Healthy Times

Healthy Times

UK-based doctors of Indian origin hear the exit bell

Thousands of doctors of Indian origin in the United Kingdom previously had hopes of making it big and are now finding their hopes reduced to ashes. Recently, the doctors lost a case against changes in immigration rules that make it virtually impossible to gain employment in the country’s National Health Service (NHS).

Changes in the existing rules were announced on March 7, 2006, abolishing permit-free training and making it mandatory for doctors from outside the European Union to obtain a work permit to gain employment in the NHS. Many doctors who had found temporary employment now face the prospect of returning home, while others still waiting to find employment find one more door closed.

The NHS has historically attracted a large number of doctors from India as well as other European Union countries. The situation changed since the number of British medical school graduates has increased, and nationals of an expanded European Union now have the right to work in Britain.

A unique operation made by a surgeon from Agra

Agra-based Dr. Ajay Prakash achieved a spectacular feat when he conducted 50 operations within a 12 hour span using his unique technique of single hole surgery.

At the Shanti-Ved hospital in Agra, Dr. Prakash, assisted by his doctor wife, performed 45 gall bladders and five appendixes removal procedures. However, his method of single hole surgery has not yet found acceptance in the medical fraternity as he has refused to share his skill with other doctors.

Dr. Ajay has a habit of performing such non-stop operation programs, which has won him accolades from the President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. The doctor has performed similar surgeries in Jaipur and Delhi. He uses equipment that does not cost more than Rs. 10,000 as he is against expensive instruments used in laparoscopic surgery.

Indian Scientists develop cost-effective detection for dengue fever

Indian researchers have developed a simple, safe, and cost-effective dipstick for the early detection of dengue fever. The researchers say its low cost, sensitivity, and ease of use make it better than current tests for dengue. Nagesh Tripathi and colleagues at the India-based Defense Research and Development Establishment developed a way to efficiently produce a protein that is used by the dengue virus. The protein was incorporated into a dipstick that shows a brown dot if a patient’s blood sample contains antibodies to the virus thus indicating an infection.

Dengue, a mosquito-borne viral disease affecting several tropical and subtropical regions of the world, causes an estimated 100 million infections every year, with no effective vaccine against it.

Wonder vegetable garlic has multiple medical applications

Garlic, which has been hailed as a wonder drug for centuries, has been used to prevent gangrene, treat high blood pressure, and ward off common colds. Now, recent research shows that garlic could also hold the key to preventing cystic fibrosis patients from falling ill as a result of a potentially-fatal infection.

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited condition that causes difficulties in digesting food and children may be slow to put on weight and grow properly. The conditions may lead to chronic chest infections which damage the lungs and may ultimately be fatal. The research will look at whether taking garlic capsules can disrupt the communication system of the pathogen pseudomonas to prevent illness from taking hold.

India coming out with an oral vaccine for diabetes

India is on the threshold of launching an oral vaccine for diabetes that would replace the current practice of insulin injections, promising relief to millions in the country suffering from the debilitating health condition.

The Andhra Pradesh-based pharmaceutical company, Transgene Biotek Ltd., is currently doing research and pre-clinical trials of the vaccine in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) in Hyderabad. Officials note that the oral insulin vaccine has shown a reduction in blood glucose levels as compared to that of the injectable version of insulin. Once taken, the benefits would persist for almost 24 hours and help in better management of diabetes.

With nearly 40 million diabetes patients, India is home to over 20 percent of total cases worldwide. Experts believe that given the changing lifestyles, the disease could take on an endemic status soon.

British-Indian doctor saves life of a helpless village-woman

London-based doctor Ashok Vardhan’s visit to Purnea district in Bihar was a boon for Vijayanti Devi, who was comatose after a portion of her large intestine was cut out by mistake during a routine family planning operation. The woman, a mother of six, was admitted to a government hospital in critical condition following referral from a sub-divisional hospital as her condition deteriorated a few hours after her operation. The doctors at the district hospital refused to operate on her in view of her critical condition. It was then that Dr. Vardhan entered the picture and performed the life-saving operation to save the distressed woman.

Indian scientist points out relation between anesthetics and brain disorders

Pravat Mandal of the University of Pittsburgh Medical School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has found out that some general anaesthetics used in long operations may cause brain disorders in elderly patients. In a recent study, he has found that halothane and isoflurane, two anaesthetics that are inhaled, and the injected drug, propofol, cause symptoms of brain disorder.

Anaesthetics are used to temporarily reduce or take away the sensation of pain so that surgical procedures can be performed without causing pain. According to Professor Mandal, these anaesthetics encourage the clumping of proteins in the brain that cause Alzheimer’s, a progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys a person’s memory and ability to reason and make judgments.

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