Kathmandu, Sep 7 (IANS) World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called for countries to work together to ensure that another pandemic at the magnitude of the Covid-19 crisis should not occur again in the near future."The pandemic's impact differs from country to country," Ghebreyesus said at the inaugural ceremony of the 74th Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Southeast Asia here on Monday. "We must ensure that a pandemic of this magnitude does not occur in the near future."He urged the entire world to work together to make it a reality.Addressing the virtual session hosted by Nepal, top health executives emphasised the need for greater commitment to global healthcare delivery and a risk-averse health system, as well as the importance of providing vaccines, medicines, equipment and technology to the region.Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO regional director for Southeast Asia, spoke of the significance of increasing the health sector's capability.Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba stressed that for health care reaching out to individuals in distant areas should be a top concern for everyone.The five-day session is being attended by representatives from Bangladesh, Bhutan, South Korea, India, Indonesia, the Maldives, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste. --IANSksk/
Chennai, Aug 16 (IANS) Nuclear families got hit more severely than joint families due to Covid-19, finds a study by HDFC Life Insurance Company Ltd.Private life insurer HDFC Life said on Monday that the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a drop of 4.8 points in 2021 Life Freedom Index (LFI) as compared to 2019.Nuclear families have been the most impacted with an LFI drop of 10.5 points, while joint families have been stable, possibly due to a better support system in the time of crisis, finds the study.As per HDFC Life's study, consumer confidence has been low post the two waves of Covid-19, and current financial plans seem inadequate. Hence, the most significant drop is observed in the financial sufficiency and adequacy index.The insurer said that LFI enables the measurement of 'financial freedom' of consumers across four key segments: Proud parents, wisdom investors, young aspirants and smart women.It includes four sub-indices: Financial Awareness Index, Financial Planning Index, Financial Sufficiency and Adequacy Index, and Financial Liberty Index.The latest 2021 LFI study was conducted along with NielsenIQ across 14 cities with 1,987 respondents.According to HDFC Life, some of the key findings are:* The impact of Covid-19 is more severe across metros in comparison to Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities.* Almost 90 per cent consumers have faced salary cuts or business losses to some extent, due to which the respondents are still concerned about Covid-19.* Familiarity with term insurance increases by 11 points; for endowment and unit linked plans it is up by 10 points.--IANSvj/arm
Poor lifestyle and dietary choices are two of the primary causes of coronary heart disease. While Covid-19 has impacted healthcare delivery across all specialities, cardiologists and heart surgeons have been cautioning regarding the virus' impact on a person's heart health, with or without surgery.
According to Sanjeeb Roy, senior intervention cardiologist, Jaipur, cases of poor heart health are increasing rapidly in the country. If the patient sees symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, then the patient is at a risk of a cardiac arrest or heart attack, if there is a severe blockage in the arteries, it is treated by angioplasty or bypass surgery.
An angioplasty is an interventional procedure in which a stent is implanted in the patient without surgery. But sometimes even after having a stent implant, the patient may have to face some complications. According to one study, after implanting a normal metallic frame stent, there is a 15 to 30 per cent chance of it coming back. Apart from this, the patient has to take blood-thinning medicines for life, which also affects their quality of life.
However, to reduce all these complications, new technology like implanted stents will dissolve in the artery after two to three years. Biodegradable scaffold stent technology is very effective in reducing complications after angioplasty. This stent will dissolve in the artery two to three years after it is implanted and the patient's artery will return to its natural position, says the doctor.
"The biggest advantage of this to the patient is that there is no problem of affecting the functionality of the artery due to the placement of the stent. On the other hand, if there is a blockage back in his artery, then he can have angioplasty again. The biodegradable scaffold stent is a technology that does not use a metallic frame. This stent is made of polymers that will automatically dissolve in the body after two to three years of implantation."
"Advantages of biodegradable scaffold stents are: After the stent has dissolved, the patient will not need to take blood thinners for a long time; If there is a need to do angioplasty back in the same artery in the future, then there are no problems related to having stents already; Due to metallic stent implant, there will be no problems in tests like MRI, CT scan in this stent; The patient will feel psychological relief that there is no implant in his body," says Sanjeeb Roy, while mentioning a new technology.
Here's what to keep in mind for good heart health post angioplasty:
Avoid driving for a few weeks, and even riding in the car for long distances. As your body needs time to recuperate, make sure you're using pillows to prop yourself up and are supporting the delicate parts of your chest post-surgery.
Do not be in a rush to head back to an intense, high-stress life. Make sure your day has periods of activity interspersed with adequate periods of rest. Make sure you are working in an environment that can allow you to lie down if need be.
Shortness of breath may be experienced for a few days. Avoid exerting exercises and climbing stairs, and if this continues, speak to a family member and your doctor or surgeon.
It is likely that your doctor has recommended a change of diet for your post-surgery days. Make sure you follow it religiously and include greens and fruits as much as possible. This will aid recovery. Strictly avoid smoking and alcohol intake.
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<br>The 21 members of his joint family comprising four generations, however, overcame the ordeal with love, care and timely medical intervention.Hailing from Mandavgan Farata village in Shirur taluka, 100 km from Pune city, Ashok tested positive on April 21. As the remaining members of his family include four people aged over 65, the village panchayat decided to conduct a Covid test on all of them. Following Ashok, 20 members of the family tested positive, with just three spared from the infection. The youngest patient included a one-and-a-half-year-old boy and the oldest, a 75-year-old man. Ashok, who is a member of the gram panchayat of Mandavgan Farata, said his family is big as his father, his uncle and their families all live together. The 24 members include eight women, seven men, and nine children.As a melon-farmer, he was the only member of the family who used to step out of the house during the pandemic in order to sell the family's farm produce. He said he would quarantine himself in a separate room to keep the rest of the family safe from the infection.The 53-year-old used to visit the market yard in Pune and came in contact with adatdars (brokers), other farmers, vendors, as well as customers. "During the week (before I was tested), I had fever and body pain, but I ignored it as I thought it may be because of exhaustion. "When the pain increased, I visited a family doctor, who suggested a Covid test. On April 21, my report came positive. As I was serious, my doctor suggested I get admitted to a private hospital," he said.Ashok's diagnosis left the entire family worried. That is when the gram panchayat decided to test everyone. Of the 20 other family members who tested positive, 15 had mild symptoms and five were admitted to the Covid-19 centre in Mandavgan Farata.Ashok, on coming to know that nearly all of his family had been infected, was overwhelmed with guilt. "I felt I would be the only one responsible if any of them succumbed to the virus. I could not have forgiven myself if anything had happened to them," he said.All the household and family responsibilities then fell on the three who were not infected -- Pooja Suraj Jagtap, Adika Santosh Jagtap and Akash Bapusaheb Jagtap. Pooja and Adika were busy in the kitchen most of the time, cooking immunity-boosting food for the patients. Akash would deliver the food to the Covid centre and hospital.When he would get time, Akash would go to the fields, but he could not finish many of the tasks as the farmworkers hired by the family refused to come to work out of fear of catching the virus.Ashok's son, Suraj Subhash Jagtap, 27, said that his wife, Pooja, and brother's wife, Adika, looked after the whole family. "My one-year-old son Aditya lived with us, and without his mom, for more than 10 days. We were all scared at first, as negative news was pouring in from outside. But our grandfather and grandmother motivated us, they never showed any kind of anxiety. All the time, they would talk to us and tell us that nothing would happen. Their positive words inspired all of us," he said.Kantabai Rohidas Jagtap, 70, Ashok's mother, said they were scared, but did not show it. "Everyone started to take care of each other. Daughters, sons-in-law, nephews, and other relatives also helped us. With the love and support of each other and our relatives, we got through the hard times. I have seen humanity in this critical situation. Now, senior members of the family will take the vaccine and others will too," she adds.Ashok's uncle, Subhash Mahadev Jagtap, 70, said the family's farm suffered losses as workers stayed away from their farm and Akash could not harvest the melons or water the crops alone. "It is a big loss to the family, but at least all of us are together," he said.Manoj Bhosale, a doctor at the Varad Vinayak Hospital, Mandavgan Farata, said it is important for patients to stay optimistic. "A doctor tries to save every patient, but patients should also believe in themselves. This is the thing I saw in the Jagtap family. "As a farming family, they had strong immunity. But also, no one in the family panicked in this critical situation. They took care of each other. This is when I saw the benefit of a joint family. Their love for each other makes them strong. Now I always give the example of the Jagtap family to every patient," he said.Looking at the prediction of a third wave in India, Ashok said the virus is bound to infect everyone eventually. "The key is not to delay treatment, be optimistic and love each other. Also, get vaccinated. We are getting the jab too."(The author is a Pune-based freelance journalist and a member of 101Reporters.com, a pan-India network of grassroots reporters.)--IANS<br>dhumal/in
New York, Ever thought why cold induces tooth pain and hypersensitivity? Researchers have uncovered odontoblasts, the cells that form a tooth's dentin, have a newly discovered function -- sensing cold -- which can trigger pain in teeth.
However, the researchers, including Jochen Lennerz from Massachusetts General Hospital, have also found a way to block the pathway to cold-sensitive teeth.
"We found that odontoblasts, which support the shape of the tooth, are also responsible for sensing cold," said Lennerz.
Teeth that hurt from exposure to cold can occur for many reasons. Many people have experienced intense pain from cold when they have a hole in a tooth from an untreated cavity.
For the study, the team conducted experiments on mice whose molars were drilled under anesthesia.
Mice with dental injuries manifest pain with their behaviour; they drink up to 300 per cent more sugar water than their litter mates without dental injuries, for example.
In previous research, the team of investigators had discovered TRCP5, a protein encoded by the TRCP5 gene that is expressed in nerves in many parts of the body. Their earlier discovery allowed the researchers to zero in on TRCP5 as a mediator of pain from cold.
By studying genetically altered mice that did not have the TRCP5 gene, the researchers found that the mice with injured teeth did not manifest the increased drinking behaviour and behaved like mice without dental injuries.
The research team also identified a pharmacological target for minimising tooth sensitivity to cold. For centuries, oil of cloves has been used as a remedy for tooth pain. The active agent in oil of cloves is eugenol, which happens to block TRCP5. (IANS)
London, March 20 (IANS) Virtual reality (VR) can reduce types of pain typically seen in patients with nerve injuries, and that VR can boost the dysfunctional pain suppression system, a new study suggests.The study, published in The Journal of Pain, showed that VR can also reduce pain symptoms such as prickling and pain following touch, that are often seen in patients with nerve injury."It's brilliant that we've seen these results as it shows more evidence that virtual reality can not only reduce pain perception in human models of chronic pain, but also gives us insight into the mechanisms behind this effect," said researcher Sam Hughes, Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Plymouth."The next step of course is to conduct the study with people who experience chronic pain to see if it works for them," Hughes added.According to the researchers, we all feel physical pain in different ways, but people with nerve injuries often have a dysfunctional pain suppression system, making them particularly prone to discomfort.For the study, the team focussed on conditioned pain modulation (CPM) - a pain inhibitory pathway in humans.The team previously published work showing that watching soothing 360-degree scenes of the Arctic in virtual reality can help to ease pain symptoms similar to those experienced during sunburn.The team have also gone one step further and measured VR's direct effects on CPM.ACPM is dysfunctional in patients with nerve injury, so by knowing what can enhance its action, scientists can help to stimulate the body's natural pain inhibiting process, the researchers said.The findings indicated that 360-degree scenes of the Arctic in virtual reality had an effect on the CPM efficiency, while the 2D versions of the same scenes (described as 'sham VR') reduced CPM efficiency."If it does work, it could be a really helpful in forming part of ongoing pain management by helping to target the dysfunctions in the brain that underpin chronic pain," Hughes added.--IANSvc/ksk/