Featured, Tech

iKure Celebrates National Nutrition Week


The National Nutritional Week ( the first week of September) concept was created by the Govt. Of India in 1982 to emphasize,educate and create awareness among people on the importance of eating/drinking the right kind of nutrients and the impact it has on the health of a person.

The word ‘Nutrition’ means the understanding of consumption of all edibles available to one, leading to the promotion of health and the word ‘Dietetics’ implies the management of facts and science behind the right kind of food elements towards good health and in conditions of disease, along with other preventative, prophylactic and therapeutic measures.

Nutrition is the fundamental birthright of all citizens of this country and one of the strong pivotal criteria of building a sound human base for the upkeep of this nation. The only way to create this in a continuous manner against all nuances is to provide the basic nutrition to all people of this country in the journey from ‘developing’ to ‘developed’ nation …beginning with breastfeeding just after being born to food guidance in the later years in life through all ages ! Lamenting though..we have not reached anywhere near to the standards of many a nation in this world…on this topic..which is not even given its due priority.

We can only wish a separate ministry by the name of “ Ministry of Nutrition and healthy consumerism “ be formed in India, to take care of the myriad aspects of nutrition plaguing this nation and the solutions needed to address the same.

‘Midday School Meals’ need to be taken much more seriously across the length and breadth of this country to plant the sapling of a sound nutrition to children who are the future citizens of India. There is no uniform policy in place for the proper utilization of funds allocated on this and just any combination of low grade food elements are used to serve such meals to children. ..often to the point of denial. This needs a serious redressal and soon. ‘Maternal and Child Nutrition’ needs to be looked into from a rather preventive angle.

‘Food adulteration’ is another area of mammoth deception to mankind for easy profits and takes a serious toll on human health in the long run. There is simply no effective law on this and the punishments are not grave and the involved people get away easily without any significant punitive measures. This applies to both raw food elements in the open market, as well as, semi-prepared and prepared food which is plain speaking unfit for human consumption. Recent instances of passing off animal carcasses as consumable meat to humans, form a glaring example to the height of daringness and apathy on vigil in this matter !

We need more Nutritionists & dietician to cover the large population of this country to work towards the sound health of people through Governmental and Non-governmental organisations and they should be empowered with authority to book the offenders and refer them for due legal recourse. This week is dedicated to initiate and start such projects across the states of this country ,with a varying theme each year, with regards to poor maternal nutrition/ill health of children/ignored health of poverty stricken population and more. There must also be stress on the educative aspects of this huge problem by different means of reaching the vulnerable segment of the population and guided by the general literacy of those affected. Group meetings with real time food sample demonstration sessions and a guide to elementary home cooking can go a long way to initiate a campaign towards sound nutrition of humans. Food analysis….random check on food vendors….and standardization of policies need to be implemented with immediate effect….to prevent the growing menace of food adulteration which has already cost a good no. of human and animal lives in this country of ours ! A good amount of research in nutrition as applicable to the socioeconomic fabric of this nation and monitoring the impact at the ground level…is also a perquisite.

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Lifestyle, Tech, Travel

What Causes High Prevalence of Anemia in Rural Hinterland- A case study to assess the gap


Anemia is most prevalent in low-resource settings, where it goes undetected until becomes severe. Despite the implementation of several initiatives by the Government, India has made only 13 percent progress in eradicating anemia (Global Nutrition Report, 2017).1

Periodic screening and early diagnosis are the keys to controlling anemia. The conventional Hb tests involve invasive methods with the requirement of hygienic infrastructure and skilled healthcare providers. But with the huge gap in basic health infrastructure, rural community members have very little provision for diagnostic facilities.

In Kenduapal Village of PaschimMedinipur, West Bengal shows 88 percent of reproductive-age women have undergone Hb tests for the first time in their lives. They were not aware, if they are prone to a high-risk pregnancy or not. It also indicates the behavioral risk factor which contributes to delay in Anemia detection.

According to WHO recommendation, a non-invasive hemoglobin device is proved to be a good addition. Non-invasive point of care devices can eliminate the potential contamination, bio-hazard handling and can even enable frontline health workers with basic education to perform Hb Test.2 Joseph et al. (2016) also affirm that non-invasive methods are safer than invasive methods and improve patient satisfaction.3Bandyopadhyay S., Neogi, and John D. et al. (2019) further contributed to the fact that as most of the anaemia screening happen in outreach settings, where provision for laboratory support seems difficult, the device ought to be tested in field settings with health workers, non-invasive diagnostic provides viable accuracy.4

iKure’s non-invasive anemia screening initiative started with the vision of reaching out to the last mile community. Members are chosen from the community and are technologically and clinically trained to use them for screening patients. The community health workers are further mobilized to collect other health parameters important to understand the risk of the patients. Instead of using a paper-based format, CHWs use WHIMS that is able to collect patients’ vitals on a cloud server. The data available on the cloud are further sent to medical professionals for referral and counseling.

However, while iron deficiency is the main cause, micronutrient deficiency, inflammations and inherited disorders also contribute to anemia. A baseline report of mother and child health camps reveals that 64% of pregnant women were anemic and 30% with milder anemia. Nutritional experts suggested that a large section of the community are found to be anemic because of women’s ‘‘non-compliance/non-adherence” to the consequences of the anemia and fear and anxiety towards invasive blood drawing.5 Also, women’s consumption rate of IFA supplements are low since they complain of suffering from gastrointestinal upset. Altering such behavior requires regular counselling. iKure’s CHWs are deployed to spread awareness and bring positive health-seeking behavior among pregnant women, new mothers, and adolescent girls.

iKure’s non-invasive anemia testing initiative has been rolled out successfully in school health program and mother and child health camps catchment areas. Within few months, it has gained significant traction such as:


  • In West Bengal and Karnataka more than 50% population are found to improve IFA tablets consumption rate.
  • Regular awareness and counseling by iKure medical team during health camps have altered care-seeking behaviour with a reduced percentage of anemic patients
  • The introduction of non-invasive screening devices has improved patients’

    footfall with more women willing for Hb tests

While priorities and approaches may differ according to geographic settings, but strategies to curb anemia remain the same. At iKure, we believe in bringing the desired change soon in India’s rural villages.

Reference :

1. “From promise to impact ending malnutrition by 2030”,Global Nutrition Report,2017,
2. Ma’ayan L., Choppe L., Tikva P., Israel, Lausanne, “Non-Invasive Hemoglobin Screening for Diagnosis and Monitoring of Anemia”, Read More
3. Josheph, Bella., Haider, Ansab., Rhee, Peter., “Non-invasive hemoglobin monitoring”, International Journal of Surgery, 33 (2016):254-257
4. Neogi SB, John D, Sharma J et al. Cost-effectiveness of invasive devices versus non-invasive devices for screening of anemia in field settings in India: A study protocol [version 1; peer review: 1 not approved] F1000Research 2019, 8:861 Read More
5. “Nutritional Anaemias: Tools for Effective Prevention and Control”, World Health Organization, 2017, Read More

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World Alzheimer’s Day


This Day is observed on the 21st September every year, as a day in the World Alzheimer Month…by organisations and foundations worldwide with this name.

Alzheimer’s disease is a slowly progressing cascade of cognitive decline affecting subjects in the senile age group and is regarded as multifactorial in its origin and with no significant treatment as yet, assuring a reversal or stoppage in the progress of this slow brain cell death…ending up with bodily cessation of functions in course of time.

The hallmark of this disease is dementia and this particular condition is the commonest cause of dementia affecting human kind.

It has an obscure aetiology this far ..speculated to being caused by the abnormal deposition of proteins amidst the brain cells….like Amyloid ..causing plaques and and Tau…which remain entangled with the neurons in the brain.

While the unmodifiable factor(s) could be…age/familial/genetic…modifiable ones could be lifestyle/environmental/smoking/depression-due to any cause/sedentary life in solitude /exposure to cumulative effects of noise /untreated hearing loss etc. Also morbid grief after losing a loved one , financial worries,health anxiety of chronic debilitating illnesses could be a common precipitant of this condition. It is seen to have a gender bias..as to slightly more common in women above 65 years than men of similar age.

Some common pointers towards this affection is the initial presentation of very mild memory loss/cognitive decline…appearing to be normal of this age, but gradually advancing to affect the normal ability of a person, to execute the very basic tasks of day to day lives and failing to recall the names of familiar persons and simple objects of life, accompanied with inappropriate social behavior and lack of mental restraints. With this begins a phase of dependency on others around, to lead a normal daily life and ultimately ending up with immobility and gross paucity of activities towards the terminal phase of this phenomena…of senile dementia.

Since this disease does not kill immediately…a chosen caregiver has an immense role to play in caring for such affected individuals in their twilight years.Empathy and not sympathy is the sheet anchor of an approach to any person affected with Alzheimer’s. In fact..it is always better if a normal personwho is supposed to play the role of a caregiver, to undergo a brief orientation session, as to how to deal with a person affected with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Some important aspects of communicating with persons suffering from this condition may be as below …

  • To speak in simple sentences with them,in a slow pace, stressing more on long term past memories and avoid asking questions which emphasize on short term memory.
  • On seeking for preferences….as to wishing to have egg/fish for lunch..it is better to show them the objects ,for a better clarity in the question and response.
  • The speaker must remain aware of his/her own’s body language or mannerism while talking to the affected one…focusing on direct eye contact and in the absence of any sensory distraction.
  • Demonstrate ample amount of patience while communicating with a dementic person…till the patient is able to comprehend the topic on which spoken to.
  • Never ever comment on the mental /intelligent set back on the faculties of an affected person in front of the communicator.
  • Be aware of the limitations of the affected person….on memory loss/difficulty in handling complex tasks/problems in planning and organizing their personal lives/difficulty in coordination and locomotion etc. etc.Preventive aspects on this condition are many ….which includes leading a simple lifestyle….avoid being affected by extremes of emotions…regular touch with friends and relatives….cutting down on caffeine intake to increase the sleeping hours,following a simple rule to keep the cognition active…by doing simple calculations mentally-trying to recall all those whom the person had met earlier in life-trying to place the names of persons by visuals (pictures/photos)-and spiritual recourse at convenient timings in day to day lives.

Researches are on for a definitive management strategy of this disease but the results are yet to come forth in a big way.

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