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India’s health report card before Covid-19 pandemic: explained in 6 charts



The poorest fifth of India’s rural population spent 12 times the poverty line of Rs 972 a month on hospitalisation, out of their pocket in 2019, on average, show data from the recently released National Health Profile. The poorest in urban areas spent, on average, nine times the urban poverty line of Rs 1,407 a month, data show

The National Health Profile is an annual dataset released by the health ministry’s Central Bureau of Health Intelligence. In six charts, we look at its highlights:

India had over 480,000 cases of malaria and dengue in 2019

Pneumonia had the highest death rate of any communicable disease, with nearly 6 men for every 1,000 cases, and 5 women for every 1,000 cases, dying with the disease in 2019.

Malaria and dengue were the most common vector-borne diseases–illnesses transmitted by vectors, such as mosquitos. Over 330,000 cases of malaria and over 150,000 cases of dengue were reported in 2019, making up 83% of all vector-borne diseases.

The most deaths from vector-borne diseases were because of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), a term used to refer to a number of diseases, which include an acute onset of fever and a change in mental status, including confusion, disorientation, delirium and coma.

Japanese encephalitis, of which 220 died in 2019 is, after the eradication of polio, the leading cause of childhood viral neurological infection and disability in Asia, we reported in August 2016.

Hypertension is the most common non-communicable disease in India

The disease pattern in India is changing; non-communicable diseases (NCDs) today make up for a greater share of deaths than do communicable diseases, data show.

As a result India’s health system faces a dual challenge–it has to grapple with diseases such as diarrhoea, lower respiratory infections, tuberculosis and neonatal disorders, while at the same time caring for those with non-communicable conditions, including heart disease, stroke and diabetes, we had reported in November 2017.

In 2019, over 68 million Indians were screened for NCDs under the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke. Of these, 4.3 million were diagnosed with hypertension, followed by 3.3 million with diabetes and 1.3 million with both hypertension and diabetes.

In 2019, India had 187 chickenpox outbreaks, 181 of dengue

India’s Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme was launched in 2004 to detect and respond to outbreaks of epidemics, and captures data on 30 diseases prone to outbreaks. In 2019, the country had 1,677 disease outbreaks–most of food poisoning (345), followed by acute diarrheal diseases (341), chickenpox (187), dengue (181) and chikungunya (72).

Health spending out of pocket

Despite the Ayushman Bharat programme, under which ‘poor deprived families’ receive an annual family health insurance cover of up to Rs 5 lakh for the treatment of diseases that cannot be cured at a primary healthcare center, those in the poorest fifth of the population spent Rs 11,994 out of their pockets on hospitalisation, on average. In urban areas, those in the poorest fifth of the population spent Rs 13,578, on average.

Nearly 40% of the rural population and over 26% of the urban population lives below the poverty line in India, based on 2011-12 data.

To fund hospital expenses, people mostly dip into their savings, while some borrow and some take funds from friends and family.


Here’s Why Lin-Manuel Miranda Cast Michaela Jaé Rodriguez in New Film



MJ Rodriguez

MJ Rodriguez

Legends recognize legends.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s film directorial debut, tick, tick… Boom!, is garnering considerable Oscar buzz, and it’s the musical everyone’s rushing to see this holiday season.

A big part of the movie’s buzz comes from its stellar cast, which includes Andrew Garfield as Rent creator Jonathan Larson, Oscar hopeful Robin de Jesús, Alexandra Shipp, Vanessa Hudgens, and Pose star Michaela Jaé Rodriguez. The gifted cast comes together to form one of the best ensembles all year.

So how did Manuel come to cast Rodriguez, The Advocate‘s Person of the Year, in the movie? He’s admired Rodriguez since long before Pose and in fact saw her perform off-Broadway in a production of Rent. Ever since he’s been a die-hard fan.

“Well, actually it was very simple,” he told The Advocate about casting Rodriguez in the role. “We were working on the screenplay for tick, tick… Boom! and Jonathan had this friend who works in the diner with him and is like a fashion designer. She designs this dress for his girlfriend. And then I was like, well, who’s the most stylish person I can think of? And that was that.”

Miranda also spoke of Rodriguez’s performance as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors at the Pasadena Playhouse as something that stood out for him.

“I don’t know if you’ve seen the footage of [Michaela Jáe] singing ‘Suddenly Seymour,’ where she’s just slaying it,” he said. “But I just knew I wanted that energy involved. And I just think she’s kind of the whole package. She can sing, she can dance, she’s a really amazing actress. So I think the sky’s the limit. I’m really happy she was a part of our film.”

Miranda said Rodriguez was incredible to work with and was a star on set no matter who she was acting with.

“They say never meet your heroes, but she has a genuine star aura around her,” he says. “It’s like a thing you can’t teach. But the camera loves her, she’s a star.”

You can watch tick, tick… Boom! and see Rodriguez in all her glory on Netflix now.

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Hawkeye episode 3 release date and time — here’s when you can watch



Steadying your bows for the Hawkeye episode 3 release? Well, so are we, and since we’re still getting used to Disney Plus shows arriving mid-week, it feels like we’re (practically) about to get a pleasant surprise.

Hawkeye episode 3 date and time and more

Release time and date: 3 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Dec. 1
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Hailee Steinfeld, Vera Farmiga
Showrunner: Jonathan Igla
Episodes: 6

Episode 3 of the Hawkeye show feels like it will pick up right where we left Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, right in the hands of the Tracksuit Mafia. And in the final frames of that episode we got our first glimpse of Echo/Maya Lopez (played by Alaqua Cox). 

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Joe Biden snubbed as courts block compulsory Covid vaccine mandate in three states | World | News



As nearly 782,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States, President Biden is adamant that pushing for all citizens to get vaccinated remains the best solution to slow the spreading of the virus. On Monday, as he addressed the alarming Omicron variant surge, he urged people to get vaccinated, get boosters and wear masks.

Joe Biden said: “This variant is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic.

“We’re going to fight and beat this new variant.”

“In the event, hopefully unlikely, that updated vaccinations or boosters are needed to respond to this new variant. We will accelerate their development and deployment with every available tool.”

The White House has also imposed coronavirus vaccine rules on government contractors, military personnel and federal employees, but all are challenged in court.

On Tuesday, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee saw federal judges blocking the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for contractors.

The ruling prevents the White House from enforcing that new government contracts must include clauses requiring that contractors’ employees get vaccinated against COVID-19.

US District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove in Frankfort, Kentucky, wrote: “Can the president use congressionally delegated authority to manage the federal procurement of goods and services to impose vaccines on the employees of federal contractors and subcontractors? In all likelihood, the answer to that question is no.”

Reports show that 13 similar lawsuits are ongoing across the country regarding the vaccine mandate in some professions.

READ MORE: Joe Biden ‘putting Iran on the path to nuclear weapons!’

The US Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) previously stated that unvaccinated healthcare staff threaten patient safety.

However, vaccine hesitancy in the US remains a problem as only 59% of all Americans are fully vaccinated.

Almost 70% have had at least one shot.

Opponents to vaccine mandates also argue they violate the Constitution and curb individual liberty.

US government workers were required to get vaccinated by November 22.

Still, the White House told federal agencies that they could delay punishing those who did not comply.

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