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USAID Partners with Sindh Govt. on Anti-Typhoid Campaign

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ED: M. M. A

KARACHI: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is partnering with the Government of Sindh on a children’s anti-typhoid campaign by donating 250,000 syringes.

After the Sindh Department of Health noticed a recent rise in the number of drug-resistant typhoid cases, it reached out to USAID for assistance. The syringes will help immunize over 250,000 children against a drug-resistant strain of typhoid reported in Latifabad and Qasimabad, two sub-districts of Hyderabad, Sindh.

Oghale Oddo, USAID’s Acting Deputy Mission Director for Sindh and Balochistan, said, “Our support for the government’s anti-typhoid campaign exemplifies the strength of our ongoing partnership.  USAID will continue to support the Government of Sindh in their efforts to institutionalize evidence based care.”

The U.S. government, through USAID, has supported the Government of Sindh for over five years to save the lives of children by ensuring that they have access to basic health services.   PS: Since its inception, USAID has partnered with the Government of Pakistan to save lives, strengthen families and communities, and develop a healthier workforce. Over the last five years alone, USAID has provided over 9.4 million women and children with life-saving maternal, child, and reproductive health care services, trained more than 50,000 people on evidence based  health care interventions for women and children, and supported governments in Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to meet women’s family planning needs.   

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 99 % target kids vaccinated: EOC KP Peshawar

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PESHAWAR: The May round of anti-polio drive successfully conclude in selected districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 99.25 percent vaccination status reflecting the hard work and commitment of the teams on ground that brave many challenges to vaccinate the target children.

Emergency Operations Center Khyber Pakhtunkhwa here has informed on Friday, that 4.432 million children were vaccinated so far by the teams out of the total target of 4.466 million children.

It said that 34176 children were still Not Available while total refusals stand at 13044 (0.29 %) taking the total number of missed children to 47220 which is one percent of the total target population.

Coordinator EOC Atif Rehman while appreciating the motivation and commitment of Sehat Muhafiz for polio eradication said that phenomenal achievements have been made in polio eradication due to the efforts and hard work of teams and the support of the community.

He said that last polio case in Peshawar was reported in February 2016 and it is more than two years now that the provincial capital was free of polio case which speaks volumes of the efforts put in by the teams under the guidance and supervision of the government and technical experts.

Rehman held an appeal to the parents to turn deaf ears to rumours against polio vaccination saying that the vaccine was safe and harmless and was the only option to help us reach the finishing line and eradicate the menace of polio for good from the region.

Regarding the baseless propaganda against polio vaccine on social media, Rehman said that polio vaccine was certified by World Health Organization (WHO) and Pakistan Drug Regulatory Authority and was completely safe for the children.

It is pertinent to mention here that the May campaign was the last campaign of the low transmission season and was of great importance to stop virus circulation in the province.

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Link between TB, Parkinson’s identified

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ISLAMABAD: Researchers have uncovered a potential cause of Parkinson’s disease which may also help combat drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis (TB).

The biological causes of Parkinson’s remain largely unknown, making it more difficult to develop and improve treatments.

The study showed that the mechanism our immune cells use to clear bacterial infections like tuberculosis (TB) might also be implicated in Parkinson’s.

“We think that this mechanism might also be at play in Parkinson’s disease, where abnormal masses of protein called ‘Lewy bodies’ build up in neurons in the brain and cause damage,” said lead author Susanne Herbst, a post-doctoral student at the Francis Crick Institute – a biomedical research center in London.”

Drug-resistant TB is a serious emerging problem, and boosting the body’s own immune defense against TB is an important step in the battle against antibiotic-resistant strains,” said Max Gutierrez from the Crick.

The most common genetic mutation in Parkinson’s disease patients is in a gene called LRRK2, which makes the LRRK2 protein overactive.

Relevant piece published earlier: TB infects animals as well as humans. Archeologists have found TB in the bones of ancient bison that lived over 17,000 years ago. Today, we know TB is an airborne infectious disease, spread when a person with TB disease coughs, speaks or sings. When diagnosed with TB disease, a contact investigation is done to find and test people who may have been exposed to TB, the diagnosed people and the TB Infection are then treated. While anyone can contract TB, the disease thrives among people living in poverty, communities and groups that are marginalized, and other vulnerable populations. These include migrants, refugees, ethnic minorities, miners and others working and living in risk-prone settings, the elderly, marginalized women and children in many settings etc. Factors such as malnutrition, poor housing, and sanitation, compounded by other risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol use and diabetes, affect vulnerability to TB and access to care. Furthermore, this access is often hindered by catastrophic costs associated with illness, seeking and staying in care, and lack of social protection, resulting in a vicious cycle of poverty and ill-health. The transmission of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) adds great urgency to these concerns. New technologies like whole genome sequencing help public health professionals see patterns of TB transmission. This tool can help focus public health efforts to find and treat persons with TB disease and latent TB infection. Albert Calmette and Jean-Marie Camille Guerin developed the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine in 1921. Prior to developing the BCG vaccine, Calmette developed the first antivenom to treat snake venom. The BCG vaccine is often given to infants and small children to prevent TB meningitis in countries where TB is common. BCG does not always protect people from getting TB. Today, four drugs are used to treat TB disease: isoniazid (1951), pyrazinamide (1952), ethambutol (1961), and rifampin (1966). This 4-drug cocktail is still the most common treatment for drug-susceptible TB. In addition to treating TB disease, we can treat latent TB infection to prevent the development of TB disease in the future. Treatment for latent TB infection can take from three to nine months.

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Cycling increases rate of life expectancy!

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ISLAMABAD: Walking down to office or cycling can increase the rate of life expectancy. Physical activity, including less vigorous forms such as walking and cycling, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, but despite this well-known benefit, levels of activity are still low in many countries.

A team of researchers from the University of Cambridge, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Imperial College London investigated the associations between using alternatives to the car which are more active for commuting and non-commuting purposes, and illness and mortality.

According to the research, cycling was less prevalent, being mentioned by 8.5% and 7% of regular commuters for commuting and non-commuting travel, respectively, and by 4.8% of other participants, Medical Xpress reported.

“More active patterns of travel were associated with a reduced risk of incident and fatal Cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in adults.

This is an important message for clinicians advising people about how to be physically active and reduce their risk of disease,” said the researchers.

The study concluded that interventions that encourage people to make more use of public transport, walking and cycling could be more widely promoted.

Relevant piece published earlier: Cycling is known to be the best sort of workout.  It does not only endorse good health but also endows with a number of health advantages such as augmenting the immune structure, assisting in the toning of muscles, help in combating psychological concern. As a matter of fact, it has been now pointed out via fresh findings that cycling has innumerable health benefits for improved heart-health and merely 20 minutes of cycling can keep you off from heart-related syndromes. A study carried out by the Purdue University revealed that cycling on a daily basis could push down the peril of having heart ailment up to 50%. Likewise, the Copenhagen Heart Study (comprising on more than 5000 individuals) discovered a noteworthy connection between cycling and diminished threat of Coronary Heart Disease Mortality. As per the figures, some 30 percent individuals lost their lives due to cardiovascular ailments across the world per annum.    Less physical activity poses adverse threats to human life. In this regard, as per the World Health Organization (WHO), deficiency of bodily commotion is among the ten leading triggers of demise globally. The officials of WHO commends that people between the ages of 18 to 64 years should do approximately 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity all through the week.

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