Thursday September 19, 2019
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North Kivu’s Ebola Operations Resume

The number of reported Ebola cases stands at 608, including 369 deaths.

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Demonstrators barricade a road during protests over their exclusion from the presidential election in Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dec. 28, 2018. VOA

Ebola control operations have been restored in Democratic Republic of Congo’s conflict-ridden North Kivu province, following pre-election protests late last year, the World Health Organization reports.

Anti-government demonstrations preceding presidential elections on December 26 disrupted key Ebola response activities in some affected areas of the province, notably in Beni and Butembo.

Crowds of people, angry at the government’s decision to bar the region from voting in the election, vandalized an Ebola transit center and other health facilities. The damage prevented health workers from going to communities at risk and providing services needed to control the spread of the deadly disease.

Ebola, pregnant women
A Congolese health worker administers Ebola vaccine to a woman who had contact with an Ebola sufferer in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Aug. 18, 2018. VOA

But WHO says full operations have been restored in all locations as of Jan. 1. While the situation is now calm, WHO spokesman Tarek Jasarevic tells VOA that any interruption could lead to increased transmission of the virus.

“There is a risk that all this work that is being put in place, and WHO has more than 380 people on the ground, alongside hundreds of people deployed by the Ministry of Health and other partners, that this effort may be put in danger if we are not able to go and put response activities in the community,” Jasarevic said.

Also Read: North Kivu and Ituri, Congo To Welcome More Than 80,000 Children in This New School Year

The number of reported Ebola cases stands at 608, including 369 deaths. WHO says no new cases have been reported among health care workers in 2019, leaving the number affected at 54, including 18 deaths.

Jasarevic says it is yet to be seen whether the temporary disruption of Ebola activities prior to the elections will result in an upsurge in cases. (VOA)

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Physicians Happy While Traders in Shock on Ban on E-Cigarettes in India

With the Union Cabinet directing a blanket ban on e-cigarettes in the country, physicians welcomed the step while e-cigarette traders expressed shock and anger

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e-cigarettes, health, union, ban, india
A man exhales while smoking an e-cigarette, Aug. 28, 2019. VOA

With the Union Cabinet directing a blanket ban on e-cigarettes in the country with complete suspension of their manufacturing, import, export, distribution and storage, physicians welcomed the step while e-cigarette traders expressed shock and anger over the decision.

“Although, e-cigarettes are little less lethal then the conventional cigarettes, we cannot shun away the fact that it contains harmful ingredients. These chemicals can potentially affect the lungs and overall health of the individual in the long run,” Rajesh Chawla, Senior Pulmonologist at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Delhi, told IANS.

Industry body TRENDS which represents importers, distributors and marketers of ENDS, or Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems in India, termed the decision to ban e-cigarettes “ironic and erratic”.

“This ban on e-cigarettes on the basis of ‘selective sourcing of scientific and medical opinion’ and without holding a single stakeholder meeting is nothing short of a complete murder of democratic norms,” said Praveen Rikhy, Convenor, TRENDS (Trade Representatives of ENDS).

“All our representations sharing best practices from other countries – 70 developed countries have allowed regulated sale of e-cigarettes, have been completely ignored. We will now initiate a formal campaign to help MPs understand the issue, clarify misapprehensions and misinformation spread by lobby groups and support the farmer groups who see the growth of the e-cigarette sector as a global market opportunity for nicotine,” Rikhy said.

e-cigarettes, health, union, ban, india
The Donald Trump administration on September 12 said that it plans to ban the sale of non-tobacco-flavoured e-cigarettes in the US following six deaths. Pixabay

While e-cigarettes have been marketed as a way for adults to quit conventional smoking, a recent outbreak of lung illness associated with use of vaping products in the US has raised concerns about the safety of these products.

The Donald Trump administration on September 12 said that it plans to ban the sale of non-tobacco-flavoured e-cigarettes in the US following six deaths linked to vaping.

Health authorities have documented a total of 450 cases involving e-cigarettes, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which issued a health warning against vaping.

ALSO READ: Girls Who Sleep Late At Night Are More Likely To Gain Weight

“I entirely support the idea of a ban on e-cigarettes; it is a step in the right direction,” Manoj Luthra, CEO, Jaypee Hospital in Noida, told IANS.

“E-cigarettes have been projected as a means to help people to quit smoking tobacco and also being non-polluting. However, these have their own health hazards and are addictive as well. These contain nicotine and other chemical vapours which will certainly have ill effects on the heart and lung and other organs as well,” he said. (IANS)