“Adoption of AI Inevitable to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals”: Experts

July 05, 2021: “Connecting Artificial Intelligence (AI), the single biggest technological breakthrough of our times, with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is the only way to ensure that the benefits of technology reach the largest number of people in the largest possible way. The adoption of AI is inevitable for us to achieve necessary progress in the areas of elimination of poverty and hunger, fight climate change, inequality, injustice, and creation of sustainable cities and communities, among other social good targets,” said experts.

Addressing a four-day International Symposium on “Artificial Intelligence for Social Good”, organized by Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, during June 30-July 3, 2021, the experts pointed out that research in the field of AI is on the rise globally. India is no different. In 2020, about 6% of all technology-related patents filed in the country were related to AI. Given the increasing recognition and visibility of AI, it is high time people in the industry and government discussed the potential applications of AI in addressing various social challenges.

About 46 academicians, researchers, and industry experts from nine countries addressed the thematic sessions of the symposium on novel research areas including AI and Accessibility, Agriculture, Autonomous Vehicles, Healthcare and Well-being, Safety & Surveillance and Smart Environments. Over 2,500 people attended this virtual event.  

In his keynote address, Professor Rajat Moona, Director, IIT Bhilai, said, “AI’s potential in the areas of offering personalized and adaptive learning solutions is largely untapped. In addition to helping students learn a subject in multiple ways, AI can also help identify at-risk students in need of counseling. He said that the fear of AI is unwarranted. “AI is here to make our natural intelligence better and our decisions better.” He also pointed out the need for more investment in the areas of data security and data inclusivity. 

Dr. Rajendra Kumar, IAS, Additional Secretary, MeitY, in his address, emphasized the need to align AI applications with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and to maximize the technology’s positive impact on society. He cited the potential of employing AI in diagnosis of diseases, and surveillance. In education, AI can be used to identify aptitudes of students accurately and help them make better learning and career choices. Dr. Kumar also highlighted India’s growing visibility as a global technology leader. “In a big leap, India has jumped 37 places to be ranked 10th in Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) 2020,” he pointed out. 

In her address, Dr. Tapati Bandopadhyay, Chair & CEO, AISWITCH Technologies Pvt Ltd, said that in India, AI is now adopted extensively but there are no robust data governance frameworks in place, which is a cause for concern. She emphasized that trust and transparency are the two cornerstones of successful implementation of AI and data tech. She said that in the Indian context, the NITI Aayog is working towards creating a robust data governance framework, which is essential in the increasingly data-driven world. Dr Bandopahdyay expressed concern over the lack of adequate representation of women in AI. “The future of AI is better in girls’ hands,” she said.

Professor Venu Govindaraju, SUNY Distinguished Professor, University at Buffalo, USA, in his address, highlighted the various ways in which AI can be applied for social good. “One of them is to make use of real time data and AI analytics, as opposed to survey results and census data, while addressing poverty eradication. The data ecosystem can include mobile phone data, satellite imagery, weather data, economic data, and AI can help processing heterogeneous data to give different views of poverty, model the uncertainties, and fill in the missing data and come up with ways to combat poverty,” he said.

In her theme address, Professor Prema Nedungadi, Director, AmritaCREATE, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, said, “AI is certainly the single largest technology revolution in our times. A disruptive technology like AI needs to be seen from the perspective of the transformative impact it can have on the greater social good by improving the quality of life of people and helping them create and access choices.” She said that the areas that require urgent attention include access to quality health facilities, providing real-time advisory to farmers, and building smart and efficient cities and infrastructures to meet the demands of rapidly urbanizing populations. 

She pointed out that Amrita University is a key partner on several AI projects of the Indian government. Among them is the project that aims at enhancing the accessibility of Indian Sign Language across UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-Age Governance) a single digital platform for all Indian citizens to access pan India e-Gov services ranging from central to Local Government bodies. As an Institution of Eminence, Amrita has accelerated investments in AI Labs along with focused and interdisciplinary research. 

The international symposium witnessed the participation of research scholars and students in poster presentations and Ph.D. colloquium. The event served as an excellent platform for AI enthusiasts from the industry, academicians, and students to stay up-to-date on the latest research trends. To make the virtual symposium accessible and inclusive, registration was made free and open to all. 

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Bharat Biotech Concludes Final Analysis for COVAXIN® Efficacy from Phase 3 Clinical Trials

●    Efficacy analysis demonstrates COVAXIN® to be 77.8% effective against symptomatic COVID-19, through evaluation of 130 confirmed cases, with 24 observed in the vaccine group versus 106 in the placebo group

●    Efficacy analysis demonstrates COVAXIN® to be 93.4% effective against severe symptomatic COVID-19

●    Safety analysis demonstrates adverse events reported were similar to placebo, with 12% of subjects experiencing commonly known side effects and less than 0.5% of subjects feeling serious adverse events

●    Efficacy data demonstrates 63.6% protection against asymptomatic COVID-19

●    Efficacy data demonstrates 65.2% protection against the SARS-CoV-2, B.1.617.2 Delta variant 

Hyderabad, July 3, 2021: Bharat Biotech, a global leader in vaccine development and innovation, announced today safety and efficacy analysis data from Phase III clinical trials of COVAXIN®, a whole virion inactivated vaccine against SARS-CoV2, was developed in partnership with ICMR and NIV Pune. 

Phase 3 clinical trials of COVAXIN® was an event driven analysis of 130 symptomatic COVID-19 cases, reported at least two weeks after the 2nd dose, conducted at 25 sites across India. COVAXIN® is formulated with a novel Algel+IMDG adjuvant. IMDG is a TLR7/8 agonist known to induce memory T cell responses along with strong neutralizing antibodies. The activation of cell mediated immune responses is especially valuable in a multi epitope vaccine such as COVAXIN®, where immune protection can be achieved from S, RBD and N proteins alike. IMDG was developed under partnership between Virovax and NIAID, National Institutes of Health USA.

COVAXIN® was well tolerated and the Data Safety Monitoring Board has not reported any safety concerns related to the vaccine.  The overall rate of adverse events observed in COVAXIN® was lower than that seen in otherCovid-19 vaccines. The safety profile of COVAXIN® is now well established based on inactivated vaccines technology, and in large part due to the extensive 20-year safety track record of Bharat Biotech’s vero cell manufacturing platform. Furthermore, Bharat Biotech has so far not sought indemnity for COVAXIN® from the Governments.      

No licensed SARS-CoV-2 vaccine has reported efficacy against asymptomatic infection in a randomised controlled trial, based on qPCR testing. COVAXIN® is the first to report promising efficacy against asymptomatic infections based on qPCR testing that will help in reducing disease transmission. 

Dr. Krishna Ella, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharat Biotech, said, “The successful safety and efficacy readouts of COVAXIN® as a result of conducting the largest ever COVID Vaccines trials in India establishes the ability of India and developing world countries to focus towards innovation and novel product development. We are proud to state that Innovation from India will now be available to protect global populations.” 

COVAXIN® has been specifically designed to meet the needs of global distribution chains, the requirements for which are more critical in low- and middle-income countries.  It has been formulated to enable shipping and long-term storage at 2-8ºC. It is also formulated to adhere to a multi-dose vial policy, thereby reducing open vial wastage, saving money to procurement agencies and governments alike.      

Prof. (Dr) Balram Bhargava, Secretary Department of Health Research & Director General Indian Council of Medical Research, said, “I am delighted to note that COVAXIN®, developed by ICMR and BBIL under an effective public private partnership, has demonstrated an overall efficacy of 77.8% in India’s largest COVID phase 3 clinical trial thus far. Our scientists at ICMR and BBIL have worked tirelessly to deliver a truly effective vaccine of highest international standards. COVAXIN® will not only benefit the Indian citizens but would also immensely contribute to protect the global community against the deadly SARS-CoV-2 virus. I am also pleased to see that COVAXIN® works well against all variant strains of SARS-CoV-2. The successful development of COVAXIN® has consolidated the position of Indian academia and Industry in the global arena.”

Bharat Biotech is a company driven by science and validated by empirical evidence. Its commitment to data transparency has been proven again with 10 publications on COVAXIN®, covering all aspects of product development, all within 12 months.

Bharat Biotech’s commitment to continued improvement of COVAXIN® is well under way with additional clinical trials to establish safety and efficacy in children between 2-18 years of age. A clinical trial to determine the safety and immunogenicity of a booster dose is also in process. Several research activities are being carried out to study variants of concern and to assess their suitability for follow up booster doses.   

Mrs. Suchitra Ella, Joint Managing Director, Bharat Biotechsaid, “It is a momentous day for everyone, at Bharat Biotech, as we announce the Final Phase-3 Results of COVAXIN® and its efficacy of 77.8%. We wish to thank ICMR, NIV-Pune, Virovax, DSMB and Adjudication Committee. We earnestly thank our clinical trial sites, Principle Investigators, IQVIA, and every participant who has reposed their faith in COVAXIN®. We SINCERELY thank all our employees for enduring work pressures through the pandemic & lockdowns, with 24×7 commitment amidst unprecedented number of physical challenges, stress and continuous operations. We specially thank our medical affairs team for leading the project, the technical and marketing teams who have relentlessly worked to complete the clinical trials and coordination of 25 sites across the country since May 2020.”

COVAXIN® has been evaluated through neutralizing antibody responses against several variants of concern, namely B.1.617.2 (Delta), B.1.617.1 (Kappa), B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), P2- B.1.1.28 (Gamma). The data from these studies have been extensively published in peer reviewed journals and available for review in the public domain. 

Prof. (Dr) Priya Abraham, Director National Institute of Virology ICMR said, “The overall efficacy of 77.8 % following the phase III clinical trial of COVAXIN® is wonderful news. ICMR-NIV and BBIL have had very fruitful interactions during this exhilarating journey. Sera from COVAXIN® recipients have also been evaluated against viral variants detected in India i.e., the Alpha, Beta, Zeta, Kappa and Delta. The making of this vaccine entirely on Indian soil is a matter of great pride to every Indian.”

COVAXIN® has now received emergency use authorizations in 16 countries including, Brazil, India, Philippines, Iran, Mexico, etc. with EUA’s in process in 50 countries worldwide. The company is in discussions with WHO to obtain emergency Use Listing for COVAXIN®. The product has been exported to several countries with additional requests for supplies being received.   

Bharat Biotech has established COVAXIN® manufacturing at 4 facilities within India, further expansions are in process to reach an annualized capacity of 1 billion doses by the end of 2021. Technology transfer activities are in progress to companies in United States, and other countries.  

ಶೈಕ್ಷಣಿಕ ಗೊಂದಲಗಳ ನಿವಾರಣೆಗಾಗಿ ರಾಜ್ಯಾದ್ಯಂತ ಆಮ್ ಆದ್ಮ ಪಕ್ಷದಿಂದ ಸಹಿ ಸಂಗ್ರಹಣೆ ಹಾಗೂ ಬೃಹತ್ ಜನಜಾಗೃತಿ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮ

ರಾಜ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ತಲೆದೋರಿರುವ ಶೈಕ್ಷಣಿಕ ಶುಲ್ಕಗಳು , ಸರ್ಕಾರಿ ಶಾಲೆಗಳ ದುರ್ವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆ , ಖಾಸಗಿ ಶಿಕ್ಷಕರ ಸಮಸ್ಯೆ , ಶುಲ್ಕ ನಿಯಂತ್ರಣ ಪ್ರಾಧಿಕಾರದ ರಚನೆ ಸೇರಿದಂತೆ ಹಲವಾರು ಶೈಕ್ಷಣಿಕ ಬೇಡಿಕೆಗಳನ್ನು ಈಡೇರಿಸುವಲ್ಲಿ ಸರ್ಕಾರವು ಸಂಪೂರ್ಣ ವೈಫಲ್ಯಗೊಂಡಿದೆ . ಸರ್ಕಾರದ ಹೊಣೆಗೇಡಿತನದ ಪರಿಣಾಮವಾಗಿ ಇಂದು ರಾಜ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿನ ಸರ್ಕಾರಿ ಹಾಗೂ ಖಾಸಗಿ ಶಿಕ್ಷಣ ವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆ ಸಾಕಷ್ಟು ಸಂಕಷ್ಟಕ್ಕೀಡಾಗಿದೆ . ಶಾಲಾ ಶುಲ್ಕ ಗಳ ವಿಚಾರದಲ್ಲಿಯೂ ಸಹ ಪೋಷಕ ವರ್ಗ ಸಮಸ್ಯೆಗೀಡಾಗಿದೆ . ಈ ಎಲ್ಲ ಗೊಂದಲಗಳಿಂದಾಗಿ ಲಕ್ಷಾಂತರ ಮಕ್ಕಳು ಶಿಕ್ಷಣ ವಂಚಿತರಾಗುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ .

ಸರ್ಕಾರದ ಈ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ವೈಫಲ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ಬಗೆಹರಿಸಲು ಒತ್ತಾಯಿಸುವ ನಿಟ್ಟಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಆಮ್ ಆದ್ಮ ಪಕ್ಷದ ಸಾವಿರಾರು ಕಾರ್ಯಕರ್ತರು ಗಳು ಸತತ 15 ದಿವಸಗಳ ಕಾಲ ರಾಜ್ಯದಾದ್ಯಂತ ಎಲ್ಲ ಜಿಲ್ಲೆ ಹಾಗೂ ತಾಲ್ಲೂಕುಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಕನಿಷ್ಠ 5 ಲಕ್ಷ ಮನೆಗಳಿಗೆ ತೆರಳಿ ಸಹಿ ಸಂಗ್ರಹಣೆ ಹಾಗೂ ಬೃಹತ್ ಜನಾಂದೋಲನ ಕಾರ್ಯ ಕ್ರಮವನ್ನು ನಡೆಸುವವರಿದ್ದಾರೆ ಎಂದು ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ನಗರ ಅಧ್ಯಕ್ಷ ಮೋಹನ್ ದಾಸರಿ ಎಂದು ಇಂದಿಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆದ ಪತ್ರಿಕಾಗೋಷ್ಠಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸಮಗ್ರ ಚಿತ್ರಣ ನೀಡಿದರು .

ಕರಪತ್ರ , ಎಲ್.ಇ.ಡಿ ವಾಹನ , ವಿಚಾರಗೋಷ್ಠಿ ಗಳು ಮಾಧ್ಯಮಗಳು ಹಾಗೂ ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ಜಾಲತಾಣಗಳ ಮೂಲಕ ಈ ಅಭಿಯಾನವನ್ನು ಯಶಸ್ವಿಯಾಗಿಸಲು ಈಗಾಗಲೇ ಹಲವು ರೂಪುರೇಷೆಗಳನ್ನು ಪಕ್ಷವು ಕೈಗೊಂಡಿದೆ .

ಈ ಬೃಹತ್ ಅಭಿಯಾನದ ಭಾಗವಾಗಿ ಪಕ್ಷದ ರಾಜ್ಯಾಧ್ಯಕ್ಷ ಶ್ರೀ ಪೃಥ್ವಿರೆಡ್ಡಿ ದವರು ದಿನಾಂಕ : 05 – 07 – 2021 ಸೋಮವಾರ ಬೆಳಿಗ್ಗೆ 9 ಗಂಟೆಗೆ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ನಗರದ ಸಂಪಂಗಿ ರಾಮನಗರ ವಾರ್ಡ್ ನಲ್ಲಿ ಮನೆ ಮನೆಗೆ ತೆರಳಿ ವಿದ್ಯುಕ್ತವಾಗಿ ಚಾಲನೆ ಯನ್ನು ನೀಡಲಿದ್ದಾರೆ . ಇವರೊಂದಿಗೆ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ನಗರ ಅಧ್ಯಕ್ಷ ಮೋಹನ್ ದಾಸರಿ ಪ್ರಚಾರ ಸಮಿತಿ ಅಧ್ಯಕ್ಷ ಶಾಂತಲಾ ದಾಮ್ಲ ಸೇರಿದಂತೆ ಅನೇಕ ಮುಖಂಡರುಗಳು ಹಾಗೂ ಕಾರ್ಯಕರ್ತರುಗಳು ಭಾಗವಹಿಸಲಿದ್ದಾರೆ . ಇದೇ ಸಮಯದಲ್ಲಿ ರಾಜ್ಯದಾದ್ಯಂತ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಜಿಲ್ಲಾ ಹಾಗೂ ತಾಲ್ಲೂಕು ಕೇಂದ್ರಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಸಹ ಈ ಅಭಿಯಾನಕ್ಕೆ ಚಾಲನೆ ದೊರಕಲಿದೆ . ಈ ಮೂಲಕ ರಾಜ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ತಲೆದೋರಿರುವ ಶೈಕ್ಷಣಿಕ ಸಮಸ್ಯೆಗೆ ಆಮ್ ಆದ್ಮ ಪಕ್ಷವು ರಾಜ್ಯದ ಜನತೆಯ ಧ್ವನಿಯಾಗಿ ಕೆಲಸ ಮಾಡುತ್ತದೆ ಎಂದು ಮೋಹನ್ ದಾಸರಿ ತಿಳಿಸಿದರು .

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Amrita School of Biotechnology enters into partnership with the University of Arizona to offer the first of its kind Dual Degree program in India in the Life Sciences

*The partnership will provide enrolled students the opportunity to receive two degrees – M.Sc. Biotechnology, Microbiology or Bioinformatics from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and MS Cellular and Molecular Medicine from the University of Arizona.
*Students will also be able to conduct research in the laboratories at the University of Arizona.

01 July, 2021: In a unique step, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University’s Amrita School of Biotechnology has entered into a dual degree partnership with the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Arizona. 

According to Dr. Bipin Nair, Professor, Amrita School of Biotechnology and Dean, Faculty of Science, this is a strategic merger of the strengths of the two well established units of the two universities, both in terms of academic fervour and research excellence, providing aspiring students the excellent opportunity to tap into the expertise of the renowned and internationally recognised Biomedical Sciences faculty at the University of Arizona, while at the same time being able to harness the rich experience of the Masters programs in Biotechnology, Microbiology and Bioinformatics at the Amrita School of Biotechnology. Besides being given the unique opportunity to receive two degrees – M.Sc. Biotechnology, Microbiology or Bioinformatics from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and MS Cellular and Molecular Medicine, the students enrolling for this spectacular Dual Degree program would benefit tremendously from this innovative approach of flexible one of its kind modular courses offered by the Cellular and Molecular Medicine Department at the University of Arizona as well as to conduct research within the University of Arizona laboratories.

Carol C. Gregorio, PhD, University of Arizona, Head of the Department, Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Assistant Vice Provost of Global Health Sciences, said about the program- “We are honored to have entered this dual degree partnership with Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University—one of the top research institutions in India. This opportunity allows us to push the boundaries in our own university by tapping expertise of our renowned and internationally recognized faculty. This exciting opportunity is part of our larger mission to expand access to Arizona Health Sciences education within the U.S. and around the world.”.

Dr. Maneesha Ramesh, Dean, International Programs, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham added that Amrita was ranked the 4th Best Overall University in India in the 2020 NIRF rankings. In continuing with our quest for excellence, this dual degree arrangement with the University of Arizona is a strategically important step to ensure that our students receive the best possible training as a steppingstone to a bright future.

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ಕಳುವಾಗಿದ್ದ 15 ವಾಹನಗಳನ್ನು ಪತ್ತೆ ಹಚ್ಚುವಲ್ಲಿ ಬಾಣಸವಾಡಿ ಪೊಲೀಸ್ ಠಾಣೆ ಯಶಸ್ವಿ

ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ನಗರದ ವಿವಿಧ ಪ್ರದೇಶಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಕಳುವಾಗಿದ್ದ ಸುಮಾರು 15 ವಾಹನಗಳನ್ನು ಪತ್ತೆ ಹಚ್ಚುವಲ್ಲಿ ಬಾಣಸವಾಡಿ ಪೊಲೀಸ್ ಠಾಣೆಯ ಅಪರಾಧ ವಿಭಾಗದ ಅಧಿಕಾರಿಗಳು ಹಾಗೂ ಸಿಬ್ಬಂದಿಗಳು ಯಶಸ್ವಿಯಾಗಿರುತ್ತಾರೆ.

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Vaccination drive for the underprivileged & specially abled on 30th June,2021 at 10.00 am to 1.00 pm

Forum Koramangala Mall & The Helping Hands presents Free Vaccination drive for the underprivileged & specially abled. The drive is hosted at Forum Koramangala Mall. Individuals will be vaccinated utilizing Covishield & Covaxin vaccines provided free of charge for age group 18+

Vaccination Details

Date: 30th June 2021

Time: 10.00 am to 1.00 pm

Place: Forum Koramangala Mall

Age Group: 18+

Contact: 9620260112/9880916733

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Jimmy Mistry Launches world’s first business platform, Della Leaders Club (DLC) to create a global community of entrepreneurs, professionals and young leaders

As a part of its first round of fund-raising, Della Leaders Club aims to raise Rs. 50cr in three months
With over 2000 Global Honorary Committee members already on board, the platform is set to launch 26 knowledge domains in 15 cities across the world in Phase I Members comprise entrepreneurs, professionals and young leaders who aim to contribute and give back to society

DLC will focus on knowledge exchange, lifestyle guidance and social responsibility while building a support ecosystem for leaders globally
Mumbai, June 26, 2021: Mr. Jimmy Mistry, innovator, design thinker and social entrepreneur announced the launch of Della Leaders Club – world’s first technology enabled global business platform designed to create a robust support system for leaders across industries globally.
The platform was formally inaugurated in Lonavala on Saturday, June 12, 2021 in the virtual presence of Mr. Nitin Gadkari, the Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport & Highways and for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India, Mr. Aaditya Thackeray, the Cabinet Minister of Tourism and Environment for the Government of Maharashtra, along with business and domain leaders from across the world.
Speaking at the launch, Mr. Nitin Gadkari said, “Knowledge is power and the conversion of knowledge into wealth is the future of this country. I congratulate my friend, Jimmy Mistry, who has launched the World’s 1st Business platform called Della Leaders Club (DLC) to help leaders in the post-pandemic world. The DLC platform will surely create a a new vision for the young leadership and entrepreneurship in the world.”

Mr. Aditya Thackeray lauded the new venture and commented, “My heartfelt congratulations to Jimmy Mistry on the setup of the Della Leaders Club. Kudos to your creativity! The World’s 1st Business Platform will connect organizations and bring the best of the world to our own country apart from social impact. Today with COVID, the biggest impact anyone can have is by way of job creation to sustain families and keep things going. I wish the DLC all the best.”

Being a first-generation entrepreneur, Jimmy strongly believes that modern leaders, especially in the post pandemic world, will benefit greatly from the knowledge and experiences from global leaders. His vision for DLC is to create an exclusive and secure global community of leaders that will help each other evolve from a life of success to a life of significance.
“After designing for some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, corporate professionals, celebrities and socialites over the last 25 years, I observed that they were hungry to learn and stay ahead of the curve. We live in a volatile world and I realised that leaders, across industries, need a support system that will empower them. This platform goes beyond just networking and focuses on knowledge development along with community outreach” said Mr. Mistry, Founder and Chairman of Della Leaders Club. 

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Amrita Doctors in Kochi use ECMO to Save Life of 11-year-old Boy Suffering from Post-Covid Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C)

  • MIS-C had severely affected the 11-year-old child’s heart muscles, which were inflamed and unable to pump blood
  • He was successfully treated with ECMO (Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation), which is akin to heart-lung bypass machine used in open-heart surgery
  • The child is one of the rarest patients in India to be successfully treated with ECMO for MIS-C

KOCHI/ June 25, 2021: An 11-year-old boy suffering from severe heart failure and shock due to Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) was successfully treated at Amrita Hospital in Kochi with ECMO, which is akin to heart-lung bypass machine used in open-heart surgery, saving his life from the dreaded disease that appears to be linked to Covid-19. Amrita Hospital doctors are warning of a wave of MIS-C across South India which may hit children in a big way. Adhik’s case is an early warning of this, they say.

The child Adhik, hailing from Kedamangalam in Paravur (Ernakulam District), is one of the rarest patients in India to be put on ECMO (Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation) for MIS-C. ECMO pumps and oxygenates a patient’s blood outside the body, allowing the heart and lungs to rest. When a patient is connected to an ECMO, blood flows through tubing to an artificial lung in the machine that adds oxygen and takes out carbon dioxide; then the blood is warmed to body temperature and pumped back into the body. ECMO is today saving many patients from Covid-19 and post-Covid complications.

Adhik was referred to Amrita Hospital in a serious condition. He most likely had an asymptomatic Covid-19 or was exposed to Covid-19 in the weeks preceding to presentation as widened by positive antibody titers to Covid-19 in his blood.  MIS-C had over the last one week severely affected his heart muscles, which were inflamed and unable to pump blood. His blood pressure had dropped to extremely low levels. The condition would have been fatal if not treated promptly. On arrival at the hospital, Amrita doctors put him on a ventilator without delay.

Said Dr. Suma Balan, Consultant Pediatrician and Pediatric Rheumatologist, Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Amrita Hospital, Kochi: “Putting a very sick child with low blood pressure and poor heart on ventilator needs a high degree of skill and training from a Pediatric Intensivist. The child also required special lines to be inserted into his large veins, so that medicines to elevate his blood pressure could be safely administered without needing to prick him all the time. A line was also inserted in a peripheral artery to help monitor his blood pressure accurately.”

Added Dr. Sajith Kesavan, Head, Dept. of Pediatric Pulmonary & Critical Care, Amrita Hospitals, Kochi: “Immunomodulant medications to affect the functioning of the child patient’s immune system were also commenced. The main challenge was that the child was in very severe shock and not responding, despite being on a ventilator and being given medications to improve his shock. The immunomodulant medications which counter the increased inflammatory state take time to be administered. The patient needed to be supported and kept stable until those medicines have had a chance to work.”

He added: “A bedside echocardiogram was also arranged due to the severity of the child’s illness. However, the team soon realized that the child needed more medical attention, and it was decided that an ECMO would help his recovery. This machine takes over the heart-lung function. Putting the child on ECMO for a few days allowed rest to his heart muscles, giving them time to recover. This works very well in scenarios where there is a good possibility of natural recovery – and Adhik’s situation fit that bill.”

According to Dr. Mahesh K, Clinical Professor, Centre for Aortic Diseases & Marfan Syndrome, Pediatric Cardiology, Amrita Hospitals, Kochi, ECMO is not just about adding on another machine; it requires special lines to be attached from the patient to the machine and back, and many precautions to keep these lines sterile and flowing. He said: “This requires a significant financial commitment. The intensive care, immunomodulant therapy and the addition of ECMO increases treatment cost significantly, but the treating doctors knew this offered the best chance for Adhik.”

Dr. Mahesh K added: “The boy belongs to a middle-class family and raising a huge amount of money at a short notice isn’t easy. However, we were able to help them with some funding, and the family raised the rest. Amrita Hospital also gave a letter to the family to take it to the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC). The family and hospital management appreciate the ESIC for its quick response not only approving the treatment at Amrita Hospital but also approving the ECMO. This is the first time that ECMO has been approved at this centre by ESIC.”

Most children who become infected with COVID-19 virus have only a mild illness, but in children who go on to develop MIS-C due to the infection, some organs like the heart, lungs, blood vessels, kidneys, brain, etc. become severely inflamed. It is an immune system mediated hyper-inflammation targeting children and teenagers. More than 50% of patients develop heart problems.

Said Dr. Suma Balan: “Adhik has so far responded well to treatment. He was taken off ECMO after 72 hours. We were also able to take him off the ventilator two days later. He is out of intensive care now and continues to make steady progress. We are all positive and hopeful that the child will be back to a normal 11-year-old child’s routine in a few weeks.”

Appreciating the role of intensive care in saving Adhik’s life, Dr. Suma Balan added: “There is much apprehension in the public about Intensive Care for patients and the high costs involved. Intensive Care requires a very high standard of skill, protocols and decision making, all of which comes with a long period of training and experience. Many critical illnesses require multidisciplinary management for their various aspects, so expecting only one doctor to do everything is not practical. Others involved in intensive care, including the critical care nurses, the respiratory therapist, and various technicians, are all equally important. Intensive care also requires a huge number of disposables and many skilled tasks, that all go to keep the patient safe and cared for. That is why intensive care is expensive, and we should not demean that.”

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Prabha Khaitan Foundation presents the first of their Kalam series with celebrated poet and scholar, Yatindra Mishra on 25th June at 4 PM

Prabha Khaitan Foundation presents the Kalam series, a virtual session with Yatindra Mishra the celebrated Hindi poet, editor, music and cinema scholar in conversation with Riddhima Doshi, president of Madhav Marbles & Granite Ltd and Ehsaas Women of Udaipur on 25th June, Friday at 4 PM. 

Yatindra Mishra has three collections of poetry to his name – Yada Kada (1997), Ayodhya tatha anya Kavitayein (1999) and Dyodhi Par Alaap (2005) – besides which he has written a book on the classical singer Girija Devi called Girija and a book of conversations with the dancer Sonal Mansingh called Devpriya. He has also edited selections from the poetry of Agyeya, Jitna Tumhara Sach Hai (2011), the prose of Ashok Vajpeyi, Kis Bhogol Mei Kis Sapne Mei (2011), and the poetry of Gulzar, Yaar Julahe (2009). He is also the author of the book Sur Ki Baradari. In this session Yatindra Mishra will discuss his literary journey and works.  

Prabha Khaitan Foundation is dedicated to all round development of social, cultural, welfare and humanitarian aspects of Indian society. It is a non-profit trust founded by Late Dr Prabha Khaitan – an eminent litterateur, philanthropist, social worker, and industrialist. Based in Kolkata, the organization promotes art, culture and literature of India and is engaged in many welfare activities with its associates for children, women and the elderly. The organization collaborates with caregivers, committed individuals and like-minded institutions to implement various cultural, educational, literary and social welfare projects in the country. The objective of the foundation is to create an enabling structure and promote networking so that communities engage with each other to build up positive self-esteem, inspire creativity and promote culture & knowledge.

The virtual session can be viewed on Zoom digital meeting platform.

Date: 25th June, 2021 Friday

Time: 4 PM

Zoom ID: 893 6354 8802

Passcode: PKF123

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89363548802?pwd=QUZxM0srakY1UnVUTGk1RWKc054UT09

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