Saturday January 19, 2019

Study to look into medicinal value of Ganga water

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New Delhi: The health ministry on Monday said that it will initiate a study to find out if the water of the Ganga river has medicinal properties to destroy various kinds of bacteria and microbes.

This would be the first of its kind research that will also check if the water of the Ganga river, considered sacred, can be used for holistic health purpose.

“In a world where new and powerful bacteria have gained resistance against powerful drugs, such a study, which would explore and examine the unique properties of water of the Ganga, which is believed to not only cleanse itself by destroying germs and microbes present in it, but also purifies the water, is worth conducting,” Health Minister J.P. Nadda said, addressing a workshop on the agenda of the research at AIIMS.

Water Resource Minister Uma Bharti was also present on the occasion.

“It is the mandate of the government not only to clean the river but to also rejuvenate it,” Nadda said.

He said the “valuable scientific evidence generated as a result of this research and in-depth study will help to understand the medicinal properties of the Ganga water”.

Bharti highlighted that despite crores of people taking a dip in the river during numerous religious occasions very year, the river has not led to any pandemic or epidemic.

“This had to be the consequence of some self-purifying power of the river water which prevented its deterioration,” she stated.

She added that the study will help in using the Ganga water with this unique property for a larger welfare and health of mankind.

Besides the government extending financial help, the ministry has said, several researchers from premier institutions like All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), IITs Kanpur and Roorkee, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and National Botanical Research Institute will be participating in this detailed study.

(IANS)

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AIIMS Prepares Research Project on Air Pollution’s Impact on Health

"People with respiratory problems are increasing. Apart from asthma patients, there were fresh cases who visited AIIMS owing to pollution,"

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AIIMS launches research project on air pollution's impact on health.

As the National Capital Region (NCR) battles poor air quality during winter, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has started a research project to study the effects of air pollution on public health.

“Delhi’s air quality deteriorates every year during Diwali owing to multiple reasons like stubble burning and bursting of crackers. However, last year, when the air pollution level escalated, we noticed a surge in patients visiting AIIMS,” Dr Karan Madan, Associate Professor, Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders, AIIMS, who is part of this research programme, told IANS.

So the country’s premier medical research and referral hospital decided to conduct empirical research on the impact of air pollution on health.

For the study, titled “DAPHNE” (Delhi Air Pollution Health And Effects), AIIMS researchers have developed an air pollution sensor technology.

“This sort of study has not been earlier conducted in India. The device has been developed in a belt format which is very light and it gives clear continuous pollution data. The belt can be wrapped around the waist or on the arms,” Madan said.

air pollution, Pollution, pollutants
In this Sept. 19, 2018 photo steam and cooling towers of a lignite power plant are reflected in a pond in Peitz, eastern Germany. VOA

He explained that the device is wireless and directly sends data to a monitoring system through a Global Positioning System (GPS). AIIMS is primarily focusing on children suffering from pulmonary diseases like asthma, bronchitis and other breathing troubles — as well as pregnant women.

The device, which is to be worn by children suffering from asthma or bronchitis, will give an idea of the exposure level of air pollution when one is travelling in the school bus, at home, when in school, or outdoors while playing.

“On pregnant women, we are trying to see how pollution might affect the unborn child. We are also trying to figure out the birth rate issue from this study owing to poor air quality,” Madan noted.

Funded by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, and Medical Research Council, Britain, the project is a collaborative effort of the the two nations.

In India, apart from AIIMS, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, IIT Delhi and GTB Hospital are also associated with the research.

India, air pollution, WHO, diwali, Pollution, Delhi, egypt, air quality
A man walks in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, India. VOA

“While the data on asthma in children will be compiled at AIIMS, GTB Hospital will be following the cases of pregnant women,” Madan said.

The research process, initiated last year, began on a pilot basis two months ago. Dr Madan stated that around 10 children have been given this belt across Delhi NCR.

“So far, the project is going good and the readings have come accurate. The study will conclude next year and the report will be released,” he added.

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Talking about the rise in health hazards among residents in the National Capital Region and its surrounding areas, Madan said that AIIMS has witnessed an increase of 15-20 per cent in the number of patients with cases of respiratory problems like coughing, heavy breathing, asthma symptoms, and burning sensation in throat and nose.

“People with respiratory problems are increasing. Apart from asthma patients, there were fresh cases who visited AIIMS owing to pollution,” he stated. (IANS)