Sunday, March 18, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Saving babies from AIDS possible
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 17
“Even though the rate of paediatric HIV infection is increasing, it is now possible to control it by following anti-HIV therapy with Nevirapine drug. Children born of HIV-infected mothers can be saved from the infection, said Prof Vijay V. Joshi, Director of Paediatric Pathology at Hartford in Connecticut, USA.

Prof Joshi is in the city in connection with the ongoing Sixth International CME and Update on Surgical Pathology in the PGI organised by the Department of Histopathology. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune here today, he said the drug, depending on the duration of the protocol, was effective in stopping the transmission of the HIV virus from the mother to the baby.

The common belief is that the foetus gets infected soon after conception, but Prof Joshi said, in majority of the cases, the virus was transmitted during the delivery when the child passed through the birth canal. “Infection through the placenta is also not uncommon,’’ he said.

Treatment with Nevirapine drug with a short-term protocol costs about $ 40 and is about 50 per cent effective. ‘‘The drug is given to the mother before and the new born after the delivery. In long-term protocol, the drug is given for a longer duration and costs about $ 1,000 and is 80 per cent effective,’’ said Dr Joshi.

Another way to save a baby from the HIV infection is to ensure the delivery of the newborn by a caesarean section. ‘‘With this, the chances of baby’s survival increases much more,’’ he said.

Prof Joshi said India should follow a specific management strategy for AIDS control, considering that there were 6,00,000 HIV-infected children in the world, most of them in developing countries.”

Delivering a lecture on the role of a pathologist in diagnosing cases of AIDS in adults and children, Prof Joshi said a pathologist, by diagnosing many exotic infections, could influence the management of patients. He also spoke on his discovery of the intestinal cancer in children with AIDS.

Dr D.N. Lanjewar, Associate Professor of Pathology in Grant Medical College, who has examined a large number of post-mortem cases of AIDS, said, in numerous cases, tuberculosis was the cause of death. Dr Soumitra S. Banerjee of Manchester in the UK talked about the difficulties in diagnosing recently defined tumours like Ewing’s Sarcoma and the PNET.

Dr Savitri Krishnamurthy of the MD Anderson Cancer Centre in the USA, gave an overview of the application of molecular pathology in diagnostic surgical pathology and cytopathology. Dr Siloo Kapadia of Hershay Medical Center in the USA, explained how to diagnose benign and malignant tumours of the nerves.

Dr Nirag Jhala of the University of Alabama Medical Centre demonstrated the use of new techniques in the diagnosis of stromal tumours of the intestine by quantitating cell division and identifying mutation of genes (C-Kit), by which behaviour of these tumours could be predicted. Dr Jhala also said a pathologist could play a key role in the management of infections of the tumours of intestine by using cytological methods along with endoscopic ultrasound.

Slide seminars conducted by Dr Meenakshi Bhattacharjee on neuropathology, Dr Kusum Verma on cytology and Dr Siloo Kapadia on the head and neck tumours provided an opportunity for interaction between the delegates and the guest faculty.

Meanwhile, the three-day International CME and update in surgical pathology concluded at Bhargava auditorium today evening.

The last day of the conference started with an interesting talk by Prof A.K. Banerjee, Head of pathology, PGI, said extensive studies have shown that invasive fungal infections present in varied ways and cause serious diseases resulting in death.

Dr Nirag Jhala from Alabama Medical Centre, USA, said that stomach cancer is caused by bad dietary habits and genetic factors, and emphasised the role of pathologists in detecting pre-cancers or early cancer so that the prognosis can be much improved.

Dr Ashraf Khan from the USA deliberated that multilating surgery can be avoided in many patients of breast cancer by closely examining the centinel lymhode to detect micro-metestasis. Patients can also be identified who will benefit by tamoxifen or by chemotheraphy by doing appropriate tests.

Dr Harsharan K. Singh from the University of North Carolina, deliberated on the pitfalls of interpretation of tumours of Mediastinum using of fine needle aspiration biopsy by a beautifully illustrated slide seminar.


New OPD to be functional from Monday
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 17
All out patient departments ( OPDs) except the Department of Oral Health Sciences and Radiotherapy of the PGI will start functioning from the new OPD block with effect from March 19, according to an official release issued here today.

The timings of the registration will be as before i.e. 8 am to 11 am on week days (Monday to Friday) and 8 am to 10.30 am on Saturdays and holidays. The days of the OPDs will also remain the same.

The PGI authorities have requested the Chandigarh Administration and the Telecom Department to extend their facilities to the new OPD.

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