ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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BHOPAL GAS DISASTER

April 6, 1985 BHOPAL GAS DISASTER THE nigntmare of December 3 continues to haunt thousands of men, women and children in Bhopal. Hundreds of them will not live to sec the year out. With the 'epidemics' season around the corner, the health status of the disaster victims can only take a turn for the worse. One hardly sees children playing in the gas-hit bastis. Many have dropped out of schools either because of physical incapacity or because they are unable to concentrate on school- work or even to remember and recall. 'Recent amnesia' as the latter is termed affects adults too.

HEALTH-Retreat on Depo-Provera

HEALTH Retreat on Depo-Provera? Padma Prakash DEPO-PROVERA is an injectable contraceptive which has been on the verge of entry into the family planning programme and the drug market in India for some time now. Although it is licensed for use in 80 countries (most of them in the third world) the US Food and Drug Administration, the licensing authority in that country, has repeatedly held back its approval. Last month a Board of Inquiry convened by the FDA in 1983 came to the conclusion that there just was not sufficient evidence to prove that the drug was safe for long-term contraceptive use. Feminists and consumer groups in the US who have long campaigned for a ban on the drug have welcomed the decision. In the coming months the FDA will take the final decision which will affect millions of women not only in America, but all over the world.

People s Science Movement and Women s Struggle

university's funds for building construction, administration, maintenance, etc; apparently Involving the siphoning off of millions of rupees. There were also strong indications that marks in university examinations

HEALTH- Use of Laparoscopy for Sterilisations

DURING 1982-83, 3.98 million female sterilisations were carried out in the country, mostly in mass sterilisation camps. More than 60 per cent of those operations have been performed using the laparoscopic method. Evaluation reports of many of these camps now reveal that post-operative death rates in these camps after laparoscopic sterilisation is an estimated 10-12 per 100,000 operations, although the maximum acceptable risk is acknowledged as being not more than 0.25 to 0.5 per 100,000 operations. The Indian Association of Gynaecological Endoscopists have recently issued a strong statement criticising the way mass sterilisation camps are conducted. The Association, which hosted the Second Asian Congress of Gynaecological Endoscopists in Bombay recently, is concerned about the indiscriminate use of laparoscopy for sterilisation. They feel that this could ultimately lead to the discarding of the procedure itself which could be of great value in India, Laparoscopy involves the use of an instrument which can be introduced into the abdomen through a tiny puncture less than 10/12 mm in length. The instrument is fitted with a 'cold' light (using the technique of fibre optics) and a set of lenses for viewing the organs inside the abdominal cavity. Other specialised instruments can be introduced into the telescope-like rube and operations can be performed without opening up the abdomen. Sterilisation through laparoscopic method is performed by occluding the Fallopian tubes (which convey the mature eggs from the ovary to the uterus) either by using rings or clips, or by cutting and cauterising the tubes. Laparoscopic sterilisation is being used extensively in India and the cumulative experience is perhaps the largest in the world, AIthough laparoscopy was pioneered in West Germany and France its use there is mostlv for diagnosis, and operative procedures other than sterilisation.

HEALTH AND MEDICINE-Ban on Dangerous Pain-Killers

 HEALTH AND MEDICINE Ban on Dangerous Pain-Killers Padma Prakash DRUGS containing amidopyrine and phenacetin, two hazardous pain-killers, have finally been banned in India. The toxic side-effects of these drugs have been known for several decades and many Western countries have either banned them or restricted their use. Strictly speaking, of course, many other drugs, as for instance, the antibiotic chloramphenicol, are highly toxic and known to cause fatal damage. But chloramphenicol is considered indispensable in life-threatening situations, especially in treating typhoid and paratyphoid. Neither amidopyrine nor phenacetin offer any specal advantages over other pain-relievers such as aspirin or paracetamol (sold under brand names such as Crocin). It Is ironic then that the ban should effectively come into force only after a legal battle.

HEALTH- Hormonal Pregnancy Tests-One More Year s Havoc

Hormonal Pregnancy Tests One More Year's Havoc Padma Prakash THE government has recently put a total ban on the manufacture and sale of all hormonal preparations used for pregnancy tests, but effective only from June 1983. The ban is reportedly because of the government's concern about the large-scale 'misuse' of these preparations for termination of pregnancy as well as because of their potential to cause congenital abnormalities in the foetus. It would appear that the government does not view the reasons as serious enough to institute an immediate ban.

WEST BENGAL

Hormonal Pregnancy Tests One More Year's Havoc Padma Prakash THE government has recently put a total ban on the manufacture and sale of all hormonal preparations used for pregnancy tests, but effective only from June 1983. The ban is reportedly because of the government's concern about the large-scale 'misuse' of these preparations for termination of pregnancy as well as because of their potential to cause congenital abnormalities in the foetus. It would appear that the government does not view the reasons as serious enough to institute an immediate ban.

HEALTH-Leprosy Control and Eradication

sants and landholders have other in- terests to look after either in Masaurhi or Patna, Haitians and poor peasants are apprehensive of their ability to manage things in their favour. But they are nevertheless not afraid to speak out "if we Complain against molestation of women, if we raise our voice for implementation of minimum wages, if we want education for our children, we are termed naxalites".

Nurses Skirting the Core Issues

problems, further aggravated on account of the highly stratified developmental process, continue to plague the. rural and tribal scenes which are in fact inseparable in their essence.

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