Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Graft, poor governance behind antibiotic resistance globally
In a first of its kind research, Australian researchers have linked antibiotic resistance with poor governance and corruption around the world.
 
"We found that poor governance and higher levels of corruption are associated with higher levels of antibiotic resistance. It is a finding that will be surprising to most people in the field of medicine," said lead researcher professor Peter Collignon from the Australian National University's (ANU) School of Medicine.
 
The increase in antibiotic-resistant infections is one of the greatest threats facing modern medicine.
 
The research, published in the journal PLOS ONE, also found that a country's level of antibiotic resistance is not related to its wealth.
 
"Countries with higher levels of corruption often had less rigorous and less transparent processes, with less effective controls over areas pertinent to antibiotic resistance," said study co-author and associate professor Sanjaya Senanayake.
 
These include factors that affect antibiotic usage and the ways antibiotic-resistant bacteria spread via water, foods and poor infection control.
 
In countries with greater corruption, antibiotic usage may also be much higher than what is recorded.
 
"If governance and control of corruption can be improved, this can be an important factor in reversing high levels of antibiotic resistance," Senanayake noted.
 
The team also found resistance levels were higher when healthcare was performed by the private sector.
 
"This may be because clinicians in the private health system are subject to fewer controls when it comes to both the volumes and types of antibiotics used," Senanayake emphasised.
 
Poorer countries should not regard antibiotic resistance as an inevitable consequence of their financial situation, noted co-researcher professor Premachandra Athukorala.
 
"If governance and corruption issues can be better addressed, it is very likely that major reductions in levels of antibiotic resistance will result - this will also lead to many other benefits worldwide," he pointed out.
 
Antimicrobial resistance is an urgent global health priority.
 
The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes it as a looming crisis in which common and treatable infections are becoming life threatening.
 
The research suggests that addressing corruption and control of antibiotics could help lower antibiotic resistance and save lives.

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'I have Parkinson’s but Parkinson’s will not have me'

PDMDS, under the leadership of Dr Maria Barretto, has devised an innovative approach in the treatment of Parkinson’s and is working towards improving the overall quality of life of its patients

 

The Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Society (PDMDS) was started by Dr BS Singhal in 2001 to improve the quality of life of people with Parkinson’s and their families. According to Dr Singhal, “In Parkinson’s disease, drugs can help but not to the full extent. Bringing people together in a support group with rehabilitation might give them a boost and way to live with the disability with the feeling that ‘I have Parkinson’s but Parkinson’s will not have me’!”
 
In Mumbai, Dr Singhal entrusted the work of PDMDS to Dr Maria Barretto as its chief executive officer. She has over 30 years of experience in the field of psychology and education and has been instrumental in taking a multi-disciplinary approach to Parkinson’s care in a group therapy format.
 
The focus of PDMDS’s work is providing treatment through support centres. This programme is conducted weekly at various locations. PDMDS currently conducts 15 support centres in Mumbai and Thane districts, one in Pune, two in Nashik, three in Goa, three in Gujarat and one in Hyderabad. As the disease progresses, members are unable to attend the programme. At that stage, PDMDS provides counselling and therapy at their homes. There are many who cannot afford the therapy. To reach out to them, PDMDS provides free medication and assistive devices. 
 
Dr Barretto has been the face of PDMDS, since her association with the organisation began in 2004. Moneylife Foundation honoured her on International Women’s Day (8 March 2015) for her outstanding contribution in the area of her specialisation. She was felicitated at the hands of Ms Nirmala Sitharaman, Union minister for commerce & industry.
 
Parkinson’s is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. The most obvious symptoms are movement-related and include involuntary tremors, shaking of limbs, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty with walking and gait. Later, cognitive and behavioural problems may arise; dementia commonly occurs at advanced stages of the disease, whereas depression is the most common psychiatric symptom. 
 
For those who fear that there is no treatment, the words of a patient may be comforting: “A handful of tablets are prescribed to control the symptoms.” The combination of medical treatment and group therapy works to: (a) improve and maintain flexibility, strength, coordination, balance and mobility; (b) bring independence in carrying out activities of daily living; and (c) help voice control and communication.  
 
Through the patient welfare programme, financial assistance is provided for medication and assistive devices such as canes, walkers or wheelchairs, based on the assessment and recommendation of the physiotherapist.
 
Dr Barretto says, “In the past 10 years of my career, I have been involved in developing and managing the Parkinson’s Society and I have gained much more than I have given. I have been blessed with a career that gives me the opportunity to be a part of the lives of people who have been challenged in different ways.” You too can join her effort and volunteer to work with PDMDS.
 
PDMDS is registered under the Bombay Public Trust Act of 1950, the Society Registration Act of 1860 and under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act for receipt of foreign donations. Monetary donations are tax-exempt under Section 80G of the Income-Tax Act. 
 
PDMDS
6 Jasville, 1st Floor, Opp. Liberty Cinema, Marine Lines, Mumbai – 400 020
Tel: 022 - 22068787 / 22064747; 9820294311
Email: [email protected]; [email protected]

 

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COMMENTS

MG Warrier

2 years ago

Articles like this help readers familiarise with latest developments in certain areas of medical science. As those who really suffer such ailments have no access to websites or newspapers, the responsibility for sharing information is more on those who are healthy. Madhavan, Dr BM Hegde and Moneylife deserves special appreciation for their contribution in creating awareness about living a healthy life and ‘managing ill-health’. Perhaps, Moneylife could adapt an old bye-line of a steel producer and say, “Moneylife also talks about money!”

Bankers to hold protests at offices of loan defaulters
Come April - the dawn of the new fiscal - and bankers would hit the streets to hold silent demonstrations outside the headquarters of corporate loan defaulters pressurising them to pay up their dues, said a top union official.
 
The bank union has decided to take on a national scale the recent silent protests by employees of Andhra Bank outside the offices of loan defaulters in Tamil Nadu.
 
"We are redrawing our list of corporate loan defaulters and the process is expected to be over soon. From mid-April onwards, our members will hold protests outside the offices of corporates whose loan accounts have been categorised as non-performing assets (NPA) to make them pay up their dues," C.H. Venkatachalam, general secretary, All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) told IANS.
 
According to him, such a protest would spread awareness among the people of this country -- the ultimate owners of the government-owned banks -- about the huge loan dues built up by the corporates.
 
Last year, AIBEA released a list of 406 bank loan accounts amounting to Rs.70,300 crore that have been declared bad and had demanded declaration of wilful default a criminal offence and investigation of the nexus between the borrowers and bank officials.
 
Employees of Andhra Bank, cutting across cadre-lines, recently held protests outside corporate loan defaulters in Tamil Nadu.
 
"The moment such protests began, there were threats issued to bank staff from loan defaulters to desist from holding protests," an official of Andhra Bank told IANS preferring anonymity.
 
The All India Andhra Bank Award Employees Union (AIABAEU), affiliated to AIBEA, decided to hold silent protests outside the headquarters of loan defaulters.
 
"Ours is a silent protest outside the offices of loan defaulters. In some places, police complaints were lodged against the employees. The police, after hearing our cause and witnessing the silent protest, even encouraged us to continue," K. Thamaraiselvan, deputy general secretary, AIABAEU told IANS.
 
According to him, the protesting employees do not hold any placards naming the defaulting corporate or their loan dues. The employees would stand outside a corporate office, holding a placard that simply says 'Pay up your dues' -- and the people can infer.
 
He said following the silent protests, some borrowers have started paying back their loans.
 
"In some cases, the debtors have paid back even Rs.18-20 lakh," he said.
 
The Andhra Bank employees would hold their novel campaign till March 31.
 
According to him, the bank earns sizeable gross profit only to provide huge sums towards NPA provisions.
 
In the case of Andhra Bank, the gross NPA is around Rs.7,000 crore.
 
It is only now that the bankers have started to hit the streets against loan defaulting corporates.
 
All these years, the bankers acted against individual/agriculture/student borrowers with alacrity in recovering their loan or auctioning their properties leaving the big sharks free.
 
"In India, farmers commit suicide for not being able to pay back their dues. In the case of corporate loan accounts, it is the bankers who are forced to 'commit suicide' for their inability to recover the loans," Thamaraiselvan said.
 
"The irony is that the bank deducts our loan dues from our salaries whereas they are not able to do anything with the corporate," he added.
 
Union officials in banks are unanimous in their view that restructuring of loans is an organised industry and needs to be probed.
 
A review should be made to identify the beneficiaries whose debts/loans availed in the banks with interest were written off, AIBEA had earlier demanded.
 
The AIBEA has also demanded that the bank loan defaulters should not be permitted to contest assembly or parliamentary elections.
 
According to AIBEA, floating of asset reconstruction companies (ARC) as a tool to reduce non-performing assets (NPA) should be discouraged and the NPAs should be actually recovered.
 
Venkatachalam is on the same page with the government's decision to revise the system of statement of intent or memorandum of understanding it signs with the bank management.
 
The current system is like a pyramid scheme/multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme where the large number of employees do not get performance incentives while those at the top - chairman and managing directors, executive directors - get hefty incentives. This despite banks racking up huge non-performing assets, Venkatachalam said.
 
Bankers also are of the view that the time has come to tabulate the incentives earned by their top officials and the total NPA generated during their tenure to bring in moral accountability.

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COMMENTS

PATTABHI

2 years ago

This protest being a field activity for Bank Employees, I suppose they will be adequately compensated and the amount added to the dues/liabilities of the defaulter for recovery.

manhar kothari

2 years ago

Bankers should publish periodically the name of corporate & amount whose name falls under NPA.
Defaulters corporate asset,including personal asset of MD & Chairman should be attached.

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