Inauguration of Fourth HERD Pharmacy

HERD Pharmacy, an emerging chain of medical stores in Nagpur is a unit of HERD Group of Companies that launched several disparate new businesses few years back. In the space of two years HERD Pharmacy has set up four medical stores across Nagpur. Located in Ravi Nagar, Gayatri Nagar, and Hazari Pahad, this fourth medical store opens up in the busy Khamla Square section of the city.

Spread over 1000 sq. ft. over a double storey structure having a mezzanine floor it has fairly larger premises with plentiful space. The newly spruced up store was inaugurated at the hands of Mr Abhishek Jain, in the presence of HERD staff members and parents of Dr Amol and Dr Suchika Deshmukh. The team had spared no effort in putting up a wonderfully welcoming display on the premises, replete with suitable décor for the inaugural ceremony.

HERD Pharmacy will be treating the place like a wellness destination for the residents spread in the thickly populated areas around. In time the plan is to set up a physician’s chamber upstairs who will cater to the health issues of customers so that the Pharmacy offers more complete services. Plus the medical store has a number of innovative deals which will help us leap ahead in no time to come.

HERD Pharmacy aims to compete with top players in the surrounding area and will leave no marketing strategy untouched to persuade customers to come through its doors. It is being planned to provide customers with a worry free pharma shopping experience. Aside from medicines and medical products the pharmacy offers various general well-being products and self-care cosmetic goods on its shelves.

Suresh Poonia, Stawan Bhujbal, Sachin Salunke and Prasannajit Dhepe led by CEO Ankur Gupta will make for a formidable marketing team ensuring HERD Pharmacy to reach the very top. Egged on by the success and smooth running of previous medical stores, the focus is to be on creating medical stores that are distinctly different from regular pharma retail experiences.

The plan is to take the medicine shop to a whole new level. With sleek fixtures and fittings, dazzling cleanliness and air conditioned environment it is being hoped to establish best practices and adopt them to best suit the needs of the customer. The Pharmacy and staff endorse HERD Pharmacy’s trade mark consumer–centric approach that will pave the way for future success.

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Human Body Donation

Body Donation

Body Donation

For some of us making an offering of our own dead body for the good of society is an opportune way to give back to humanity. Nowadays many more people are choosing to donate their bodies to medical study and research. This is usually because donors or their family members have had the benefits of life saving medical technology or procedures through organ transplantation. However this may not be the only reason as many others simply opt for altruistic reasons for donating bodies.

Body donation has the person giving away the entire body after natural death for purposes of medical research and education. It is true the need for bodies for medical study is always there and research on them can continue to save lives. Body donation is a choice one exercises while alive, and one may or may not discuss even within the family. All you need do is contact concerned authorities and fill out the necessary paperwork to give your body to medical institutes.

It is usually medical colleges that accept dead human bodies for donation that are required for teaching students. It is a useful gesture that helps students understand human bodies and is also essential for reasons of advancing knowledge of medical sciences. Medical colleges make use of bodies to teach anatomy to medical students. They may cover the cost of cremation or burial once the cadaver serves its medical purpose or they may return the body back to the family for ritualistic interment.

Any person who wishes to donate a body has to make certain prior arrangements with local medical colleges and complete formalities before death. This usually involves filling out consent forms and completing requisite information therein. It is at this time that the person is also provided with the relevant details of processes and procedures that will take place after expiry.

Every country has its own rules and regulations with regard to accepting body donations. In United Kingdom body donation is governed under the Human Tissue Authority Act, 2004 that gives licenses for the purpose and inspects medical establishments accepting bodies. In the United States body donation is not regulated through licensure and inspection by the federal government. But the American States are subject to their own legislation of tissue donation under the donor’s legal right to choose body donation under the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act. In India after various amendments to Odisha Anatomy Act, some states have legalized voluntary body donation. People in India can donate their body after death by signing a pledge form along with two accompanying witness signatures.

Decisions regarding body donations are influenced by your sense of social awareness, cultural attitudes and your thinking about body donation. A number of donors are influenced by a sense of altruism and by their wish to assist in the advancement of medical knowledge as also to be useful after death. Also one may be driven by need to help future generations, be useful for medical field or simply to avoid funeral ceremonies.

Steps for Body Donation after death:

  • Contact medical facilities that accept whole body donation.
  • Fill out registration and consent forms to donate your body.
  • Keep a wallet card that notifies people of the intention to donate the body.
  • Complete transport arrangements with the facility of your choice.
  • Inform your doctor and immediate family members about the intention.
  • You may determine what you want for your body after it has been studied.
  • Make alternative arrangements. Some bodies not suitable for medical study in case of major operation done to them are returned to families.
  • Think about what you want done if your body is unable to donate itself to science.
  • You can cancel your decision any time by notifying the medical college in writing.
"Even in death do we serve life":

“Even in death do we serve life”:

Vision Impairment & Correctable Disabilities

Magnitude of The Problem

Magnitude of The Problem

HERD Foundation works periodically through affiliated medical institutes for correction of disabilities. In the past we have done far-reaching work on lip-cleft surgical repair interventions. We are now keen on working on vision impairment for teaching communities to maintain eye health. We look ahead to embrace the challenges in this connection that hopefully will serve in servicing people with vision disabilities.

We reinforce positive attitudes to look on persons with visual impairments to be included for these services. In the hope of creating user friendly approaches for people with visual impairments we have been ruminating to understand that very many visual disabilities are correctable conditions. This would mean we could promote an inclusive world in which all persons with disabilities enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential.

HERD Foundation visualizes doing this in three ways. We are working on partnerships that support medical care for vision disabilities and for prevention of conditions lead to impairments. We will improve access to healthcare, education and rehabilitation services for people in need of vision care. We want to be part of efforts that mainstream visual disability in all aspects and to empower persons with these disabilities.

It is on humanitarian grounds that HERD Foundation wishes to take an active role in the communities through their inclusion for such development projects, and to involve them in all such initiatives that will benefit them. Disabilities can thus be addressed by good Samaritans to benefit people facing barriers in finding solutions to their vision related health problems.

Our hope is to assist disadvantaged people suffering from impairments. It is really essential to help such people as they do not know that they can be treated and rediscover the full potential of their limitations. This means that HERD Foundation will offer support and play a role in breaking down prejudice towards people with disabilities.

Imagine a situation where a person with correctable visual impairment is further disabled by the attitudes of others around him. Such people can be readily treated rather than facing isolation, mistreatment and maybe even ridicule. HERD Foundation seeks to improve access to eye care, eye-care education and rehabilitation services for persons with visual impairments. We want to mainstream this disability in all aspects of empowerment for the afflicted persons.

Facts about Visual Impairment:

  • Worldwide, 285 million people are visually impaired due to various cases; 39 million of them are blind.
  • 121 million are visually impaired because of uncorrected refractive errors (near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism). Almost all of them could have normal vision restored with eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.
  • 90% of visually impaired people live in low- and middle-income countries.
  • 51% of all blindness is due to age-related cataract, the leading cause of blindness. (Statistics taken from World Health Organization website)
Visual Impairment

Visual Impairment

On The Importance of Being Positive

be positive

“I truly believe that everything we do and everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents; we’re all teachers – if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door.”

Marla Gibbs

It’s that time of the year again when everyone’s all excited about the advent of a brand new year. However, of late everything has been going down a suck vortex. As if the tragedy of an aircraft disappearing in midflight only to resurface in an ocean with floating bodies and debris was not enough, here comes more awful news of people dying in a stampede while celebrating New Years. Really!!! The world is getting too much for us.

Whither goes’ sanity. How do we deal with such heartbreaking failure that in hindsight could well be due to man-made errors? It’s really time somebody put a handle on error-free lives. Which is why systems, processes, methodologies, procedures, operations, actions, activities, tasks, undertakings, proceedings follow set protocols, conventions, formalities, customs, rules of conduct, rituals, code of behaviour, accepted propriety, civilities should be followed to the tee.

Someone has to ensure the punctilio of imposing the-done-thing. The norm, if you will, has to be followed without question. It will save us all from tremendous backlash. But all too often the person in-charge for imposing rules is looked upon with exasperation. He could very well be the leader, boss, top-man, chief, principal, director, president, chief executive, manager, administrator, master, patron – call him what you will.

Often we tend to look upon this person as a controller – which he actually is. After all it is his job. Maybe, one should see his role in its entirety and as one that safeguards your own back. If only the chain of command would have been followed. If only propriety would have been observed. We would have seen one tragedy, less. One dark night of turmoil, less. Are we not tired of tragedies? Are we not in need of positively taking on the right stance?

Let us then all affirm on this first day of a brand new year. Be positive in doing just what needs to be done. Everything else can wait. Follow the steps. It is really important you follow instructions while paying attention to details. Follow instructions, listen carefully, and execute skillfully. These are important abilities you will need to get through life. One should always take rightful steps to know what you are supposed to do. The world would be in complete chaos if no one ever followed instructions. This is why rules and laws are made, so our world can run smoothly and become a better place. You need to reinforce this lesson only in a positive frame of mind.

On this note let us move on to a growing need to govern your lives with positive self-regulation. HERD FOUNDATION wishes everyone a very positive New Year. Good cheer for 2015!

“Positive anything is better than negative nothing.” — Elbert Hubbard

Be Positive

Be Positive

Status of Eyecare Health in India

Stand Alone Eye Clinics - Need of the Hour

Stand Alone Eye Clinics – Need of the Hour

Our country is the second most populous in the world, having 23.5% of the world’s blind population. The prevalence of blindness and visual impairment remains a major problem. Cataract, corneal opacities, glaucoma and posterior segment conditions are key reasons for blindness. These conditions can be treated only by skilled eye doctors in a hospital setting. We need to establish evidence for occurrence of eye problems by conducting baseline surveys to understand precise prevalence of specific conditions.

A national program for control of blindness was started in 1976 in India. Unfortunately it has not been possible to generate enough information for all of the country. However detailed information has been gathered in certain areas through research studies by concerned eyecare agencies. All such studies have shown that prevalence of cataract as the most common cause of blindness. Up until quite recently prevention of blindness was therefore largely cataract-focused.

Of late now ophthalmologists are being trained to increase emphasis on focusing on other critical causes of blindness like refractive errors, childhood blindness, corneal blindness and glaucoma. An ophthalmic workforce and infrastructure survey was undertaken to provide a valid evidence base for human resource and infrastructure requirements for elimination of avoidable blindness. This was the first time that such an extensive survey has been undertaken.

The study was conducted by Ophthalmology Cell, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India from April 2002 to March 2003. Pre-tested questionnaires were administered to all district-level blindness officials and ophthalmology training institutions and supplementary data sources were used too. Data analysis and projections of existing ophthalmologists and dedicated eye beds were made for the entire country using the mean, median and range for each individual state.

The study ascertained that more than half the eye care facilities were located in the private sector. Sixty-nine per cent of the ophthalmologists were employed in the private and non-governmental sectors. 71.5% of all dedicated eye beds were managed by these two sectors. Five states -Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu had half the practicing ophthalmologists in India. There was a wide disparity in access to ophthalmologists and dedicated eye beds across the country.

In order to meet these requirements India will have to work hard to achieve the goals of Vision 2020. Some states and certain regions will be needing special attention. Instead of an across-the-board increase in ophthalmologists and eye beds, regions which are deficient will need to be prioritized and concerted action initiated to achieve an equitable distribution of available resources.

Shockingly, as per this study an estimated 9031 ophthalmologists worked in eye care facilities in our country. Of these 69% (6235) worked in the private sector and 31% (2796) worked in government sector. This clearly shows the disparity in availability of ophthalmologists. We need to increase the efficiency of eye care system in India by increasing the availability of ophthalmologists. Also we need to generate more eye doctors and eye specialists. It is only appropriately skilled ophthalmologists and trained technical staff that can respond to eyecare health in India.

Preventable Child Blindess

Preventable Child Blindness

Sushruta – Medical Pioneer of Ancient India

Sushruta – Medical Pioneer of Ancient India

Sushruta – Medical Pioneer of Ancient India

Sushruta is considered one of the earliest surgeons in recorded history and has been the first individual to describe plastic surgery in his famous ancient treatise ‘Sushruta Samhita’. He is said to have lived nearly 150 years before Hippocrates, and his renowned compendium written in 600 B.C. spells out surgical procedures in minutest detail. He is also credited to be the first surgeon to perform plastic surgery!

Many believe plastic surgery to be a new specialty. However its origins are ascertained to have existed over 4000 years back in India. The Vedas compiled in Sanskrit language between 3000 and 1000 B.C. comprise of the oldest sacred books of the Hindu religion. Of the four Vedas – ‘Sushruta Samhita’ is a part of Atharvaveda. The treatise describes ancient Indian tradition of surgery and remains a most brilliant compilation in Indian medical literature.

The treatise contains detailed descriptions of teachings and practice elucidated by this great ancient surgeon said to have been practicing in Varanasi. It also provides surgical knowledge that is of relevance to this day. As a pioneer in the field of surgery, Sushruta expounds prolifically on the healing arts that were grounded on physiology and medicine. He studied human anatomy with the help of dead bodies! Much as in medical colleges today.

The Samhita specifically describes methods for selecting and preserving dead bodies to be studied. Cadavers of elderly or severely diseased were not taken up for purposes of study. Bodies needed to be perfectly clean and were preserved with barks. They were placed in cages, hidden carefully in the river for currents to soften them. After seven days they were retrieved, cleaned with brushes for inner and outer body parts to be seen clearly.

Over 1100 diseases are mentioned in this ancient tome including 26 types of fevers, 8 kinds of jaundice and 20 different urinary disorders. There are 760 plants inclusive of roots, bark, juice, resin, flowers etc. that are described in detail for treatments. These also include common household remedies like cinnamon, sesame, peppers, cardamom, ginger and more. Additionally the treatise offers descriptions of 101 instruments used in surgery.

Sushruta’s greatest contributions were in the fields of plastic surgery and removal of cataracts. In a time when cutting of nose or ears was a common punishment, restoration of these parts and even limbs lost in wars was a common medical practice. There are detailed and accurate step-by-step descriptions of such operations. Strikingly these are the very steps followed by modern surgeons doing plastic surgery even today.

Serious procedures were undertaken like drawing fetuses out of wombs, repairing damaged rectums and removing stones from bladders. Surgical techniques included incisions, probing, extraction of foreign bodies, cauterization, tooth extraction, excisions, draining abscess, draining hydrocele, removal of prostate gland, urethral stricture dilatation, hernia surgery, management of haemorrhoids, fistulae, intestinal obstruction, perforated intestines, and accidental perforation of abdomen. Students were given knowledge of relevant branches of medicine to attain proficiency in allied subjects.

Sushruta Samhita remains an important text on medicine that is also a foundational text for Ayurveda. This seminal text was translated to Arabic as Kitab-i-Susrud in the 8th century. The Arabic translation was received in Europe by the end of the medieval period when Renaissance Italy became familiar with the techniques of Sushruta Samhita. Among other translations since then, more recently in 1999, P. V. Sharma undertook an English translation of this ancient Indian medical treatise.

First Surgeon Performing Plastic Surgery!

First Surgeon Performing Plastic Surgery!

The Saga of Medical Camps Going Wrong

Unfortunate Medical Camp - 60 People lose Vision

Unfortunate Medical Camp – 60 People lose Vision

As an integral part of the medical fraternity we are naturally mortified and concerned about the way in which some medical camps have recently been organized. Just as we were getting over the tragedy of the Chhattisgarh mass sterilization debacle here comes another tragedy where sixty senior persons lost their vision after eye operations at a medical camp organized in Punjab. One can only wonder at the lax manner in which such free medical camps get organized.

Unknowingly people suffer these shocking calamities every once in a while, and when such morbid instances gain epic proportions, one can only surmise that planning and preparations were haywire. These recent cases have drawn much flak, from both national and international media, and also great deal of debating  has occurred amid the district medical authorities and medical groups in these areas.

It therefore becomes very essential to gain an understanding of the role of free camps or continuing medical education programmes as the case may be, to carefully examine the proprieties of holding such camps. We know for sure that it is largely poor and weaker sections of society that come to such camps. More often than not the implementing agencies are either adhering to targets, or fulfilling agendas or even using such opportunities for effective marketing gambits. But unwittingly they often backfire by some wrong or incorrect planning.

Whatever their intention – one thing is definite that participating crowds of mainly poor patients do benefit from the ministrations of medical doctors and even get free medications for their treatments. HERD Foundation has a history of organizing such medical camps since the past several years, and it has been with a sense of commitment that we have literally reproduced hospital like setting in the outdoors. In our experience such camps have to be planned meticulously right down to the smallest detail to be tapped properly.

Hand in hand with Lata Mangeshkar Hospital, our sister concern, we have catered to the medical needs of large numbers of poor, weak, and marginalized people both in villages and in city slums. It has been no mean task to delegate responsibilities at every level for day long health camps providing free medical checkups to over 2000 registered people. We include eight medical departments ( Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pediatrics, Orthopedics, Ophthalmology, Surgery, Dental and ENT Departments) from our hospital with matching teams of doctors, interns, nurses and attendants providing due support to examine and treat patients.

HERD Foundations innovative approaches have attempted such health care delivery in deep rural-tribal areas close to Nagpur. We have been able to provide the best health facilities and services to the poor tribal populations, until quite recently absolutely free of cost. Referral cases get patients treated in hospital for which they are duly charged so that a value based model of health care becomes available. Our own strategy has been to focus on key elements of effective risk management to endeavor to anticipate what could possibly go wrong, work towards reducing chances of it going wrong and plan what to do when it does go wrong. Understanding the essence of “risk management” sees to it that medical camps pre-assess and manage these risks.

Chattisgarh Sterilization Camp Debacle

Chattisgarh Sterilization Camp Debacle