Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Appeal for funds

I received this appeal a couple of days ago:
Shahnawaz Ghore, aged 26, is suffering from critical mitral stenosis. He requires an early balloon mitral valvaloplasty. The approximate cost of this is Rs 1.5 lakhs, according to his doctor, Dr S A Merchant, Cardiologist.
He is the sole wage earner of his family and does not have the means to raise the funds required. We appeal to kind souls to kindly help this young man.
For further information and to help, please contact Mr Sameer at 922036044.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Visit to Momina

This report in over the weekend from Aparna:

Hi All,

I had made a visit to Momina's house today. Saw the baby. The baby is really tiny. The kids were getting ready to go to school when I reached. School was reopening after a week.

Rahul from TISS had also accompanied me. He got her thumb impression on a few papers. He says Taj will start sending the cheques really soon. They will be sending her a fixed amount every month. That should start in a month or so. He also tried talking to her about starting work which she brushed off.

I gave her the money Sangeeta had sent. I asked her about the money to be given to the landlord. She told me that she has not paid rent for two months. Her landlord also dropped in at that point. I told him that I will give him rent for six months and he should give me a receipt. He said he will not give me any such written proof. We tried to reason with him but he just did not agree.

I gave the money to Momina and have taken her signature on a paper which states that she has received the money from Indiahelps to pay the rent for six months. She said that she might be able to convince him give the receipt and also that she has earlier also given him money and he has not created a problem for her. And he never gives her any thing in writing. I will scan the receipt which has Momina's signature and send it across.

Rahul and I also visited the children's school to get a few papers form there. Met the principal and few teachers. She will send across all the papers required by Rahul on Monday.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Some tips to stay safe from H1N1

I received this the other day as a forward. All the points make sense,
therefore have posted it on India Helps. Thanks Itchy:

Some tips for prevention from AIIMS doctor


Thanks to media hype about H1N1, several people who trust me have
either approached or called me to advice. The hype in media about the
utility of face masks and N95 respirators as a tool for general
protection against H1N1 can't be deplored enough. Yesterday, a friend
who listened wanted me to write down briefly what I advised so that he
could tell others in similar
words. Hence this short email to friends whom I have advised recently
(and others whom I haven't yet). Please realize that this is not an
official advice, especially the one about face masks or N95.

Most N95 respirators are designed to filter 95% particulates of 0.3µ,
while the size of H1N1 virus is about 0.1µ. Hence, dependence on N95
to protect against H1N1 is like protecting against rain with an
umbrella made of mosquito net.

Tamiflu does not kill but prevents H1N1 from further proliferation
till the virus limits itself in about 1-2 weeks (its natural cycle).
H1N1, like other Influenza A viruses, only infects the upper
respiratory tract and proliferates (only) there. The only portals of
entry are the nostrils and mouth/ throat. In a global epidemic of this
nature, it's almost impossible not coming into contact with H1N1 in
spite of all precautions.
Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation
is.While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1
infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms
and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps - not
fully highlighted in most official communications - can be practiced
(instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any
part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).

3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you
don't trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the
throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms.
Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt
water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on
an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and
powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day
with warm salt water. Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra
Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but blowing the
nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds
dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral

5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C
(Amla and other citrus fruits). If you have to supplement with Vitamin
C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. Drink as much of warm liquids as you can. Drinking warm liquids
has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They
wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where
they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

All these are simple ways to prevent, within means of most households,
and certainly much less painful than to wait in long queues outside
public hospitals.

Happy breathing!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Independence Day at our Goregaon Street Schools.

This report just in from Priyanka:

On August 15th, both our street schools got together to celebrate Independence Day.The kids were asked to assemble by 9 am, but most of them were there by 8.15 am itself! They were so excited!! Many parents had also come to see their children perform.
The function took off late as it was raining. The celebrations started with with Ramnik bhai (our primary patron) hoisting the flag and all the 102 kids singing the National Anthem. After this, our tiny kids (5-7 year olds) sang a few nursery rhymes,followed by a few group songs by the kids like 'Itni shakti humme dena data', 'Vijayi Vishwa Tiranga pyaara'. We had a very enthusiatic group of girls dance on 'Me ahe kohli' followed by a 'Radha Krishna' act
We also felicitated the kids who performed well in their exams last year. It was really heartening to see a sparkling scrubbed clean Nandini attend in her crisp neat school uniform!
We ended the function with Ramnik Bhai speaking a few words, a few thank you's and a very big thank you to the teachers for managing to get the kids to perform at such short notice.
By the time it ended we had a massive crowd of onlookers who had stopped by to see the kids perform and the crowd cheering the kids enthusiastically!
The guard outside ICICI bank helped us a lot as well in setting up the flag pole, and the tables and chairs and is definitely more enthusiastic than the staff of the bank!
Like I have mentioned earlier it definitely was the best I-day celebration for me ever. I just hope it only gets bigger and better next year!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Give your time to children in hospital

A lovely initiative which touched my heart, given the number of times my son has been hospitalised and being a first hand witness of the sheer difficulty of keeping a child entertained in hospital and in good spirits. Thanks Chandni, once again for this one:
*Children's Storyteller Program for Little Patients in Hospitals*
All of us have grown up reading a book or stories for kids at some point or other during our childhood days. Even today, many of us can't forget some of the best stories which we had read or heard during those days when we were kids.Also, every one of us will agree that those stories read by us during our childhood have made an enormous impact in making us what we are today as
grown ups...
*Uday Foundation's Storyteller Program *
Our storyteller program is an immersion program that offers volunteers story telling and book reading opportunities for students, professionals, celebrities and anyone to read stories to little patients at bedside of children ward in the hospital.The storytelling sessions will help little patients, and their families, take their minds off the clinical setting of the hospital and their treatments.
Our main aim is to helps children, adolescents and their families to maintain a normal living and minimise fears and anxieties during hospitalisation.
Our purpose is to explore and promote the use of storytelling in healing. It is indeed a very tough for little kids to spend the time in the hospital environment. With the support of our storyteller volunteers, we wish to bring little smile to these little kids with the stories to inspire, nurture and heal.
Apart from story telling our volunteers will also organise different activities such as drawing, singing, playing games, performing plays etc
*So what are you waiting for, Join us today *
You don't need to be an expert to help our child. All you need is just an hour out of your busy schedule. Pls write to us
<>with your basic details like Name, Cell No. and City (initially our Storytellers Program is planned for Hospitals in Delhi and Mumbai only)
*Book Donors *
We wish to establish small libraries in children hospitals with variety of children's books including panchtantra, age old classics, comics, some basic school books or  you may send any new children's book of your choice. Pls write to us at <> with " Book Donor" in subject line.
*Hospitals *
We are already in touch with children wards of both private and government hospitals. Response is over whelming. If you wish to add your pediatric ward in our Storyteller Program or if you would like to suggest a hospital to us, Pls write to us <> . with "Hospital" in the subject line.

*The Uday Foundation for Congenital
Defects and Rare Blood Groups*
Flat No.2, 1st Floor, B-36, Panchsheel Vihar,
Malviya Nagar, New Delhi 110017
Telefax : 9650518703, 9650518704
Email :

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Momina's baby

Her son is doing okay and is to be discharged today. Thank you for your prayers and goodwill.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Information you can use

Pune Swine Flu 24 X 7 Helpline and Swine Flu Help
Pune Swine Flu Helpline
Hospitals in Pune for H1N1 Treatment
Naidu Hospital 020 – 26126242
Aundh Civil Hospital 020 – 27280603/2

Updated List of Swine Flu Screening Centers Hospitals in Pune

Government Wiki for Swine Flu Awareness Pune
Wiki for Swine Flu Awareness in Pune

Mumbai Swine Flu Helpline 108

Hospitals in Mumbai for H1N1 detection and treatment
Kasturba Hospital 022- 23083901/ 02/03/04
Sir J J Hospital 022- 23735555, 23739031,
23760943, 23768400 /
23731144 / 5555 / 23701393 / 1366
Haffkine Institute 022-24160947, 24160961,
24160962 9819064649
Screening and isolation Centres in JJ Hospital, St George and GT, apart from MT AGarwal (Mulund), Siddharth Hospital (Goregaon), Rajawadi Hospital (Ghatkopar), Bhagwati Hospital (Borivali) and among the private hospitals Prince Aly Khan Hospital has confirmed it meets the requirements to be a detection and treatment centre so far.
Screening Centres in Mumbai:
Cooper Hospital (Vile Parle)
VN Desai (Santacruz)
Bhabha (Kurla)
Shatabdi (Govandi)
SKPatil (Malad)
Mahatma Phule (Vikhroli)

Hydrabad Swine Flu Helpline and SMS number
Hospitals in Hydrabad for H1N1 detection and treatment
SMS with the text `H1N1HYD' should be sent to 55352
Government General and Chest Hospital

Delhi Swine Flu Helpline Toll Free (1075)
Hospitals in Delhi for H1N1 detection and treatment
Quarantine Unit at the Indira Gandhi International airport, RML hospital and LNJP Hospital have been made fully ready to deal with the situation.
GTB Hospital, Hindu Rao Hospital, Babu Jagjivan Ram Hospital, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, Safdarjang Hospital, ESI Hospital, Central Railway Hospital and Maharishi Valmiki Hospital

Chennai Swine Flu H1N1 Helpline 044-24321569
Swine Flu Testing Hospitals Chennai
King Institute of Preventive Medicine Chennai
(24/7 Service) 044-22501706

Kolkata Swine Flu H1N1 Hospitals and Testing Centers
ID Hospital
Phone 033-23701251/52

R.G. Kar Medical College and Hospital Kolkata
Phone -033-25557676

Hope to Help

Received this as a forward from Chandni, who has been consistently forwarding me most of the info you see up on this blog. Thanks C, God bless:
Dear All,
Over my numerous conversation with friends, family and associates, I came to realize that all of us want to reach out and help those who need it , but are unable to do so due to lack information or inability to get in touch with the right NGO or cause. We do feel that we should give back to our community, to our city, to our country, but are unsure about how and where we can help. In an attempt to mobilize action, Hope to Help is a small effort to help you lend a hand in that direction.
Started in Mumbai in 2009 by Shruti Arya, Hope to Help is a website to connect you with NGOs and reach out to give back a little. is an online initiative to help NGO's and citizens partner with each other to facilitate action towards common social causes. It is a website that provides a listing of the of NGO'S and their profiles, to help connect individuals to NGO's, in a way where a person can choose the field, area, activity as well as time to devote, and in their own way, give back, a little bit. Please do visit our website and sign-up with us.

We have already an established association with over 60 Mumbai-based NGOs who constantly need volunteers and other forms of help. If you wish to help in any sort of way, for any cause, at any location in Mumbai, Hope to Help will initiate a dialogue with NGOs specific to your requirement and put you in touch with them so you can help out in your own way.
eg if you want to help at childcare facilities as a teacher, in Colaba or Fort, on weekends.. we will look for an NGO that matches your search, and act as link to schedule the activity on your behalf so you can start helping.

For those of you on Facebook, simply copy paste the link below in your browser's address bar and join the group Hope to Help.
We will have regular postings on our Facebook page, so you can choose where and how you want to help.
Alternatively you can just write your preference of volunteer work along with your contact details (email preferred),as a wall-post on the page and a member from the Hope to Help team will get in touch with you.
We also request you to forward this page to as many, so that more and more people can be mobilized into action. We hope this small initiative becomes a larger movement.
Hope to Help is not just for individuals; corporates as well as groups can choose their area of volunteer work and the time they would like to devote to a cause they feel close to.
We would like to request you to be a part of this. It doesn't require anything from your side, expect a few listing details.
Do visit us at and sign-up as volunteer.
Alternatively you can email us on  or contact Deepa Shetty on +91-22-22047946 and we will send you a volunteer sign-up form.

This is our way of gathering momentum to work towards our social responsibility. 

We Hope to Help, and hope you will too!!
Looking forwards to your support
Shruti Arya
Hope To Help
tel: 91-22-22047946/47

Swine Flu Precautions


1. Wash your hands frequently Use the antibacterial soaps to cleanse your hands. Wash them often, at least 15 seconds and rinse with running water.

2. Get enough sleep Try to get 8 hours of good sleep every night to keep your immune system in top flu-fighting shape.

3. Keep hydrated Drink 8 to10 glasses of water each day to flush toxins from your system and maintain good moisture and mucous production in your sinuses.

4. Boost your immune system Keeping your body strong, nourished, and ready to fight infection is important in flu prevention. So stick with whole grains, colorful vegetables, and vitamin-rich fruits.

5. Keep informed The government is taking necessary steps to prevent the pandemic and periodically release guidelines to keep the pandemic away. Please make sure to keep up to date on the information and act in a calm manner.

6. Avoid alcohol Apart from being a mood depressant, alcohol is an immune suppressant that can actually decrease your resistance to viral infections like swine flu. So stay away from alcoholic drinks so that your immune system may be strong.

7. Be physically active Moderate exercise can support the immune system by increasing circulation and oxygenating the body. For example brisk walking for 30-40 minutes 3-4 times a week will significantly perk up your immunity.

8. Keep away from sick people Flu virus spreads when particles dispersed into the air through a cough or sneeze reach someone else’s nose. So if you have to be around someone who is sick, try to stay a few feet away from them and especially, avoid physical contact.

9. Know when to get help Consult your doctor if you have a cough and fever and follow their instructions, including taking medicine as prescribed.

10. Avoid crowded areas Try to avoid unnecessary trips outside. Moreover, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.

Take care everyone!

Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel

Help the Bagmati flood victims

This in from sscribbles:

Spare a thought, help a flood victim

Large parts of North Bihar have been hit by a breach in an embankment of river Bagmati.
More than 50 villages in districts such as Sitamarhi, Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur have been hit by the deluge. The state government is giving 50kg wheat, 50kg rice and Rs.250 as cash to each affected family. Relief work is slow and as many as one lakh people have been displaced. The India Helps team is involved in dispersing the information about the flood and relief work being carried in Bagmati through an NGO Samajik Shaikshanik Vikas Kendra (SSVK).

SSVK is working towards the rehabilitation of the displaced people. Please contribute to SSVK in whatever ways you can. The topmost priority of SSVK is to arrange for the food, clothing, medicines, shelter, and drinking water. Contributions are welcome in cash or kind.

Please note that India Helps is just spreading the informationa and all contributions can be directly made to SSVK.

You can send the DD / Cheque directly in favour of Samajik Shaikshanik Vikas Kendra

( For foreign grant / donations please use this account )
Core Banking
Bank Code: 03266
IFSC Code: SBIN0003266
Account No: 11462682338
General Account Details ( For Indian fund / grant / donations please use these accounts)

IFSC Code: SBIN0003266
Bank Code: 03266
Account No 11462685088
Account Number: 0055F62519-001
IFSC Code: INDB0000055
Savings Account-Multi-City
Rajendra Ram Plaza Exhibtion Road
For further details and clarifications:
State Co-ordination cum Correspondence Office:
Samajik Shaikshanik Vikas Kendra (SSVK)
Lok Shakti Bhawan,
Opp: Ajay Nilayan Apartment,
Nageshwar Colony, Boring Road
Patna – 800001 (Bihar) India

Tele / FAX No.
+ 91 - 612 - 2522077

+ 91 - 94310 25801 / 9973161483

E-mail :
<> info @

<> ssvkindia @

<> ngossvky86 @

<> deepakbharti @

Web :

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Article on Momina's baby in Mumbai Mirror

Read it here:

Thank you Anand, for a sensitively written article.

H1N1 Information

The best way to deal with any medical outbreak is information and awareness. Here is basic information about the swine flu, what it is, what are the symptoms, what you can do to prevent getting it, and more importantly, what should you do should you be running any symptoms.

What is H1N1:
This is what Wikipedia has to say about it. This is what is available on the vaccines. This is what the Health Minister had to say about the current status of H1N1 in India.

Read this:
Swine Flu Symptoms
The swine flu symptoms reported when infected with the swine flu are similar to the symptoms of the influenza virus most are familiar with. The good news is that most people who become infected will do fine and will not have any long term complications. Those who are immune compromised, older or pregnant may be at higher risk of complications or serious respiratory illness. The most common swine flu symptoms include:
Nasal Congestion
Body aches
Joint Pains
Sore throat
Decreased energy
Rarely death in more severe cases, especially from pneumonia.
The viral infection is transmitted to humans who are in contact with swine, although there are several cases of swine flu in people who had no known exposure to either infected people or pigs. Once the species barrier is crossed, human to human transmission can occur with casual contact or airborne transmission, like when one sneezes or coughs. Eating pork products will not cause one to develop the swine flu. Basically, this flu is passed from one person to another like any cold of flu infection.
Prevention of Swine Flu
Washing hands routinely with soap and warm water, and wearing a N99 mask/respirator, such as the Wein ViraMask may also be helpful if you must be in public places. The Wein mask/respirator is strapless and adheres tightly to all faces. When used appropriately, it does not leak. N99 masks provide 100 x more protection than a N95 mask, which are sill a decent option. 3M is also a manufacturer of such masks. If you are planning on traveling by air or train, having a mask available would be a good idea in case it is needed. Also, avoid contact with sick people whenever possible. If you are sick, stay home.
Use alcohol based hand sanitizers to minimize infection risk. Some also use the Wein Air Supply Personal Air Purifier to help reduce exposure to airborne germs. Further, we know that eating healthy food, getting plenty of sleep and keeping your immune system strong can help prevent infections. Vitamin D supplementation may also be of benefit when taken in adequate doses.
Diagnosis of Swine Flu
Remember- most with flu symptoms simply have a viral infection and NOT the swine flu. Maintaining adequate hydration is very important if you contract any viral illness. The swine flu is diagnosed when a physician suspects infection, and sends a nasopharyngeal swab ( a Q-tip of shorts placed about 2 inches in your nose towards your throat) in a special viral collection container to a special lab to be tested.
Treatment of Swine Flu
If you contract the swine flu, there are 2 flu medications which can be helpful. The CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza) for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with swine influenza viruses. These medications can also be used for the usual avian influenza. Symptomatic care is most important. Antibiotics will not help. Ask your doctor about your options. Those at high risk should strongly be considered for treatment with medications. High risk patients include those with diabetes, heart disease, immune compromised, seniors over age 65.
Swine Flu Vaccine
On June 12, a new vaccine was apparently produced by Novartis Pharmaceuticals. If you did receive a flu vaccine this year, it will not offer you protection against the swine flu. Baxter Pharmaceuticals however issued a press release saying they are working on a vaccine also. Whether these will prove to be effective is unknown. In 1976, the swine flu vaccine actually killed more people that it helped (learn more).
A study by Dr. Cannell from California also showed that vitamin D can help prevent traditional influenza infections by strengthening the immune system. A daily intake of 2,000 IU daily should be taken at minimum, by most. A dose of up to 10,000 IU of vitamin D daily for a few days may also be helpful. Talk to your doctor about this. However, there are no studies specifically which show swine flu is prevented by vitamin D. Read more about vitamin D’s potential and the swine flu. or visit the
Talk to your physician if you have concerns or other questions regarding swine flu.

And read this:
The novel H1N1 flu virus is causing illness in infected persons in the United States and countries around the world. CDC expects that illnesses may continue for some time. As a result, you or people around you may become ill. If so, you need to recognize the symptoms and know what to do.
The symptoms of novel H1N1 flu virus in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with novel H1N1 flu virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. The high risk groups for novel H1N1 flu are not known at this time, but it’s possible that they may be the same as for seasonal influenza. People at higher risk of serious complications from seasonal flu include people age 65 years and older, children younger than 5 years old, pregnant women, people of any age with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), and people who are immunosuppressed (e.g., taking immunosuppressive medications, infected with HIV).
Avoid Contact With Others
If you are sick, you may be ill for a week or longer. You should stay home and keep away from others as much as possible, including avoiding travel and not going to work or school, for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.) If you leave the house to seek medical care, wear a facemask, if available and tolerable, and cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. In general, you should avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness, especially people at increased risk of severe illness from influenza. With seasonal flu, people may be contagious from one day before they develop symptoms to up to 7 days after they get sick. Children, especially younger children, might potentially be contagious for longer periods. People infected with the novel H1N1 are likely to have similar patterns of infectiousness as with seasonal flu.
Treatment is Available for Those Who Are Seriously III
It is expected that most people will recover without needing medical care.
If you have severe illness or you are at high risk for flu complications, contact your health care provider or seek medical care. Your health care provider will determine whether flu testing or treatment is needed. Be aware that if the flu becomes widespread, less testing will be needed, so your health care provider may decide not to test for the flu virus.
Antiviral drugs can be given to treat those who become severely ill with influenza. These antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaler) with activity against influenza viruses, including novel H1N1 flu virus. These medications must be prescribed by a health care professional.
There are two influenza antiviral medications that are recommended for use against novel H1N1 flu. The drugs that are used for treating novel H1N1 flu are called oseltamivir (trade name Tamiflu ®) and zanamivir (Relenza ®). As the novel H1N1 flu spreads, these antiviral drugs may become in short supply. Therefore, the drugs may be given first to those people who have been hospitalized or are at high risk of severe illness from flu. The drugs work best if given within 2 days of becoming ill, but may be given later if illness is severe or for those at a high risk for complications.
Aspirin or aspirin-containing products (e.g., bismuth subsalicylate – Pepto Bismol) should not be administered to any confirmed or suspected ill case of novel influenza A (H1N1) virus infection aged 18 years old and younger due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome. For relief of fever, other anti-pyretic medications are recommended such as acetaminophen or non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. For more information about Reye’s syndrome, visit the National Institute of Health website.
Check ingredient labels on over-the-counter cold and flu medications to see if they contain aspirin.
Children 5 years of age and older and teenagers with the flu can take medicines without aspirin, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) and ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®, Nuprin®), to relieve symptoms.
Children younger than 4 years of age should NOT be given over-the-counter cold medications without first speaking with a health care provider.
Emergency Warning Signs
If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care.
In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
Fast breathing or trouble breathing
Bluish or gray skin color
Not drinking enough fluids
Severe or persistent vomiting
Not waking up or not interacting
Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
Sudden dizziness
Severe or persistent vomiting
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Protect Yourself, Your Family, and Community
Stay informed. Health officials will provide additional information as it becomes available. Visit the CDC H1N1 Flu website.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners* are also effective.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
If you are sick with a flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible. This is to keep from making others sick.
If you are sick and sharing a common space with other household members in your home, wear a facemask, if available and tolerable, to help prevent spreading the virus to others. For more information, see the Interim Recommendations for Facemask and Respirator Use.
Learn more about how to take care of someone who is ill in "Taking Care of a Sick Person in Your Home"
Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds, and other social distancing measures.
If you don’t have one yet, consider developing a family emergency plan as a precaution. This should include storing a supply of extra food, medicines, and other essential supplies. Further information can be found in the "Flu Planning Checklist"

If you are concerned about your children:
Serious Swine Flu Symptoms
More serious symptoms that would indicate that a child with swine flu would need urgent medical attention include:
Fast breathing or trouble breathing
Bluish or gray skin color
Not drinking enough fluids
Severe or persistent vomiting
Not waking up or not interacting
Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Swine Flu Symptoms vs. a Cold or Sinus Infection
It is important to keep in mind most children with a runny nose or cough will not have swine flu and will not have to see their pediatrician for swine flu testing.
This time of year, many other childhood conditions are common, including:
spring allergies - runny nose, congestion, and cough
common cold - runny nose, cough, and low grade fever
sinus infections - lingering runny nose, cough, and fever
strep throat - sore throat, fever, and a positive strep test
What You Need To Know
Swine flu likely spreads by direct contact with respiratory secretions of someone that is sick with swine flu, like if they were coughing and sneezing close to you.
People with swine flu are likely contagious for one day before and up to seven days after they began to get sick with swine flu symptoms.
Droplets from a cough or sneeze can also contaminate surfaces, such as a doorknob, drinking glass, or kitchen counter, although these germs likely don't survive for more than a few hours.
Anti-flu medications, including Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamivir), are available to prevent and treat swine flu.
The latest swine flu news from the CDC includes advice that children should not attend summer camps if they have had swine flu symptoms in the previous seven days and that camp staff should be quick to identify campers with swine flu symptoms and separate them from well campers.

(This from

Watch this for the four misconceptions about H1N1:

Finally, stay healthy, eat well, keep out of crowded places, use hand sanitisers and face masks, keep away from people who seem to be ill. Take adequate multivitamins and build up your immunity levels.
And if you are ill with any of the symptoms, get an influenza strain test done by your GP. If your symptoms are caused by Type A virus, you might need to go for an H1N1 test.

Stay healthy everyone.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Update on Momina's Baby

This just came in from Orange Jammies:

I received a call from Dr. Gandhi before I could call him and he said the baby is doing well. He is now also off oxygen and breathing on his own. They are likely to start feeds tomorrow onward. It is too early to assess any damage done. He mentioned that if the baby maintains good health, he will be discharged in a few days, so yay! But please keep praying!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Monsoon helpline initiative from Rise Up

Posting a forward, which seems like a noble initiative:

THE MONSOON HELPLINE - Rise Up's next initiative

This Rainy Season, We've decided to help out all of you in need and give
everyone a chance to help out as well.

Introducing Rise Up's latest initiative, the "Monsoon Helpline*."

We've started helping people since the first showers, but we've finally
decided to go mainstream and make it more easily available to the masses.

You can call us on our cellphones in the case of any emergency or situation
and we'll try to help you out with our team of volunteers!

In case you wish to be a volunteer and help us help others, DO FEEL FREE to
contact us! we need all the help we can get!

Our numbers are,

Kaizad Bhamgara : 9820297774

Nigel Quraishy : 9221006212

Akshay Shah : 9820909043

Government Hospitals authorised to treat swine flu

Information we could use:


King Institute of Preventive Medicine (24/7 Service) Guindy, Chennai – 32 (044) 22501520, 22501521 & 22501522
Communicable Diseases Hospital Thondiarpet, Chennai (044) 25912686/87/88, 9444459543
Government General Hospital Opp. Central Railway Station, Chennai – 03 (044) 25305000, 25305723, 25305721, 25330300

Naidu Hospital Nr Le'Meridian, Raja Bahadur Mill, GPO, Pune - 01 (020) 26058243
National Institute of Virology 20A Ambedkar Road, Pune - 11 (020) 26006290
ID Hospital 57,Beliaghata, Beliaghata Road, Kolkata - 10‎ (033) 23701252
Government General Hospital Near Railway Station,
Trichy Road, Coimbatore - 18 (0422) 2301393, 2301394, 2301395, 2301396
Govt. General and Chest Diseases Hospital, Erragadda, Hyderabad (040) 23814939
Kasturba Gandhi Hospital Arthur Road, N M Joshi Marg, Jacob Circle, Mumbai - 11 (022) 23083901, 23092458, 23004512
Sir J J Hospital J J Marg, Byculla, Mumbai - 08 (022) 23735555, 23739031, 23760943, 23768400 / 23731144 / 5555 / 23701393 / 1366 Haffkine Institute Acharya Donde Marg, Parel, Mumbai - 12 (022) 24160947, 24160961, 24160962
Government Medical College Gandhi Nagar P O, Kottayam - 08 (0481) 2597311,2597312
Government Medical College Vandanam P O, Allapuzha - 05 (0477) 2282015
Taluk Hospital Railway Station Road, Alwaye, Ernakulam (0484) 2624040 Sathyajit - 09847840051
Taluk Hospital Perumbavoor PO, Ernakulam 542 (0484) 2523138 Vipin - 09447305200
Gurgaon & Delhi
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Ansari Nagar, Aurobindo Marg Ring Road, New Delhi - 29 (011) 26594404, 26861698 Prof. R C Deka - 9868397464
National Institute for Communicable Diseases 22, Sham Nath Marg,
New Delhi - 54 (011) 23971272/060/344/524/449/326
Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital Kharak Singh Marg,
New Delhi - 01 (011) 23741640, 23741649, 23741639
Dr. N K Chaturvedi – 9811101704
Vallabhai Patel Chest Institute University Enclave, New Delhi- 07 (011) 27667102, 27667441, 27667667, 27666182
Victoria Hospital K R Market, Kalasipalayam, Bangalore - 02 (080) 26703294 Dr. Gangadhar - 94480-49863
SDS Tuberculosis & Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases Hosur Road, Hombegowda Nagar, Bangalore - 29 (080) 26631923 Dr. Shivaraj - 99801-48780

Update on Momina's baby

From Orange Jammies, who spoke to the doctor.

Just finished speaking with Dr. Manish Gandhi at Shishu and here's what he told me:

Momina delivered at Vikas Nursing Home, 10 minutes away from Shishu Hospital in Ghatkopar. At the time of delivery, the baby cried only a little and then stopped. Dr. Gandhi said this does happen in certain cases, where respiration does not occur fully and normally (e.g. baby is stressed during delivery or does not realize s/he is out and has to respond appropriately) and due to this the baby was transferred to the NICU of their hospital within an hour of birth. He was apparently deprived of oxygen for about ten minutes immediately after birth.

He has been put on the ventilator and has responded adequately to the oxygen given, heart rate is also normalized, however we do not know what the long-term repurcussions of early oxygen deprivation are going to be. He will have to be under observation for 48 hours before any conclusion can be reached.

Momina is obviously not with her child, but there is one person with her, according to the doctor. He is aware of the financial constraints involving Momina's case and said they will do their best to minimize NICU costs, but cannot provide even a ballpark figure right now. I asked him if it was okay to call back for updates and he said I was welcome to do that.

So we'll have to wait and watch for the next 48 hours.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Momina's child in NICU

Latest from Aparna:

I just got a call from the doctor again.

She says the kid was fine as soon as he was born. He cried properly, but now he seems to have developed some complications and they have shifted the child to NICU. The problem is none of her relatives accompanied the child to NICU and the Doctors there have gone along.

She said the bill for the NICU she will not be able to take care. That is something we might have to bear. She will let me know shortly how much it will come to.

Momina Khatoon has a boy

For all those of you who have been following this blog, and the heartwrenching case of Momina Khatoon, who lost her husband in the Vile Parle taxi blast (he was the cab driver), the latest update is that she just delivered a baby boy this morning. This is her fourth child.
Mother and son are both healthy and doing fine, and a big thank you to Dr Manju who has been treating her pro bono through her pregnancy and delivery.
If anyone would like to send in clothes and things for the newborn, please do mail in at or