Friday, 23 June 2006

Chicken pox complications: Hyderabad doctors encounters rare case

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, June 23: Doctors at a city hospital encountered a very rare case of chicken pox complication affecting three vital body organ systems.
Chicken pox, normally a harmless health nuisance, turns life-threatening in the rarest of rare cases. A 14-year-old boy from Nanded in Maharashtra was brought to a city hospital with severe complications of chicken pox leading to failure of kidneys and problems in blood circulatory and nervous systems. The child was put on dialysis and has not recovered from the complications.
"Kidney failure requiring dialysis is very rarely encountered as a complication of chicken pox infection. Case reports are very few from across the world, and most pertain to older children and adults who generally succumb to the complications. The boy had involvement of three organ systems (the brain, the heart and blood vascular system and the kidneys)," says Dr VSV Prasad, consultant paediatrician at Lotus Hospitals.
A normally mild illness causing a rash and low grade fever, chicken pox or varicella infection in medical parlance, can cause deadly complications. Certain complications can be lethal due to this seemingly mild infection. Affecting mostly children in the age group of one to nine years, it passes off in the vast majority as an inconvenience and a few days of loss of schooling in most children, Dr Prasad said.
A vaccine is available to prevent this viral disease and should be offered to individuals who do not contract this infection in early childhood and those whose immune function is compromised, he suggested.

Tuesday, 20 June 2006

Panchayat Raj elections: Internal bickering and group politics dodge the Congress in districts

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, June 20: All is not well with the Congress as internal bickering and group politics dodge the ruling party in districts over distribution of party tickets for MPTCs and ZPTCs in the crucial Panchayat Raj elections. Trouble and discontentment is so much in the Congress at the grass roots level that party leaders have come open fighting for supremacy in selection of candidates.
Sensing electoral trouble, Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy is burning the proverbial midnight oil to keep his flock together in view of realignment of political forces in the State, following the CPM's decision to sail with the main Opposition Telugu Desam. To make sure that the Congress win the maximum number of MPTCs and ZPTCs, Rajasekhar Reddy is holding pre-dawn teleconferences with district leaders, patching up their differences and bringing them onto one platform to defeat the Telugu Desam-CPM combine and the BJP.
Rajasekhar Reddy, though he has decided not to campaign, is showing more interest in panchayat elections. He did not show such a keen interest in municipal polls held last year. Congress sources point out that internal assessment by party leadership and intelligence reports have indicated an uphill task for the party. Though the reports have projected a majority of the seats for the ruling party, but warned of an electoral backlash if the internal bickering in the district Congress leadership was not curbed.
Rajasekhar Reddy is calling up partymen between 4.30 am and 6.30 am for a first hand assessment of the electoral situation in districts and the prospects of the Congress vis-à-vis the opposition parties. Rajasekhar Reddy seems to have gone a step further as his predecessor and Telugu Desam supremo N Chandrababu Naidu used to hold teleconferences with party leaders from districts only after 6.30 pm.
The trouble in the Congress began with the APCC announcing that it is leaving the decision on candidate selections and alliances to the local leadership. Even as the local leaders were getting ready for the task, the APCC imposed its candidates and alliances on the grass roots level creating confusion in the rank and file.
Meanwhile, the APCC sent a letter to AICC general secretary Ahmed Patel stating that 73 ZPTC seats have been allotted to the TRS and 42 ZPTC seats to the CPI. APCC chief K Keshav Rao said the alliance talks with the TRS and the CPI had been successfully completed.

Thursday, 8 June 2006

Women manages AP Wakf Institutions

2006
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, June 8: In a revolutionary decision, the Andhra Pradesh State Wakf Board has handed over the control of 11 prime Wakf properties to an all women panel in the city.
The five-member womencommittee under the presidentship of Salma Jalees was constituted on May 23. On Thursday the Board handed over the management of 11 Wakf properties to the committee.
The women members will protect, manage and develop these Wakf properties spread across twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. This is the first time that women are controlling Muslim endowment properties in the country.
The committee has been entrusted with the job of paying seven per cent Wakf Fund to the Board. It will spend 10 per cent on maintenance of the institutions and the remaining 83 per cent will be spent on welfare activities. Till now these 11 institutions were under the direct management of the Wakf Board.
The Muslim clergy in the city has reacted sharply to the Board's decision. In an oral fatwa, Moulana Mufti Abdul Moghni of Sabeelus Salam, an influential religious institution of higher learning, described the move as irreligious and against the spirit of the Wakf Act. Moulana Syed Shah Badruddin Al-Qadri Al-Jeelani, chief patron of Sunni Ulema Board also described the appointment as un-Islamic.

Saturday, 3 June 2006

Wedding blues: WHO guidelines throw spanner in AP government's plans on mandatory HIV test

June 3, 2006
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, June 2: The State government's ambitious move to make pre-marital AIDS test compulsory for couples may not materialise what with the World Health Organisation coming out with a set of new guidelines recommending member nations not to press for any mandatory tests.
This in effect means that HIV testing should be done purely on voluntary basis and there should be no compulsory tag attached to it. If the State government goes ahead with the legislation, it will be violating the international health rules.
The guidelines released jointly by WHO and UNAIDS on May 30 point out that all HIV testing must be "voluntary, confidential, and undertaken with the patient's consent". They also prohibit governments from going in for mandatory or compulsory tests on unwilling people or patients.
Though the previous Telugu Desam government mooted the idea of compulsory AIDS test for couples before marriage, it had to back track following uproar from human rights groups. But the present Congress government has decided to go ahead with the legislation in the "larger interests of society".
The State government has also prepared a draft Bill and according to official sources Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy is particular about enacting the legislation at the earliest. The Goa State government came out with a similar legislation but later withdrew it following protests.
As per the new WHO recommendations, patients have the right to decline the test. "They should not be tested for HIV against their will, without their knowledge, without adequate information or without receiving their test results," the guidelines state.
Moreover, the governments should provide patients with support to avoid potential negative consequences of knowing and disclosing their HIV status, such as discrimination or violence.
State AIDS Control deputy director Ch Prabhakar told this correspondent that they were pressing more on counselling HIV patients and targeted groups to create awareness about the problem before moving ahead with any legislation.

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