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Proving easy access to best-in-class doctors and super-specialty healthcare is critical for financially backward and less privileged sections of the society.

September 17 is commemorated as the World Patient Safety Day, and this year the World Health Organization has come forward with "Safe Maternal & Newborn Care" as the theme to promote better maternity and childcare across the world. Indian healthcare too must take a pledge to overcome this burden and strive towards arresting the problems that cause neonatal mortality, say the healthcare professionals. India contributes to one-fifth of global child births, and the country is also a large contributor to the neonatal deaths. In 2020, infant mortality rate for India was 29.07 deaths per thousand live births, which is considered a quarter of total global fatalities. It is also the highest in absolute numbers for any country in the world, and this depicts a poor image for a nation that intends to emerge into a global superpower.

Dr. Satwinder Singh Sabharwal, COO, Aware Gleneagles Global Hospital, believes that availability of better-quality healthcare at affordable rates will ensure reduce neonatal mortality rate in India and around the World. "Proving easy access to best-in-class doctors and super-specialty healthcare is critical for financially backward and less privileged sections of the society will ensure more mothers do not have to face the heartburn of losing their newborn to ill-fate. Multi-specialty hospitals like ours, which offer best-in-class care at affordable rates are providing a possible solution to this problem," he said.

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Almost everyone (91 per cent) are spending more time online.

As the world adjusts to a post-pandemic reality dominated by technology, public concerns about the dangers of over-consumption are gathering pace. According to a major new survey from Saudi-based cultural institute, Ithra, over one in two (56 per cent) South Asians are worried about the impact of Internet and smartphone use on their health.

According to Ithra's survey, the overwhelming majority (88 per cent) of respondents worldwide agree that technology can be a great force for progress, with the key benefits including access to news, connectivity and freedom. 74 per cent South Asians say technology plays an even more pivotal role as it helps create and generate professional opportunities. The study in partnership with ASDA'A demonstrates tangible wellbeing concerns. Many of these benefits were brought to the fore by the COVID-19 outbreak, with 64 per cent global audiences crediting technology with having helped combat the pandemic. The outcome, however, is that almost everyone (91 per cent) are spending more time online as a result.

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Covid-induced lockdown has been lifted from most regions and various other measures have been eased. But, the very thought that Covid-19 pandemic is still on continues to affect mental health.

By Rachel V Thomas

Covid-induced lockdown has been lifted from most regions and various other measures have been eased. But, the very thought that Covid-19 pandemic is still on continues to affect mental health. The uncertain nature of the pandemic, the chaos associated with the same continues to add to mental stress, which manifests as rising cases of depression, anxiety, insomnia, behavioural changes, health anxiety, nightmares, grief, among others, all that can contribute to suicidal thoughts and behaviour, said mental health experts here on Friday.

September 10 is annually observed as World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide remains one of the leading causes of death in the world, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), accounting for one in every 100 deaths. Every 40 seconds there is someone who ends his or her life, as per the WHO data. The theme this year is "creating hope through action".

"A lot of people have gone through economic and financial stresses, some have lost jobs, some are concerned about their future and about their career, some have had loss of their loved ones, some of them had medical problems or going through medical problems right now," Dr Samir Parikh, director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare, told IANS.

drowning people A study published in the International Journal of Mental Health Systems in December last year, showed a 67.7 per cent increase in online news media reports of attempted suicides and deaths by suicide. Photo by Andreea Popa on Unsplash

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In the new study, the team found blood serum from patients in the ICU with diabetes and severe Covid-19 had reduced levels of interferon-beta compared to patients without diabetes.

US researchers have identified an enzyme that may explain the reason why people with diabetes are at especially high risk of developing severe illness or dying from coronavirus infection. The culprit appears to be an enzyme called SETDB2. This same enzyme has been implicated in the non-healing, inflammatory wounds found in people with diabetes. Starting with a mouse model of coronavirus infection, they found that SETDB2 was decreased in immune cells involved in the inflammatory response, called macrophages, of infected mice with diabetes. The same thing was observed in monocyte-macrophages in the blood from people with diabetes and severe Covid-19. "We think we have a reason for why these patients are developing a cytokine storm," said researcher W. James Melvin from University of Michigan.

In the mouse and human models, the team found that as SETDB2 went down, inflammation went up. In addition, a pathway known as JAK1/STAT3 was found to regulate SETDB2 in macrophages during coronavirus infection. Taken together, the results point to a potential therapeutic pathway. Further, previous findings demonstrated that interferon -- a cytokine important for viral immunity -- increased SETDB2 in response to wound healing. In the new study, the team found blood serum from patients in the ICU with diabetes and severe Covid-19 had reduced levels of interferon-beta compared to patients without diabetes.

diabetic patients tools "Our research is showing that maybe if we are able to target patients with diabetes with interferon, especially early in their infection, that may actually make a big difference," Melvin said. Photo by Diabetesmagazijn.nl on Unsplash

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