It has been more than two years that Anita (name changed) have been suffering from fever on and off, body ache, weakness etc. Anita says she has learnt to live with her condition. She sees a local medicine practitioner whenever the problem aggravates.

She was advised antibiotics as the doctor suspected Tuberculosis because of her condition such as enlargement of lymph. She did take the medicine for a few days but discontinued when she felt better. But the problem recurred some months later. Again the same treatment for few days but Anita failed to complete the full course again.

Anita is an example of one such case in Delhi. There are many migrant workers like her who move to a bigger city in India in search of livelihood and then migrate to another city when they find a better opportunity.

Thus tracking such cases of tuberculosis and giving them complete treatment becomes very difficult there by adding to a number of Multi – Drug – Resistant Tuberculosis cases.

Tuberculosis continues to be killer disease in India. It has been 68 years since the country has achieved Independence from British rule, but we are yet to free ourselves from the clutches of Tuberculosis. Though the Federal government claims to have come up with many initiatives to combat the disease, there are still a large number of people who are undiagnosed or are under diagnosed adding to the population of the affected people. And this happening despite treatment being available to completely cure the disease and bring a normal and healthy life to the person affected.

According to Medical Practitioners, the problem lies with the complications associated with the disease when people fail to undergo the diagnosis or they are lethargic enough to care for treatment or prevention.

Experts say one should be very clear of the symptoms of tuberculosis. One needs to go for immediate check-up when he or she realizes that they are suffering from continuous cough for more than two weeks and is not responding to any of the medications or to antibiotics or to any other home remedies.

Even if tests are negative in certain cases the doctors take a call on prescribing medicine for a period of six months to prevent one from having TB.

Multi Drug Resistant Tuberculosis happens when a person stops taking medication half way and then the treatment becomes very difficult. The patient does not respond to any treatment further. So it is essential for a patient to complete a full course to combat the disease.

The mode of transfer of infection from one person to another person is through air. And to add to this the rising air pollution majorly in the metropolitan cities, the number of cases are constantly increasing adding to the graph. The other cities too are in the grip of pollution these days.

TB increases the risk of developing lung cancer. Smokers are at risk to develop respiratory diseases.

Tuberculosis is a menace and a major problem worldwide.

The main reason that can be attributed to the hike in the number of tuberculosis cases is lack of Primary Health Care at the door step of every citizen. Primary Health Centres and their sub-centres are supposed to meet the health care needs of rural population.

But absence of the same in many areas or presence of non-functioning or mal-functioning Primary Health Care units has added to the dilapidated health status of the vulnerable population.

Poverty is another reason contributing to the rise of the disease. With either or no shelter and poor reach to good food, health and hygiene, the disease spreads like wild fire.

Again migration from one place to another in search of work is another factor. Many a times those starting treatment under the government of India’s DOTS initiative discontinue the treatment half way when they migrate another place there by adding to the number of Multi Drug Resistant cases.

An estimated 40 percent of Indian population is infected with Tuberculosis. Every year 12 lakh Indians are identified with newly diagnosed TB. Only 58 percent are diagnosed and the rest are left undiagnosed or under diagnosed.

Over 10 lakh Indians with Tuberculosis are not notified. Over 40 percent Indian children are currently under diagnosed in India. TB affects everyone irrespective of age, class or caste. It can affect anyone at any time, be they rich or poor. It effects anyone irrespective of the background they hail from.

The World Health Organisation has come up with a strategy to counter the killer disease and make this world a more comfortable place to live in.

The strategy aims to end the global TB epidemic, with targets to reduce TB deaths by 95 percent and to cut new cases by 90 percent between 2015 and 2035, and to ensure that no family is burdened with catastrophic expenses due to TB. It sets interim milestones for 2020, 2025, and 2030.

The resolution calls on governments to adapt and implement the strategy with high-level commitment and financing. It reinforces a focus within the strategy on serving populations highly vulnerable to infection and poor health care access, such as migrants.

The strategy and resolution highlight the need to engage partners within the health sector and beyond, such as in the fields of social protection, labour, immigration and justice.

The WHO plays a critical role in monitoring drug quality in poorer countries through its Prequalification of Medicines Program, which ensures that treatments supplied by U.N. agencies such as UNICEF are of acceptable quality.

Life expectancy in India has increased since 1990, but healthy life expectancy grew more slowly; ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lower respiratory infections, tuberculosis and neonatal disorders caused the most health loss in India.
SEATTLE (USA) / NEW DELHI (INDIA) — People in India are living longer, but healthy life expectancy has increased more slowly and a complex mix of fatal and nonfatal ailments cause a tremendous amount of health loss, according to a new analysis of 306 diseases and injuries in 188 countries.
Thanks to marked declines in death and illness caused by HIV/AIDS and malaria in the past decade and advances made in addressing communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional disorders, health has improved significantly around the world. Global life expectancy at birth for both sexes rose by 6.2 years (from 65.3 in 1990 to 71.5 in 2013), while healthy life expectancy at birth rose by 5.4 years (from 56.9 in 1990 to 62.3 in 2013).
Healthy life expectancy takes into account not just mortality but the impact of nonfatal conditions and summarizes years lived with disability and years lost due to premature mortality. The increase in healthy life expectancy has not been as dramatic as the growth of life expectancy, and as a result, people are living more years with illness and disability.
This is also true in India. Life expectancy increased by 6.9 years for men between 1990 and 2013 and 10.3 years for women in the same period. But healthy life expectancy increased by less: men gained 6.4 years and women gained 8.9 years. Life expectancy for women in India still outpaces that of men, 68.5 years compared to 64.2 years.
“Global, regional, and national disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for 306 diseases and injuries and healthy life expectancy (HALE) for 188 countries, 1990-2013: quantifying the epidemiological transition” examines fatal and nonfatal health loss across countries. Published in The Lancet on August 27, the study was conducted by an international consortium of researchers working on the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, including from the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), and led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.
For most countries, changes in healthy life expectancy for males and females between 1990 and 2013 were significant and positive, but in dozens of countries, including Botswana, Belize, and Syria, healthy life expectancy in 2013 was not significantly higher than in 1990.
The study’s researchers use DALYs, or disability-adjusted life years, to compare the health of different populations and health conditions across time. One DALY equals one lost year of healthy life. DALYs are measured as the sum of years of life lost due to early death and years of healthy life lost due to disability.
In India, the leading causes of health loss, as measured by DALYs, in 2013 were ischemic heart disease (IHD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lower respiratory infections, tuberculosis, neonatal preterm birth complications, neonatal encephalopathy, diarrheal diseases, cerebrovascular disease, road injury, and low back and neck pain. Neonatal encephalopathy and tuberculosis were not among the leading causes of health loss globally.
Causes of health loss differed by gender in India as well. For Indian men, the top-five causes of DALYs in 2013 were IHD, tuberculosis, COPD, neonatal encephalopathy, and neonatal preterm birth complications. For women, the top five were IHD, lower respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, COPD, and neonatal preterm birth complications. For Indian men, the fastest-growing leading causes of health loss between 1990 and 2013 were self-harm, IHD, and cerebrovascular disease, which increased at rates of 149.9%, 79.9%, and 59.8%, respectively. Only IHD was in the top-10 causes of male DALYs in 1990. For women, the largest increases among the leading causes of DALYs occurred for IHD (69%), depressive disorders (66.1%), and cerebrovascular disease (36.8%). Only IHD was among the 10 leading causes of health loss for women in 1990.
“Healthy life expectancy in India is 12 years lower for women and 8 years lower for men than in neighboring Sri Lanka,” said study co-author Dr. Lalit Dandona who is Professor at PHFI and IHME and led the work of this study in India. “This difference indicates that substantial health improvements in India are possible and that public policy should make this a top priority in order to enable India reach its optimal development potential.”
“The relative contribution of Ischemic heart disease to the disease burden in India has doubled over the past 25 years, making it the leading cause of health loss among both men and women in India presently,” said Dr. K. Srinath Reddy who is President of PHFI and member of the GBD Scientific Council. “Major health system and policy shifts for more effective preventive and curative approaches for heart disease are needed in India to curtail this trend.”
“It is unacceptable that tuberculosis continues to be among the top five leading causes of disease burden in India in 2013, as it was a quarter century ago,” said Dr. Soumya Swaminathan who is Director-General of the Indian Council of Medical Research. “Systematic evidence-based approaches for tuberculosis control and ultimate elimination have to be rapidly implemented in India to improve the situation.”
“In the current epidemiological transition, road injuries is a major concern and one that predominantly affects men in the working and productive age group,” said Dr. Nobhojit Roy who is Professor at BARC Hospital and a co-author of the study. “Though preventable, road injuries have increased rank since 2005. Between 1990 and 2013, worldwide DALYs per 100,000 from communicable, maternal, neonatal and nutritional ailments declined by 42.4% but only by 30.9% from injuries.”
The study also examines the role that socio-demographic status – a combination of per capita income, population age, fertility rates, and average years of schooling – plays in determining health loss. Researchers’ findings underscore that this accounts for more than half of the differences seen across countries and over time for certain leading causes of DALYs, including maternal and neonatal disorders. But the study notes that socio-demographic status is much less responsible for the variation seen for ailments including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
“Factors including income and education have an important impact on health but don’t tell the full story,” said IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray who leads the GBD study globally. “Looking at healthy life expectancy and health loss at the country level can help guide policies to ensure that people everywhere can have long and healthy lives no matter where they live.”
Courtesy : Public Health Foundation of India

Langsat, the fruit also found in the North Eastern part of India is believed to be a potential source of antioxidants.

Langsat (Lansium domesticum) is a tropical fruit that is commonly cultivated in Southeast Asia. The fruit is rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals, while the peel of langsat contains phenolics and carotenoids, and is traditionally used as an anti-diarrhoea medicine. Anti-oxidative components found in medicinal fruits such as langsat are natural alternatives to synthetic antioxidants (such as butylated hydroxytoluene and tertiary butylhydroquinone), which are added to food as preservatives despite being potentially carcinogenic. Past research has shown that some tropical fruits have higher antioxidant activity in their peel than in their pulp, but the literature on the presence of antioxidant in the peel of langsat has been scarce in Malaysia.

In a paper published in the Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, a research team from UCSI University and the Universiti Putra Malaysia in Malaysia evaluated the total phenolic content (phenols are anti-oxidative compounds) and antioxidant activity of langsat peel extract and peel extract fractions of langsat fruit. Their aim was to determine whether langsat peel has potential for the development of natural antioxidants, and whether fractionation is a suitable method for extracting these compounds.

The researchers found that the total phenolic content of langsat peel extract was up to four times higher than each of the extract fractions, while there was no significant difference among the extract fractions. Similarly, the peel extract also showed the highest antioxidant activity. The team concluded that langsat peel has antioxidant components that are ideal for developing nutraceuticals without fractionation. The researchers also recommended further studies to help identify the structure of the phenolic compounds found in langsat peel.

Courtesy : Asia Research News

Garlic juice can be an effective weapon against multi-drug resistant strains of pathogenic bacteria associated with urinary tract infections (UTI), according to a recent study published in the Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science.

Garlic (Allium sativum) has been traditionally used for the treatment of diseases since ancient times.

Conducted by researchers at the Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences in India, the study found that “even crude extracts of garlic showed good activity against multidrug resistant strains where antibiotic therapy had limited or no effect. This provides hope for developing alternative drugs which may be of help in fighting the menace of growing antibacterial resistance,” the team states.

Urinary tract infection is the second most common infectious disease encountered in community practice. Worldwide, about 150 million people are diagnosed each year with UTI, at a total treatment cost in the billions of dollars. Although UTI is usually treated with antibiotics, “emerging antimicrobial resistance compels us to look back into traditional medicines or herbal products, which may provide appropriate/acceptable alternative solutions,” the authors argue.

Garlic has been traditionally used for the treatment of diseases since ancient times. A wide range of microorganisms – including bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses – are known to be sensitive to garlic preparations. Allicin and other sulphur compounds are thought to be the major antimicrobial factors in garlic.

In this study, the team found that 56% of 166 bacteria strains isolated from the urine of people with UTI showed a high degree of resistance to antibiotics. However, about 82% of the antibiotic resistant bacteria were susceptible to a crude aqueous extract of Allium sativum.

According to the researchers, “ours is the first study to report the antibacterial activity of aqueous garlic extract against multidrug resistant bacterial isolates from infected urine samples leading to UTI.”

“To conclude, there is evidence that garlic has potential in the treatment of UTI and maybe other microbial infections,” says the team. “However, it is necessary to determine the bio availability, side effects and pharmacokinetic properties in more detail.”

Courtesy : Asia Research News

According to Public Health Foundation of India, the hike in food prices is linked to higher risk of malnutrition among Indian children.

The research is based on the observation of the children who have low weight when compared with their height… a measure based on World Health Organisation Standards.

They observed progress in child nutrition between 2002 and 2006 when the proportion of wasted children in (undivided) Andhra Pradesh fell slightly from 19% to 18%. However, this improvement had reversed by 2009 when 28% of children were wasting – an increase of 10 percentage points compared with 2006.

This was after high inflation in food prices, beginning in 2007 and continuing through 2009. The research paper is published in the online version of the Journal of Nutrition.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Public Health Foundation of India and the University of Oxford, with a team from Stanford University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
They focused on the effect of food prices on child nutrition in the Andhra Pradesh, one of India’s largest states, using data from the Young Lives project based at Oxford University.

The researchers have used survey data from a sample of 1,918 children from poor, middle-income, and wealthy households living in the state, since 2002 for a longitudinal study of child poverty.

The research team combined children’s weight and height measurements from the Young Lives data with official government data on household level expenditure and consumption patterns of food from the Indian National Sample Survey Office and the National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau in order to calculate how much children ate across food categories.

The researchers found that children’s food consumption dropped significantly between 2006 and 2009 as food prices increased. There were corresponding increases in wasting among children from poor and middle-income households, but not high-income households between 2006 and 2009. The paper suggests this supports the theory that poorer households have the smallest food reserves and are therefore hardest hit by rising food prices.

The researchers examined interview data from each household on food expenditure based on 15-day periods in 2006 and 2009 across eight food categories (rice, wheat, legumes, meat, fish, eggs, milk, fruit and vegetables).

To examine the rise in food prices, the researchers used monthly price records collected by the Government of India.

Lead author of the study Dr Sukumar Vellakkal, Public Health Foundation of India, said: ‘Our findings suggest that poorer households face the greatest risk of malnutrition, in spite of the Public Distribution System, which provides subsidised food to a large proportion of the population. Better targeting of food security policies may be necessary to meet the needs of India’s most vulnerable households.’

“India’s remarkable economic growth in the last decade had not translated in to betterment of children nutrition status because of the rising food prices, we need specific policies help to ensure the affordability of food in the context of higher food prices for promoting children’s nutrition” Dr. Vellakkal added.

Study co-author Dr Jasmine Fledderjohann, of the University of Oxford, said: ‘Our findings show a sharp increase in wasting associated with food price spikes. It is possible that this rise would have been even greater without governmental programmes like the Public Distribution Scheme or the Midday Meal Scheme, which provides free meals to school children. It’s important to recognise that households may try a number of strategies to cope with rising food prices, such as going without, or switching to low-cost alternatives. More detailed research is needed in this area.’

Individuals affected with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have a reason to smile. SAP Labs have recently announced that they will conduct a fresh wave of recruitment specially targeted on individuals with ASD starting July 2015.

This is in keeping with SAP’s announcement of a partnership in 2013 with Specialisterne, a social business based in Denmark.
Specialisterne focusses on helping people with autism find employment.

Experts estimate that every 2-6 children out of every 1000 have Autism. Currently 10 million people are suffering in India.

The government only recognized the disorder in 2001, till 1980s, there were reports that Autism didn’t exist in India.

Globally, SAP aims to employ one percent of its workforce with people affected by ASD by 2020.

In addition to the ten individuals with ASD who currently work at SAP in India, an additional ten would be hired by the end of 2015.

Chosen candidates will undergo a three month training program at SAP following their initial screening before joining their respective business teams.

The unique talents of these employees are leveraged to successfully execute the job profiles of development, functional testing, support and research.

“Autism at Work” is SAP’s global initiative which began in May 2013 where the focus is not only on employment, but also on working closely with the community to foster better education and training for individuals with ASD.

SAP has partnered with Specialisterne and EnAble India to harness the talents and in training of people with autism to work in technology-oriented jobs such as software testing, programming and data management and has created employment for 50 individuals thus far globally.

For the first time in the world, an innovative and unique testing tool has been developed by doctors from India that can assess the improvement in patients with Cerebral Palsy (CP), a disorder caused due to brain damage that affects a person’s muscle tone, movement, and motor skills.

The tool is a one of its kind invention, as it has far more evaluation parameters compared to the existing system.
With the help of a numeric scoring system, it also has the advantage of revealing even the slightest improvement in CP patients.

Its developer, Dr Geeta Shroff is the founder and medical director of Nutech Mediworld, the first and only facility in the world to offer human embryonic stem cell therapy.

Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital, Mumbai’s only NABH accredited eye hospital and one of the most respected eye surgery and vision correction centers, has undertaken a huge technological leap. The hospital that has been of offering LASIK or laser based vision correction surgery, has upgraded its system to significantly reduce surgery time, increase surgical efficiency and expedite the healing process… so much so that now you can undergo a painless, bloodless eye surgery in the amount of time it takes for you to have a cup of coffee!

Laser based surgeries are used to set right some of the most complicated vision problems and are a boon to those who wish to do away completely with wearing spectacles or lenses. It can correct powers as high as -10. To make these surgeries even more efficient and comfortable for the patient, Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital has switched to the internationally respected Alcon EX 500 Laser for conducting LASIK surgeries.

This machine is superior to other alternatives available today as it reduces corneal dehydration to increase outcome accuracy. Each burst of the laser lasts for a billionth of a second before the laser moves to its next position at a speed 100 times that of other lasers.

The Alcon EX 500 Laser uses a small-spot laser beam, which allows LASIK specialists to shape the cornea in finer, more gradual increments for a smoother surface with eye-tracking technology 8 times faster than some of the competition.

Alcon EX 500 Laser’s integrated cross-line projector provides the surgeon with an exact alignment of the head’s and eye’s position by generating a red-light cross on the eye for accuracy.

Using advanced Wavefront Optimized ® technology, the Alcon EX 500 Laser creates a “map” of your eyes and their unique characteristics to assist your surgeon in creating a personal vision profile for you.

This map serves as a guide that helps doctors locate the eye’s exact treatment position, which is one of the most important factors in obtaining a more naturally shaped cornea and therefore an excellent refractive outcome, especially when correcting eyes with high astigmatism.

All these technological improvements contribute to reducing the actual surgery time to nearly half that of an average LASIK surgery. The procedure is painless and bloodless. The patient needs to rest for just 48 hours and stay out of direct sunlight, dust and heat during this period. After this they can go back to their everyday life.

“The WaveLight EX500 facilitates fastest treatment times and a complete, safe, patient specific and customized Laser Vision Correction. It is this attitude which has helped us build a stable relationship of trust with our patients. Their implicit faith, gratitude and referrals are the measures of our success” says Dr. Kavita Rao, Head, Cornea and Refractive Services.

In support of its mission to help the world run better and improve people’s lives, SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) recently announced that it will work globally with Specialisterne to employ people with autism as software testers, programmers and data quality assurance specialists.

SAP sees a potential competitive advantage to leveraging the unique talents of people with autism, while also helping them to secure meaningful employment.

It is estimated that one percent of the world’s population is affected by autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder).

Specialisterne is an internationally recognized leader in harnessing the talents of people with autism to work in technology-oriented jobs such as software testing, programming and data management.

Originally founded in Denmark, Specialisterne has operations around the world, including offices in the U.S., UK, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Iceland and Poland.

As part of the partnership, Specialisterne will extend its operations to support SAP’s global expansion of the program over the next several years.

The global announcement follows successful pilot projects in India and Ireland that demonstrate the positive impact of empowering people with autism to excel in their areas of strength.

Working locally with Specialisterne, SAP® Labs in India hired six people with autism as software testers for SAP® Business Suite applications. As a result, the team has increased their productivity and cohesiveness in key areas.

The Ireland pilot is currently completing the screening phase for five positions to be filled this year. SAP will expand the program globally, starting in the U.S., Canada and Germany in 2013.

At SAP, an inclusive and diverse environment promotes a culture that enables employees to find innovative solutions to challenges facing customers as well as society as a whole.

Furthering its engagement with the local community of people and families affected by autism, SAP Labs in India recently developed a consumer iPad application called “Bol” to assist with the education of children with autism.

This innovative learning program helps children learn and comprehend simple, everyday objects and processes, using auditory, visual and instant feedback functions.

Public-Private Partnership Announces Phase III Clinical Trial Results at Conference in Delhi

New Delhi, India—The Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Bharat Biotech announced positive results from a Phase III clinical trial of a rotavirus vaccine developed and manufactured in India. Data from the trial, presented today at the International Symposium on Rotavirus Vaccines for India—The Evidence and the Promise,showed ROTAVAC®to have an excellent safety and efficacy profile.

The clinical study demonstrates for the first time that the India-developed rotavirus vaccine ROTAVAC®is efficacious in preventing severe rotavirus diarrhoea in low-resource settings in India. ROTAVAC®significantly reduced severe rotavirus diarrhoea by more than half—56 percent during the first year of life, with protection continuing into the second year of life. Moreover, the vaccine also showed impact against severe diarrhoea of any cause.

“This is an important scientific breakthrough against rota-virus infections, the most severe and lethal cause of childhood diarrhoea, responsible for approximately 100,000 deaths of small children in India each year,” said DBT Secretary Dr K. Vijay Raghavan. “The clinical results indicate that the vaccine, if licensed, could save the lives of thousands of children each year in India.”

The vaccine was developed through a unique social innovation partnership that brought together the experience and expertise of Indian and international researchers as well as the public and private sectors. The vaccine originated from an attenuated (weakened) strain of rotavirus that was isolated from an Indian child at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi in 1985-86. Since then, partners have included DBT, Bharat Biotech, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Stanford University School of Medicine, and the nongovernmental organization, PATH. Dr M.K. Bhan, who recently completed his service as DBT Secretary, was tireless in fostering the social innovation partnership and ensuring the highest standards for the vaccine.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase III clinical trial enrolled 6,799 infants in India (aged six to seven weeks at the time of enrolment) at three sites—the Centre for Health Research and Development, Society for Applied Studies (SAS) in New Delhi; Shirdi Sai Baba Rural Hospital, KEM Hospital Research Centre in Vadu, Pune; and Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore. The Clinical Operations Management Unit headed by Dr Nita Bhandari at SAS oversaw the day-to-day coordination and logistical complexities of this multi-site study and played a pivotal role in the conduct of this trial. The Principal Investigators were Dr Temsunaro Rongsen-Chandola at SAS, Dr Ashish Bavdekar at KEM, and Dr Gagandeep Kang at CMC.

The Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), an independent group of experts established to protect the participating infants’ rights and needs during the Phase III trial, determined that the trial met the highest standards for ethics and patient care and complied with international standards for good clinical practices.

Bharat Biotech previously announced a price of US$ 1.00/dose (or approximately INR 54/dose) for ROTAVAC®and will soon file for registration of the vaccine in India. If licensed by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), the vaccine will be a more affordable alternative to the rotavirus vaccines already on the market.

“With its low price and strong efficacy, ROTAVAC®has the potential to significantly reduce the incidence of severe diarrhoea due to rotavirus among children in India,” said Dr M.K. Bhan, Advisor to the Indian Academy of Pediatrics and former DBT Secretary.
The vaccine efficacy compares favorably with the efficacy of the currently licensed rotavirus vaccines in low-resource countries. The study results showed clear evidence of protection across different rotavirus strains and continued efficacy in the second year of life.

Infants enrolled in the study received ROTAVAC®and the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) vaccines, including oral polio vaccine (OPV). When the immune responses to OPV were tested, the result showed that infants receiving OPV at the same time asROTAVAC® generated comparable immune responses to all three polio serotypes as the infants receiving OPV without ROTAVAC®;this result supports the concurrent administration of OPV and ROTAVAC®.

“Vaccines work to save and protect children from diseases like rotavirus for a lifetime,” said Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “This public-private partnership is an exemplary model of how to develop affordable technologies that save lives.”

The vaccine development partnership was supported by DBT, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Research Council of Norway, and the UK Department for International Development. Bharat Biotech invested important technical, manufacturing, and financial resources towards vaccine development. ROTAVAC®is an oral vaccine and is administered to infants in a three-dose course at the ages of 6, 10, and 14 weeks. It is given alongside routine immunizations in the UIP vaccines recommended at these ages.

“ROTAVAC® represents the successful research and development of a novel vaccine from the developing world with global standards,” said Dr Krishna M. Ella, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech. “ROTAVAC®is a testament of our strong vision and commitment to develop affordable health care solutions for infectious diseases—we are proud, yet humbled by our contribution to this social innovation project and global public health priority. We are thankful to all the partners in the Rotavirus Vaccine Development Project—DBT, the Indian Council of Medical Research, PATH, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, NIH , CDC, and Stanford University—for their valuable support in this unique international public-private partnership.”

Prior to conducting the study, the investigators received approvals from the DCGI, the Institutional Review Board for DBT, and the ethics review committees of each study site. The study partners also consulted with the State Governments of Delhi, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu, as well as the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. In addition, the study was approved by the Western Institutional Review Board in the United States and met the highest international clinical trial standards. The DSMB strictly monitored the trial throughout for adherence to these standards and protocols. The trial design included a strong safety net to identify and treat illnesses, especially gastroenteritis, among study infants as early as possible. All of the infants enrolled in the trial received high-quality medical and emergency care during the trial period.

The support laboratory was the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute with Dr Sudhanshu Vrati as the lead. Quintiles was responsible for several aspects of the trial including medical monitoring, data management, site monitoring, pharmacovigilance, and biostatistics. Good Clinical Practice compliance of the clinical trials was audited by ANTHA Clinical Quality Assurance.

Courtesy :

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