Saturday November 23, 2019
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Algeria Confirmed To Be Hit With Cholera Epidemic

Pharmacies in Algiers have been selling large quantities of salts to treat diarrhea, while many people have been avoiding fruit and vegetables, which they fear may be contaminated with the cholera virus.

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Cholera, hospitals
A doctor gestures outside a hospital in the Algerian town of Boufarik, as the country faces a cholera outbreak. VOA

Algerian health authorities claim the situation is under control after a cholera epidemic in at least four provinces caused more than 60 confirmed cases of the disease, with several deaths reported.

Residents in a village of Tipaza province are drinking water from a spring government officials claim is infected with the cholera virus. But residents counter the spring is safe to drink from and that the government analysis is mistaken.

Cholera outbreaks have been confirmed in Tipaza, Blida, Algiers, and Bouira provinces. More than 130 people have been hospitalized with suspected cases of cholera this month and more than 60 cases were confirmed. At least three people have died, according to Algerian media.

Algeria’s health minister, Mokhtar Hazblawi, recently said health officials have been doing their best to keep on top of the situation.

 

Cholera
A girl receives an oral cholera vaccine. VOA

 

He says since the disease surfaced, the health ministry has devised a strategy to control it and stop it from spreading.

Issam Eddin Bouyoucef of the El Hadi Flici Hospital Center, which treats infectious diseases in Algiers, told Al Hurra TV hundreds of people have come to the hospital fearing they were suffering from cholera.

He said patients must be quarantined and the disease isolated. He stressed his hospital has set up a specialized isolated wing to treat patients while they recover, once the disease has been confirmed.

Bouyoucef said many people have been panicking, mistaking stomach ailments for cholera. Local media report consumers are buying up large quantities of mineral water.

Cholera
A Notice for Cholera. Flickr

An elderly resident of capital Algiers told Al Hurra TV he was afraid of the potentially deadly disease and thinks that a large number of people who live in his area have been sickened.

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Physician Mohammed Gamary complained to a local TV station the media uncovered the cholera epidemic before the government did. He said doctors in Khazrouna, where the disease was first detected, should have sounded the alarm when they noticed the unusual number diarrhea cases.

Pharmacies in Algiers have been selling large quantities of salts to treat diarrhea, while many people have been avoiding fruit and vegetables, which they fear may be contaminated with the virus. (VOA)

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Indian Kids on Better Global Average for Physical Activity: WHO Study

Urgent policy action to increase physical activity is needed now, particularly to promote and retain girls' participation in physical activity

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WHO
To achieve these benefits, the WHO recommends for adolescents to do moderate or vigorous physical activity for an hour or more each day. Wikimedia Commons

While physical inactivity among children aged 11 to 17 is widespread, Indian kids still fare better than the global average, according to a WHO study.

The research, published in the journal The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, showed that 80 per cent of school-going adolescents globally did not meet current recommendations of at least one hour of physical activity per day — including 85 per cent of girls and 78 per cent of boys.

But compared to the global average, the level of physical inactivity was found to be lower in countries like India and Bangladesh.

While 72 per cent of boys in India were found to be insufficiently active in 2016, 63 per cent boys were insufficiently active in Bangladesh.

At 64 per cent, the boys in the US fared even better than those in India and Bangladesh.

For girls too, the lowest levels of insufficient activity were seen in Bangladesh and India, and are potentially explained by societal factors, such as increased domestic chores in the home for girls.

Lower level of insufficient activity among boys in India may be explained by the strong focus on national sports like cricket, said the study.

The study, based on data reported by 1.6 million 11 to 17-year-old students, found that across all 146 countries studied between 2001-2016 girls were less active than boys in all but four (Tonga, Samoa, Afghanistan and Zambia).

The authors said that levels of insufficient physical activity in adolescents continue to be extremely high, compromising their current and future health.

WHO
While physical inactivity among children aged 11 to 17 is widespread, Indian kids still fare better than the global average, according to a WHO study. Pixabay

“Urgent policy action to increase physical activity is needed now, particularly to promote and retain girls’ participation in physical activity,” said study author Regina Guthold from WHO.

The health benefits of a physically active lifestyle during adolescence include improved cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone and cardiometabolic health, and positive effects on weight.

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There is also growing evidence that physical activity has a positive impact on cognitive development and socialising. Current evidence suggests that many of these benefits continue into adulthood.

To achieve these benefits, the WHO recommends for adolescents to do moderate or vigorous physical activity for an hour or more each day. (IANS)