Pune health brief, Feb 23: New course in health economics; free computer training; and more

The course has a potential to produce health economists with a sound understanding of various population processes, Prof Radkar said.

Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, one of the renowned research institutes of the country, will introduce the first of its kind M Sc degree course in Population Studies and Health Economics from this academic year. The Institute hosts one of the oldest Population Research Centres.

Course Coordinator Prof Anjali Radkar told The Indian Express that expertise in Health Economics was a need of the hour on the background of increase in life expectancy, increasing burden of non-communicable diseases as a result of changing age structure, and onset of ageing of population. The proposed course has a potential to produce health economists with a sound understanding of various population processes, Prof Radkar said.

“The Institute has been working in the area of health for a fairly long time so this is the right place to offer such a course that gives the blend of both Health and Economics to the students,” she said.

Recent policy initiatives of the Union Government have shown a marked shift towards provision of universal social security, like Atal Pension Yojna, Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna, and Ayushman Bharat.

“What such developments herald is a paradigm shift from traditional areas of population policy with emphasis on mortality, fertility and birth control towards universal social security and utilization of demographic dividend by protecting and enhancing human capital,” Prof Radkar explained.

An entrance test will be conducted and admission to the course is open to all those with a Bachelor’s degree of a recognised University (recognised by UGC) with minimum 55% marks or equivalent grade in Economics, Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Social Work, Geography, Mathematics, Statistics, Health and allied sciences.

PBMA inaugurates free computer training center for visually impaired students

The Poona Blind Men’s Association (The PBMA) has recently inaugurated a free computer training center for visually impaired students studying at Malganga Andh Apang Sanstha, at Shirur tehsil in Pune district.

Under this project two centres have been operational in Pune and other two centers in Aurangabad since 2019. The Poona Blind Men’s Association is a social organization that has been working for the welfare of the visually impaired for over 60 years. The projects of PBMA include free old age home for visually impaired women, free technical training centres for students in the age group of 18 to 35, ultra-modern hospital for treatment of various eye diseases amongst others.

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Medical device workers should be included in list of beneficiaries for Covid-19 vaccination

Medical Technology Association of India (MTaI), which represents leading research-based medical technology companies with large footprint in manufacturing, R&D and healthcare worker training in India, today urged the government to include MedTech sector workforce in the target list of beneficiaries of Covid-19 vaccination, due to the critical nature of work they do.

MTaI Chairman and Director General. Pavan Choudary said, “We are happy to note that more than 1 crore people have already been vaccinated which includes hospital staff and other frontline workers. It is, however, pertinent to note that MedTech executives are part of frontline team that is battling against the pandemic. MedTech workers have been working 24×7 in the current pandemic times, similar to hospital personnel, to ensure timely servicing of capital equipment such as X-RAY, MRI machines installed across the country, by physically visiting these locations. Assisting clinicians/nursing staff in ICU that are treating Covid patients by installing/servicing patients monitors, ventilators and other life-saving equipment.”

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