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Elite US surgeon to train Indian doctors in robotic surgery



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A leading US robotic surgeon, Dr. Chris Holsinger from Stanford, will appoint in India this week to train head and neck surgeons on minimally invasive methods such as robotic surgery for treating cancer patients.

India with its vast number of smoking population is home to the largest number of head and neck cancer patients in the world that go untreated.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) studies reveal that in India over 200,000 head and neck cancers are reported each year. Of these, nearly three-fourth cancers relate to oral cavity, throat and voice box.

Holsinger, who leads Stanford Cancer Centre’s Head and Neck Oncology practice will share his vast experience at the Second National Workshop in Transoral Surgery at Delhi’s Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute & Research Centre (RGCIRC) on Saturday.

During the day-long session Holsinger, widely recognised as the global guru of head and neck surgery, will speak to over a 100 surgeons on the ‘How, When and When Not’ of robotic surgery, according to a media release.

The audience will include surgeons from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Medanta Medicity, Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC), Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Research (PGI).

In addition, he along with workshop co-chair and consultant surgical oncologist RGCIRC Dr Surender Dabas will also conduct robotic surgeries that will be telecast live to the attendees at the event.

The conference will debate issues like relative merits and demerits of radiotherapy versus robotic surgery as a method to treat mouth and pharynx cancer patients.

Since 80 per cent of Indian patients test negative for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), robotic surgery leads to better results compared to radiotheraphy.

“While smokers have a 16 times higher risk of contracting oral cancer, the risk factor grows to 36 times among smokers who consume alcohol,” said Dabas who has conducted over 200 robotic surgeries in the last two years.

“Participation of patients in preventive health check ups is key to controlling this menacing medical condition,” said Dr AK Dewan, medical director and Chief of Head and Neck surgery, RGCIRC.

Holsinger, founded and led the programme in Minimally Invasive and Endoscopic Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer Centre before founding the programme in robotic surgery at Stanford.

RGCIRC’s oncology practice in Head and Neck, Urology, Gynaecology, Thoracic and General area has recorded over 1500 robotic surgeries since introduction in early 2011.

“Robotic procedures in India are estimated to cross the 6000 mark in 2015 as more and more procedures across the spectrum have started using robots,” said Dr Mahendra Bhandari, CEO of the US headquartered Vattikuti Foundation that is promoting prevention and treatment of cancer in USA and India.

wefornews bureau


7 million Afghan kids affected by COVID-19 pandemic

A new report by the National Statistics and Information Authority shows that nearly half of the estimated 32.9 million Afghan population is under 15 years of age.




Afghan kids

Kabul, June 2 : The coronavirus pandemic has left more than 7 million children in Afghanistan prone to poverty, barring them from their basic rights in a country where half the population is under 15 years of age, a rights group said.

“The COVID-19 crisis exposes more than seven million Afghan children to the threat of hunger. Also, the children who have been deprived of school in the last three months have not had access to their basic right that is education,” TOLO News quoted Maryam Ataee, spokesperson for Save the Children, as saying in the report on Monday.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Afghanistan stood at 15,750, with 265 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

Citing Unicef figures, Ghulam Hairdar Jailani, the Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, said that about six million children were prone to danger.

“We have 3.1 million children that are highly vulnerable and 1.2 million working children,” he said.

Meanwhile, Naeem Nazari, a spokesman for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, said that despite “big commitments by the government, the situation of children in terms of access to education, child marriages and sexual abuse is critical and unacceptable”.

A new report by the National Statistics and Information Authority shows that nearly half of the estimated 32.9 million Afghan population is under 15 years of age.

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First case of community transmission reported in Goa: Health Minister




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Panaji, June 1 : Goa reported its first instance of community transmission on Monday, with five persons from a family based in South Goa’s Vasco town, including two minor boys and a pregnant woman, as well as the family’s physician testing positive for Covid-19.

Speaking to reporters Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said, that the area in which the family resided, needed to be treated as a containment zone.

“There is local transmission in Goa (now). I feel it is necessary to declare this as a containment zone,” Rane said, adding that efforts were being made to reach out to people who were in contact of the family as well as the doctor.

Rane also said, that the first person to test positive from the family had travelled outside the state on fish procurement business. The infection was passed on to the rest of the family members.

“He was a fisherman who used to bring fish from outside the state. We are tracking this. Since even the doctor is positive, we have to track everything and cordon off the area. For about 14 days, we will be testing persons from the area,” Rane said.

Rane also said, that a spurt in community transmission could create load on the state”s health infrastructure.

“It is a case of local transmission. Across the country too there is community transmission. Goa can”t be isolated,” the Health Minister said.

“There will be a load on our facilities. We will take steps. This is our first instance (of community transmission). It is my view that containment zone have to be created. And if there are more cases the containment zone will have to expanded,” he said.

With the new spurt in cases, Goa”s tally of active Covid-19 patients in 32.


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Delhi has 6,670 Covid beds, around 4k vacant: Govt





New Delhi, June 1 : The Delhi government has arranged for 6,670 Covid beds across the city with only 2,692 occupied as of Monday morning, as per the data provided by the government in its ‘Delhi corona’ mobile app.

The mobile app, to be launched on Tuesday officially, says as of Monday morning, 58 private hospitals were offering Covid beds, however, 52 of these have zero occupancy.

It says a total of 6,670 Covid beds are ready with 2,692 occupied while 3,978 vacant.

At least seven government hospitals — including central and the city — were offering 3,916 beds, of which 1,862 beds were vacant.

“Till 9 a.m. on Monday, total 2,054 beds were occupied in the seven government hospitals,” the data said.

Among the six private hospitals having patients were — Max Hospital offering 225 beds with 197 occupied. Indraprastha Apollo hospital offers 144 beds and 117 are occupied as of Monday morning.

Sir Ganga Ram City and Kolmet Hospitals offer 120 and 42 beds respectively, and of these 106 and 33 beds are occupied.

The other private hospitals offering dedicated facilities are — Maa Durga Charitable Trust (81 of 100 beds occupied) and Batra (61 of 66 beds occupied).

As per the data, Delhi has a total 302 ventilators, with 38 occupied till Monday morning.

On Saturday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the government is developing a mobile app to give information on beds and ventilators availability in the city government hospitals and it will be launched on Monday.

However, on Monday, he said it will be launched on Tuesday. Speaking to the media, he said while the health infrastructure in Delhi has been made adequate, family members of coronavirus patients are still confused about where to take them for treatment.

“They are not sure about the beds and ventilators available in the hospitals. For the convenience of the people and to eliminate such issues, we are developing an app that will be launched on Monday,” he said.


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