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Govt wants to make Pakistan polio-free: PM

F.P. Report

Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan while directing chief ministers, governors and chief secretaries of all four provinces to speed up campaign for elimination of polio in their provinces said eradication of polio is our national responsibility.

PM vowed that they will make all out efforts to make Pakistan polio free.

PM was heading the meeting  of anti-polio task force at PM secretariat on Friday.

Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood Khan, Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan, federal minister for health Amir Kiyani, and PM assistant for polio Babar Bin Atta, secretaries of all four provinces and world representatives attended the meeting.

Provincial secretaries of all four provinces briefed the Prime Minister on efforts  made to eradicate polio and also presented a detailed report to him.

PM while addressing the session said federal and provincial governments are determined to eliminate polio that is a good omen but provinces have to gear up the efforts for complete eradication of polio.

He said federal government will continue to provide assistance to all provinces for the eradication of polio, because government wants to make Pakistan polio -free.

PM urged that making  Pakistan polio -free is our national obligation.

Federal Government will take every possible step in this regard.

He said that Pak Army will provide complete security to make successful this drive so that country’s future architects could be saved from disability.

PM also thanked international institutions for their participation in this important objective  of polio eradication.




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Sleep deprivation to cause dehydration

PENNSYLVANIA (Agencies): New research suggests that insufficient sleep may cause dehydration by disrupting the release of a hormone that is key to regulating hydration.

Sleep deprivation has a wide range of adverse effects on a person’s health.

Not only does insufficient sleep impair attention and judgment, but prolonged sleep deprivation raises the risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and respiratory disease.

More recently, some studies have found that sleeplessness increases the risk of kidney disease and premature death. The kidneys play a vital role in hydration, and drinking more water improves kidney health.

However, few studies have examined the effects of sleep deprivation on the body’s hydration levels. New research has aimed to fill this gap. The leader of the study was Asher Rosinger, Ph.D., an assistant professor of biobehavioral health at Pennsylvania State University in State College.

The new study, which examines the effect of insufficient sleep on hydration levels among adults from the United States and China, was recently published in the journal Sleep.

Rosinger and colleagues analyzed the data available from two large studies: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Chinese Kailuan Study.

Overall, the researchers examined the records of over 20,000 healthy young adults, who had provided urine samples and completed questionnaires concerning their sleeping habits.

The scientists examined the urine for two markers of dehydration: specific gravity and osmolality. Rosinger and the team also applied logistic regression models to evaluate the link between hydration and sleep duration.

They found that people who regularly got 6 or fewer hours of sleep each night had more concentrated urine than those who got about 8 hours per night. “Short sleep duration was associated with higher odds of inadequate hydration in [American] and Chinese adults, relative to sleeping 8 hours,” the authors explain.

More specifically, people who reported that they regularly slept for 6 hours or less each night were 16-59 percent more likely to be dehydrated than those who slept for 8 hours a night. These results applied to both population samples.

Finally, the study found no association with getting 9 or more hours of sleep per night.

Commenting on the findings, the lead author noted, “If you are only getting 6 hours of sleep a night, it can affect your hydration status.” He added:

“This study suggests that if you’re not getting enough sleep and you feel bad or tired the next day, drink extra water,” Asher Rosinger.

Although the new study is purely observational and does not prove causality, the researchers think that the hormone vasopressin may be responsible for the link between too little sleep and a lack of hydration.

Vasopressin is an antidiuretic hormone that controls the body’s water balance during the day and night.

“Vasopressin is released both more quickly and later on in the sleep cycle,” Rosinger explained, adding, “If you’re waking up earlier, you might miss that window in which more of the hormone is released, causing a disruption in the body’s hydration.”

Researchers should further assess the relationship between dehydration and sleep deprivation, the authors note. Longitudinal studies, for example, can determine hydration levels at baseline and re-examine them after a week of insufficient sleep.

Dehydration has various negative health effects. It can cause muscle weakness, headaches, and fatigue. Being dehydrated may also impact mood and impair cognition.


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Superbugs could “Kill Millions” by 2050, warns experts 

PARIS (AFP): Millions of people in Europe, North America and Australia will die from superbug infections unless countries prioritise fighting the growing threat posed by bacteria immune to most known drugs, experts predicted Wednesday.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned of “disastrous consequences” for public healthcare and spending unless basic hospital hygiene is boosted and unnecessary antibiotic use slashed.

Drug-resistant bacteria killed more than 33,000 people in Europe in 2015, according to new research published separately this week.

In a landmark report, the OECD said 2.4 million people could die from superbugs by 2050 and said the cost of treating such infections would balloon to an average of $3.5 billion (three billion euros) a year in each country included in its analysis.

Michele Cecchini, lead on public health at the OECD, told AFP that countries were already spending an average of 10 percent of their healthcare budgets on treating antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) bugs.

“AMR costs more than the flu, more than HIV, more than tuberculosis. And it will cost even more if countries don’t put into place actions to tackle this problem,” he said.

“Enormous death toll”

As humans consume ever more antibiotics — either through prescriptions or agriculture and livestock products given medicines to stave off infection — strains of bacteria are developing that resist the effects of drugs designed to kill them.

In low and middle-income countries, resistance is already high: in Indonesia Brazil and Russia up to 60 percent of bacterial infections are already resistant to at least one antibiotic.

And the growth of AMR infections is predicted to be between four and seven times faster by 2030 than currently.

“Such high resistance rates in health care systems, which are already weakened by constrained budgets, will create the conditions for an enormous death toll that will be mainly borne by new-borns, very young children and the elderly,” the report said.

“Even small cuts in the kitchen, minor surgery or diseases like pneumonia could become life-threatening.”

Perhaps more worrying is the prediction made by the OECD that resistance to so-called 2nd- and 3rd-line antibiotics — break-glass-in-case-of-emergency infection treatments — will balloon by 70 percent by 2030.

“These are antibiotics that as far as possible we don’t want to use because we want these as back up,” Cecchini said.

“Essentially, we are using more when we should use less and we are running out of our best options in case of emergency.”

How to avoid disaster

The group, which advises the World Health Organization on public health initiatives, said the only way to avert disaster was to implement immediate, sector-wide changes in behaviour.

The report called on healthcare professionals to ensure better universal hygiene standards in hospitals and clinics by insisting all staff wash their hands and conform to stricter safety regimes.

It also suggested resistance could be fought with better and quicker testing to determine if an infection is viral — meaning antibiotics are useless — or bacterial.

New swab tests can give a result in a matter of minutes, and Cecchini also put forward the idea of “delayed prescriptions” to dent antibiotic overuse by making patients wait three days before picking up their antibiotics — roughly the time it takes for a viral infection to run its course.

In trials of the technique, two thirds of patients given delayed prescriptions for antibiotics never collected their medicine.

The OECD said such changes would cost as little as $2 (1.7 euros) per person per year and would save millions of lives and billions of dollars by mid-century.

“They would decrease burden of AMR in these countries by 75 percent,” said Cecchini. “It would pay for itself in a few months and would produce substantial savings.”


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Vehicle pollution may increase risk of childhood obesity

Monitoring Desk

CALIFORNIA: From ear infections to loss of intelligence, it’s become increasingly clear that air pollution can affect more than just our lungs.

Now, a study from University of Southern California researchers suggested that early exposure to traffic pollution increases the risk of childhood obesity in later life, adding more evidence that dirty air is a public health threat to children.

As the Guardian reported from the study, babies exposed to high levels of nitrogen dioxide in the first year of life gained weight much faster, according to the analysis of 2,318 children in southern California. By the age of 10, those children were on average 2.2 pounds heavier than those with low exposure.

The researchers came to this conclusion after adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, parental education and other factors.

“Beyond mid-childhood exposures, early life periods like in utero and first year of life represent critical windows of air pollution exposure that may significantly alter childhood growth trajectories,” the study states.

Nitrogen dioxide is produced as a result of road traffic and when fossil fuels such as coal, oil, gas or diesel are burned at high temperatures.

The researchers were unable to exactly explain how air pollution causes weight gain in children.

“The most common thought is inflammation of body systems like the lungs which may spill over into the entire body [and] the brain, which regulates appetite and changes in fat metabolism,” Jennifer Kim, who led the research, told the Guardian.

This is not the first study to make this connection. Last month, the World Health Organization issued a report that said that air pollution kills an estimated 600,000 children every year and causes a range of symptoms, including obesity and insulin resistance in children, Reuters reported.

“This study showing an association between increased body mass in children and exposure to air pollution from roads is important since it is compatible with previous studies showing an association between type 2 diabetes and air pollution in adults,” Jonathan Grigg, a professor at Queen Mary University of London who was not involved with the research, explained to the Guardian.

“However, more research is needed to explain how toxins inhaled into the lungs affect fat cells throughout the body,” Grigg added.



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Consuming more protein likely to reduce disability risk

Monitoring Desk

NEW YORK: Protein is called the building block of life; turns out the macronutrient may also do wonders for older adults to preserve the ability to perform daily activities as well as prevent their risks of disability. According to a latest study, increasing the daily amount of protein intake could slow the loss of muscle mass, which is very essential for the elderly population. Disabilities refers to any hindrance that can obstruct them in performing basic daily and housekeeping activities independently including self feeding, bathing, dressing and participating in social activities

The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, revealed that eating more protein may delay the risk of disability.

“Our findings support current thinking about increasing the recommended daily intake of protein to maintain active and healthy ageing,” said Nuno Mendonca, lead researcher from Newcastle University in the UK.

For the study, researchers examined 722 participants in North-East England, of whom 60 per cent were women. Information about participant’s daily diet, body weight, height measurements, overall health assessment (including any level of disability), and medical records were studied in detail.

Older adults tend to have a lower protein intake than younger adults due to poorer health, reduced physical activity, and changes in the mouth and teeth .The findings revealed that those who ate more protein were less likely to become disabled when compared to people who ate less protein.

Older adults should aim to eat about 1-1.2 grams of protein for every 2.2 pounds of body weight, the researchers noted.

High Protein Foods:

Proteins are essential for muscle recovery, and since they keep you satiated for long- they also aid weight loss.  Here are some high protein foods you must add to your diet today.

  1. Eggs:Eggs are said to be the best source of bio-available protein. By keeping you satiated, proteins increase levels of appetite-reducing hormones like GLP-1, PYY and CCK. It also reduces levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, making you crave less, thereby aiding weight loss.
  2. Oats:In addition to protein, oats are also packed with healthy fibres. Fibre helps you stay fuller for longer and increase the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Fibre takes time to digest, which results in slow rise of blood sugar levels.
  3. Chicken: Chicken is said to be one of the best sources of lean protein unlike the fatty ones that you find in red meat. “Try to have local farm raised chicken or organically raised chicken. Grill, stir-fry or add them in stews for maximum benefits. Avoid fried chicken or the chilli chicken from restaurants, it is laden with toxic calories”, says Macrobiotic nutritionist and Health coach, Shilpa Arora.
  4. Fatty fish:Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel are some of the good sources of lean proteins too. You can include them in sandwiches, broths or have them grilled with veggies.
  5. Lentils and legumes: India is blessed with a  rich wealth of lentils and legumes. Dals like moong, urad and masoor are packed with good protein. Legumes like rajma also makes for a good source.




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Mobile phone radiation linked to cancers: Study

Monitoring Desk

NEW YORK: A long-running US study on the effects of radio wave radiation, the sort emitted by mobile phones, has found “clear evidence” of high levels of exposure and heart cancers in male rats.

Some evidence of links to brain and adrenal gland tumours was also found in male rats, but in female rodents and male mice signs of cancer weren’t clear, the National Toxicology Programme (NTP) concluded in its final report.

The programme is run by the US Department of Health and Human Services and was tasked with reviewing the toxicity of mobile phone radiation in response to the devices’ near ubiquity in modern life.

The radiation exposure in the trial was well above the levels most humans would experience, but researchers said the findings show the link between radio frequencies and tumours – at least for rats – “is real”.

“The exposures used in the studies cannot be compared directly to the exposure that humans experience when using a cell phone,” said Dr John Bucher, a senior scientist at the NTP. “In our studies, rats and mice received radio frequency radiation across their whole bodies. By contrast, people are mostly exposed in specific local tissues close to where they hold the phone.

“In addition, the exposure levels and durations in our studies were greater than what people experience.” But he added: “We believe that the link between radio frequency radiation and tumours in male rats is real, and the external experts agreed.”

The studies took a decade to complete and cost more than $30m (£23m) to run. The animals’ tissues were combed over for signs of tumours after experiencing nine hours a day of radiation for most of their natural lives, beginning in the womb in the case of the rats.

This is the most controlled study on exposure to date, and it raises many questions about the conclusions for humans – particularly as the lowest exposure levels were at the maximum levels allowed for mobile phones.

The group found male rats have a higher incidence of heart tumours, compared to the control rats not exposed to radiation, but radiated male rats also lived longer – apparently due to fewer kidney problems. In female rats and both sets of mice, the evidence of any cancers formed is described as “equivocal”, meaning there are measurable increases in molecules sometimes linked to cancer but no actual evidence.

The study also focussed on 2G and 3G wireless signals, the most widely used types when the study began, but the researchers say their findings are still relevant today as most mobile phones still use these bands alongside wifi and 4G.

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Affected patients being provided with artificial limbs

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Patients affected by landmines, terror incidents, firearm, accidents and other incidents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and erstwhile-Fata have termed Pakistan prosthetic institute of orthotic sciences (PIPOS) as a ray of hope for them to enter into a new era of life after rehabilitation.

One of the affected patients, Haroon Khan 18, of Ghandao Tehsil of Mohmand tribal district  who gets treatment in PIPOS center in Peshawar said that i was en-route to a nearest bazaar with my father in Mohmand district back in 2008, 09, when blast took place, leaving my father dead and depriving me of my left leg”.

Few months after the incident, I visited Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) for treatment and getting first leg there and then visited PIPOS after one year as i have been coming to PIPOS center since last eight-years for treatment and changing leg once after two years. Though, in last few years, I have received 13  artificial legs free of cost, he added.

“I have left with no option but to drive rickshaw in Mohmand district to feed my family members and earn Rs 500 to Rs 600 daily” said young Khan who is survived by five sisters and two brothers.

Another 23-year old Ijaz Ahmed of provincial metropolitan of KP elaborated that I was injured in road accident on 16th April 2016. After accident, I came to Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) in Peshawar for treatment where owing to negligence of specialist doctor, I lost my leg when the alleged doctor did not operate me on time.

Being a student of Agriculture University, and enrolled in 8th semester in Plant Protection, he said it takes more time when a person comes to normal life with prosthetic limb but even though, patients get proper treatment at the center and return happily after being cured. He unveiled that disability takes a person towards inferiority complex and it enhances dependency.

“I lost my right leg in an explosion that took place on 17th December, 2012 at Fauzi Market, a center of historical Jamrud bazaar, leaving 17 people dead and 37 injured after I came out of my Government Higher Secondary School (GHSS) No 1 Jamrud” said Zahidullah of Khyber Agency, a bearded young man, wearing white cape who waits for his turn at PIPOS center.

Two of my classmates also lost their legs in that incident while another lost his life. I have changed four legs in last few years in PIPOS, he stated. I lost all my hopes after the blast but the treatment in this center brought me towards normalization and entered into a new era of life, he remarked. Felling confident, he claims I take part in sports related activities to let people know that I am a normal person.

The Pakistan Prosthetic Institute of Orthotic Sciences (PIPOS) is an autonomous body of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health department which has been established in 1987 aimed at providing prosthetic and orthotic limbs to patients being suffered in war on terror, landmines, firearm injuries, roadside accidents, polio affected patients, injection neuritis, beside Golan Bari disease which affects human body, and others.

The statistics provided by PIPOS center, explained that a total of 220 to 240 patients are being treated on monthly basis and provided them with devices and limbs. It further informed that more than 25 per cent patients out of 100 per cent come from tribal agencies and a great number of people also come from Afghanistan.

As per available data, the PIPOS has various branches across the country including one each in Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar and Gilgit Baltistan while it also has 13 sub-branches in multiple districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including Swat, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu, Swabi, Mardan and others.

It further said that 60 per cent patients out of 100, include bomb blasts, mine victims and weapon wounded while 40 per cent among them are cases relating to polio, accidents, firearm injuries and others.

Managing Director (MD) of PIPOS Dr Umar Ayub Khan said that the mandate of this institute is to provide artificial limbs and related facilities in the field of prosthetics and orthotics to patients suffered on one way or other.

He claimed that PIPOS has been providing multiple services to patients free of cost and it also gives orthotic devices to polio affected patients across the country which gives support to weak muscles.

We are providing prosthetic devices means artificial limbs free of cost to patients with support of international donor, he informed and saying after examining patients, the preparation of limbs for those persons take from one week to a month time and thus the patients need to wait till its preparation. As the PIPOS also provide services in academia including B.SC (Hons) in prosthetics and orthotics from Khyber Medical University (KMU). Though, it also offers two-year diploma course in lower limb prosthetic and orthotics, he explained.

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E-therapy could be helpful to ease insomnia

WASHINGTON (Reuters): People with insomnia who receive a digitized version of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as part of their treatment may find more symptom relief than those who only receive tips to improve their sleep routines, a recent experiment suggests.

Researchers randomly assigned 1,700 insomnia patients to receive either digital CBT or so-called sleep hygiene education designed to improve bedtime routines and encourage avoidance of substances like caffeine and alcohol that can interfere with sleep.

The CBT group used the online Sleepio program ( and an associated iOS app, which offered a series of 20-minute therapy sessions people could access for up to 12 weeks.

Patients reported more improvement in their insomnia symptoms after 4, 8 and 24 weeks with digital CBT than they did with sleep hygiene education, the study team reports in JAMA Psychiatry.

“This new study indicates that digital CBT can help insomnia sufferers achieve not just better sleep, but better overall health and quality of life,” said lead study author Colin Espie, a co-founder of Sleepio developer Big Health.

“It also underscores previous findings that better sleep contributes to better mental health,” Espie said by email.

CBT can train people to use techniques that address the mental (or cognitive) factors associated with insomnia, such as the “racing mind,” and to overcome the worry and other negative emotions that often accompany inability to sleep. CBT can also help people with poor sleep establish a healthy bedtime routine and improve sleep patterns, previous research has found.

“While a fully automated digital solution like Sleepio cannot fully replicate the power of a trusted, face-to-face relationship between a patient and clinician, there are several advantages to the digital format,” Espie said.

One key advantage is that the app can be available in the middle of the night when people need help, and not require patients to wait for a therapist to offer them an appointment, Espie said. Amid a shortage of providers trained to offer CBT for insomnia, the app may also help expand access to care for patients who might otherwise be unable to receive treatment.

Patients in the current study were 48 years old on average and most were female and white.

Roughly half of them consumed caffeine at least twice daily and on average, this group of patients was slightly overweight – both things that can get in the way of a good nights’ sleep.

To assess the effectiveness of digital CBT, researchers asked patients to assess the magnitude of improvements in their own physical health, psychological wellbeing, insomnia and sleep-related quality of life. On all of these measures, digital CBT appeared to make a bigger impact than sleep hygiene education, the study found.

Even though the study was a controlled experiment, it wasn’t designed to assess whether or how digital CBT might perform relative to in-person CBT. It’s also possible that results would be different in more diverse patient populations.

Even so, the results offer fresh evidence of the potential for mobile and web-based therapy to be one effective option for treating insomnia, said Ricardo F. Munoz, director of the Institute for International Internet Interventions for Health (i4Health) and a professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco

“Treating insomnia with CBT has longer lasting effects than, for example, treating insomnia with medication,” Munoz, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email. “Because CBT involves learning how to sleep well, what the person learns can be used indefinitely; medications only work while you are using them and can have harmful side effects.”



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Eye scan could identify Alzheimers disease in seconds

ISLAMABAD (Agencies): Two new studies now suggest that a noninvasive eye scan could soon be used to catch Alzheimer’s disease early. The world s population is aging rapidly and the prevalence of Alzheimer is on the rise. For this reason the need for efficient dementia screening methods that can be applied to millions of people is dire. Current diagnostic practices are either invasive or ineffective.

For instance brain scans are costly and spinal taps or lumbar punctures are invasive and potentially harmful. Specialists currently diagnose Alzheimer’s disease using memory tests and by tracking behavioral changes. However by the time that the symptoms appear the disease has already progressed.

For these reasons researchers are hard at work trying to devise newer and better diagnostic tools for Alzheimer’s. For instance some scientists are trying to use a sniff test as a way of assessing whether someone has dementia.

Now researchers at Duke University in Durham NC say that Alzheimer’s could be diagnosed in seconds just by looking at a person s eyes and scientists at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel concur.

Two new studies presented at AAO 2018 the 122nd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology held in Chicago IL show that Alzheimer s alters the fine blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye.

Using an innovative and noninvasive eye imaging technique the scientists maintain that they can distinguish between signs of Alzheimer’s and signs of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) which is a condition that raises the risk of Alzheimer s but is not harmful in itself. Dr Sharon Fekrat, a professor of ophthalmology at Duke University, co-led the first study together with colleague Dr. Dilraj Grewal, an associate professor of ophthalmology at Duke University.

The second study was conducted by researchers at the Sheba Medical Center and it was led by Dr. Ygal Rotenstreich. Drs Fekrat Grewal and colleagues explain that they used a technique called optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) to examine the link between the eyes retinas and Alzheimer s disease.




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Polio campaign to start from 12th in Swat

Shafi Ullah

MINGORA: The district administration has completed arrangements to launch a four-day anti-polio drive for vaccinating around 485,591 children upto five years of age from Nov 12 to 15 across the district.

Presiding over a meeting to review arrangements in this regard, Deputy Commissioner Saqib Raza Aslmam said the arrangements had been finalized for the drive to administer anti-polio drops to children in each house. He said that 1,596 teams had been constituted under the supervision of medical officers in 74 union councils in addition to 343 area in-charge personnel to visit door to door and vaccinate the target population of children.

He urged parents to come forward and get their children administered anti-polio drops to wipe out the deadly virus of polio from the area for evolving a healthy society’s development. He said that anti-measles campaign was successfully conducted in all parts of the district and instructed assistant commissioners to ensure that anti-polio drive achieve its target either.