Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts

Thursday, December 1, 2016

World AIDS Day: Use, share "Umbrella with Raindrops"

World AIDS Day: Use, share "Umbrella with Raindrops"


New Delhi, Dec 1: On the occasion of World AIDS Day, sexual wellbeing brand announced Umbrella with Raindrops,' as the overwhelming choice in a global poll, to find the safe sex emoji.

Shockingly, almost half of 16-35 year olds think HIV is not something that could over affect them, despite the fact that every 30 seconds a young person is infected with HIV.

Whilst more than 60 percent of young people surved admitted to being uncomfortable discussing sade sex, 72 percent of respondents surveyed, admitted they found it easier to express emotions using emojis anad more than three quarters admitted that they use emojis to discuss sex and relationships.

The unveiling of safe sex emoji is the latest move in Durex's ongoing @CondomEmoji compaign, which calls for Unicode to put a safe sax emoji on every smartphone in the world in order to help young people communicate about safe sex more easily.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Zika virus likely to spread across Asia: WHO

Zika virus likely to spread across Asia: WHO


Manila, Oct 11: Zika infections were "highly likely" to keep spreading across Asia, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced on Tuesday.

WHO director Margaret Chan said experts were still looking for ways to deal with the virus, the BBC reported.

"Unfortunately, scientists do not yet have answers to many critical questions," she told an annual regional WHO meeting in the Philippines capital, Manila.

Hundreds of cases of the virus were reported in Singapore while two cases of Zika-linked microcephaly have already been confirmed in Thailand.

Zika generally has mild effects but is more dangerous for pregnant women as it has been linked to severe birth defects, including the brain deformation microcephaly.

According to the WHO, the mosquito-borne virus has been detected in 70 countries worldwide so far.

Monday, October 10, 2016

50 million Pakistanis suffering from mental disorders

50 million Pakistanis suffering from mental disorders


Islamabad, Oct 9: In Pakistan around 50 million people are suffering from common mental disorders. These afflict 15 to 35 million adults besides 20 million children, according to local media.

"Approximately 20 million children, or 10 per cent of the population, in our country need attention from mental health practitioners," said Dr Ayesha Mian, Chairperson of the Department of Psychiatry at the Aga Khan University (AKU), during a dialogue held on Saturday.

The session on mental health was organised in connection with World Mental Health Day being observed on October 10, the Dawn reported.

Mian said there was a perception that people with mental illness were violent, looked different from others, and could never get better or could not be productive members of society.

"Such misleading stereotypes impact adversely on these people's struggle to cope with their condition," she said.

"Studies show that people with mental illness are much more likely to be a victim than a perpetrator. Media should come forward and be strong partners against this social bias," she said, adding that family members, friends and the society in general have a vital role to play in helping people recover from mental illness.

"They need positive attitude and acceptance of their conditions," she added.
WHO to tackle dengue, environmental health in annual meet

WHO to tackle dengue, environmental health in annual meet


Manila, Oct 10: World Health Organization (WHO) regional committee for the Western Pacific region opened its annual meeting in Manila on Monday to discuss progress on public heath priorities in the region, including dengue, malaria, HIV, and sexually transmitted diseases.

The regional committee said in a statement the five-day meeting will also tackle environmental health, the sustainable development goals, the Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases and Public Health Emergencies, Xinhua news agency reported.

The meeting hopes to formulate policies to support western Pacific countries combat the diseases in a bid to sustain the WHO goals.

At the meeting, the statement said "progress report on HIV and sexually transmitted infections, expanded program on immunisation, disability prevention and rehabilitation including blindness" will also be discussed.

"Regional action plan for healthy newborn infants, anti-microbial resistance and essential medicines" are also among the health topics for discussions on the table, the statement said.

The meeting this week in the 67th session of the regional committee, WHO's governing body for the western Pacific region.

The committee consists of representatives from the region's member states and associate members who meet annually. 
8 Polio cases in Afghanistan so far this year: Official

8 Polio cases in Afghanistan so far this year: Official

Kabul, Oct 10: Eight polio cases have been recorded in Afghanistan so far this year with a new confirmed one detected recently, the country's Public Health Ministry said on Monday.

"Investigation revealed that the case from Barmal district in Paktika province was a polio case that was genetically linked to a virus from South Waziristan (Pakistan), whereas a case from Kabul was confirmed to be negative for polio," the ministry said in a statement.

"This brings the total number of polio cases to eight in Afghanistan during 2016," Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.

After the detection of the new case in the eastern Paktika province, bordering Pakistan, the ministry has launched two Supplementary Immunisation Activity (SIA) campaigns in recent months.

The ministry will also launch "the National Immunisation Days on October 17 to deliver oral polio vaccines (OPV) house-to-house along with de-worming tablets for children under the age of five years" throughout the country.

"Afghanistan remains one of the last three polio-endemic countries in the world. The Ministry of Public Health and partners continue their efforts toward polio eradication," the statement added.

The ongoing insurgency and conflicts have been hindering the efforts to stamp out the infectious disease in the country.

The only three countries where the disease is endemic are Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. 
Poorly-understood gene linked to mental health disorders

Poorly-understood gene linked to mental health disorders

London, Oct 10: New evidence has been found to prove the link between a previously misunderstood gene and major neurocognitive disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and autism, researchers said.

Schizophrenia is among the top 10 causes of human disability worldwide. 

Although the chances of inheriting the condition are estimated at between 60-80 per cent, the genes responsible for causing the condition remain highly controversial, the study said. 

"Schizophrenia and other mental health disorders are multi-faceted and it is extremely complicated to identify which genes, in combination with other environmental factors, contribute to people developing the condition," said lead author Bing Lang, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Aberdeen in Britain.

Previous studies identified that a mutation of the gene ULK4 was more frequent in patients with schizophrenia as well as in some people with bipolar disorder, depression and autism.

In the new study, the team used cutting-edge techniques to "turn off" ULK4 in selected subsets of stem cells in the mouse brain. 

They found that the offspring of these stem cells turned up in the wrong places, became "lost" and "communicated less" with neighbouring nerve cells.

These problems were rectified fully when the ULK4 gene was "turned back on", the researchers noted.

The research found that ULK4 plays an essential role in normal brain development and when defective, the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia is increased.

"The findings revealed that the ULK4 gene plays a role in normal brain development, and that a mutation in the gene contributes to the risk of several neurodevelopmental disorders," Lang added.

Identifying which genes are responsible for these diseases opens the way for the development of therapies to treat the symptoms of these conditions, the researchers concluded in the paper published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Government seeks trained manpower in mental health promotion

Government seeks trained manpower in mental health promotion


New Delhi, Oct 10 (IANS) Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel on Monday said the government seeks trained and skilled manpower for the promotion of mental health in the country.

The minister said that under the National Mental Health Programme, the central government was investing to bridge the huge gap that lies in the country's mental health programme. 

"We will have to train more medical officers, nurses, counsellors and pharmacists in district hospitals, and community and primary health centres," said Patel. 

At the same time, "community based interventions through utilisation of field-level functionaries such as Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) and Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANMs) should also be implemented," the minister said.

Patel was speaking at a function here to mark 'World Mental Health Day'. 

She emphasised on the role of parents and families in ensuring smooth transition of adolescents into adulthood. She stressed that leading a content normal life could never be overemphasised.

She said all round efforts should be made to develop life skills, and mitigate substance misuse. She particularly mentioned about adolescents who are susceptible to mental stress. 

Quoting World Health Organisation statistics, Patel said one in every four persons was affected by a mental illness at least once in their lifetime. 

"Six to seven per cent of India's population suffers from some form of mental illness," the minister said. 

Mental illnesses were also seen as a major cause of morbidity. Depression, bipolar, anxiety, personality, delusional, and substance use disorders were just a few of the killers. 

Faggan Singh Kulaste, also MoS Health, said: "As a community, we must collectively create and spread awareness about mental health disorders and treatment available. This could help the patients lead a normal life with dignity and be productive."
Scientist create colour-changing sunscreen patch

Scientist create colour-changing sunscreen patch


Canberra, Oct 10: An Australian researcher has devised a new high-tech UV-sensitive patch that changes colour when it is time to reapply sunscreen.

Queensland University of Technology (QUT's) Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation lead researcher Dr Elke Hacker said on Monday in a statement that the research aims to help 75 per cent of young Australians who get sunburned every year that possibly contracts skin cancer, Xinhua news agency reported.

"Sunscreen when applied at the correct concentration (2mg/cm2) is effective at blocking the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation. However, the concentration applied in real life conditions is usually less, which provides inadequate protection," Hacker said.

"Currently the most common way to assist people to determine how long they can safely stay in the sun after sunscreen application is time-based on the two hour reapply recommendation."

"However, what we are seeing is despite doing their best to stay sun safe and sunburn-free, people get either the concentration or the timing wrong resulting in a damaging dose of ultraviolet radiation," she said.

Hacker will lead a pilot study looking at the usability of a newly developed wearable UV indicator that takes away the guesswork in how much sunscreen to apply and when to reapply by changing colour to warn wearers their sunscreen is no longer effective.

"As part of our study we are looking for Brisbane-based volunteers to test a patch before we undertake a larger trial to determine if it can reduce the incidence of sunburn," Hacker said.

"Participants will be asked to test the patch for a seven day period and attend two focus groups sessions at the start and end of the study," she said.

Hacker said UV radiation or sunlight exposure was the main environmental risk factor for skin cancer.

"What we know is that sunburn rates are high, especially among younger people, with more than 72 per cent of Queenslanders aged 18 to 24 years admitting to getting sunburnt," she said.

"The sun-smart messages are getting through to Queenslanders but the concern is that high rates of sunburn are caused because people are unaware when dangerous UV levels have been reached."

"This device seeks to give real-time information that can help change unhealthy sun exposure habits," she said.