Dhani Ram claims cure to heart diseases
GUWAHATI, April 28 – Controversial heart specialist Dr Dhani Ram Baruah today claimed that he had been curing patients suffering from serious heart disorders, diabetes, high blood pressure, hepatitis B, kidney-related ailments, etc., using a special injectible drug prepared by him following a prolonged research in genetic engineering. Disclosing this at a press conference, Dr Baruah said that cardiac surgery had miserably failed to provide a permanent solution for heart diseases and his innovative treatment using an injectible compound made from medicinal plants was the only viable alternative to heart surgery.“Coronary artery disease is caused by biochemical derangement in human body and it has to be corrected by revising the biochemical derangement, and not by mechanical means like bypass surgery, angioplasty and stenting. We have found the genes responsible for the disease and with the help of ‘microarray’, we have analysed the changes before and after being engineered by Baruah organic molecules – Baruah Alpha DH2 and Baruah Beta DH2,” Dr Baruah said. “Coronary artery disease is cured by irreversible angiogenesis providing adequate oxygen at subcelluler level removing excessive intracellular calcium responsible for inadequate ATP synthesis,” he added.Several patients cured by Dr Baruah, including Kumud Sarma, working president of Samajwadi Party, Assam, LIC officer Pankaj Goswami, Excise officer Lalit Baruah, Congress worker Chitra Das, postal employee Mukijuddin Saikia, and petrol pump employee Aulad Hussain were also present at the press meet. “I got a new life under Dr Baruah’s treatment,” Kumud Sarma said.Claiming his work to be ‘pioneering’, Dr Baruah said that his research of ten years on the causes of dreaded diseases like heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension, blood cancer, motor neuron disease, hepatitis B, polycystic kidney, etc., suggested that “medical science was wrong and had gone in the wrong direction in terms of treatment of these diseases by 80 per cent, if not 100 per cent.”
Dhani Ram claims cure to serious disease
GUWAHATI, May 12 – Claiming that he has developed a genetically-engineered cure to dreaded diseases, especially heart disorders, controversial cardiac surgeon Dr Dhani Ram Baruah today said that the new treatment was the first-ever application of genetic engineering in healing serious diseases and that it could effectively render the “commonly-used and flawed” medical methods like bypass heart surgery totally redundant. Dr Baruah also produced about 30 patients, including doctors, judges, lawyers and other professionals from outside the State who had been cured by him, to buttress his claims of inventing a “revolutionary” method of treatment.“Modern medical methods like bypass surgery provide temporary relief and never address the root cause of the problems, even though it is generally perceived as the ultimate thing. My method involves decoding and changing the genes, as serious diseases have genetic causes,” Dr Baruah said while addressing a press conference. Asserting that bypass surgery, angioplasty, stenting, etc., could not check the progressive damage to the human cardio-vascular system ultimately resulting in ageing and premature death, Dr Baruah said that coronary artery diseases were not confined to the heart alone but involved the entire arterial tree. WS Rane, a retired metropolitan magistrate from Mumbai, said that even after having a bypass surgery in one of the most famous hospitals of Mumbai, the symptoms recurred within four months, turning him into a cripple. “I was treated by Dr Baruah in December 2005, and had a miraculous recovery within weeks. Now I am a normal person without medication and can climb up to seven floors without any sign of fatigue,” he said. Dr Deepak Shah, a gynaecologist from Mumbai, had triple bypass surgery in 2000 but the disease recurred after three years with complete blockages of all the grafts. “I even went to the US in the early part of 2006 but was sent back and a premature death seemed certain. However, all changed dramatically after I underwent treatment from Dr Baruah in August 2006. I regained complete normalcy by six weeks,” he said. Dr T Dutta, another patient of Dr Baruah, said that his innovative treatment could revolutionise the way heart diseases were understood and treated. “There is little study and research among today’s doctors who are happy to prescribe drugs manufactured by MNCs without trying to ascertain the root cause of the diseases. I challenge any cardiologist to prove Dr Baruah’s findings and methods wrong,” he said.
Bill Gates offers Rs 4.36 cr for NE AIDS plan
NEW DELHI, May 4 – Alarmed by the spread of the dreaded HIV Positive virus in the North-east, Microsoft chief Bill Gates has given Rs 4.36 crore for AIDS control programmes to Manipur and Nagaland. According to Government, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sanctioned the amount in the last fiscal for the two north eastern States. Manipur has been given Rs 577.60 lakh and Nagaland Rs 532.37 lakh.The amount, however, is not significant because the World Bank and the Government of India during the same period have sanctioned Rs 71.83 crore for implementation of National AIDS Control Programme in the region, according to figures furnished by Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Panabaka Lakshmi in the Rajya Sabha.Of the total sanctions, the largest chunk of Rs 2134 lakh has gone to Manipur followed by Nagaland (Rs 1625 lakh) and Assam (Rs 1351 lakh). The total contribution of World Bank for fighting AIDS in the North-east was Rs 6073.22 lakh.An outlay of Rs 95.50 crore has been allocated in the Budget estimate for the North Easter region, the Minister further added.As on date, 235 NGOs are implementing different interventions in the NER and nothing adverse has been reported by State AIDS Control society, Lakshmi added.The Minister was replying to questions about the performance of the NGOs in AIDS control.
Centre ready to boost NE health sector NEW DELHI, May 25 – Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss today said the Centre is ready to infuse larger amount of funds into the health systems in the North Eastern Region but wanted the North Eastern States to demonstrate their capabilities by effective and timely utilisation of funds. The Ministry has kept its commitment to increase public investment in the health sector. The percentage of release has touched 85 percent from 55-58 percent in the last three years. “The greater outflow demands greater responsibility from all of us. It requires that we keep ourselves focused on achieving the outcomes of reduction in disease prevalence, infant mortality, maternal mortality and the total fertility rates,” the Health and Family Welfare Minister said. For the year 2007-08 an amount of Rs. 1013 crore has been earmarked for the North Eastern States under various schemes.Ramadoss was addressing a conference of Health Ministers of the North Eastern States at Vigyan Bhavan here today. Besides, the Health Ministers, Union and State Health Secretaries, Secretary, AYUSH, Mission Directors and senior officials from the Centre, as well as North Eastern States attended the meeting.The Health Minister had held a similar meeting at Guwahati in November last year. “The periodic reviews that are very important enable us not only to look back and take stock of the progress made but also take recourse to mid corrections, wherever necessary, Ramasdoss said. The Union Health and Family welfare Minister announced that LGB Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur would be taken over by the Centre during the year. “We will strive to make these Institutes as Centres of Excellence,” he said. Improvement in public health infrastructure is a key strategy and also has been a key requirement projected by the North Eastern States over the years. In view of the special needs of the States, 33 percent of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) funds could be utilised for public health infrastructure, the Minister said. A scheme called ‘Forward Linkages for NRHM in the North Eastern States’, the Minister said was under preparation for assisting Medical Colleges and State Civil Hospitals. He then went on to list some of schemes cleared by his Ministry.The Ministry has also taken over the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Imphal and Regional Institute of Paramedical and Nursing, Aizawl, Mizoram. The Ministry has taken proactive steps in the Health Sector in the North East. While all the States have been enthusiastic in ASHA recruitment, the achievement of Manipur and Assam in meeting the targets is heartening. Lack of availability of specialists continues to be a concern. Assam has done commendably well in recruitment and deployment of personnel, Ramadoss said. Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram have shown great maturity in deciding to utilise the expertise of Tamil Nadu Medical Supply Corporation (TNMSC) for assisting them in procurement activities.
Medical, social helpline in Silchar wins accolades SILCHAR, May 30 – Barak Valley Medical and Social Helpline (BVSMH), an NGO, established in 2004, is coming up with the idea of helping the people medically and socially. It is situated at Chencooriec road in Silchar town.The NGO initially came up with medical assistance. There are so many trained nurses in Silchar town. Though they have proper training, they are not getting jobs. At it’s initial stage, the organisation started with only four nurses but now there are 200 nurses working in this NGO.The nurses or trained persons visit door-to-door. They initially issue a card to the family for which they charge Rs 50. This helpline is always ready for help round-the-clock. There are so many families in Silchar town they are not getting proper person to provide nursing. This helpline is always ready to serve the society at any time.Under this medical helpline, some unemployed youth are also working. As the nurse cannot go alone in late night and cannot carry a weight machine, these youth help the nurse and they share the money. At present 300 persons are working in this medical helpline.Under the social helpline, there are so many woman in this who have expertise in sewing, embroidery etc. But they are not getting proper recognition. This social helpline provides suitable arrangement for them. For example in today’s scenario, nobody likes spicy food these woman, made a nonspice snack which is healthy for the people. At present, these woman are doing pushing sales at the public places.This NGO is also doing some free health check-up camps in the surrounding area. This social helpline is also organising some events such as football game, cultural programmed etc in that area.Dr Supriti Bhattacharjee, its secretary, said that it is three-day-old NGO, but within a short of time, it has gained good recognition in surrounding areas. She further said that span this NGO is working with its own money. But at present its area is small. If it can generate new area, it will definitely generate new fund. “I am not looking for fund from political parties as because if I take money them I have to abide by their rules and regulation” she adds.
Rs 100 cr for development of AMC infrastructure DIBRUGARH, June 8 – Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has pulled out all the stops in an attempt to equip the Assam Medical College with latest machineries. His only shortcoming is that he has not been able to recruit the best talent to teach the students of the premier medical college, resulting in several teaching faculties remaining vacant. “Our Government is serious to restore the glory of the North East’s oldest medical institution,” he told The Assam Tribune, and added: “Most of the machineries that would become operational here would be the absolute latest and state-of-the-art.” He also added that a Rs 100 crore infrastructure development package would be implemented. He stressed that these works would be completed within two years and that a couple of more crores of rupees may be spent in addition to Rs 100 crores, if the need arises. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is scheduled to lay the foundation stone for the Rs 100 crore infrastructure development work, comprising facilities for students’ studies and research. What, however, has not been envisaged is the total renovation of students’ hostels and teachers’ and staff quarters. Several of these structures are in a decrepit condition, putting students and teachers and employees in great difficulty. When asked, Sarma said these would be taken up at a later stage, but refrained from committing any time bound schedule for this. “My commitment for the Assam Medical College is there and I want to do my bit for it,” he said. Originally established as the Dr John Berry White Medical School in 1896, the institution became a full fledged medical college on November 3, 1947, primarily due to the efforts of stalwarts like Gopinath Bordoloi and Dr Bhubaneswar Baruah. The first batch of MBBS pass outs from the college came out in 1952. Today, the college has seats for 170 MBBS students and offers MD and MS courses in almost all the medical specialties. Even so, super-specialty degrees like M Ch and DM are yet to be on offer at the medical college, and those aspiring for these super-specialty degrees have to look elsewhere, like AIIMS in New Delhi, PGIMER in Chandigarh, JIPMER in Pondicherry, SGIMER in Lucknow, etc. As many already know, the Assam Medical College Hospital has 1400 beds, and as such is the largest single entity hospital in the North East. Between May 2006 and May 2007, 4 lakh 20 thousand 1 hundred 57 patients were treated at the hospital’s out patient department and 36 thousand 6 hundred 73 patients admitted to the hospital beds. During this period, 2591 minor surgeries and 4978 major surgeries were carried out. The eye department during this period carried out 2000 cataract operations, while the M&G department saw the birth of 7000 babies. The hospital has a fullfledged blood bank that transfused 13000 blood units during the period, and the pathology department carried out 27000 blood tests during the period. Sarma said he has taken several steps to fill up teaching and other vacancies at the medical college here during the last twelve months. During this period, eighty gazetted staff were recruited, in both the college and hospital sections. On the equipment side, Sarma gave an exhaustive list of machinery purchased and installed at the medical college, ranging from sophisticated microscopes to x-ray machines, including defibrillators, ECG machines and a haemodialysis machine. The new purchase list include a state-of-the-art MRI scanner. Sarma quipped that this machine would make the existing MRIs in the North East “fade out in sophistication.” While Sarma holds out much promise for the beleaguered Assam Medical College, citizens here just hope the institution rejuvenates itself. It was chiefly during the AGP rule that the Assam Medical College saw its blackest days, with both the then Chief Minister and Health Minister refusing to listen to any grievance from Dibrugarh. While those days are over, Sarma’s capacity to deliver would be watched in the months to come. Incidentally, the Assam Medical College would also be celebrating its platinum jubilee from November this year. Prof Taufique Rahman Borbora, its new principal, who has been put in charge for a second term, has a heavy agenda on hand. “With the help and cooperation of all, the AMC will prosper,” was his one liner.
Khanikar set to open mobile herbal hospital GOLAGHAT, June 13 – Veteran herbal medicine practitioners, Dr Gunaram Khanikar and his NGO, Regional Research and Training Centre on Indian Traditional Treatment, Khanikar Nagar, Golaghat is all set to open a mobile hospital which will probably be the country’s first mobile herbal hospital.The mobile hospital will be stacked with herbal-medicines, samples of aromatic plants found in the region, photos of various plants and books containing information on herbal medicines.The basic aims and objectives of the project is to popularise herebal treatment among the rural people of economically backward region and collect and preserve medicinal plants abundantly found in the forests of the North-East region. Deep Gogoi, MP of the Kaliabor parliamentary constituency who had funded an amount of Rs. 11 lakh 75 thousand for purchase of a six wheeler vehicle, will take out an exhibition and a campaign to promote healthy food habits, as well as benefits of cultivating herbal medicines as an employment generation avenue. The mobile hospital will open a garden of medicinal plants in each school and college of the State, particularly in the rural areas. The mobile clinic will comprise a light member team, including doctor and nurse. The resource persons will be involved with the villagers for identification of herbal and aromatic plants.It may be pertinent to say that - on June 5, 2007 the 15th annual foundation day of the Indian Traditional Treatment of Regional Research and Training Centre was celebrated at the Khanikar Nagar conference hall, Jetelitol, Golaghat with a day long programme. A meeting on the occasion was also held under the presidentship of Dr SK Hussain and was addressed by Komal Hazarika, Dr Upen Dutta, Suren Saikia, ex-Forest Ranger, Monomoti Dutta, Molaya Chakravarty, Induram Gogoi and Md Kutubuddin Ahmed etc.In the meeting a trust committee in the name of Dr Gunaram Khanikar Trust was also constituted where Dr Gunaram Khanikar had consented to pay an amount of Rs 50,000 to the trust.
Hypertension, diabetes curable: Dhani Ram GUWAHATI, June 17 – Cardiac surgeon Dr Dhani Ram Baruah today claimed that he had found permanent cure to hypertension, diabetes mellitus and thyroid dysfunction by the first-ever “clinical application” of genetic engineering using biological molecules developed by him. “The common perception that changing lifestyles and food habits are at the root of coronary artery disease (CAD), hypertension and diabetes mellitus (although they may be responsible to a little extent) is wrong, as our research has shown that reversing lifestyles and food habits does not necessarily reverse the diseases,” Dr Baruah said at a press conference. According to Dr Baruah, hypertension is caused by errors in m-RNA-expressed genes that disturb the metabolic pathways. “This condition can be cured permanently by reversing the disturbed metabolic pathways by changing the m-RNA-expressed diseased genes. I claim that I am the first person to develop biological molecules that can correct the derangement of metabolic pathways,” he said, and termed it as a feat of genetic engineering. Dr Baruah asserted that it was possible to cure diabetes as well with the application of his organic molecules – nicknamed Baruah molecules — by engineering the genes responsible for diabetes mellitus, which are expressed under m-RNA. “Baruah molecules are isolated from edible medicinal plants and are used successfully as tools to engineer the diseased genes and achieve permanent cure to these dreaded diseases,” he added. Dr Baruah, who had earlier claimed that pacemakers and bypass surgeries did more harm than good to the patients and that the permanent cure lay in application of genetic engineering, said that he had thrown these challenges before the medical fraternity. “In the world conference of cardio-surgeons in London on September 6, 2006, I dared everyone to prove my assertion on the uselessness and dangers of pacemakers and bypass surgery wrong, but none opposed me,” he said.Dr Baruah said that most of the commonly-prescribed drugs for heart disorders were not just effective but damaging to the heart muscles, as they were cardio-toxic. Dr T Dutta, who termed Dr Baruah’s findings as pioneering, said that no one before Dr Baruah had done research on genetic engineering in relation to diseases. “Dr Baruah has been decoding RNA, including 1,000 genes of the heart, which is a stupendous feat,” he said. Rituparna Das (29) of Mirza, a hypertension patient treated by Dr Baruah, said that when he failed to get the desired results even after getting treated at reputed hospitals, he approached Dr Baruah and the results showed almost immediately. “And after six months of treatment I was completely cured,” he said.
Private-public participation in health sector likely GUWAHATI, June 26 – For the first time, the Northeast may soon see private-public participation to improve health care facilities to the people of the remote areas as the Governor of Assam Lt Gen (retd) Ajai Singh has taken personal initiative in this regard and talks are on with a local hospital. Raj Bhawan sources told The Assam Tribune that during a recent visit to Karbi Anglong, the Governor came to know about lack of adequate health care facilities in the district and found that shortage of specialist doctors is a major problem, which affected health care facilities in the district. The Governor, immediately after reaching Guwahati, discussed the feasibility of private-public participation to improve health care facilities in a meeting with the chairman-cum-managing director of GNRC and the Principal Secretary of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council and if things go according to plan, a memorandum of understanding may soon be signed between the Council and GNRC, which will go a long way in improvement of medical facilities in the backward hill district.Meanwhile, the CMD of GNRC, Dr NC Bora told this correspondent that after the discussions with the Governor and the Principal Secretary of the Council, a team of the GNRC comprising doctors and other officials were sent to Karbi Anglong to assess the situation on the ground and to examine the available facilities. He said that the GNRC would send a formal proposal for the possible partnership to the Governor after receiving the detailed report from the team.Dr Bora said that if the deal comes through, the Government would have to ensure security to the doctors and other staff of the GNRC for visiting the hill district regularly. He pointed out that 70 per cent of the patients could be treated without the help of any sophisticated equipment and the teams, which would go to Karbi Anglong, would be able to carry some transportable equipment with them. He pointed out that the patients, who need further treatment, could always be sent to Guwahati or other places. He said that the GNRC doctors and medical staff would have to use the civil hospitals, where the patients would be able to come for treatment and the Government or the autonomous council would have to bear the expenses like transportation of teams and other expenses. However, the modalities for the expenses are to be worked out before signing of a formal contract.The GNRC CMD said that if the deal comes through, it will be the first such instance of private-public participation in the North East for improvement of the healthcare scenario. He said that if the experiment in Karbi Anglong succeeds, the GNRC would like to expand the same to other autonomous councils of the State including the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in the days to come. In the beginning, the GNRC would send experts in the medical fields of Cardiology, Orthopedics, Neurology, General Surgery and Psychiatrics to the Hill district and other services would follow if the need arises.Dr Bora expressed the view that there is always a gap between the available medical facilities and what is actually available and the gap is more in the remote areas and in the areas having law and order problems. He said that the gap could be minimized with private-public participation.Dr Bora further said that the GNRC had experience of working in the states like Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh where teams of the GNRC used the civil hospitals to treat patients and the Governments of the states have borne the expenses of to and fro travel of the teams and provided accommodation. “It was voluntary service and we did not look for earning any money from that,” he added. On that experience, he said that the response of the people was very positive and about 90 percent of the patients could be treated on the spot.
Dhekia contains high protein levels: study GUWAHATI, June 24 – Dhekia (Diplazium esculantum), the fern that is used as a leafy vegetable by the people of the Northeast, contains high amount of protein at a ratio much higher than any meat protein consumed by the people.Research work conducted by Prof AK Handique and his team at the laboratory of Gauhati University (GU) Biotechnology Department has revealed that the tender dhekia leaves has 33.27 per cent protein. This makes it the second highest protein-containing food plant, next only to soyabeen, which has 43.2 per cent protein, says Prof Handique, a former Head of that Department.This has proved right the traditional belief that dhekia is a nutritious food. It may come as a surprise for those who had spite for it due to its popularity among rural and poor people, added Prof Handique.The findings of the research, financed by GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development of Almora since 1997, were published in the Indian Journal of Plant Genetic Resources (Vol- 16, No- 3, 2003) as the lead article (‘Nutritive Values of Five Wild Edible Ferns of Northeast India’). The research has led to the conclusion that dhekia contains 5.6 per cent of carbohydrate, 3.8 per cent of fat, 7.8 per cent of crude fibre and 13.15 per cent of minerals too.The team has analysed as many as five different species of the fern, including a high altitude fern of Nagaland and an aquatic fern from wetlands of Assam. But dhekia stood out to be the best of the lot, Prof Handique maintained.Although food value means sum total of the above components as well as micronutrients like vitamins collectively, the general superiority is denoted by the protein value, he says.Giving a comparison of the food items usually taken for nutrition in the region, he says, chicken meat contains 25.9 per cent of protein, pork muscle contains 18.7 per cent of protein, while the cultivated vegetables, like spinach, contain 25.3 per cent of protein. Cabbage contains only 12.2 per cent of protein.This reflects the superiority of dhekia for nutritional purposes. Moreover, being low in digestible carbohydrate, it may be ideal for diabetic patients, adds Prof Handique.Although wild, the regeneration frequency of dhekia is very high and fresh harvest can be made from the same locality within three to four days, particularly between April and September. Thus, dhekia is among the cheapest vegetables but in terms of nutritive values it is among the best, says Prof Handique.Prof Handique and the members of his team have so far analysed 50 wild and semi-wild leafy vegetables and found that not only dhekia but almost all other leafy vegetables are generally low in digestible carbohydrate. Prof Handique’s team comprising Nalbari College teacher Dr Gautam Kr Handique, Tangla College lecturer Chandra Kanta Saikia and Boko College lecturer Pinaki Kumar Rabha, has also found 29.45 per cent of crude protein in khutura (Amarahnthus viridisLinn), 19.96 per cent of crude protein in punarnaba (Boerhaavia diffusa Linn), 18.18 per cent of crude protein in matikaduri (Alternanthera sessilis DC), 21.83 per cent of protein in madhusoleng (Polygonum chinense Linn) and 18.38 per cent crude protein in kalmou (Ipomea aquatica Forsk).The list of the wild and semi-wild leafy vegetables analysed by the team include, tengamora, thatani and the tender shoots of bhatkerela, rongalau etc. Besides, it has also analysed 60 varieties of nagadail (rice bean) about 20 varieties of the soft-shelled job’s tear known as kaurimoni. Kaurimoni contains between 13 per cent and 18 per cent of crude protein, against the 7 per cent to 11 per cent found in most varieties of paddy, says Prof Handique.
Rs 996-cr grant to uplift medical facilities DERGAON, June 27 – The Central Government has provided financial assistance to the tune of Rs 996 crore for the uplift of the medical facilities in the State under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). The same has been accorded for the financial year 2005-10. This was stated by Kaliabar MP Deep Gogoi while inaugurating the newly constructed outdoor building of Dergaon 30-bed community health centre (CHC) in a public meeting held today.It is pertinent to mention that the CHC was set up in 1988 and now it has been upgraded to a 24-hour service provider. The outdoor building includes a minor OT. OPD for female, OPD for child, ENT OPD and a store house. The construction at the cost of Rs 26,59,370 also includes the renovation of two doctors’ residences, two warkers’ residences and the drinting water facility.Euplaining the objerctive of the meeting held with DC Golaghat Dipak Kr Goswami in the chair, the deputy superintendent of the hospital Dr Binod Ch Hazarika revealed that the construction was made by the State PWD (Building) Jorhat.Taking part in the meeting, Dergaon MLA Sushila Hazarika who is also the charperson of the hospital opined that the hospital will certainly serve the flood- affected people of the area.In his presidential speech, DC Dipak Kr Goswami urged the doctors and the nurses to render their services with humanity.It is pertinent to mention that a grant of Rs 40 lakh has been accorded to the hospital to make it the first referal unit (FRU). But allegetions have been made at regular intervals that the doctors of the hospital are irregular. State Health Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma paid a sudden visit to the hospital a few months back and found most of the doctors absent.
Wunderkind! DIBRUGARH, July 8 — While other children of his age savour the first taste of chocolates, 17-month-old Jayanta Lahan finds ‘Bhoot jolokia’, world’s hottest chilly, the most appetising.Lahan, nicknamed Johnny, started devouring the famed chilly since he was six months old and today he ate 23 of them in just two minutes before a group of journalists here. Concerned with their son’s unnatural taste, Lahan’s parents Ritul and Rupjyoti contacted several doctors here who have assured them that the child is healthy.No apparent side affects due to consumption of the chillies have been detected in the several medical tests conducted so far.The toddler, who on one occasion allegedly ate 60 of these chillies, may be a wonder here but his parents are not interested in putting his name in the record books. “We just want our child to be healthy. We do not want his health to be affected in any way because of the chillies,” said his farmer father.The ‘Bhoot Jolokia’, whose scientific name is Capsicum chinense “with 1001304 Scoville Heat Unit” (in scientific terms), has been ranked the world’s hottest chilly.An Assamese woman, Anandita Tamuly, is aspiring to make it to the Guinness Book of Records for eating the maximum number of the chilly. –PTI
Move to resurrect Lt Col Bora’s memories GUWAHATI, July 6 – Lt Col Sivram Bora was recognized as a medical genius during his lifetime. He has left behind a rich legacy. But, the people of his native place are oblivious of all these. However, one of his great grandsons has come forward to resurrect his memories by sponsoring a research project.Bora, the first Assamese MB from Glasgow University, who qualified for the Imperial Medical Service (IMS) in 1874, is argued to be the first Indian to qualify for this service.The recent move to resurrect his memories started with an article by noted writer Kumudeswar Hazarika. It was published in The Assam Tribune on March 27 last. It so moved his great grandson Rahul Roy, a former president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, that he rushed to the city to meet Hazarika. Hazarika also has an Assamese article on Lt Colonel Bora in one of his books — Chaiydha Goraki Bisistha Asomiya: Smritir Surabhi.Rahul Roy wrote to Hazarika later, “… I have grown up hearing stories about Lt Col Sivaram Borah from one of his most beloved daughters, my grandmother … Your research has opened the door to Alibaba’s cave for me and I am intrigued with the unfathomed treasures within it…”According to Hazarika, Bora was born on September 19, 1847 in North Guwahati. His uncle Bolram Bora brought him up. He was admitted to Gauhati English School – today’s Cotton Collegiate H S School. His classmates there included first Assamese civilian Anundoram Barua and the first Assamese MD from London Col Jalnur Ali Ahmed. The latter was the father of Late Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. After passing the Entrance Examination in 1865, Bora proceeded to Calcutta along with Anundoram Barua and Jalnur Ali Ahmed for higher studies and enrolled himself in Calcutta Medical College.Later, he was rewarded for his services to the Indian tea labourers on a sea voyage to Mauritius as an attending doctor and was sent to London for higher studies by the British authorities.According to Rahul Roy, Lt Col Bora married Ursula Ujjawala Banerjee, one of the 15 daughters of Mathilda Martha Griffiths, an Irish-Welsh lady and Rev Taracharan Banerjee who was the uncle of WC Banerjee, the first president of the Indian National Congress. Bora, who later became a Lieutenant Colonel, had a son—Dr Surendranath Bora. He was a famous physician. Sushil Bora, Dr Surendranath Bora and Kunjalata Bordoloi’s son, is now living at Dibrugarh as a retired Superintendent of Assam Police, Roy wrote to Hazarika. Hazarika said, Lt Col Bora served in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Madras Province, and as Civil Surgeon in the Naga Hills, at Guwahati, Tezpur and Silchar. At Silchar he was in dual charge of the Civil Surgeon and Jail Superintendent. After his retirement he moved to Calcutta for his children’s education. Hazarika said that Bora had married a Christian girl while in Naga Hills (now Nagaland). Bora had a bungalow in Calcutta (now Kolkata) known as Borah villa. It has fallen to the hands of the vagrants, said Rahul Roy. Hazarika said, Lt Col Bora had donated a plot of his land for the establishment of the city’s Navagraha crematorium. He also owned a tea estate at Raraiya near Jorhat.Rahul Roy is willing to finance a research project on Bora. He has written to Hazarika, “ Lt Col Bora rose from nowhere to conquer his destiny. In my humble way, I have also in life risen from nowhere to become the youngest ever president of a major professional institute in the world. I am reputed within my community … I feel that this was only possible because of the blood of great people like Lt Col Sivaram Borah and others in my veins. I will love to resurrect his memory at least in the mind of the Assamese people whom he loved so much…”
Super-speciality hospital opens its doors to public GUWAHATI, Jan 7 – Pratiksha Hospital, a newly-opened super-specialty medical institute in the fields of laparascopic surgery, infertility (in-virto fertilization - IVF) and maternity services, has been able to carve a niche for itself by successfully treating patients from all over the world. “We treated around 40 IVF patients from abroad last year, including ten from Europe and some from the Middle East besides one from the US. It is the cost difference coupled with world-class treatment that is attracting patients from outside,” Dr Pramod Sharma, renowned gynaecologist and chairman-cum-managing director of Pratiksha Hospital, told the media today. Dr Sharma said that the concept of medical tourism, which is among the fastest growing sectors worldwide, had been initiated in Pratiksha with IVF and would soon spread to other fields like neuro-surgery, orthopaedic surgery, etc. “We are also keen to work with the State Tourism Department for developing promotion centres in Europe, USA and the Middle east,” he said, adding that it would be having a promotion officer in London. Asserting that Pratiksha was committed to imparting child and women healthcare of international standards, Dr Sharma said that the hospital had a state-of-the-art fertility and IVF clinic, neonatal ICU, operation theatre with Hepa filter, central sterilisation department, birth suites and painless labour, labour room, key-hole surgery and specialised adolescent, endometriosis and menopausal clinics. “However, we do not want to confine it to merely treating patients, and will work in the areas of providing training to rural doctors, community service and participation with the public health sector,” Dr Sharma said, adding that a certain percentage of poor patients would be provided treatment at the minimal cost. Peter Laser of Karl Storz-Endoskope, a Germany-based supplier of medical equipment to hospitals across the globe, lauded Pratiksha for its top-class facilities and treatment, which he said were comparable with the best in the world. Vivek Desai of HOSMAC India, hospital planner, architect and management consultant, said Pratiksha could match any leading hospital of the country in terms of treatment and facilities. Pratiksha Hospital, which has been functioning since March 2006, was formally inaugurated by TG Baruah, chairman of The Assam Tribune group of newspaper today. The Pratiksha IVF Centre was established several years back and a pioneer in comprehensive fertility treatments.
Deepsikha: succour to cancer patientsBy R Dutta Choudhury GUWAHATI, March 20 – Treatment of cancer is usually out of reach of common people and lack of awareness about the disease among people results in delay in patients reaching the hospitals and by the time they do go to the hospitals, it is often very late. To assist the patients to deal with the problems, a voluntary organization ‘Deepsikha’ has been formed and the organization has already launched a drive to make the people aware of the disease so that the patients go to hospitals at an early stage.The Deputy Resident Commissioner of the Assam House, Mumbai, Debashis Sarma, who is one of the founder members of Deepsikha, said that the idea of forming such an organization came to their minds after dealing with the cancer patients of Assam, who go to Mumbai for treatment in the Tata Memorial Hospital in the last three years. Very often, the officials of the Assam House, while taking the patients to the hospitals, find that the life spun could have been increased had the patients gone to the hospital on time. The shortage of funds with the patients is also a major concern and though a corpus fund has been created in the Assam House to extend financial help to the needy patients, which is not adequate. It may be mentioned here that on an average, about five hundred cancer patients from Assam go to Tata Memorial Hospital every year for treatment.Sarma revealed that the first programme of Deepsikha was launched immediately after its formation in November last year and members of the organization launched a massive awareness programme in the remote areas of the districts of Barpeta, Goalpara, Kamrup, Darrang etc. Prominent musicians of the State including Nupur Bordoloi and Hitesh Deka also took part in the programme to attract the common people, while, the concerned District Administration also wholeheartedly extended support. In the awareness campaigns, members of the Deepsikha distributed an article written by Dr Bibhas Goswami of Jaslok Hospital and translated versions of the leaflets prepared by the Department of Preventive Oncology of the Tata Memorial Hospital among the common people to make them aware of the disease. The second phase of the awareness campaign started today in a series of meetings in Morigaon district and within the next few days, the organization is planning a series of meetings in Majuli, Nagaon and Sivasagar.Sarma said that all major hospitals in the country have helpdesks to assist the patients and Deepsikha recently established such a helpdesk in Dr B Barooah Cancer Institute with only one employee. The salary of the employee will be sponsored by the Mumbai Gujarati Samaj. The desk, established with the help of the authorities of the cancer institute, was inaugurated recently by the Minister in charge of the Department for Development of North Eastern region, Mani Shankar Aiyer and Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.Sarma pointed out that majority of the cancer patients of Assam, who go outside for treatment, face the problem of shortage of money to continue the treatment and Deepsikha has started the process of getting in touch with different trusts in Mumbai to extend financial help to the poor and needy cancer patients. He made it clear that Deepsikha would not handle money and would act only as a liaison between the patients and the trusts. He pointed out that medicines to control CML (a kind of blood cancer) is available in the market these days but the cost of the medicines is beyond the reach of the common people. Deepsikha has tied up with the Max Foundation, which provides the medicines to the needy patients free of cost. Similarly, several other trusts in Mumbai including the Siddhi Sai Mandir Trust, KD Birla Medical and Education Foundation etc also extends financial and other assistance to the needy cancer patients and Deepsikha would try to maintain close ties with those trusts to extend help to the needy patients of Assam.Deepsikha has established its office in the Ambikagiri nagar area of the city, where the needy patients can obtain information about going to Mumbai for treatment. The organization has also chalked out an ambitious plan to establish a cancer patients’ care home in the city and approached the district administration for a plot of land.
State AIDS control society ties up with American NGOBy A City Reporter GUWAHATI, March 20 – The State’s fight against HIV/AIDS received a huge fillip today as it entered into a collaboration with AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), an international NGO, and with an announcement by the State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma that the people coming to Anti-Retroviral Therapy centres would be provided transportation cost from next year. This is for the first time in the country that AHF, a US-based organisation having 20 years’ experience in fighting HIV/AIDS worldwide, is starting the advocacy programme with the National Aids Control Society (NACO). This collaboration would be in the field of Anti-Retroviral Therapy necessary for the longevity of the people living with HIV/AIDS and to help them lead a normal life. Talking to The Assam Tribune, AHF president Michael Weinstein said the prolonged experience with the foundation would help the State acquire better techniques and more effective medicines to combat HIV/AIDS. “We’ll do the monitoring task for community involvement, operational efficiency, and providing cutting-edge medicine and advocacy apart from sharing technologies,” he said. The foundation is working in three other places of the country – Delhi, Kopal and Mysore. Formally declaring the tie-up of AHF with the Assam State Aids Control Society, the Health Minister termed it a “most welcoming” step in the AIDS control drive. “The expertise of AHF will surely help the HIV/AIDS-affected people of the State and this Indo-US tie-up will go a long way in its noble attempt,” he said. “Apart from social prejudice and taboos attached to AIDS, inability to bear the transport cost may be one of the reasons holding back many affected people from coming voluntarily to get free ART treatments at the centers,” Sarma said. There are two ART centres in the Gauhati and Assam Medical Colleges, where free Anti Retroviral Medicines are provided. Another such centre will be operational at Silchar Medical College from next month, he added. He also stressed the inclusion of the TB testing centres and gynaecologists in the wide campaign against HIV/AIDS. Cooperation of such groups is necessary to motivate people to come forward for the voluntary testing of HIV/AIDS, he said.
Global recognition for regional medical centreFrom Our Bureau DIBRUGARH, March 24 – The local Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), a unit of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), has recently been recognised as a centre of excellence for pathbreaking research and training in malariology. The recognition has come from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as well as the World Health Organisation (WHO). RMRC here has been registered by the WHO as a training centre for malariology and has sponsored a fellowship training programme (FTP). The first FTP batch will be trained here from March 26 to April 21, where a total of eight WHO fellows will partake training on various aspects of malaria. According to an RMRC official, the institution is also working on major regional health problems such as mosquito borne diseases, enteric diseases, HIV/AIDS and drug abuse, hypertension, coronary heart disease and haemoglobinopathies. Malaria is one of the thrust areas of research and the RMRC has made significant research contributions in this field.
Medical University bill gets House nod GUWAHATI, March 30 – The Assam Assembly today passed the Srimanta Sankaradeva University of Health Sciences Bill, 2007. The legislation has provided for establishment and incorporation of a health university in the State and for the matters connected with it.Replying to the debate on the Bill, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the relaxation therapy, meditation and Yoga therapy were covered by the Bill. But, biotechnology has been excluded from the purview of the university as there are biotechnology courses in Dibrugarh and Gauhati Universities. However, in course of time, he said, if medical science related developments take place in the subject, that part would be brought under the purview of the university.The vision of the University was such in the Bill that superspeciality subjects would also be covered by it. On the issue of lack of infrastructure for research activities, Sarma said that an amendment would be brought later on to incorporate such provisions.Sarma also moved an amendment to the Bill incorporating in it the provision that the Governor would be the Chancellor of the University in case of emergency and President’s rule are clamped. Originally, it proposed the Chief Minister as the Chancellor of the University.The Minister said that the University would be able to affiliate all forms of colleges whether private , public or private-public participation or charitable in nature. This will be stated more categorically in the regulation being framed under the legislation. He also accepted the suggestion offered by AGP’s Keshab Mahanta that the academic registrar should be the convenor of the academic council of the University.In reply to a suggestion from Pranab Kalita (Ind) that the name of the University should be as Sankara-Madhava university, the Minister said that the name of Madhavadeva was spared for another occasion. He assured that within the next six months, the Government would start the university. Dr Aditya Langthasa (AUDF), Dr Rumi Nath (BJP), Keshab Mahanta (AGP) and Pranab Kalita (Ind) took part in the discussion on the Bill.
Volume on State’s medicinal plants GUWAHATI, March 5 — In a significant work of compilation involving dedication, perseverance and sacrifice in family matters, deputy conservator of forest Jatindra Sarma has recently brought out an exhaustive utility book titled Medicinal & Aromatic Plants of Assam with Special Reference to Karbi Anglong recently.The book is aimed to provide information on the valuable medicinal and aromatic plants found in Assam and Karbi Anglong. Altogether 434 plant and tree varieties have been described in the glossy paper, hard cover and jacket cover book having over 600 photographs along with botanical name, family, English name, Assamese name, Karbi name (wherever available), parts used and their uses in different ailments and diseases. The book would be of immense help to Ayurvedic institutions, researchers, botanists, herbal drug companies and other concerned persons and institutions for obvious reasons. Sarma, an alumnus of Sainik School, Goalpara, had a brilliant academic career and twice passed the UPSC’s NDA examination. He was even selected for NDA but for late receipt of intimation he could’t join in time. Later Sarma graduated from Cotton College. While pursuing post graduation in Chemistry in Gauhati University he had to leave mid-way to complete the two-year forestry course before joining as assistant conservator of forest.Sarma is presently doing commercial cultivation of high value medicinal plants and established Herbal Gardens with the support of Medicinal Plants Board, Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
AIDS problem turning serious in NEBy Surajit Khaund GUWAHATI, Sept 19 – AIDS problem in North East has taken a serious turn due to increase, in number of injecting drug users. To counter the menace a comprehensive effort is urgently required. This was observed by Dr Denis Broun, country coordinator of UNAIDS. Talking to The Assam Tribune here, Dr Broun, said that in view of growing cases of AIDS/HIV, the UNAIDS has decided to take a slew of measures to overcome the problem. “Initially we are planning to conduct an indepth study to find out the root cause of the problem. Though injecting drug is the major reason for the HIV, we will have to study the other pros and cons in this regard,” Dr Broun said while disclosing his future plans in the North East. Dr Broun who was also the chief of health section of UNICEF, informed that UNAIDS would provide medicines and training to the workers and NGOs working in the field of AIDS. “Our experts will be visiting the region frequently to assist the workers to speed up operation,” he said, adding that though the problem has been contained in several States in India, this region is yet to make any significant progress. Citing reasons for poor progress, Dr Broun pointed out that availability of injecting drugs is a major problem in the North East that has aggravated the problem to a large extent. “As per the report, Manipur has been worst affected as far as HIV is concerned over the years. Injecting drug users in Manipur have been increasing causing a serious problem for the youths. The need of the hour is that to stop flow of injecting drugs,” Dr Broun added.Broun arrived here yesterday to gear up activities in association with the local organisations fighting against AIDS over the years.On a specific question on spurt in cases of HIV in the region, he observed that the unemployment problem has forced the youths to take heroin and other injecting drugs. “Due to sharing of needles while taking drugs, the HIV cases are also increasing day by day in the region,” he said.The three States of North East-Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram, bordering Myanmar have been witnessing severe drug trafficking problem over the years. A study shows that there are about two lakh drug addicts in the region. Porous border and lack of security personnel have made the problem more acute.
Call to investigate Dr Dhaniram Baruah’s claims GUWAHATI, Sept 23 – Public activist professor Deven Dutta has appealed to the Government, the people and the medical fraternity of Assam to pay heed to the various claims of curing incurable diseases made from time to time by Dr Dhaniram Baruah of Sonapur, Guwahati, and said that the claims should be subjected to tests and investigations and then either accepted or dismissed, but never treated with indifference.Dutta said in a statement that Dr Baruah, who is said to have a hospital-cum-research institute at Sonapur has claimed several times during the last many years to have treated many patients with complicated diseases and disorders according to his own medical theories and to have cured them, which has also been publicly admitted and corroborated by the people claimed to be his patients.Asserting that he himself is least competent to say anything either positive or negative about the claims of Dr Baruah or the comments of the people receiving his treatment, Dutta, however, said that the issue as a whole has an urgent public importance and several significant social aspects.He said that Dr Baruah’s claims may have far-reaching possibilities. Any assumption either that the claims are false just because he is an Assamese or that they must be correct as he is an Assamese is wrong and dangerous. Hence, in the interest of ascertaining the veracity of his claims regarding results of his researches, and his success in curing hopeless patients suffering from otherwise incurable diseases, it is necessary to subject those claims to severe tests and investigations.And, in this, the initiative has to be taken by the State Government and the Assam branch of the Indian Medical Association in particular and the medical fraternity in general. If the claims are found to be correct, then there should be no hesitation in giving them due recognition and acceptance and adequate publicity. And, if they are proved to be false, baseless and aimed at misleading the people, then they should be rejected and Dr Baruah discredited for the same. But, in no case, should the claims be ignored and the doctor mentally and intellectually killed with indifference.Commenting that the resounding silence of the medical fraternity of Assam on Dr Baruah’s numerous assertions about new findings is rather disturbing and painful. Prof Dutta said that already in the past, the Government and the people of Assam had been several times caught napping on matters of Assam’s national interest and had to pay heavy prices for going by default. We may have to rue later, but there is no use crying over spilled milk, he said.
NE faces drug use proliferationBy Sanjoy Ray GUWAHATI, Sept 23 – With the ‘Golden Triangle’ encompassing parts of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos continuing to be a drug-infested region, India’s North East is fast finding itself at the receiving end of drug use proliferation. Moreover, the absence of any institutionalised intelligence framework within the police forces to tackle the well-coordinated narcotics trafficking into the region from the Golden Triangle has also proved to be a boon for the thriving racket, which is now flourishing in Assam, and especially in Guwahati.Not surprisingly, their target users are youngsters, who if some of the anti-addiction organisations are to be believed, are fast falling prey to the menace of drug abuse. The investigating agencies now want the educational institutes to shoulder some sort of responsibility in checking this growing practice among the youngsters.The availability of heroin and other illicit drugs brought in primarily from Burma, Thailand and Laos are responsible for high addiction rates in Assam and Manipur. In Assam alone, the number of estimated drug addicts has reportedly increased to 50,000 out of which 20,000 are believed to be injecting drug users.Sources from the police department while talking to The Assam Tribune informed that out of the estimated number of drug addicts in the State, the ratio of youngsters to adults has increased alarmingly in the last few years.“Youngsters, mostly in Guwahati, are fast getting addicted to this menace. Moreover, as Guwahati has emerged as the hub of all affairs, the drug pedlars too are now aiming to spread their wings in and around the city to earn more through the sale of the contraband here,” sources asserted, adding that psychotropic substances like Spasmaproxyvon capsules, Diazepum tablets and injection among others are fast catching the fancy of youngsters in the State. “The educational institutes must come forward to stop this menace, which, more than being a law-and-order problem, is a social issue,” a senior police official said. “An estimated 1,00,000 kg of ganja, 10 kg of heroin and 40 kg of opium has been recovered while around 1,000 persons had been arrested under the NDPS Act in the last five years across the State on the charges of drug smuggling,” informed the sources while adding, “In most of the recent cases, we have later discovered that the drugs were brought to be released in the city market”. “Guwahati, in the last couple of years, has emerged as a transit point for drugs trafficking. A good portion of the drugs brought in are consumed while the rest is sent out,” sources said.Sources further informed that the youngsters, mostly school and college-goers, have been seen indulging in this business, too, to make easy money.“It is not only about addiction. The spurt in the number of drug users has also made the region a HIV positive-prone area. Compared to other parts of the country where more than 80 per cent of the cases of HIV infection had been attributed to sexual reasons, in Manipur about around 70 per cent of the cases originate from sharing of needles and syringes by injecting drug users,” a senior police official said.“The pedlars buy the contraband from villagers in Manipur and Nagaland at 200-250 per kg and resell at Rs 20,000 a kg,” sources reiterated.
GMCH to be at par with AIIMSBy A City Reporter GUWAHATI, Oct 1 – “Another AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) cannot be created in Guwahati, but in the days to come, the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital can certainly be developed at par with the AIIMS, if not more,” said the Minister of Health and Family Welfare Himanta Biswa Sarma while inaugurating two new intensive care units in the GMCH today. “Reforms and renovations introduced in the GMCH have helped both the patients and the doctors restore their faith in the services provided here and the hospital is entering the next level of healthcare,” he said. Substantiating his claims, Sarma mentioned a long list of reform measures, starting with the changes in the duty hours of the doctors. The duty hours, which are from 8 am to 2 pm, have been changed from 9 am to 4 pm with effect from November 1.“With a set of progressive schemes, improved services and introduction of modern equipment, the GMCH is marching ahead towards becoming a super speciality hospital and we have taken several upgradation works in different departments of the hospital,” he said after inaugurating the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in the Department of Paediatrics and Intensive Coronary Care Unit (ICCU) in the Department of Cardiology. The building construction of the eight-bed PICU was done two years back with a sum of Rs 40 lakh from the MP fund of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “After being equipped by the State government, the unit, which will benefit those children who are critically ill, will start functioning in 15 to 20 days,” said the Head of the Department, Paediatrics, Dr Gyanen Sarma. “Four doctors, dedicated to the unit and more than ten nurses would be appointed soon in the department,” he added. “The services provided through this unit will be completely free of cost,” declared the Health Minister. On the other hand, the ICCU of the Cardiology department, which was lying defunct, has been renovated with individual and central monitoring systems. The five-bed ICCU, attached to the operation theatre has been equipped with adequate ventilators,” said the HoD, Cardiology, Dr AK Bhattacharjee. “Services provided in the GMCH are much batter in comparison to the government hospitals of many other States and the earnings of the hospital have gone up to Rs 42 lakh from last year’s Rs 26 lakh, which sends the message loud and clear,” Sarma added. “Lots of new plans to upgrade the hospital are on cards including an ICU for medicine within two months, followed by an ICU for the Neuro-surgery department. Installation procedure of an MRI machine, costing Rs 8 crore is going on and a Cathlad system worth Rs 4 crore, will be procured soon,” he told the mediapersons. The construction of a three storied pharmacy is also going on, which will enable the patients to procure the medicine free of cost. The 24x7 pharmacy will provide medicines in addition to the distribution of medicines in the wards.
Yet again, Dhaniram claims cure for life-threatening disease GUWAHATI, Sept 30 – Maverick heart surgeon Dr Dhaniram Baruah, who had recently claimed to have invented a cure to heart disease, diabetes and hypertension, today asserted that he had made the first-ever successful application of genetic engineering in the treatment of Systematic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), a life-threatening, complex disease.“SLE is a complex disorder resulting from the production of antibodies that attack the DNA and proteins within healthy cells and generation of circulating immune complexes,” Dr Baruah told the media on Saturday. A magazine published by Dr Baruah titled International Journal of Evolutions and Revolutions in Cardio-Vascular Sciences, was released on the occasion. Releasing the journal, Devananda Konwar, former minister said that Dr Baruah was doing something innovative, which could possibly mark a new chapter in medical science. “Of late there have been new emerging trends in medical science, and Dr Baruah’s research is also different from the conventional,” he said, adding that novelty is not easily accepted by society but eventually the truth prevails. Terming conventional medical science as inadequate to find permanent cure to diseases, Dr Baruah said that it merely addressed the symptoms without getting to the roots of the disorders. “The present-day treatment provides temporary relief with debilitating side effects but never finds cure to diseases. Therefore, 80 per cent of modern medical science is wrong,” he said. Dr Baruah also said that commonly-followed forms of treatment like bypass surgery, pacemaker, dialysis, kidney transplant, etc., served little purpose. “They provide temporary relief and ultimately the patient dies a premature death,” he said. Dr Baruah also presented a patient, Rashmirekha Chetia (25), who was cured by him after her condition continued to worsen even after she underwent prolonged treatments at reputed hospitals outside. “I was suffering from SLE since 2001 and in spite of long sessions of treatment in the best-known hospitals outside, my condition continued to deteriorate to the extent that I became almost blind, extremely weak and overweight. I approached Dr Baruah as a last resort and thanks to his genetic treatment, I have become a normal person now,” Chetia revealed.
Injecting drug users rising in StateBy Surajit Khaund GUWAHATI, Oct 7 – Tidin, Likesh, Majela and Lydin (names changed) are now taking to injecting drugs. These school dropout Singpho youths, aged between 15 to 20, used to take opium, but now they are dependant on heroin or other tranquiliser twice a day to meet their demand. They are not alone. Hundreds of Singpho youths are now victims of injecting drugs in Assam.“We used to consume opium thrice a day, but we need heroin instead of opium as it cannot meet our daily requirement,” the youths unequivocally said. The youths have been taking drugs for the last three years, for which they have to spend Rs 150 to Rs 200 daily. According to them, heroin is supplied from Myanmar through Jairampur border and then sent to different locations as per demand. The youths are now undergoing treatment at a local counselling centre in Margherita in upper Assam. This is a common problem among the Singpho youths in the bordering areas of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. What is more alarming is that Singpho youths have started using drug syringes resulting in increase of HIV and hepatitis cases. “This is a great menace to our society as more and more Singpho youths are falling prey to drugs. A pragmatic step is the need of the hour to counter the menace,” a senior Singpho leader told this correspondent today.According to a study, there are over one lakh drug addicts in the North East, of which 60 per cent are injecting drug users. The problem is more acute in Manipur, Nagaland and Manipur. In Assam, the problem is increasing gradually. The problem is aggravated due to flow of heroin and other psychotropic substances. Tiken, joint secretary of Social Awareness Service Organisation (SASO), an NGO of Manipur, said that the situation in Manipur is alarming. “We need a proper study in this regard,” he observed. Tiken, who is also hepatitis C-positive for injecting drugs, said that Centre should try to find a permanent solution to the growth of hepatitis cases in Manipur.The use of injecting drug has also fuelled the HIV and hepatitis cases in the region. This is apparently due to sharing of syringe while taking drugs. A Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) study has indicated that because of the sharing of needles, hepatitis C cases are increasing in Manipur.
Move to boost health care in Karbi AnglongFrom Our Correspodent DIPHU, Oct 5 – State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today announced a slew of measures to give a boost to the health and medical infrastructure of Karbi Anglong district besides formally introducing e-governance in the district headquarters Diphu today. Announcing some ambitious projects at a press meet at the Diphu Circuit House this evening, Sarma said that a general nursing midwifery (GNM) training centre for nurses would be set up at Matipung at a cost of Rs 9 crore. Fifty girls can go for training in the centre, which will be reserved for the people of Karbi Anglong district. The Minister further said that a mobile medical unit with three vehicles would be introduced within a short period under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). The unit, to be built at a cost of Rs 70 lakh, will have operation, X-ray, and ultra sound facilities. Sarma also revealed that six new doctors would be posted in the district in the coming two months, and announced that doctors willing to serve in the hill district would be given Rs 40,000 per month. Fifty posts of doctors have been lying vacant in Karbi Anglong.Earlier, Sarma distributed 50 radio sets to Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers to bring awareness among the rural masses at the Diphu civil hospital. The Minister also inaugurated the Government to Citizen-centric Services at the Diphu Deputy Commissioner’s (DC’s) office, marking the beginning of e-governance in the district. The Minister also termed the Karbi Anglong DC office as the best DC office in Assam. The DC, Dr M Angamuthu said that 23 different services would be provided through the centre.
Assam ahead in immunisation coverage NEW DELHI, Oct 15 – Assam, along with Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Uttaranchal have shown marked improvements in full immunisation coverage, according to the final report of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3), 2005-06 released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Progress in vaccination coverage varies markedly among the States. In 11 States, there has been a substantial deterioration in full immunisation coverage in the last seven years, due to a decline in vaccination coverage for both DPT and polio. Huge decline is seen in Maharashtra, Mizoram, Andhra Pradesh, and Punjab, said the report that offers a comprehensive picture of the health, nutrition and population in the country
First free pacemaker implantedFrom Our Bureau DIBRUGARH, Oct 13 – Under a State Government scheme to provide free pacemakers to heart patients, a retired Government employee residing in Dhemaji, Biren Gogoi was operated upon today to implant a pacemaker. The operation was carried out successfully by a team of specialists at the Assam Medical College (AMC) here. The free pacemaker scheme would be available to needy patients free of cost for an indefinite period. Patients or their relatives may contact the nodal officer at the AMC here, Professor Hem Chandra Kalita for appointments. Prof. Amrit Baruah of the AMC said two more patients would be provided with free pacemaker implants at the medical college here on Monday. He said patients are requested to avail of the free facility.
Health scene to improve GUWAHATI, Oct 27 – Asserting that the health sector was poised for a big leap forward with the ongoing implementation of the National Rural Health Mission, State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today said that some basic indicators like immunization, infant and maternal mortality, etc., had already witnessed a manifold improvement. “New-born immunization, which was 19 per cent two years back, has shot up to 65 per cent. Institutional delivery of babies, too, has gone up from 65,700 cases to around 2 lakh now,” Sarma said while delivering his keynote address at the ‘First regional workshop on flagship programmes of UPA Government’ organized by Doordarshan Kendra, Guwahati.Sarma said that by the end of the first phase of the NRHM, Assam would be able to match all the national parameters of health. “Following the launch of the NRHM in April 2005, the State Government has been effecting a ten per cent hike on the budgetary allocations for health every year, and this year the hike was 17 per cent, making the overall hike in the past two years 37 per cent,’ Sarma said.According to Sarma, the increased budgetary allocations would ensure that the health infrastructure set up by the NHRM would continue to be effective after the Mission concluded. “This alone can ensure that the impetus created by the NHRM is sustained over the years,” he said. Giving an account of a number of initiatives taken by the department, the Minister said that decades of neglect had made the health care delivery system sluggish, and it was only recently that some meaningful investments had been made in the vital sector. Sarma, who also holds the portfolios of Guwahati Development, said that the coming days would witness a sea-change in the city’s urban infrastructure with the inclusion of Guwahati in the list of 62 cities covered by the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM). “To start with, Guwahati will soon have its first solid waste management project at a cost of Rs 55 crore. Then a Rs 1,100-crore mega water supply project is pending approval of the Centre,’ he said. Earlier, Assam Governor Lt Gen (retd) Ajai Singh formally inaugurated the workshop. Commerce and Industries Minister Pradyut Bardoloi inaugurated a photo exhibition ‘Resurgent India’ featuring achievements under the various flagship programmes of the UPA Government, which was organized by the Directorate of Advertising and Field Publicity, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt of India.
Mumbai businessman to set up cancer hospital in Darrang GUWAHATI, Oct 26 – Economically hard-pressed cancer patients of the State can now hope for some respite as Maharashtrian businessman-cum-philantrophist Ratanlal Gidwani has resolved to establish a hospital at Deo Mornoi in Darrang district for offering free treatment to the poor people.A plot of land was recently allotted by the State Government for the novel project.The idea took wings two years ago when renowned Jnanpith award-winning author Mamoni Raisom Goswami was feted by Bombay University. Incidentally, she was put up at the residence of Ratanlal Gidwani, who is credited with setting up several hospitals in Rajasthan for free treatment of poor patients.In due course, Dr Goswami persuaded Gidwani to open a hospital in Assam. Going by the record, Darrang district has the highest number of cancer patients, and the envisaged hospital will be a boon for them.Gidwani is scheduled to visit Assam shortly in order to finalise the project.
Institute in memory of Dr Berry White soonFrom Our Bureau DIBRUGARH, Nov 3 – Rs 20 crore would be spent to set up an institute in the name of Dr John Berry White at the Assam Medical College, said Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi here today. Dr White, the British military surgeon’s initiative led to the establishment of the present Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH), which celebrated its sixtieth anniversary today. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi inaugurated the basic science building of the medical college, which has also been named after Dr Berry White. The Chief Minister and an entourage of state ministers were in the city today on the occasion of the concluding day’s celebration of the diamond jubilee functions of the medical college.The present day AMCH that germinated from Berry White Medical School started functioning as a full-fledged medical college and hospital from November 3, 1947. Calling to mind the noble initiative of Dr Berry, the chief minister who showed reverence for the great social thinker and leader said the exemplary social responsibility shown by Dr Berry ought to be emulated by all. Recalling the condition of the medical institute ten years back, Gogoi said the AMCH was totally sick. “All departmental units of the medical college and hospital, its administration and infrastructure, a decade ago were in a sorry state,” Gogoi described. But today, the chief minister declared, AMCH was healed of all its illness. “The medical college and hospital is glowing today,” he said in obvious reference to the constructions of new medical units and installing of sophisticated infrastructures in the AMCH under the project ‘Hope’. The state health department has poured more than Rs 100 crores for the upgradation and renovation of the institute. Earlier, the Chief Minister inaugurated the advanced MRI machine and OIL-donated lecture hall-cum-conference complex today where he said that the state needed to update itself with latest technologies in all sectors for progress and prosperity. “We have to keep pace with the fast changing science and technology”, Gogoi underlined. However, he clarified that state-of-the-art services should not be a costly affair for the common people. “It is my government’s aim to provide all services at an affordable cost,” the chief minister said. Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma who was frequently referred to as ‘dynamic and energetic’ while addressing the gathering reiterated that the state government would make all effort to bring back the past glory of the medical institute and would never allow the medical institute to fall into the hands of a few individuals and business parties running private nursing homes. “AMCH is an institute of the people and no individual or party can hijack the institute to meet their selfish ends,” the health minister cautioned. Sarma called upon the people to contribute towards the development of the institute and assured that the state health department would give adequate care and attention to the premiere medical institute. The Planning and Development Minister Prithbi Majhi, who also happens to be the chairman of the governing body of AMCH, addressed today’s open session. Parliamentary Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Jibontara Ghatowar, Power and Industries Minister Pradyut Bordoloi, Principal, AMCH Dr Taufique Rahman Borborah, were amongst others who also spoke on the occasion. The jubilee celebration committee also announced today the construction of a Diamond Jubilee Hall for patients’ attendants coming from far off places, particularly those who cannot afford to seek accommodation in city hotels. A souvenir, medical directory (in CD format) and AMC annual journal were also released on the occasion. In the penultimate session of the celebrations today, past pupils of the medical college took turns to go down memory lane and regale the audience. They were all optimistic that the glory of the AMC “never faded, never will.” Speaking to The Assam Tribune, health minister Dr Sarmah said he has sanctioned a second CT Scan machine for the medical college, and that this would be the hi-tech “spiral” type. He also said the government has decided to set up two nursing colleges, at the Assam Medical College here and at the Silchar Medical College. “Nurses graduating from these two colleges would be qualified for global assignments,” he boasted City cancer institute to have lush green park with flowersBy A City Reporter GUWAHATI, Nov 2 – Now, the cancer patients and their attendants coming to Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute for treatment would not have to spent solitary moments in a rather tiring clinical ambience. A lush green park with pulsating red Salvia flowers would very soon be ready to greet them inside the hospital premises.Getting decked up to be inaugurated on the coming New Year’s Day, the park will have adequate sitting arrangements and a walking track. “This is an attempt of the institute to attain total well-being of the patients, doctors, staff and other people coming to the hospital,” said the Director of the BBCI, Dr Amal Chandra Kataki.“According to the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO), ‘health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’ And thus we are trying to make this institute more patient-friendly,” he added. “Fighting against cancer is a struggle between life and death, which involves lots of mental trauma for the patients and their family members. In such conditions, even a little refreshment and a chance to meet the other patients can give them a lot of courage,” he continued.“We have planned to inaugurate it in January when Salvia flowers would start blooming,” he added. In another attempt to make the hospital patient-friendly, a 10-bed accommodation facility Jiranighar, has been opened for attendants from November 1. “As only early detection and treatment can stop cancer from spreading, we have planned to intensify the cancer awareness campaign with a month-long programme to be started from November 7, the National Cancer Awareness Day,” Kataki said. Requesting special attention of the common people, he said that the institute is well- equipped with the MRI, CT Scan, Intensity Modulated Radio Therapy (IMRT), 3-D CRT, linear accelerator and other sophisticated machines, which can be used by any patient, suffering from other than the cancer disease at very subsidised rates. The BBCI is also conducting a ‘school health education programme’ on cancer, which is being conducted in Assam and the adjoining north-eastern States. Any school interested in this programme may contact the institute.“Our social awareness programmes are multiplying with every passing year, spreading the message of prevention and early detection of cancer,” added Kataki.
AMC: new lease of life at 60By Ron Duarah DIBRUGARH, Nov 2 – Sixty today, the Assam Medical College is recuperating, to use a word the medical fraternity is familiar with. Upgraded to a full fledged medical college this day in 1947, the institution was in existence since 1900 in its earlier avatar as the Berry White Medical School, churning out medical practitioners but without the MBBS degree. If one takes the legacy of the medical school, the college today is 107 years old. But as a few think otherwise, the official birthday of the Assam Medical College (AMC) is November 3, 1947. As has been repeated millions of times, the golden days of the AMC concluded months after the signing of the Assam Accord. This grand institution which had stalwarts like Dr Bhubaneswar Baruah as the founders, saw the rapid decline of prestige between 1985 and 1995. After a decade of sheer neglect, the institution once again attracted attention of the state government, and today it seems that the AMC is well on its way to regain its lost glory. However, one has to bear this in mind that government grants alone cannot do not make a great institution; it is the people who are running it would have to be fully devoted. AMC today is well on its feet to recovery from a period of step motherly treatment by the Assam Government. However, there are still major flaws in the recuperative process which would have to be taken care of if the medical college really has to become a centre of medical excellence. Ad-hoc planning would not do, and neither will ad-hoc financing. It is good to see new buildings coming up at the vast AMC campus, replacing the erstwhile barracks of the Allied Forces, built to house military personnel during the Second World War. But a casual glance at the insides of these buildings would tell even a lay man that the building design has been flawed. A case in point would be the lack of ventilation at the Medical and Cardiology Block. The reduced height of the rooms and the flawed ventilation makes both medical personnel and patients struggling for breath. Two other buildings, supposed to house the new institutes of infectious and chest diseases remain uncompleted for over five years. Worse, the AMC authorities are yet to finalise a plan to recruit the personnel for these two units and their remuneration. The cost of the buildings were borne by the North Eastern Council, but it is gathered that the money was diverted by the government. Similarly, the matter of setting up a full fledged Neurosciences Department got lost in a quagmire of babudom, and the private tea company that wanted to finance the project has since lost interest. For any institution to remain strong, it must have a strong bank of human resource. Students and junior doctors have even gone on an agitation, demanding adequate teaching staff. Shortage of teachers continue to plague the AMC. Manipulation of faculty related data to hoodwink the Medical Council of India does not help the real cause of the AMC. This is one important area the government will have to tackle, and soon. On the brighter side, new equipment and infrastructure is being set up at the AMC. One just hopes the government would be a little more sincere for the North East’s oldest medical college and arrange for the right men to man the equipment and infrastructure. Then, we would not want the AMC to be of AIIMS standard: it could be the other way around! Possible, did one hear?
GMCH gets proposal from leading Japanese groupBy Our Correspondent GUWAHATI, Nov 1 – The Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) has received an invitation from Kameda Medical Centre (KMC), Japan’s number one chain of hospitals, for starting a perpetual medical exchange programme involving doctors and students of the GMCH.The proposed medical exchange programme, which has been endorsed by the Japan Government, according to experts, apart from helping the doctors in getting themselves acquainted with the fast changing trends in the medical field, could also prove to be extremely pivotal in handling the rising load of the patients in the GMCH by way of increasing the efficiency level of the doctors. This proposal, which has also been dispatched to the State Health Ministry via the GMCH principal, has stressed the need for updating the GMCH doctors with the latest developments taking place in the medical arena, which will help the hospital in emerging as a force to reckon with in entire Asia.The doctors and students of the hospital, through this programme, would be able to acquaint themselves with the know-how of modern technology, which the GMCH is on the verge of procuring.Talking to The Assam Tribune, Dr Nobuyasu Kano, special adviser to the president chairman of department of surgery, KMC, who was in the city, said, “I have submitted a proposal to the State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma through the GMCH principal and he has assured that he will look into the proposal.”Dr Kano, who is arguably one of the best surgeons in entire Asia, while expressing satisfaction over the state-of-the-art equipment available in the surgery department, some of which are still in the wings, said, “There is no doubt that the GMCH is on the threshold of a revival, at least the modern equipment available in the surgery department suggest so. With a host of ultra-modern medical equipment in the line up, the hospital would soon emerge as one of the best in the country.” The leading surgeon was here to attend a conference on ‘Recent Advances in Gastric and Pancreatic Cancer’ organised by the Department of Surgery, GMCH in cooperation with Scientific Society, GMCH. Dr Abhijit Sarma, the only surgeon from Assam, to have visited Japan under an exchange programme, was also present on the occasion. “But there are a couple of challenges, which the Health Ministry will have to overcome,” Dr Kano pointed out, while laying emphasis on the ever-growing patient load and the maintenance of the equipment procured by the hospital in the long run.“It is good that more and more people are coming to the hospital for treatment but this at the same time, should not have any adverse bearing on the quality of the services rendered to the patients. For this, the doctors here will have to get trained to boost their efficiency level in dealing with the situation in an effective manner and the proposed exchange programme will help in this regard,” said Dr Kano, who has so far authored more than 500 books covering a host of medical issues and development in the field. “We have invited both the Health Minister and the GMCH superintendent to visit our hospital and if we get the nod from them, we can start the programme as early as next year,” he said.Dr Kano, who left for Tokyo today, has also stressed the need for complete computerisation of the GMCH, especially the patients’ record to increase its standard of service. Meanwhile, sources at the GMCH confirmed the proposal but refused to say anything on that.
AMCH’s diamond jubilee gets under wayFrom Pores Aind DIBRUGARH, Nov 1 – The three-day diamond jubilee celebrations of the Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH), here began today with the inaugural of the scientific and trade exhibition at the campus by Jibontara Ghatowar, Parliamentary Secretary, Health and Family Welfare. More than two thousand alumni arrived this morning to join in the festivities alongside the faculties, non-teaching staff and students of the premiere medical institute. A few past pupils of the institute now pursuing their medical careers in foreign lands like Australia and Gulf countries have also made it for the three-day jubilation.The adorned campus and streets inside the AMCH with glowing lights and artistic touches have been radiating glorious sight. Elaborate arrangements have been planned for the successful celebration of the jubilee. The guests attending the three-day jubilation at the AMCH have occupied all hotels in the city.The medical institute, which germinated from John Berry White Medical School set up during the British raj, was converted to a full-fledged medical college christened as Assam Medical College and Hospital on November 3, 1947, immediately after the country's independence.The newly established medical college had its first batch of MBBS numbering fifty-six male and one female student. However, in the final held in 1952 only nine students got through, thus producing the first MBBS doctors from the North East. The AMCH, which has till date produced more than 7000 MBBS professionals and about 2550 postgraduates besides four 4100 nurses will complete sixty years on Saturday.Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma and Planning and Development Minister Prithbi Majhi are expected to join in the celebration on the final day.Earlier today, the newly erected main entrance gate of the AMCH was inaugurated by Ratna Devi Jain, mother of Bimal Jain, Kamal Jain and Rajesh Jain, the owners of Ghooronia tea estate who donated the structure in memory of their deceased father.Meanwhile, the AGP camp in the city is furious that Dibrugarh MP Sarbananda Sonowal has not been invited to the diamond jubilee celebrations. Sonowal has sent a written congratulatory note to the AMC principal, greeting the "AMC family on the grand occasion of the diamond jubilee." AGP secretary Sasanka Neog said it is unfortunate that the state government has made the jubilee celebrations into a "Congress function." Sonowal could not be contacted for his comments as he was in Chennai today on a Parliamentary assignment. AMC diamond jubilee committee functionaries said the MP's invitation was sent by post.
NE becoming a boon for childless couples GUWAHATI, Nov 6 – Having earned the distinction of giving birth to as many as 700 test tube babies in the last ten years, Dr Pramod Sharma, popularly known as ‘doctor papa’, in now trying to popularise the concept ‘rent a womb,’ in the north-eastern region.‘There is absolutely no problem in this process as we get women from far flung and remote areas as Barak Valley who will be able to earn money by giving birth to child through in-vitro fertilisation,’ Sharma says. Currently heading the Pratiksha Hospitals in Guwahati, which specialises in IVF, Sharma is all set to bring joy to the lives of childless couples who are even as fas as Edimborough in UK.Having a fellowship in reproductive biology and IVF from Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne in Australia, Sharma, says despite being offered a high profile job there his desire to better health facilities in the North east brought him back to the region.Disclosing that demand for child through surrogate mothers are pouring in from countries like Japan and Australia, Sharma says. the North Eastern region has a very high percentage of infertility and hence the need for IVF which in present times is not as expensive as it used to be earlier’, he says.In his last ten years of practices in the treatment of infertile couples, Sharma has done more than 2000 IVF cycles and 5000 laparoscopic and hysteroscopic surgeries.The doctor has also earned the distinction of delivering a test-tube baby from frozen embryos. Sharma is equally interested in patronising the concept of medical tourism for which he says the N E region has tremendous potential. A study has shown that India has 27 per cent increase in tourists while medical tourism itself has demonstrated a 20 per cent growth, he says. India had attracted 150,000 medical tourists in 2003 and by 2012, medical tourism is expected to bring an additional 1.1 to 2.2 billion in annual revenue. Dr Sharma who began his career at a charitable hospital, where he delivered the first test tube baby in 1997, went on to set up his dream project, the Pratiksha Hospital. The concept of medical tourism has been initiated in Pratiksha and its surroundings are been given a face-lift to imbibe the feeling inside a patient that he is actually a tourist, says the doctor. Stating that the hospital would not like to disclose the identity of the surrogate mothers, Sharma says a nominal sum upto Rs one lakh is paid to women who consent to be surrogate mothers. His latest association has been with a couple in Edinburgh who had approached him with the desire for a child through a surrogate mother. “Now the mother is in the fifth month and carrying on fine in the hospital. The couple with whom constant touch is being maintained will return from UK to take back the child”, he says. Asked whether the surrogate mothers sometimes develop affection for the child, Sharma says,”On the contrary I have found joy in their faces as they have helped others who do not have the capacity”. – PTI
Gogoi launches 8 mobile medical unitsBy Our Correspondent GUWAHATI, Nov 11 – With an aim to bring the best healthcare facilities to the doorsteps of the people, especially in the remote areas of the State, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today formally launched as many as eight mobile medical units (MMU) under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). The eight MMUs, which were flagged off by the Chief Minister today at the Pragjyoti ITA complex, would operate in the districts like Dhubri, Karbi Anglong, Jorhat, Tinsukia, Nagaon, Kokrajhar, Dhemaji and Hailakandi.Assam is the first State in the entire country to have launched the MMUs under the NRHM.The State Government also plans to cover all the other remaining districts, where MMUs would be operational in a phased manner by March 2008. The MMUs will involve three vehicles, out of which one would be to carry the team of doctors.The other two buses tagged as MMU number one and MMU number two, are equipped with all the sophisticated diagnostic and laboratory equipment including facilities like X-Ray, ECG, ultra sound, an OPD table and a auto-analyser. Besides, all the necessary medicines will be available in the MMUs.A team of nurses, a radiographer and a pharmacist will also assist the team of doctors in the MMUs.The Chief Minister, while speaking on the occasion, said that the idea of MMUs was floated a few years back and it was like a dream for the State Government, which has come true today.“We know that around 75 per cent of the population in the State live in villages, where health care facilities are very poor. Even in urban areas, it is not up to the mark and so we have decided to give our concentrated effort to improve the situation, in which we have succeeded considerably. We want to ensure the best possible medical facilities even to the remotest area of the State,” Gogoi said.“Health has always been an area where our Government has laid special impetus. Only a healthy society can help in building a prosperous State and we are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that,” he asserted.State Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was also present on the occasion, said that necessary funds have also been allotted for the maintenance and day-to-day work of the MMUs. He also underscored the need for improving the awareness level among the people so that they can avail the optimum benefits from the MMUs.K Ramamurthy, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, while hailing the State Government for its commendable work in the health sector, however, stressed the need for issuing health cards to the people so that proper record can be maintained, especially in the rural and inaccessible pockets of the State.
Move to boost health scene in lower Assam GUWAHATI, Nov 10 – Health care facilities in lower Assam is likely to see improvement within the next two years as the Government is going ahead with construction of a 200-bed civil hospital in Amingaon under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and the project is scheduled to be completed by October, 2009. The Government is also planning to upgrade all the district civil hospitals into 200-bed hospitals in phased manner.Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi formally laid the foundation stone of the new hospital in a function held at Amingaon and official sources said that an amount of Rs 20 crore would be spent on the project, of which, Rs 12.80 crore would be required for the civil constructions. The hospital will be named Tolaram Bafna Kamrup Civil hospital and the Tolaram Bafna charitable trust today formally handed over its land and the existing 50-bed hospital to the Government.Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that the State Government had accorded highest priority in improving health care facilities, particularly in the rural areas and efforts are on to improve the condition of all the district and sub-division level hospitals. He said that as a part of the efforts to improve health care facilities, the process for establishment of three new medical colleges has started and after the completion of the Kamrup Civil Hospital, the people of lower Assam would not have to come to Guwahati for treatment. Gogoi said that the Government would try to shift all the major offices of Kamrup district in one place for the benefit of the people and sought cooperation of all sections of people for all round development of the rural areas of the State. He pointed out that formation of the self-help groups brought about a change in rural economy and stressed the need for formation of more such groups. He also expressed the view that the self-help groups should try to establish small-scale industrial units.Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the Government spending on health care sector has increased and three new 200-bed hospitals would be established in the districts of Chirang, Baska and Dhubri soon. He announced that gradually all the districts of the state would have 200-bed hospitals and improvement of the healthcare facilities to the people living in the grass root level is one of the main goals of the Government. He also assured that the Government would tackle the problem of shortage of doctors and nurse soon
NGO’s ambitious projectFrom Our Correspondent NAGAON, Nov 18 – Gram Vikash Parishad of Rangaloo in Nagaon district, a leading NGO in the State, has taken up an ambitious project of setting up a 20-bed hospital, the work of which will begin soon, disclosed Sirajuddin Ahmed, the general secretary of the parishad.Ahmed further disclosed that the parishad has plans to construct a community cultural auditorium at Rangaloo, help educated unemployed youth in getting self-employed under Janashikasha scheme and upgrade Rural Information Technology Youth Development Centres.The Gram Vikash Parishad, established during 1990-91, is running 23 projects such as old-age home, shelters for distressed women, school for child labourers, primary schools for children belonging to Scheduled Caste and school for children of pavement dwellers, study centre under IGNOU, trainng centres for repairing of electronic instruments, electrical gadgets and two-wheelers, centres to impart training to make cane and bamboo items, embroidery, tailoring etc. The Parishad was awarded National Youth Award for the year 2005-06 for its various social and development activities.
Mobile herbal hospital inaugurated at GolaghatFrom Our Correspondent GOLAGHAT, Nov 22 – A mobile herbal medicine (Banausadhi) hospital-cum-exhibition titled ‘Banausadhi Rath’ was recently inaugurated by the MP of Kaliabor constituency Deep Gogoi.Installed in a 709 mini-bus by Gunaram Khanikar, a wellknown herbal medicine specialist of Golaghat Tetelitol, the cost entailed in the project is around Rs 13 lakhs which was provided by Deep Gogoi from his MP’s local area development fund.A meeting on the occasion was held under the presidentship of Azit Bordoloi, Chief Executive Officer of Golaghat Zila Parishad and was addressed by Debo Kumar Nath, ADC of Jorhat, Biren Phukan, project director of Golaghat DRDA Dr Suren Chandra Nath prominant scientist of the North Eastern Institute of science and Technology (NEIST) at Jorhat, and Pratap Kachari, deputy chief executive officer of Thengal-Kachari Autonomous Council.The speakers highlighted the importance, significance and use of herbal medicines. They urged the people to identify the plants and herbs which could be used as herbal medicines. They further lauded Gunaram Khanikar for starting a mobile herbal hospital.Earlier, Gunaram Khanikar delivered his welcome address to all those present at the meeting. Upen Dutta, who is an educationist and president of the Journalist Guild of Golaghat district addressed the meeting and highlighted the manifold achievements of Gunaram Khanikar. Biren Phukan, project director of DRDA assured Khanikar of financial help in construction of the training room at his herbal medicine garden. Earlier, Diganta Bora, convenor of the meeting explained the objectives. Dugdha Dutta subsequently offered the vote of thanks.Two arrested: Two traders of rhino horn were recently arrested by the Bokakhat police. A rhino horn was recovered from their possession at Bihora Bazar area within Golaghat district. The sub-divisional police officer of Bokakhat Nabin Singh and sub-inspector of police B Duara arrested Bipin Das (45) of Kuruwabahi and Krishna Gogoi (45) of Polashguri area. The two poachers had come to sale the rhino horn weighing a kg to some local buyer. The SDPO informed this newspaper that the recovered rhino horn would be sent to the Indian Forensic Laboratory at Dehradun for examination.Wall magazine: A wall magazine was released by Deepak Kumar Goswami, on the occasion of children’s day at the Government Higher Secondary School here.A meeting was held on the occasion under the presidentship of Rabin Goswami, principal in charge of GGBHSS and was addressed by Dr Phatik Gogoi and Pramod Dutta, DIPRO of Golaghat.Census training: A training on veterinary census was held on November 14 under the joint aegis of the Agriculture, Veterinary, Milk and Fishery departments. The deputy commissioner of Golaghat district inaugurated the training.Earlier, Dr Sudarsan Saikia, district veterinary officer explained in detail about the scheme. In all, 183 trainees and 27 observers attended the training. Training was imparted by Dr Siba Saikia and Dr Arun Borkotoky.Children’s day: Children’s Day was jointly celebrated at Dandadhar Girls’ High School here under the aegis of Alok Sandhani Sishu-Semonia Bikash Mancha, which is a socio-cultural organisation with a day-long programme.The programme included games and sports, essay competition and open meeting. Smriti Tarpan on the statue of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was offered by artist Jogeswar Gogoi. The welcome address was delivered by Manik Dutta, working president of the ASSSBM. The open meeting was presided over by Upen Dutta, president of the organisation. The meeting was addressed by Susmita Goswami, Hiranya Gohain, Head mistress of DGHS, Sumi Gogoi and Sunita Behen.Earlier, Pulin Dutta, secretary of ASSSBM explained the objectives. U Das offered the vote of thanks. On the other hand at Jonakinagar Community hall, the ICCW of Golaghat branch too celebrated the day where the deputy commissioner, spoke a few words.Smriti tarpan was offered by Upen Dutta, adviser of ICCW, Golaghat branch. The flag was hoisted by Dr Nirola Buragohain, ex-principal of DR College and working president of the ICCW.The games and sports were inaugurated by Diganta Borborua, DFO Golaghat. Dr Ajit Barua and Khogeshwar Handique too spoke on the occasion. Earlier, Juri Das Rajkhowa, general secretary explained the purpose of the function. Gitima Rajkhowa subsequently offered the vote of thanks. Extremist killed: An extremist of the KNLF was recently killed in an exchange of fire with BSF personnel at Chokihola within Karbi Anglong district. The BSF recovered a US-made pistol and magazines. In the raid conducted at night by the BSF, another extremist was nabbed and handed over to Santipur PS for interrogation.The raid was carried out by Dr YP Singh, commander of the No 16
2141 HIV cases, 87 deaths in State GUWAHATI, Nov 16 – Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today informed the State Assembly that there are 2141 HIV infected persons in Assam and so far 87 persons died of AIDS. Replying to a question by Dr Kamala Kanta Kalita (AGP), the Minister said that the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) provides funds directly to the Assam State AIDS Control Society. He said that the Society received an amount of Rs 1480.04 lakh from the NACO in the last financial year and Rs 869.46 lakh up to September this year. In addition to that, the National Rural Health Mission provided an amount of Rs 77 lakh during the last financial year and the money was utilized for putting up of hoardings for creating awareness among the people.Riot victims: The State Government is planning to purchase land for the rehabilitation of the victims of ethnic riots in the districts of Kokrajhar and Bongaigaon, said Revenue and Rehabilitation Minister, Dr Bhumidhar Barman.Replying to a Zero Hour question by Abdul Aziz (AGP) and Mohibul Haque (Ind), the Minister said that finding suitable plots of land for the rehabilitation of the victims of ethnic riots was a major problem for the Government. He said that several attempts were made to rehabilitate the inmates of the relief camps in vacant Government land in Bongaigaon, but the attempts failed because of strong opposition by the local people, who even broke bridges to prevent vehicles carrying the camp inmates to the places located by the administration.Dr Barman said that the Government twice paid rehabilitation grants to the camp inmates but on both occasions they returned to the camps. He revealed that as per law, the Government cannot provide relief to the inmates of the camps after they were given the rehabilitation grant, but at present they are provided with ration for ten days a month on humanitarian ground.Noisy scenes: the State Assembly today witnessed noisy scenes and war of words between the members of the Congress and BJP over a remark by BJP member Abhijit Hazarika. The BJP member, while raising a question on encroachment of forests of Sonitpur district, alleged that suspected Bangladeshi nationals encroached upon reserved forests. This resulted in a war of words between the Congress and BJP legislators and Abdul Aziz of the AGP also opposed the statement. The Speaker, Tanka Bahadur Rai intervened to bring the situation under control and said that no one should be termed as a foreigner without verification.Leader of the Opposition Chandra Mohan Patowary also expressed the view that the members should not hurt the feelings of any community while making a statement in the House. He said that if any member had any doubt on the nationality of anyone, he should ask for clarification from the Government.State language: Education Minister Ripun Bora said that the Government was interested in implementing the State Language Act and expressed the view that organisations like the Asam Sahitya Sabha should come forward to help the Government in creating public awareness in this regard. He was replying to a zero hour question by leader of Opposition Chandra Mohan Patowary. Monkey menace: Several members of the State Assembly today expressed serious concern over the menace created by monkeys at different parts of Assam, while, the legislators also said that stray dog menace has assumed serious proportions even in the MLA hostel. The Speaker also admitted the fact that stray dogs are posing serious problems in the MLA hostel and people cannot even go for morning walks. He directed the Veterinary Minister to look into the problem. Meanwhile, the Forest Minister informed the House that a committee has been constituted to examine the problem of monkey menace and to suggest measures to deal with it.
Rs 5 cr grant for city cancer institute GUWAHATI, Nov 29 – The Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute has achieved an important milestone with Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India awarding a special ‘centre of excellence’ grant of Rs 5 crore for its development.The grant will be utilised for procurement of sophisticated medical equipment, a press release stated. The Ministry has also sanctioned another grant for the District Cancer Control Programme to be carried out in Morigaon, Nagaon and Kamrup districts. The project will continue for 10 years and it is likely to be launched from January 1, 2008, added the press release.The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has also decided to upgrade the existing telemedicine unit along with six other centres in the country as per Onconet project of the Ministry. The Director General of Health Services has nominated Dr AC Kataki, Director of Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute as one of the members of the prestigious Steering Committee of National Cancer Registry Programme.
Patients bid adieu to GMCH with gratitudeBy Our Correspondent GUWAHATI, Dec 1 – After witnessing a mad rush at the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital since the November 24 clash, its thanksgiving time at the premier hospital of the Northeast.With a large number of the victims of the Beltola violence already discharged from the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital, the remaining others are expressing their gratitude to the doctors and other medical staff even as the hospital is crawling back to normalcy.Most of the victims lodges at the hospital want to forget the incident and start life anew.“It was an unfortunate incident which took place at the heat of the moment,” said an Adivasi youth, who was discharged today from the GMCH. “Some of my friends had already left … by the vehicle offered by the government. However, I have some money, including those given by the Government and other political leaders who visited the hospital, to afford a ticket on my own,” said the youth.According to hospital sources, as many as 283 victims of the clash, including men, women and children, were brought to the hospital after local residents of Beltola retaliated against the violent Adivasi protestors on Nov 24 last. While some with minor injuries left the hospital on November 25 itself, others have been leaving in the days to follow.“Now we have only 71 victims here. Of these 71, some were admitted recently after they complained of some minor problems. But, there is nothing serious and all of them would be discharged soon,” said a GMCH official.Hemrang Orang, another victim of the clash, who would be released tomorrow, expressed his gratitude towards the doctors and said that the doctors of the hospital have taken good care of them during the period in the hospital. Orang, who came from Udalguri district to take part in the rally, received scalp injuries during the clash.
3,900 ha eroded by Brahmaputra since ’73By Ajit Patowary GUWAHATI, Dec 1 – The Brahmaputra river is in a stage of widening in Assam, resulting in an average annual land loss of 3,900 hectares (ha) over the last 34 years, says the draft feasibility report prepared for the first phase of the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded North East Integrated Flood and Riverbank Erosion Management Programme (NEIFRM). It views that understanding the Brahmaputra river in Assam and planning human interventions is all about understanding and forecasting soil erosion and sediment transport processes. For this reason major efforts are required in future to measure and analyze sediment transport and morphological river changes, it maintains.Success and living in a more predictable and stable Assam valley, with less riverbank erosion and flooding requires a paradigm shift from a limited response to riverbank erosion based mainly emergency repair work of breaches in the flood embankments, to an Assam-wide planning and implementation programme, states the report. It has observed that widening is also the main reason for the lack of success in flood protection, which results in widespread ‘risk- adverse behavior’ (that is— tendency to avoid risks) among the rural population. For example, the report says, agricultural land use often remains limited to subsistence level farming, providing no future for the economic development of the State. On local level, the rural population is caught in the vicious cycle of subsistence-based farming, poverty, frequent disaster resulting in more poverty, higher vulnerability and reiterates low risk farming. Land-loss and related uncertainty will continue in future if not addressed in a systematic manner. The widening of the river makes the Assam State Government an increasingly large landowner while mostly poor rural households loose land. Poverty reduction of erosion victims can take place through the rehabilitation of slum dwellers or the reduction of vulnerability through the protection of their land from erosion.However, it observes that riverbank erosion is slowly acknowledged as the main problem hampering effective flood protection in the Brahmaputra valley, though there is a blurred concept of how to address erosion. There is also a strong indication that erosion is a major factor of river instability due to the very large amount of sediment intrusion from bank erosion itself. This sediment causes further instability downstream, triggers more bank erosion, and apart from loss of land and flood protection, hampers navigation, observes the report.It also states that the envisaged investment program takes the emerging holistic approach towards flood and riverbank erosion management into account. The feasibility study looks at four sample project sites at Dibrugarh, Matmara, Kaziranga, and Palasbari.Institutions: Diverse interests and little joint coordination not only among the river basin stakeholders on international, national, and inter-state level, but also among different Assam State departments and local stakeholders result in a complicated institutional environment often without joint planning. This does not facilitate a large-scale systematic approach, views the report. The Northeastern Region does have neither the funds nor the institutional capacity to address the problem of riverbank erosion and flooding fully, but without addressing this problem at least in certain priority reaches, development activities remain rudimentary. The understanding of the Brahmaputra River is still limited partly because of the inaccessibility of data. Even though there are measurements since about 100 years in a number of locations, Central Government organizations do neither make data readily available to the State nor systematically analyze the data and publish the results. For example, the controversy over insufficient protection of Majuli Island, an Assamese cultural heritage site, involving a Central Government organization may be cited, said the report.
Alternative medicines have major role to playFrom Our Correspondent SILCHAR, Jan 10 – In the modern age of stress and strain, pollution, adulteration etc. the modern man around the world, is suffering from various diseases. Modern medicines have made man susceptible to more and more diseases by reducing vitality and resistance. In this regard the alternative medicines in India have a major role to play. These issues were discussed in 3rd all India conference on Natural Remedies for Primary Health Care (PHC) organized by Northeast East Council of Alternatives Medicines in association with Institute of Medical and Paramedical Science in the district library auditorium recently.As chief convenor, Dr M Santi Kumar Singha said that primary health care is essential health care based on practical, scientifically acceptable methods and technology, made universally accessible to individuals and families in the community through their full participation. Its main function is the socio-economic development of the community.PHC includes at least education concerning prevailing health problems and the methods of preventing and controlling them, promotion of food supply and proper nutrition and adequated supply of safe water and basic sanitation, maternal and child health care including family immunization etc and essential drugs. It also includes aspects of national and community development, in particular agriculture, animal husbandry, food industry, education, housing public works communication and other sectors, Dr Singha said.Natural rememdies or traditional medicines and complementary medicines viz acupuncture, acupressure, ayurvedic medicines, chromotherapy, counselling, diet therapy, homoeopathy, naturopathy, vitamin therapy, water therapy, yoga, zone reflector, magnotherapy etc. have practiced from time and is considered as a holistic process comprising, physical, mental, social and spiritual dimensions. Natural remedies can bring permanent cure for may so called incurable and chronic disease like AIDS, cancer etc., he added.
Cochlear implant surgery doneBy A City Correspondent GUWAHATI, Dec 17 – The Cochlear implant surgery, which is an expensive operation for curing a congenitally deaf child, was performed in the ENT Department of Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) recently.The operation, done for the first time in a Government hospital in the Northeast, has been hailed as an important milestone in the health sector for rehabilitation of the totally deaf.The surgery was performed by Dr AK Lahiri of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi as guest surgeon and a team of doctors of the ENT department of the GMCH.
Drug trade thriving in Dibrugarh’ From Our Staff Correspondent DIBRUGARH, Dec 20 – Even as the district administration claims to have put a halt to the drug peddling and its abuse in the city, drug abusers in Loharpatty here told media persons that a range of banned substances were available in the market.Drug abusers attending a daylong sensitisation programme on drug abuse prevention at the Diamond Club in Loharpatty while interacting with the scribes said increasing number of drug abusers from the juvenile age of ten were getting into the objectionable habit. The abusers, mostly youths who intend to give up the bad habit sought anonymity while commenting on the drug business in the city.In a recent crackdown on drug peddlers and abusers, at least 34 persons including women were arrested and sent to jail custody. Illahi Sheikh, alleged kingpin in the drug trade had to surrender after police launched a non-stop hunt to nab him. Whatsoever, residents of Loharpatty, Kalibari and Paanchali from where most of the drug abusers come from said the police crack down had failed to stop the illegal business.Dr Ahmed Ullah Khan, ward commissioner of the area said though a few of them had returned to the main stream, the number of abusers was in high-rise even now. Dr Khan, who owns a clinic, said he was tired of conducting de-addiction programmes for the abusers stating that cases of relapse were almost in entirety. Social boycott of all the drug peddlers is what Dr Khan suggested to prevent further boom in the sale and use of the banned substances. The sensitization programme organised jointly by Association for Socio-Cultural and Environmental Development (ASCED) and National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Dibrugarh involved awareness campaign, free health check up, counseling, blood screening, poster exhibition and street plays. The objective, according to Ranjita Bordoloi, director, ASCED was to sensitise the younger generation about the evil affects of drug abuse. The programme was formally inaugurated by Dr Taufique Rahman Borbora, Principal, Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh.Dr Pramode Hazarika, joint director of health services, Biraj Das, chairman, Dibrugarh Municipal Board, extra assistant commissioner (EAC) Sujata Suchibrata, Javed Akhtar Khan, president, Diamond Club, Dr Pranit Choudhury, Psychiatrist, Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh, Ranjita Tayeng, Programme Manager, ASCED were amongst others who attended the programme.
Ayurvedic College: 60 years of serviceSuren Ram Phookun Completion of 60 years of existence for an educational institution itself is a glorious history. It carries long memories of events of joy and sorrow. Govt Ayurvedic College which came with into being in 1948 in a rented house at Uzanbazar, Guwahati had to struggle hard to find a place of its own so also recognition. After long twelve years or so it shifted to its permanent site is 1959 where the college is situated now. That was the end of its worries. The college had to wait for long twenty-five years to become a full-fledged degree college. It loas possible due to the dedication and determination of the people behind including students and the teaching community who fought heart and soul to get the recognition.Govt Ayurvedic College, was established at the initiative of the then Chief Minister of Assam late Lokapriya Gopinath Bardoloi and his friend late Dr Bhubaneswar Barua, a popular physician and dedicated social worker. They were ably supported by Dr Jagadish Ch Bhattacharya who obtained the degree in Ayurvedic medicine from Kashi Hindu University and Col Dr Chopra, then Inspector General of Civil Hospitals. Over and above these great personalities a few practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine extended the helping hand. This combination of well-wishers set the stage of scientific Ayurvedic education in the state.Ayurvedic treatment in its orthodox form prevailed in the state among people particularly in the rural areas solely dependent on this type of Ayurvedic treatment over as modern allopathic medicine was to unknown to them. A few interested in Ayurvedic treatment even went to Kashi, Dhaka or Calcutta to obtain a degree so that they could treat people in a better way. These Ayurvedic practitioners provided yeoman’s services to the common people living far-flung corners of the state like the LMP doctors produced by Berry White Medical School. Independence brought many a changes in the society and development marked all aspects of social life.Gradually the plant of Ayurvedic education found deep rooted and flourished into a giant tree earning recognion from people. Youths were encouraged to take up Ayurvedic education. At the initial state the college offered a Diploma. There was a Board of Ayurvedic education to look after its course and examination. Although the Govt of India enacted a law in 1970 to bring all Ayurvedic colleges under CCIM to upgrade them to Degree colleges the govt of Assam took four years to implement the scheme and that too after long agitation by the students. The college got affiliated to Gauhati University following the directions of CCIM. To obtain the degree takes five and half years including one year internship. The college admits 50 students per year which was initially only twenty. It has kept reserved one seat each for NE state students.In 1996 in recognition of its contribution to the field of Ayurvedic education, Govt of India offered grant to open PG classes. Accordingly from 1999-2000 session two subjects, – Kayachikitsya and Sanskrit Samhita & Sidhanta started. The college received a grant of Rs 4.4 crore through NEC under 9th Plan for the development of its infrastructure. With this grant a 300 bed hospital within the campus was constructed. A 60 seat girls’ hostel was also constructed in 2005. Thus grants received through state Govt., NEC and Central govt were fully utilised for its all round development. Centre has plans to upgrade the college to a model college in the region which will depend on the assistance and support of the state Govt.Considering the vast potential of herbs and plants in the region, Govt of India is keen to develop and in upgrade laboratories. This could happen only if the state govt supports its cause. Gauhati University authority can also submit plans to make the college a centre of study and research and seek grants from the Govt of India and UGC.Ayurvedic College is the child of the Govt and has to nurture its growth. Let us wish the Govt Ayurvedic College march ahead to fulfil its mission. (Published on the occasion of the diamond jubilee celebration of the college)
Pharmacist in charge of Jamuguri health centre!From Our Correspondent JAMUGURIHAT, Dec 23 – The Jamuguri Subsidiary Health Centre in Sonitpur district, which caters to the medical needs of over one-and-a-half lakh people, is bearing the brunt of negligence of the State Government.As a result, poor patient have been suffering a lot. There is nobody to look into this matter as political leaders are busy with Panchayat polls.For nearly one month, the health centre is being run by a pharmacist instead of a medical and health officer as the outgoing medical incharge had put him in charge of the centre.On transfer, the former in-charge Dr Achyut Kumar Hazarika left for Rangapara and the new in-charge transferred to this centre has not joined yet and there is no likelihood of joining, it is learnt. A third grade employee of the health centre Ananta Das attends more than 100 patients daily and write prescriptions, it is alleged.Though there are two more health officials, they were not made in-charge of the centre on technical grounds although they reside at Biswanath Chariali, more than 20 kilometres away from the centre.As they are both ladies, patients are not getting proper attention as they arrive late and leave early. The accident and emergency cases remain unattended during off hours, putting them in great trouble.The All Jamuguri Students Union, under the leadership of its president Abhijit Nath, had met the Joint Director, Health Services, Tezpur, Sonitpur and demanded appointment of an incharge to medical officer and solution to other problems faced by the health centre and other health centres, including the 30-bed rural hospital at Dhalaibil but no action has been taken yet, it is learnt.The AASU has threatened to launch a vigorous agitation if their demands are not fulfilled immediately.
Importance of medicinal herbs stressedBy A City Reporter GUWAHATI, Dec 24 – A two-day national seminar on ‘Biodiversity: exploration, conservation, utilization of plant resources with special reference to North East India’ organised by the North East Biotechnological Consortium and research and development wing of ERD foundation concluded on Wednesday at Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship.The seminar was inaugurated by DR SS Baghel, Vice Chancellor, Assam Agriculture University, Jorhat. Dr Baghel, while addressing the gathering said, “Although the North East is rich in biodiversity, our share in global trade in this sector is very limited. North East is a biodiversity hotspot and awareness should be created about it.” He stressed on the importance of traditional knowledge regarding medicinal herbs such as haldi, neem etc. The abstract cum souvenir of the seminar was released by Dr Anil Kr Goswami, former principal, Cotton College. Dr MH Hazarika, chairman, organizing committee of the seminar highlighted about the kind of work going on in the region on biodiversity.He stressed on the fact that there is no committee in any of the Northeastern States to monitor activities related to biodiversity. In the three technical sessions of the seminar, spread through the two days, the present scenario of biodiversity in the region and utilization of the resources were thoroughly discussed. In the first technical session, chaired by Dr AK Goel, Scientist from National Biotechnological Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow, seven papers were presented by scientists and experts from different parts of the country. The keynote address was delivered by DR DK Hore, Officer in Charge NBPGR, Meghalaya, who also chaired the second technical session. Papers were presented on utilization, conservation status and commercialisation of traditional knowledge. Total ten papers were presented in the session. The third technical session was chaired by Dr RK Singh scientist from North East Institute of Science and Technology who also gave away the keynote address on the occasion.After the proceedings of the technical sessions, it was recommended that a forum should be constituted in North East India, which will monitor the specialities of different organizations in North East working in the field of biodiversity and at the same time networking with the government bodies like DST, DBT, CSIR and allocate projects from government bodies to the organizations. In the valedictory function on December 19, Dr GD Sarma of Assam University Silchar, while speaking as the chief guest, said that maximum students go outside for subjects like Biotechnology and MBA etc., so, there should be more infrastructure and resource based industries in the region. K Ahmed, Director, IIE, Guwahati gave talk on the entrepreneurial advantages of biodiversity of plant resources. “A platform should be created for students so that they do not have to migrate to the other countries. These students can become entrepreneurs and can convert the scientific models to commercial models,” he said. He also specified the areas where entrepreneurship can be done such as aromatic plants and medicinal plants, ginger products, alcohol and beverage, tissue culture, rubber etc. Professor (Dr) SD Phukan, principal, RCHE and former principal, Jorhat Engineering College was also present on the occasion as the guest of honour.
City witnessing rise in abortion casesBy Sanjoy Ray GUWAHATI, Dec 25 – Call it a result of the rising trend of nuclear families or a married couple’s unabated inclination towards their professional duties, the Guwahati city is witnessing a rise in the number of abortions (legal).According to sources in the premier Guwahati Medical College Hospital, the year 2006 registered 1,001 cases of abortion, out of which 540 was medical termination of pregnancy. In the current year till September, around 800 cases of abortion have been registered under the GMCH.Statistics with Marwari Maternity Hospital have also shown a rising trend of abortion cases. Though in the year 2006, the number of cases was around 400, the number is likely to shoot up this year. Already, till the month of September, over 350 cases of abortions have been registered.“All these cases under the GMCH have been conducted keeping in view the necessary legal and medical guidelines. But in spite of that, the rise in such number of cases is a matter of concern,” another gynaecologist said.“In the recent past a good number of cases of serious abnormality during the pregnancy period leading to abortion has been reported in the GMCH, which is caused primarily due to negligence on the part of the couple,” a senior doctor on condition of anonymity told The Assam Tribune.“The couples nowadays are too busy for their own good even during the critical period of pregnancy, which is setting a bad precedent for the next generation mothers,” the doctor said. When asked, another leading gynaecologist Dr AK Beria, though refused to point out the exact reason behind the rising number of abortion cases, however said, “ Like all flowers do not turn into fruit, the same is the case with the pregnant mothers.” “Till about a couple of years ago, the number of young women coming for abortion was just one or two. But, of late, the number of such cases have increased, which is a very dangerous sign”, another gynaecologist who prefered anonymity said. “It is high time to take precautionary measures so that no doctor indulges in such illegal activities. If this can be practised in private clinics in other parts of the State, then there is no reason why the same cannot happen in city’s premier hospitals,” a senior gynaecologist said, while adding, “It is not that all abortions are illegal but there is every chance that an illegal case of abortion can be distorted.”