Sunday, August 2, 2015

As Kids See It

There is something specially striking about this signboard. Isn’t it more inviting than it is supposed to be? This is on the door of my 11 year old nephew’s room. I was compelled to enter after seeing this. Fortunately I survived the voltage, the weapons, the guns and the explosives ;-) It completely overwhelmed me, this level of imagination. Perhaps because it reminded me of what I put up on my room door when I was a kid. Thoughts were simple back then, a Winnie-The-Pooh or a crayoned flower would do. 

Kids these days have exposure to a lot of things unlike the medieval times I belong to, and this little fellow seemed nothing short of a genius to me when I had this inspiring conversation with him this afternoon. It deserved a write up on this blog.

“Do you really have them inside your room?” I asked him and chuckled.

“Haha Raksha Chikki, you don’t know that much also?” he questioned me in return and jumped on his bed doing his typical antics.

I looked at him with amusement.

“You think I am Yakub or what, I have to become like Abdul Kalam to make some super strong ones!” he said adjusting his spectacles and grinding his bunny teeth.

I am a proud aunt today. Sometimes we don't need treaties and conventions to make this world a better place. If we make sense, a sense which helps us know what is right and what is wrong it will eventually make peace. A kid sees something what we adults don't.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Dear Mr President
Picture Courtesy

Today I shall write about my childhood hero. He was for real, not any close to fiction. Grey suited, grey haired and with the most colourful smile ever! At a time when the number and kind of leaders in India were not any close to our expectations there was this one simple man. A scientist beyond excellence, a President beyond power, a leader beyond vision and a human being beyond all humanness. And not one ounce of air about him.

Words do not suffice to explain what he means to the nation. His ‘talks’(deserves an underline), his books, his smile, his vision, his interactions, his love for students, his work and his mere presence has given India a supreme feel good presence on the world map today.  He has ignited many minds and given us wings of fire. To dream, to follow our passion, to work hard and to make a difference is what he believed in and made many of us youngsters believe in the same.

Frankly speaking, Bharat Ratna Sri APJ Abdul Kalam is the only stalwart who truly deserved to be where he was, to become the President of India. I still remember the hullabaloo when people wanted him to continue for a second term. I then wished he did, wished a hundred times thereafter! When we as a nation have faced many tumultuous situations I am pretty sure there were people like me who thought” If Kalam was the President, things would have been different!” Yes of of course, no second thoughts about that.

Many of my elders at home used to tell me“If you want to become like someone, become like Kalam thatha" These words ring in my ears. When each one of us Indians follow what he has taught us, spread his message to the future generation I guess that will be the day when he shall truly rest in peace. To bid a goodbye to this world in the way he did today in the midst of a lecture to his favourite bunch of people-‘students’ only goes to say that he did what he did best through his last breath.

We will always love you ‘Our Dear Mr President’ for all the lessons of life you have given us. Your ideas are nowhere but in our minds, you are nowhere but in our hearts. For us, you have never signed off!

Dreams is not what you see in sleep...
is the thing which does not let you sleep... 


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Dengue Season Lessons

“Hello, calling from emergency, can you tell us the dengue report of…”a resident doctor asks from the other end.

“Positive for NS1 and IgM…”says our laboratory technician.

Seconds later.           

“Hello, calling from the ICU, SDP* needed for….are they ready?” asks a staff nurse.

“Ready, you can send someone right now” replies a blood bank technician.

At the same time.

“Hello Ma’am, calling from reception, can you please verify the dengue report of…”a data entry operator from the other end.

“We will do it in a couple of minutes…” I reply.

Seconds later.

“Hello, calling from the ward can you run a Dengue IgM ELISA for my patient with the previous sample, his platelet counts are low, I strongly suspect Dengue…”a clinician from the other end.

“No problem Ma’am, we will add it to the run today” one of us reply and agree to do it.

This diagnostic and treatment process runs in the various departments of every other hospital in India twenty four seven these days. All thanks to the ‘Dengue Season’ like we choose to call it. At this point of time, as you are reading this I bet there is at least one person you know who has had dengue this year. The emergency and outpatient department is busy with cases of fever, the doctors with every third patient coming with signs and symptoms of dengue, the blood bank is worked up with platelet transfusions and the laboratory with monitoring platelet counts and serological tests.

Dengue is a serious public health concern, like many other diseases and disorders it turns into a red alert when mortality rate surges. Remember the H1N1 a couple of months ago? Keep that for memory, there could be is always a next. I initially thought of writing a post on the ‘dos and donts’ to avoid the transmission of dengue thinking that would be helpful, and then it occurred to me that most of us know about the Aedes mosquito, water stagnation, sanitation, coils, nets, electric bats, repellents, papaya juice and what not. It is not the lack of this knowledge that causes the dengue outbreak every year in a tropical country like ours. There is more to the picture.

 What bothers me as a laboratory physician is our failure at many levels of health care to handle such a situation. There is a great lack of responsibility from all sides- hospitals, doctors and patients alike. The extreme variability in the standard and costs of testing and treatment has recently grabbed attention in Karnataka. Read this to know more-Government Fixes Dengue Test Rate for Pvt Hospitals. Such measures although put the government in a Samaritan position, the real problem is something else. None of us is bothered about any preventive measures or a long term solution to such vector borne diseases. ‘Odomos’, ‘Good Knight’ and 'Mortein’ can think of new advertisements. Doctors, laboratories and blood bank can think of their work load and price revision. And the government can think of regulating them. Until the same time next year! 

Ek machar kaafi hai, par ek soch nahi :-P

Picture Courtesy

Do share your opinions and experience.

*SDP-Single donor platelets