Wednesday, 11 May 2016

THAILAND CONFIRMS MERS COV IN TRAVELER, WHO CAUTIONS AGAINST CONTINUED RISK OF IMPORTATION


Thailand Confirms Mers Cov In Traveler, Who Cautions Against Continued Risk Of Importat.

Thailand has confirmed Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS CoV) disease in a traveler, the second such case in the country in the last seven months, as WHO cautioned other member states in its South-East Asia Region against the continuing risks and the need to remain vigilant.“The new case of MERS CoV is a reminder of the continued risk of importation of the disease from countries where it still persists. All countries need to further enhance surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections, focus on early diagnosis, and step up infection prevention and control procedures in health-care facilities to rapidly detect any case of importation and effectively prevent its spread,” Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region, said.A 71-year -old national from Oman, who arrived in Bangkok, Thailand for treatment on 22 January, and was admitted to a private hospital, tested positive for MERS CoV. He has since been transferred to the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute. Measures are being taken to trace all those who could have been in his contact during his journey to Thailand, and within Bangkok.
This is the second MERS CoV case in Thailand and in the WHO South-East Asia Region. Earlier, on 18 June 2015 another Omani national who arrived in Bangkok for treatment, was tested positive for MERS CoV.In the recent past, countries in the WHO South-East Asia Region have been reviewing and strengthening preparedness to respond to MERS CoV.WHO has been strongly advocating for strengthening health systems and ensuring strict infection control measures are in place in countries to respond to infectious diseases such as MERS CoV.In the Region, WHO is supporting Ministries of Health to build capacities and strengthen preparedness as required under the International Health Regulations (2005) to effectively detect and respond to outbreaks and other hazards.MERS CoV is caused by a virus. Typical symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Pneumonia is common, but not always present. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, have also been reported.

WHAT IS ZIKA VIRUS?

KEY FACTS
·         Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes.
·         People with Zika virus disease can have symptoms that can include mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.
·         There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available.
·         The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites.
·         The virus is known to circulate in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.





Introduction

Zika virus is an emerging mosquito-borne virus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys through a monitoring network of sylvatic yellow fever. It was subsequently identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. Outbreaks of Zika virus disease have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

Genre: Flavivirus
Vector: Aedes mosquitoes (which usually bite during the day with peaks during early and late afternoon/evening hours)
Reservoir: Unknown
More on the history of Zika virus
Signs and Symptoms

The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) of Zika virus disease is not clear, but is likely to be a few days. The symptoms are similar to other arbovirus infections such as dengue, and include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache. These symptoms are usually mild and last for 2-7 days.

Potential complications of Zika virus disease

During large outbreaks in French Polynesia and Brazil in 2013 and 2015 respectively, national health authorities reported potential neurological and auto-immune complications of Zika virus disease. Recently in Brazil, local health authorities have observed an increase in Guillain-Barré syndrome which coincided with Zika virus infections in the general public, as well as an increase in babies born with microcephaly in northeast Brazil. Substantial new research has strengthened the association between Zika infection and the occurrence of fetal malformations and neurological disorders. However, more investigation is needed to better understand the relationship. Other potential causes are also being investigated.

Transmission

Zika virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito from the Aedes genus, mainly Aedes aegypti in tropical regions. This is the same mosquito that transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. However, sexual transmission of Zika virus has is also possible. Other modes of transmission such as blood transfusion and perinatal transmission are currently being investigated.

Zika virus disease outbreaks were reported for the first time from the Pacific in 2007 and 2013 (Yap and French Polynesia, respectively), and in 2015 from the Americas (Brazil and Colombia) and Africa (Cabo Verde). In total, 64 countries and territories have reported transmission of Zika virus since 1 January 2007.

Read the latest situation report
Diagnosis

Infection with Zika virus may be suspected based on symptoms and recent history of travel (e.g. residence or travel to an area where Zika virus is known to be present). Zika virus diagnosis can only be confirmed by laboratory testing for the presence of Zika virus RNA in the blood or other body fluids, such as urine or saliva.

Prevention

Vector control
Mosquitoes and their breeding sites pose a significant risk factor for Zika virus infection. Prevention and control relies on reducing mosquitoes through source reduction (removal and modification of breeding sites) and reducing contact between mosquitoes and people.

This can be done by using insect repellent regularly; wearing clothes (preferably light-coloured) that cover as much of the body as possible; installing physical barriers such as window screens in buildings, closed doors and windows; and if needed, additional personal protection, such as sleeping under mosquito nets during the day. It is extremely important to empty, clean or cover containers regularly that can store water, such as buckets, drums, pots etc. Other mosquito breeding sites should be cleaned or removed including flower pots, used tyres and roof gutters. Communities must support the efforts of the local government to reduce the density of mosquitoes in their locality. Efforts must be made to eliminate mosquito breeding sites such as still water soon after rains and its accumulation in discarded containers and waste materials in and around houses.

Repellents should contain DEET (N, N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide), IR3535 (3-[N-acetyl-N-butyl]-aminopropionic acid ethyl ester) or icaridin (1-piperidinecarboxylic acid, 2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-methylpropylester). Product label instructions should be strictly followed. Special attention and help should be given to those who may not be able to protect themselves adequately, such as young children, the sick or elderly.During outbreaks, health authorities may advise that spraying of insecticides be carried out. Insecticides recommended by the WHO Pesticide Evaluation Scheme may also be used as larvicides to treat relatively large water containers.Travellers should take the basic precautions described above to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

Sexual transmission
Sexual transmission of Zika virus is possible. All people who have been infected with Zika virus and their sexual partners should practice safer sex, by using condoms correctly and consistently.Pregnant women’s sex partners living in or returning from areas where local transmission of Zika virus occurs should practice safer sex, wearing condoms, or abstaining throughout the pregnancy.People living in areas where local transmission of Zika virus occurs should practice safer sex or abstain from sexual activity.
In addition, people returning from areas where local transmission of Zika virus occurs should adopt safer sexual practices or consider abstinence for at least 4 weeks after their return to reduce the risk of onward transmission.
Treatment
Zika virus disease is usually relatively mild and requires no specific treatment. People sick with Zika virus should get plenty of rest, drink enough fluids, and treat pain and fever with common medicines. If symptoms worsen, they should seek medical care and advice. There is currently no vaccine available.

WHO RESPONSE
WHO is supporting countries to control Zika virus disease by taking actions outlined in the “Zika Strategic Response Framework":Define and prioritize research into Zika virus disease by convening experts and partners.
Enhance surveillance of Zika virus and potential complications.
Strengthen capacity in risk communication to help countries meet their commitments under the International Health Regulations.
Provide training on clinical management, diagnosis and vector control including through a number of WHO Collaborating Centres.
Strengthen the capacity of laboratories to detect the virus.

Support health authorities to implement vector control strategies aimed at reducing Aedes mosquito populations such as providing larvicide to treat still water sites that cannot be treated in other ways, such as cleaning, emptying, and covering them. Prepare recommendations for clinical care and follow-up of people with Zika virus, in collaboration with experts and other health agencies

LAWS TO PROTECT BREASTFEEDING INADEQUATE IN MOST COUNTRIES

Laws To Protect Breastfeeding  Inadequate In Most Countries


A new report by WHO, UNICEF, and the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) reveals the status of national laws to protect and promote breastfeeding.

Joint news release WHO/UNICEF/IBFAN
9 MAY 2016 | GENEVA/NEW YORK - A new report by WHO, UNICEF, and the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) reveals the status of national laws to protect and promote breastfeeding. Of the 194 countries analyzed in the report, 135 have in place some form of legal measure related to the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes and subsequent resolutions adopted by the World Health Assembly (the Code). This is up from 103 countries in 2011, when the last WHO analysis was done. Only 39 countries have laws that enact all provisions of the Code, however, a slight increase from 37 in 2011.

WHO and UNICEF recommend that babies are fed nothing but breast milk for their first 6 months, after which they should continue breastfeeding – as well as eating other safe and nutritionally adequate foods – until 2 years of age or beyond. In that context, WHO Member States have committed to increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months of life to at least 50% by 2025 as one of a set of global nutrition targets.The Code calls on countries to protect breastfeeding by stopping the inappropriate marketing of breast-milk substitutes (including infant formula), feeding bottles and teats. It also aims to and ensure breast-milk substitutes are used safely when they are necessary. It bans all forms of promotion of substitutes, including advertising, gifts to health workers and distribution of free samples. In addition, labels cannot make nutritional and health claims or include images that idealize infant formula. They must include clear instructions on how to use the product and carry messages about the superiority of breastfeeding over formula and the risks of not breastfeeding.“It is encouraging to see more countries pass laws to protect and promote breastfeeding, but there are still far too many places where mothers are inundated with incorrect and biased information through advertising and unsubstantiated health claims. This can distort parents’ perceptions and undermine their confidence in breastfeeding, with the result that far too many children miss out on its many benefits,” says Dr Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development.

The breast-milk substitute business is a big one, with annual sales amounting to almost US$ 45 billion worldwide. This is projected to rise by over 55% to US$ 70 billion by 2019.

“The breast-milk substitutes industry is strong and growing, and so the battle to increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding around the world is an uphill one – but it is one that is worth the effort,” says UNICEF Chief of Nutrition Werner Schultink. “Mothers deserve a chance to get the correct information: that they have readily available the means to protect the health and well-being of their children. Clever marketing should not be allowed to fudge the truth that there is no equal substitute for a mother’s own milk.”Overall, richer countries lag behind poorer ones. The proportion of countries with comprehensive legislation in line with the Code is highest in the WHO South-East Asia Region (36%, or 4 out of 11 countries), followed by the WHO African Region (30%, or 14 out of 47 countries) and the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (29%, or 6 out of 21 countries). The WHO Region of the Americas (23%, or 8 out of 35 countries); Western Pacific Region (15%, or 4 out of 27 countries); and European Region (6%, or 3 out of 53 countries) have lower proportions of countries with comprehensive legislation.Among the countries that have any laws on marketing of breast-milk substitutes, globally:Just over half sufficiently prohibit advertising and promotion.
Fewer than half prohibit the provision to health facilities of free or low-cost supplies of breast-milk substitutes.Just over half prohibit gifts to health workers or members of their families.
The scope of products to which legislation applies remains limited. Many countries’ laws cover infant formula and ‘follow-up formula’, but only one third explicitly cover products intended for children aged 1 year and up.Fewer than half of countries ban nutrition and health claims on designated products.IBFAN, with its International Code Documentation Centre (ICDC) taking the lead, has closely cooperated with WHO and UNICEF to prepare this report. The results are in line with the findings reported in ICDC’s own "State of the Code 2016".“IBFAN hopes that the report will lead more countries to improve and enforce existing legislation so that breastfeeding will have a better chance and save more lives,” says Annelies Allain, Director of IBFAN’s ICDC. “Legislation needs to keep pace with new marketing strategies and this report will help policy makers to do so.”
The report, "Marketing of breast-milk substitutes: National implementation of the International Code – Status report 2016", includes tables showing, country by country, which Code measures have and have not been enacted into law. It also includes case studies on countries that have strengthened their laws or monitoring systems for the Code in recent years. These include Armenia, Botswana, India and Vietnam. Marketing of breast-milk substitutes: National implementation of the international code Monitoring is essential to enforcement
Monitoring is essential to detect violations and report them to the appropriate authorities so they can intervene and stop such activities. Yet, only 32 countries report having a monitoring mechanism in place, and of those, few are fully functional. Among the countries with a formal monitoring mechanism, fewer than half publish the results, and just 6 countries have dedicated budgets or funding for monitoring and enforcement.
WHO and UNICEF have recently established a Global Network for Monitoring and Support for Implementation of the Code (NetCode) to help strengthen countries’ and civil society capacity to monitor and effectively enforce Code laws. Key nongovernmental organizations, including IBFAN, Helen Keller International, and Save the Children, along with academic centres and selected countries have joined this network.

Why breastfeed?

Globally, nearly 2 out of 3 infants are not exclusively breastfed for the recommended 6 months ,a rate that has not improved in 2 decades. Breast milk is the ideal food for infants. It is safe, clean and contains antibodies which help protect against many common childhood illnesses. Breastfed children perform better on intelligence tests, are less likely to be overweight or obese and less prone to diabetes later in life. Women who breastfeed also have a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Inappropriate marketing of breast-milk substitutes continues to undermine efforts to improve breastfeeding rates and duration worldwide.New analyses have revealed that increasing breastfeeding to near-universal levels could save the lives of more than 820 000 children aged under 5 years and 20 000 women each year. It could also add an estimated US$ 300 billion into the global economy annually, based on improvements in cognitive ability if every infant was breastfed until at least 6 months of age and their expected increased earnings later in life. Boosting breastfeeding rates would significantly reduce costs to families and governments for treatment of childhood illnesses such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and asthma.

Monday, 9 May 2016

TREVO GHANA OFFICE IN KUMASI FINDS NEW ADDRESS


Trevo Ghana has announced that the office in Kumasi will move to a new location this week. Effective Tuesday, May 10, 2016, they will be operating at the following address:
Trevo Ghana Limited (Kumasi Branch)
Opposite Dufie Towers/Energy Bank
Guggisburg Road

Adum, Kumasi


Monday, 2 May 2016

CHILDHOOD OBESITY FACTS

Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to nearly 21% over the same period.
In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of these factors.3 Obesity is defined as having excess body fat.

Overweight and obesity are the result of “caloric imbalance” too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed and are affected by various genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors.

OBESE YOUTH OVER TIME: SELECTED U.S. STATES
Percentage of high school students who were obese
 Selected U.S. states, Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2013


Childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term effects on health and well-being.
Immediate health effects:
Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.Obese adolescents are more likely to have prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels indicate a high risk for development of diabetes.8,9
Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.5,6,10
Long-term health effects:
Children and adolescents who are obese are likely to be obese as adults 11-14 and are therefore more at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.6  One study showed that children who became obese as early as age 2 were more likely to be obese as adults.
Overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk for many types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix, and prostate, as well as multiple myeloma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

PREVENTION
Healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and physical activity, can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases.
The dietary and physical activity behaviors of children and adolescents are influenced by many sectors of society, including families, communities, schools, child care settings, medical care providers, faith-based institutions, government agencies, the media, and the food and beverage industries and entertainment industries.
Schools play a particularly critical role by establishing a safe and supportive environment with policies and practices that support healthy behaviors. Schools also provide opportunities for students to learn about and practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors.

Source:
Centers for disease control and prevention

How To Tell If Your Child Is Over Weight-Obesity

INTRODUCTION:
Childhood obesity is a serious medical that affects Children and adolescents.It occurs when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height.Many young people struggle with excess weight. Almost 1 in 3 children ages 5 to 11 is considered to be overweight or obese.Weighing too many increases the chances that young people may develop some health problems now and later in life. As a parent or other caregiver, you can do a lot to help your child reach and maintain a healthy weight. Healthy eating and physical activity habits are important for your child's well-being. You can take an active role to help your child and your whole family learns healthy habits that last a lifetime.


HOW TO TELL IF YOUR CHILD IS OVERWEIGHT
Telling whether a child is overweight isn't always easy. Children grow at different rates at different times. Also, the amount of body fat changes with age and differs between girls and boys.

One way to determine a person's weight status is to calculate body mass index (BMI). The BMI measures a person's weight in relation to his or her height. The BMI of children is age- and sex-specific and known as the "BMI-for-age." BMI-for-age uses growth charts created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the year 2000.

A number called a percentile shows how your child's BMI compares with the BMI of others. For example, if your child's BMI is in the 90th percentile, this means that his or her BMI is greater than the BMI of 89 percent of children of the same age and sex. The main BMI-for-age categories are these:

Healthy weight: 5th to 84th percentile
Overweight: 85th to 94th percentile
Obese: 95th percentile or greater
If you have concerns about your child's weight, speak with his or her health care provider.

Why Should It Be My Concern?
There are many reasons to care if your child is in the overweight or obese category. In the short run, he or she may develop joint pain and/or breathing problems. These health issues may make it hard to keep up with friends. Some children may develop obesity-related health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, because of excess weight.

Youth who weigh too much may become obese adults. This increases the chances that they may develop heart disease and certain cancers as adults.

If you are worried about your child's weight, talk to your health care provider. He or she can check your child's overall health and tell you if weight management may be helpful.

How can I help My child Get Healthy Habit?
Parents and other caregivers can play an important role in helping children build healthy eating and physical activity habits that will last a lifetime.To help your child develop healthy habits,

be a positive role model. Children are good learners and they often imitate what they see. Choose healthy foods and active pastimes for yourself.
Involve the whole family in building healthy eating and physical activity habits. This benefits everyone and doesn't single out the child who is overweight.


What Tips Will Help My Child Eat Better?
A healthy eating plan limits foods that lead to weight gain. Foods that should be limited include these:

Fats that are solid at room temperature (like butter and lard)
Foods that are high in calories, sugar, and salt like sugary drinks, chips, cookies, fries, and candy
Refined grains (white flour, rice, and pasta)
Just like adults, children should replace unhealthy foods with a variety of healthy foods, including these:

Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and whole grains like brown rice
Fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products or substitutes, like soy beverages that have added calcium and vitamin D
Lean meats, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, soy products, and eggs
The following changes may help your child eat healthier at home:

Buy and serve more fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, canned, or dried). Let your child choose them at the store. Use a new fruit to make smoothies.
Buy fewer high-calorie foods like sugary drinks, chips, cookies, fries, and candy.
Offer your child water or low-fat milk instead of fruit juice.
Other ways to support healthy eating habits include these:

Make healthy choices easy. Put nutritious foods where they are easy to see and keep any high-calorie foods out of sight.Eat fast food less often. When you do visit a fast food restaurant, encourage your family to choose the healthier options, such as salads with low-fat dressing.
Plan healthy meals and eat together as a family so you can explore a variety of foods together.

TO HELP YOUR CHILD DEVELOP A HEALTHY ATTITUDE TOWARD FOOD, TRY THESE IDEAS:

Don't use food as a reward when encouraging kids to eat. Promising dessert to a child for eating vegetables, for example, sends the message that vegetables are less valuable than dessert.
Explain the reasons for eating whatever it is you are serving. Don't make your child clean his or her plate.Limit eating to specific meal and snack times. At other times, the kitchen is "closed."
Avoid large portions. Start with small servings and let your child ask for more if he or she is still hungry



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