Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Ebola: Indian Government says situation under control

The Health Ministry had said that the man was already treated for Ebola in Liberia and carried no symptoms but tests of his semen samples were positive, prompting authorities to put him under isolation


A day after the first Ebola case was reported in India, Health Minister JP Nadda Wednesday said that arrangements similar to the one at Delhi airport, which helped detect the virus in a man returning from Liberia, have been put in place at 24 airports and stressed that the situation was under “complete control’’.


The detection of the virus in the 26-year-old man, who reached New Delhi on 10th November, was a result of “extra caution” shown by the government, he told reporters.


"Due to its extra caution, the Health Ministry tested body fluids of the man even after his blood tested negative for Ebola. I want to say the situation is under complete control. We have similar arrangements at 24 airports across the country,” he told reporters.


The tour and medical history of passengers are being checked at airports, he said.


The man will remain quarantined at a special facility at Delhi airport so long as medical reports confirm that he is completely free from the virus.


The man was treated for Ebola in Liberia and carried a certificate from authorities there that he was cured of it.


The ministry had said that the man was already treated for the deadly disease in the African country and carried no symptoms but tests of his semen samples were positive, prompting authorities to put him under isolation.


Can Swasthya Slate disrupt health care in India with an affordable diagnostic machine?

What began as a government backed experiment; the Swasthya Slate has potential to become a major change agent for delivering healthcare in rural areas through its highly affordable diagnostic machine


Healthcare today has become a matter of diagnosing problems by elimination. In this process of elimination are involved numerous tests and examinations, and consequently all the money that patients have to end up spending for a simple diagnosis. It goes without saying that diagnostic equipment is a multi-billion dollar industry and the maintenance of the status quo helps them. However, there is one very low cost device, indigenously developed, which can be a game changer in diagnostic industry.


“Swasthya Slate” developed by Dr Kanav Kahol and supported by Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), uses an array of sensors, which are connected to an Android-based device. As of today, the kit can perform 33 different types of tests, ranging from tests for blood groups, bilirubin, pregnancy, malaria and dengue among others. The slate also uses a cloud to store the data for use in analytics and for studies and research.


The price of the kit has already come down from the prototype cost of $10,000 to Rs30,000, and Dr Kahol is confident that the price can come down to as low as Rs15,000 per unit once the economies of scale kick in, after it goes into mass production.


Aside from the obvious benefits this gives to patients in general, this is especially important in a country like India, where the nearest health centre is often kilometres away. Even when such centres exist, the equipment and staff are ill-trained and health related tragedies are common in the interiors.


While most start-ups and great ideas remain stillborn, Swasthya Slate has already undergone field use on a large scale. With backing from the Indian government, the kit was tested n Himachal Pradesh and Odisha. Subsequently, it was given wider application in Jammu and Kashmir in a project this year. It has already been accepted for use across various other states and even in other countries, like Malaysia, Peru, Nigeria and Canada among others.


Dr Kahol realised this when he was teaching as an Assistant Professor at the Arizona State University and found that he could get no grants for the area of research he wanted to pursue.


A native of Punjab, he completed his MS and PhD from Arizona State University. His research interests involved sensors and with a thesis dealing with distal object perception, it should not have been too difficult to secure further grants for research in creating low cost alternatives for diagnostic devices. Finally, he returned to India and decided to develop his idea with backing from the Public Health Foundation of India.


Within a short time, Kahol and his team developed what they call the “Swasthya Slate.”


Kahol's stated objective is that instead of having patients travel to faraway health centres which are equipped to perform diagnostics, why not bring the water to the horse?


Kahol's kit uses an array of sensors which are connected to the “Swasthya Slate,” which is then connected to an android device that runs a proprietary application. This means that minimally trained health workers and volunteers can use the kit to perform tests so that the patients can have health warning sooner.


Whether the kit will be able to break through the stranglehold of the huge healthcare lobby is to be seen. However, the market is thirsting for a product to come by and ameliorate the pain point for cheaper, easier, more portable and long-lasting distance diagnostics.


NRIs from UAE prefer Mumbai for property investment

According to a survey report, owing to the scarcity of fresh land available for construction, Navi Mumbai and other planned townships have effectively evolved as an alternative to Mumbai city


Despite high property prices, India's commercial capital Mumbai has once again emerged as the most popular and attractive property investment hotspot among the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Indians.


As many as 35% UAE-based Indian expats voted for the city as their favourite property destination in India, in a recently conducted survey.


In the report, published by Sumansa Exhibitions, who also organise the Indian Property Show to be held in Dubai in December, Bangalore grabbed the 2nd spot with 24.13% votes going for it as the most favourite city for NRI property investments.


Bangalore catches the fancy of NRI investors due to its multi-directional growth in recent years plus potential of giving significant return on investment.


"The real estate in India continues to attract investors as the sector presents huge investment opportunities for individuals. In earlier times, most of the people purchased property for their own use but now it has also became an investment option for life time," said Sunil Jaiswal, President, Sumansa Exhibitions.


Known for its up-market locations and nodes of premium residential colonies, Mumbai stands aloft as one of the most preferred destinations for habitation in India.


"However, owing to the scarcity of fresh land available for construction, Navi Mumbai and other planned townships have effectively evolved as an alternative to Mumbai city," Jaiswal said.


"Bangalore is one of the upcoming residential and commercial markets in India. It has seen multi-directional growth in recent years. Those planning to invest in Bangalore, this might be the perfect time," Jaiswal said.


Bangalore being a hub of information technology has been attracting real estate investors over the years, he said.


About 22,300 NRIs across UAE participated in the survey, which was conducted to understand the reason of buying property in India, preferred cities for investments, type of property, time frame, budget and finances planned.


Indian cities are also in the top 25 real estate destinations in the Asia Pacific region for real estate investment destinations.


Mumbai and Bangalore are on the 20th and 23rd positions respectively, on the list of investment destinations covered by the 'Emerging Trends in Real Estate Asia Pacific 2014' and published jointly by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PricewaterhouseCoopers.


We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.

To continue

Sign Up or Sign In


To continue

Sign Up or Sign In



The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)