N C R   S T O R I E S


Breathing easy is just a call away

Tripti Nath

Help for breathing easy is now just a call away. The Apollo Group of Hospitals through its subsidiary Apollo Health and Lifestyle Limited (AHLL) has set up breathe easy clinics in Indraprastha Apollo Hospital and nine clinics in the National Capital Region. Asthma patients can enrol for a four-month long disease management programme at any Apollo clinic in Delhi, Faridabad, Gurgaon or Noida.

The programme is based on National Institute of Health, USA, guidelines and enables patients achieve lifetime control on asthma. While children can enrol for the programme by making a payment of Rs 5,950, adults are required to pay Rs 6,950.

The breathe easy programme promises a patient four consultations with specialists, two home visits by a physician, two group sessions to educate the patient on various aspects of the disease, two diet counselling session and two yoga sessions. The fee includes the cost of medicines prescribed during the programme. At the end of the programme, patients can enrol for a mini-disease management programme for necessary follow up.

Mr Ratan Jalan, CEO, Apollo Health and Lifestyle Limited says that although 35 million persons in India are suffering from asthma, 86 per cent are not even diagnosed. “Chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, osteoporosis, heart ailments and hypertension are life long. The only way to ensure a good quality of life for people suffering from these diseases is to place greater emphasis on prevention and proactive disease management through self evaluation,” he says.

In due course, clinics offering the programme will have a dedicated call centre for handling inquiries about the programme. The centres will ask the caller to come for a check up. After evaluating the person’s condition and the severity of the disease, the doctor will enrol the person for the programme. Once the patient has enrolled for the programme, he is given a peak flow meter for measuring the functioning of the lungs.

The doctor will give each patient a range defining his/her “personal best” peak flow.

According to a booklet ‘Caring for every breath’ brought out by Apollo Hospitals, there are three possible zones, often identified by colour. Each person with asthma will have his or her own colour range. While green indicates that asthma is under control, yellow advises the patients to be careful. Red spells danger and suggests immediate medication.

The call centre executive will make 37 calls during the 40-day programme to monitor the patient’s condition and record peak flow meter reading. If he finds that the peak flow meter reading requires medication, he will inform the doctor.

The first breathe easy clinic was set up in Hyderabad. The response promoted Apollo to set up similar clinics in Chennai, Delhi and Bangalore. So far, 200 patients have enrolled for the programme being offered at a breathe easy clinic in Indraprastha Apollo Hospital.

Girls never born

Five districts in Haryana have a Child Sex Ratio below 800, which indicates the pre-birth bias against the girl child.

Districts which share this dubious distinction are Ambala (784), Kurukshetra (770), Kaithal (789), Rohtak (796) and Sonepat (783). Speaking at a workshop on female foeticide at PHD House here on Sunday, the Director General Health Services, Haryana, Dr B. S. Dahiya said that a large number of raids have been conducted at various clinics doing sex determination tests of the unborn child.

Organised by PHDCCI and Population Foundation of India, the workshop is aimed at involving the corporate sector in discouraging female foeticide.

Dr Dahiya said that although 22 complaints have been made in the courts against doctors found violating various provisions Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, there has not been a single conviction. He suggested that the judiciary be sensitised to the issue of female foeticide.

The sex ratio in Haryana (861 females per 100 males) is the lowest among all states in India and the lowest since Independence.

According to the 2001 Census, the Child Sex Ratio in Haryana was 820 girls per 1,000 boys. Sex ratio in all the districts of Haryana is below the national average (933).

Mr J.K. Banthia, Registrar General of India made a presentation on the sharp decline in Child Sex Ratio in Haryana and consequences of sex selective abortions.

Appreciation certification

Delhi Medical Association has invited the Health Minister of Delhi, Mr Yoganand Shastri to give away appreciation certification to its members who contributed to the success of the Pulse Polio programme in Delhi.

On March 9, Mr Shastri honoured DMA president, Dr Anil Bansal, honorary state secretary, Dr Vijay K. Malhotra and honorary finance secretary of DMA, Dr Ramesh Datta for the association’s active participation in various phases of the pulse polio programme. DMA had set up more than a thousand polio centres where 50,000 children were given polio drops. These were besides the 4,000 government centres.



Kotsur, Saidali emerge joint leaders in Open Chess
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, March 13
Top seed Pavel Kotsur of Kazakhstan and third seed Saidali Iuldachev of Uzbekistan, both Grandmasters, emerged as joint leaders on five points after the conclusion of the fifth round of the second Parsvnth International Open Chess Tournament at the Bapu Samaj Sewa Kendra at Panchkuian Road in New Delhi.

At the half-way stage of the Rs 4 lakh prize money tournament, GM Serik Temirbaev of Kazakhstan, woman GM Aarthie Ramaswamy, International Master D V Prasad, IM Sriram Jha and former Commonwealth champion Atanu Lahiri share the third spot on 4.5 points each.

The leaders are followed by 28 players, including GMs Georgy Timoshenko of Ukraine, Dibyendu Barua, Surya Shekhar Ganguly, Koneru Humpy, Sandipan Chanda and defending champion Ramesh. The tournament is being played under FIDE’s Swiss rules and there are 11 rounds in all.

Kotsur defeated Ramesh in a keenly-contested game where the former played white. Opting for the English opening, Kotsur grabbed the initiative after Ramesh conceded the bishop pair and further capitalised on his superior pawn structure on the queenside to romp home in 38 moves.

On the second board, Iuldachev was made to sweat hard by IM N Sudhakar Babu, who played the black side of a four-knight opening. The middle game was of closed nature and swift development by Iuldachev, which yielded him a slightly better position.

Babu used a lot of time in the middle game and fell under pressure after which a swift switchover to the end game by Iuldachev proved decisive. The game lasted 58 moves. GM Serik Temirbaev of Kazakhstan ended Nassir Wajih’s dream run with a fine performance in the end game. Playing white, Wajih faced the Sicilian defence and could only manage a level position in the ensuing middle game.

The queens got traded on the 35th move and Temirbaev was right on top once his king marched to the queen side.

Fighting hard till the end, Wajih could not avoid the inevitable and resigned on his 75th turn.

Himanshu Sharma made another stride forward for his IM norm after holding Timoshenko. Himanshu took his tally to an impressive four points from his five games.


Haryana to meet Maharashtra in Ranji semis today
Our Sports Reporter

Rohtak, March 13
In the most crucial cricket tie in the Ranji Trophy Plate Group this season, Haryana take on Maharashtra in the semi-final of the tourney beginning in Pune tomorrow. A victory would enable the winners to elevate themselves to elite division of the tournament next season.

Talking to the NCR Tribune here before leaving for Pune, the skipper of the Haryana team Jitender Singh described the Haryana-Maharashtra tie as ‘do or die’ battle. He said that his team has prepared well and was capable of doing well. The coach-cum -manager of the team Mr Ashwani Kumar describing the team as “balanced” one said that the boys were in fine touch, He said that fielding and bowling was their main asset.

Haryana who were bunched with Madhya Pradesh, Vidharbha. Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir and Tripura in the Group A of the Plate Division of Ranji Trophy this season, managed to finish second in the league matches behind Madhya Pradesh who got 12 points. Haryana garnered nine points after playing their quota of five league matches. They won only one match, but managed to get first innings lead in two matches to qualify for the semi-final of the tourney. On the other hand, Maharashtra finished on top of the Group B of Plate Division after securing 14 points with two bonus points.

They were placed in the group with Orissa (14 points), Services (7 points), Goa (6 points), Saurashtra (4 points) and Himachal Pradesh (4 points).

The Haryana is likely to depend largely on the batting talent of skipper Jitender Singh, young opener Chetan Sharma and middle order batsmen Shafiq Khan, Sunny Singh and Ishan Ganda. Bowling attack is likely to be spearheaded by all rounder and pacer Joginder Sharma and right arm leg spinner Amit Mishra to be supported by off spinner Gaurav Vashishta. Joginder, who recently appeared in the North Zone squad for Duleep Trophy, already captured 19 wickets in Ranji Trophy.

Last year too, it went on to score 280 runs besides taking 24 wickets in Ranji Trophy. The side has at its disposal the services of a talented wicket-keeper in Ajay Ratra. The team, which has been passing through the transition phase after inducting young blood, faces the real test at Pune.


City Gymkhana down Gemini Club
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, March 13
City Gymkhana defeated Gemini Club by eight wickets in an A-II Division match of the DDCA League at the Yamuna Complex ground.

Scores: Gemini Club: 232 for 5 in 40 overs (Abhishek Vashisht 82, Sahil Kher 40, Vikas Rathi 46, Komal Singh 41 n o).

City Gymkhana: 233 for 2 in 34.1 overs (Sameer Bandoh 94, Karan Singh 92).

Super Star beat Delhi Gymkhana by 16 runs in an A-II Division match at the Ramjas ground.

Scores: Super Star: 187 for 9 in 40 overs (Vipin Bhatia 77, Vimal Sharma 33, Sanjeev Wadhwa 3 for 30).

Delhi Gymkhana: 171 for 7 in 40 ovrs (Raman Sachdeva 65, Kamal Raj 37, Vikrant Sehwag 3 for 18, Lalit Kumar 2 for 20). Pelican defeated Essex Farms by 36 runs in an A-II Division match at the Mohan Meakins ground.

Scores: Pelican: 195 all out in 34.5 overs (Ratan Lal 44, Ashwani Kapoor 86, Mukesh Marwah 3 for 27).

Essex Farms: 159 all out in 31.3 overs (Sareen Bansal 72, Sourav Bali 4 for 20).

Sonnex Club beat Bank of Baroda by six wickets in an A-II Division match at the RSC ground.

Scores: Bank of Baroda: 210 for 9 in 35 overs (O P Gera 55, Vijender Kumar 43, Sharad Chand 31, Karan Anand 3 for 20). Sonnex Club: 212 for 4 in 35 overs (Sachin Tyagi 69 n o, Rohit Saini 46, Rajesh Suneja 32 n o).


ESPN joins racing bandwagon
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, March 13
ESPN Star Sports joined the Panasonic Toyota Racing Team as a sponsor of the 2004 Formula-I Racing, and the deal began with the first race of the season at Melbourne in Australia.

ESPN Star Sports delivers extensive coverage of live F-I action in Asia. The F-I season is broadcast live each fortnight on Star Sports Asia, Star Sports India and other Asian countries, reaching over 56 million households across the region.

There is more racing for fans to enjoy this year as the schedule has been increased from 16 to 18 races, and both the new events are to be staged in Asia (Bahrain and Shanghai), which is a testament to the huge popularity of this sport in the continent.


Fed Cup Athletics from March 16
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, March 13
The Federation Cup National Athletics Championship will be held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium from March 16 to 18, which will be the qualifying trials for the Indian athletes intending to participate in the South Asian Federation Games to be held in Islamabad (Pakistan) from March 29.

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