PIL against Delhi government on dengue deaths

An advocate has filed a public interest litigation at the Delhi High Court against the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi and the city corporation for not being vigilant and controlling dengue.

At least 320 cases of and dengue, a mosquito-borne disease, have been reported in Delhi. At least four deaths from the disease have been recorded. The plea, which alleges that city authorities have not been taking adequate measure to prevent or control mosquito breeding, is likely to be heard in the coming week. The plea has also raised the question of whether the Delhi government has released enough money to civic bodies for tasks like sprinkling medicines and fogging to control the spread of dengue.

Widespread chronic kidney failure in six Andhra mandals

Several cases of chronic kidney failure of unknown origin are being reported from villages in the Uddhanam region of Andhra Pradesh, according to The Hindu. The disease is being seen especially among men in the productive age group. Researchers from the Dr NTR University of Health Sciences in Vijaywada say that almost 35% of the population may be affected in some villages. The phenomemon seem so widespread that it is being referred to as “Uddhanam nephropathy”.

Doctors are studying possible links between excessive levels of silica and heavy metals in the groundwater in the region. Others say a combination of the use of hard water, and frequent intake of alcohol and painkillers among working men is causing the illness. Kidney biopsies of 50 patients have been sent to the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences in Srikakulam, results of which are expected to provide a better picture of the genesis of the disease.

While primary health centres are ill equipped to diagnose or treat kidney disease, doctors here have been managing mild cases with diuretics and antibiotics. Many cases of oedema of the feet and face have been referred to district hospitals.

Odisha government launches free hearse scheme

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched a scheme called Mahaprayan for free hearse vans to transport bodies from hospitals to the houses fo the deceased. The scheme was announced a day after reports and pictures flooded the news of Dana Majhi, a tribal man from Kalahandi, carrying the body of his wife for 10 kilometers. The Kalahandi district hospital had not provided Majhi a hearse van or an ambulance to take the body to his village 60 kilometres away, forcing Majhi to make the trip on foot along with his daughter.

The Mahaprayan scheme launched in Cuttack will include mortuary vans available at all district headquarter hospitals and three medical college hospitals in the state.

Pharmaceutical companies to self assess and report quality

In a revamp of the Drugs and Cosmetics Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, the government has made it mandatory for pharmaceutical companies to submit self assessments and quality ratings of their laboratory practices. The assessments, aimed at stopping sales of spurious and substandard drugs, will be based on global standards. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation has listed Good Manufacturing Practices and Good Laboratory Practices to which companies will have to comply.

Recent surveys by the drug regulator have shown that about 4.5% of drugs in the Indian market are substandard. The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India has founf that counterfeit and substandard drugs constitute nearly one third of all drugs sold in the National Capital Region