence of proper treatment and rehabilitation.

“If a wheelchair user wants to go out with friends or family there are very few accessible restaurants, movie halls and public places. The number of these places are even less than our fingers and that too in Metro cities,” he said.

“Thus, the government needs to come up with much more programmes and most importantly implement them so that the change could take place”, said Gupta.

(Prashant Kumar, IANS)

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Health Experts Claim, Tuberculosis Can Reduce Chances Of Pregnancy

"It is also important that people thwart the factors that contribute to TB by making their living conditions more hygienic, improving immunity, and having better access to nutrition,"

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To combat the disease, it is essential that diagnostic facilities reach the farthest areas and people made aware of the consequences of contracting TB, said Rajkumar, Consultant Internal Medicine at New Delhi-based Indian Spinal Injuries Centre. Pixabay

Tuberculosis (TB) bacterium primarily affects the lungs, but can also spread and cause secondary infections to the uterus and even the fallopian tubes, which can reduce chances of pregnancy, health experts warned ahead of the World Tuberculosis Day that falls on March 24.

Usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) bacteria, TB is the top infectious killer worldwide, claiming around 4,400 lives a day.

When the bacteria attacks the uterus, it causes uterine tuberculosis (also known as pelvic TB) which mostly affects women during the child-bearing period and is usually diagnosed during an infertility check-up.

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“Also, with medication, women can be helped to conceive through ART, either IVF of or IUI, where intervention can be done to repair the after-effects.” Pixabay

“Women are more often affected than males and due to uterine tuberculosis, two out of 10 females are unable to bear a child,” Shweta Goswami, Infertility Specialist at Jaypee Hospital in Noida, told IANS.

“In extreme cases, the uterine lining become so thin that it is unable to bear an implantation resulting in miscarriage,” she added.

Mtb bacteria is transported by blood to other organs including reproductive organs and causes infection in fallopian tubes, uterus or in endometrial lining.

“Tuberculosis has the ability to severely damage the fallopian tubes, if not treated at the initial stage.. it can further lead to serious health complications and also result in infertility,” Goswami said.

Symptoms of TB in uterus include irregular menstruation, pelvic pain, continuous discharge which is stained with blood or without blood with a foul smell and bleeding after intercourse.

A 2018 study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) showed that over 50 per cent of female patients in India coming for IVF procedure have been reported to have genital TB.

The prevalence of genital TB among Indian women has increased from 19 per cent in 2011 to 30 per cent in 2015.

In over 95 per cent of the cases, the infection was found to affect the fallopian tubes, in 50 per cent the endometrium and 30 per cent the ovaries.

Moreover, nearly 75 per cent of women with genital TB were found to be infertile, and 50-60 per cent of women with infertility were found to have genital TB, the report stated.

“Treating uterine TB should be of the utmost importance as soon as it is detected. There is social stigma attached with TB which makes it difficult for people to come openly and talk about it,” said Shobha Gupta, Medical Director and IVF Specialist from Mother’s Lap IVF Centre, New Delhi.

There are combined tests which are used to investigate whether a person is suffering from TB which are a combination of AFB smear, culture and PCR for tuberculosis.

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When the bacteria attacks the uterus, it causes uterine tuberculosis (also known as pelvic TB) which mostly affects women during the child-bearing period and is usually diagnosed during an infertility check-up. Pixabay

“Also, with medication, women can be helped to conceive through ART, either IVF of or IUI, where intervention can be done to repair the after-effects,” Gupta noted.

According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ‘Global Tuberculosis Report 2018’, India accounted for 27 per cent of the 10 million people, who had developed TB in 2017, besides making up 32 per cent of global TB deaths among HIV-negative people and 27 per cent of combined TB deaths.

Also Read: British Airways to Launch its Shortest Flight with only 40 Minutes Spent in Air

To combat the disease, it is essential that diagnostic facilities reach the farthest areas and people made aware of the consequences of contracting TB, said Rajkumar, Consultant Internal Medicine at New Delhi-based Indian Spinal Injuries Centre.

“It is also important that people thwart the factors that contribute to TB by making their living conditions more hygienic, improving immunity, and having better access to nutrition,” he added. (IANS)