My Recent Work

Pooled procurement of drugs saves millions for Indian cancer centres | Cancerworld Magazine

A pilot project pooling the procurement of cancer drugs has led to cancer institutes in India saving over USS 116 million – an 82% average reduction on the drugs’ reference prices.

The results of the pilot project, led by Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai and published in the Bulletin of World Health Organisation, show how 23 cancer centres which are part of India’s National Cancer Grid have pooled their purchase of 40 high-value cancer and supportive care drugs, normally worth US$197 million.

Air pollution raises risk of type 2 diabetes, says landmark Indian study

Inhaling polluted air increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, the first study of its kind in India has found. Research conducted in Delhi and the southern city of Chennai found that inhaling air with high amounts of PM2.5 particles led to high blood sugar levels and increased type 2 diabetes incidence.

When inhaled, PM2.5 particles – which are 30 times thinner than a strand of hair – can enter the bloodstream and cause several respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

The study is part of ongoin

Quality care, free of charge, and closer to home: expanding access to cancer services in India | Cancerworld Magazine

Rahul Jain and his mother Shashi were in Pune – 1,000 km from their home in Ashoknagar, in the neighbouring state of Madhya Pradesh – when they were told there was no hope. They had undertaken the long journey together to get treatment for Shashi’s breast cancer. But after her primary tumour was removed, they were informed that the cancer had spread and was now stage IV. So Rahul brought her home.

He’d been advised that palliative chemotherapy could relieve some of her symptoms and slow disease

Quality care, free of charge, and closer to home: expanding access to cancer services in India | Cancerworld Magazine

Rahul Jain and his mother Shashi were in Pune – 1,000 km from their home in Ashoknagar, in the neighbouring state of Madhya Pradesh – when they were told there was no hope. They had undertaken the long journey together to get treatment for Shashi’s breast cancer. But after her primary tumour was removed, they were informed that the cancer had spread and was now stage IV. So Rahul brought her home.

He’d been advised that palliative chemotherapy could relieve some of her symptoms and slow disease

Why are young doctors feeling burnt out?

New Delhi: In his first year as a surgical resident doctor at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, in 2017, Dr Adarsh Pratap Singh remembers being told, “ Jahaan time mile so jao, kha lo aur naha lo (Sleep, eat and take a bath whenever you find the time)."

He recalls sleeping all night in the hospital ward, waking up at 5am, rushing to the hostel for a quick bath and returning to the ward at 7.30am. This was the routine, three-four times a week, for postgraduate resid

Karnataka’s Muktha Centres Show How Govt Hospitals Can Support Domestic Violence Survivors

Chikkaballapur, Bengaluru, Karnataka: Twenty-eight-year-old Amruta smiled as she showed us the grainy photo of her two sons that she had set as the wallpaper on her phone.

Three years earlier, Amruta was pregnant with her second child. Her second marriage was failing; her in-laws and her husband tortured her, did not allow her to step out of the house or use the phone, while her natal family refused to help. Frustrated and losing the will to live, she consumed poison, and was admitted to the

Delivering cervical cancer screening across India: the plan… and the practice | Cancerworld Magazine

Gynaecologist Shalini Singh remembers the Pap smears she carried out until around twenty years ago, when she was working at the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences, in New Delhi. “We had about 15 Pap smear bottles per day in the outpatient department, which were sent by the pathology department, and the Pap test was done for symptomatic women or those undergoing major surgery,” she says.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences is the premier tertiary care hospital in the cou

In filing domestic violence cases, women face uphill battle against society and systemic pressures

Every third married woman in India faces spousal violence but only one in 10 seeks any help, says a 2020 study published in the BMJ. Worse, only 1% reported it to the police or healthcare personnel.

The number of women seeking help for domestic violence has declined from 24% to 14% in the decade to 2015, according to the National Family Health Survey-4, the latest available dataset. In these cases, women mostly sought help from their own families (65%), their husbands’ family (29%), friends (15

In rural Gujarat, ASHAs play key role in identifying and reaching out to domestic abuse survivors

“A pregnant woman has been hit in the stomach by her husband; she is bleeding. There are also marks of assault on her legs and hands. She may lose her baby and or even her own life because she is anaemic.”

This is an imagined case study, but in India, where one in three women report domestic violence, it could be very real. At a training session in the Sidhpur block of Gujarat’s Patan district, this fictional survivor experience is being used to teach rural health workers how to deal with domes

Gujarat’s Rural Hospitals Become Support Centres For Domestic Violence Survivors

A survivor in a green salwar kameez with her infant son asleep in her lap, says she is at the end of her tether. She has returned to her mother’s home because her husband has been physically violent towards her and her children. But her son is ill and she is struggling to find the money for treatment. She has filed for the maintenance for her two children [under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005] but the case has yet to be heard. She is so desperate for a solution she is c

Careers of women in oncology hit by Covid-19 pandemic | Cancerworld Magazine

The pandemic has seen the careers of female physicians working in oncology suffer as they have taken on more domestic responsibilities during lockdowns. Recent studies have indicated the trend may be global and long lasting.

A new paper published in JCO Global Oncology showed that the pandemic had an adverse impact on careers on female physicians in India. A survey of more than 1000 Indian physicians found that 90% of female physicians reported an increase in domestic responsibilities during th

Decolonising cancer research: why it matters, what can be done | Cancerworld Magazine

When cancer epidemiologist and medical doctor Nirmala Bhoo-Pathy returned to Malaysia in 2011 after completing her PhD in cancer epidemiology in the Netherlands, she hadn’t expected the move to negatively affect her research prospects. As it turns out, she was wrong. Getting funding for cancer research and getting those results published, she soon discovered, was much harder for researchers based in Malaysia than in the Netherlands.

There were several hurdles: domestic funding was scarce for ep

Doctors in India are reporting COVID-19 patients with gangrene, hearing loss, and diarrhea — but there's not enough data to prove they're caused by the Delta variant

By clicking “Sign Up”, you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy . You can opt-out at any time.

Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you're on the go. download the app

Sign up to get the inside scoop on today’s biggest stories in markets, tech, and business — delivered daily. Read preview

Doctors in India claim that the highly infectious Delta variant could cause unusual symptoms such as gangrene and hearing loss, which they say are becoming more common in COVID-1

Like US and UK, India must prioritise pregnant women for Covid-19 vaccination

Kalyani Agrahari, 27, an assistant teacher, was assigned to poll duty in eastern Uttar Pradesh’s Jaunpur block during the April 2021 state panchayat elections. Eight months pregnant with her first child and advised bed-rest by her doctor, Kalyani asked to be excused from the 12-hour duty at the poll booth that was 32 km from her home.

The district administration not only turned down her application but also threatened her with disciplinary action if she did not report for work. Kalyani, who had

Vaccine waivers alone can’t solve India’s vaccine crisis

India never should have been in this position. The government is currently engaged in international disputes over vaccine waivers and intellectual property rights, while a horrific and record-setting surge of COVID-19 cases continues to devastate its population. The country’s recent vaccine policies — opening vaccination for all above the age of 18 while reeling under severe shortage, allowing the private sectors to sell the vaccine at market prices, and leaving the states to procure vaccines th

Indian politicians encouraged a return to normal as COVID-19 cases fell. Now hospitals are overwhelmed as a 'double mutant' variant takes hold — but mass gatherings continue.

• A second COVID-19 wave is devastating India, where a new "double mutant" virus variant emerged.
• Insider spoke with people on the ground and experts about the threat and ways to address it.
• Politicians so far have largely been unwilling or unable to apply strict restrictions.

Hospitals in India are overwhelmed as the country grapples with a second wave of COVID-19.

There is a severe shortage of beds, the drug remdesivir, and medical oxygen. Desperate patients have been traveling hundreds

Not far from Delhi, India’s most ‘backward’ district lags in Covid-19 vaccination too

Meena Kumari, 29, does not speak about Covid-19 vaccination to the people she meets during her work as an accredited social health activist worker in Bibipur village in Nuh district in southern Haryana. “Villagers threatened me that if I insisted on the vaccination, they would stop even routine vaccinations for their children,” she told IndiaSpend.

Not a single person over the age of 60 years had been vaccinated in Bibipur, said Meena Kumari, by the time we visited in late March, more than two

Indian cancer care struggles with pandemic of late diagnoses and delayed treatments | Cancerworld Magazine

An average cancer patient in India usually seeks treatment three months after the symptoms appear. Due to lack of transport facilities and fear of contracting coronavirus, the time to seek care during the COVID-19 pandemic has doubled, with patients finally going to see a doctor six to seven months after the appearance of symptoms, affecting their prognosis.

Roop Kumar is one of those who has paid the price. It took almost eight months for him to start treatment after the first appearance of sy

2020 saw surge in ‘harassment’ of Kashmir journalists

Journalists have been attacked and press freedom curtailed since India stripped Kashmir of its special status last year.

Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir – For young Kashmiri photojournalist, Masrat Zahra, the fear of getting arrested or summoned by police always lurks around. She was charged under anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), in April this year for posting “anti-national” content on social media.

The case, says 26-year-old Zahra, “is like a sword hanging

Lockdown after lockdown: How access to non-Covid healthcare has been choked off in Kashmir

On a chilly November morning, 54-year-old Arsheeda Akhtar lay under a thick blanket at Srinagar’s Khyber Hospital, waiting patiently for her dialysis session to end. She has been under dialysis for the last five years. Her family, most of whom are labourers, have already spent a lot of money on the treatment.

Under the Ayushman Bharat programme, a government health assurance scheme for low income groups, Akhtar was entitled to free dialysis at the hospital. But since March 2020, her Ayushman Bh

How 'overburdened' anaesthesiologists are silently leading India’s Covid battle

Overburdened due to a surge in the number of patients, they are facing an increased risk of infection to themselves and their families. Moreover, like others, they also have to manage mental health challenges as the pandemic wreaks havoc on lives all over.

From intubating ventilator tubes into Covid patients to treating the most critical cases admitted to intensive care units (ICUs), these lesser known doctors are at the forefront of the public health crisis.

New Delhi: The death of Dr Asheem

'More people with diabetes', late diagnosis — why Ahmedabad has highest Covid fatality rate

But two days later, on the night of 6 June, Khan’s father, who in the interim tested positive for Covid-19, succumbed to the virus. The builder blames the death on the delay in treatment caused by the fact he had to shuttle his father from one hospital to another.

After four government hospitals in Ahmedabad turned him away, Khan finally managed to secure a bed for his father at the Gujarat Cancer Research Institute.

Ahmedabad, Delhi: On 4 June, Samir Khan, a builder residing in Juhapura local

How Covid hotspot Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum, fought against all odds to flatten the curve

In contrast, a few municipal wards of Mumbai’s northern suburbs that had very few cases initially, are now recording a spike of nearly 5 per cent every day.

Fast forward two months, the virus curve in Dharavi, part of Mumbai’s G North administrative ward, appears to be flattening.

Mumbai: Mumbai’s Dharavi, known as Asia’s largest slum, recorded its first coronavirus case on 1 April, sparking fears of a large hotspot in the city. As it stands, India’s financial capital currently has the highest

Frontline duty, limited PPE, 'low immunity' — why Mumbai Police has been hit badly by Covid

For the police force in Maharashtra, particularly the Mumbai Police, has been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also carries hot water along with his lunch, and has a bottle of sanitiser handy in his pocket. While there is no evidence that Ayurvedic or hompeopathic remedies protect against Covid-19, Raut is taking no chances.

Mumbai: Every day before he leaves home for a 12-hour shift, 42-year-old assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Raut of the Mumbai Police pops in four homoeopathic Ar