Monday May 21, 2018

2.4 billion people still have no access to sanitation facilities: WHO

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United Nations: Some 2.4 billion people — one out of every three inhabitants of the planet — still have no access to sanitation facilities, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Unicef said on Tuesday.

Of those, 946 million continue to defecate outdoors, a very problematic practice, because in many places it creates a continuous source of disease and pollutes the water supply.

“Until everyone has access to adequate sanitation facilities, the quality of water supplies will be undermined and too many people will continue to die from waterborne and water-related diseases,” said Maria Neira, director of the WHO Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health.

The UN, which refers to adequate sanitation as an entire system that hygienically separates human excrement from the population, set as one of its Millennium Development Goals the reduction by half of the number of people without access to such a system by 2015.

That means that 77 percent of the world population should now have access to sanitation, a goal that will not be met by some 9 percentage points, or 700 million people.

According to Unicef and WHO, the lack of progress in this area also threatens to undermine child survival and the health benefits that were expected to be achieved by improving access to drinking water, another Millennium Development Goal that, in this case, has fortunately been achieved.(IANS)

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Good Heart Health Prevents Frailty in Old Age

Want to prevent frailty when you grow old? If so, then start maintaining good heart health. A new study indicates that low heart disease risks among older people may help them to prevent frailty.

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Want to prevent frailty when you grow old? If so, then start maintaining good heart health. A new study indicates that low heart disease risks among older people may help them to prevent frailty.

Frailty is a condition associated with decreased physiological reserve and increased vulnerability to adverse health outcomes. The outcomes include falls, fractures, disability, hospitalisation and institutionalization.

The findings, published in the Journal of Gerontology, found that severe frailty was 85 per cent less likely in those with near ideal cardiovascular risk factors.

The study also found that even small reductions in risk factors helped to reduce frailty as well as dementia, chronic pain and other disabling conditions of old age.

“This study indicates that frailty and other age-related diseases could be prevented and significantly reduced in older adults. Getting our heart risk factors under control could lead to much healthier old ages,” said co-author Joao Delgado from the University of Exeter in Britain.

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For the study, the researchers analysed data from more than 421,000 people aged between 60-69. The participants were followed up over 10 years.

The researchers analysed six factors that could impact on heart health. They looked at uncontrolled high blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, plus being overweight, doing little physical activity and being a current smoker.

Also Read: Eating Fish Twice a Week Reduces the Risk of Heart Failure

“Individuals with untreated cardiovascular disease or other common chronic diseases appear to age faster and with more frailty,” the researchers said.

“Now our growing body of scientific evidence on ageing shows what we have previously considered as inevitable might be prevented or delayed through earlier and better recognition and treatment of cardiac disease,” they noted. (IANS)

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