Friday, March 22, 2013

Children with eye cancer can avoid chemotherapy: Doctors

Children with eye cancer can avoid chemotherapy: Doctors

  • India has 30% of world’s total eye cancer patients
  • CFS launches first National Referral Centre for Ocular Oncology
  • Curtain Raiser on International conference on Squint, Aesthetics and Ocular Oncology                                   

New Delhi, March 22, 2013:  In what could mark a paradigm shift in cancer treatment, doctors have said that children with eye cancer can safely escape the painful post surgery chemotherapy. Most of the retinoblastoma (eye cancer of retina) patients are very young children with the average age at diagnosis at 2 – about 1500 cases are reported every year.  However more than 90% of patients are cured.

Doctors participating in a seminar on eye cancer, organized by leading eye care are hospital chain Centre for Sight (CFS), citing research said that that some children with low-risk retinoblastoma who are treated with surgery can safely skip post-surgery chemotherapy without the disease returning or spreading. And those with intermediate or high-risk retinoblastoma can undergo a less aggressive chemotherapy treatment.

Dr Mahipal Sachdev, Chairman and Medical Director, Center for Sight, said, “This is a super speciality ophthalmology meet, featuring live surgeries, international and national faculty and interactive sessions which brings together 50 experts and 150 doctors from different parts of the country. The meet aims to educate and update the ophthalmologist.” The two-day Oncologists meet will deliberate on various technological advancements in field of Facial Aesthetic, Oculoplasty, Eye Cancer and Squint Eyes. This brings about a new ray of hope for many who crave for beautiful eyes.

Sometimes problems which relate to vital structures around the eyes like eyelids, tear drainage system, orbit etc. take a back seat. So understanding the variety of diseases which affect these structures requires specialized training which is available in only select few centers across the country,” Sachdev added.

Dr Sachdev reiterated that CFS is associated with few of the best super specialists in the field of Oculoplasty, who have rich experience in dealing with all kinds of deformities of eyelids caused by diseases or trauma. Apart from these, Oculoplasty surgeons also cater to the needs of people desiring cosmetic enhancement of their eyes like restoring sagging eyelids, removing under eye bags or lifting droopy eyelids.

Sharing details on Eye Cancer, Dr Santosh G Honavar, first formally trained Comprehensive Ocular Oncologist in India, and Director, Medical Services at CFS said, “India which has 16% of the world population has the dubious distinction of being host to about 30% of the total eye cancer patients in the world with an estimated 10,000 new cases diagnosed every year. Unfortunately we do not have the infrastructure and trained manpower to deal with this emerging crisis and CFS is committed to upgrade its expertise to address this.”

Dr Honovar added that eye cancer is a life-altering disease – it not just can potentially wipe out the vision but also can endanger the eye and the life. Every year, thousands of children and adults are diagnosed to have some form of eye cancer. India harbors a big tumor burden but lacks an organized approach to cost-effective and protocol-based management.

When detected early, complete cure of eye cancer is possible with appropriate treatment. A few decades ago, retinoblastoma was considered to be uniformly fatal, while the current management strategy is able to save life in over 95% of children, salvage the eye in 90% and save vision in earlier stages in 85%. Similarly, multi-specialty approach and protocol-based management have reduced the recurrence rate of eyelid, ocular surface and orbital tumors to <5 and="" awareness="" campaigns="" diagnosis="" dr="" early="" help="" honovar="" hopefully="" in="" mortality="" our="" overall="" p="" public="" said.="" to="" will="">
Dr. Renu Grover, Consultant – Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus, CFS who deals with conditions related to misalignment of the eyes, also known as Strabismus, said¸ “Squint is not only cosmetically unacceptable, but affects other eye functions such as binocular vision and depth perception-each of which can rob you of fine vision and make you unfit for various professions. It is an easily correctable condition and requires prompt medical evaluation.”

About CFS

Since its inception in 1996 Centre for Sight is committed to deliver best quality care with personalized touch and cutting edge technology, to enhance patient satisfaction and to provide continual improvement in its services. With these values in place, Centre for Sight has become India’s leading eye care network with 45 centres across India. Centre for Sight has grown from a single eye care facility to India’s leading eye care network & the largest LASIK Laser vision correction centres across Asia, Africa & Australia.

 For more details, please contact:
Madhu Gautam@ 9810709136, 9958714988
Communications Network

Kerala Tourism’s revenues Rs. 21,000 Cr in 2012

Registers consistent rise in both international and domestic tourist arrivals
Kerala Govt. to roll out Seaplane Project and Project Muziris
New Delhi, 22 March, 2013: Kerala Tourism’s total revenue, both direct and indirect, touched the Rs. 21,125 crore mark in 2012 compared to Rs. 19,037 crore in 2011. God’s own country Kerala witnessed 7.94 lakh foreign tourists arrival in 2012 as compared to 7.33 lakh in 2011. Compared to 93.88 lakh domestic tourists in 2011, 1.01 crore domestic tourists visited Kerala in 2012. The Foreign exchange earnings also went up from Rs. 4,221.99 crore in 2011 to Rs. 4,548 crore in 2012. The iconic rise of Kerala as a global destination continued in the past year as Kerala consolidated its position on the world tourism map with fantastic strides in all aspects of tourism.
Harnessing the powers of the digital revolution, Kerala has projected itself very well onto the social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. The synergy developed between tour operators, property owners, travel agencies and search engines like Google and connectivity solutions like Wi-Fi and mobile internet have resulted in a massive upsurge in foreign interest in Kerala through the world of internet. Every search in Google related to Kerala or tourism in Kerala displays links related to the Kerala tourism website and advertisements of the same. As a result of the concentrated efforts, we could maintain the website of Kerala Tourism as a strong platform for promoting the destination. Kerala has become the number one travel destination in the Google’s search trends for India this year. Munnar is also on the list of Top 10 Indian destinations on Google’s Zeitgeist site showing search trends from around the world.
Successful partnership meets were conducted at Vishakhapatnam, Bhubaneswar, Lucknow, Gurgaon, Bhopal, Surat, Rajkot, Nashik and Pune. This year, Kerala Tourism proposes to conduct such meets in the metropolitan cities as well, like Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi. Kerala Tourism also bagged a number of national as well as international awards such as PATA Grand Award 2011 for Environment Destination – Kumarakom, PATA Gold Award 2011 for Marketing – Secondary Government Destination- Your Moment is Waiting Campaign. PATA Gold Award 2011 – Marketing Media – Travel Advertisement Broadcast Media- Your Moment is Waiting Campaign. The latest additions to this list are the Times of India, Best Tourism Board, 2012, Lonely Planet – India Travel Awards for Best Destination for Families, 2012, along with international awards at Prague International Advertising Festival (PIAF)- Bronze for the Print Campaign – Your Moment is Waiting, 2012, Bronze for the TVC- Your Moment is Waiting, 2011 and at ITB Berlin-Das Golden Stadttor Silver Award for Print Campaign, 2012.
In a move to draw more visitors, workshops were conducted in various International destinations like Sydney Perth and Melbourne in Australia, Warsaw –Poland, Stuttgart and Frankfurt in Germany, Brussels- Belgium, Rome- Italy, Amsterdam- Netherlands, Zurich- Switzerland, Dublin- Ireland etc. Kerala Tourism has also actively participated in international fares like Arabian Travel Mart- Dubai, OTDYKH Leisure- Moscow, WTM – London, MATKA- Finland, Fitur – Spain ITB – Berlin etc. In order to widen its marketing network, and to woo tourists from the Middle East, Kerala Tourism conducted a series of workshops in Saudi Arabia in addition to campaigns in print, electronic media and OOH. Reiterating its pre-eminence as a tech-savvy tourism board in the country, Kerala had recently launched a host of path-breaking mobile-based services and IT-enabled projects to further enhance the travel experience of visitors to God’s Own Country. The new set of products include mobile website, WAP guide, applications for Android and IOS and Bluetooth Kiosks.
Fresh initiatives to seek newer travel experience and increase in tourist sites
Government of Kerala is rolling out two new initiatives ‘Seaplane Project’ and ‘Project Muziris’ in order to enhance the travel experience and add to its array of tourist sites. Where the former project is aimed towards improving last mile connectivity by air to its destinations across state, the latter is directed to reinstate the historical and cultural significance of the legendary port of Muziris. The Muziris Heritage Site (MHS) stretches across from the municipality of North Paravur in Ernakulam district to that of Kodungalloor in Thrissur district. Project’s objective is to promote awareness and understanding of the cultural distinctiveness and diversity of Muziris. More than 25 museums will be there to appreciate the Muziris Heritage.
Kerala Tourism Infrastructure Limited (KTIL) a public sector undertaking under Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, has been appointed as the nodal agency for the implementation of the Seaplane Project. The plan is to provide service initially in the priority circuit, consisting of the three airports of Trivandrum, Cochin & Calicut and the prime destinations viz. Astamudi, Punnamada, Kumarakom, Bolgatty and Bekal in the state. Various activities required for the early launch of seaplanes by this year end, as announced by the Hon. Chief Minister of Kerala, are being completed in a time bound manner.
The land of Kerala is also blessed by the Western Ghats sumptuously. About 40% of its ranges lie in Kerala. Among the 44 rivers of Kerala 41 originate from the Western Ghats. Recognition came the way of this silent guardian when 39 of her serial sites made it to the UNESCO World Heritage list. Among the 39 serial sites selected by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), 19 are in Kerala. The inscribed sites include the Silent Valley Park, Eravikulam National Park, Periyar Tiger Reserve, Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary, Neyyar, Peppara, Chinnar and Aralam Wildlife sanctuaries, which are some of the preferred ecotourism destinations in the State.
The Western Ghats, one of the eight biodiversity hotspots in the world, known for its abundant medicinal plant reserve, will also be the focus of Kerala Tourism’s new Ayurveda campaign. “Kerala is naturally blessed to be the flag-bearer of Ayurveda because of the rich ecosystem available within the Western Ghats,” Tourism Minister A.P. Anil Kumar proclaimed.
Under the department’s quality assurance policy, a visitor looking for therapeutic and rejuvenation programs would be guided by the ‘Green Leaf’ and ‘Olive Leaf’ grading for Ayurvedic institutions. This would be Kerala Tourism’s mark of approval for such institutions. “The Ayurveda we offer is essentially a wellness-oriented treatment to bring about more vigor to one’s system. That is what the tourists look for, Tourism Secretary Suman Billa surmised.
Under this campaign, the average holiday for foreign tourists was expected to go up to 18 days per person from the present average stay of 16.2 days. Plans for convergence medical treatment and holistic approach to healthcare were also on the anvil.
“A lot of people in the State practice the ancient system of medicine. Therefore, propagating Ayurveda will lead to the community getting the benefits,” Tourism Director Rani George concluded. New destinations and new products were being added to the new season’s campaign.

The crisis in Syria is a human rights catastrophe. Over 70,000 Syrians have been killed—mostly civilians, over 3,700 children—since the democracy movement started in March of 2011. And the number is mounting with no end in sight.
Mass atrocities are complex, organized crimes. The Assad regime is supported by "enablers." These are governments, commercial entities, and individuals that provide weapons, ammunition, surveillance technology, troops, fuel, and financial support that sustain the commission of atrocities. Together, these enablers form a supply chain that fuels Assad's crimes against humanity.
We have been tracking this supply chain since the conflict spiraled into a crisis and found that the United States is well positioned to disrupt it. Urge President Barack Obama to stop the supply chain to Syrian atrocities!
President Obama has made stopping mass atrocities a "core national security interest." This manifestly applies to Syria. Yet U.S. efforts to slow or stop the crisis—diplomacy and sanctions against the regime, primarily—have had little effect.
Now, neighboring countries struggle to absorb the nearly one million refugees and regional powers become more involved in the conflict. The possibility of wider violence and instability looms.
Sadia Hameed
Human Rights First

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