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Dr K K Aggarwal

Healthcare for all not possible with the present budget

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In his speech when presenting the budget, the Finance Minister said that health for all and education for all is his priority but the budget allocation is only Rs. 37330 crores, which is an increase of only 7.5% in the last years allocation (planned and non-planned budget together). Medical fraternity expected it to be at least 2-3% of the GDP. Even allocation to AYUSH is only 1069 crores against 1650 crores allocated to six AIIMS-like institutions. If the Government really wanted to do something for promoting healthcare, they could have allocated for six AIIMS-like AYUSH institutions whose purpose should have been prevention so that people do not require allopathic tertiary care.

There are no tax holidays or tax exemptions for doctors living in rural areas in the present budge. Also, there was no relief for making VISA easy for medical tourism.

The Rs. 110 crores allocated for disability is not sufficient. Rs. 6000 crores should have been allocated for providing free generic drugs for people coming to government hospitals. This announcement was lacking in the budget.

Rs. 150 crores have been allocated for the care of the elderly, who constitute 8% of the total population. Elderly people usually do not have insurance as insurance companies do not give them a cover. At least 8% of the total health budget should have been allocated for the elderly.

Allocations to National Health Mission (NHM) (which covers both rural and urban population budget) is only Rs. 21200 crores, which is less than the amount used last year for which rural mission. It aims to provide urban mission money from the money received from the rural mission project. Separate budget should have been allocated for the urban mission.

Rs. 4727 crores allocated for training, education and research is also inadequate as unless you patent your own equipments and drugs, you are going to be dependent on foreign market.

India Medical Association in its recent meeting with Economic Advisor, Ministry of Health, Government of India had offered that every private doctor should be incorporated for providing healthcare facilities across the country, where the Government only had to invest on the human resource.

The government can start MD in Rural Medicine with a curriculum that teaches the art of treating the patients in limited resources. After that people can choose and do their respective post graduation. This way the doctors will not feel that it is a burden on them. There will be additional degree in MD in Rural Medicine Surgery. Such doctors serving in rural areas should be given income tax-free income.

What are Satvik offerings in Vedic literature?

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1.    Food Offerings: Panchashasha (grains of five types – brown rice, mung or whole green gram, til or sesame, mashkalai (white urad dal) or any variety of whole black leguminous seed, jowar or millet)

2.    Panchagobbo (Five items obtained from cow: milk, ghee or clarified butter, curd, cowdung and gomutra), curd, honey, brown sugar, three big noibiddos, one small noibiddo, three bowls of madhupakka (a mixture of honey, curd, ghee and brown sugar for oblation), bhoger drobbadi (items for the feast), aaratir drobbadi mahasnan oil, dantokashtho, sugar cane juice, an earthen bowl of atop (a type of rice), til oil (sesame oil).

3.    Water offerings: Ushnodok (lukewarm water), coconut water, sarbooushodhi, mahaoushodhi, water from oceans, rain water, spring water, water containing lotus pollen.

4.    Three aashonanguriuk (finger ring made of kusha).

5.    Puja Items: Sindur (vermillion), panchabarner guri (powders of five different colours – turmeric, rice, kusum flowers or red abir, rice chaff or coconut fibre burnt for the dark colour, bel patra or powdered wood apple leaves), panchapallab (leaves of five trees – mango, pakur or a species of fig, banyan, betal and Joggodumur or fig), pancharatna (five types of gems – gold, diamond, sapphire, ruby and pearl), panchakoshay (bark of five trees – jaam, shimul, berela, kool, bokul powdered in equal portions and mixed with water), green coconut with stalk, three aashonanguriuk (finger ring made of kusha).

6.    Panchamrit: A mixture of Honey, Milk, Curd, Ghee and Brown Sugar.

Turmeric can prevent heart failure

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Traditional Indian turmeric prevents heart failure, lowers cholesterol, prevents cancers and gall stones and augments scar formation in a wound.

Studies from the University of Toronto’s Cardiology Division and published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation have shown that Curcumin, an ingredient in the curry spice turmeric, when given orally to a variety of mouse models with enlarged hearts (hypertrophy), could prevent and reverse hypertrophy, prevent heart failure, restore heart function and reduce scar formation.

In the studies, curcumin was given to rats, who then underwent surgery or received drugs designed to put them at risk of heart failure. The rats that received curcumin showed more resistance to heart failure and inflammation than comparison groups of rats that did not get curcumin.

Curcumin treatment also reversed heart enlargement. Curcumin short–circuited the heart enlargement process, though it’s not clear how it did that.

The healing properties of turmeric have been well–known. The herb has been used in traditional Indian medicine to reduce scar formation. For example, when there is a cut or a bruise, the home remedy is to reach for turmeric powder because it can help to heal without leaving a bad scar.

Curcumin has come under the scientific spotlight in recent years, with studies investigating its potential benefits for reducing cholesterol levels, improving cardiovascular health and fighting cancer.

As an herb, turmeric should to be taken 300 mg thrice–daily with meals. It has useful actions like antioxidant, anti–inflammatory, anti rheumatic; lowering cholesterol, anti cancer and prevention of gall stones. It is also found to be useful in situations like dysmenorrhea, dyspepsia, HIV, muscle soreness, peptic ulcer disease, scabies and uveitis.

Curcuminoids, act as free radical scavengers. They also inhibit leukotrienes and synthesis of prostaglandins. The anti–inflammatory activity has been claimed to be comparable to NSAIDs (such as indomethacin).

Curcuminoids lower blood lipid peroxides, decrease total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, and increase HDL cholesterol. Turmeric has also been claimed to inhibit platelet aggregation.

What is the importance of Agni in pooja and in the Phera ceremony?

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In Hinduism,  fire as the symbol of purity, and the fire deity is called Agni Dev who is worshipped in all Hindu rituals, like havans, yagnas, ahutis, sankalp, marriage ceremonies (seven pheras around the fire). Fire destroys impurities without itself being affected.

In the Kathopanishad, the second boon asked by Nachiketa to Yaksha was about Agnividya. In the Holy Bible, the authorized King James Version – Exodus 3:2, The Lord took the form of fire (agni) to deliver the Ten Commandments to Moses: “And the Angel of the Lord appeared unto Moses in a flame of Fire out of the midst of bush… and the bush was not consumed.”

Holi celebration is the victory of fire (Agni Dev) who destroyed the evil in the form of Holika. In Ramayan, Sita had to give the proof of her chastity by going through fire. The three-faced (tri-mukhi) Rudraksha also represents Agni Dev.

“Shanti agno mrityate” (“without Agni the person dies”) is a common Ayurveda saying. Out of the five elements that we are made up of, Agni whether internal or external is the most important. Its deficiency as well as excess, even in a small quantity, is harmful to the body.

Agni plays the utmost role in the evolutionary process. Every object once burnt is reduced to ash. Agni is the fire burning inside the body and, if not managed properly, can cause harm to the body. Prana, Agni and Ojas are the three main pillars of the body described in Ayurveda texts. Prana is the essence of vata; Agni of pitta and ojas of the kapha dosha.  To worship fire also means to respect the agni and pitta dosha of the body. Any vow taken in front of the fire is considered equivalent to that taken in front of God and therefore are considered to be unbreakable.

Heart patients beware of bhang

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Heart patients to avoid bhang or consult cardiologist. Indiscriminate use can increase heart rate and BP. Pretreatment with beta-blocker can help.

Heart patients should not take bhang as it can precipitate an increase in heart rate and sudden rise in blood pressure, said Padma Shri & Dr. BC Roy National Awardee, Dr. KK Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India & National Vice President Elect IMA.

Those who are socially committed should consult their doctor. Pre-treatment with propranolol a beta blocker can block the cardiovascular effects of marijuana. It can prevent the learning impairment and, to a lesser degree, the characteristic subjective experience.

Marijuana is known to induce typical subjective state (“high”) with marked increases in HR, BP and conjunctival infection. It impairs performance on a learning test without significantly affecting attention.

 

About Bhang

 

  • Bhang is a traditional Indian beverage made of cannabis mixed with various herbs and spices, which has been popular inIndiafor ages.
  • Bhang is a less powerful preparation than Ganja, which is prepared from flowering plants for smoking and eating.
  • Charas, more potent than either Bhang or Ganja, consists of cannabis flower tops harvested at full bloom.
  • Dense with sticky resin, Charas is nearly as potent as the concentrated cannabis resin preparations called hashish.

 

Why do we light a lamp during pooja?

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Prayer

|| Deepajyothi parabrahma

Deepa Jyotir Janaardanah

Deepo harati paapaani

Sandhyaa deepa namostute ||

“I prostrate to the dawn/dusk lamp; whose light is the Knowledge Principle (the Supreme Lord), which removes the darkness of ignorance and by which all can be achieved in life.”

Light symbolizes knowledge, and darkness, ignorance. Knowledge removes ignorance just as light removes darkness. The purpose of any ritual is to remove internal darkness and attain knowledge.

Vedic scriptures recommend daily lighting of the lamp as a part of pooja. Some do it once at dawn, others twice a day – at dawn and dusk – and some keep a lamp that is always lit (akhanda deepa). No auspicious function can commence without the lighting of a lamp.

Knowledge is everlasting inner wealth by which all outer achievement can be accomplished. By lighting the lamp, we bow to knowledge as the greatest of all forms of wealth. Knowledge about the self is the greatest wealth. It goes around achieving inner happiness by burning the negativity of a mind that is full of lust and ego.

The traditional oil lamp defines this spiritual significance. The oil or ghee symbolizes our vaasanas (lust, negative tendencies) and the wick, the ego.  When lit by spiritual knowledge, the vaasanas get slowly exhausted and the ego too finally perishes. The flame of a lamp always burns upwards signifying that the only that knowledge should be acquired, which takes us towards higher ideals.

Malnutrition and wrong dietary habits have been identified as major risk factors for ill health, including heart attacks. Most people below the poverty line suffer from malnutrition due to lack of calories, proteins and vitamins in their food. In the affluent society, overeating or eating wrong food results in over nutrition, a form of malnutrition leading to heart blockages.

In this context Heart Care Foundation of India has formulated guidelines about eating, said Padma Shri & Dr. BC Roy National Awardee, Dr. KK Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India & National Vice President-Elect IMA.

These include:

  • Eat only when you are hungry.
  • Do not eat for pleasure, social obligations or emotional satisfaction.
  • Eat at a slow pace
  • Eat less; dinner less than lunch.
  • Take small mouthfuls each time, chew each morsel well, swallow it and only then take the next morsel.
  • Do not eat while watching television, driving a car or watching sports events. The mind is absorbed in these activities and one does not know what and how much one has eaten.
  • Do not talk while eating and never enter into heated arguments. The stomach has ears and can listen to your conversation. It will accordingly send signals to the mind and heart.
  • Plan and decide in advance what and how much food you will be eating.
  • Use low fat or skimmed mild dairy products. For cooking, use oils which are liquid at room temperature.

  • Do not take red meat and if you are a non-vegetarian, you may take poultry meat or fish.

 

The Tilak is a mark of auspiciousness and invokes a feeling of respect in the wearer and others. It is recognized as a religious mark. Its form and color vary according to one’s caste, religious sect or the form of worship of the person in question.

Tilak is applied on the forehead with sandal paste, sacred ash or kumkum, a red turmeric powder. In a wedding, a Kumkum tilak is applied on the forehead of both the bride and groom.

In earlier times, the four castes (based onvarnaor color) – Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Sudra – applied marks differently. The Brahmin applied a white chandan mark signifying purity, as his profession was of a priestly or academic nature. The Kshatriya applied a red kumkum mark signifying valor as he belonged to the warrior race. The Vaishya wore a yellow kesar or turmeric mark signifying prosperity as he was a businessman or trader devoted to creation of wealth. The Sudra applied a black bhasma, kasturi or charcoal mark signifying service as he supported the work of the other three castes.

Also, Vishnu worshippers apply a chandan (sandalwood) tilak of the shape of “U”, Shiva worshippers, a Tripundra (of the shape of “º”) of bhasma; Devi worshippers a red dot of kumkum and so on. The tilak is applied in the spot between the eyebrows, which is the seat of memory and thought. It is known as the Aajna Chakra in the language of Yoga.

The Tilak is applied with the prayer – “May I remember the Lord. May this pious feeling pervade all my activities. May I be righteous in my deeds.” Even when we temporarily forget this prayerful attitude, the mark on another reminds us of our resolve. The tilak is thus a blessing of the Lord and a protection against wrong tendencies and forces.

The entire body emanates energy in the form of electromagnetic waves – the forehead and the  spot between the eyebrows especially so. That is why worry generates heat and causes a headache. The tilak cools the forehead, protects the wearer and prevents energy loss. Sometimes the entire forehead is covered with chandan or bhasma. Using plastic reusable “stick bindis” is not very beneficial, even though it serves the purpose of decoration.

The devotees of Siva apply sacred ashes (Bhasma) on the forehead

The devotees of Vishnu apply sandal paste (Chandan)

The worshippers of Devi or Shakti apply Kumkum.

The scriptures say:

“A forehead without a Tilak, a woman without a husband, a Mantra the meaning of which is not known while doing Japa (recitation), the head that does not bend before holy personages, a heart without mercy, a body devoid of health, a custom without purity,… – all these are worthy of condemnation. They exist for name’s sake only.”

A: Yes if

1. I am no longer able to do my routine work without help

2.  I have pain that keeps me awake at night despite the use of drugs

3. I have pain that keeps me from being able to walk or bend over

4. I have pain that isn’t relieved by rest

5. I have pain that is not responding to non-surgical approaches.

6. I have been told that less-complicated surgical procedures are unlikely to help.

7.  The disease osteoarthritis is wearing me down physically, emotionally, and mentally.

8. I am suffering from severe side effects from the drugs

9. Advanced arthritis is demonstrated on my test

10. If significant joint damage has occurred on my tests.

Why is Gayatri Mantra one of the main mantras in any pooja?

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Any activity should always engage the 3H model – of heart, the head, and the hand. The same has been advocated by the western scholars. The concept means that while doing any work one should ask the head for choices, then refer these choices to the heart to choose one and finally order the hands to do the action.

Deepak Chopra also talks about this in great detail in his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. He writes that conscious-based decisions are the best decisions. Before taking any decision he recommends asking the body for the signals of comfort or discomfort and if the signals of discomfort are perceived, then one should not indulge in that action.

All of these concepts come from ancient Vedic knowledge. The two main mantras are the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra and the Gayatri Mantra.

The Mahamritunjaya Mantra comes from the Rig Veda. This is the greatest reliever from all evils: ‘Aum Trayambakam Yajamahe, Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam, Urva Rukamiva Bandhanan, Mrityor Mokshiye Mamritat’. It means ‘we worship Shiva – The Three-Eyed Lord; who is fragrant and nourishes all beings; May he protect us (bandhan) from all big (urva) diseases (aarookam). May he liberate us (mokshiye) from death (mrityor), For the sake of immortality (mamritat, amrit); as the cucumber is automatically liberated, from its bondage from the creeper when it fully ripens.’

The manta speaks of the importance of the third eye and its benefits. The two eyes are at the level of the physical body. The third eye means the eyes of the mind and the soul. It also indicates that in difficulty one should look inward with the eyes of the mind and ask for choices. Like the cucumber, one should choose the good ones and drop the bad choices. (‘Jo acha lage use apna lo; Jo bura lage use jaane do’).

The mantra for conscious-based decisions comes from Gayatri Mantra. ‘OmBhur Bhuva Svah Tat Savutur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayaat’. It means:‘we meditate on the glory of the Creator; who has created the Universe; who is worthy of Worship; who is the embodiment of Knowledge and Light; who is the remover of all Sin and Ignorance; may He enlighten our Intellect.’

 It talks about the importance of conscious-based decisions and its directions to the intellect to choose the right and not the convenient actions.

The Gayatri Mantra is the Vedic prayer to illuminate the intellect. Gayatri is considered Vedasara or “the essence of the Vedas”. Veda means knowledge, and this prayer fosters and sharpens the knowledge-yielding faculty. As a matter of fact, the four mahavakyas or ‘core-declarations’ enshrined in the four Vedas are implied in the Gayatri Mantra.

Making the right decision from the consciousness was later defined by Buddha. He taught that before any action ask yourself the following four questions and if the answer to any of the questions is ‘no’,  that action should be avoided. These four questions are:

•      Is it the truth?

•      Is it necessary?

•      Will the action bring happiness to you?

•      Will the action bring happiness to others?

Is IAP taking pharma funding illegal?

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Yes: MCI, No: Association

 Pharma industry funds for IAP: IAP Annual Report 2012

Company Funds given in lakh Rs

Johnson and Johnson (118.4); Merck (98.6); Wyeth (13.3); Sanofi Pasteur (11.4); Zuventus (11); Glaxo SmithKline (5); X-ray Biocom (4.5); Serum Institute (3); Pfizer (2). Total (267.2)

Law Cited: 6.8.1 In dealing with Pharmaceutical and allied health sector industry, A MEDICAL PRACTITIONER shall follow and adhere to the stipulations given below:-

a) Gifts: A medical practitioner shall not receive any gift from any pharmaceutical or allied health care industry and their sales people or representatives.

b) Travel facilities: A medical practitioner shall not accept any travel facility

d) Cash or monetary grants: A MEDICAL PRACTITIONER shall not receive any cash or monetary grants from any pharmaceutical and allied healthcare industry for individual purpose in individual capacity under any pretext. Funding for medical research, study etc. can only be received through approved institutions by modalities laid down by law / rules / guidelines adopted by such approved institutions, in a transparent manner. It shall always be fully disclosed.

Issue

The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) has flouted Medical Council of India regulations

1. By accepting funding from the pharma industry

2. Violating code of ethics prohibiting endorsement or promotion of any brand.

Defense

1. MCI regulation is about individual doctors not accepting funds or gifts and not about associations.

2. Under 1860 societies act members of the association are not monitory beneficiary of the society funds.

What MCI says

It was illegal for associations of doctors to take funds from companies.

Conflict of interest

IAP is a member of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) which decides immunization schedule and selection of vaccines to be included in the NIP.

Legal views

1. MCI 6.8.1 does not cover associations and trusts

2. Unless the doctors is proven to be a beneficiary he cannot be implicated

3. In charitable societies members are not suppose to take monitory benefits

4. Societies should not be funded or there activities sponsored by companies I which they have conflict of interest.

5. Endorsement issue in the High Court.

Persist in your efforts and you will be successful

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All success stories are stories of great failures. The only difference is that every time they failed, they bounced back. This is called failing forward, rather than backward. You learn and move forward. Learn from your failure and keep moving.

The third avtara of Vishnu, the boar, signifies the same. The answer is persistence in your objectives.

Here are few quotes and success stories

1. “So never mind these failures, these little backslidings; hold the ideal a thousand times, and if you fail a thousand times, make the attempt once more. The ideal of man is to see God in everything”.  II.152 (Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda)

2. “It is in the nature of things that many should fall, that troubles should come, that tremendous difficulties should arise, that selfishness and all other devils in the human heart should struggle hard, when they are about to be driven out by the fire of spirituality. The road to good is the roughest and the steepest in the universe. It is a wonder that so many succeed; no wonder that so many fall. Character has to be established through a thousand stumbles”.  VIII.383 (C W of SV)

3. “Therefore, stand up, be bold, be strong. Take the whole responsibility on your own shoulders, and know that you are the creator of your own destiny”.  II.225 (CW of SV).

4. “ Successful people don’t do great things, they only do small things in a great way”

5. “One day a partially deaf four year old kid came home with a note in his pocket from his teacher, “Your Tommy is too stupid to learn, get him out of the school.” His mother read the note and answered, “My Tommy is not stupid to learn, I will teach him myself.” And that Tommy grew up to be the great Thomas Edison. Thomas Edison had only three months of formal schooling and he was partially deaf”.

6. “Henry Ford forgot to put the reverse gear in the first car he made”.

7. “Thomas Edison failed approximately 10,000 times while he was working on the light bulb”

8. “Henry Ford was broke at the age of 40”.

9. “Lee Iacocca was fired by Henry Ford II at the age of 54”.

10. “Young Beethoven was told that he had no talent for music, but he gave some of the best music to the world”
(With inputs from Dr Vivek Chhabra and Ravi Ponangi)

Spurious drugs

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The spurious drugs trade is believed to be 30-40% of total market as focused by the media. However, according to the official reports from the Government of India, the spurious drugs amount to only 0.3 to 0.4% of the total market.

Spurious drugs are mainly the products which are deliberately and fraudulently mislabeled and manufactured to mislead and misrepresent the patients by concealing their identity, source of manufacture and its content to profiteer on the popularity of fast moving branded or generic medicines. It may or may not contain the active ingredients in the manner mentioned on the label.

Law: Drug shall seem to be spurious if it falls within the definition as per Chapter IV, Sec. 17B of the D&C Act:

a)If it is manufactured under a name which belongs to another drug; or

b)If it is imitation of or is a substitute for another drug or resembles another drug in a manner likely to deceive or bears upon it or upon its label or container the name of another drug unless it is plainly and conspicuously marked so as to reveal its true character and its lack of identity with such other drug; or

c)     If the label or container bears the name of an individual or company purporting to be manufacturer of the drug; which individual or company is fictitious or does not exist; or

d)If it has been substituted wholly or in part by another drug or substance; or

e) If it purports to be the product of a manufacturer of whom it is not truly a product.

A doctor is like honeybee and the medical profession honey

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In one o the seminars Father Tomas compared all religious faith with honey. He said that honey bees go from one flower to another and collects nectar and it is the mix of the nectars from various flowers that honey is produced with its sweetness.

Similarly the aim of sarva dharma meetings should be to take the essence from all faiths and religions and combine them to make one that can be used as a prescription to achieve health and happiness.

Medical profession is also a religion as is based on all the principles of dharma.  For a doctor there is no religion, cast or creed. For him disease is a disease and his job is to cure a person of the sufferings and bring back happiness.

Doctors can be compared to a honey bee whose job is to get the best of all pathies and religions and use them holistically to treat a person.

6% of young Indian suffers from heart disease

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According to the Global Burden of Disease Study, the developing countries contributed 3.5 million of the 6.2 million global deaths from CAD in 1990 writes Dr.  Kannan and Colleagues from Dept. of Pharmacy Practice at Sri Rama chandra University, Porur, Chennai in the January Edition of Indian Journal of Clinical Practice

Coronary artery disease (CAD) occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle harden and narrow.

The prevalence of CAD inIndiahas more than doubled in the past two decades.

India topped the world with 1,531,534 cardiovascular disease-related deaths in 2002, and based on WHO report, 2009, CAD currently occupies the first place in cause of death.

It is estimated that 9.2 million productive years of life were lost inIndiain 2000, with an expected increase to 17.9 million years in 2030.

Salient features of the CAD epidemic inIndia:

  • Incidence of CAD in young Indians is about 12-16%, which is higher than any other ethnic group
  • Age-standardized estimates for Disability-adjusted life lost due to CAD per 1,000 population inIndiaare three times higher than in developed countries
  • About 5-10% of heart attacks occur in Indian men and women younger than 40 years
  • Median age of first heart attack in Indians is 53 years
  • 1,55,88,000 DALYs  (Disability adjusted life lost years)(WHO, 2009).