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Anita Jain: Evidence based medicine and shared decision making in Delhi

11 Oct, 12 | by BMJ Group

A child with rickets who has received varied, sporadic treatment over two years presents with the inability to walk and a short stature. A 55 year old widow diagnosed with hypertension meticulously preserves prescriptions from follow-up visits to the clinic, fully aware that she will purchase these medicines only when she has a good harvest. A middle–aged woman on anti-epileptics reports to the emergency department with a break-through seizure. These were in no way one-off encounters during my clinical rounds at a rural hospital; rather this was the norm. As doctors we could conveniently label these “cases” as those of “non-compliance” or due to “irregular treatment.” The problem lay with them, not us. more…

Leena Menghaney: India’s patent law on trial

27 Sep, 12 | by BMJ

This month, two critical legal battles between multinational pharmaceutical companies and the Indian government are taking center stage in an ongoing struggle over India’s medicines patent law. The potential consequences could be dire for governments and people in developing countries that rely on affordable, quality generic medicines produced in India. For example, more than 80% of antiretrovirals (ARVs) used by donor funded HIV treatment programmes globally between 2003 and 2008 were sourced from generic manufacturers in India. [1] more…

Joseph Malone: Bhopal—a constant reminder

20 Sep, 12 | by BMJ

In the summer of 2010, fresh from my 3rd year of medical school, myself and another student chose to take a six week elective in Bhopal, India. Our motivation to choose the capital of India’s most central state? An opportunity to learn first hand about an ongoing industrial disaster—the biggest in history.

This came about after meeting a UK investigative journalist who was the first to cover the story in the UK. Following this, we were put in touch with a Brighton based charity that funds a primary healthcare centre, which provides free medical care for gas victims. The scale of the problem, in a city with a population of almost two million, shook us to the core and left us determined to try and highlight this issue in someway. more…

Richard Smith: Can Devi Shetty make healthcare affordable across the globe?

8 May, 12 | by BMJ Group

Richard SmithIt’s impossible not to be impressed by Devi Shetty, heart surgeon and the “the Henry Ford of healthcare.” We can be impressed by his surgical skill and his refusal to turn away the poor. But perhaps even more impressive is his entrepreneurship and his vision of making healthcare affordable for everybody. more…

Devi Shetty: India will become the first country in the world to dissociate health care from affluence

8 May, 12 | by BMJ Group

I believe the economy of the 21st century will be driven by the health sector. The economy of the 20th century was driven by machines which addressed human toil. The health sector can create millions of jobs for the extremely skilled, semi skilled, and unskilled workers.

These jobs are  vital for the stability of society.  Lack of employment is the root cause of unrest in the world today.  The health sector is also in a unique position to create millions of jobs for women. A woman coming from lower economic strata becomes empowered when she finds employment.  Empowered women will discipline and educate their children, who will in turn have the discipline and desire to build a great nation when they grow up. more…

Veena Rao on addressing undernutrition in India

3 May, 12 | by BMJ

My previous blog was about the Indian finance minister’s 2012 budget speech, which marked a significant moment for the much awaited, much required, paradigm shift in the government’s approach to reduce undernutrition and micronutrient deficiency.

An inter-sectoral strategy to address undernutrition in India, however complex it initially appears, is not that difficult to implement. Professor MS Swaminathan, chairman of the coalition for sustainable nutrition security in India was able to build a consensus regarding key interventions, both immediate and indirect, to address the multi-causal undernutrition/micronutrient deficiency in India. (May 2010) The Karnataka Nutrition Mission is structured on these interventions, and has been able to integrate them into a comprehensive programme, exclusively targeting the 40% of the population at the base of the pyramid. more…

Richard Smith: Can polio be eradicated or will it flare again?

22 Mar, 12 | by BMJ

Richard Smith

In 1988 the World Health Assembly passed a resolution calling for the eradication of polio by 2000. There were 350 000 cases in 1988, and by 2000 the number had been reduced by 99%—to around 600. Since then the number has stuck at around 600, and there is anxiety that the last 1% of cases will not be eradicated. Worse, if that 1% cannot be eradicated then the number is likely to climb again to tens or hundreds of thousands of cases. more…

Chesmal Siriwardhana on science communication

19 Dec, 08 | by BMJ Group

Chesmal Siriwardhana As this blog is built around my personal experiences during the past few months, I would first of all like to introduce myself. I am medical graduate and a medical researcher from Sri Lanka, and I love writing in all its forms: creative writing, journalism, professional writing, etc. more…

Trish Groves on research in India

25 Sep, 08 | by BMJ Group

Trish Groves Just back from my first visit to India, which the Lonely Planet guide rightly says is much more of a continent than a country. Three days in Delhi and three in Mumbai barely scratched the surface, but left me resolved to return there for longer.

The day before we left home Delhi was bombed by terrorists, but our hosts reassured us that it would still be safe enough to come. Like many Brits, Indians have had to become sanguine about such risks. more…

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