Chennai, June 14 (IANS) As 27 districts of Tamil Nadu relax restrictions from Monday, the sanitation workers expect heavy workload compared to the lockdown period. What worries them most though are the carelessly disposed face masks that will soon start collecting.In the commercial districts across several cities, the sanitation workers have to clear the face masks which have been thrown away mindlessly.Manimekhalai (Name Changed), a worker with the Madurai Corporation told IANS: "Workload is not an issue for me but the masks which are thrown across the street is causing real fear in me and many sanitation workers and we don't know how we can clear these masks. "I am sure that this will lead to a major catastrophe as face masks thrown in the road will turn into spreaders. We have already petitioned the corporation to do something and expecting a constructive result from them."A similar or much worse situation is being faced by the sanitation workers in Chennai corporation. Even though the corporation has conducted several awareness programmes as to how the face masks are to be disposed of or kept, people continue to throw them off mindlessly and this is posing a real health hazard for the general public and the sanitation workers in particular.Raghunathan S., a sanitation worker in Chennai Corporation told IANS: "I am afraid of these face masks being littered everywhere. I am aware of the danger posed by them but people are still acting as if they are not aware. "The Tamil Nadu Health Department, as well as the corporation has conducted several awareness programs on how to dispose of face masks but still, people are behaving in a careless manner posing a severe danger to the health of people like us. Hope corporation will bring up a solution to this issue."With the shops and establishments including TASMAC shops opened from Monday onwards, there could be a higher percentage of the face masks being thrown recklessly and carelessly across the streets of the state.--IANSaal/in
New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) Manish Kumar (34) was oozing with confidence and satisfaction, which he had not experienced before, after taking the first jab of Covaxin at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here, becoming the first person in the country to be vaccinated against coronavirus.Kumar, who has been working as a sanitation worker at AIIMS for the past eight years, put up a bold face to those who are spreading misinformation about the ill-effects of the Covid-19 vaccines. "I am feeling very happy after taking the vaccine shot. I have not felt any adverse reaction. Whatever fears people have for this vaccine, there is nothing of that sort," Kumar told mediapersons.Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive virtually at 10.30 am on Saturday, Kumar was administered the first dose in the presence of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, and Niti Aayog Member (Health) V.K. Paul, who heads a government panel on vaccine strategy. After Kumar, healthcare worker Dhawal Dwivedi was the second person to receive the shot, followed by Guleria and Paul.Brimming with joy after taking the first shot, Kumar said that if there were some harmful effects associated with the vaccine, he would not have remained immune to them. "I would like to tell everybody that there is no danger in taking this vaccine. After taking the shot, I have not felt any allergic reaction. There is no pain in the arm, and I am not feeling giddy either," he added. Kumar said that he was ecstatic, after AIIMS approved him to take the first jab of Covaxin. "I had no feeling of danger or any ill-feeling regarding the safety of the vaccine, before I took the vaccine. I had volunteered for the jab", he added.Kumar insisted that he had no doubts regarding the safety of the vaccine and everyone must get inoculated. "My mother was worried when I decided to take the vaccine, but I told her there is nothing to worry," he said, adding that he had come across many people expressing fear over the vaccine, which prompted him to volunteer for the first jab.--IANSss/arm
Gurugram, Jan 16 (IANS) The Covid-19 vaccine drive in Gurugram was launched on Saturday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi launching the national-wide drive via video conferencing aimed at ending the pandemic.The Covid vaccine was first administered to a sanitation worker named Radha Chaudhary, 47, along with district immunisation officer M.P. Singh.Addressing the country digitally, the Prime Minister said that India managed to make vaccines in a very short period which usually takes years.Modi also welcomed the efforts of scientists who were involved in vaccine research and process, saying they deserve special praise for making these vaccines and with the help vaccine India will mark victory against the deadliest virus.The Prime Minister further reminded people to get two doses of the vaccine, after a gap of one month between the first and second doses."The necessary doses of the vaccine will develop enough strength to fight against the Covid-19 virus," the Prime Minister said.Meanwhile, Gurugram has more than 36,000 health workers and on Saturday 600 of them will get the vaccine at six locations in Gurugram -- Wazirabad girls' school, Bhangrola, Daultabad, Medanta the medicity hospital, Chauma and SGT medical college.According to the district health department, the vaccination drive would be carried out on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Vaccines would be administered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and in each vaccination centre upto 100 people would be vaccinated on a single day.In Gurugram around 57,729 Covid-19 cases have came to fore out of which 349 people have lost their lives till January 15, according to daily health bulletin.The district Health Department on Thursday received 85,400 doses of the Covid vaccine for five districts including Gurugram.Virender Yadav, civil surgeon, Gurugram, had received the doses from Kurukshetra district in Haryana. The vaccine was placed in a cold chain centre in Pataudi under the supervision of Yadav.From Gurugram, the vaccine has been supplied to other districts which include Faridabad, Nuh, Rewari and Palwal.--IANSstr/rs/in
Panaji- Sanitation workers who have been part of the state Health Department's Covid-19 teams will be the first recipients of the Covid-19 vaccine, when the drive begins on January 16 this year, dean of the Goa Medical College, the state's apex healthcare facility Dr. Shivanand Bandekar has said.
"The first vaccines will be administered to safai karmacharis. These are people who have also been at the forefront, handling Covid-19 patients' soiled clothes, clearing their food trays, etc," Bandekar said on Thursday.
"We will also administer the vaccine to doctors who work in Covid-19 areas in the first phase," the top official said.
On Wednesday, a consignment of 2,350 vials, containing 23,500 vaccination shots landed in Goa and have been stored in secured cold storage facilities, Bandekar said.
Nearly 19,000 health department workers and Covid-19 warriors are expected to be covered in the first round of vaccination. (IANS)
Nairobi - Poor sanitation continues to pose major health, environmental and socio-economic risks in many African countries, a new research by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said on Thursday.
The paper highlights ways to improve management, generate industry from human waste, and improve sanitation for cities and households with poor faecal sludge management.
The report's authors stress the need to invest in sanitation systems and mechanisms to improve faecal sludge management, as well as direct investments - especially to poor households - in order to tackle the global sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: Water and sanitation for all by 2030.
The research paper 'Faecal sludge management in Africa: Socio-economic aspects, human and environmental health implications' was released on World Toilet Day, which celebrates toilets and raises awareness of 4.2 billion people without access to safely managed sanitation.
It explores current trends in faecal sludge management and how they are impacting human and environmental health in the region, and provides guidance on enhancing waste water management and sanitation services delivery across the continent.
The analysis finds that sustainably managing faecal sludge is hindered by a number of factors, including population growth and urbanisation; over-reliance on financial aid for construction of treatment plants; low revenue generation from users of treatment facilities; poor operation and maintenance; and inefficient institutional arrangements for faecal sludge management.
The authors call for better coordination of the roles and responsibilities of diverse actors involved in the processes.
Poor faecal sludge management is a major contributor to the 115 deaths every hour from excreta-related diseases in Africa, while improved sanitation has been shown to decrease diarrhoeal disease by 25 per cent.
It also contributes to huge economic losses: On the continent, poor sanitation leads to losses of approximately one to 2.5 per cent of a country's GDP.
As population growth skyrockets -- the continent's urban population is projected to triple by mid-century -- so too does the volume of faecal sludge and waste water. Across West African cities, one person produces between 20-150 litres of waste water per day.
Considering an average daily generation of one litre of faecal sludge per person, a city of one million inhabitants will need to collect 1,000 m3 sludge every day.
"The scale and threat of poor faecal sludge management can be turned on its head if we look at the government and business opportunities that can galvanise real change in health and livelihoods in marginalised communities in countries struggling with poor sanitation," said Habib El-Habr, Coordinator of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (GPA) at UNEP.
"COVID-19 shines a harsh light on the state of proper sanitation in many African countries, for whom improved sanitation should be a key part of green recovery and efforts to prevent excreta-related diseases."
The report recommends technical innovations for improving the capture, emptying and treatment of sludge, highlighting good practices, including a programme in Uganda, through which the Kampala City Council Authority worked with the private sector to improve faecal sludge management in the city.
The programme included a sanitation call centre to strengthen the link between customers, the City Council and private operators, and a GPS tracking system to improve service efficiency and avoid illegal dumping by private operators.
Treatment plans can generate some revenue for countries and especially for poor communities, converting faecal sludge to compost or biochar for use as fertiliser, or converting to briquettes as fuel for industry.
In 2017, Burkina Faso commissioned the first faecal sludge biogas plant in the country, generating electricity to feed the national grid.
Olufunke Cofie, Principal Researcher and Country Representative for IWMI in West Africa, said: "We are reaching a crucial point in managing faecal sludge on the African continent: There are feasible and affordable opportunities to further invest in inclusive faecal sludge management, and from faeces capture to treatment. The report explores how transforming poop to useful products could help ease the crisis, as we are demonstrating in Ghana." (IANS)
New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) Virat Kohli would donate all the profit from the sale of a new healthcare and sanitation product, Vize, which has signed the India cricket captain as its brand ambassador, said on Tuesday.Kohli would donate all profit earned from Vize products to charity organisation Raah Foundation to help feed 10,000 underprivileged malnourished children in Maharashtra, the statement said. "I'm glad to be a part of this initiative which aims to fight against malnutrition in India through my earnings from Vize," Kohli is quoted as saying in the media release. "As sportspersons, we athletes are recipients of much love and hero-worship. But in these difficult times, it is the Covid-19 warriors who are the true heroes who are putting their lives at risk to save the others. I feel excited to be associated with Vize because it is my way of expressing solidarity with fellow Indians," he said. Every Vize product sold will help feed a malnourished child as Kohli has committed to donate all his earnings to the fight against malnutrition. Through the Virat Kohli Foundation's CSR initiative 10,000 malnourished children in Maharashtra are supposed to be fed, said the release.Vize founder Akshat Jain outlined the reasons for choosing Kohli as brand ambassador of the product. "We have chosen Virat Kohli as the brand ambassador to reflect the values of preparedness, discipline, rigour, and world-class standards," he said. --IANSqma/