Liver abscesses most common in India — and Covid-19 has pushed up the numbers

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By Rachel V. Thomas
New Delhi, Sep 22 |
If you are experiencing recurrent fever, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, coupled with a dull, throbbing sensation in the upper right abdomen (liver), you might be suffering from liver abscesses — one of the most common gastro-intestinal conditions in India.

The Covid-19 pandemic seems to be also pushing up the number of people with liver abscess, as indicated by anecdotal evidence. As many as 21 patients who recovered from Covid-19 have now been diagnosed with “unusually large” and multiple liver abscesses in the past two months at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi.

This number was shared with IANS by Dr Anil Arora, Chairman, Institute of Liver, Gastroenterology, Pancreaticobiliary Science, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. He described it as a “double whammy of infection”. He said Covid-19 treatment using steroids — “a dampener for immunity” — may have resulted in pus formation in the liver and the resultant abscesses.

An abscess is a mass filled with pus inside the liver, caused mainly because of an infection transmitted by bacteria, parasites, or fungi. Amoebiasis — a common infection of the human gastro-intestinal tract — is the most cited reason.

“India is the hub of intestinal amoebiasis. And so, it is one of the top countries reporting liver abscesses,” Dr Arora, told IANS. Amoebiasis spreads from eating food or water that has been contaminated. After an infection has occurred, the parasite gets carried by the bloodstream from the intestines to the liver, where it eats up the resources of the body’s central chemical factory and produces abscesses, Arora explained.

“Liver abscesses are a common occurrence and affect all socio-economic groups, but more so in poorly nourished people living in poor hygienic conditions,” added Dr Atul N.C. Peters, Director, Department of Bariatric, Minimal Access and Laparoscopic Surgery, at Max Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi.

Weight loss is not an early clinical symptom in most cases, but liver abscesses can lead to significant weight loss gradually because of loss of appetite.

“If a liver abscess is there for a long time, then the chronic infection will lead to a poor nutritional state and a gradual weight loss. But liver abscesses are not a common cause of substantial weight loss because they are present with acute symptoms and are diagnosed well in time. Some amount of weight loss (up to five to ten kilos) may be seen in liver abscess patients,” Peters told IANS.

“Since the liver is enlarged, it gets swollen and causes early satiety. The person affected by a bacterial infection leading to a liver abscess may lose weight because the person doesn’t actually feel hungry. The person, moreover, is in a catabolic state because of the infection. That is, the person’s body is expending more energy than required, which might cause weight loss,” explained Dr Amey Sonavane, Consultant, Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai.

Symptoms of a liver abscess usually take two to four weeks to appear. They include fever, chills, sweats, loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, or both, and diarrhoea, constipation, or both. These are coupled with pain in the lower right chest and in the upper right abdomen (more common) or throughout the abdomen (less common). A simple ultrasound can reveal the condition, making treatment faster, the doctors said.

“The most important way to prevent liver abscess is to maintain food and water hygiene. We must make sure the water we drink is not contaminated and raw food is washed thoroughly before cooking,” Sonavane said.

Eating a variety of healthy and hygienic foods: fruit, vegetables, whole grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meat, and fish, and drinking clean and safe water (between nine and 13 eight-ounce cups of liquids every day), can help keep liver problems at bay.

Source: IANS

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Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Most students pursuing an MBA come with the sole objective of having a decent job offer or a promotion in the existing job soon after completion of the MBA. And most of them take loans to pursue this career dream. According to a recent survey by education portal Campusutra.com  74% MBA 2022-24 aspirants said they would opt for education loans.

There are exceptional cases like those seeking master’s degree or may have a family business to take care of or an entrepreneurial venture in mind. But the exception cases are barely 1%. For the rest 99%, a management degree is a ticket to a dream job through campus placements or leap towards career enhancements. Stakes are high as many of them quit their jobs which essentially means loss of 2 years of income, apprehension and uncertainty of the job market. On top of that, the pressure to pay back the education loans. Hence the returns have to be high. There is more than just the management degree. Colleges need to ensure that they offer quality management education which enables them to be prepared for not just the demands of recruiters and for a decent job but also to sustain and achieve, all along their career path.

  • So, what exactly are the B Schools doing to prepare their students for the job market and make them industry ready ?
  •  Are B schools ready to deliver and prepare the future business leaders to cope up with the disrupted market ?  

These are the two key questions every MBA aspirant needs to ask, check and validate before filling the MBA application forms of management institutes. And worth mentioning that these application forms do not come cheap. An MBA aspirant who may have shortlisted 5 B Schools to apply for, may end up spending Rs 10,000.00 to Rs 15,000.00 just buying MBA / PGDM application forms.

While internship and placements data of some management institutes clearly indicates that recruiters today have specific demands. The skill sets looked for are job centric and industry oriented. MBA schools which have adopted new models of delivery and technology, redesigned their courses, built an effective evaluation process and prepared the students to cope with the dynamic business scenario, have done great with campus placements despite the economic slow down.

However, the skill set being looked for by a consulting company like Deloitte or KPMG may be quite different from FMCG or a manufacturing sector. Institutes need to acknowledge this fact and act accordingly.

  • Management institutes should ensure that students are intellectually engaged, self motivated and adapt to changes fast. In one word ‘VUCA ready’.
  • B Schools should encourage students to participate in national and international competitive events, simulations of business scenarios.
  • Institutes should have the right mix of faculty members with industry exposure and pure academics.

The placement records of 2021 across top management institutes indicated the fact that recruitment is happening, skilled talent is in demand and certain management institutions continued to attract recruiters even in the middle of an ongoing crisis.

It is time, all management institutes rise to the occasion, understand market realities and identify areas of improvement at both ends – students and faculty.

After all, the stakes are high at both ends. B Schools taking corrective measures will stay while those which are lagging will end up shutting down.

Author Name : Nirmalya Pal

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