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Saturday, November 28, 2009

What killed Ranjan Das and Lessons for Corporate India


A month ago, many of us heard about the sad demise of Ranjan Das from Bandra, Mumbai. Ranjan, just 42 years of age, was the CEO of SAP-Indian Subcontinent, the youngest CEO of an MNC in India. He was very active in sports, was a fitness freak and a marathon runner. It was common to see him run on Bandra's Carter Road. Just after Diwali, on 21st Oct, he returned home from his gym after a workout, collapsed with a massive heart attack and died. He is survived by his wife and two very young kids.
                                                     
It was certainly a wake-up call for corporate India. However, it was even more disastrous for runners amongst us. Since Ranjan was an avid marathoner (in Feb 09, he ran Chennai Marathon at the same time some of us were running Pondicherry Marathon 180 km away), the question came as to why an exceptionally active, athletic person succumb to heart attack at 42 years of age.
 Was it the stress?
A couple of you called me asking about the reasons. While Ranjan had mentioned that he faced a lot of stress, that is a common element in most of our lives. We used to think that by being fit, one can conquer the bad effects of stress. So I doubted if the cause was stress.
 The Real Reason
However, everyone missed out a small line in the reports that Ranjan used to make do with 4-5 hours of sleep. This is an earlier interview of Ranjan on NDTV in the program 'Boss' Day Out':
Here he himself admits that he would love to get more sleep (and that he was not proud of his ability to manage without sleep, contrary to what others extolled).
 The Evidence
Last week, I was working with a well-known cardiologist on the subject of 'Heart Disease caused by Lack of Sleep'. While I cannot share the video nor the slides because of confidentiality reasons, I have distilled the key points below in the hope it will save some of our lives.
 Some Excerpts:
 ·        Short sleep duration (<5 or 5-6 hours) increased risk for high BP by 350% to 500% compared to those who slept longer than 6 hours per night. Paper published in 2009.

As you know, high BP kills.

 ·        Young people (25-49 years of age) are twice as likely to get high BP if they sleep less. Paper published in 2006.
 ·        Individuals who slept less than 5 hours a night had a 3-fold increased risk of heart attacks. Paper published in 1999.
 ·        Complete and partial lack of sleep increased the blood concentrations of High sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-cRP), the strongest predictor of heart attacks. Even after getting adequate sleep later, the levels stayed high!!
 ·        Just one night of sleep loss increases very toxic substances in body such as Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Tumour Necrosis Factor-Alpha (TNF-alpha) and C-reactive protein (cRP). They increase risks of many medical conditions, including cancer, arthritis andheart disease. Paper published in 2004.
 ·        Sleeping for <=5 hours per night leads to 39% increase in heart disease. Sleeping for <=6 hours per night leads to 18% increase in heart disease. Paper published in 2006.
 Ideal Sleep
For lack of space, I cannot explain here the ideal sleep architecture. But in brief, sleep is composed of two stages: REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and non-REM. The former helps in mental consolidation while the latter helps in physical repair and rebuilding. During the night, you alternate between REM and non-REM stages 4-5 times.
 The earlier part of sleep is mostly non-REM. During that period, your pituitary gland releases growth hormones that repair your body. The latter part of sleep is more and more REM type.
 For you to be mentally alert during the day, the latter part of sleep is more important. No wonder when you wake up with an alarm clock after 5-6 hours of sleep, you are mentally irritable throughout the day (lack of REM sleep). And if you have slept for less than 5 hours, your body is in a complete physical mess (lack of non-REM sleep), you are tired throughout the day, moving like a zombie and your immunity is way down (I've been there, done that L)
 Finally, as long-distance runners, you need an hour of extra sleep to repair the running related damage.
 If you want to know if you are getting adequate sleep, take Epworth Sleepiness Test below.
Interpretation: Score of 0-9 is considered normal while 10 and above abnormal. Many a times, I have clocked 21 out the maximum possible 24, the only saving grace being the last situation, since I don't like to drive (maybe, I should ask my driver to answer that lineJ)
In conclusion:
Barring stress control, Ranjan Das did everything right: eating proper food, exercising (marathoning!), maintaining proper weight. But he missed getting proper and adequate sleep, minimum 7 hours. In my opinion, that killed him.
If you are not getting enough sleep (7 hours), you are playing with fire, even if you have low stress.
I always took pride in my ability to work 50 hours at a stretch whenever the situation warranted. But I was so spooked after seeing the scientific evidence last week that since Saturday night, I ensure I do not even set the alarm clock under 7 hours. Now, that is a nice excuse to get some more sleep. J
 
Unfortunately, Ranjan Das is not alone when it comes to missing sleep. Many of us are doing exactly the same, perhaps out of ignorance. Please forward this mail to as many of your colleagues as possible, especially those who might be short-changing their sleep. If we can save even one young life because of this email, I would be the happiest person on earth.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

10 Tips to stretch your battery life in Emergency Situations

by Mobile Jorge on August 18, 2009

Since we love our devices so much and they got a lot of usage, here are 10 tips to stretch your battery power to the max when we most need it in emergency situation.

Screenshot0080

These are so good folks especially if you're new to Symbian

Ok, let me explain why post can be a life saver. There are times when one has use the phone all day and the battery is off course suffering from the heavy day usage but you still need to get that call or that email that is really important and this is when these tips will come in handy to stretch out the battery to the max so you're able to get that important communication.

1. Set your screen brightness to Minimum.

One of the things that takes up the most power in your device is the screen. The N95 had a massive screen and a battery that wasnt powerful enough to cope with it. The N95-8Gb solved this with a more powerful battery but with an even larger screen. The N82 screen is pretty modest in comparison so it doesnt take that much power, but the N82's battery is also much smaller than the N95.
Turning down your screen brightness is always a good starting point in trying to save battery power because the more brighter your screen, the more power is needed to keep it that bright.

To turn down your screen brightness go to your menu by pressing your menu button:

Screenshot0081

Go to the Tools folder and then open settings :

Screenshot0082

Under settings go to General :

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Then select Personalisation :

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Then select Display :

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There, select the "Light Sensor" :

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And turn it down to its least value. You'll notice your screen gets a lot darker :

Screenshot0087

Thats all there is to it !

2. Turn off Bluetooth.

There's no sense to keeping your Bluetooth switched on, unless you're transfering some sort of data or paired with a bluetooth headset. When you're locking down on your battery you'll want to stay away from doing both. Bluetooth draws a substantial amount of power, so making sure its switched off is always a good idea.

To do this go to your Tools folder in your Menu and select connectivity :

Screenshot0092

In there select Bluetooth :

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And make sure Bluetooth is switched off :

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3. Make sure WiFi scanning is off.

If there's anything more power draining than bluetooth, its WiFi. Many N-series phones these days come with WiFi. If you use WiFi alot, you've probably noticed how it eats up battery life.

Your phone can also search for new WiFi hotspots whenever you move to a new area. This is pretty useless if you're in a place where there is definitely no WiFi or you're in the middle of nowhere. So switch that WiFi scanning off !

To do this, on your active standby screen navigate to your WiFi shortcut :

Screenshot0095

And make sure it says "WLAN scanning off". If its on, select it and on the menu that pops up, select "Switch WLAN scan off" :

Screenshot0096

4. Set your power saver timeout to its least value.

When you're trying to save battery, you want your power saver mode to kick in as soon as possible. The N80's screen would go completely blank and the only way you'd know the device was still on, was by the blinking LED light. The E71 does the same, and if you hold the center button down for a few seconds, the screen briefly turns back on to show your the date and time. On the N82 and N95, power saver mode is basically just the date and time screensaver. You can also set text or an image as a screensaver but the date and time one is the least battery draining of them all.

To do this, navigate to the same place as step 1 above and instead of selecting light sensor, select Power Saver Timeout :

Screenshot0088

And set it to its least value :

Screenshot0089

Select OK and that's it.

5. Set your light timeout to its least value.

What more can i say here… Lights takes power , so switch them off when they're not needed. If you set your phone's light timeout to its least value, the backlight will switch off faster which means less battery drainage.

To do this, navigate to the same place as in step 1 but instead of selecting light sensor, scroll down and select Light Time-out :

Screenshot0091

Select it and set it to its least value :

Screenshot0090

6. Set your phone's profile to "Offline" when you dont need to make/receive calls.

When you're roaming,or your signal is low, your phone is constantly trying to grab a signal from a matching network. This takes a lot of power. Even in normal everyday use, your phone uses some power to communicate with the network. If you dont really expect to call/receive calls from anyone, switch your phone to the Offline profile. This is basically Flight mode, where you can use all the basic features of your symbian device, except calling and network related features.

If you absolutely must be connected, switch your phone to its silent profile and turn vibration off. This way it wastes no extra power to blare your ringtone and vibrate when someone calls. Anything that saves power is good in this case.

To do this, simply navigate to your profiles via your menu or power button (on shortpress) and select the Offline Profile :

Screenshot0097

Screenshot0098

7. Lay off the gaming, music or data transfers.

Gaming requires constant button pressing, sounds and the backlight is always on. Music is less demanding but your device is still using power to pump out that song that you're listening to. Transfering data by WiFi or bluetooth is also another battery drainer. Try to refrain from these if you're trying to save battery.

8. Lay off the GPS.

Many new N-series and E-Series phones nowadays, come with GPS built in. While this feature might be useful, when its a huge battery drainer. I usually only use my N82's GPS to find out where exactly I am , or to tag a photo or two and then switch the GPS off. There's no sense to keeping it on, unless you have a power source around.

Screenshot0099

On the N82, you might also want to make sure the "record location" feature under the camera application is switched off. This feature searches for a GPS signal and tags your pictures with the co-ordinates. While an incredibly useful and cool feature, when you're trying to save battery life it makes sense to turn it off.

To do this, open your camera application :

Screenshot0102

Go to options then select settings :

Screenshot0103

And make sure Record Location is switched off :

Screenshot0101

Screenshot0100

9. Make sure there are no background Applications running.

You phone is like a computer with RAM. Anything running in the background takes up memory and hence uses power. You'd be suprised how much power a simple application, running in the background, can take.
Hold down your menu key for a few seconds to bring up your task manager and make sure there are no extra applications running in your phone.

10. Lock your Keypad.

Accidental button presses means the lights of your phone come back on, or your phone might accidentally dial out, or an application might be opened , etc.

Screenshot0104

I always lock my keypad to prevent stuff like this from happening. Its a major simple and effective power saver. On your symbian phone you can press the left selection key and the * key to lock your keypad (In the N95 its the left selection key and then the right selection key. In the N81 you must use your keypad lock switch at the top of the device).

Hope that helps ! Have any other battery saving tips that I've missed out on ? Let me know in the comments section ! And if you have other tips feel free to add them in the comments as well. Happy Nokia-ing around :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

By ’50, India will have most people

Country will pip China, boast a 1,198m population

Viju B | TNN 


Mumbai: India is going to be the world's most populous country in the next 40 years, says a report released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Thursday. 
    India will overtake China by 2050, with a population of 1,198 million people, while China will become the second-most populous nation with 1,417 million people by 2050. 
    Currently, China is the most populated country in the world with 1,345.8 million people. India comes a close second at 1,198 million. 
    But China's strict family planning measures, especially the 'one family, one child' policy have yielded results and the rate of projected population 
growth between 2005 and 2010 is just 0.6%, while India grew at 1.4% in the same period. "India's population will grow for, say, another 25 years and then stabilise. We can see a decline in population after that while China had taken population control measures much ahead of us,'' said Dr D K Mangal, state coordinator of UNFPA. 
    Infant mortality deaths in India in the past five years were more than double as those in China and Brazil. While 85 males and 95 girls below five years of age died per a 1,000 births in 
India, in China 25 boys and 36 girls died, and in Brazil, 33 male children and 25 female children died in the same period, the report said. 
    India's fertility rate was 2.44% while China had a lower fertility rate of 1.77%. "The fertility rate also includes parameters like increase in awareness about family planning and reproductive health and literacy. Many poorer countries in African state have higher fertility rate and also higher infant mortality rate,'' Mangal said. 

    The per capita energy consumption of India is 510 kilogram while China's average energy consumption is 1,433 kilogram, the UNFPA report said. 
    India has 30% of its land area under urban cover while China has around 44%. 
    UNFPA officials said social and economic indicators provides a broad trend about the quality of life of people living in these countries and more importantly, the pattern of consumption. 
    "The western model of development of looking at the GDP as the only parameter for growth is going to damage the environment in a big way. We need alternative modes of development which are sustainable so that carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced. 
    Natural disasters like unprecedented floods and droughts are results of global warming and rise in temperature,'' said Vandana Krishna, secretary, department of child and family welfare.



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

We cannot underestimate the H1N1 virus, warn docs

But Approval For Real-Time PCR Machine Was Given By BMC Only Last Week

TIMES NEWS NETWORK 

There has been no change in the condition of the 54-year-old woman who is fighting swine flu and its complications in the special ICU at Nair Hospital since November 14. "She has neither deteriorated nor improved,'' is all that the doctors are willing to say about the Mira Road resident who is on ventilator support. Considering that Mumbai has not had such a critically ill patient in the last month or so, the case is a timely reminder about swine flu and its potential to wreak a havoc. 
    Says chest specialist Dr Ashok Mahasur, "If the temperature dips suddenly, swine flu could certainly come back.'' Across the world, he says, there has been no relaxation in anti-swine flu measures. "We cannot be complacent or underestimate the H1N1 virus,'' Dr Mahasur adds. 

    The first wave of swine flu claimed 27 lives in the city, with 19 occurring in civic hospitals. Over 1,400 patients have tested positive for the virus so far, with over 65,000 screened so far. 
    The problem with swine flu, say doctors, is that its initial symptoms are hardly different from ordinary flu. "Only the critically ill will seek healthcare,'' says Dr Mahasur. But in the critical patients, it's important to get access to medication and healthcare at the right time. Is the city public healthcare system geared for an emergency? 
    Civic additional commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar, who is in charge of public health, believes the corporation's battleplan is ready. "We are in a position to increase, in a short span, the number of ICU beds from 10 at present to 30,'' she says. At present, only Nair Hospital has 10 ICU beds. But other major civic hospitals such as KEM and Sion can organise 10 ICU beds in a short while, say the officials. 
    The corporation has already imparted training to around 400 doctors and 4,000 anganwadi workers to detect the swine flu symptoms at the earliest. "In the first wave, we noticed that 71% of the victims were women and children. We trained anganwadi workers and they can be mobilised to reach out to the community in a short time,'' said Mhaiskar. 

    But the most important tool in the battle against swine flu would be the special laboratory to test swine flu samples at affordable costs. While the BMC had promised in August to set up the lab within a couple of months, the civic laboratory is likely to open only in December. Mhaiskar clarifies that it was only last week that the civic standing committee approved the expenditure to procure a real-time PCR machine. "The process of procuring the equipment has begun, but it will take another three weeks before the laboratory is ready,'' she adds.







Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mumbai held its breath, but cyclone Phyan blew over

IT SCARED the maximum city literally out of its workplaces, but ended up as a calamity that never happened. The cyclonic storm 'Phyan', which threatened to hit Mumbai on Wednesday afternoon, crossed the western coast close to Mumbai, but spared the metropolis and weakened without causing any major damage. 

    But the threat of a menacingly approaching storm, caused by what the meteorological office termed as a "deep depression", created panic, elicited unusually prompt precautionary measures, and resulted, finally, in an unofficial holiday in Mumbai. With incessant showers lashing the metropolitan region, Konkan and several other parts of the state on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, the scare of the cyclone became too real for the BMC and state government to intervene early. The BMC ordered closure of all schools and colleges in Mumbai and the state governmentlater extended it to Thane also. 
    Even offices and workplaces, except those looking after essential services and civic duties, announced an early end to the day so that people could leave early. The railways and BEST
pressed into service additional local trains and buses to carry people home in the afternoon hours.However, the cyclone alert was withdrawn by evening. "The cyclonic storm has crossed the coast between M umbai and Alibaug at 1530-1630 hours and will further move towards north and north east. It is expected to weaken within the next six hours," IMD (Mumbai) Director Sati Devi said Due to continuous showers all through Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, there were traffic jams, overcrowding and flooding in different parts of the city. But the BMC advisory and public awareness — post-July 26, 2005 deluge — had the desired effect, with the city looking surprisingly deserted by late afternoon. 
    Incessant showers in the morning, the BMC advisory, a high-tide alert between 3 pm and 5 pm, a turbulent sea, all contributed to forcing people out of work
places early. The two main suburban railway stations — Churchgate and CST — were crowded by afternoon, much before the usual peak time of 6.30 - 8.30 pm. 
    Continuous rains also lashed Pune, most parts of Western Maharashtra, Vidarbha and Nashik, affecting normal life and damaging crops, mainly cotton and grapes. The Met department has predicted heavy to very heavy showers in the city on Thursday as well.

The Mumbai sea front perfectly reflected the stormy day, while fliers faced delays and cricket lovers a washout.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Centre to infuse life into health plans, protect 6 crore poor families too

THE insurance regulator has proposed a new consolidated health and life cover for over six crore poor families that will replace all existing insurance schemes sponsored by the central and state governments. 

    The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) plans to provide every poor family a life cover of Rs 1.5 lakh and a medical cover of Rs 1 lakh. An integrated cover will cost Rs 1,500 per annum, of which the Centre will bear half the premium and the rest will be shared equally by the states and the beneficiaries. 
    The proposal, estimated to cost Rs 12,000 crore, will cover most families in the unorganised sector and will replace all other central and state-sponsored insurance schemes. The insurer, who underwrites the policy, will also get a profit, making the scheme commercially viable. "We analysed the risk profile of poor families and families in the unor
ganised sector. A universal social insurance plan to provide insurance cover to eight crore families in the unorganised sector, which includes six crore families living below poverty line, could be a viable alternative to the plethora of schemes being run now," said J Hari Narayan, chairman of Irda. The proposal is being examined by the Thirteenth Finance Commission, which is a constitutional body that recommends formula for sharing revenues between the Centre and the states. 
    In this case, the Centre's share of the premium works out to around Rs 6,000 crore per annum, and about Rs 30 a month for a poor family. 
    Today, both the Centre and the states spend over Rs 4,000 crore on social insurance 
schemes with different claim ratios. It is believed that the insurance coverage and costs can be optimised with a well-designed scheme that integrates all the risk covers: health, partial and full disability, and death. 
    "This can be a major poverty alleviation programme as most families that move out of the below-poverty-line segment slip 
back when a major calamity strikes the family," said a senior Irda official who was involved in drafting the new plan. 
    Government-sponsored insurance schemes include the flagship Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) that provides health insurance to poor households and Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana (AABY) that offers death and disability insurance to the unorganised sector. 
    Among the states, the Andhra Pradesh government offers one of the most popular free health insurance schemes called Rajiv Aarogyasri, which had been proposed by the late chief minister YS Rajasekara Reddy. 
    Irda has analysed efficacy of all domestic insurance schemes and has examined healthcare plans in various countries including UK's public health system, National Health Service. Universal healthcare systems differ across the world according to the extent of a government's involvement and the funding model. In the UK, Spain and Nordic countries, the government is involved in a big way in the commissioning or delivery of healthcare services. In the US, on the other hand, healthcare services are largely owned and operated by the private sector. 

MAJOR RELIEF 
What's in it for poor families? 
Every poor family will get a life cover of Rs 1.5 lakh and a medical cover of Rs 1 lakh 
This programme will help families avoid slipping back into poverty when a major calamity strikes them 
A beneficiary will have to shell out just a fourth of the Rs 1,500 per annum premium for the cover. The Centre will pay half the premium and states will pay the rest 
What's in it for governments? 
The governments will get a viable alternative to the plethora of schemes being run now, which cost them Rs 4,000 cr a year 
What's in it for insurers? 
The insurer, who underwrites the policy, will also get a profit



Saturday, November 7, 2009

Canadian Government honours FOCUS and the Ismaili Council for Canada


Gulam Juma, Coordinator of the FOCUS International Coordinating Committee and Mina Mawani, CEO of the Ismaili Council for Canada accepted a letter from the Government of Canada, recognising and honouring their respective organisations for their work in refugee settlement since 1992. Photo: Courtesy of FOCUS

Gulam Juma, Coordinator of the FOCUS International Coordinating Committee and Mina Mawani, CEO of the Ismaili Council for Canada accepted a letter from the Government of Canada, recognising and honouring their respective organisations for their work in refugee settlement since 1992. Photo: Courtesy of FOCUS

Each year, millions of people around the world are forced to flee their homelands to escape persecution, war or severe human rights abuses. Often, these people are permanently displaced and are never able to return home. Following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, and the subsequent civil war, millions of people sought refuge in neighbouring Central and South Asian countries. Many also found themselves fleeing to North America, Europe and other countries to find a safe haven and start a new life.

On Friday, 9 October 2009, Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) and the Ismaili Council for Canada, together with a number of other organisations, were honoured for their work on refugee settlement at a ceremony in Toronto.

The occasion marked the 30th anniversary of the Private Sponsorship Program run by the Canadian Government, which has facilitated the admission of over 200 000 refugees to Canada, allowing them to build new lives for themselves.

In a letter presented by Judge Patricia Phenix to Gulam Juma, Coordinator of the FOCUS International Coordinating Committee and Mina Mawani, CEO of the Ismaili Council for Canada, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, wrote:

"The work you undertake in supporting refugees is a voluntary act, motivated by compassion, caring, and desire to take an active role in protecting refugees… I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude for your contribution and personal sacrifice, which has allowed Canada to fulfill its humanitarian commitment to assist victims of persecution, human rights violations, and injustice from around the globe. The support from you and your organization has saved lives and ensured that sponsored refugees contribute to the social economic, political and cultural life of Canadian society."

Through protocols with the Canadian and Quebec governments between 1992 and 2001, refugees from Afghanistan and Kosovo were settled in Canada by FOCUS on behalf of the Ismaili Council for Canada.

Over the last 15 years, more than 10 000 refugees or approximately 2 300 families have been assisted through the resettlement programme.

The resettlement programme has ensured that newly settled families have had access to resources, support assistance and basic needs such as shelter, food, clothing, information, orientations and practical assistance to help them adjust to their new living and work environments, as well as gaining necessary life-skills. The programme has also played an important role in supporting activities and initiatives that enable families and individuals to have access to education, health services, language training, job preparation and placement or additional training and education aimed at upgrading, accreditation and credentials.

Through their own hard work and the support provided by the Ismaili Council for Canada and FOCUS, newly settled members of the Jamat have been able to establish good foundations and achieve success in their lives. Some have even been able to return to Afghanistan to assist its rebuilding, and in strengthening the leadership capacity of the local Jamat.

Focus Humanitarian Assistance is affiliated with the Aga Khan Development Network, a group of institutions working to improve opportunities and living conditions, for people of all faiths and origins, in specific regions of the developing world. Underlying the establishment of FOCUS is a history of successful initiatives to assist people struck by natural and man-made disasters in South and Central Asia, and Africa.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pneumonia claims a kid every minute in India


2 Million Children Under 5 Die Annually In World, India Accounts For 40% Cases

Nirmala M Nagaraj | TNN 


Bangalore: Every minute, a child dies of pneumonia in India, followed by Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Annually across the world, two million children under five years of age die of pneumonia. In fact, it contributes to almost 20% of childhood mortality cases, more than AIDS, measles and malaria combined, according to data published by World Health Organisation in the Lancet Journal in September. 
    In India, the main culprit is malnourishment—47% of the paediatric population suffers from low immune systems. "Lack of good nutrition, polluted air and poor hygiene are the main causes of pneumonia. Premature babies are at higher risk, so by improving maternal nutrition, low-birth premature babies can be prevented and by tackling malnourishment, improving immune system and controlling air pollution, pneumonia can be prevented. Better access to antibiotics can control mortality due to the disease,'' said Dr H Paramesh, national president for respiratory disease chapter of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics. 
    Environmental factors have increased a child's 
susceptibility to pneumonia, especially among those living in crowded homes, exposed to indoor air pollution caused by using biomass fuels for cooking and parental smoking habits. Due to this, India accounts for almost 40% of worldwide childhood pneumonia cases, and among children who survive Hib meningitis, about 30% suffer from major disabilities. A vaccine appears to keep it at bay, but costs a lot. Despite this, in two African countries, Rwanda and the Gambia, pneumococcal vaccine is introduced in the routine immunisation schedule. Immunisation against HIV, pneumococcus, measles and whooping cough (pertussis) can prevent pneumonia. 
    Says Dr Paramesh: "The pneumococcal vaccine can prevent infection from only one particular bacterial germ, and three doses of this vaccine cost more than Rs 10,000. So, apart from being expensive, the vaccine doesn't assure complete protection from all types of pneumonia. Even in the African countries, where the vaccine has been introduced in routine immunisation programme, there have been regular instances of pneumonia outbreak due to viral, fungal and other types of bacterial germs.'' However, according to the Indian Academy of Paediatrics, pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics, but unfortunately, less than 20% of children with pneumonia receive antibiotics. One-fourth of HIV-infected infant deaths are caused due to pneumonia in India. 

WHAT'S PNEUMONIA 

A lung infection that leads to cough, fever and makes breathing difficult. Pneumonia infection is caused by viruses and fungi, but most pneumonia deaths are caused by bacteria like haemophilus influenza type b and pneumococcus 

Globally, 15 countries contribute to three-quarter of childhood pneumonia cases: 

INDIA ( 44 m) CHINA ( 18 m) NIGERIA ( 7 m) 
PAKISTAN ( 7 m)BANGLA ( 6 m) INDONESIA ( 6 m)



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