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New Delhi, March 23, 2017: With malnutrition or undernutrition accounting for nearly one third of all childhood deaths in India, it is also a major risk factor in children, especially those below the age of five, for developing tuberculosis (TB), experts have said.
Tuberculosis is one of the top 10 causes of death globally and approximately 500,000 children are diagnosed with the disease annually, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates.
In 2015, one million children (below 14 years) fell prey to TB, whereas 170,000 of them died worldwide.
“Undernutrition lowers the body’s immunity, making it easier for the bacteria to attack an individual and makes the fight against tuberculosis more difficult,” Sunil Kumar Mehendiratta, Senior Consultant and HOD (Department of Paediatrics) at Venkateshwar Hospital, Dwarka, told IANS.
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“Infants and children under the age of five are probably the most vulnerable, to developing both the infection and the disease. Children harbouring latent infection are also at the risk of TB re-activation in adulthood,” Mehendiratta added.
Tuberculosis is caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis bacterium that most often begins by affecting the lungs and can then spread to other body parts. On an average, 10-15 per cent of all TB patients are under the age of 14.
As many as 81,482 cases of TB among children were detected in 2012, accounting for seven per cent of all TB cases in the country, as per a national report titled ‘TB in India’.
“There has been a steep rise in TB cases among children in India. In a month, I see nearly seven to 10 new cases. It is sad to see children below the age of five visiting OPDs with TB. The most unfortunate part is the lack of awareness, proper diagnosis and treatment in case of childhood TB,” added Rahul Nagpal, Director (Department of Paediatrics) at Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, New Delhi.
Six countries account for 60 per cent of the total TB cases with India leading the count, followed by Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa, the WHO said.
In India, 39 per cent of children are stunted, 21 per cent of children are wasted, and 36 per cent of children are underweight, according to data provided by the recent National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4 which showed how prevalent undernutrition is in India, thereby increasing the risk of TB in the country.
Furthermore, the emergence of multi-drug resistant TB and complications aggravated by high rates of co-infection with HIV-AIDS has renewed the threat of the epidemic in the country, the doctor said.
Poverty, malnutrition, poor housing and sanitation, compounded by other risk factors such as HIV, tobacco, alcohol use and diabetes, can put people at heightened risk of TB and make it harder for them to access care.
“Contrary to perception, not just children living in slums and unhygienic conditions, even those from relatively affluent backgrounds are diagnosed with TB,” Mehendiratta said.
TB patients require higher levels of energy and metabolic immunity to cope with the infection, and understandably this need is higher in children during to their growth phase.
“Diet plays a very important role in combating TB. Undernourished and malnourished children are also more susceptible to a relapse,” Jamhoih (Jamie) Tonsing, Regional Director, at The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) – South-East Asia Office, a non-profit scientific organisation, told IANS.
“Fighting TB requires a diet rich in fats, vitamins, minerals and proteins. Immediate interventions should include food supplementation programmes, such as the Public Distribution System, Integrated Child Development Services and Mid-day Meal Programme which can enhance the value of foods supplied and target families who actually need them,” Tonsing added.
Parents must encourage children to adopt a healthy lifestyle that can help in staying protected from the potentially dangerous bacteria and keep their immune system healthy.
A Travel Sustainable badge, provides highly coveted information to travellers all over the world looking to make more sustainable travel choices. Booking.com has launched the Travel Sustainable Badge, a first of its kind in the industryNinety-eight per cent of Indian travellers say they want to stay in a sustainable accommodation in the coming year, and with more than 28 million listings on Booking.com, the company sees a huge opportunity to highlight more of the impactful efforts its partners are making to create more sustainable experiences, making it easier for travellers to find a sustainable way to stay.
Booking.com has launched the Travel Sustainable Badge, a first of its kind in the industry | Photo by yousef alfuhigi on Unsplash
With 88 percent of Indian travellers indicating that they would be more likely to choose a specific accommodation that implements sustainable practices, it rewards and encourages providers to take the next steps on their individual sustainability journeys. "Building a truly sustainable travel industry will take time, coordination, and concerted effort," said Marianne Gybels, Director of Sustainability at Booking.com. "However, progress is possible through continued innovation, partner support, and industry collaboration."
"We are recognising the sustainability efforts of a broader range of properties globally in a credible and transparent manner for consumers." Displaying the practices they have in place allows everyone to make a more informed and hopefully more sustainable decision for their next trip, no matter where they want to go. As a result, we've inspired even more of our partners to take the next step toward more sustainable operations."
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: travel, sustainable travel, india, travellers, innovation.
South Korean game developer has introduced a new initiative for Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) which will enable a new level of parental control via time limitations and OTP confirmation. The 'Game Responsibly' initiative will also show warning messages along with break reminders, game limits and more. "Every player, below the age of 18, needs to register a parent or a guardian before they start playing for the first time. An OTP will be sent to the registered person's number, post which the minor is allowed to play the game," the company said in a statement.
Some games can get intense and make players lose track of time. However, with timely break-time reminders, the developer has made sure players get the required downtime. These reminders will help them look up from their game and get back to real life, maintaining a healthy game-life balance. In addition, with a strict gameplay limit in place players below 18 years must not indulge in gaming for more than 3 hours per day. This automatically helps them treat gaming as an activity performed in moderation.
The brand has also set an in-game daily spend limit of Rs 7,000 that automatically stops them from overspending and overgaming. Krafton recently announced that it has removed 25 lakh accounts in just over a month to eradicate cheating on Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI). Since the last announcement, between October 1 and November 10, Krafton banned 25,19,692 accounts permanently and 7,06,319 temporarily. "The company has cleaned out most of the cheaters in the game, making BGMI a much more fun experience, and will continue to take whatever step is necessary to keep BGMI fair and fun," it claimed. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: BGMI, parental control, Battlegrounds Mobile India, Krafton, South Korea
By Vinoda Kumary
The rise in air pollution, coupled with lousy lifestyle habits, is causing a spike in respiratory diseases. According to a Lancet report, the contribution of chronic respiratory diseases in India increased from 4.5 per cent in 1990 to 6.4 per cent in 2016. With respiratory issues on the rise, there is an increased demand for natural solutions to treat such issues. Instead of conventional medicine, people are turning to alternative medical therapies to find cures for ailments.
Common Lung Disorders
Bronchitis is a health condition that causes inflammation in the airways of the lungs. This leads to narrowing of the air pathways and excess mucus causes wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing. It is a chronic condition that interferes seriously with daily life.
Bronchitis is a health condition that causes inflammation in the airways of the lungs. | Wikimedia Commons
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
It is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that obstructs the airflow to the lungs. Symptoms of COPD include breathing difficulty, mucus (sputum) production, coughing, and wheezing. It can result from long-term exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter, most often from cigarette smoke. Those affected by COPD are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer, heart disease, and a variety of other conditions.
Symptoms of COPD include breathing difficulty, mucus (sputum) production, coughing, and wheezing. | Pixabay
This is another variation of COPD. Bronchitis causes a similar build-up of mucus that can cause inflammation and coughing. The lungs' airways are constantly inflamed as chronic bronchitis often lasts for months on end. Symptoms of chronic bronchitis include incessant coughing, whistling sounds while breathing, wheezing and a tightening of the chest. It is said that the cure for all ailments is available the natural way. Here are some of the alternative medicine approaches to treat respiratory disorders.
This is another variation of COPD. Bronchitis causes a similar build-up of mucus that can cause inflammation and coughing. | Needpix
Alternative Medicinal Approaches to Treat Respiratory Disorders
Asthma is one of the most common lung diseases. One of the primary causes of asthma is allergies, which often result from the food consumed. It is crucial, therefore, to first prepare a diet that is suitable for an individual. Often, dairy products, meats, and certain nuts can increase the production of mucus. Foods like these must be avoided. Also, antioxidants can prevent damage resulting from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Diet is important in this regard, as fruits and vegetables high in Vitamins A, C, and E can improve the condition of COPD patients.
Diet is important in this regard, as fruits and vegetables high in Vitamins A, C, and E can improve the condition of COPD patients. | Photo by Bruna Branco on Unsplash
Yoga and Exercise
Treatment of lung disorders often involves the use of the lungs to promote healthy breathing habits. Exercises like cycling, swimming, yoga etc. that create a need for full capacity breathing are of great importance. Exercising the diaphragm is important and simple activities can go a long way in the treatment of the same. Pranayama, the practice of controlled breathing, is an integral part of alternative treatment for people suffering from respiratory issues. This extensive breathing practice helps to expand the lungs and improve the capacity of the lungs, which helps an individual breathe more freely.
Treatment of lung disorders often involves the use of the lungs to promote healthy breathing habits. | Photo by kike vega on Unsplash
Nasal irrigation systems like JalNeti using a Neti pot can help to rinse the sinuses, which may provide some relief from symptoms of respiratory allergies.
Nasal irrigation systems like JalNeti using a Neti pot can help to rinse the sinuses, which may provide some relief from symptoms of respiratory allergies. | Photo by CDC on Unsplash
The traditional Chinese practice of acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into the skin to stimulate certain parts of the body. According to a study published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, people with allergic rhinitis who were given acupuncture treatments twice a week for eight weeks had fewer symptoms than those administered placebo.
People with allergic rhinitis who were given acupuncture treatments twice a week for eight weeks had fewer symptoms than those administered placebo. | Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash
It is important to remember that no one complementary or alternative therapy works well for everyone with respiratory issues. Therefore, a proper assessment is done before deciding on the approach to the treatment plan. For those considering alternative medicine for their respiratory problems, it is recommended to speak to an expert first and discuss the approach that may work best.
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Yoga, exercise, Nasal Irrigation, Diet, Chronic Bronchitis, Respiratory Issues