Studies have widely documented the socioeconomic inequalities in maternal and child health related outcomes in developing countries including India. However, there is limited research on the inequalities in advice provided by public health workers on maternal and child health during antenatal visits. This paper investigates the inequalities in advice provided by public health workers to women during antenatal visits in rural India.

Original Source

The Indian Medical Association has morphed into a body representing the trade and commerce of medicine rather than the practice of medicine as a whole. Given the increasingly commercial and corporatised nature of healthcare, organisations like the IMA should provide leadership and a sense of direction to the individual medical professional overwhelmed by change. They should protect the individual rights of doctors working in an increasingly cut-throat private sector which uses professionals as pawns in a game.

A recent ruling by Germany's Supreme Court has caused a public storm over the ethical conduct of doctors and drug companies in the country. Rob Hyde reports from Hamburg.

Aaron Kesselheim and colleagues investigate conflict of interest disclosures in articles authored by physicians and scientists identified in whistleblower complaints alleging illegal off-label marketing by pharmaceutical companies.

Original Source

Technically feasible and cost-effective interventions exist to reduce maternal, newborn, and child mortality. This potential has not been fully realised due to the failure of health systems to improve the delivery and uptake of these priority interventions, particularly amongst the most vulnerable women and children. Underfunded investments in maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) are part of the impediment, but unspent funds in a diversity of resource-constrained settings reflect a common problem of low absorptive capacity and the challenges of implementation at the local level.

Legal actions and oversight are necessary to keep the drug industry in line. (Editorial)

Uncontrolled medical treatment in Asia and Africa costs lives and money. David Peters and Gerald Bloom call for governments, firms and citizen groups to get involved.

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation is expected to protect the citizen from the marketing of harmful pharmaceuticals. The fi ndings of the 59th report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare are an expose of the shockingly lax standards followed by this so-called standards organisation, the casual approach taken in certifying drugs for sale, and the unethical and illegal steps taken by some pharmaceutical companies and medical practitioners in pushing for the introduction of certain drugs in the market. Can and will the government act?

We are writing this letter in the context of the apology recently deman­ded by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) from actor Aamir Khan, regarding the episode on 27 May 2012 of his show Satyamev Jayate (SJ) dealing with certain practices of the medical profession. We very much appreciate that the IMA wants to uphold the dignity of the medical profession. However, we feel that minimising the importance of the issues raised by this show and demanding an apology from Aamir Khan is definitely not the most appropriate way of upholding the dignity of doctors.

Premature birth is the biggest cause of infant mortality worldwide, yet most of those deaths could be readily prevented, according to a 2 May report from the World Health Organization (WHO) and child-health advocacy groups. The report summarizes the results of a comprehensive survey of the problem, and says that pre-term births are on the rise —a worrying trend — but that low-income countries could reduce deaths among these infants by introducing a few affordable key health-care practices.

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