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Stop marketing health in poor countries, Oxfam tells WB

A report by Oxfam criticises the World Bank and other international donors for scaling up privatised healthcare delivery in poor countries

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Rural health services in Gujarat to get accreditation

In an attempt to improve health services in rural areas, community and primary healthcare centres in Gujarat will seek accreditation from the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals

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Global war on drugs puts lives at risk, in India

A decade after governments pledged to achieve a “drug-free world,” there is little evidence that the supply or demand of illicit drugs has been reduced. Instead, aggressive drug control policies have led to increased incarceration for minor offences, human rights violations, and disease

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Activists file petition against suspension of vaccine production

The petitioners allege that a health ministry order suspending vaccine production at three units in the country has aggravated vaccine shortages, jeopardised India’s Universal Immunisation Programme, and handed the field over to the private sector that can hold the government ransom and call the shots in setting prices

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Costly healthcare pushes people into poverty: VHAI report

A new report finds that public healthcare generally suffers from underfunding and poor utilisation of whatever resources are available. It also points to huge disparities within the states as regards health indicators, availability of medical graduates, quality of service and rising cost of healthcare

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Quick, low-cost TB screening system to be launched in India

The low-cost, low-tech breathalyser is extremely effective in detecting early cases of tuberculosis and will be launched first in India, which has the highest burden of tuberculosis in the world

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NGO sends open letter to government urging sexuality education in India

Forty-four per cent of women get married by the age of 18, 53% of children in one survey reported sexual abuse, and 46% of calls coming into a helpline were from young people in the 15-24 age-group. These are figures quoted in an open letter urging sexuality education for young people

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HIV-prevention advocates welcome promising news on microbicides

Women who were offered PRO2000 gel plus condoms in the trial had 30% fewer HIV infections than those offered only condoms or condoms plus a placebo gel

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Inequalities and shortages plague India's health battle

Avoidable complications during childbirth kill 78,000 women in India every year. One million children die in the country every year before they become 28 days old. These are some of the disturbing findings of Unicef’s ‘State of the World’s Children 2009’ report

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The Wild West of stem cell procedures

From street-side stem cell clinics promising the wheelchair-confined that they will walk to corporate cord blood banks that offer to store your baby’s umbilical cord blood, an unethical and unregulated industry in stem cell procedures is feeding off the desperation of Indian patients. A comprehensive regulatory structure is urgently needed, writes Sandhya Srinivasan

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The corrupt doctor

Following the arrest of the president of the Medical Council of India for accepting a bribe to recognise a substandard medical college, Sandhya Srinivasan points out that when money can buy medical seats, college accreditation, and degrees, we’re talking about multiple investments that must earn their returns. Those returns are being earned at the expense of consumers and patients

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Pirates of traditional knowledge

By Sandhya Srinivasan

If a draft protocol on access and benefit-sharing of genetic resources is adopted in Japan in October, there will finally be an international law to prevent corporations from commandeering biological resources and traditional knowledge for their own profit, without sharing it with the community that holds the knowledge

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A vaccine for every ailment

By Sandhya Srinivasan

Thirty thousand girl-children from poor and marginalised communities have been involved in an unethical vaccine study against the HPV virus that causes cervical cancer. Why did the Gujarat and Andhra governments sanction this study? And what is the necessity for this vaccine costing Rs 9,000 when even screening tests for cervical cancer are not widespread in India despite costing between Rs 4-250?

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Why does a drug company sponsor research?

By Sandhya Srinivasan

Does a pharmaceutical MNC sponsor research on the risk factors for breast cancer because it is altruistic, or because it markets a drug for this particular problem that costs a patient Rs 90,000 per month? Sandhya Srinivasan starts a new column on the impact of healthcare markets on you, the consumer/patient

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