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'Invisible disabilities remain overlooked in public policy'

“Madhi, Badmash bachcha! Come and say hi,” hollers the Parel-based mother and autism activist – Mugdha Kalra at her son in a video call with this writer. After minor resistance, her son arrives and waves at this writer through the computer screen. While he avoided any eye contact, his greeting was heartfelt and radiated warmth. Madhav (14), son of Mugdha was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum when he was 4. While Mugdha has spoken extensively about bringing up a neuro-diverse child, she is now onto raising awareness about the importance of building a community of parents who can support each other. To help autistic children, she has co-founded Not That Different – a child-led movement that focuses on inclusion and understanding neurodiversity. “Autism is a developmental difference that influences a person’s worldview and their social engagements. However, what one fails to realise is how society’s understanding and acceptance can positively impact the lives of autistic children and their families,” she shares with Midday. Not That Different is the outcome of a collaboration between Kalra and Nidhi Mishra, founder of Bookosmia. It comprises a comic strip, in which Bookosmia’s 12-year-old persona Sara introduces her readers to her new friend, Madhav, a child on the autism spectrum. Through Sara’s journey of meeting and accepting someone a little different, one can understand what being neuro-diverse entails. Also Read: Health cover denial sparks mother's advocacy for autistic son Systemic issues that affect the growth of autistic children“The government does not prioritise the creation of specialised policies for individuals with invisible disabilities, indicating a lack of recognition for their needs and challenges, shares Mugdha. Over a period of time, she has set 4 goals that she is primarily concentrating on. Mugdha sheds light on the systemic issues that mar the growth of autistic children: Curriculum crisis: In India, there is currently an absence of a tailored curriculum specifically designed for functional academics catering to children with special needs. This gap continues as there are no educational reforms to enforce the diverse learning requirements of these children. Lack of awareness on therapy: Is there a system by which the government is giving any kind of license to practice to the number of people who have now mushroomed in the name of therapy – questions Mugdha, highlighting the grave issue of self-anointed therapists that have sprouted up. How does one get to know which therapy center or which professional is qualified to be doing what they are doing? No health cover: Autism and Down's Syndrome fall under the category of intellectual disabilities as per the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. This Act obligates the central and state governments to design schemes ensuring inclusive insurance coverage for persons with disabilities – however, insurance companies breach these regulations by refusing coverage or denying claims of individuals living with neurodivergence. Disability certification: It requires 14 sittings spanning over 3 months to obtain the Unique Disability ID (UDID) Card. Usually, these sessions get extended leaving parent and their special-needs children harassed by the inefficient ways they are carried (elaborated later in the article). Data deficit for policy formationRegrettably, Mugdha sees little hope for progress, particularly because this disability is invisible, making it less likely to receive attention. Despite the recent efforts of the National Health Scheme to conduct a survey, it appears that individuals with invisible disabilities may not be adequately accounted for in the data collection process. “Any matters concerning invisible disabilities or disabilities in general remain overlooked. Without a specialised census focused on data collection for individuals on the spectrum or those with invisible disabilities, they'll never be important enough for the government. So why do you see today blind association or the blinds in the country have the most solid presence?” asks Mugdha. Indeed, the visibility of blindness makes it impossible to conceal, and since individuals who are blind typically do not have cognitive impairments and are functional, they tend to receive the most support. Similarly, those who use wheelchairs often receive significant assistance. However, individuals with invisible disabilities face stigma and taboo, which complicates their access to support and understanding. The issue primarily lies in the lack of acceptance, remarks Mugdha. “Parents often hesitate to openly acknowledge that their child has an invisible disability. Consequently, accurate statistics on the prevalence of these disabilities are lacking. Without this data, the government may perceive this demographic as a small and insignificant group.” When disabilities are approached collectively, progress tends to be limited. However, when specific conditions like autism are individually addressed, significant strides can be made. It's essential to recognise the prevalence of various special needs children across the country and have accurate data to inform decisions regarding school placements and government support. Without precise numbers, appropriate interventions become challenging to implement. This highlights a significant gap in addressing discrimination, particularly between visible and invisible disabilities.Also Read: Catch autism early: Key steps for early intervention Obtaining UDID remains a complex taskDespite the government setting in place certain policies to address the needs of autistic children, it takes a lot of time and harassment to get the benefit of those policies, shares Mugdha. For example, obtaining her son's disability certification required 14 sessions spanning over three and a half months. While some may consider this relatively quick, it's worth noting that it typically involves a longer process. “Now, just imagine taking your specially-abled child to a government hospital, which may not have public bathrooms, which, in the same room is also, evaluating your son along with inmates of your local jail. You are made to wait in lines for two to three hours for 14 different sessions and you are not even based in Bombay,” Mugdha sheds light on the plight of parents and children who have to come from far off to obtain a UDID card. Also Read: How bureaucracy is failing the applicants of Unique Disability ID While the disability certificate indeed provides benefits such as access to writers or readers during examinations, additional time and permission to use a calculator, obtaining it is far from straightforward in our country. Mugdha and Madhav’s journeyWhen Madhav was diagnosed with autism, Mugdha was completely unaware of the developmental condition. It took her about three to four years to grasp the concept of autism and truly understand the needs of her differently-abled son. “Our journey began in Bangalore, which proved to be excellent in terms of therapy options. Following this, we relocated to Bombay, where his academic intervention began.” While Madhav began to make progress in academics, it was albeit slow. Regarding schools, Mugdha has exclusively turned to special needs schools to support her child, as mainstream schools, even those claiming to be inclusive or integrated, often lack the resources to adequately meet the needs of autistic children. Instead, the family embarked on a journey focused on special needs education and enrolled him in specialised schools. Now, at the age of 14, Madhav continues to attend a special needs school and is passionate about fitness and is progressing at his own pace, focusing on functional academics. Mugdha’s career as a broadcast journalist has been instrumental in her efforts to create acceptance around neurodivergent children. Apart from raising awareness, Mugdha actively engages with parents of children with intellectual disabilities, equipping them with valuable tools to support their special needs. On raising a child with a developmental difference, Mugdha opines that the initial difficulties are always there till you do not fully accept the fact that you have a differently abled child who perhaps is not neurotypical. Once that acceptance takes shape, you are ready to embrace the new life as new avenues open up. “I've been very open with my friends and my family and my neighbours and my collegiate society about the fact that my son is autistic and that he has different needs and that he is going to occupy his deserving space in the world,” says Mugdha who is indifferent to the opinions hurled at her. She concludes by saying: In India, everyone will have an opinion on your parenting style. Everyone will have an opinion on why in the first place you have a special needs child. So the only way to deal with it is to accept that your child is autistic and raise them by prioritising their needs and at all times being prepared to give back answers when tough questions are put to you and fighting for your child's rights!  Also Read: Our expert answers some common questions about Autism

18 April,2024 09:36 AM IST | Mumbai | Ainie Rizvi
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Baby born without anus, bent penis, tongue-tie treated successfully in Mumbai

Mr and Mrs Salian from Mira Road welcomed their first child into the world, however, their happiness faded when they learnt that the newborn had a congenital condition called anorectal malformation (ARM). It refers to the absence of an anal opening in the infant's body. The baby had other problems like Hypospadias which implies that the penis was bent and the opening of the urinary hole was not at the place.  Despite these challenges, the baby is now successfully reaching developmental milestones appropriate for his age with the help of Mumbai-based doctors. The infant underwent a series of five surgeries such as colostomy, anal reconstruction and colostomy closure to address issues of ARM, hypospadias and tongue tie.  The baby was immediately admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road, and initiated on parenteral nutrition since breastfeeding was not feasible. A team consisting of Dr Bhavesh Doshi, consultant pediatric surgeon, and Dr Nitu Mundhra, neonatologist successfully treated the one-year-old.   Also Read: What is Mumbai bidding for at this ancient relic auction? Dr Nitu Mundhra, Consultant Neonatologist and Lactation expert, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road said, “ARM (anorectal malformation) is rare, and often comes as a shock to parents as it may not be diagnosed in the antenatal USG scans. It’s a rare disease and one in lakh children are born with this defect. In the delivery room, all the babies are examined from head to toe to look for any abnormalities, especially when they have one abnormality." Dr Bhavesh Doshi and Dr Nitu Mundhra Upon finding that this baby had anal malformation, the doctors immediately looked for other abnormalities. They found out that he also had a bent-over penis along with an abnormal position for urinary meatus (Hypospadias) and a tongue tie - a condition where the tongue is attached to the floor of the mouth, it is not possible to protrude the tongue which may lead to breastfeeding problem and speech difficulty. After appropriate counseling of the parents, the baby underwent multiple surgeries.  The complete treatment of anorectal malformation was done in 3 surgical steps. At birth, a colostomy was done. In this situation, the doctors have to make a temporary opening (making a bypass passage for stool, so that the baby can be started on feed). At 2 months of age, a 4-hour-long surgery called posterior sagittal Ano Rectoplasty (PSARP) was performed where the new anus was created at the normal position. 2 months after the second surgery, the child underwent the final surgery for ARM, colostomy closure. During the surgery, the opening which was created in the abdominal wall is closed and the child now passes motions from the normal opening, informs Dr Bhavesh Doshi, pediatric surgeon, at Wockhardt Hospitals Mira Road said. Doshi further added, “Finally, at one year of age, the child again had to undergo major surgery for correcting the bent-over penis and get the urinary opening to the normal position. After the 3-hour-long surgery, the child passed urine from the normal position at the tip of the penis.” Now the child is one year old and able to achieve all milestones as per his counterparts owing to 5 surgeries that he underwent by 1 year of age. "Not treating him at the right time could have failed him to thrive and survive," said Dr Nitu Mundhra. “We are thankful to the Doctors for saving our baby and giving us a new way of life. My baby is doing well now and is at par with the other kids of the same age" concluded the couple Mr. and Mrs. Salian.  Also Read: Mumbai doctors save micro-preemie baby born at 23 weeks weighing 620 grams

17 April,2024 04:13 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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6 skin tightening face packs for flawless skin

Achieving flawless skin is a common goal for everyone, and one aspect of this goal is skin tightening. Natural face packs can be a great way to tighten the skin and improve its overall health and appearance. Dr. Neha Khuraana, MD, a Board-certified Dermatologist shares six effective skin-tightening face packs to achieve that dreamy flawless skin. Egg White Face Pack Egg whites are rich in proteins that can help tighten the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. To make this face pack, simply whisk an egg white until it becomes frothy, apply it to your face, and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Then, rinse it off with lukewarm water. Banana Face Pack Bananas are packed with nutrients that can nourish the skin and improve its elasticity. Mash a ripe banana and mix it with a teaspoon of honey to create a skin-tightening face pack. Apply this mixture to your face. Leave it on for 20 minutes, and then wash off with water. Cucumber Face Pack Cucumbers have a cooling effect on the skin and can help tighten pores. Blend a cucumber into a smooth paste and mix it with a tablespoon of yoghurt. Apply this pack to your face. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes, and then rinse off with cold water for refreshed and tightened skin. Aloe Vera Face Pack Aloe vera is known for its skin-tightening and hydrating properties. Take out some fresh aloe vera gel using a spoon/knife and apply it directly to your face. Leave it on for 15-30 minutes before washing off with water. Regular use can help improve skin elasticity and firmness. Also Read: An expert guide to reverse grey hair with natural remedies Papaya Face Pack Papaya contains enzymes that can help tighten the skin and promote a youthful glow. Mash a ripe papaya and mix it with a teaspoon of honey to create a skin-tightening face pack. Apply this mixture to your face, leave it on for 15-20 minutes, and then rinse off with lukewarm water. Gram Flour Face Pack Gram flour, also known as besan, has skin-tightening and exfoliating properties. Mix gram flour with rose water or yoghurt to form a paste. Apply this pack to your face, let it dry for 15-20 minutes, and then gently scrub off while rinsing with water for tightened and glowing skin. Incorporating these natural skin-tightening face packs into your skincare routine can help you achieve a firmer, more youthful complexion. Remember to patch-test any new ingredients to ensure they suit your skin type, and enjoy the benefits of these simple yet effective treatments for flawless skin. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

17 April,2024 03:09 PM IST | Mumbai | IANS
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Indians up their spending on dieticians by 125 pc in FY24: Report

Indians have increased their spending on dieticians by a remarkable 125 per cent in FY24, indicating a strong commitment to healthy eating habits, a new report revealed on Tuesday. According to the full-stack financial services platform Razorpay, health coaching also saw a notable 45 per cent jump in transactions, showing a clear interest in fitness guidance. "There's a noticeable emphasis on holistic well-being, as evidenced by a 39 per cent uptick in products related to preventive healthcare," said Shashank Kumar, MD & Co-founder, Razorpay. Also Read: Do this to make the most of your intermittent fast "This signals a collective shift towards expanding horizons while prioritising health, affirming the adage that 'health is truly wealth," he added. The report analysed more than a billion transactions between April 1, 2023, and March 31, 2024, to know the spending habits of Indians. Moreover, the report found that mutual fund investments increased by an impressive 86 per cent, insurance payments saw a significant 56 per cent growth and trading experienced a remarkable 62 per cent jump in value in FY24. Payments for air travel surged by 2.4 times while spending on travel accommodations soared by 29 per cent in the same period. Multiplex transactions witnessed a staggering 42 per cent increase in volume. Ticket agencies also reported a remarkable 2.7 times surge in sales. "Indian consumers are evolving rapidly, encouraging brands to revolutionise their customer engagement strategies across all touchpoints," said Kumar. In addition, the report noted that close to the New Year, aviation spending soared to nearly three times the daily average. On December 31 last year, online food orders doubled and dine-ins soared to 60 per cent above the daily average. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

17 April,2024 03:00 PM IST | Mumbai | IANS
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Abstaining from tobacco consumption key to prevent head and neck cancer: Doctor

It is a known fact that tobacco consumption is one of the significant causes of head and neck cancers. Dr Satish Rao, oncology surgeon, Lilavati Hospital, highlights the need for quitting tobacco in every form (cigarettes, beedis, and meisheri) and how it can keep head and neck cancers at bay. Head and Neck cancer constitutes 25 per cent of solid organ cancers. Cancer of the cheek, jaw, and tongue are common cancers of the head and neck. The most common cause of these cancers is the consumption of tobacco and pan masala. Tobacco is either chewed in raw form or smoked in the form of cigarettes and beedis. ‘Meisheri’, a form of tobacco paste is used by rubbing it on teeth – especially underprivileged and rural populations.  Common symptomsCancer of the tongue, cheek, or jaw usually starts as a painless ulcer that may bleed minimally upon touching. Symptoms are usually silent. Gradually, if neglected cancer grows to cause pain, difficulty in swallowing, difficulty in opening the mouth, movement of mouth bone, foul-smelling ulcer, and presence of neck nodes. These are signs of advanced cancers.  Need for more awareness of ill effects of tobacco consumptionIt is imperative to diagnose cancer in its early stage, i.e. when it presents as a painless ulcer. There has to be awareness in society that tobacco consumption is the most common cause of head and neck cancer. Head and neck cancers are largely completely preventable.  The government issues warning messages on cigarette pouches and in advertisements on TV, bus stops, and social media. However, the message has to be delivered strongly. Strict implementation of ‘No Sale’ of tobacco within 500 meters of educational intuitions has to be enforced. Rigorous enforcement of the ban on smoking in public spaces and offices is essential. Educating school and college students that smoking or vaping is hazardous to health will contribute a long way to preventing head and neck cancers. The most important message of abstaining from smoking not only preventing cancer and other diseases but also improving a person’s health has to be delivered to everyone from school children to adults. If tobacco consumption is minimised, head and neck cancer, which are largely preventable, will be drastically reduced. The takeawayRemember, abstaining from tobacco consumption is a potent way to prevent head and neck cancer. Tobacco contains harmful chemicals that can damage the cells in the lining of the mouth, throat, and voice box, increasing the risk of cancer. By quitting smoking and other forms of tobacco, one can lower the risk of these fatal cancers. By promoting tobacco cessation and implementing strict smoking regulations, it is possible to curb the cases of head and neck cancers. Disclaimer: This information does not replace professional medical advice. Consult a qualified specialist or your physician for personalised guidance.

17 April,2024 12:40 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Love sleeping during the day? It could raise the risk of dementia, says study

If you think you can compensate for your night’s sleep during the daytime you may be wrong, said Dr Sudhir Kumar, a Hyderabad-based neurologist on Wednesday. Dr Sudhir, a neurologist at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, in a post on, said that daytime sleep is not aligned with the body’s clock and also increases the risk of dementia and other psychiatric disorders. “Daytime sleep is lighter, since it is not aligned with the circadian clock, and hence fails to fulfill the homeostatic function of sleep,” the doctor said. “This fact is supported by numerous studies of night shift workers, who as a group are predisposed to stress, obesity, cognitive deficits, and an elevated risk of neurodegenerative diseases,” he added. Also Read: Fixing sleep cycle crucial to dodge diabetes, obesity, heart diseases: Doctors This is because the glymphatic system, which is known to clear the brain of protein waste products, is most active during sleep. Hence when sleep loss occurs, the glymphatic system faces failure, raising the risk of dementia, explained the doctor. “Glymphatic failure as the common pathway of dementia. Suppression or failure of the glymphatic system results in accumulation of abnormal proteins in various parts of the brain, leading to many neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD),” Dr Sudhir said. Besides poor sleep quality, age, sedentary lifestyle, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, sleep apnoea, circadian misalignment, substance abuse, and depression are factors that suppress or result in failure of the glymphatic system. Also Read: Sleeping naked is good for health? Expert lists down surprising benefits “Good sleepers live longer, weigh less, have a reduced incidence of psychiatric disorders, and remain cognitively intact longer,” the neurologist said. “Habitually sleeping well at night could result in better cognitive function and reduce the risk of dementia and psychiatric disorders,” he added.  This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

17 April,2024 11:33 AM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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This is how you can help a loved one suffering from burnout

When a relative or friend is suffering from burnout, they need your help. Burnout is the result of a long period of stress which negatively affects your wellbeing. While seeking professional help and being diagnosed is a first, important step, relatives and friends can also do their part to make things easier for the person affected. The most important thing when someone close to you suffers from burnout is to be understanding, says Professor Petra Beschoner, a specialist in psychiatry, psychotherapy and psychosomatic medicine. "Ideally, relatives should educate themselves about the illness and organise professional help - also for themselves," Beschoner, who heads a clinic in southern Germany, recommends. "People who suffer from burnout often react cynically and irritably, which can be very stressful for their social environment. Those affected also withdraw. However, this should not be seen as a personal offence, but as a symptom of burnout." People tend to think that they need to handle those affected by burnout with kid gloves, Beschoner says. But this can be counterproductive, according to the expert. "Relatives often tend to keep everything away from the person affected. But burnout patients in particular often define themselves by their responsibilities, so restricting their autonomy is not very effective," she explains. Some symptoms of burnout, like signs of exhaustion, overlap with those of depression. According to the doctor, it is therefore important that the diagnosis is always made by specialists or psychotherapists who have the necessary differential diagnostic experience. According to Britain's National Health Service, other symptoms of burnout include muscle pains, headaches, sleeping problems, weight gain or loss and memory problems. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

16 April,2024 04:31 PM IST | Berlin | IANS
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Why are cases of oral cancer rising in India?

India bears a significant burden of oral cancers, and the country contributes to about 30 per cent of all global cases, said doctors on Tuesday. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Also known as mouth cancer, the disease is the most common form of head and neck cancer and includes cancers of the mouth and the back of the throat. Traditionally known to affect older adults, the disease is seeing an early onset, Dr Sowrabh Arora, Senior Director - Surgical Oncology (Head & Neck), Max Hospital, Vaishali, told IANS. “Oral cancer is a significant health concern in India, ranking as the second most common cancer overall and the most common among males. Annually, there are over 100,000 new cases diagnosed. One emerging trend is the increasing incidence of oral cancer among young adults,” he said. “Alarmingly, the incidence of oral cancer is on the rise, with approximately 70 per cent of cases diagnosed at an advanced stage, complicating treatment efforts,” added Dr Mohit Saxena, Senior Consultant - Medical Oncology, Marengo Asia Hospital, Gurugram. The doctors attributed the rise to the use of tobacco, chewing betel nuts, or smoke, accounting for 80-90 per cent of cases. Other contributing factors include excessive alcohol consumption, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, weakened immune system, poor nutrition, excess body weight, and excessive sun exposure. “This highlights the pressing need for awareness campaigns and preventive measures to curb the rising prevalence of oral cancer, particularly among the younger population, and to address the root causes,” Dr. Sowrabh said. The doctors also advised to be vigilant of symptoms to help in crucial early detection and better outcomes. “Recognising the symptoms of oral cancer is crucial for early detection and intervention. These include persistent mouth ulcers, red or white patches, intraoral swelling or lumps, difficulty in swallowing, hoarseness of voice, neck or throat swelling, and unexplained weight loss,” Dr Mohit told IANS. He also called for prevention strategies such as abstaining from tobacco, and alcohol, practising safe sex to minimise HPV exposure, using sunscreen to protect against sun damage, and undergoing regular oral screenings for early detection. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

16 April,2024 03:21 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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Breast cancer to cause a million deaths a year by 2040: Study

Breast cancer is now the world's most common carcinogenic disease with the ailment likely to cause a million deaths a year by 2040, according to a new Lancet Commission on breast cancer. Around 7.8 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer in the last five years until 2020 and about 685,000 women died from the disease the same year, it said. Further, in 2020, women around the world on average had a 1 in 12 risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer before turning 75 years old, and this incidence is rising, researchers found. They estimated that cases of breast cancer cases will increase from 2.3 million in 2020 to more than 3 million by 2040, with low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) being "disproportionately affected". By 2040, deaths due to the disease will be a million a year, the team added. "This is neither acceptable nor inevitable as action now can prevent many of these future cancers," the authors wrote. Knowledge gaps, such as unknown numbers of women with metastatic breast cancer in which the cancer spreads to other parts, continue to prevent effective action, they said. The scale of suffering associated with breast cancer, along with other costs, are not well-measured, with the society and policymakers only seeing the "tip of an iceberg," the authors of the commission said. "Recent improvements in breast cancer survival represent a great success of modern medicine," said the commission's lead author, Charlotte Coles, University of Cambridge, UK, referring to 40 per cent reduced deaths due to the disease achieved in some high-income countries (HICs)."However, we can't ignore how many patients are being systematically left behind," said Coles. The commission builds on previous evidence, presents new data, and integrates patient voices to shed light on a large unseen burden, according to the authors.It points to "glaring inequities" and suffering from symptoms, despair and financial burden due to breast cancer, which are often "hidden and inadequately addressed". Also Read: Breast cancer survivor: ‘I knew this was going to be malignant because of its shape’ Laying out recommendations for tackling these challenges in breast cancer, the commission suggested better communication between patients and health professionals as a crucial intervention that could improve quality of life, body image, and adherence to therapy, and positively impact survival."Women's fundamental human rights have historically been accorded lesser respect than men's in all settings, with implications for patient agency and autonomy," said Reshma Jagsi, Emory University School of Medicine, US. "Every healthcare professional should receive some form of communication skills training. Improving the quality of communication between patients and health professionals, though seemingly simple, could have profound positive impacts that extend far beyond the specific setting of breast cancer management," Jagsi said. "Patients should be encouraged to exercise their voices, choosing their level of involvement in care decisions," she added.The commission also advocated for developing new tools and metrics that can capture the costs associated with breast cancer, including physical, psychological, social, along with financial costs. "Global data are essential to expose and better understand and address the multiplicity of needs of all people affected by breast cancer and significantly reduce the global burden of preventable suffering," said author Carlos Barrios, Oncology Research Center, Hospital São Lucas, Brazil. In countries lacking affordable health care facilities, patients experience these costs more commonly and intensely, too often leading to catastrophic spending and impoverishment, said Barrios. The 40 per cent reduction in deaths from breast cancer seen in HICs has not been achieved in most LMICs, where advanced stages at diagnosis and low diagnostic and treatment capacities contribute to poorer breast cancer survival rates, the authors said. Also Read: Understanding the surge and solutions for breast cancer cases among India's youth While these survival rates exceed 90 per cent in HICs, the rates are 66 per cent in India and 40 per cent in South Africa, they said.The authors also found that every country successful in improving breast cancer survival rates between 1990 and 2020 has the ability to diagnose at least 60 per cent of invasive breast cancers at stages and thus, argued for improved early detection programs. The authors further called for "bold policy changes" that can reduce the population exposed to risk factors in their control such as alcohol consumption, being overweight and physical activity. Up to one-quarter of breast cancer in HICs could be prevented by modifying risk factors for breast cancer, they said."We hope that, by highlighting these inequities and hidden costs and suffering in breast cancer, they can be better recognised and addressed by health care professionals and policymakers in partnership with patients and the public around the world," said Coles. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

16 April,2024 02:59 PM IST | New Delhi | PTI
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‘Remove Bournvita from 'health drinks' category’: Govt directs e-commerce firms

We have all grown up sipping on chocolatey ‘health drinks’ daily. Mothers and grandmothers would be relieved watching us gulp down a glass of milk, even if it meant adding one to two spoons of chocolate powder. Little did we know, these ‘health drinks’ would no longer be considered healthy. Recently, the government ordered e-commerce firms to remove Bournvita and other similar beverages from the ‘health drink’ category.  In a statement, The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) said that the term ‘‘health drink’ is not defined under the FSS Act 2006, rules and regulations as submitted by FSSAl and Mondelez Mondelez India Food Pvt Ltd. Following this, The Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued a letter to e-commerce platforms asking them to remove all drinks and beverages, including Bournvita, from the ‘healthy drinks’ category In a notification dated April 10, the ministry stated that, the “National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), a statutory body constituted under Section (3) of the Commission of Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005 after its inquiry under Section 14 of CRPC Act 2005 concluded that there is no 'health drink' defined under FSS Act 2006, rules and regulations submitted by FSSAI and Mondelez India Food Pvt Ltd.”  Earlier this month, on April 2, food safety standards regulator FSSAI had also asked all e-commerce food business operators (FBOs) to appropriately categorise food products sold on their websites. In its instruction, the government body stated that the companies must not put dairy, cereal, or malt-based beverages under the ‘health drink’ or ‘energy drink’ categories.   Clarifying this decision,  the FSSAI mentioned that the term ‘health drink’ is not defined within the food laws in India, while ‘energy drinks’ are merely water-based flavoured beverages. Additionally, the body also stressed that the incorrect use of terminology could mislead customers and thus instructed e-commerce websites to either remove or correct the advertisements for overall consumer safety.   Bournvita has been in the news for its health aspect for over a year now, especially after influencer Revant Himatsingka posted a video on his Instagram account. In the video, he spoke large about the ingredients used to make this drink highlighting the high sugar content in the product.   Following this, Mondelez India which owns Bournvita sent a legal notice to Himatsingka demanding him to delete the video and issue an official apology, which he did.  With inputs from Agencies.   Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: ‘Longer the life of a food product, the sooner your expiry date: Revant Himatsingka aka Food Pharmer This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

15 April,2024 04:42 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
The initiative boosts the United National Sustainable Development Goal (SDG-3), which calls for health and well-being for all

IIT Madras launches India’s 1st mobile medical devices calibration facility

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras on Monday launched India’s first medical devices calibration facility on wheels. Calibration is key for life-saving medical devices as it will help check the accuracy of medical instruments for precise disease diagnosis, which will lead to improved treatments. Irrespective of geographical locations across the country, the new mobile facility will ensure quality healthcare. This will also help test and maintain medical devices that are used in a wide range of hospitals including those in remote villages. “Proper diagnosis and treatment are extremely important and for that, the medical devices need to be calibrated accurately and frequently,” said Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras. The initiative boosts the United National Sustainable Development Goal (SDG-3), which calls for health and well-being for all. The infrastructure in the mobile unit includes state-of-the-art equipment that will test the safety of medical devices as per international standards. “With the escalating cost for calibration, this effort not only reduces the cost of calibration but also the transportation cost and time required. This is a progressive step towards affordable, scalable, quality health care for all,” Prof. Kamakoti said. Also Read: Why is India’s fertility rate declining   This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

15 April,2024 04:31 PM IST | Mumbai | IANS
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