Wednesday, April 3, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cheaper drugs for cirrhosis patients likely
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Thirty per cent of the people suffering from cirrhosis of the liver die of bleeding caused due to portal hypertension. At any given time, such a bleeding attack is considered to be more fatal than a heart attack since the body ends up losing more than two to three litres of blood in one go. These observations were made by Prof Didier Lebrec, Director of Research, INSERM, Hospital Beaujon, Clichy, France, delivering the 14th Datta Memorial Oration at the PGI here today.

Dr Lebrec said scientists were likely to find a cost-effective drug for reducing risk to cirrhosis patients due to portal hypertension leading to bleeding and death. Dr Lebrec, who is considered to be a pioneer in these drugs, projected that a large reduction in death rate due to bleeding among cirrhosis patients is likely.

Dr Y.K. Chawla, Head of the Department of Hepatology, PGI, stated that although drugs were being given to patients suffering from cirrhosis, the new set of drugs were expected to be more effective. He also explained that more than 10 new patients suffering from this disease were examined every week at the PGI, OPD. He also said that although 50 per cent of them were suffering due to alcohol intake of these 30 per cent were cases where cirrhosis had set in due to uncured Hepatitis A or B.

Bleeding, explained Dr Lebrec, can be caused by either a alcohol binge or a relapse of hepatitis. Through blood vomit, the patient ends up losing a large amount of blood. In such cases the patient is immediately given beta blockers many of them which are easily available on prescription and are cost effective. These drugs control the blood flow and pressure in the body during an attack of this variety and reduce the emission of blood. Many varieties of such drugs are available in the market and have been used for years.

Dr Lebrec has now come up with drugs which will be preventive in nature. Many of the drugs which he is working on can be also used along with endoscopy which is generally done for a bleeding attack. The drugs which will be preventive in nature will, however, need to be taken for life or till he gets a liver transplant, he said.


Living with dystrophy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
For 40-year-old Jaswinder Kaur, Sunday was one day in the last 13 years on which she ‘only lived for herself ’. Jaswinder, a former teacher at Nawanshahr, is suffering from one of the rare congenital disorders leading to muscular dystrophy, a disease which slowly degenerates the working of various muscles of the body, making the person disabled and totally dependent on outside support. A disease which has no known cure and all that a patient can do is to wait for complete immobility and consequent death to set in.

And death was what Jaswinder had wished for these 13 long years constantly contemplating suicide. When the first signs of the disease started showing up just after her marriage and one child, she was immediately divorced by her husband and since then there had been no one to take care of her and her daughter. She was then forced to let go of her only child to her sister’s care.

Living with her parents now, Jaswinder is virtually bed ridden, cannot do any thing on her own, is fed by a maid and has to be moved around in a wheelchair. Along with the strength of her muscles she had lost the will to live. But only till yesterday.

More than 50 members of the Muscular Dystrophy Association met for a get together on Sunday at the Lake Club. Organised by the Chandigarh chapter of the association, persons of all ages suffering from this disease got together and shared their experiences with each other. They cried, they laughed, they sang songs, a celebration of their desire to live and make the best of what they could do and needed to do.

‘‘The support group is meeting after almost an year. We could not hold out our previous get togethers as two of our young members succumbed to the disease. But when finally it was organised patients from Solan, Nawanshahr and Panchkula also joined in, ’’said Mr Gurbir Singh, president of the Chandigarh chapter and himself fighting the disease for decades now.

The diseases where there is no cure and one needs immense emotional support to even want to live, support groups are most helpful and an absolute requirement, explains Gurbir. ‘‘Our group has been able to change lives. The shock of discovering that one has an incurable disease when one has lived a totally normal life for years, requires extraordinary understanding from family members and much more for the person who will now be leading the life of a disabled person, ’’he says.

The disorder which leads to muscular dystrophy is congenital in nature but has various types and can occur at any age. Children suffering from this problem rarely live beyond the age of 20 years. There are cases when all siblings are suffering from the disease.

The Goyals of Solan is one such family. The two sons now in their thirties and a sister, all three suffer from the disorder. The eldest son was encouraged by the group to marry and lead a normal life. His sister, Sanjana, is the president of the Solan chapter of the association.

For a person suffering from muscular dystrophy, the most important thing is to keep as active as possible. And the group encourages them to keep active, exercise regularly so that the process of dystrophy of the muscles is reduced to some extent. Helping each other lead a better life, all of them are waiting for a cure. Jaswinder says that she is ready to donate her body to research in this field. But for now, she is looking forward to the next get together.


And now, health check-up packages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
With lifestyle becoming busier and the work environment more stressful, the one important thing which is getting totally ignored is one’s health. The result — people are catching diseases at a much younger age. Left undetected, these diseases tend to get serious and often require surgical intervention and are a source of major physical and mental discomfort along with substantial financial burden to the patient. To help people staying fit through early diagnosis and management of any ailment, Fortis Heart Institute at SAS Nagar has introduced a health check centre.

The centre claims to offer world-class health monitoring programmes for people of all ages and even includes special programmes for those who lead a stressful life. The health check-up assesses general health of the patient on several key parameters to ensure peak fitness.

According to Dr R.V. Kranjekar, Medical Director of the institute: “There is a lack of immediacy towards health issues amongst the people which leads to serious preventable diseases at a very early stage of life. Medical studies show a growing incidence of men and women being afflicted by illness in there 30’s which was rare a generation ago such as diabetes, high blood pressure, angina and heart attacks. At Fortis, we have designed preventive health check-up programme to suit the profiles of young executives so that one can through preventive care and early detection take curative action in time and avoid critical health conditions.”

An increasing number of corporate are now opting for preventive health check-up programme for their employees like the cardiac check-up, executive check-up packages for men and women, pre-employment check-up and comprehensive health check-up for male and female to determine the physical fitness of their employees.

According to Mr Shivinder Mohan Singh, Director and Promoter, Fortis Healthcare: “A WHO report has revealed an alarming fact that the world average of the incidence of heart disease is 1.5 per cent and the Indian average 3 per cent. In Punjab, it rises to a whopping 6 per cent. Many potentially serious and life-threatening problems can be offset and managed if diagnosed at an early stage. In most such cases treatment is limited to altering one’s diet, changing one’s lifestyle or some standard medication. In the USA and Europe, people in their middle-age are increasingly opting for regular health checks.”

At the institute, a total screening programme is specially developed for those who are at risk of heart problem due to genetic, dietary or lifestyle factor. 


SAS Nagar may get golf course
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, April 2
On the lines of golf course in Chandigarh and Panchkula, the Punjab Housing and Urban Development Department is planning to lay a golf course on the north-west rim of town. An area of around 200 acres along the Patiala Ki Rao choe is likely to be earmarked for the project.

It is learnt that the state Town and Country Planning Department has been asked to look for a suitable site along the choe near the proposed Sector 74. A provision for the golf course has already been made in the draft master plan of SAS Nagar prepared by the Town Planning Department — declared as the planning agency by the government.

Sources in the government said that the master plan was today submitted to the Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Mr Ragunath Sahai Puri. The minister told the TNS that the draft master plan would be placed for approval in the board meeting proposed to be held in the next few weeks. The meeting would be chaired by the Chief Minister.

A total area of 16,642 hectares, covering area in 77 villages has been declared as the planning area under the master plan which envisages around 1,400 acres of industrial estate on the south-east rim of the town. Once developed the town would touch the Kharar-Banur road. The outline master plan runs between two seasonal rivulets, Patiala Ki Rao choe and another choe on the southern side. The remaining area, around 8,000 acres constituting of 34 villages has been earmarked as agricultural zone.

In a withdrawal from the earlier ‘faulty’ planning, the planners have kept the industrial area on the southern side due to the prevailing wind direction. In the existing town the industrial area has been carved out on the north-west fringe. A buffer zone of institutional and sports facilities has been planned between the industrial area and the residential sectors.

Another feature of the master plan is providing a bypass for the Punjab-bound traffic coming from Delhi. A connectivity of the Zirakpur-Patiala road with the Chandigarh— Ludhiana road has been proposed, said sources in the Housing and Urban Development Department.

On the pattern of Chandigarh, the town will have two city centres — one each of around 240 acres in Sector 62 and Sector 85. The two centres will be linked with Chandigarh and the Kharar-Banur road through a 200 feet wide road.

The sources said after the draft master plan was approved, a comprehensive development plan, including land use maps and registers would be worked out.

The mater plan will be based on new zoning regulation being framed by the Town Planning Department. The residential sectors have been planned on grid-iron base where the road width of every alternative sector is 200 feet, horizontally and vertically. 


City gymnasts bag fifth position
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, April 2
Boy gymnasts of the city have secured overall fifth position by securing 218.50 points in the just concluded 42nd Senior National Gymnastics Championships held in Hyderabad.

Highlighting the achievements, Mr D.V. Bhatia, president, Chandigarh Gymnastics Association, said with this feat, the team would qualify for the 32nd National Games going to be held in Hyderabad in November.

In the meet 28 teams took part. The Railways with 242.90 points bagged the first place, Punjab got the second, the Services got the third and Andhra Pradesh got the fourth place.

Mr Bhatia said Karan Bahadur of Chandigarh bagged silver medal in the horizontal bar by obtaining 8.225 points. The three boys namely Karan, Y. Ibomacha Singh and Madan Lal are included in the national coaching camp, where top 20 gymnasts of the country will participate.

Mr Bhatia, who is also the vice-president of the Gymnastics Federation of India, expressed satisfaction at the performance of the UT team. He said the gymnasium hall in Sector 7 needed immediate attention. He said the Sports Department was extending all help to the CGA and hoped that the schools would also come forward in making gymnastics one of the priorities in the schools.

Kamal shines

Kamal Behl of the Bombai XI scored 107 runs and bagged three wickets for 24 runs and enabled his team in beating the Gallant Cricket Club by 30 runs in the First Cash Prize Cricket Tournament organised by the Punjab Secretariat Cricket Club near Sohana grounds, SAS Nagar.

In another match of the day, the Punjab Secretariat Club defeated the Young Star Club by 42 runs.


Revising authority of electoral rolls
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, April 2
Ms Jyoti Arora, Deputy Commissioner, has appointed Mr M.S. Yadav, Sub-Divisional Officer (Civil), as Revising Authority for preparation of draft electoral rolls and final publication of electoral rolls of the 31 wards of the Panchkula Municipal Council. In addition to this, 12 other officers have also been appointed as reviewing authority.

She said the draft publishing of electoral rolls of all wards of the council on the basis of Assembly electoral rolls published on January 31, with reference to January 1, 2002, as qualifying date for inviting claims and objections, would be on April 3, 2002.

The last date by which the claims and objections shall be presented to the Revising Authority is April 13 and the last date by which these shall be disposed of is April 18. The last date for filing appeals against the orders of the Revising Authority with the Deputy Commissioner, Panchkula, is April 23 while April 30 is the last date for disposal of appeals by the Deputy Commissioner. The final publishing of electoral rolls is on May,16.

She said the claims and objections would be accepted daily in the above centres for each ward from April 3 to 13. The claims and objections received would be heard after three days in the office of the Sub-Divisional Officer (C), Panchkula, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily after proper enquiry.

She said the claimants would have to bring one or two documents in support of their claims and objections — residential proof, ration card, voter identity card, plot, house allotment letter, and date of birth certificate as proof of age. 

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