India: 97,000 kids tested with AIDS from 2007-2009

As many as 96,942 children tested positive for AIDS during the last three years in India, Minister of State for Health Dinesh Trivedi said Tuesday.

The highest was in Andhra Pradesh with 22,559 children testing positive for the disease followed by 21,835 in Maharashtra and 15,082 in Tamil Nadu.

Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, Trivedi said: “The government has taken several steps to protect children from HIV infection.

“Identification, counseling and prophylactic treatment to HIV positive pregnant women and new born babies, diagnosis of HIV positive children and spreading public awareness.”

From TOI

Frequent waterlogging hits Cuddalore locality

Effluents from industrial estate also cause health hazards

CUDDALORE: Residents of V.K.J. Nagar in Panchankuppam area near here detest rain because even the slightest shower leaves their place waterlogged. About 100 houses are thus facing the threat of inundation from overflowing sewage and run-off from the nearby garbage yard.

S. Raju (45), a resident, told The-Hindu that waterlogging had been the bane of the area for the past two decades. Sewage carrying effluents of the SIPCOT Industrial Estate is also streaming through the village, thereby causing stench and serious health hazards.

Owing to the lack of drainage facility, the murky water stagnated at the place for months together. Therefore, the area had become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and the residents find it extremely difficult to cope with the menace.

Woes aplenty: Panchankuppam in Cuddalore old town area remains constantly waterlogged. — Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

The residents would have to invariably wade through the muddy waters and many of them had developed skin disorders. Whenever it rained heavily, water seeped into houses and posed a severe challenge to clear the contaminated water.

Drinking water supply too was affected by such a situation because there was a potential threat to contract water-borne diseases. Mr. Raju said that whenever the residents register their protests, the local body took ad hoc measures such as digging a shallow trench.

Since the trench was not attached to any canal or water source, in course of time it also got clogged and aggravated the problem.

The residents had also made several representations to the district administration but no action has been taken.

A.V. Ragunathan – From THE HINDU

Madurai: With rain, health officials face next challenge

MADURAI: Prevention of water-borne diseases has become a priority of Health Department officials in Madurai district in view of rains.

The district, which is already under the impact of large number of mosquito-borne fever cases in the past few weeks, is taking no chances now with regard to diseases that could break out at the time of rains, officials said here on Wednesday.

HEALTH HAZARD: Water stagnating on Nethaji Road in Madurai on Wednesday. — Photo: S. James.

With Madurai city and other places in the district witnessing rains for the past two days, public health authorities are giving priority to contain diseases that are common during rainy season like jaundice, acute diarrhoea, cholera and leptospirosis.

The areas under surveillance in the city will be: Sellur, Anuppanadi, Thathaneri, Kochadai, Aarapalayam, Balarangapuram and Jaihindpuram, according to V.Subramaniam, City Health Officer.

A. Palanichamy, Deputy Director of Health Services, said water contamination will be a major health hazard during the rainy season.

“Usilampatti and Melur are generally vulnerable to leptospirosis. Adequate precautionary measures will be taken in these places,” he said.

Leptospirosis will break out in places where cattle-rearing is high.

R. Varadharajan, District Malaria Officer, said that the Government has four ‘lepto clinics’ in the district exclusively to deal with leptospirosis cases. They are located at the VOC Hospital in Madurai and at the hospitals in Sholavandhan, Usilampatti and Melur.

From THE HINDU

Environment and Water Ministry seeks to make UAE plastic bags free

WAM Dubai, Sep 12th, 2009 (WAM)–The Ministry of Environment and Water is launching a campaign to make the UAE free from the plastic bags through awareness campaign that targets students and public to enlighten them about the health hazards caused by these bags.

Dr Mariam Al Shanasi, executive director of the technical affairs at the ministry, said the ministry seeks through the campaign under theme “UAE free from plastic bags” to enlighten public about the environmental risks caused by use of the plastic bags.

From WAM