The Health News – 14 Nov 2014

Overview

  • Police have detained a doctor who performed mass sterilisation surgeries in central India that left 13 women dead and dozens ill in hospital, a senior police officer has said.
  • Like many other parts of Australia, regional towns in New South Wales are in the grip of an ice epidemic. In the town of Wellington, in the state’s central west, the problem is so bad the place has been dubbed “Little Antarctica”.
  • The extraordinary generosity of ABC viewers – including an anonymous donation of $200,000 – has stunned the management and medical staff of East Timor’s Bairo Pite Clinic and will dramatically improve care and conditions at the overburdened, independent hospital.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 14th November 2014. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-13/india-police-detain-sterilisation-surgeon-after-13-women-die/5889210

Police have detained a doctor who performed mass sterilisation surgeries in central India that left 13 women dead and dozens ill in hospital, a senior police officer has said.

R.K Gupta was detained for questioning late Wednesday in Chhattisgarh state amid mounting anger over the surgeries conducted at a health camp on the weekend, police inspector general Pawan Deo said.

In just five hours, the doctor operated on 83 women who were paid 1,400 rupees ($26) under a government-run sterilisation scheme to reduce population growth.

“He has been taken into custody. He will be produced in the court in the afternoon today. He is likely to be arrested soon after,” Mr Deo said.

He added that police were planning to seize equipment used during the surgeries amid fears that they were infected before the operations were carried out.

The victims suffered vomiting and a dramatic fall in blood pressure after undergoing laparoscopic sterilisation, a process in which the fallopian tubes are blocked.

Sterilisation is one of the most popular methods of family planning in India, and many state governments organise mass camps where rural women can undergo the usually straightforward procedure.

Although the surgery is voluntary, rights groups say the target-driven nature of the program has led to women being coerced into being sterilised, often in inadequate medical facilities.

Under pressure to meet targets, some local governments offer additional incentives such as cars and electrical goods.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-13/ice-scourge-giving-nsw-towns-an-unwanted-reputation/5888804

Like many other parts of Australia, regional towns in New South Wales are in the grip of an ice epidemic.

In the town of Wellington, in the state’s central west, the problem is so bad the place has been dubbed “Little Antarctica”.

It is because there is so much ice – or methamphetamine – available, 29-year-old former addict Joshua Toomey explained.

“Don’t kid yourself that it’s not there. It’s there and it’s knocking people around,” he said.

“People who use [ice] for six years, it’s like they’ve been using [the drug] for 20.

It is a story Norm Anderson knows all about. Mr Anderson runs the Orana Haven Drug and Alcohol Rehab unit, about 40 kilometres south of Brewarrina.

He has clients from Wilcannia, Broken Hill, Bourke, Brewarrina, Walgett, Coonamble, Moree and Wellington.

The CEO of The Glen Drug and Alcohol Centre, Joe Coyte, said ice was overtaking alcohol as the biggest problem for his clients, who come from all over the state.

The treatment program runs 12 weeks and includes group counselling and lots of activities. But the service is worried about its future.

Funding cuts forced the closure of its 30-bed facility in the Hunter Valley and now they are struggling to keep up with demand.

It gets between 10 and 15 requests a week, but only one or two will be accepted.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-13/clinics-crowdfunding-campaign-unable-to-save-e-timor-boy/5886800

The extraordinary generosity of ABC viewers – including an anonymous donation of $200,000 – has stunned the management and medical staff of East Timor’s Bairo Pite Clinic and will dramatically improve care and conditions at the overburdened, independent hospital.

Bairo Pite and its medical chief, Dr Dan Murphy, featured recently in the Foreign Correspondent program The Clinic.

The plight of one sick little boy in particular – eight-year-old Sergio, who was stricken with a cancer that had disfigured his face and neck – prompted many in the audience to ask what they could do to help.

Bairo Pite management established a crowdsource fundraising portal and set a target of $30,000 to fund Australian-based medical treatment for Sergio, and the donations poured in.

Specialist medical expertise was mobilised in Australia and the hope was that the boy would be well enough to fly to Australia for life-saving surgery and treatment.

But in the end the money and the best intentions of some of Australia’s leading paediatric and oncology specialists arrived too late for Sergio.

In an email to contributors, Bairo Pite offered to refund donations to the Sergio fund but hoped the money could be used to help save the lives and relieve the suffering of other critically ill patients.

Dr Murphy, an expat American GP who has been the driving force behind the little hospital for 16 years, said he and his staff had been overwhelmed by the generosity of Foreign Correspondent viewers.

To date, more than $500,000 has been raised since the program went to air and it is already making a difference.

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