Saturday, 13 October 2012

Evidence-based home remedies, please!

By Anna Joseph
Anna is the Communications Officer for the Centre.

I can’t imagine running my kitchen without a steady supply of garlic.
Most people I know in this part of the world would also feel the same way, because of the variety of dishes that it is used in - many meat and fish preparations, curries, chutneys and so on.

That apart, it’s always nice to have it to treat the occasional sore throat as well as for emergencies like when venomous snakes start venturing into your verandah. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, its common practice here to pour water mixed with crushed garlic in places where snakes are not welcome. My mother-in-law sprayed it in her garden, just a few months back, when she was trying to discourage a few cobras that had taken a liking to it.
Did it work? Maybe for a day.
So we like to think.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Let's talk HRT!

Epidemiologist Dame Valerie Beral, who headed the UK Million Women Study
(Photo source:

It’s been more than a decade since the risks of Hormone Replacement Therapy was first brought to the world’s notice. The startling findings were reported by the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) trials conducted in the US. These were then confirmed by the UK Million Women Study, the largest study of its kind in the world. 

Friday, 22 June 2012

26 June - International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

Drug abuse and the illicit trafficking of drugs is a world-wide malaise that has far-reaching consequences because of its direct and indirect relations to crime, corruption and international terrorism. The international day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking is an opportunity to focus on this deeply entrenched social problem. 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Tobacco: not now; not ever

Official picture and logo of the United Nations for World No Tobacco Day


By Anna Joseph.
Anna is the Communications Officer at the Centre. 

Imagine yourself an average xteen-year-old at your favourite hang-out. 

Your bosom pal/hot stranger/class mate/casual friend sitting next to you passes you your first fag – a lit one.
Would you take a drag?

Monday, 14 May 2012

1 million OP poisonings worldwide, every year

Pesticides, plant poisonings and snake envenomation:
South Asia's 'toxic' challenges

By Anna Joseph.
Anna is the Communications Officer at the Centre. 

When I asked herpetologist Gerry Martin (of National Geographic fame) at lunch, Saturday before last, for advice on protecting my dogs against a snake bite – they had already killed two cobras in our backyard – little did I know that tragedy would strike before the end of the day. 

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

White rice-eating South Asia on the brink of a diabetic disaster

Last Thursday, the British Medical Journal reported that higher white rice intake is associated with a significantly elevated risk of type 2 diabetes, especially among Asian (Chinese and Japanese) populations.(1) According to the authors, each serving of white rice, ie nearly 160 grams a day, increases the risk by 11 per cent.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Cochrane for Dummies

by Anna Joseph,
laywoman-turned-Cochrane enthusiast

The South Asian Cochrane Network and Centre, which I joined two weeks back, kicked off its training workshops for the year 2012 with one on ‘Understanding and Using Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses in Informing Health Decisions’.

That’s quite a few unpalatable words for a laywoman and under previous circumstances, this would have been one workshop that I would have avoided, especially if I knew it had anything to do with medicine. I’m married to a doc and I live in a medical community. So I get more than my fair share of ‘medicated talk.’