Malaria-free Zone: Sri Lanka’s victory over the disease is remarkable

Sri Lanka's road to eliminating malaria was tough and demanded well-calibrated responsive policies but it stands as a malaria-free island country today

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Mosquito on human skin. Image Source: Wikimedia commons

Sri Lanka,Aug 5, 2016: In a remarkable public health achievement, Sri Lanka has been certified as malaria-free island country by World Health Organisation (WHO).

“Sri Lanka’s achievement is truly remarkable. In the mid-20th century it was among the most malaria-affected countries, but now it is malaria-free. This is testament to the courage and vision of its leaders, and signifies the great leaps that can be made when targeted action is taken.

It also demonstrates the importance of grass-roots community engagement and a whole-of-society approach when it comes to making dramatic public health gains, “WHO Regional Director, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, said here.

Sri Lanka’s road to eliminating the mosquitoes was tough, and demanded well-calibrated, responsive policies. After malaria cases soared in the 1970s and 80s, the country’s anti-malaria campaign in the 1990s adjusted its strategy to intensively target the parasite in addition to targeting the mosquito. The change in strategy was unorthodox, but highly effective.

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Mobile malaria clinics in high transmission areas meant that prompt and effective treatment could reduce the parasite reservoir and the possibility of further transmission. Effective surveillance, community engagement and health education, meanwhile, enhanced the ability of authorities to respond, and mobilised popular support for the campaign. The adaptation and flexibility of strategies and support from key partners such as WHO and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria fast-tracked success.
Fighting Malaria. Image source: Wikimedia commin
Fighting Malaria. Image source: Wikimedia commin
By 2006, the country recorded less than 1 000 cases of malaria per year, and since October 2012, the indigenous cases were down to zero. For the past three-and-a-half years, no locally transmitted cases have been recorded. To maintain elimination and ensure the parasite is not reintroduced to the country, the anti-malaria campaign is working closely with local authorities and international partners to maintain surveillance and response capacity and to screen high-risk populations entering the country.
Sri Lanka is the second country in the WHO South-East Asia Region to eliminate malaria after Maldives. The announcement of Sri Lanka’s victory over malaria was made at the WHO South-East Asia Region’s annual Regional Committee meeting in the presence of health ministers and senior health officials from all 11 Member States.

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The Regional Director said WHO will continue to support the efforts of Sri Lanka’s health authorities as they relate to malaria, as well as the country’s wider public health mission. This outstanding achievement should be a springboard to further public health gains in the country and the South-East Asia Region as a whole. (IANS)

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Try These Refereshing Summer Coolers At Home

You can now enjoy your favorite thirst-quenching summer coolers and beverages without compromising on the taste or on your health

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mango drinks
Try these great tasting and refreshing summer beverages. Pixabay

We are facing one of the hottest summers every recorded in the country. With these kind of temperature, it becomes extremely difficult to maintain health and stay fit. Staying hydrated is the most important factor to deal with the blistering heat. Enjoying your favourite beverages to beat the heat and proper hydration to the body sounds like a great idea. But these beverage delights come loaded with sugar and calories. Sugary beverage intake is significantly associated with a number of health issues.

Even WHO guideline recommend adults and children should reduce their daily intake of free sugar to less than 10 percent of their total energy intake. A further reduction to below 5 percent or roughly 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits.

“Believe it or not but you can now enjoy your favourite thirst quenching summer coolers and beverages without compromising on the taste or on your health. It is time to replace sugar with a natural, zero calorie and great tasting sweetener such as Stevia to make your favourite beverages healthy, hydrating and refreshing. It can be part of a healthy lifestyle when it comes to looking for ways to reduce sugar and calories for your family,” says Navneet Singh, VP Asia Pacific and Head of South Asia region at PureCircle.

Try these great tasting and refreshing summer beverages sweetened with Stevia to beat the blistering heat and enjoy summer.

Summer coolers
Make your favourite summer coolers healthy, hydrating and refreshing. Pixabay

 

GINGER MINT LEMONADE

Ingredient (1 Serving)

Water 1cup (2000ml)

Lemon -1 tablespoon

Mint -15-20 leaves

Ginger- 1 teaspoon

Sugar free green 2 e scoops

Recipe

Take a cup of water in a pan and add 1 tsp fresh ginger.

Simmer for 10 minutes at low heat then keep aside and steep for another 30 minutes.

After 30 min strain the ginger extract in a bowl.

Lightly Crush mint leaves in another bowl with help of rolling pin or in pestle mortar.

Add lemon juice, ginger extract, sugar free green & remaining water (cold).

Mix all ingredients, remove mint leaves.

Pour the mixture into glasses and garnish with a slice of lemon.

MANGO LASSI

Ingredient (1 Serving)

Mango pulp/mango slice-1cup (100g)

Curd-1/2 cup (50g)

Water-1cup (100g)

Cardamom powder-1 teaspoon (0.5g)

Sugar free green- 3 scoops

Recipe

Pour mango pulp in a blender and add curd,

cardamom powder, water & sugar free green.

Blend it for 2 min or until it form a smooth blend.

Pour blend in a glass, garnish with few mango cube shape pieces.

MANGO GINGER LEMONADE

Ingredient (1 serving)

Mango puree -1/2 cup(50ml)

Water -2cup (250ml)

Ginger shredded -1 teaspoon

Sugar free green- 3 scoops

Lemon juice -2 Table spoon

Recipe

Take half cup of water in a pan and add 1 tsp fresh ginger.

Simmer for 10 minutes at low heat then keep aside and steep for another 30 minutes.

After 30 min strain the ginger extract in a bowl.

Add lemon juice to it, then add mango puree, 3 scoop sugar free green & remaining water (cold).

Mix all ingredients with hand or blend for 10-20 sec.

Pour the mixture into glasses and garnish with mango slice.

Summer coolers
Staying hydrated is the most important factor to deal with the blistering heat. Pixabay

MANGO SHAKE

Ingredient (1 serving)

Milk 1cup (125ml)

Mango slices 3/4cup (100ml)

Sugar free green 3 scoops

Almond 2 pieces

Raisins 4 pieces

Recipe

Chopped mango slice into small pieces.

Add mango pieces, 3 scoop of sugar free green & milk into the blender.

Blend until everything mix uniformly.

Pour shake into the glass and garnish with chopped almonds and raisins.

Also Read: On World No Tobacco Day, Experts Advice To Use Lockdown To Quit Smoking

NIMBU PANI

Ingredient (1 serving)

Lemon- 1 medium size

Chilled Water- 2 glass (400ml)

Rock salt- as preferred

Mint leaves-8 leaves

Sugar free green – 4 scoop

Cumin powder- optional

Chat masala- optional

Recipe

Take chilled water in a vessel.

Slice lemon & squeeze the juice with squeezer. Discard the seed.

Add black salt, mint leaves & sugar free green.

Mix all ingredients.

Serve chilled (IANS)

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WHO Accuses Tobacco Industry of Luring Children Into Usage of Tobacco By Marketing Practices

WHO is launching a campaign to alert young people to the dangers they face from the industry’s manipulative practices

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Children wear strings of cigarette and chewable tobacco and rehearse for a play on World No Tobacco Day in Gauhati, India. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

The World Health Organization accuses the tobacco industry of devious tactics to get children and young people hooked on their deadly tobacco and nicotine products.  In advance of World No Tobacco Day (May 31), the WHO is launching a campaign to alert young people to the dangers they face from the industry’s manipulative practices.

More than 40 million young people aged 13 to 15 smoke and use other tobacco products. The World Health Organization says the tobacco industry tries to get children and young people hooked on tobacco early in life, knowing this will turn them into life-long smokers. Unfortunately, WHO says many smokers do not live very long.  Every year, it notes millions of people have their lives cut short because of cancers, heart disease and other smoking-related illnesses.

Coordinator of WHO’s No Tobacco Unit, Vinayak Prasad, says the tobacco industry invests more than $9 billion a year to advertise its products.  He says much of this huge budget targets young people with attractive promotional campaigns. “At the moment, they are spending a million dollars an hour, which is by the time we finish our press conference, that is a million dollars spent,” said Prasad.  “And, why are they doing it?  They are doing it to find replacements users.  Eight million premature deaths every year.  So, they need to find new replacements.”

WHO says the industry sets its sights on the next generation of users by targeting children and young people in markets where tobacco products are not regulated and they can be manipulated easily. WHO is launching a new kit for school students aged 13 to 17 to protect them from the tobacco industry’s exploitative practices.  WHO Director of Health Promotion, Ruediger Krech says the kit alerts young people to the industry’s devious tactics and teaches them to say no.

Smoking Tobacco
WHO tool kit exposes tactics such as parties and concerts hosted by the tobacco and related industries. Pixabay

“The tool kit exposes tactics such as parties and concerts hosted by the tobacco and related industries, e-cigarette flavors that attract youth in like bubble-gum and candy, e-cigarette representatives presenting in schools, and product placement in popular youth streaming shows,” said Krech.

WHO is calling on all sectors of society to prevent the tobacco industry from preying on youth.  To reach a young audience, the agency is spreading its no tobacco message on  TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube and other social media. Health officials urge schools, celebrities and influencers to reject all offers of sponsorship from the industry.  They call on TV and streaming services to stop showing tobacco or e-cigarette use on screen.

Also Read: Read PM Modi’s Letter To Indians amid COVID war

They say governments should ban all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship and should enact strict tobacco control laws. (VOA)

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What Difference Between Chinese Domination and American Domination?

Chinese government has always been dominant over it's people

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american chinese
Who is more dominant, Chinese government or US government?. Pixabay

By N.S. Venkataraman

Chinese government has not left anybody in doubt, about it’s ambitious target of dominating the world at any cost. Chinese government has been suppressing  freedom of speech in China, taking away the rights of citizens of Hong Kong in authoritarian manner and aggressively occupying the territory of neighbours such as Tibet and part of Indian territory, which it occupied after 1962 Indo Chinese war. China is now claiming Indian province Arunachal Pradesh as it’s own and aggressively claiming territorial right in South China Sea and Senkaku island. Chinese government says that Taiwan is part of it’s territory and objects to any recognition given to Taiwan by any other country.

Further, China is trying to enforce it’s domination over small and weak  nearby  countries  such as Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and others, by extending loans, which  these countries cannot afford to repay in the foreseeable future.

Viewing China’s methods and targets, one does not find much of difference between today’s Chinese government and Hitler’s Germany. Several countries in the world are  gradually realizing that checking China’s ambition is as necessary, as checking Hitler’s ambition  that caused World War II.

chinese
Chinese government has been suppressing freedom of speech in China. Pixabay

However, the supporters of China claim that US government too should be accused of trying to dominate the world and it has sent troops to several countries such as Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and others to enforce it’s domination. There is an element of  truth in this, as American government seem to think that it has the duty to police the world.

In any case, on careful analysis of the scenario and judiciously comparing the domination desire of China and USA, one cannot but see a subtle difference between both these countries.

While China believes in ruthless elimination of opponents both inside and outside China (just like the way Hitler did) and wants to occupy territories of other countries by coercion or force , US does not indulge in such acts of suppression of human rights or occupying territory of other countries.

US has not concealed it’s desire that freedom of speech and democratic procedures should prevail in all regions in the world. On many occasions , US has fought against totalitarian regimes, religious extremists and terrorist groups and has paid a high price by losing American lives.

statue-of-liberty
USA desires to dominate the world. Pixabay

USA may have the ambition to dominate the world and ensure it’s authority as super power, but it has no ambition of territorial expansions that China has.

All said and done, if the world were to choose between USA and China, it would inevitably come to the conclusion that world domination by USA is a lesser evil than the world domination by China.

Unlike China, the citizens of USA have the right to criticise the decisions of the government, launch protests against human rights violation, if any and exercise their franchise once in four years to change the party in power, if it would act against the wishes of the people. By such process, the conscience of USA largely remain in tact and US government is vulnerable to the pressure of public opinion, both in USA  and other parts of the world.

chiese
In China, the citizens don’t have the right to criticise the decisions of the government. Pixabay

Also Read: McDonald’s Reveals Plan to Open More Drive-Thru Restaurants in UK

On the other hand, China has totalitarian regime and no citizen can survive in China if he would criticise the Chinese President or question the decision of the Chinese government. To this extent, it is dictatorial regime in China, which can be termed as uncivilized form of governance.

The fact is that USA has been remaining as super  power in the world for several decades now and  the world has not  become worse due to the dominating power of USA. Of course, there have been criticism against US government by some section of world opinion but  most of such critics belong to religious extremist groups  and motivated  leftist (communist) forces , whose economic  and administrative policies  have totally failed to deliver the goods.

Achieving super power status by China   and establishing it’s authority in large parts of the world with least consideration for value systems and sentiments of people, is the worst thing that can happen to the world civilization.