Thursday August 16, 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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Marital Spats May Deteriorate Your Health

Significant link between hostility and the biomarker LBP, which indicates the presence of bacteria in the blood. And there was a strong link between that biomarker and evidence of inflammation.

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How marital spats can affect your health. Pixabay

Couples, please take note. Fighting with your spouse may deteriorate your health, a new study has found.

The findings suggest that married people who fight are more likely to suffer from leaky guts — a problem that unleashes bacteria into the blood and can drive up disease-causing inflammation.

“We think that this everyday marital distress — at least for some people — is causing changes in the gut that lead to inflammation and, potentially, illness,” said lead author Janice Kiecolt-Glaser from the Ohio State University.

For the study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, the team recruited around 50 healthy married couples, surveyed them about their relationships and then encouraged them to discuss and try to resolve a conflict likely to provoke strong disagreement.

The researchers left the couples alone for these discussions, videotaped the 20-minute interactions and later watched how they fought.

Couples have tough time understanding soft negative emotions like sadness, loneliness of each other: Study.
Couples have tough time understanding soft negative emotions .

They categorised their verbal and non-verbal fighting behaviours, with special interest in hostility — things such as dramatic eye rolls or criticism of one’s partner.

The researchers also compared blood drawn pre-fight to blood drawn post-fight.

Men and women who demonstrated more hostile behaviours during the observed discussions had higher levels of one biomarker for leaky gut — LPS-binding protein — than their mellower peers, the researchers said.

Evidence of leaky gut was even greater in study participants who had particularly hostile interactions with their spouses and a history of depression or another mood disorder, they added.

Also Read: Reduce Loneliness and Boost Your Mental Health With Cycling

The study found a strong, significant link between hostility and the biomarker LBP, which indicates the presence of bacteria in the blood. And there was a strong link between that biomarker and evidence of inflammation.

Lifestyle changes that could contribute to decreased risk of gut-related inflammation include diets high in lean proteins, healthful fats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Probiotics might also be useful, Kiecolt-Glaser noted. (IANS)

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