Tuesday, September 26, 2017

An Inspiring Woman Who Built a Hospital From Selling Vegetables on Streets!

Subhasini Mistry's photos (right) selling vegetables on streets and (left)again after she built her hospital
A mother of four children at the age of 23; working as domestic help; a crowdfunding campaign that lasted 50 years — Subhasini has seen it all.
Subhasini Mistry was 23 years old when she lost her husband — not to an incurable disease but because she could not afford the treatment. With no proper education or economic security, she was left to fend for herself and her four children. So, she started working as a domestic help to support the ones she loved. She also vowed to build a hospital to make sure that others who could not afford treatment were not left helpless.

With that mission in mind along with the determination to make one of her children a doctor, she started working. From being a domestic help to laying bricks, she took up any work that came her way. Sometimes even her children accompanied her to work. Despite all that, she could not afford to take care of all four children and had to send two of them to an orphanage.

Humanity Hospital front ground

With the money she had saved over the years, she bought a small plot, after which she started asking people for donations, from beds to requesting doctors to treat patients for free. Almost 50 years after she started her mission, in 1996, she had built Humanity Hospital, in a village near Kolkata, brick by brick. Talking about how she achieved this feat, to NDTV, she said,

“I went about asking them to contribute in any way they could. Some donated money, some wood, some gave the material needed for construction while some volunteered for construction work.”
Just as she had desired, her younger son Ajoy is also a doctor in the hospital. In 2009, she won the Godfrey Phillips Award for bravery. This year, she was one of the women to receive the Women Transforming India Award. At present, some NRIs from London have come together to do their share for her hospital. According to The Times of India, she said,
“I have toiled hard to build this hospital, but it could not have happened without help from hundreds of Good Samaritans who have donated funds. I thank and bless these doctors from the bottom of my heart for their help.”


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Somalia: Acute Malnutrition on Rise in Somaliland during Aid Delays

A malnourished child is processed by an aid worker for a UNICEF, funded health program catering to children displaced by drought, at a facility in Baidoa town, the capital of Bay region of south-western Somalia, on March 15, 2017.

The UN's Food Security and Analysis Unit in Somalia latest data on the food security situation that indicates that while the number of people severely food insecure has slightly dropped to 3.1 million people, the overall nutrition situation in Somalia has continued to deteriorate, especially in northern and central parts of Somalia.
Oxfam's Acting Country Director for Somaliland, Harrie Oostingh said: "The increase in acute malnutrition, particularly in the hardest hit Sool and Sanaag regions in Somaliland, is deeply worrying. Over 380,000 children under five are at risk of dying from a lethal combination of severe hunger and deadly diseases such as measles and cholera. Given that we are in the middle of the lean season when food is scarcest, there will be no respite unless more aid is delivered quickly.
"Donors have been swift and generous in pledging funds to help, but the repeated calls to deliver on all the money promised cannot become a broken record. Any further delays will leave many people without life-saving assistance."
Notes to editors:
The UN's Food Security and Analysis Unit in Somalia latest assessment shows that 3.1 million Somalis are categorized in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 & 4) and require interventions aimed at reducing food consumption gaps, reducing acute malnutrition, saving lives and protecting and saving livelihoods.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Somalia is Among the Countries Which Scored The Lowest in Median Health-related Sustainable Development Goals Index

Photo file: Double bombing in the capital city of Somalia. source:The New York Times
​Last week, The Lancet published a report entitled ‘Measuring progress and projecting attainment on the basis of past trends of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in 188 countries‘. This is an analysis from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study 2016, which measured 37 health-related indicators from 1990 to 2016. The researchers then transformed each indicator on a scale of 0-100 (with higher values indicating good progress), and computed an overall index representing all 37 indicators. These were then used to rank all 188 countries in the analysis.
The results showed that, globally, the median health-related SDG index was 56·7 in 2016 and country-level performance markedly varied, with Singapore (86·8), Iceland (86·0) and Sweden (85·6) having the highest levels in 2016, and Afghanistan (10·9), the Central African Republic (11·0) and Somalia (11·3) recording the lowest.
On the global rankings, Singapore, Iceland, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands got the top ranks (1 through 5), while Chad, South Sudan, Somalia, Central African Republic and Afghanistan ranked 184 through 188.
India did very poorly in this analysis, ranking 127, with a SDG index value of 39. The graphic below displays India’s data on each indicator. Countries making good progress toward SDG goals will have most bars reaching the end of the ring (i.e. index values reaching 100).
Any interested reader can visit the GBD data visualisation tool, select India from the drop-down menu, and re-create this graphic and get more information by clicking on each indicator.
The graphic shows that India scored well on indicators like mortality due to conflict and terrorism (index value of 100), prevalence of alcohol consumption (index 86.8), overweight prevalence in young children (index 84.5), proportion of women who had their family planning needs met (index 80.7) and coverage of eight vaccines (index 76.5).
But for a majority of the 37 health indicators, India scored very poorly. India did particularly badly on the following indicators: hepatitis B incidence (index 10.5), deaths attributable to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene (index 10.9), air pollution due to fine particulate matter (index 11.4), prevalence of sexual violence (index 13.6), mortality due to air pollution (index 15), prevalence of wasting among children under the age of five (index 16.7) and maternal mortality (index 22.4). India also scored poorly on incidence of tuberculosis, malaria and self-harm.
How did India fare in comparison to other BRICS countries? Every single BRICS country ranked ahead of India. Brazil ranked 67 (SDG index 63), China 74 (SDG index of 61), Russia 103 (SDG index 54) and South Africa 122 (SDG index 43). The graphics below compare Brazil with India, side by side. Brazil performs poorly in very few indicators, namely homicides, adolescent births and road injuries.

There are many limitations to the GBD study, including poor quality of data that goes into the complex modeling exercise. This is especially true for India, where surveillance systems are poorly developed and high-quality data are not easy to come by on a variety of indicators (for instance, prevalence of sexual violence or suicides). Even tuberculosis estimates are not precise, given the lack of a nationwide prevalence survey, and because large numbers of TB patients are managed in the private sector.
So it is important that future GBD estimates for India are strengthened by better quality primary data from the country, including nationally representative prevalence surveys for key conditions. This requires India to strengthen its chronically underfunded research agencies, especially the Indian Council of Medical Research, and invest in disease surveillance systems, building on the experience of the successful National Polio Surveillance Programme. Improved cause of death data are also critical.
Even without this new GBD rankings on SDG index, it is abundantly clear that India underperforms in health. There is a huge and widening gap between India’s economic progress and the ground realities in health. The prevalence of under-weight children in India is among the highest in the world. TB kills nearly half a million Indians each year, with India leading the world in TB burden. India has more people living in rural areas without access to clean water than any other country. Nearly half of India’s rural population lacks access to toilets, and 240 million people live without electricity. None of these statistics add up to good health, and the recent Gorakhpur tragedy merely underscores the gravity of the situation.
The fact that India spends less than 1.5% of its GDP on health, as compared to the global average of about 6%, is one of the biggest reasons for India’s atrociously low ranking on the SDG index. India’s National Health Policy, approved this year, proposes to increase health expenditure by the government from the existing 1.15% to 2.5% of the GDP, by 2025. Along similar lines, India has made several other ambitious commitments, including elimination of kala-azar and filariasis by 2017, leprosy by 2018, measles by 2020 and TB by 2025.
The $64,000 question is: Will India put money behind these ambitious goals and increase its spend on health? Perhaps anticipating this, the 2017 National Health Policy concludes by stating that “a policy is only as good as its implementation.” It is time for India to fully fund and implement its ambitious health policies and translate them into better health outcomes for its millions. Without health, little else matters.
Source: The Wire

Bonnie Roupé's App Will Save Lives of Pregnant Mothers in Somaliland

Dr. Edna Aden with Bonnie Roupé and picture from a pregnant mother
Every ten years a woman dies in pregnancy poisoning. The Swedish entrepreneur Bonnie Roupé is fighting for more lives to be saved.
Now the app Bonzun is launched for midwives in Somaliland.

During her second pregnancy Bonnie Roupé suffered from poison poisoning but had difficulty finding information online. It was the start of her startup Bonzun - an app that provides qualified health information to pregnant women. She decided to target the Chinese market and moved to Shanghai.

Since the launch of 2015, focus has been on pregnant women in China, but now there is a version for midwives - in Somaliland.

The idea arose when she was introduced to Somaliland's former Foreign Minister, Edna Adan Ismail, who is also known for her humanitarian work. Edna Adan Ismail reported that 59 women in her hospital died last year, 34 of whom had poison poisoning.

"She told me that 'the 34 women had lived today if we had known about your app'. Then I felt we could not wait one day, and it was also a lovely feeling to already have such a clockwise solution. 830 pregnant women a day die of their pregnancy the sooner we get out globally the better. We have been working on this solution for several years and it really feels great that it will be of great use, "says Bonnie Roupé.

Together, they began to spell on a layout and what adjustments Bonzun needed for a launch in Africa.

The goal is primarily to educate healthcare workers so that they have access to the latest maternity care skills.

"We have launched a pilot project in villages located on a mile radius from the hospitals, and in the future, the app will be included in compulsory midwife education. To get an exam you should be able to demonstrate that you can handle the app, "says Bonnie Roupé.

Today, Bonzun has been downloaded a total of 1.8 million times worldwide. In 2-3 years Bonnie Roupé believes that that figure will be up to 60 million. The content does not change - a pregnant women's body works the same as 100 years ago.

"Our app follows the woman throughout the pregnancy, I have created an algorithm of the Swedish maternity care system. Here we are good at predicting and preventing poison poisoning, preeklampsi, to pass into eclampsia, which is a life-threatening condition, "says Bonnie Roupé.

The app is free for users, instead of e-commerce, cooperation with a Chinese insurance company and ads. So far, the company has been funded by a number of entrepreneurs and business angels, such as Paradox founder Fredrik Wester, Pointer founder Hellen Wohlin Lidgard and Brummer & Partners founder Erik Mitteregger.

Now the checkout must be completed properly to launch more languages ​​and focus on both artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR).

"The goal is to raise $ 100 million," says Bonnie Roupé.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Madagascar's Minister for Health Surgically Separates Siamese Twins Conjoined at the Abdomen and Lower Thorax

Prof. Dr Mamy Lalatiana Andriamanarivo with his surgical team
In most countries health ministers are seen as bureaucrats more interested in paperwork than medical miracles.
Not in Madagascar, where Dr. Mamy Lalatiana Andriamanarivo recently picked up a scalpel and separated conjoined siamese twins in a medical first for the Indian Ocean island nation.
“Surgery was performed at the Joseph Ravoahangy Andrianavalona hospital on September 13 to separate siamese twins joined at the abdomen and lower thorax,” Jean Marie Rasamimanana, the deputy technical director at the hospital in the capital Antananarivo, told AFP on Tuesday.
The minister for health and pediatric surgeon, Dr. Andriamanarivo
“The separation of the five-month-old twins, Mitia and Fitia, who weighed 13kg and were delivered by caesarian section, involved the separation of their liver, ribs and diaphragm,” he said, adding that the pair were doing well following their operation.
The surgery was a medical first for Madagascar. A medical team from the country successfully separated siamese twins in 2009 but because of a lack of equipment in the island’s hospitals, the surgery was performed in Paris.
Conjoined twins  
Andriamanarivo, the minister and pediatric surgeon, reportedly praised the breakthrough and said it would save the island’s medical system a small fortune as a comparable surgery would have cost $120 000 if performed overseas.
Separated conjoined twins. — Vanguard
Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest nations and more than 90% of its 25 million people live on less than $2 per day. Almost half of under fives suffer development issues.
Dr. Mamy Lalatiana Andriamanarivo, Pediatric Surgeon, and has been Volunteer for Smile Operation for 8 Years. He also serves as Dean of the Medical School at the University of Antananarivo.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

UN Report: More Than Half of Those Experiencing Extreme Hunger Live in Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.

lobal hunger is on the rise after a decade of continued decline, according to a new report.
Boys are checked for signs of malnutrition in a government-run health clinic in Yaka, Somalia, in February 2017.ANDREW RENNEISEN/GETTY IMAGES
The annual United Nations report on nutrition and food security says that increase is largely driven by conflict and climate-related events. Here’s a quick look at the findings:
  • An estimated 815 million people worldwide were undernourished in 2016. That’s 38 million more people than in 2015, and shakes out to 11 percent of the world’s population.
  • Malnutrition is harming children’s health. The report found that 155 million kids under age 5 are too short for their age, a sign of malnutrition known as stunting. More than 31 percent of kids in Africa suffer from stunted growth.
  • Another 52 million children don’t weigh enough for their height. The issue — another sign of malnutrition called wasting — is particularly prevalent in Southeast Asia, where more than 15 percent of kids experience wasting. Global rates of both stunting and wasting have fallen in the past decade.
  • Conflict and climate change are driving the crisis. More than half of those experiencing extreme hunger live in countries affected by conflict, such as South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen. The authors of the new report say climate change increases the risk of natural disasters and threatens food security, which can drive a community toward conflict.
  • Other nutrition problems are on the rise. Obesity rates worldwide have more than doubled since 1980.
  • More women are breastfeeding exclusively. In 2016, 43 percent of infants under 6 months were exclusively breastfed, up from 36 percent in 2005.
Source: STAT

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Uganda's State Minister for Health Arrested Four Healthcare Workers After They Have Accidentally Asked to Pay Bribe in a Government Hospital Which Was Supposed to be Free

Sarah Achieng Opendi, sometimes Sarah Opendi Achieng, is a Ugandan accountant and politician. She is the State Minister of Health for General Duties in the Ugandan cabinet, since 6 June 2016. Sarah Opendi took some time away from her busy schedule on Friday and made an ‘unannounced’ visit to Naguru hospital in Kampala.
Dressed up in a Burka (Muslim attire), Opendi showed up at the facility in a boda boda(motorbike taxi) in order to investigate reports of alleged corruption.
playDressed up in a Burka (Muslim attire), Opendi showed up at the facility in a boda boda (motorbike taxi) in order to investigate reports of alleged corruption. (Courtesy)

"I received many complaints that the staff at the hospital was extorting money from patients,"Opendi told AFP on Saturday.
The health minister disguised herself as a patient and caught two medical workers demanding a bribe for free government services.
She went through normal patient procedures for some laboratory tests for which she was told to pay 150,000 UGX ($40) "yet these are all supposed to be free".
"I told him I didn't have the money but he insisted."
She was then sent to fetch the testing strips from a nursing assistant, who asked for money as well.
playOpendi speaks to an official from the hospital (Courtesy)
"I paid her and thereafter I called in the police who arrested the two staff," she said of Friday's incident at the Chinese-built Naguru hospital.
Deputy hospital director Dr Stephen Kyebambe expressed gratitude to Opendi for arresting the staff members.

"The minister must be congratulated for unearthing this racket of extortionists at our hospital. We are grateful. Otherwise patients suffer in the hands of these cruel staff," he said.
The practice of extorting patients is common in Ugandan government hospitals, where medical workers earn as little as $70 per month.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Meet Dr. Gründl Who Determined To Save the Lives of Millions To Get Access to Safe and Affordable Surgeries

MUNICH — "To be above it all" has become Magdalena Gründl’s purpose in life. By this, she doesn't mean to sound egotistical. The-25 year-old research assistant working at Harvard wants to understand the bigger picture. She hopes to make the world a better place while managing her life as a young academic at an Ivy League university, which is why treating individuals patients was never enough for the medical student.
Saving millions of lives
Gründl is determined to save the lives of millions together with other researchers on her team. It sounds utopian, but it is actually quite serious business. And it is precisely this which makes being above it all and seeing the bigger picture from that vantage point so important to Magdalena Gründl. She regularly flies back and forth between America, Africa and Asia, being on at least one long distance flight every month. It's certainly an exhausting way of getting the bigger picture.
Five billion people in the world do not have access to safe and affordable surgeries and anesthesia.

Magdalena Gründl grew up in a small town with nearly 1,000 inhabitants, but now she is one of the youngest scientists in the world who is working on cutting edge research with a single goal in mind: trying to identify how to provide lifesaving surgeries in places where they are not available.
There are a couple numbers that Gründl can recite by heart to underscore the gravity of this medical emergency. Five billion people in the world do not have access to safe and affordable surgeries and anesthesia. An estimated 143 million operations are needed in less affluent regions of the world to save lives. Nearly 17 million patients in 2010 died because they did not receive the surgical care that they required. That corresponds to about a third of all deaths worldwide and exceeds the number of deaths as a result of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria together. 
Cardiac surgery in Senegal — Photo: Pascal Deloche/ZUMA

A scientist who grabs the bull by the horns
Gründl is not angry when she recites these statistics. She doesn't particularly see herself as an activist but rather as a scientist who wants to grab the bull by the horns. After completing an internship in a hospital in Tanzania, she studied medicine in Romania as well as Germany and applied for a scholarship in Boston prior to qualifying as an MD. Nowadays, she is part of an international team of scientists which collates and processes data from around the globe.
Phase one of Magdalena Gründl’s research project focuses on obtaining precise data that will provide the basis for understanding why there is such a decided shortage in medical care. In phase two the team will work with governments to develop a medical plan that will deal with the concrete problems of each particular country. Gründl emphasizes that it is of the utmost importance in that case to not take work away from local doctors and degrade them to the role of mere spectators as yet another American medical aid convoy rolls in. She believes that in the age of globalization and mobile data transfers the key to helping people in remote regions is working and communicating on equal terms.
The opinion that investing in prevention rather than curative measures still predominates the thinking among doctors. 

This type of cooperation has long been the goal of international developmental aid, which is why the World Health Assembly, the legislative branch of the World Health Organisation (WHO), issued a decree to improve the global basic surgical care in 2015.
When asked to judge this proclamation, Gründl argues that, in spite of its success, the opinion that investing in prevention rather than curative measures still predominates the thinking among doctors and health officials. Clearly, she continues, it is much easier to organize vaccination campaigns than to build hospitals and roads, to train doctors and nurses, and to pay these trained individuals well. At the same time, certain surgical procedures, such as setting a broken bone, can be as easy and inexpensive as treating HIV or diabetes.
But Magdalena Gründl is sure that the international focus is directed toward other areas. Indeed, the term “surgery” is not mentioned anywhere in the UN Millennium Development Goals although the fight against HIV and malaria is specifically stated.
To be sure, global surgery researchers, such as Gründl and her team, do not want to curtail the international effort to eradicate infectious diseases. But it is simply the case that approximately 26 out of 100,000 people on the African continent die annually due to traffic accidentswhile only 9 people die of the same causes in Europe. Many of the traffic accident victims in Africa die due to the fact that they have no access to surgeons.
For example, the data that Gründl’s team has collated demonstrates that in Zambia a quarter of the population lives at least a two-hours drive from the nearest hospital. Patients suffering from a stroke or cranial trauma or complications while in labor cannot survive at these distances. Every year, nearly 300,000 pregnant women around the globe die prior to giving birth because they bleed to death. In Zambia there are only 97 surgeons servicing the entire country with a population of 16 million people.
Women are waiting for treatment with their children in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic.
In many countries of the world there is a lack of basic surgical care. (Photo: Miguel Medina / AFP)
The numbers clearly demonstrate that it is not easy to decide on where to invest available funds. But if one judges an illness not only by how many people die from it but also by how many people cannot live a carefree life because of it, surgery very quickly becomes a priority. Just think of a farmer with a broken arm who who cannot feed his family.
To be above it all, to see the world from an objective vantage point has therefore become very important to Magdalena Gründl. A revolutionary article in the medical journal The Lancet, which Gründl frequently cites, states what an incredible effect good surgical provision can have on people’s lives in many a part of the world. It is the triad of “lost lives, lost potential, and lost output”, the vicious downward spiral that people like Magdalena Gründl attempt to combat with needle and surgical thread, x-rays, better training, and safer roads.

Source: WorldCrunch

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Doctors Evacuated 750 grams of Hairball from A Woman's Stomach

These doctors removed the giant hairball from a patient (Picture: SWSW)
The giant hairball bounded itself into the shape of the victim’s son (Picture: SWNS)

This is the moment a humongous hairball was removed from a woman’s stomach by doctors.
The 20-year-old Indian woman was suffering from Rapunzel syndrome and the hairball weighed 750g.
The patient weighed just 30kg before undergoing surgery at V C Gandhi & M A Vora Municipal General Hospital at Rajawadi, Mumba.
Surgeon Dr Bharat Kamath said: ‘On examination, a hard lump was felt in the upper abdomen of the patient.
‘A CT scan showed a huge mass of hair, taking the shape of the stomach, extending through the duodenum into the upper small intestines.’

He added: ‘A psychiatric evaluation of the patent was done for trichotillomania – a disorder characterized by a long-term urge that results in the pulling out of one’s hair.’
The oval hairball was 25cm long and around 12cm wide.
The giant hairball bounded itself into the shape of the victim’s son (Picture: SWNS)

He added: ‘This is the first time such a case has been handled in our hospital, though there have been isolated cases elsewhere.
‘Small hairballs are very common; they do not require surgery and can be removed by an endoscopic procedure.
‘However, when it becomes a huge cast of mass taking the shape of the stomach, there remains little space for any equipment to go inside.’

Source: Metro UK