Health

Amid a rise in COVID-19 cases attributed to the novel variant JN.1 of the virus, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to escalate COVID-19 testing during the festive season. Despite the increase in COVID-19 cases, the positivity rate in Mumbai remains below 5%. Dr Sudhakar Shinde, additional commissioner of BMC, told Citizen Matters that the situation is well under control and no restrictions will be imposed. The BMC clarified that the city has not identified any cases of the JN.1 variant so far. According to BMC's data, as of December 24, Mumbai had a total of 77 COVID-19 positive cases…

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In light of the rise in COVID-19 cases, due to the new JN.1 subvariant in Kerala, the Karnataka Health Department issued an advisory on December 19th. In view of upcoming Christmas and New Year celebrations, and the expected crowding in closed spaces, the general public has been advised to comply with the following measures in this advisory issued by Randeep D, the Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare Services: All elderly (60 years and above), co-morbid (particularly with kidney, heart, liver ailments etc.), pregnant women and lactating mothers, when outdoor shall wear face masks, and strictly avoid visiting closed, poorly…

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Tayappa Dhangar, who is 41 and lives in Andheri, needs heart valve replacement surgery. He works as waste picker and is eligible for the indigent patient scheme under a charitable trust hospital. However, a well-known charitable trust hospital in South Mumbai has refused to perform the surgery free of cost.  The hospital provided a surgery cost estimate of around Rs 15 lakh, with assistance limited to only two lakh rupees. Tayappa, who earns a daily wage of Rs 300, does not know how to gather the remaining Rs 13 lakh for the surgery. Tayappa's situation is not unique. Many individuals…

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Nilesh Jadhav, a 28-year-old resident of Dharavi in Mumbai, viral fever and cold in the last week of October. Though he recovered from the initial infection within two days, he had persistent dry cough from the third day post-recovery.  Nilesh says, "While the cough was initially tolerable, it gradually worsened, sometimes causing chest pain due to prolonged bouts of coughing." Nilesh tried various remedies, including allopathy and Ayurveda, but none completely relieved his cough. It took nearly 15 days for Nilesh to overcome this lingering cough and regain complete respiratory comfort. Malan Adsul, a 43-year-old resident of Navi Mumbai, had…

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Kavin*, a student of Class 6 in a private school in Chennai, was bullied by his classmates for a long time. He did not know how to seek help for his predicament until recently when the school appointed a counselling psychologist to ensure the mental health and overall well-being of its students. When the counsellor observed bullying by a few students, she organised a successful group session for all school children in that age group. While her meetings with the children had a positive impact on their behaviour, it was short-lived as the counsellor had to quit the job owing…

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Few can resist the temptation of taste bud-tickling instant noodles, refreshing fruity drinks, cold beverages, health drinks, bhujiyas, soy sticks, or cereals and confectionery products like biscuits and chocolates. A critical question, however, is whether they are even aware that all these pre-packaged items form a part of the harmful junk food brigade known as ultra-processed foods, or UPF, which are known to be associated with non-communicable diseases. What is more, these are often presented as healthy food options using misleading advertisements, as a recent report points out.  The report titled The Junk Push: Rising Ultra-processed Food Consumption in India…

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Indira, a daily wage earner, came to the Anahat Clinic in Shantinagar, in December 2021 with a fasting blood sugar (FBS) level of 359 and postprandial (after eating) of 725 - both several times over the normal limits. With regular medication, sugar monitoring and slight lifestyle modifications through Anahat’s preventive health programme, Prerna, Indira’s FBS is 106 and her PPBS is 227 - both close to the normal range. This was achieved in just one year. Indira is now no longer on medication for diabetes, showing that small changes can successfully, in some cases, even reverse the disease. Indira, a…

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Abhishek Pratap, a 19-year-old engineering student, felt an adrenaline rush every time he won a bet online. And every loss would prompt him to bet again. Six months into the game, he hadn't won or lost a significant sum of money. And relished the experience. This changed when he decided to use his father's credit card to wager a few lakhs. That’s when his luck ran out, as he ended up losing the bet. To conceal the transaction from his parents, Pratap deleted the bank's notification message regarding the transaction. But he could not control his craving to bet again. The…

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It's October, and examinations are in full swing for school and college students as they prepare under immense pressure. A crucial aspect during the month is students' mental health, and interestingly, World Mental Health Day is observed every year in October to raise awareness about mental healthcare.  According to an older survey by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), over 40% of Mumbai students suffer from anxiety, depression, and related mental health issues. Furthermore, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) records show that Mumbai had the highest number of student suicides in India in 2019, reflecting growing concerns about…

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In September this year, one person died due to dengue in Bengaluru. It was the first dengue death in three years in the city. Till date, the city has seen over 5,000 cases of dengue and seven deaths due to the dengue virus or dengue-related complications and accounts for over 50% of all cases in Karnataka. Several public and private hospitals reported that the surge in cases has filled up dengue wards. Read more: Dengue in Bengaluru: The situation so far Meanwhile, health officials from BBMP and the state government claim that they have taken many steps to tackle this…

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