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Affordable way to prevent stunting: An egg a day makes young people grow taller!

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KARACHI: Whether soft or hard-boiled, fried or whisked into an omelette, eggs appear to give infants a boost.

According to a report published in Pediatrics (journal published by American Academy of Pediatrics), egg could be an affordable answer to the menace of stunting (that leaves children too short for their age). 

Researchers hold that first two years of life are critical for growth and development and stunting is largely irreversible.

They further point out that poor nutrition is a major cause of stunting, along with childhood infections and illnesses.

According to WHO 155 million children under the age of five are stunted. Most live in low-and middle-income countries and health experts have been looking at ways to tackle the issue.

ONE EGG A DAY: 

Half of the 160 youngsters who took part in a random trial were fed an egg a day for six months – the others were monitored for comparison. Families were visited every week to ensure the plan’s regularity and to check for any allergies or side effects.

Stunting was reduced in the treatment group by the end of the study. Occurrence was 47% less than in the non-egg group, even though egg-fed infants were considered short for their age at the start.

Some of the children in the control group did eat eggs, but nowhere near as many as the treatment group.

The lead researcher said: “We were surprised by just how effective this intervention proved to be, and what’s great is the affordability for populations vulnerable to hidden hunger or nutritional deficiency.”

It was noted that eggs were great food for young children with small stomachs: “Eggs contain a combination of nutrients, which we think is important.”

A lead nutritionist at the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, said: “In a way, it is surprising that more research has not been conducted using egg in this situation – although in some cultures, parents do not necessarily find egg to be an acceptable early food due to allergy concerns.

Lead researcher advised that eggs should always be well-cooked to avoid any potential infection risk.   Eggs are a good nutritious complementary food that can be introduced as part of a varied diet once the mother decides to start complementary feeding, never before four months.”

WHO recommends mothers worldwide to:

* Exclusively breastfeed infants for the child’s first six months to achieve optimal growth, development and health.

* After the first six months, infants should be given nutritious complementary foods and continue breastfeeding up to the age of two years or beyond.

British Nutrition Foundation maintains:

* While eggs are a nutritious food to include, it’s very essential for young children to have a variety of foods in a diet. Necessary to get all the vitamins and minerals needed, but also to become familiar with a wide range of tastes and textures.

* A range of protein-rich foods should be provided when feeding young children, which can include eggs but can also feature beans, pulses, fish, especially oily fish, meat and dairy products.

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Amputations in diabetic patients can be prevented by care

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HYDERABAD: Vice Chancellor Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) Prof. Bikha Ram Devrajani has advised diabetic patients to adopt special care as approximately 1 in 5 cases of infected diabetic foot ulcers end up at amputation.
Addressing a workshop on “Diabetic Foot” here today he informed that diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease caused by the body’s inability to produce and use insulin. and such a deficiency results in increased concentrations of glucose in the blood, which in turn damage many of the body’s systems.
The workshop was arranged by Sindh Institute of Endocrinology & Diabetes LUMHS Jamshoro in collaboration with Baqai Institute of Endocrinology & Diabetology at Liaquat University Hospital Jamshoro.
Prof. Devrajani informed that Diabetic complications of foot-one of the most common and visible impacts of the disease- were caused by changes in blood vessels and nerves and that can lead to ulceration and subsequent limb amputation. Diabetic foot ulcers can occur in up to 25 percent of patients with diabetes during their lifetimes and more than half of those ulcers will become infected, he informed.
He said that the daily life of diabetic patients is disrupted by the need of monitoring blood glucose levels, taking medicines and balancing the effect of activity and food. Professor Bekha Ram further informed that amputations due to diabetes cause unnecessary loss of life and disability. In high-income countries, treatment of diabetic foot complication accounts for 15-25 percent of total health care resources for diabetes, he added.
Professor Bekha Ram informed that the leg and foot amputations in people with diabetes can be prevented using low cost, low technology solutions and simple behaviors should be encouraged such as regular foot examination and examining the inside of shoes before putting them on, not walking barefoot, wearing comfortable shoes, keeping feet clean and regular care of skin and nails. He added that people who suffer from diabetes must take special care of their feet, as they are at a higher risk of infection and necrosis that can lead to amputation.

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US experts help develop plan to control Zoonotic Diseases in Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) supported the Government of Pakistan with the development of their National One Health Framework and Strategic Plan Development Workshop July 16-20. 

The workshop focused on zoonotic diseases of national and international significance, which are diseases that can be spread between humans and animals, such as rabies and brucellosis.

Pakistan recently established a One Health Hub in the Pakistan National Institute of Health (NIH), which will support collaboration and coordination between the human, animal, and environmental health sectors on infectious zoonotic diseases.  This workshop was organized in response to a request from the Pakistani government for technical assistance in developing a One Health Strategic Plan to prevent, detect and respond to infectious disease outbreaks in Pakistan. 

In addition, CDC and USDA experts discussed strategies to control rabies and brucellosis, which the Pakistani government prioritized as part of the One Health Zoonotic Disease Prioritization and One Health Systems Mapping and Analysis Toolkit (OH-SMART™) workshop held in August 2017.

The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (MoNHSRC), the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MoNFSR), the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC), and the Provincial, Gilgit-Baltistan, ICT and AJK Health, Livestock, and Environment Departments and Ministries participated.

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Antibiotics may give rise to new harmful bacteria

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ISLAMABAD: Besides treating bacterial infections, some antibiotics may also give rise to harmful new bacteria, research suggests.
“For a long time we have thought that bacteria make antibiotics for the same reasons that we love them – because they kill other bacteria,” said Elizabeth Shank, assistant professor of biology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“However, we have also known that antibiotics can sometimes have pesky side-effects, like stimulating biofilm formation,” Shank added.
The researchers have now shown that this side-effect – the production of biofilms – is not a side-effect, after all, suggesting that bacteria may have evolved to produce antibiotics in order to produce biofilms and not only for their killing abilities, said the study appeared in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Biofilms are communities of bacteria that form on surfaces, phenomenon dentists usually refer to as plaque. Biofilms are everywhere. In many cases, biofilms can be beneficial, such as when they protect plant roots from pathogens. But they can also harm, for instance when they form on medical catheters or feeding tubes in patients, causing disease.

A relevant piece published earlier: What researchers from the University of Leicester have found out is certainly alarming for Karachiites! The first of its kind study has revealed that bacteria triggering respiratory infections become antibiotics-resistance due to air pollution. So as to determine this, the panel of connoisseurs analyzed the influences of air contamination on the bacteria existing in human bodies, particularly the respiratory tract (nose, throat and lungs). The key element of air pollution is black carbon, which is being rapidly produced via the burning of fossil fuels like diesel, bio-fuels, and biomass. Elaborating on the study, Dr Shane Hussey and Dr Jo Purves held that all of us are exposed to toxic fumes and we know its harmful impacts. Now it is obligatory to figure out such antidotes that could help in containing these effects. Also, it has been reported that two human pathogens (Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumonia) are considered the prime causes of respiratory ailments. Besides, they also demonstrate high levels of resistance to antibiotics. One of the investigators Julian Ketley noted that urbanization in big cities with intense levels of air pollution poses life threats all across the globe. Also, the World Health Organization (WHO) delineates atmosphere pollution as the biggest single ecological health jeopardy. According to WHO it is accountable to around 7 million deaths per annum. The study has been reported in the journal Environmental Microbiology. (Published on 3rd March 2017)

 

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