Friday, November 29, 2002, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


AIDS among pregnant women on rise
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 28
Over 7 per cent of AIDS patients are females in the child-bearing age group and if the same trend continues, this number is likely to increase in the near future. Dr Vineeta Munjal, Consultant Gynaecology and Obstetrics Services, Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable Hospital, gave this information based on a study done by her.

Dr Munjal stressed that mother-to-foetus route was the major route of infection among infants.

The baby, yet unborn in an HIV positive mother, has a 50 per cent chance of getting HIV infection. As many as 75 per cent to 80 per cent of children with AIDS acquire this infection from their mother, said Dr Munjal in her study. However, she mentioned, ‘‘Whenever I try to counsel a patient about getting herself tested, the answer is ‘I am absolutely fine’. The reason being lack of awareness about the fact that a person can be infected yet be a symptomatic, similarly many people think that a positive test is synonymous with AIDS’’.

An HIV positive pregnant women, when diagnosed and informed so, her reaction ranged from hysterical crying, shouting, chest thumping to lack of comprehension and total denial. She was not willing to first accept the fact that she had HIV infection.

Dr Munjal in her study stressed that certain things should be made clear to an HIV-infected pregnant woman. She said transplacental route was the major route of infection among infants accounting for 80 per cent of all paediatric AIDS cases, termination of pregnancy on medical grounds was suggested as an alternative. It was noted that everyone agreed for abortion.

In the study, Dr Munjal mentioned that those who were in the advanced stage of pregnancy or would like to go ahead, were explained the likelihood of involvement of the newborn.

Breast-feeding was the mode by which, the infant could acquire infection and it was to be strictly avoided. There was no direct evidence that the course of HIV infection worsened during normal delivery. Moreover Caesarean operations did not reduce the chance of HIV infection in the newborn.



Asthma cases on rise in city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 28
Overall degradation in the environment, post-harvest season, dryness in the weather and suspended particles in the air have caused sudden spurt in the number of asthma patients. The doctors in the city confirm that with the onset of winters, the asthmatic patients are complaining of more attacks.

Dr Sandeep Puri, Medical Superintendent, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, said there was definitely perceptible increase in the number of asthma cases. “In October and November, more people complain of asthma attacks and the condition lingers on till the onset of rains. The symptoms of asthma include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. The patients often complain of burning sensation in the chest and breathing out becomes tough for asthma patients.

The things that cause one to feel asthma symptoms are usually referred to as triggers. The triggers vary from person to person. A person can get asthma attack from dogs, cats and other animals, house dust, mites or mould, infections, cold or flu, odours from sprays, perfumes and paints, pollen from trees, grass, weeds, stressful situations, cigarette smoke, very cold weather, pollution, physical activity, crying, yelling loudly, laughing, aspirin and other medication, certain food or food additives.

Dr Puri suggested that as a precaution, one should make an ‘action-plan’ for getting first-aid fast. The patient should not panic and should take deep breaths. He said inhalers acted directly on the airways where it needed the most and act faster as the medicine directly reach the lungs. The side effects of inhalers were minimal as it acted at a much lower dose.



LDCA denies bungling in funds
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 28
Mr Vinod Chitkara, general secretary, Ludhiana District Cricket Association, in a press note issued here today, denied any bungling in funds of the association as alleged by some employees and office-bearers of LDCA, in news reports recently.

Reacting to the allegations appearing in a section of the Press during the last few days, regarding the alleged autocratic behaviour, favouritism and mismanagement by some of the office-bearers of the association, which allegedly resulted in Ludhiana losing its last 15 matches in the Inter-District Cricket Championship (different age groups), the association has clarified that the controversy has been created by some vested interests.

Mr Vijay Singh, a former cricketer, presently employed with the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) at Ludhiana and Mr Rakesh Saini, a former Punjab Ranji player (since then he has started his own cricket academy) had been engaged by the LDCA to impart training to youngsters. They had quit recently as coaches accusing Mr Vinod Chitkara of interfering with their functioning.

Mr Vinod Chitkara claimed that Mr Vijay Singh had not resigned from the post but had been absent from his duties for the past more than one month following complaints by parents of some of the players that he, while accompanying a team to Patiala and Chandigarh as coach-cum-manager, gave less amount (Rs 100 instead of Rs 150) to the boys even conveyance allowance payable to them was not paid by Mr Vijay Singh.

Mr Chitkara also claimed that Mr Rakesh Saini was demanding extra coaching fee from the trainees and had encouraged the players to use ‘unfair’ means to improve their performance which was not appreciated by the LDCA and they were forced to dispense with Mr Saini’s services about seven months back.

The note said that Mr Chaman Lal Malhotra, former Punjab Ranji team captain and chairman, selection committee (senior), Punjab, who is also the senior vice-president of the LDCA, had showed his displeasure over these coaches' performance (technical).

Regarding the allegations levelled against office-bearer's interference, Mr Chitkara informed that Mr Chaman Lal had been associated with the PCA and was chairman of the selection committee for the past so many years and he was the most competent person to select the players. He (Vinod) never interfered in the selection exercise as alleged by Mr Vijay Singh and Mr Rakesh Saini, the note read.

Mr Chitaka said that the association had been regularly maintaining its audited accounts which would be tabled during the executive committee meeting to be held shortly.

Mr Chaman Lal when contacted said that Mr Vinod Chitkara, being the general secretary of the LDCA, was simply a convenor of the selection committee, comprising the Ranji players and he had nothing to do with the selection procedure.

Meanwhile, the LDCA has resolved to seek permission from its parent body, the PCA, to engage a qualified coach for better results for the players who enroll with the association.


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