C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Falling ill becomes more taxing affair for Central staff
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
The unavailability of medicine and the resulting delay in treatment has made falling ill a more taxing affair than it already is for working and retired employees of the Central Government.

Bound by rules, an employee living within three kilometers of the Central Government Health Service (CGHS) dispensary, Sector 45, cannot buy medicine on his own and he gets nothing from the dispensary that is supposed to cater to his requirement.

Repeated visits to the dispensary have failed to yield medicines for scores of patients.

Over a month, since trouble with the availability of medicines began, only a handful of the 400 patients had returned home with their medicines. For the rest, a prescription has come to mean numerous rounds of the dispensary, a long wait in the queue and a shake of the head by compounders to convey that the medicine has not arrived.

Complaining that they had been to their dispensary at least five times in the past month for getting medicine, these patients, suffering from renal ailments, heart problems, diabetes, arthritis and blood pressure etc., have also approached the authorities concerned for ensuring regular supply of medicine, but to no avail.

“I am 68 years old and have diabetes. I have visited the dispensary six times in the hope of getting the insulin I need,” complained Mr Sardara Singh to the CMO today. He was lucky to get another patient’s medicine who had failed to turn up for collecting it. It will mean one more fruitless visit to the dispensary for the patient whose medicine is given to Mr Sardara Singh.

The patients are suffering for no fault of theirs since the problem lies in the non-payment of medicine bills to the tune of Rs 1.5 crore to the chemist who has been given the contract for supplying medicine for nearly an year.

Then, the dispensary is full of patients seeking reimbursements, hunting for their cards which get lost. There are only three doctors to cater to nearly 450-odd patients everyday.

The Director CGHS, Dr Subhash Chandra, says,“We had a problem for about a fortnight when the medicines were in short supply at the dispensary. The funds for payment to the contractor have now been released and he will be getting his payment shortly. Meanwhile, he has resumed supply of medicine. It will take a while to clear the backlog and soon things would get back to normal.” 



Hospitals given anti-retroviral drugs for staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
With the AIDS epidemic assuming alarming proportions and healthcare workers facing a greater risk of contracting the infection while treating patients, medical experts have stressed on the need for a hospital policy to ensure proper support and protection to the staff against such occupational hazards.

“The key to allying fear among health care workers of getting infected through needle-stick injury is to have a proper policy regarding compensation, support and treatment so that HIV/AIDS patients get quality care and are not turned away from hospitals,” said Dr Shashi Kant, Additional Professor, Centre for Community Medicine at AIIMS.

Talking about the role of hospital administration in prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, he said though there were barely 0.1 to 0.3 per cent chances of getting the infection through a needle stick injury, yet every hospital must have a policy for its staff and commitment that they would be taken care of.

“All Government hospitals have been provided with anti-retroviral drugs for its staff in case a health worker contracts the infection while treating a patient,” he informed.

Dr Kant said with close to 800 new HIV infections per day in India, the disease was assuming alarming proportion and the total number of infected people stood at an astounding 4.58 million. He said though drugs did not cost much, a majority of hospitals did not have the required equipment to monitor the progress of the disease.

Talking about instances where patients were turned away at government hospitals, he said this was due to the stigma attached with the disease, which would go only after it became curable.

“There was a time when people had a similar attitude towards leprosy patients, who were treated as outcaste but gradually as awareness about the disease being treatable spread, the stigma melted away.”

Dr Kant said since the entire burden of treating infected people was on government hospitals, efforts should be made to identify international and national donors so that sophisticated technology and equipment could be acquired. “The fact that there are only 25 flow cytometer machines in India, which help monitor the progress of the disease, indicates that huge funds would be required to combat the epidemic,” he said.

“In order to ensure protection of the uninfected individual, hospital administration can play a crucial role by providing adequate supply of safe blood, strengthening the sexually transmitted diseases(STD) clinics, undertaking various information and education activities regarding HIV risk prevention strategies,” he said.

He added that launching of the Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission Scheme would go a long way in protecting the new-born.

He said the decision of the government to provide free AIDS drugs to one lakh people in high prevalence states like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, would prove to be very beneficial.



Workshop on drug discovery
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 23
The Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), will organising a four-day workshop on “Drug discovery and development in the new millennium: interfacing with pharmacological and toxicological experimentation” from February 26.

The four-day forum will provide students, researchers, managers and regulatory authorities an insight into the ways of indepth understanding of the different aspects of drug discovery and development. The workshop will have interactive sessions, lectures and demonstrations in the laboratories of the institute.

According to a press note issued by the Director, NIPER, Mr C.L. Kaul, drugs discovery and development is presently undergoing a paradigm shift. The new paradigm, which is based on target identification and validation, chemical and biological informatics, has provided powerful momentum to drug discovery and development. Pharmaceutical companies, which are striving to curtail the cost of drug discovery programme, are adopting newer technologies and platforms. 



Health foods
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
A city youth, Aniket Verma, whose family members had gotten rid of several diseases through dietary changes, has gone into the manufacture and marketing of health foods in a whole-hearted manner.

His A.V. Health Care has started selling wheat germ, high fibre flour, almond oil, olive oil and honey at rates much cheaper than the market.

An interesting project is a dedicated van which will come to your door and extract fresh juice for you. During a display in Sector 17 on the weekend, the project made more than 100 members. Besides, diagnostic tests will be done by experts at discounted rates. 



120 donate blood
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 23
As many as 120 persons donated blood at the 10th annual blood donation camp organised by Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited here today.
Inaugurated by the Kharar MLA and Deputy Speaker Vidhan Sabha, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, the camp was attended by senior citizens of Mohali and representatives of the Mohali Industries Association including the SDM, Mr M.L. Sharma, and the Civil Surgeon, Ropar, Mrs Rana Harinder.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh lauded the Ranbaxy management and employees for the camp and urged the public and other industries to follow the example of Ranbaxy. A team of doctors led by Dr Usha from the PGI supervised the camp.



Harkiran, Kabir steal limelight
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, February 23
Harkiran of Tagore House in girls below-11 category while Kabir of Nalagarh House in below-12 category stole the limelight in the broad jump event in the 25th annual athletics meet of the Yadvindra Public School, Mohali, held today on the school premises.

Girls (above 15): shot put — Kanwal Baidwan (Tagore House) 1, Geetika Mann (Patiala House) 2, Nehmat Kaur (Patiala House) 3; discus throw — Jasleen Gill (Ranjit House) 1; Javelin Throw (u-15 girl) — Navleen Kaur (Ranjit House)1, Gurleen Kaur (Ranjit House) 2, Dolly Preet (Tagore House) 3; discus throw — Navleen Kaur (Ranjit House) 1, Seonhe (Patiala House) 2, Kanika (Tagore House) 3; 1500m race — Jasroop (Patiala House)1,Divya (Tagore House) 2, Sahiba (Tagore House) 3;

Broad Jump (u-11) — Harkiran (Tagore House) 1, Ishleen (Patiala House) 2, Aastha (Patiala House) 3; high jump — Neelam (Nalagarh House) 1,Mansi (Ranjit House) 2, Harkiran (Tagore House) 3;

Boys (above-16) shot put — Ather Niser (Aitchison House) 1, Samrat (Nalagarh House) 2, Sahir Gill (Patiala House) 3; triple jump — Navjinder (Nalagarh House) 1,Tajinder (Patiala House) 2, Ather Niser (Aitchison House) 3; broad jump (u-12) — Kabir (Nalagarh House) 1, Shiva Shah (Tagore House)2,Yusaf (Patiala House) 3; 800m race — Kabir (Nalagarh House) 1, Jobanjeet (Aitchison House) 2,Kanwal (Nalagarh House) 3; discuss throw (u-16) — Harman Joy (Ranjit House) 1, Mrigind (Ranjit House) 2, triple jump — Khushdeep Mann (Aitchison House) 1, Harman Joy (Ranjit House) 2, Tej Partap (Aitchison House) 3.

Broad jump (u-10) —Kirtanbir (Patiala House)1, Ravleen (Tagore House)2,Anvit (Patiala House) 3; 800m race — Suraj (Patiala House)1, Prithvi Raj(Tagore House) 2, Arshdeep (Patiala House) 3.

Selection trials

The selction trials to select the Indian aerobics team will be held tomorrow at 2 pm at Shivalik Public School, Sector 41. According to Mr Inderjit Singh, Convener, aerobics, Gymnastics Federation of India, the selected team will take part in the VIII World Aerobics championship to be held at Sofia (Bulgaria) from June 4 to 8.

A total of seven members will be selected. The trials will be held under the supervision of the Chandigarh Gymnastic Association.

Squash tourney

University Rackets club (red) bagged the Chandigarh squash championship title by beating PEC Rackets Club (Shivalik) 3-0. In the matches played, Vipul defeated Aditya 9-2, 9-2, 9-7, Akshay overpowered Gautam 5-9, 9-7, 9-10, 9-7,10-8, Harmeet beat Amit 9-6, 9-7, 7-9, 9-7. Third place went in favour of University Rackets Club (Blue) when they defeated SAVR Club 3-0 with Kunal defeated Tejinder 9-6, 9-4, 9-5, Rohit beat Arun 9-7, 9-2, 9-0 and Vikram defeated Rohit 9-1, 9-0, 9-7.


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