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In his first 12 years working as a vet in Bangladesh farms, Bikash Chandra Saha routinely prescribed antibiotics. Then he learned of the devastating impact of antimicrobial resistance on human health — and it revolutionized his treatment choices.
The growing resistance of deadly diseases to antimicrobial drugs such as antibiotics is seen as one of the biggest threats to human health, but awareness of the dangers of overuse remains low, particularly in developing countries.
Now the United Nations is educating workers on the front lines of the battle against this global scourge — among them Saha, who works for one of Bangladesh’s biggest poultry companies.
“It definitely changed my attitude and my antibiotic selection,” Saha, who attended a recent training course, told Reuters by phone.
“Before, my focus was on what is the best option [for the animal]. After the training, I know the threat of antimicrobial resistance, even for my family, for my children. This is a new thing.”
Lethal bacteria are showing more and more resistance to antimicrobials, and a 2016 report found drug-resistant infections could kill 10 million people a year by 2050.
Livestock is a large part of the problem — especially in Asia, where rising incomes have led to a growth in the consumption of fish and meat.
Most countries require prescriptions for antibiotics in humans, but less than half limit their use to promote growth in agriculture, according to a report published last month.
Saha said colistin, once a livestock-specific antibiotic but now a drug of last resort that can save human lives when others have failed, was commonly used on animals in Bangladesh but since the training he and the other vets were more careful about using it.
The course was run by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which has trained nearly 150 vets and doctors in Bangladesh since February on the globally accepted guidelines for antibiotic use.
Those guidelines are now available as mobile phone app — one of a number of innovative ways in which international organizations are seeking to educate people working with antimicrobial drugs about the dangers of overuse.
Thailand, where antimicrobial resistance causes 19,000 additional deaths a year, is working on an online dictionary in English, Thai, Vietnamese, Lao and Burmese to cut through the jargon surrounding the issue.
“In the Mekong region, people don’t clearly understand the difference between bacteria and virus,” said Direk Limmathurotsakul, assistant professor at Bangkok’s Mahidol University, who is leading the project.
“People still commonly use antibiotics for common cold, which is caused by virus,” he added. “Even the word antibiotic can be called different ways. In Thailand, sometimes it is called anti-inflammatory or antiseptic drug.”
Simply banning antibiotics would not work, experts say, with farmers unlikely to comply.
Instead, they hope improved knowledge of drugs will help reduce antimicrobial use on Asian farms — seen as the low-hanging fruit because it is currently so high.
In Vietnam, 120 poultry farmers are to receive training on how to prevent and control diseases as well as free veterinary advice as part of a pilot project aimed at reducing drug use.
“We’re improving the knowledge base of farmers and vets rather than a ban on antibiotics, which would be unlikely to be complied with,” said Juan Carrique-Mas, the project’s principal investigator.
“The baseline shows very high level of usage, so I think it would be relatively easy to reduce it by 30 to 50 percent with even better productivity and health,” added Carrique-Mas, of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Ho Chi Minh City.
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Data on antibiotic use on farms in the region remains sparse, but is starting to be collected, said Suzanne Eckford, a British specialist who works with the FAO.
Eckford advocated against blanket bans on antibiotics — not least because they could have unintended consequences on food production.
“You can’t just say, ‘don’t do something,'” she said. “You have to say, ‘this is what you need to do instead and you’ll be still able to have a productive, economically viable system.'” (VOA)
The symbol of Swastika is known to signify peace, prosperity, and good fortune in the religious cultures of Eurasia. In fact, this symbol is considered very significant in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. But, at the same time, it has become one of the most misunderstood religious symbols and has been globally banned in many countries.
The reason why the symbol of Swastika is banned in many countries is because of its association with Adolf Hitler's extreme political ideology, Nazism, as Swastika as its official symbol.
Austria, France, Latvia, Spain, Germany, and Russia are amongst the many countries that have banned the display and use of the Swastika.
Moreover, last week Victoria in Australia is preparing to become the first-ever state to ban the public display of the Swastika. This is a step towards an expansion of anti-vilification laws in the state.
Representation of the Swastika on the flag of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Movement.Photo by Flickr.
Now, we must know and understand what went wrong with this symbol, which is sacred and signifies all-good things.
For a very, very long time, in India, the Swastika is the first emblem that is worshipped or even drawn before any sacred and auspicious ceremonies as this symbol in Sanskrit represents 'well-being'. But, the Swastika lost all its credibility when it was wrongfully used by Adolf Hitler.
In fact, it is believed that if this symbol is worshipped properly, then it gives positive results. But if it is abused, then it gives negative results. So, when Adolf Hitler rotated the Swastika at 45 degrees, it slowly and steadily brought misery not only to Adolf Hitler and his theory of Nazism but also to all the people who were associated with him.
Therefore, in order to give the kind of respect and credibility which the Swastika deserves, World Interfaith Harmony Week which was held in New York in February this year, interfaith groups appealed to the United Nations to recognize and acknowledge the Swastika as an important and peaceful symbol. In fact, they also differentiated it from the Hakenkreuz or "Hooked Cross" of Adolf Hitler.
India celebrated a historic day on August 7, as 23-year-old Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics. In the men's javelin throw event, he achieved his greatest triumph, throwing the javelin 87.58 meters on his second try.
Neeraj Chopra was born on December 24, 1997, in Khandra village in Haryana's Panipat district. He grew up in a Haryanavi family of farmers. He is the brother of two sisters. He graduated from Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College in Chandigarh and is now enrolled in Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar, Punjab, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree. Chopra was bullied due to his obesity as a kid, which prompted his father to enroll him in a nearby gym. He then joined a gym in Panipat, where Jaiveer Choudhary, a javelin thrower, noticed his potential and coached him. When the 13-year-old Chopra finished training under Jaiveer for a year, he was enrolled at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula, where he began training under coach Naseem Ahmed.
In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018. | Wikimedia Commons
Chopra's first international medal came in 2014, as he took home a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Qualification Tournament in Bangkok. In 2015, he set a world record in the junior category of 81.04 meters in the 2015 All India Inter-University Athletics Meet.
Since emerging into the public eye with a historic gold medal at the junior world championships in 2016, he has maintained a high level of performance, setting an Under-20 world record of 86.48m, which still stands. Gold medals in both the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Asian Games are among his other accomplishments, including a first-place in the 2017 Asian Championships. In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018.
Chopra has also had his share of bad events in life. In 2019, he underwent surgery on the elbow of his right throwing arm, which kept him out of the game for almost a year. However, he returned more robust than ever. In November 2019, he went to South Africa to train from Klaus Bartoneitz. He spent the following year in India training at the NIS Patiala because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was allowed to go to France with his coach after weeks of trying to get a travel visa.
Neeraj Chopra made history in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in athletics. Also, it is worth mentioning that after Abhinav Bindra, Chopra is only the second Indian to win an individual gold medal.
Keywords: Neeraj Chopra, Olympics, Tokyo2020, Gold medal, javelin, India, Haryana
The emergence of the Industrial Revolution in Victorian England brought with it many apprehensions and fears that translated into a new genre in literature: the gothic. Today, the idea of the gothic does not have to much with literature as much as it is associated with fashion.
The Victorians began to wear black more often during the Industrial Revolution to hide the stains of soot on their clothes. Many of the working class were employed in factories. They were newly introduced to technology, the idea of coal as fuel, and the working of machines to serve a certain purpose. This kind of work was hard and messy. Wearing light colours burdened the tired folk when the stubborn stains did not get washed away.
The steam engine was invented to make locomotion easier for the masses, but it brought fear to the people. They had led quiet and simple lives till now, and suddenly their world was infiltrated with loud noises and smoke. Dark places became synonymous with evil deeds and mysteries. It was from this time that horror gained a place in the imaginations of people and artists.
A man sporting gothic clothes and shock coloured hair Image source: wikimedia commons
The gothics of today are those who have held on to these practices. There is no need to fear smoke and noise anymore, but the goths wear black clothes all the time, paint their skin a pale shade, to contrast their clothes, and wear bright shades of red. The traditional gothics decorated themselves with jewellery bearing religious significances, as the belief in Dracula and vampires emerged in the Victorian period. Today, it is a trend to wear studded crosses, or crosses made of black metal either as neck chokers, or earrings.
Modern goths also wear bright monotones to show their patronage of a certain style or order of the goths. They can be seen in neon shades of green, pink, and yellow, often sporting piercings, and matching hair. Their tastes are metallic, and they have an uncanny love for tattoos.
Designers consistently include gothic tastes and styles in their clothing lines to create inclusivity for this subculture. Being gothic, or identifying with them is somewhat a concern even in today's society, and such people are often stigmatised to the extent that it is considered a mental illness associated with the dark arts. The phenomenon is mostly observed in teenagers, and often phases out when they reach adulthood, depending on their sphere of influence.
Keywords: Gothic, Fashion, Victorian, Black, Jewellery