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Dr Chandrashekar: Kids under 6 prone to lead poisoning

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Children under the age of six are more vulnerable to lead poisoning. 

Developing children are sensitive to even small amounts of lead, which reduces learning ability, causes brain damage,  hyperactive behaviour, neurological problems, attention deficit disorders, major organ failure or even death. Schoolchildren and especially infants, occupationally exposed workers are more susceptible to the effects of absorbed lead.

These concerns were raised at an awareness workshop on prevention of lead poisoning organised here on Friday by the National Referral Centre for Lead Poisoning in India (NRCLPI), Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, St. John’s Medical College and St. John’s College of Nursing on Friday.

Dr K Chandrasekhar, Senior Environmental Coordinator, Occupational Knowledge International/National Referral Centre For Lead Poisoning In India, St John's Medical College talked about the environment and various toxins present in the environment.  
In the poorest regions of the world an estimated one in five children will not live to see their fifth birthday, primarily because of environment-related diseases, he said.

Environmental hazard

Lead poisoning is the most serious environmental health threat to children and one of the most significant contributors to occupational disease, said Dr Chandrashekar. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 120 million people are overexposed to lead (approximately three times the number infected by HIV/AIDS) and 99 percent of the most severely affected are in the developing world.

Dr Geraldine Menezes talked about effects of lead on health which included damage to the brain and nervous system in children up to age 4, impaired growth and IQ, social and behavioural problems, poor hearing and learning difficulties and hyperactive and aggressiveness in children. It also causes loss of libido, infertility, aggressiveness and higher blood pressure, loss of appetite, constipation, anaemia, paralysis, fits, swelling of the brain, seizures, coma and death in adults. In pregnant women and unborn children, pre-term delivery, low birth weight and miscarriage and stillbirth are the problems.


Johnite Role in Global Initiative Of A Silent Condition

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Dr Vasan Satya Srini a Johnite(1976) is a member of the International Continence Society.This year he has been elected trustee of this society and the society has announced the First World Incontinence week, the last week in June 2009.Vasan is in charge of this development for the next three years .This condition affects over 200 million people world wide. Here is the media announcement to be released to the press:

The International Continence Society announce the first World Continence Week to be  held from Monday June 22nd to Sunday June 28th 2009 (with subsequent World Continence Weeks held in the last week of June). 

DATE: The 38th annual meeting of the International Continence Society (ICS) will be held in Cairo, Egypt from 20 to 24 October 2008. The official ICS press conference will take place on Wednesday 22nd October from 17.30 hrs. It will include a presentation on the Public Forum of the Continence Promotion Committee and it will also see the official launch of the World Continence Week.

World Incontinence Week

The International Continence Society Continence Promotion Committee will launch the first World Continence Week (WCW) at its forthcoming annual meeting. WCW is an opportune time to raise awareness about the estimated 200 million people across the world coping with issues of incontinence. In light of this, the theme of the annual meeting is ‘Incontinence Care for Everyone’ which reflects the primary purpose of the WCW campaign. This global initiative will seek to draw attention and to increase public awareness about this silent condition and to give sufferers the confidence to seek help and improve their quality of life.  World Continence Week will always be held from Monday to Sunday in the last week of June; in 2009 this will be 22nd to 28th June.

 The vision of the WCW is to globally facilitate Continence Awareness and Promotion to improve health, wellness and quality of life. It will aim to provide a reputable forum for those seeking information on Continence Promotion and therapies. It will create a network of events and organisations that will be recognised as leading authorities of Continence and Bladder Health information. In addition it will further establish Continence Awareness and promote a multidisciplinary approach to treatment.   Public Forum:The International Continence Society Continence Promotion Committee has established an annual Public Forum with the aim of raising Continence Awareness and tackling the stigma attached to this sensitive issue. The second public forum to be arranged will take place on Friday 24th October at the Intercontinental Citystars Hotel, Cairo Egypt. The ICS is encouraging local people to come along to have the opportunity to listen to the experts and become more informed about their condition and treatments available.  Press members will receive complimentary registration, exclusive use of the press centre where there are workstations, internet access, printing facilities and designated interview areas.ENDSFor further information contact: Avicia Burchill, Administrative Manager, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   

International Continence Society -
ICS 2008 –
Press registration for ICS 2008 – e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.

World Continence Day is a global initiative to address the increasing needs of 200 million people across the world who suffer from the often silent problem of incontinence.This initiative seeks to draw attention towards the communities and groups in both developed and developing countries for whom access to quality healthcare still remains a distant dream. The campaign’s principal motto is: ”continence care for everyone, especially the disadvantaged and the vulnerable”. This motto appropriately reflects the cardinal purpose of the campaign to globally facilitate Continence Awareness and promotion to improve health, wellness and quality of life.


1.To allow innovative country or organisation specific programs to help create awareness, plan strategies and alleviation programs for the millions suffering from incontinence.

2: To allow active participation of the public sector, governmental/non-governmental, charitable and other organisations; to share common resources and facilitate a common path approach in creating awareness and support for incontinent sufferers.

3. To create a network of events and organisations that will be recognised as leading authorities of Continence and Bladder Health information.

4. To plan multidisciplinary approaches to treatment, to forge links with other organisations to create awareness, to develop country specific unique models, and share this information globally in an easily accessible format.

5. To further establish Continence Awareness and promote a multidisciplinary approach to treatment and management.  The country specific local Continence organisations will be linked through the ICS Continence Promotion Committee, which will provide guidance, support and promotional materials to help you run activities in your country. We will also provide a comprehensive database of continence products and manufacturers.

For further information contact the ICS Office at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Phone: +44 117 9444881 Fax: +44 117 9444882
19 Portland Square, Bristol, BS2 8SJ, UK

To Know more about Dr Vasan Srini please refer to this link    


Distinguished Professor Award: Sylvia Kamath, MD

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Dr. Sylvia Kamath: the very name, back in 1976, sent shivers of apprehension down our spines. We’d heard of her reputation as a tough teacher who took no nonsense. Our class was fortunate (or so we thought) that she was on sabbatical leave early that year, but some of us soon discovered that she was appointed our guardian for the duration of medical school, and we first met her in this capacity.

She took her role as guardian very seriously and commanded us to attend her get-togethers. Not knowing what to expect, we attempted lame excuses but she would have none of it. Her “wards,” as we were dubbed, were pleasantly surprised when we were welcomed with open arms through her warm and delightful family, mouth-watering home cooked meals, spectacular home made ice cream and lilting voice at the after-dinner sing-song. That year we also witnessed her inspiring performance in the Opera “The Merry Widow.” I think we would all agree that we were blessed to have been in the presence of a teacher whose skill stretched far wider than just in academics. As a musician, instructor, and parent, we had a talented teacher who was a role model to us all.

Although Dr. Kamath gave us a great deal of enjoyment, in no way shape or form was her strict reputation a myth. She transformed the cadaveric, factual and often dull subject of anatomy into a lively one with her wit and gentle sarcasm at our atrocious anatomical errors. We trembled with fear at those dreaded Viva-Voces but I do not think any one of us has forgotten his or her anatomy or its applications to our current practice of medicine.

Outside the Anatomy Department she has continued to be warm and approachable and we have maintained a wonderful relationship with her over these past 25 years. Her ties with the NA chapter of the alumni association grew stronger during her years as Professor of Anatomy in California and will continue to grow —she also happens to be the mother-in law of two of the alumni!

On behalf of all her students, I would like to extend to Dr. Kamath our heartfelt gratitude for all she has been to us-a great teacher, mentor and friend.

Lygia D’Sa, MD


Distinguished Professor Award: Joseph Antony, FRCS, FACS

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Surgeon without Peer, Educator, Humanitarian - anyone of these accomplishments would make a life complete. But Dr Joseph Antony has succeeded in combining all these and more during a life time of achievements of which we, the Johnites, have been the major beneficiaries.

Amongst the earliest arrivals in the clinical faculty at St John’s Medical College, Joe excelled in the craft of surgery — neat, precise and successful with a minimum of wasted movements, the hallmark of an efficient surgeon. Both in General Surgery and Urology, a new discipline in Bangalore at that time, he demonstrated skills that made successful surgical outcomes not a matter of chance but of skill, knowledge and dedication. His work ethic and consummate surgical abilities have influenced a generation of young men and women at St. John’s to follow his example and choose surgery as their dedicated mission in life. I for one would have had a different life and career path but for him . Joe, for that and much more I am eternally grateful to you.

When I went to Millard Fillmore Hospital In Buffalo, New York, to do my general surgical residency (of course, thanks to Joe’s recommendation,) I had a very high standard to live up to. For Joe had been the very first Indian resident surgeon in that program and had established a high standard that not only facilitated my acceptance into that program but also necessitated that I live up to the level of excellence that he had set forth. Needless to say I had several sleepless nights .I did not want to let him down...Years after he had left the scene, Joe was loved and respected at Millard by those that had come to know him.

The values that you displayed in your day to day life both at home and abroad have influenced so many of us to be caring and considerate surgeons. We thank you for that role. After a spectacular career in surgery that impacted the lives of the famous including movie stars and the not so famous when Joe decided to call it a day life dealt him some unexpected blows. He lost his beloved daughter and his life mate in quick order. It has been said that the measure of a man is defined in how he deals with adversity and thank God, Joe has faced this with typical tenacity and determination. Much as he grieved, so did he put his enormous talents to work. In quick order he put together a charitable trust that facilitates the education of health care professionals destined to play leadership roles. We, who know Dr. Joseph Anthony well that much more, will be accomplished by this remarkable human being in the days ahead.

Already his accomplishments have earned him a place of honor in the St John’s Hall Of Fame and just as importantly in our hearts.

Joe, we wish you happiness and God speed in your endeavours.

Mohan Peter, MD
First Batch


Dr Ashwin C Mallipatna :His efforts and others to help in diasters

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Saturday, August 4, 2007

St.John's Diasaster Relief Effort

As news of the Kashmir earthquake broke out on the 8th of October, St.John’s was immediately in contact with St.Joseph’s Hospital in Baramulla. The St.Joseph’s Hospital is one of the hundreds of Rural Bond Centers, at which the graduates of the medical college have spent two years in the service of the underprivileged. The hospital itself dates to before the Indian Independence and has been witness to the violence of this disputed region of Kashmir. The adjacent St.Joseph’s School was doubling as the base camp of the Relief Team coordinated by three non-government organizations, namely Caritas (India), Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Catholic Social Service (CSS).

The Relief Team in St.Joseph’s School, Baramulla, informed St.John’s that a medical team from Delhi had already reached Baramulla to help with the relief efforts. On consultation with the members, we were assured that we will be notified when further medical assistance is required. The call eventually came on the 17th of October. As requested by the Relief Team in St.Joseph’s School, two doctors were dispatched from St.John’s Medical College Hospital to help with the relief efforts in Baramulla.

The doctors were flown to Srinagar immediately, and reached Baramulla the same day by road. They remained in Baramulla for a period of ten days during which they were frequently trekking to remote villages, including those in the worst hit Uri tahsil (Baramulla District). They were involved in all aspects of the relief efforts and provided their service up to the Line of Control bordering Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. They worked under the expert direction of the relief team at St.Joseph’s School, Baramulla.

Although only two doctors were dispatched to Baramulla from St.John’s, they were not the only alumni of St.John’s in Baramulla. The two doctors from Bangalore met four alumni of St.John’s in Baramulla (one doctor and three nurses) who had come in from various parts of India to help in the relief efforts. The commitment of the alumni of St.John’s to the service of the underprivileged is obvious in such relief efforts.

A terrible fate for Kashmir

An estimated 3.3 million were left homeless in Pakistan. As of 21st October, the Pakistani government's official death toll was 53,182 (including more than 13,000 killed in North West Frontier Province), with reports of 1,360 deaths in Indian-administered region of Kashmir. However, officials from the affected areas in Pakistan have estimated the country's death toll to be much higher, at 79,318. The latter number may be more accurate, as on November 2nd the Pakistani government issued a revised figure of 73,276. The death toll is expected to rise further.

In India, there are over 1,300 dead and 6,000 injured. The most affected region in India is the Uri tahsil (Baramulla district), which is situated within 100 kilometers from the epicenter of the earthquake. About 90% of the families living in the region were affected by the quake. Damage to houses and buildings in other areas of Jammu and Kashmir has also been reported. The main minaret of the Hazratbal shrine, which houses a relic of the Prophet Muhammad, was damaged. The 200-year-old Moti Mahal fort in Poonch district, Kashmir, collapsed. Buildings in Delhi and Amritsar were damaged, and tremors caused panic in Gujarat. The tremors were also felt in Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh.

In keeping with a traditional duty since independence, the Indian Army has undertaken a key role in coordinating and running relief operations. In the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, the critically injured were treated at Srinagar's SMHS hospital and the Uri Field Hospital, with many makeshift medical facilities set up to help the injured.

Many areas in the Baramulla district, with 15,000 people, remained inaccessible to relief. Most of the affected areas are in mountainous regions and access had been further impeded by landslides that have blocked the roads.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Disaster Relief Team - St.John's Medical College, Bangalore, India

When television news began to bring reports of the terrible tsunami disaster along the South Asian coastline into our own living rooms, it once again galvanized us into doing something once again. As on the 13th January 2005, there had been over 126 docuemnted earthquakes and tremors daily on the islands following the 9.1 scale. Not many know that the St. John’s Medical College Hospital, Bangalore, has a tradition of responding to Disasters over the last 34 years. This response has included eight teams to the refugee camps post 1971 war in West Bengal, 1983 Bhopal Gas Tragedy, the 1977 Andhra Pradesh cyclone, the 1991 Bangladesh cyclone, 1993 Latur Khilari earthquake, 2000 Orissa super cyclone, 2001 Gujarat earthquake and now this tsunami disaster. Being the only medical college in India with over seven past experiences behind them and a Disaster Relief and Training Unit, they have been a lead health resource for the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) Bangalore’s Disaster Management training courses for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers. This tsunami disaster was one of our fastest and deepest responses. We were the first and only voluntary non-governmental medical team south of the Andamans in the Nicobars.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Photographs of Teresa Island

Destroyed Nicobari Village Posted by Hello

Team on Teresa Island Posted by Hello

Dispensing Medicines
Posted by Hello 

The First Team: (Left to Right)
Dr. Robert
Dr. Kiran
Ms. Suma
Dr. Ashwin
Ms. Shalini
Dr. Sanjiv - Team Leader
Dr. Aril Posted by Hello
Dr Mallipatna also has his own blog on his specialty Retinoblastoma

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