Wednesday, April 24, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Relief for kids with cut lips
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh : There is good news for parents who have a child born with a cleft lip or palate. The multi-speciality team of the Cleft Palate Clinic at the PGI has adopted internationally acclaimed management procedures and has achieved remarkable success in significantly reducing social and psychological trauma involved in the repair of a cleft palate as well as cranio-facial deformities with minimal surgery.

Cleft lips and palates are the most common congenital problem children are born with. In such cases the child is born with either a cut lip or a cut palate and in many cases with both.

Dr Ashok K. Utreja of the Centre for Oral Health Sciences, PGI, head of this specialists’ team, says that the number of patients coming to the PGI with the problem is as high as 150 to 200 per year.

A child born with such a disorder is operated upon at the age of three months or whenever he or she is healthy enough for surgery. If need be, the palate is also cut, and later joined. In most cases the child starts to grow with a speech problem and unequal growth of jaws. While the lower jaws grow normally, the upper jaws growth is less, thereby leading to a deformation. An maturity these children have to undergo jaw surgery. The use of these newer techniques had reduced the need for such a major jaw surgery later.

These techniques include distraction osteogenesis and face mask therapy. Distraction osteogenesis involves lengthening of the bones along with tissues of the upper jaw (maxilla) and after the jaw has reached a stage where it is outside the lower jaw, the growth is normal. ‘‘At this stage nature takes over and the lower jaw simply takes the upper one along.’’

The benefit of the procedure that it takes less than two months to achieve results and can be done in children of any age. There is a special indigenously modified structure which is clamped on to the face of the child and the lengthening process carried out at the rate of 1 mm per sitting.

The use of the face mask is another procedure which is being used among younger children aged between five and 11. The face mask therapy is not effective in older children where distraction is used. The face mask is also indigenously modified and if used for 14 hours a day, within 16 weeks of use, the upper jaw is aligned with the lower and the growth is allowed to normalise. A face mask has some benefits over the distraction procedure. Since it is a slower procedure the chances of relapse are lower.

The team, which includes orthodontists, psychologists, speech therapists and plastic surgeons, has been able to achieve changes within a few years of having tried these techniques. The special clinic — is one of the three such clinics in the country — has more than 70 patients who come for follow up and intensive care.


PGI alumnus’ work on prostate cancer in USA
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Dr Raj Dahiya, a PGI alumnus, has discovered a new way to treat prostate cancer in the USA. His findings were published in the Journal of National Cancer Institutes on March 5. The then NIH president released this research story to the media there.

His study shows that men with advanced prostate cancer do not respond to hormone therapy because cancer cells shut down the genes that produce protein receptors for drugs. Hormone therapy is often used to treat prostate cancer, but drugs that mimic the effects of estrogen do not work on many late-stage cancers.

The research team led by Dr Raj Dahiya, Director of the Urology Research Centre of San Franciso Veterans Medical Centre, found that the genes needed for cells to respond to estrogen were switched off by a process called hypermethylation. In this process, numerous groups of methyl compound are attached to stretches of the DNA near the beginning of the gene, which blocks the process, whereby, the gene is split open and the code for its protein is read.

“Hypermethylation explains why we see inactive estrogen receptors in prostate cancer and why hormone therapy no longer works in many cases,” says Dr Dahiya. The researchers examined the prostate tissue taken from 38 patients and found almost all samples from tumours with hypermethylation on their estrogen receptor genes. However, tissue samples from healthy coatings of the prostate showed no such methylation.

“Genetics researchers have studied hypermethylation for years,” says Dr Dahiya, who is also the Professor of Urology at the University of San Francisco, “and they know how to prevent it. This raises hope that tumours resistant to hormone therapy can be made responsive again.”

Dahiya and his colleagues treated some prostate cancer cells grown in laboratory dish with a drug that reversed methylation; and the cells switched on their estrogen receptors genes once again. Yesterday, Dr Dahiya informed the PGI Director about the breakthrough on telephone and sent him a letter, in which, he had given details of his discovery.


Shortcomings in new hospital block
Kulwinder Sangha

SAS Nagar, April 23
The Civil Hospital authorities here have refused to take possession of the new extension block of the hospital in the face of serious shortcomings in the building.

It is learnt that about a fortnight ago a junior engineer of the Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC), Mr P.C. Goyal, had written to the hospital authorities to take possession of the new block.

Sources say that after receiving the letter from the engineer, the SMO in charge, Dr S.P. Singla, constituted a committee of three doctors — Dr Jai Singh, Dr Ashok Saini and Dr Harbant Singh — to inspect the new building and submit a report within seven days.

The committee in its report pointed out the shortcomings. A copy of the report was forwarded to the engineering wing of the PHSC. Copies of the report have also been sent to higher authorities, including the Ropar Civil Surgeon.

The committee members noticed that the entire power load of the new block, which is almost double the size of the OPD wing in which the hospital has been functioning, had been connected to the meter of the old building. The officials concerned have not bothered to secure either an independent connection for the new block or get the load extended as per the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) rules.

The committee pointed out in its report that putting the entire load on the old meter could prove dangerous. Officials of the PSEB say this is a violation of rules.

The panel also found that no firefighting arrangements had been made in the new block. Fire brigade officials have written to the Civil Hospital authorities that obtaining a no objection certificate for the new building from the fire brigade is a must.

Mr Balwinder Singh Sidhu, Additional Divisional Fire Officer, told Chandigarh Tribune that providing proper firefighting arrangements was necessary in the interest of public.

Only one toilet has been provided for all wards on the first floor of the building which is to be used by male and female patients and their attendants. The committee pointed out that this would create problems for all.

No generator set has been installed in the new building so far. The panel said it should be installed and hospital officials told how to operate it.

An “animal trap” provided at the entrance to the hospital to prevent the entry of animals into the premises has already caved in. This is causing inconvenience to patients.

The panel has listed about 34 shortcomings. It pointed out that metal grills had not been provided at certain points; no lighting arrangements made in the parking area and the porch of the new block; some windows and doors could not be bolted and certain parts of walls and floors had cracks.

Work on the Rs 2 crore project, approved by the World Bank, started in March last year. The building has been got constructed by the PHSC.


Western Air Command win football title
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, April 23
Western Air Command (WAC) clinched the coveted Air Force football title when they defeated Eastern Air Command (EAC) 3-0 in the final played here today. The half-time score was 2-0. In a one-sided match, WAC were in total command of the game right from the beginning. It was N.J. Singh of the WAC who opened the account for his team when he struck goal in 30th minute. The lead was further consolidated when Edward did a superb goal in 41st minute.

The EAC players tried their best to come back into the match, but in vain, as the complete dominance of the WAC players put the EAC in subdued position. Again in the second half, WAC kept its pressure intact when Sanjay Singh scored in the 70th minute. AOC, 3 BRD Air Commodore S.B. Prasher was the chief guest on the occasion.

TT meet from April 26

In order to popularise the table tennis among youngsters, PGI Community Centre will hold the first open table tennis tournament for juniors under the aegis of the Chandigarh Table Tennis Association from April 26 to 28 on the Community Centre premises, Sector 24-A. The events to be organised include cadet boys and girls singles for under-12, sub-junior boys and girls singles for under-14 and junior boys and girls section for under-17. Entries close with Mr Harish Kumar at TT hall, Sector 23.

St Stephen’s team for UK

As many as 16 members of the St Stephen’s Soccer Academy, Sector 45, along with three officials have been granted visas by the UK to play a series of football matches in Coventry, England from May 4, according to Mr Harold Carver, Director-Principal, St Stephen’s Soccer Academy. He said an invitation from Scoula Meida Statale, Italy has also been received to play matches in the end of May in Prata, Italy.

The team will be felicitated by Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Sports Minister, Punjab, on April 25 at 9.30 am at the school premises.


Poor turnout makes Admn call off auction
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
The Chandigarh Administration had to withdraw the offer of 58 sites for keeping bulk material after only four bidders turned up at the auction here today. After more than an hour of wait, the Assistant Estate Officer, Mr Ashwani Kumar, withdrew the auction.

Bidders were not happy with the road size and the other conditions that the Administration had laid down. They were being given only 36 feet of road width, 16 feet of which was metalled, whereas, they wanted a road at least 100-foot wide to allow free movement of trucks. They also argued with officials over noise-pollution control in the use of stonecutting machines.

The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has also advertised bulk-market sites in Phase XI and quoted rates much lower than what the UT Administration has offered.


Fourteen SIs, five ASIs transferred in UT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
The UT SSP, Mr Parag Jain today issued orders effecting the transfer of 19 police officials. Those given new assignments include 14 SIs and 5 ASIs. SI Gurman Singh has been posted as the in charge of the Mauli Jagran police post, while SI Narinder Singh has been posted as the in charge, Maloya police post. SI Punam Dilawari has been posted as the in charge of the Dhansas police post, while SI Gurdarshan Kaur has been posted as the in charge of the Sector 43 ISBT police post.

SI Ishwer Singh has been posted as Additional SHO, Sector 36 police station, while SI Janak Singh has been Additional SHO, Sector 3 police station. SI Neeraj Sarna and ASI Ranjit Singh have been moved to the CIA. SI Sudershan Kumar has been shifted to the Public Grievance Cell.

Other transferred include SI Labh Singh, SI Balihar Singh, SI Puran Chand, SI Hardit Singh, SI Baljit Singh, ASI Kanwar Singh, ASI Tarseem Singh, ASI Surinder Kumar and ASI Karnail Singh.


Raipur Khurd marble market to go: DC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Acting on reports in ‘Chandigarh Tribune’ regarding an illegal marble market in Raipur Khurd village along the Chandigarh-Ambala highway, the UT Estate Officer and the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, said here today that the market would be removed from there.

Eviction notices have already been served on these traders and these shops will soon be removed. Yesterday, members of the Chandigarh Marble and Stone Dealers Association had met the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Ms Neeru Nanda, and told her that illegal marble dealers were affecting their business.

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