Connect with us

Health/medicine

‘Track, trace & eliminate’ illegal tobacco trade, control unrecorded alcohol: WHO

Published

on

New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) Countries must take effective steps to track, trace, and eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products, and control unrecorded alcohol, said the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday.

Regional Director Saima Wazed informed that the WHO South East Asia Region has the highest average tobacco use prevalence among adults.

“The Region accounts for 280 million smokeless tobacco users, nearly 77 per cent of the global total, and 11 million adolescent tobacco users, 30 per cent of the global total,” Saima said.

This is despite the report that tobacco use prevalence among men decreased to 43.7 per cent (from 68.9 per cent) and in women to 9.4 per cent (from 33.5 per cent) between 2000 to 2022 in the WHO SE Asia Region.

The lack of appropriate policies and tools, which are “either not in place, or not optimally implemented” is making the fight against illicit trade “a challenging and daunting task.”

ALSO READ:  Zydus gets final nod from USFDA for acne-treating Dapsone gel

However, by “devoting optimal resources to develop, implement and sustain effective ‘track and trace’ mechanisms… illicit trade can be successfully addressed,” Saima said.

The Regional Director also called on Member countries to become parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). So far, only India and Sri Lanka are parties to the WHO FCTC Protocol from the WHO SE Asia Region.

“This must be done to address both supply-side and demand-side issues, in relation to all forms of tobacco use, to ensure reduction in prevalence of tobacco consumption across our Region,” the Regional Director said.

Meanwhile, the Regional Director also noted that an estimated 25 per cent of global alcohol consumption goes unrecorded — majorly of lower price and appealing to people from low socioeconomic status.

This “is often irregularly labelled, and often contains unknown ethanol percentage and potentially toxic compounds”, raising health risks, especially for people with underlying alcohol use disorders.

ALSO READ:  Not all animal diseases are zoonotic: Animal Husbandry department

–IANS

rvt/dan

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Health/medicine

Poliovirus detected in Gaza, but no paralytic cases reported so far: UN

Published

on

By

Poliovirus detected in Gaza, but no paralytic cases reported so far: UN

Poliovirus detected in Gaza, but no paralytic cases reported so far: UN

United Nations, July 20 (IANS) Discovering the poliovirus in Gaza environmental samples is deeply concerning but it’s a relief that no cases of the paralysing disease have been reported, UN humanitarians have said.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is also “deeply concerned over the spread of infectious diseases due to severe overcrowding of shelter spaces, dire shortages of clean water and abysmal sanitation and hygiene conditions in Gaza”, Xinhua news agency reported.

“In a particularly worrying development, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that six environmental samples of variant poliovirus type 2 have been detected in Khan Younis and Deir al Balah,” OCHA said on Friday. “No paralytic cases have been detected.”

The office said polio can cause paralysis and death, especially among unvaccinated children.

WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said his agency, UNICEF, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the Gaza Health Ministry are conducting risk assessments to understand the scope of the poliovirus spread and the necessary response, including through prompt vaccination campaigns.

ALSO READ:  IISER Kolkata study finds vascular growth factor key for colon, renal cancer treatment

He warned that the decimation of Gaza’s health system, shortages of medical supplies, constant displacement of the population, weakened sanitation services, poor water quality, ongoing access obstructions and a lack of security are increasing the risk of vaccine-preventable diseases, including polio.

WHO reported that other infectious diseases in Gaza are surging and that as of July 7, nearly 1 million cases of acute respiratory infections were recorded since the start of the conflict on October 7. Nearly 575,000 cases of acute watery diarrhoea and more than 100,000 cases of jaundice were also documented. However, WHO says the actual number of infections is likely far higher.

“About 90 per cent of Gaza’s population has been displaced at least once since October of last year, with many living in appalling conditions,” OCHA said.

Last week, OCHA and humanitarian partners assessed two informal displacement sites and a UNRWA school, and found that most toilets were not working.

ALSO READ:  Global programme in robot-assisted surgery innovations opens with ‘Vattikuti Explorers’

“This means sewage is spilling into the streets at some sites,” the office said. “The toilets that are available often have doors missing or cannot flush because there is no water to do so. Clean water is extremely scarce, leaving many families to drink highly saline water, which causes stomach pain.”

OCHA said that over the past week, aid organizations have seen a surge in displacement from northern to southern Gaza. As of Thursday, humanitarian partners reported more than 2,500 people displaced from northern Gaza to areas farther south in a single week.

The office said humanitarians distribute food, drinking water, hygiene supplies, and some shelter materials to the displaced with efforts for additional assistance to vulnerable groups, including pregnant women, older people, and those with disabilities.

However, OCHA says hostilities continue to pose significant risks to displaced people and humanitarian workers.

–IANS

int/sha

Continue Reading

Health/medicine

NDTV, Hyundai provide wheelchairs at 4 airports under 'Samarth' Initiative

Published

on

By

NDTV, Hyundai provide wheelchairs at 4 airports under 'Samarth' Initiative

NDTV, Hyundai provide wheelchairs at 4 airports under 'Samarth' Initiative

New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) Leading television news channel NDTV on Friday announced its latest contribution under the ‘Samarth by Hyundai’ initiative, providing 29 wheelchairs and two buggies across four major airports – Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, and Guwahati, further enhancing accessibility.

The initiative seeks to furnish essential support by introducing wheelchairs and buggies, ensuring that every traveller can navigate airport environments with dignity and ease, according to the company.

This is just one of the several planned activities under ‘Samarth by Hyundai,’ focusing on creating an equitable experience for all travellers, regardless of their physical abilities.

The initiative is designed to promote inclusivity, shift perceptions and improve the quality of life for specially-abled marking the beginning of several activities across the country. By uniting governments, corporations, and citizens, the initiative is not just about providing physical aid, but also about advocating for a society where every individual can thrive. It is also aimed at making public spaces more accessible, and as a commitment to fostering a more aware and inclusive society.

ALSO READ:  Saudi King suffering from 'high fever', to undergo tests

–IANS

na/vd

Continue Reading

Health/medicine

Adequately spaced pregnancies can boost maternal & child health outcomes: Centre

Published

on

By

Adequately spaced pregnancies can boost maternal & child health
 outcomes: Centre

Adequately spaced pregnancies can boost maternal & child health
 outcomes: Centre

New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) Adequately spaced pregnancies can boost maternal and child health outcomes, said Anupriya Patel, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Friday at a meeting with public health experts.

“This will reduce health risks and empower women and families to make informed choices about their reproductive health,” she said.

Citing the launch of initiatives such as the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA), extended PMSMA, identification of high-risk pregnancy in PMSMA, ‘Anaemia Mukt Bharat Abhiyan’, and the Postpartum Family Planning Programme (postpartum Intrauterine Contraceptive Device (IUCD) and post-abortion IUCD), she emphasised that the government has always been conscious of these issues.

She further added that “the government’s efforts have resulted in a reduction of maternal mortality from over 130 to 97 per one-lakh births.”

“The task of achieving Viksit Bharat by 2047 cannot be done without empowering our women. Healthy timing and spacing between pregnancies are very important for women’s health,” the Minister added, noting that some states also involved men in family planning.

ALSO READ:  Not all animal diseases are zoonotic: Animal Husbandry department

While India has already achieved a total fertility rate (TFR) of 2.0 with 31 States/UTs achieving replacement level, there is a need for an “effective strategy to bring the TFR under replacement level in the five remaining states”, said Aradhana Patnaik, Additional Secretary, and Mission Director (NHM), MoHFW.

Experts at the event also shed light on various causes of maternal mortality, nutritional deficiencies due to inadequate spacing between pregnancies, and the importance of spacing between children.

To achieve successful desired outcomes, the Minister emphasised the need to identify and map regions, districts, and blocks with low uptake of family planning services.

She also suggested low demand for modern contraceptives, high unmet needs, and similar state-appropriate criteria, and saturating them with family planning services, as well as enhancing social and behaviour change communication, and involving frontline workers in these efforts.

–IANS

rvt/svn

Continue Reading

Health/medicine

New study shows promise to make universal influenza vaccine

Published

on

By

New study shows promise to make universal influenza vaccine

New study shows promise to make universal influenza vaccine

New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) US researchers have in a new study released on Friday, suggested a promising approach to develop a universal influenza vaccine, potentially offering lifetime immunity against evolving viruses, to millions of people worldwide.

The team from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) tested a vaccine platform on non-human primates against the avian H5N1 influenza virus, using the 1918 flu virus as a template.

Remarkably, six of 11 vaccinated primates survived H5N1 exposure, while all unvaccinated primates died, revealed the study, published in the journal Nature Communications.

The platform, already in clinical trials for HIV, inserts target pathogen pieces into the cytomegalovirus (CMV), triggering an immune response from T cells.

“This could actually become a vaccine in five years or less,” said Jonah Sacha, a doctoral candidate at OHSU.

Unlike traditional vaccines targeting mutable virus surfaces, this approach targets stable internal proteins.

“It worked because the interior protein of the virus was so well preserved,” Sacha noted.

ALSO READ:  UK's Haleon to sell nicotine replacement therapy biz outside US to Dr Reddy's for $632 mn

The study suggests CMV vaccines might offer long-lasting immunity against various virus variants. Co-author Douglas Reed, from the varsity, emphasised the need for quick validation and deployment of new vaccines in case of pandemics.

Sacha sees this development as part of a “massive sea change within our lifetimes” in addressing infectious diseases.

–IANS

ts/rvt/rad

Continue Reading

Health/medicine

Preventive healthcare is national, societal duty for all: Jitendra Singh

Published

on

By

Preventive healthcare is national, societal duty for all: Jitendra Singh

Preventive healthcare is national, societal duty for all: Jitendra Singh

New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) Preventative healthcare is now a national and civic responsibility for all, said Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, on Friday.

He was speaking at the second edition of the Healthcare Summit conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in India (AMCHAM), in New Delhi.

Dr. Singh emphasised that the distinction between private and public sectors had dissolved.

“Preventive healthcare today is a national and societal duty not restricted to healthcare professionals alone,” said Dr. Singh, reiterating India’s strong position as a top global manufacturer of cost-effective medical equipment and the importance of synergies in advancing healthcare.

The summit brought together key stakeholders from the healthcare industry, particularly US businesses, the government, and academia.

The event aimed to address major concerns and investigate novel ideas for improving healthcare access, equity, and quality in India.

Dr Vinod Paul, Member, Niti Aayog, government of India, reinforced the government’s commitment to healthcare transformation.

ALSO READ:  Global programme in robot-assisted surgery innovations opens with ‘Vattikuti Explorers’

Dr. Paul emphasised the significance of innovation and collaboration in community service, aligning with the government’s focus on comprehensive primary healthcare through 179,000 health and wellness centres nationwide.

He highlighted pandemic preparedness to develop vaccines within 100 days of an outbreak and the government’s work on a national telemedicine line to improve healthcare access.

“Innovation can greatly advance diagnostic tests for chronic liver, kidney disease, and diseases like haemoglobin A1C,” enhancing disease detection and management, Dr. Paul said.

The Summit focused on innovation, R&D, and policy and regulatory framework in healthcare transformation.

“The summit highlights the critical collaboration between India and the US in advancing healthcare solutions. India’s commitment to innovation is apparent. Unified efforts by both countries are set to propel us towards a future defined by universal health equity and innovation, transforming today’s challenges into tomorrow’s solutions,” said Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM.

–IANS

ts/rvt/rad

Continue Reading

Trending