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Rhythma Kaul

Rhythma Kaul works as an assistant editor at Hindustan Times. She covers health and related topics, including ministry of health and family welfare, government of India.

Articles by Rhythma Kaul

WHO updates terminology for pathogens that transmit through air

The UN health agency said the change aims to help identify, communicate about and respond to existing and new airborne pathogens

The World Health Organization (WHO) logo is seen near its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (REUTERS)
Updated on Apr 19, 2024 01:31 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Health Talk | Why HPV vaccines are an effective shield against cervical cancer

HPV, transmitted through intimate contact, often remains undetected, yet it can lead to various cancers. Understanding its risks and prevention is crucial

Certain types of HPV lead to cervical cancer and India, in particular, has a population of 511.4 million women who are at risk of developing this cancer
Published on Apr 17, 2024 08:26 PM IST

HPV screening may be added in national programme

Globally, cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women, claiming a life every two minutes, according to Indian government estimates

In India, the numbers are far higher, with cervical cancer being the second most form of cancer among women after breast cancer (Shutterstock)
Updated on Apr 14, 2024 06:20 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Health Talk | Protect yourself this summer season

The India Meteorological Department has warned of at least double the usual number of heatwave days between April and June

Exposure to high outdoor and indoor temperatures can induce heat stress, directly and indirectly, leading to heat-related illnesses.(Rahul Raut/HT file photo)
Published on Apr 13, 2024 05:20 PM IST

Drug recall still voluntary, experts express concern

HP Health minister reveals 1683 drugs failed quality tests in 3 years, prompting experts to call for a more effective drug recall mechanism nationwide.

Any batch of a product not meeting the defined quality standards has to be recalled from the market. (Representational Image)
Updated on Apr 08, 2024 01:04 AM IST

Health Talk | An explainer on guidelines to recall drugs

In Himachal Pradesh, 1,683 drug samples failed quality tests over the past three years, leading to concerns over drug recall guidelines.

In 2017, India’s drugs regulator came up with guidelines on recall and a rapid alert system for drugs.(File photo)
Published on Apr 05, 2024 07:15 PM IST

Global life expectancy up 6.2 years since 1990: Study

The Lancet study says the gains would have been far more significant had it not been for the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

This progress, the report said, is attributed to reductions in death from leading killers such as diarrhoea, lower respiratory infections, stroke, and ischemic heart disease (heart attacks caused by narrowed arteries) . (AP file)
Published on Apr 04, 2024 07:13 AM IST

2.55 million cases of TB notified in India last year, most in decades

On an annual basis, Uttar Pradesh saw the highest jump in notifications (by 21% compared to the previous year) followed by Bihar (15%).

The overall notification of TB cases has improved by 64% over the last nine years. (Representational Image)
Updated on Mar 27, 2024 03:41 AM IST
By, New Delhi

A new way to treat brain tumours is a sign of how the field of surgery has trans

Doctors said that patients these days ask for robotic surgery options as they are aware of advances in technology. But not every patient is an ideal candidate

New Delhi: A demonstration of ZAP - X gyroscopic radiosurgery platform, after its unveiling at the Indraprastha Apollo hospital, in New Delhi, Friday, March 8, 2024. (PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist Lav) (PTI03_08_2024_000341B)(PTI)
Published on Mar 25, 2024 08:00 AM IST

Bharat Biotech starts TB vaccine’s trials in adults

The only related vaccine in use today, BCG (Bacillus, Calmette and Guérin), is an attenuated variant of the bovine TB pathogen

Tuberculosis, which is transmitted through the respiratory tract, kills at least 1.6 million people and infects at least 10 million worldwide each year (AP)
Updated on Mar 25, 2024 06:40 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Defending vaccines is demoralising, but as crucial as making them: Top biologist

Leading biologist Peter J Hotez emphasizes the importance of fighting vaccine skepticism and defends the crucial role of vaccines in public health

Dr Peter Hotez at his Baylor office in Houston. (Getty Images)
Updated on Mar 21, 2024 07:38 AM IST

Health ministry sends notice to Punjab govt over IVF treatment of Moosewala’s mother

The Assisted Reproductive Technology Act of 2021 allows IVF and other fertility treatments only for women under age 50 and men under 55. Kaur is 58 and her husband, Balkaur Singh, is 60.

Balkaur Singh with his newborn in Bathinda. (PTI)
Updated on Mar 21, 2024 07:16 AM IST
By, Vishal Joshi, New Delhi/bathinda

FSSAI looks to train tea planters to help reduce pesticide levels

Tea planters in India trained to reduce pesticide levels in tea by FSSAI, Tea Board, and CII. Focus on safe production and pest management.

A workshop was conducted by the FSSAI in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor district. (AJP/Shutterstock)
Updated on Mar 18, 2024 07:08 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Obesity is the most dangerous form of malnutrition now. Here's what you can do

Abdominal obesity, particularly among women in their 30s and 40s, is a growing concern. Nutritious food is the most important gift you can give yourself

Obesity rates in the country have also seen a rise in the past three decades with obesity in girls and boys aged 5-19 years increasing from 0.1% in 1990 to 3.1% in 2022 and from 0.2% in 1990 to 3.9% in 2022 respectively (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Published on Mar 16, 2024 03:48 PM IST

Neurological conditions leading cause of ill health, disability globally: Lancet

The analysis suggests that worldwide, the overall amount of disability, illness, and premature death—caused by neurological conditions increased by 18% over the past 31 years

According to the study, the most prevalent neurological disorders in 2021 were tension-type headaches. (Representative file photo)
Updated on Mar 15, 2024 04:56 PM IST

Summing up Covid-time health minister Harsh Vardhan’s work

The Union health minister’s political career will be remembered for steering the country during Covid-19, allaying fears but also generating criticism

Many speculated that Vardhan’s retirement had to do with the fact that the BJP, which released the first list of Lok Sabha candidates for the upcoming parliamentary elections the previous day, did not include him. (HT Archive)
Published on Mar 06, 2024 09:42 PM IST

Understanding the feasibility, impact of standardising rates across private hospitals

A senior executive from a chain of eye hospitals warned that “ while cheap treatment may sound tempting, cutting costs so drastically will dilute the quality of care in the long run.”

To be sure, if India sets a range for the tariffs, it will not be the first country in the world to do so. (HT file)
Updated on Mar 02, 2024 07:48 AM IST
By, Abraham Thomas, New Delhi

Health Talk | Consumers want nutraceuticals, but are they actually beneficial?

The country’s apex food safety regulator FSSAI is working on setting standards for nutraceuticals as its market is set to have explosive growth in the country

Nutraceuticals, also known as functional foods, are largely nutritional supplements containing mostly vitamin C and D, and Zinc.
Published on Mar 01, 2024 10:12 PM IST

Intake of processed food linked to higher risk of 32 illnesses: Study

These products also tend to be high in added sugar, fat, and/or salt, but are low in vitamins and fibre.

The findings show that diets high in such ultra-processed food may be harmful to many body systems.(Unsplash)
Published on Feb 29, 2024 07:11 AM IST

Health Talk | Unpacking Alabama SC's decision that counts embryo as unborn child

A tale of two countries, and their approach to IVF treatment: In India, the rules are being amended too, but in favour of couples

Last week, the Alabama Supreme Court in the United States of America ruled that frozen embryos can be considered children under state law(Wiki Commons)
Published on Feb 24, 2024 05:51 PM IST

Health Talk | It’s confirmed, exercise will help you if you have depression

Walking and strength training are more effective than other exercises, a review of 200 studies shows. But experts warn that it cannot replace other treatments

“Exercise is an effective treatment for depression, with walking or jogging, yoga, and strength training more effective than other exercises, particularly when intense,” (Pixabay)
Published on Feb 16, 2024 11:39 PM IST

Health talk | The new malaria vaccine can reduce morbidity and death

Malaria is a life-threatening disease. It is preventable and curable. And yet, the disease ends up taking lives. This too can be stopped

A nurse holds malaria vaccine vials before administering it to an infant at the Lumumba Sub-County hospital in Kisumu, Kenya.(Reuters)
Published on Feb 09, 2024 08:27 PM IST

Why vaccinating girls between 9 to 14 years against cervical cancer

The recent budget announcement by the Union finance minister to encourage an anti-HPV jab is a step in the right direction

India accounts for about a fifth of the global burden for cervical cancer. The country witnesses about 1.23 lakh cases and around 67,000 deaths every year. (Representative Image/Shutterstock)
Published on Feb 03, 2024 08:08 PM IST

Interim budget: Health staff to be covered under govt scheme ambit

The allocation for the scheme has seen a jump of about 4% from ₹7,200 crore in the budget estimates of 2023-24 to ₹7,500 crore for 2024-25

The scheme provides an annual cashless cover of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span> 5 lakh for hospitalisation (HT)
Updated on Feb 02, 2024 07:08 AM IST
By, New Delhi

35 million new cancer cases projected in 2050: WHO report

About 1 in 5 people develop cancer in their lifetime, approximately 1 in 9 men and 1 in 12 women die from the disease

Lung cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer worldwide with 2.5 million new cases accounting for 12.4% of the total new cases. (Representative image)
Published on Feb 01, 2024 07:12 PM IST

Interim Budget: Ayushman Bharat scheme expanded to frontline health workers

The allocation for the scheme has been marginally increased by about 4% from ₹7200 crore in the budget estimates of 2023-24 to ₹7500 crore for 2024-25

Union Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament at North Block in New Delhi on February 1, 2024. (Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)
Published on Feb 01, 2024 04:36 PM IST

Centre to expand surveillance against anti-microbial resistance

Till now, random testing of samples for anti-microbial resistance (AMR) is limited to big hospitals in cities, or tertiary care facilities

This is a move meant to head off the growing threat from diseases that are becoming harder to treat. (Getty Images/Representational Use)
Updated on Jan 27, 2024 01:25 AM IST
By, New Delhi

A new therapy to kill cancer cells using infrared light bursts into the horizon

The jury is still out on the use of such treatment modalities in a poor country like India, though it has the fourth largest population of cancer patients

Alluminox works by combining the power of light with drug, device, and other related components to develop new, innovative therapies(Shutterstock)
Published on Jan 26, 2024 06:50 PM IST

Health talk | Smokers around the world are giving up

Latest data from the World Health Organisation shows a heartening decline in tobacco use. What could possibly explain this?

The report shows that 150 countries have been successful in reducing tobacco use, with India among the countries that have taken the most effective measures over the years to curb the practice.(Unsplash)
Published on Jan 18, 2024 08:15 AM IST

Tobacco use declining across the world... but not fast enough

The WHO report shows that 150 countries have been successful in reducing tobacco use, with India among the countries that have taken the most effective measures

A man smokes a cigarette as he walks at the old bazaar in the city of Shahr-e Ray, south of Tehran, Iran on January 8. (AFP)
Updated on Jan 17, 2024 09:37 AM IST
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