H Sudarshan is hailed by the Soligas as their messiah. A doctor who nearly became a monk, he told Down To Earth how he came to work with them. Excerpts from an interview:

The Supreme Court will decide whether medical practitioners can be held guilty of criminal negligence under the Consumer Protection Act.

Doctors and manufacturers seem unperturbed by the ever increasing price of Acetrome, a drug for heart valve transplant patients.

A doctor whose aim once was to treat poor patients, now helps Soliga tribals to assert their rights and choose their own way of development.

A programme implemented in central Kerala shows how an illness can be controlled if the community is involved.

A WHO study notes that While India has achieved impressive levels in food production, equitable distribution is still a distant dream. Chronic hunger still persists, but severe,nutrition related diseases have almost disappeared.

THE FIRST all-India household survey of medical care shows some interesting results. The survey, which was conducted in 1990 in 21 states and Union territories and covered 18,000 households, found

Diseases caused by severe malnutrition have been virtually eliminated.

Crops grown in micronutrientdeficient soils can lead to various types of illnesses.

Dipstick, an inexpensive and quick HIV test developed in the United States, is now being manufactured in India.