Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
India has one of highest rates of antibiotic resistance
India has one of the highest rates of antibiotic resistance in the world, said a recent report, stressing on limiting the use of antibiotics through improved water, sanitation and immunisation.
 
Titled 'The State of World Antibiotics 2015', the study conducted by Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy (CDDEP), New Delhi, also shows that in 2010, India was the largest consumer of antibiotics ahead of China and the US.
 
"MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) resistance rates have remained high in India. Carbapenem resistance has been increasing overtime. Overall, India has one of the highest rates of antibiotic resistance in the world," Ramanan Laxminarayan, director, CDDEP, and a lead author of the study told IANS on Thursday.
 
MRSA is a common pathogen responsible for skin and soft tissue infections, severe bloodstream infections, and pneumonia. Carbapenems are considered last-resort antibiotics, used for infections that are resistant to first-, second- and even third-line antibiotics.
 
The countries consuming the most antibiotics overall in 2010 were India (13 billion Standard Unit (SU)), China (10 billion SU) and the US, (7 billion SU), according to the study.
 
In terms of human use of antibiotics, the report said the highest rates of increase are in middle-income countries, particularly the BRICS, a trend that is likely to continue as incomes continue to rise.
 
"BRICS had the greatest upsurge in antibiotic use from 2000 through 2010:68 percent in Brazil, 19 percent in Russia, 66 percent in India, 37 percent in China, and 219 percent in South Africa," the report said.
 
Explaining the trends further, Laxminarayan said the increased demand for animal protein and resulting intensification of food animal production is leading to greater use of antibiotics in agriculture, again driving resistance.
 
"In India, the use of antibiotics in pre-mixed feed for livestock is going up a lot. We are not even aware that antibiotics are going inside our system. The strategy would be to stop use of antibiotics in the pre-mixed feed," Laxminarayan, also associated with Public Health Foundation of India, elaborated.
 
Though the Indian Council of Medical Research began setting up the Anti-Microbial Resistance Surveillance Network in 2011, Laxminarayan said surveillance alone is not enough. The key is preventing intake of antibiotics in cases where they are not needed.
 
"The first step would be to not purchase antibiotics over the counter without a doctor's prescription. Doctors should also exercise caution while prescribing them," he said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Say 'thank you' for better marital outcomes
If you want a long and happy married life start thanking your spouse at every opportunity, suggests new research.
 
"We found that feeling appreciated and believing that your spouse values you directly influences how you feel about your marriage, how committed you are to it, and your belief that it will last," said study co-author Ted Futris, an associate professor at the University of Georgia in the US.
 
With the use of a telephone survey, the study asked 468 married individuals questions about their financial well being, demand/withdraw communication and expressions of spousal gratitude.
 
The results indicated that spousal expression of gratitude was the most consistent significant predictor of marital quality.
 
"It goes to show the power of 'thank you,'" study's lead author Allen Barton from the University of Georgia noted.
 
"Even if a couple is experiencing distress and difficulty in other areas, gratitude in the relationship can help promote positive marital outcomes," Barton noted.
 
The study also found that higher levels of spousal gratitude expressions protected men's and women's divorce proneness as well as women's marital commitment from the negative effects of poor communication during conflict.
 
"Importantly, we found that when couples are engaging in a negative conflict pattern like demand/withdrawal, expressions of gratitude and appreciation can counteract or buffer the negative effects of this type of interaction on marital stability," Futris said.
 
"This is the first study to document the protective effect that feeling appreciated by your spouse can have for marriages," Barton said. 
 
The study was published in the journal Personal Relationships.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Ghost Savings: Govt data shows consumption of subsidised LPG going up
Irrespective of the Petroleum Ministry's inflated claims, during FY2015, actual consumption of subsidised LPG cylinders increased by 18% while the same for unsubsidised refill fell 19%. Even the government's so-called saving claim contains simple arithmetical error of Rs1,205 crore
 
The Central Government, especially the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG), while patting itself for saving thousands of crores due to its direct benefit transfer (DBTL or PAHAL) scheme, continues to show misleading figures. So much so, the clarification issued by the Ministry too contains arithmetical mistake. Not only this, according to the data available in public domain, contrary to the Ministry's claims, actual consumption of subsidised LPG cylinders has gone up by 18% during FY2014-15.
 
In a release on 12 October 2015, the MoPNG had said, "If we take into account the quota of 12 cylinders per consumer and the average LPG subsidy of Rs336 per cylinder for the year 2014-15, estimated savings in LPG subsidy due to the blocking of 3.34 crore accounts work out to Rs14,672 crore, during that year." 
 
So let’s do the calculations... 
12 (refill) x 3.34 crore (blocked connections) x Rs336 (average subsidy for each refill)= Rs13,467 crore
 
This means, even revised figure of the estimated saving by the government is inflated by Rs1,205 crore (Rs14,672 crore - Rs13,467 crore = Rs1,205 crore).  
 
As per the data from the MoPNG, during FY2014-15, total subsidised consumption increased 18% or 16.6 crore cylinders. At the same time consumption of unsubsidised cylinders fell by 19% or by 4.3 crore cylinders. In FY 2014-15, total LPG consumption grew by over 10% relative to FY 2013-14 - a sharp increase on the previous year's growth rate of 4.7%. It must be noted that despite sharp increase in consumption of subdised LPG cylinders, overall subsidy expenditure of the government decreased. This happened due to rapidly falling international oil prices from late 2014 onwards, leading to a 65% decrease in recorded LPG unit under-recoveries between November 2014 and February 2015. Data from MoPNG shows per unit under recoveries for LPG fell to Rs143.7 in March 2015 from Rs506.1 in April 2014. 
 
The significant increase in overall LPG consumption in FY 2014-15 was due almost entirely to a sharp rise in the consumption of subsidized household LPG in FY 2014-15, increasing by almost 18% (the equivalent of 166 million 14.2kg cylinders) relative to FY 2013-14 (see Figure below).
 
 
Due to the UPA administration's relaxation of the per household allocation, and the current government's subsequent failure to reinstate a realistic per household quota, subsidized consumption then rose sharply in FY 2014-15 - increasing by the equivalent of 166.3 million cylinders relative to FY 2013-14 (as detailed in Figure above) - while unsubsidised consumption fell to 13.9% of total consumption.
 
In addition, to the significant increase in subsidized consumption, and despite a strong increase in overall LPG consumption, total unsubsidized consumption (including all categories) fell sharply from its previous high in FY 2013-14, declining by over 19% (the equivalent of 43 million 14.2kg cylinders) (see Figure below). 
 
 
Interestingly, contrary to the Ministry's claims, the consumption of subsidised LPG decreased only when there was a cap. In September 2012, the cap on number of subsidised LPG cylinders (refill) per household was limited to six per year. Later in January 2014, it was increased to nine refill cylinders. Finally, in January 2015, it was increased to 12 LPG cylinders a year. 
 
The effect of the previous cylinder cap was also clearly visible in the composition of LPG consumption in FY2013-14, with total subsidised consumption falling in absolute terms for the first time in a decade. The unsubsidised consumption increased substantially both in absolute terms, growing by 46% relative to FY2012-13 and as a percentage of total consumption. 
 
DBTL or Aadhaar irrelevant in blocking connections
 
The Ministry's latest estimate counts both inactive connections (whose status is unrelated to administrative restriction) and connections blocked over the course of several years. It must be noted here that the vast majority of such connections were identified through mechanisms that preceded direct benefit transfer (DBTL or PAHAL) and Aadhaar, and were unrelated to either initiative. 
 
Connections that would have been valid throughout FY2014-15 were not due to introduction of the DBTL program. This is because DBTL was mandatory only in 8% of total districts for six weeks in FY2014-15. The government assumes these connections would universally have used almost double the average per connection amount of subsidized LPG, and then claims the entirety of the notional savings achieved as due to the introduction of DBTL.
 
In relation with Aadhaar, it must be noted that the program was always effectively irrelevant to the functioning of the DBT mechanism even for the narrow purpose of removing duplicate connections due to the household-based nature of the entitlement. The government's own figures have consistently demonstrated that the maximum number of potential duplicates identified in LPG databases through Aadhaar-based de-duplication is typically around 1% (or less) of total connections assessed, and may represent an even smaller fraction of actual consumption.
 
Where irregular connections were identified and blocked through the adoption of DBTL and Aadhaar in FY2014-15, a category that represents an extremely small fraction of total inactive connections recorded, any notional savings achieved would obviously only relate to the period of implementation of DBTL. Remember in FY2014-15 DBTL was only mandatory in 8% of total districts for a period of six weeks.
 
In other words, the vast majority of blocked connections were blocked through processes entirely unrelated to either DBTL or Aadhaar, during periods when DBTL was not being implemented, and would not have incurred any subsidy expenditure regardless of the adoption of either DBTL or Aadhaar.
 
Basic inquiries regarding the status and composition of the inactive connections, including the percentage of 'inactive' connections formally blocked, and within formally blocked connections, the date of identification and blocking, and the method by which they were identified for blocking, could demonstrate the extent to which this approach to estimating the fiscal effect of DBTL is incorrect or potentially highly misleading. However, it depends upon the will and wish of the Ministry to publish all such data in public domain in a transparent manner.
 

 

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COMMENTS

Mukesh kamath

1 year ago

Did not understand many parts of the argument. Article needs to be rewritten. In a highly activist and anxiety filled state the author has done injustice to many good ideas and a few untruths(added for convenience) like for example concluding hurriedly that aadhaar and DBTL have been irrelevant and ineffective. As if the argument rests on firm footing moneylife quotes these in future articles and has created a web of treatises all waiting to be brought down as a pack of cards.

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