According to the World Health Organization over a billion people are affected by Neglected Tropical Diseases worldwide. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has constituted a twelve member expert group to address the issue of morbidity management and prevention of lymphatic filariasis in the country. Two doctors from Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr. K.N. Panicker, Professor Emeritus, Community Medicine & Chairman, Indian Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (INTD) and Dr. G. Manokaran, Director of Lymphology Services have been drafted in this committee. A meeting was convened at New Delhi recently to discuss Morbidity Management and Disability Prevention (MMDP) due to Lymphatic Filariasis and draft strategies to tackle this problem at the national level.
Dr. K.N. Panicker attended World NTD Summit at World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva during April 19 - 22, 2017. Dr. Panicker says, “In the meeting lot of emphasis was given to morbidity management lymphatic filariasis in all member states affected by the disease including India.” He added that this meeting marked the 5th anniversary of the WHO’s roadmap on NTDs along with the London Declaration.
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World TB Day Observed As a part of World TB day, an awareness program was jointly conducted by the Department of Community Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi Municipal Corporation and Kudumbasree. Hibi Eden, MLA, inaugurated “United to End TB” at the Ernakulam Municipal Town Hall on March 24, 2017.
A. B. Sabu, Welfare Standing Committee, Chairperson, Kochi Municipal Corporation; Adv. V. K. Minimol, Health Standing Committee Chairperson; Dr. Prathapan Nair, Principal, Amrita School of Medicine; Dr. Leelamoni K., Head, Department of Community Medicine, Amrita Hospital; Dr. K. Beena, Senior Medical Administrator, Amrita Hospital; Dr. Rakesh P. S., Amrita Hospital; Dr. Shibu Balakrishnan, Dr. Mathews Numpeli, Dr. Narayanan, IMA President, Kochi took part in the program.
Dr. Leyanna Susan George and Dr. Teena Mary Joy conducted the awareness and over 700 Kudumbasree members participated in this program.
As part of spreading awareness about TB the Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Amrita Hospital organized events on campus on March 24, 2017. A human chain was formed with the theme “Unite to End TB” that started from the B-Block, which was inaugurated by Dr. Prem Nair, Medical Director, Amrita Hospital. A public awareness class on TB was conducted by Dr. Midhula, Medical Officer, at Amrita. A skit was organized by students. Additionally, a poster design competition was also conducted for students of respiratory therapy, nursing and pharm-D and a quiz competition for MBBS students.
A three-day International Conference on Maxillofacial Prosthetics was held at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi during March 23-25, 2017 to explore options and methodologies to rehabilitate patients with major oral and facial deformities. Prominent head and neck surgeons, maxillofacial rehabilitation specialists, international faculties and scientists deliberated on a wide spectrum of topics relating to restoring oral functions and reconstructing the facial structure in patients with oro-facial defects.
Swami Purnamritananda Puri, General Secretary, Mata Amritanandamayi Math inaugurated the conference. Dr. Prem Nair, Medical Director, Amrita Hospital presided over the gathering. Dr. Subramania Iyer, Head, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery; Dr. Balagopal Varma, Principal, Amrita School of Dentistry and Dr. Manju V, Professor, Dept. of Prosthodontics, Amrita School of Dentistry spoke during the inaugural session.
Dr. Subramania Iyer explained the importance of the field of Maxillofacial Prosthetics stating that oro-facial defects can occur mainly due to cancer, trauma, infection or congenital defects. Cancer affecting the head and neck are highly debilitating, in terms of physical as well as mental status of the patient. Experts in the field strive for betterment of these patients carrying out advanced surgery followed by prosthetic means, he said.
The highlight of the conference is an outreach programme and workshop held by the Foundation for Oral and Facial Rehabilitation (FFOFR) headed by Dr. John Beumer, the pioneer in maxillofacial prosthetics accompanied by his proficient team, Dr Manju V, Organising Secretary said. The programme had speakers from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and San Francisco (UCSF) who provided comprehensive lectures and discussions on surgical management and prosthetic rehabilitation.
The conference on its first day held crucial scientific sessions on restoration of facial defects, ocular defects, auricular defects, orbital defects, nasal defects, large midfacial defects, use of dental implants to retain facial prostheses, restoration of tongue-mandible defects, use of implants in the restoration of tongue-mandible defects, palatal speech aids and laboratory sessions. Scientific deliberations on restoration of hard palate defects and soft palate defects were held on the second day.
Special sessions were held presenting latest research, innovative techniques, use of most advanced equipments, software and technologies in oral and maxillofacial surgeries. Prominent international faculty who addressed the conference were Teoh Khim Hean, National Dental Centre, Singapore; and UCLA and UCSF members, Ting Ling Chang, Evelyn Chung, Arun Sharma, Jay Jayanetti, Dave Parks, Kumar Shah, Don Pedroche and Tomomi Baba. Around 500 delegates participated in the exclusive hands on sessions pertaining to ocular and facial defects.
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness across the world. The best way to prevent Glaucoma is through early detection that can be done through yearly eye check ups. Since there are no symptoms or warning signs for this condition it is difficult to detect it. For this reason, World Glaucoma Week is celebrated from 12th to 18th March to raise awareness regarding this condition to help avoid blindness.
As part of the weeklong celebrations, a Glaucoma Walkathon was organized at Durbar Hall on 12th March, Sunday. This event was jointly organized by Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Cochin Ophthalmic Club, KSOS under the egis of Glaucoma Society of India and KSOS, with enthusiastic support from IMA (Cochin branch), Inner Wheel Club of Cochin, Rotary Club of Cochin and Women Explorers (WE) along with the Ophthalmic community of Cochin. The Chief Guest was District Collector, Mr. Mohammed Y. Safirulla and the event was flagged off by Justice A.K. Jayasankaran Nambiar.
Another initiative taken by the Department of Ophthalmology, Glaucoma Services under the leadership of Dr. Meenakshi Dhar was the Glaucoma awareness campaign through-out the week from 8:30 am to 10: 30 am at the hospital. Additionally, free glaucoma screening services were offered to patients between 2 to 3 pm through the week. Students enthusiastically participated in the poster making competition and the theme this year was “Beat Invisible Glaucoma.”