Thursday October 19, 2017

Pakistan’s unending struggle with Polio

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An Afghan child looks on as a health worker administers polio vaccine .

Islamabad: On March 27, 2014, the World Health Organization announced the eradication of Polio in eleven countries in the South-East Asia Region, including India. However, Pakistan seems to face this infectious disease with never ending struggle.

The first case of Polio for 2016 was reported in Pakistan’s densely populated city of Karachi. Out of 73 cases reported globally, 54 were from Pakistan. Unfortunately, children in Pakistan suffer from malnutrition due to which immunity level hadn’t really built.

Although the country is putting continuous efforts in eradication of the disease by conducting regular vaccination campaigns, Islamic terror groups prove to be major hurdles. The militants consider polio workers as ‘western spies’ and polio drops as western conspiracy to sterilize Muslim children.

Several government initiatives to rest such rumors have been initiated. ‘Muslim Clerics’ appointed by Pakistan government have spoken up in favor of the vaccination.

Health officials, however, admit Polio still prevails in the country, paving way for resurgence of the disease worldwide.

Following video shows Pakistan’s dilemma with tackling this never ending disease.


(Image source: pakistantoday.com.pk)

1 COMMENT

  1. Stop giving the vaccine. The US stopped because it was causing Polio.
    In 1976, Dr Jonas Salk, creator of the killed-virus vaccine used in the 1950’s, testified that the live-virus vaccine (used almost exclusively in the U.S. from the early 1960’s to 2000) was the “principal if not sole cause” of all reported polio cases in the U.S. since 1961 (Washington Post,September 24,1976). The virus remains in the throat for one to two weeks and in the feces for up to two months. Thus, vaccine recipients are at risk, and can potentially spread the disease, as long as fecal excretion of the virus continues ( American Academy of Pediatrics, Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases:1986(Elk Grove Village, Illinois: AAP):284–5.

    It was discovered that both versions of the vaccine cause polio or the more severe form-Non Polio Acute Flaccid Paralysis. Clinically indistinguishable from Polio but more difficult to treat.

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WHO Releases New Guidelines to Fight Global Childhood Obesity

India ranks second in the number of obese children in the world with China taking the first spot

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Obesity exposes an individual to multiple health problems. VOA

New Delhi, October 12, 2017:  In 2016, an Official data in had revealed that over 41 million children below the age of 5 were affected by obesity. Without due attention and efficient treatment, they are likely to remain obese throughout their lives, with an increased risk of developing a host of diseases and physical and psychological consequences like anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and even premature death.

In view of an escalating number of people constantly coming under the ambush of obesity, and with childhood obesity becoming a cause of worry globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) released new guidelines on October 4, emphasizing the growing importance of healthcare experts and professionals, underlining their positive role in helping kids and teenagers fight the global menace.

What is Obesity?

Obesity is defined as ‘excess adipose tissue’. In other words, it is a body-weight disorder involving excessive body fat that exposes an individual to multiple health problems.  In case a person’s body-weight is nearly 20 per cent higher than it should be, he is considered obese.

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Excessive body fat that exposes an individual to multiple health problems. Pixabay

There are different ways to calculate excess adipose tissue, the most common one being the Body Mass Index.

Index :

Overweight – BMI greater than or equal to 25

Obesity – BMI greater than or equal to 30

Global Data

According to data obtained by WHO, one half of all overweight children or obese children lived in Asia, and one-quarter of the total obese children lived in Africa.

According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in June, India ranks second in the number of obese children in the world with China taking the first spot.

The global menace continues to rise rapidly in low and middle-income countries.

Also Read: Obesity leads to 13 types of Cancer, including that of Pancreas and Esophagus: Study

WHO Guidelines

The new report released by WHO on October 4 is titled ‘Assessing and Managing Children at Primary Healthcare Facilities to Prevent Overweight and Obesity in the Context of the Double Burden of Malnutrition’.

The report provides guidelines and updates for the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI). The guidelines attempt to confine the spread of childhood obesity from expanding further, and prescribe undertaking proper assessment of dietary habits along with weight and height measurements. It also recommends dieting and proper counseling by healthcare experts.

Recommendations by WHO

  • WHO has recommended that primary healthcare facilities should be made available to all children below the age of 5 years and infants. These should include measurement of both weight and height of the children to determine their weight-for height and nutritional status as previously defined by WHO child growth standards.
  • For children and infants identified as overweight, healthcare experts should provide counseling to parents and caregivers on nutrition and physical activity, which includes creating awareness about healthy practices like exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months and continuing the practice until 2 years or more.
  • WHO also prescribes that an appropriate management plan should be devised to counter the menace in obese children. This can be developed by a trained health worker at primary healthcare facilities, or local hospitals.

Healthy Eating Tips to Fight Obesity

Here are a few healthy eating tips that will not only help you maintain a healthy weight but will also prove be be beneficial for your metabolism, physical strength and general well-being,

  • Refrain from unnecessary indulgences or random snacking and encourage healthy snacking choices like popcorns, yogurt, fruits, etc.
  • Reduce your sugar intake to less than 10 per cent of the total calories for an individual with normal weight.

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Obese and binge eating junk food? Red Flag! Pixabay

  • Consume a gracious serving of seasonal vegetables and fruits everyday that are rich in soluble and insoluble fibres, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
  • Make healthy food selections- include whole grain products, avoid excessive use of oil and salt and refrain from processed or packaged food.
  • A balanced diet must be complimented with regular exercise to counter unnecessary weight gain

– prepared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala

 

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World Heart Day 2017: 6 Simple Tips to Keep your Heart Healthy | NewsGram

How strong are your ABCDEF’s? Let’s find out!

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September 29 is World Heart Day. Here is how you can care for your heart! Pixabay

New Delhi, September 29, 2017 : World Heart Day is here, and that gives us another reason to reiterate why you should be going an extra step to care for your heart. India accounts for 60 per cent of the world’s burden of heart diseases. This risk in Indians is almost double than their western counterparts and can be mainly attributed to genetics, diet and lifestyle.

An Increasing Trend of Heart Diseases

According to a WHO report released in mid-September, it was revealed that non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases and cancer are an increasing cause of premature deaths all around the world, taking as many as 30 million lives annually. These diseases cause self-inflicted damage and trace their roots to individual lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol consumption, drugs and unhealthy or unbalanced diet.

ALSO READ Even less physically fit people can help themselves to prevent risk of Heart related Diseases: Study

Common Causes of Cardiovascular Diseases

Heart diseases are primarily caused because of accumulation of fats, cholesterol and other substances within and on the walls of the arteries. This is known as atherosclerosis.

This build-up begins from a young age and ultimately results in blockage of the arteries, which disabled the heart from pumping necessary quantity of blood. This, in turns, results in various disorders of the heart and the blood vessels.

Symptoms of Cardiovascular Diseases

Typical symptoms when your heart’s health is fluctuating will include chest pain or angina, breathlessness, sweating, palpitations and gastric pain. Some people may even complain of bloating or abdomen fullness.

Your heart is the reason your body is doing everything it can. So why not do something special for your heart on this World Heart Day?

World Heart Day 2017

World Heart Day is celebrated on September 29 and focuses on a holistic approach to generate awareness about cardiovascular disease.

A truly global initiative, World Heart Day is aimed to unite people from all corners of the world in the fight against cardiovascular diseases and encourage healthy hearts and healthy lifestyles across the world.

Heart diseases are the biggest man-made killer in India and the world. So what should be done on this World Heart Day to address the problem? All you have to do is keep your ABCDEF in check.

But how strong are your ABCDEF’s? Let’s find out!

6 Simple Tips To Keep your Heart Healthy Forever:

  • ABC: “A1c, Blood Sugar & Cholesterol” :

ABC remains for A1C, Blood Sugar, and Cholesterol individually. A1C is a test to check for glycated hemoglobin; it is fundamental to hold ABC levels in line for a more beneficial heart. You must also make it a habit to monitor your blood sugar and cholesterol levels and endeavor to keep the levels inside the recommended confines.

  • D : Diet  “Eat Heart Healthy Diet” :

You must consume a heart healthy diet that includes supplement-rich foods: Nutrition is critical to general well-being. As indicated by several nourishment researchers, a diet healthy for the heart, comprising of nutritious foods, for example, 1.5 servings (43 grams) of almonds may decrease levels of heart harming inflammation and additionally bring down aggregate and LDL cholesterol. Consumption of fish or salmon is also good for the heart as they are a rich source of Omega-3.

E : Exercise “Maintain a Healthy Waistline” :

It is a well established fact that a healthy waistline directly corresponds to cardiovascular well-being. Accumulation of fat on the stomach is directly proportional to rising blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, and soaring triglycerides level which are significant hazard factors for heart ailments. As previously revealed, consumption of 42 grams of almonds every day reduces belly fat and waist circumference- and increase in both of which are well-established coronary illness risk factors.

F : Fit Lifestyle “Fitness begins with an active lifestyle” :

As indicated by the American Heart Association, 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity each week is prescribed for development in heart-health. Alternatively, you can also undertake 75 minutes of energetic or high-force exercise.

Physical activity is a boon for your heart; no amounts of healthy or controlled diet will prove beneficial unless complimented with a fit lifestyle.

Additionally, if your heart’s health is on your mind, then you must quit smoking.

Smoking harms the inner lining of the arteries and further deposits fat, thereby resulting in clogging. A cigarette may seem small, but its effect can be long lasting and ultimately result in death. These include a stroke, angina or a heart attack.

ALSO READ Worried About Your Heart’s Health? Make These 5 Spices a Part of Your Diet and See the Benefits Yourself!

These activities must not only be taken into account to celebrate World Health Day. Instead, aim to make them a part of every routine and witness how life changes for the better!

A little effort today will go a long way to keep you healthy and ready for all that life has to offer. On this World Heart Day, if you take a pledge to keep your ABCDEF’s under check, a healthy heart and a fit lifestyle are sure to follow!

 

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Your Children Might Be At Risk! According to UNICEF, 32 Nations Lack Policies to Support Families With Children

The report says that only 15 countries, including Cuba, France, Portugal, Russia and Sweden, have all the three essential national policies that support families with young children

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New York, September 23, 2017 : Thirty-two countries, having the world’s 85 million children under the age of five, do not have any essential policy that supports families with young children, a UNICEF report said.

According to the global body, 40 per cent of the 85 million children, live in just two countries – Bangladesh and the US. The report said that data from various countries including India was missing.

The report says that only 15 countries, including Cuba, France, Portugal, Russia and Sweden, have all the three essential national policies that support families with young children.

“We need to do more to give parents and care givers of young children the support they need during this most critical period of brain development,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, adding that if nations don’t invest now in the most vulnerable children and families, they will continue to perpetuate intergenerational cycles of disadvantage and inequality.

“Life by life, missed opportunity by missed opportunity, we are increasing the gap between the haves and the have-nots and undermining our long-term strength and stability,” said Lake.

ALSO READ World in the Grip of ‘Hidden Crimes’ : Over 40 Million People, Including Women and Children Trapped in Modern Slavery, Reveals New Report

According to the report, Early Moments Matter for Every Child, two years of free pre-primary education, paid breastfeeding breaks during the first six months of a child’s life followed by six months of paid maternity leave as well as four weeks of paid paternity leave help lay a critical foundation for optimal early childhood development.

“These policies help parents better protect their children and provide them with better nutrition, play and early learning experiences in the crucial first years of life when the brain grows at a rate never to be repeated,” said the report.

Among the countries, which do not have any of the child or parent related policies are Algeria, Barbados, Bhutan, Brunei, Gambia and Kenya.

The report also highlights that millions of children under five years are spending their formative years in unsafe, unstimulating environments.

“Around 75 million children under-five live in areas affected by conflict, increasing their risk of toxic stress, which can inhibit brain cell connections in early childhood,” the report said.

“Globally, poor nutrition, unhealthy environments and disease have left 155 million children under five stunted, which robs their bodies and brains from developing to their full potential.”

It also mentioned that a quarter of all children between the ages of two and four years in 64 countries do not take part in activities essential for brain development such as playing, reading and singing.

“Around 300 million children globally live in areas where the air is toxic, which emerging research shows can damage children’s developing brains,” it said and added that the failure to protect and provide the most disadvantaged children with early development opportunities undermines potential growth of whole societies and economies. (IANS)