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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

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

Global usage of tobacco declines: WHO report

Currently, tobacco use is still estimated to kill at least eight million people each year, including an estimated 1.3 million non-smokers who are exposed to passive smoke, said the report

The report shows that 150 countries are successfully reducing tobacco use. (Representative file image)
Published on Jan 16, 2024 05:38 PM IST

Govt: Drugmakers must ensure good manufacturing practices

The new guidelines come against the backdrop of deaths reported in certain countries such as Gambia in Africa that were linked with consumption of Indian drugs

Under the new Schedule M of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1940, notified on December 28, a manufacturer will be held responsible for the quality of the products (Hemant Mishra/ Mint)
Updated on Jan 07, 2024 06:48 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Rhythma Kaul picks her favourite read of 2023

A book that provides a detailed insight into the past and future of the space world, and why countries are racing to have the most space missions

Across the universe (Elliott & Thompson)
Updated on Dec 29, 2023 05:36 PM IST

Send all Covid positive samples for genome sequencing: Centre tells states

The directive comes in a week when the outbreak of JN.1 variant in some states triggered concern that it could spark wider outbreaks.

Hospital authorities make arrangements in view of new Covid-19 sub-variant JN.1, in Samba on Friday. (ANI)
Updated on Dec 23, 2023 04:42 AM IST

Centre holds Covid meet; no cause for alarm, say experts

The government has called for increased testing and surveillance to track new variants, including the JN.1 sublineage of the BA.2.86 variant.

Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya along with other officials during a Covid-19 review meeting, in New Delhi on Wednesday (ANI)
Updated on Dec 21, 2023 12:38 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Union health minister chairs high-level meeting as Kerala reports 3 Covid deaths

According to the data released by the health ministry of Kerala, the state has reported three deaths and 292 fresh cases over the past 24 hours. The number of active cases in India stands at 2,311

Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting with states (Twitter/@mansukhmandviya)
Updated on Dec 20, 2023 02:52 PM IST

Maintain vigil over Covid sub-variant, govt tells states

Many countries are seeing a surge in Covid-19 cases around the start of the holiday season, largely owing to the highly infective JN.1 variant

In November, the World Health Organization classified BA.2.86 and its sub- lineages, including JN.1, as a variant of interest because of its sustained growth (PTI)
Updated on Dec 19, 2023 03:46 AM IST
By, New Delhi

JN.1 Covid variant: Should we worry?

The JN.1 sub-variant a new sub-lineage of the BA.2.86 (also known as Pirola) — by itself an off-shoot of the widely circulating Omicron variant.

The JN.1 variant of BA.2.86, which was first detected by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in September 2023. (Representational Image)
Updated on Dec 19, 2023 04:47 AM IST
By, , New Delhi

Cough syrup samples of 54 pharma firms fail export quality test: Data

The data from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) report was based on testing of samples in various states across the country

(Representative Photo)
Updated on Dec 05, 2023 01:23 AM IST

Here’s what India is getting right in the battle with Malaria

WHO’s recent report shows that cases of the mosquito-borne disease have increased globally, but India is the only country to have bucked the trend

Nearly 3.3 million new malaria cases were detected in India last year, and 5,000 persons died.
Published on Dec 02, 2023 12:54 PM IST

Govt to track all serious respiratory illnesses in children as China sees surge

The samples will be sent to advanced regional laboratories to test for the microbe causing the illness

Union health secretary, Sudhansh Pant, asked states to ensure that the trends of ILI and SARI should be closely monitored by the district and state surveillance units of Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (AP)
Updated on Nov 28, 2023 08:20 AM IST
By, New Delhi
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