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Bhupender Yadav, Health News, ET HealthWorld

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Need coordinated effort by central, state and local admins to improve air quality: Bhupender Yadav

New Delhi: The Centre provided Rs 8,915 crore in the last four years to improve air quality in the 131 cities covered under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav has said. Addressing a meeting of the National Apex Committee under NCAP on Wednesday, Yadav emphasised the need for coordinated action by central and state governments, Union territory administrations, urban local bodies and state pollution control boards to improve air quality.

Yadav appreciated the performance of 95 cities which have improved air quality and 20 cities which met the national ambient air quality standards in the financial year 2021-22 under the programme, a statement said.

He spoke on the significance of the airshed approach adopted in the Indo-Gangetic plains and stressed the need for regional cooperation to address the issue of air pollution.

NCAP is a national-level strategy for a 20 per cent to 30 per cent reduction in PM2.5 and PM10 concentration by 2024, with 2017 as the base year for comparison. The programme covers 131 non-attainment cities which did not meet the prescribed national ambient air quality standards for five consecutive years (2011-2015).

The Centre has set a new target of 40 per cent reduction in particulate matter concentration in the cities covered under NCAP by 2026.

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According to the Union Environment Ministry, 95 of the 131 non-attainment cities covered under NCAP have witnessed an “overall improvement” in PM10 levels in 2021 as compared to 2017 levels.

Twenty cities, including Chennai, Madurai and Nashik, have met the national standards for annual average PM10 concentration (60 microgram per cubic metre).

The acceptable annual standard for PM2.5 is 40 micrograms per cubic metre.

PM2.5 are fine inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller, and are the greatest risk to health.

Minister of State for Environment Ashwini Kumar Choubey congratulated Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Moradabad, Firozabad, Amravati, Dewas, Sunder Nagar and Nalagarh which have received a cash award under the Swacchh Vayu Sarvekshan conducted for the financial year 2022-23.

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He requested states and Union territories to submit proposals under the Nagar Van Yojana and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation for increasing the green cover in NCAP cities, the statement said.

The ministers also emphasised the importance of Mission LiFE launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking citizen-centric actions to protect and conserve the environment.

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Health 360° Partners With Ap In Healthcare, Health News, ET HealthWorld

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Health 360° partners with AP in healthcare

Visakhapatnam: Health 360°, the healthcare division of Australia-based humanitarian group of companies Global 360°, has signed an investment agreement with public entity Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone Limited (AMTZ). The strategic partnership will help build and develop healthcare facilities in Vizag which will be equipped with world-class facilities and life-saving medical equipment, to be provided by AMTZ.

The first in a series of healthcare projects in the pipeline is a 200-bed greenfield hospital built in two stages with each stage having 100 beds. It is scheduled for completion in mid-2023. The hospital will provide a wide and diverse range of medical specialties and procedures. Health 360° CEO, Dr Guru Yajaman, said: “We are honoured to have AMTZ onboard for this collaboration as we see a valued partner in them. They are one of the leading medical technology manufacturers in the world. This is a massive initiative that is very close to our hearts and consistent with our mission to deliver seamless healthcare experience to the people of India.”

Dr Jitendra Sharma, MD and CEO of AMTZ, said: “We are thrilled to announce that AMTZ is committed to working with Health 360° to revolutionise the healthcare industry. This partnership marks the beginning of a new era in the democratisation of medical technology. This would be the first hospital in India to be operated using only ‘Made in India’ medical equipment.”

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C3 Introduces Innovative Menstrual Hygiene Kit to Empower Young School Girls, Health News, ET HealthWorld

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C3 Introduces Innovative Menstrual Hygiene Kit to Empower Young School Girls

Pataudi, Haryana: To help young girls navigate puberty – which is often a time of significant physical and emotional upheaval – C3 has been working in five schools of Pataudi district, Haryana. The initiative is supported by Open Text, and has been equipping over 1000 adolescent girls with life skills, digital and financial literacy, and information on menstrual health and hygiene.

C3 introduced an unique, first-of-its-kind resource – Navya Kits – to the girls under this intervention. A collection of products and information that would help these young girls understand and manage their periods and dispel myths and taboos surrounding menstruation, these Navya Kits are a cornerstone for adolescent menstrual hygiene. The kits contain six reusable pads (that would last up to 2 years), a hot water bottle for menstrual pain management, a diary with interactive information on menstrual hygiene and taboos, and a detergent bottle that will help the girls wash and re-use their pads. To further supplement wider usage and safe disposal of sanitary napkins, C3 has also begun setting up incinerators in all of the five schools in which the initiative has been running.The Navya kits are also an essential tool for future advocacy around menstrual hygiene, and is something C3 will aim to disseminate through its other adolescent health initiatives as well.

At the launch event, Vandana Nair, Lead, Adolescent and Young People Program at C3, further emphasized the importance of educating young girls about menstrual hygiene, stating that “Menstruation is a natural bodily process that they will likely experience for several decades. By providing them with accurate information and resources, we can help them understand and manage their menstrual cycle and dispel any myths or taboos surrounding menstruation.”

Dr Tanaya Narendra, popularly known as Dr Cuterus, an Instagram influencer with over a million followers and author, was also present at the launch, and interacted directly with the young girls to answer their pressing concerns, to encourage them to have open conversations around menstruation, and providing valuable insights on how young girls can maintain their menstrual health. According to Dr. Cuterus, “this initiative by Centre for Catalyzing Change (C3) is absolutely unique, fun, and important for all the adolescent girls between the ages of 11-13. The products in the Navya kit will help young girls be prepared for their first period and also give them the right information in an engaging manner.

Ms. Pushpanjali Saikia, CSR Lead India from Micro Focus now Open Text, reasserted the need to provide girls with all the necessary information to help them achieve both better health and future success. This includes digital literacy, larger emotional and physical wellbeing, and the confidence to seek out better opportunities and better life choices in today’s increasingly digitized world.

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Every disease has a non-biomedical component; these societal aspects merit consideration as well:Shalini Bharat, Director & VC, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

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Every disease has a non-biomedical component; these societal aspects merit consideration as well:Shalini Bharat, Director & VC, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

Shahid Akhter, editor, ETHealthworld, spoke to Shalini Bharat, Director and Vice Chancellor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, to figure out the non-biomedical determinants and identify vulnerabilities underlying health issues.

Collaboration and partnership in healthcare
If you remember, SDG 17 (Sustainable Development Goal) is about collaborations and partnerships, and I think in healthcare, more than anywhere else, collaborations and partnerships matter. Today, all of us probably complement each other’s characteristics or competencies, and the problems are so unique and complex that one size does not fit all. Similarly, one solution also will not bring the kind of results desired. and therefore, we need to build multiple partners onto the same platform. The other issue that requires us to bring a partner is that we have recognised that most issues, including all diseases, have not just a biomedical side to them but also a non-biomedical side to them, which means that we bring social dimensions. These are interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary focuses, along with a medical approach. We need to work in teams. I think it is very important and critical to work in multidisciplinary teams and to work in a collaborative way.

Need for social counselling in healthcare
If we look at the TB issue, we recognise today that, despite treatment being available, we have not been able to control TB as a problem in the country. In fact, India has almost one-fourth of the world’s TB burden. and that is because in the last several years we have only seen this as a bio-medical problem. Now, increasingly, we have realised that we need to understand that people had multiple issues before they had TB or as a result of TB. They have this problem, but they also lose employment at times, they fall into the poverty bracket, there is a huge stigma around the disease, and then there is the gender dimension: men have different consequences, but women have and face different consequences. There is a great deal of need for counselling to be done here. And counselling is not just about taking care of psychosocial issues but also linking them to health services, other government schemes, and so on. And all this requires that we work alongside biomedical providers. But then there are those that can provide psychosocial care; we also need to bring in community leaders; we also need to bring in peer members, that is, those who have survived TB, and they become champions and provide peer-based counselling. So this is one great example, and this is now happening in India.

Collaboration in TB care
From our own example, we know that, as an academic institution, we are providing support to the government, that is, the Central TB Division, in the form of providing trained psycho-social counsellors, providing training for them, and being able to look at drug-resistant TB as one of the issues. In four states, we are providing psychosocial care and counselling to drug-resistant TB cases. In addition to that, we are also finding that public-private providers are also collaborating in TB care.

Tata Inst. of Social Sciences
The Tata Institute of Social Sciences is a community-engaged university and India’s premier social science university. We have four campuses: Mumbai, Hyderabad, Tuljapur, which is a rural campus, and Guhati, in the northeast. This institute started as an institute for the professional training of social workers, but in the last several years we have grown to more than 50 PG programmes, four robust UG programmes, and 18 PhD programmes. And I think this is one of the only universities that has applied social science as its focus, and we have almost seven thousand students at this point in time, along with a school of vocational education. So a very multi-disciplinary social science university

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