C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


20,000 children in city suffer from asthma
PGI to launch awareness drive in schools, hospitals
Tribune News Service

Though asthma is a preventive disease but people from all over the country are flocking to a family in Hyderabad, claiming to have a cure for it. “Seeing the large number of people going there, even the ICMR is considering doing a study on it,” informed a doctor. He said it is on a moonlit night that a medicine is put inside a baby fish and the patient is asked to swallow it, some of whom got temporary relief.

Chandigarh, February 24
With about 20,000 schoolchildren in the city suffering from asthma, PGI’s Paediatric department along with Cipla Pharmaceuticals, will launch an awareness campaign in all city hospitals and schools, stressing how proper management of the disease can improve quality of life.

“Though the prevalence of asthma in the city is 5 per cent, which is far less than Bangalore and Hyderabad (15 per cent) but new cases are being added every year and the figure of 20,000 children in the age group of 10 to 15 years is quite big,” informed Dr Meenu Singh, Additional Professor, Paediatrics. The PGI had conducted a study funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) in 30 city schools to assess the burden of the disease.

Unfortunately, due to lack of awareness the quality of life for many asthmatic children remains impaired, which with the help of medication could be improved to a great extent, stressed Dr Singh. “It is with this objective in mind that we are going to launch an awareness campaign for students, parents and teachers so that the disease does not affect school attendance and studies,” she informed.

Cipla Pharmaceuticals have made a 20-minute film called “Jeetenge Hum” which will be shown in all schools to stimulate children that they too can lead an absolutely normal life, with the help of proper treatment. A lot of literature about asthma, its cause and prevention will be distributed in schools, as a doctors will talk about the disease.

Doctors said despite asthma drugs being so effective, children who were not put on medication continue to suffer as they could not participate in competitive sports, unable to socialise and have disturbed sleep along with hospitalisation in case of poor control. “With the effectiveness of the drugs, asthma is no longer a disease but a mere disorder which can be easily managed,” said Dr Singh.

Dr Singh said another aspect which they had discovered during a study done to assess obesity among schoolchildren, was that such children had abnormal lung function due to the dietary imbalance. “This fact is already being researched in the US and shortly we too will do a study in the city to find out the link between obesity and asthma, which seems apparent,” she stated. The study done to assess obesity among schoolchildren had indicated that 7 per cent of them had the problem.

Dr Singh said asthma does have a genetic component as children whose one parent has the problem has 30 to 40 per cent chances of getting it, while in case of both suffering from it the child has almost 70 per cent chances of getting the affliction.


Emphasis on targeted delivery of drugs
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 24
There is a high rate of failure in drugs and almost 30 per cent of patients do not respond to the drugs delivered to them. As such, great emphasis has to be laid on targeted delivery of drugs.

Mr C.L. Kaul, Director, Northern India Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), stated this while talking to mediapersons at a press conference here today. There was a need to have trials to see whether the drug had the desired effect and whether it was being targeted to the right person.

Mr P. Rama Rao, Head of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, who was also present at the conference, said we were all different, then why one medicine should be given to different people. There could be tailor-made drugs for every person. After the drugs were developed, they should first be tested on animals and then on 20 to 80 human beings before being released in the market. One molecule could be synthesised and aimed at a particular target.

Dr Kaul said in most cases symptoms were being treated and not the disease. Causitive factors had to be identified and emphasis laid on screening new molecules at a high rate. If this was not done, development would get delayed considerably. Studies were also needed to be done to see the safety of the molecules.

The Director said a number of big companies interested in carrying out research and development on various fronts had merged together forming conglomerate because of the cost factor involved. He said only one molecule out of the 5000 molecules reached the market as others got dropped on the way. As many as $ 880 were needed to develop one molecule which took almost 12 to 15 years. Emphasis was being now laid on reducing the cost factor as well as the time factor. Many foreign companies would come to India to carry out research and development activities because of a low cost factor here.

Mr Kaul said each company tried to have one or two “block busters” every year without which it was not possible to have a growth rate of 10 per cent, which was essential for its survival.

He said molecular modelling was being done at NIPER. The participants at the four-day workshop being organised on “Drug discovery and development in new millennium: interfacing with pharmacological and toxicological experimentation” could practise their hands on these software.

The workshop would be inaugurated by Dr Y.K. Gupta, Director, Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, Lucknow, at NIPER on February 26. Over 106 participants from industry and academia would take part in the deliberations. As many as 22 eminent scientists from academia and industry would deliver lectures or hold demonstrations.


Kirandeep is MCM-36 sports queen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Mr R.S. Gujral, Education Secretary, Chandigarh Administration inaugurated the 36th annual sports meet of MCM DAV College, Sector 36, here today. The function was presided over by Mr Vijay Sabharwal, General Secretary, DAV Management Committee, New Delhi.

Before opening the sports meet, Mr Gujral unfurled the sports flag and took the salute at a march past, in which more than 500 students took part. The yoga team of the college performed 12 aspects of Surya Namaskar.

The finals of the slow cycling race and the three-legged race were held. Kirandeep was declared Sports Queen of the year.

The following are the results - 50 metre race: Pooja (BA I) 1, Sonia (BA II) 2, Kiran (BA I) 3; 200-metre race: Kiran Negi (BA I) 1, Mukesh (BA II) 2, Sonia Verma (BA II) 3.

Slow cycling: Manju (BA I) 1, Khushboo (B. Com III) 2, Bimala (BA II)3.

Sack race: Prabhleen Kaur 1, Khushboo Goyal 2, Bimala 3. Three-legged race: Bhupinder and Sonia 1, Varsha and Anupam 2, Monia and Manju 3.

100-metre race: Rinchen (BA II) 1, Mukesh (BA II) 2, Seema (BA I) 3.

High jump: Kiran Negi (BA I) 1, Pooja (BA I) 2, Pritpal (BA I) 3; long jump: Pooja (BA I) 1, Rinchen (BA I) 2, Punita (BA II) 3; discus throw: Sakshi (BA II) 1, Pritpal Kaur (BA II) 2; Meenakshi (BA I) 3; shot put: Pritpal (BA I) 1, Sushma (BA I) 2, Pooja (BA I) 3; and javalin throw: Amandeep (BA III) 1, Simarjeet (BA I) 2, Sakshi (BA II) 3.

Athletics meet

The 48th annual athletics meet of the Government College for Girls, Sector 11, Chandigarh, was declared open by the Principal of the college, Ms Usha Khetarpal.

The meet began with an impressive march past by the students of various classes. The Principal took the salute from the contingents of the marching students. This was followed by oath taking and flag hoisting ceremonies and yoga display.

The following are the results of the various athletics events conducted on the first day: Long jump: Daljeet (BA III) 1, Sadhna (BA III) 2, Sunita (BA III) 3; shot put: Ruchia (BA II) 1, Navjot (BA III) 2, Surbhi (BA II) 3; discus throw: navjot (BA I) 1, Priyanka (BA 1) 2, Jasmine (BA I) 3; and 1500-metre cycle race: Ramnpreet Kaur (BA III) 1, Savita (BA I) 2, Yashoda (BA III) 3.

Football team

The following players have been selected for a coaching camp for the 13th under-21 National Football Championship which will be held in Haryana in the first week of March, according to Mr Rakesh Baskshi, Secretary, Chandigarh Football Association: Shabal Kumar, Nirmaljeet Singh, Arun Kumar, Sukhbir Singh, Gaurav, Arun Sharma, Navinder Pal Singh, Charanvir Singh, Harsimrat Singh, Ajay Dev Barman, Simarjeet Singh, Gopal Thapa, Ashwani Kumar, Lekh Raj, Jatinder Sharma, Shamshu Deen, Davinder, Raj Kumar, Samer Singh, Bhupinder, Ankit, Ajay Pal, Mansa Ram, Kaamjit, Parveen, Inder Pal, Anit, Anil Kumar, Luxmi, Rahul and Joginder.

The coaching camp will be held in the morning and evening under the supervision of Dinesh Sharma, SAI football coach, at Football Stadium, Sector 17, Chandigarh, from February 25.

Venue shifted

Trials to select the Chandigarh team for the Junior Mr North India Body Building Championships, which is being held at Jalandhar on February 29, will be held at the Amateur Bodybuilding Association’s office in Sector 17-A, Chandigarh, on February 25 at 5 pm. Persons who wish to take part in the trials must bring their date of birth certificate in original.

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