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Hysterectomies will be a part of health survey

The government will collect information on Hysterectomies in the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) in the 4th round which is scheduled in January 2014.

What is “Hysterectomy”?

Hysterectomy is the complete or partial removal of the uterus and sometimes ovaries, cervix and fallopian tubes, usually performed by a gynecologist.

Hysterectomy may be of two types:

a) Total i.e. removing the body, fundus, and cervix of the uterus; often called “complete”.

b) Partial i.e. removal of the uterine body while leaving the cervix intact; also called “supracervical”.

Why is Hysterectomy performed?

Hysterectomy is opted for if the uterus is causing health problems that cannot be treated by other means. Some reasons a woman may have a hysterectomy are to:

  • Treat cancers such as uterine , endometrial, or ovarian cancers
  • Remove uterine fibroids -common, benign (noncancerous) tumors that grow in the muscle of the uterus
  • Treat chronic pelvic pain
  • Treat heavy bleeding
Why hysterectomies is being included in the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)  ?

The step has been taken keeping in view the demand from the health activists and medical practitioners following reports of rising cases of hysterectomies across the country. According to the activists deceitful doctors were performing hysterectomies on pre-menopausal and even women younger than 30 years for monetary gains.

  • The data generated during the NFHS could be used for formulating guidelines to conduct surgeries for removing the uterus. Hysterectomy may have a significant impact on woman’s health.
  • So the rising concern is not just about the high expenditure and medical ethics but also about the complications and troubles that follow.
  • Presently there are no exact statistics to show the prevalence rate of these operations and it is believed that they are the second most common surgeries performed on women, second only to caesarean sections. 

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Government sets up high-level panel to map status of tribals

The Government has set up a high level panel to prepare a position paper on the socio-economic, health and educational status of tribals and also recommend policy initiatives as well as effective outcome-oriented measures to improve development indicators and strengthen public service delivery to STs.

India has around 8.6% people belonging to tribal community. The population is concentrated in the north-east, particularly in Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, and in those parts now overrun by Maoists — Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and parts of Bihar and Maharashtra.

Who will be the members of the Committee?

Virginius Xaxa, noted tribal expert and eminent sociologist, who was recently appointed member of the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council, will be the head of the Committee.

Other members include Usha Ramanathan, Joseph Bara, K.K. Misra, Abhay Bang and Sunila Basant, all of whom are familiar with the problems of tribals and come from diverse backgrounds — Law, History, Anthropology, Medicine and Administration.

What will be the focus of the Committee?

The panel is likely to focus on the following areas:

  • The impact of involuntary displacement and imposed migration on tribal communities.
  • Effect of rapid urbanisation on their original habitats
  • To examine whether new possibilities of employment and livelihood available to them.
  • To measure their asset base and income levels, and changes in the patterns of ownership and productivity of their immovable assets
  • To analyze the role of public policy and the legal framework in facilitating/inhibiting such changes, the level of their socio-economic development, and their relative share of public and private sector employment, and consider what steps have been taken by States/Union Territories for capacity building and improving their employability.
  • To examine whether tribal communities have adequate access to education and health services, municipal infrastructure, bank credit, and other services provided by government/public sector entities; and the level of schools, health centres, ICDS centres, etc, in areas of tribal concentration in comparison to the general level of such social infrastructure in various States.
  • To look at whether protective legislation such as the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989, the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, the Forest Rights Act and the Food Security Ordinance are being implemented effectively.

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Committee to examine Pentavalent vaccine’s safety

In the wake of 21 infants dying after receiving Pentavalent vaccine in the country, the government will conduct a study to ascertain its safety.

The government will soon set up a national-level Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) Committee that will launch a study on the safety and effectiveness of Pentavalent vaccine and will go into background of the deaths of 21 infants who received this vaccine in various states of India. The proposed study will be conducted with the help of some other agencies and the WHO will also be involved in it.

What is a Pentavalent Vaccine?

The Pentavalent vaccine protects children against five deadly childhood diseases — DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus), Hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type B (HiB).

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