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Archive for September, 2014

Our products are safe, says Eu Yan Sang

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A locally available version of the product currently at the centre of scrutiny.

PETALING JAYA: A local Chinese medicine chain has said it will not remove one of its products, Bo Ying Compound, from shelves as it has not received any directive to do so.

Following news circulating on social media that the product contains high levels of lead, Eu Yan Sang Group senior manager Wong Kah Cane told theSun that the group had not received any directive to withdraw the product from the market as the US Food and Drug Administration is still conducting investigations on the matter.

“However, I wish to stress that it is still unknown whether the product that tested positive for excessive lead is the actual Hong Kong Bo Ying Compound product or a fake.

“This is because we have never exported any Hong Kong Bo Ying Compound to US, so how is it possible for them to ban something that is not being exported there?” he said, adding that all their products are produced locally and comply with all the safety requirements set by the respective health departments.

Wong further pointed out that the Hong Kong Bo Ying Compound is produced there and its manufacturing facility in Hong Kong has obtained all the relevant certificates and accreditation from the government there.

Asked if the Malaysia Bo Ying Compound is safe for consumption, Wong said that the product is manufactured locally and is safe, and that there is a slight difference in terms of its formulation as compared to the Hong Kong version.

“We wish to assure our consumers that all Eu Yan Sang products adhere to the Chinese medicine regulations imposed by the regulatory authorities in the country of origin.

“(As such), every batch of product meets the safety and quality standards for proprietary Chinese medicine set by the local health regulating bodies,” he added.

Wong revealed that the manufacturing facility in Malaysia had obtained GMP certification since 1997 and ISO9001 international accreditation 2001 to ensure all products at the facility comply with the stringent safety and quality assurance standards.

On identifying counterfeit products in Malaysia, Wong said: “The consumer can do so by looking at the product registration number or they can always check it with the Health Ministry’s website to verify the authenticity of the product.”

via Our products are safe, says Eu Yan Sang | theSundaily.

When ‘remedies’ make things worse


High-tech apparatus: HKL director Datuk Dr Zaininah Mohd Zain (left) and Dr Noor Hisham (centre) checking out medical equipment at an exhibition booth during the seminar.

KUALA LUMPUR: Soy sauce, toothpaste, butter, egg white and salt – these are just some of the things that ill-informed parents apply to burns suffered by their children.

“Parents often don’t know what to do when children are burnt or scalded and apply things which make it worse,” said Dr Mohd Yusof Abdullah, a paediatric surgeon at Hospital Kuala Lumpur’s Burn Unit.

He said administering unsterile substances could infect the wound.

“We have seen burns made worse by the application of home remedies, resulting in the cases needing surgery,” he said at the 3rd HKL Burn Seminar yesterday.

Dr Mohd Yusof advised parents and child minders to run tap water on the wound for 20 minutes.

Ice should not be used as extreme cold can cause hypothermia.

Burns are the 11th leading cause of child deaths, with those four years old and below at the greatest risk.

“Parents must supervise and monitor their children closely. Most child burn cases are preventable,” he said, adding that serious burns could take up to six months to heal.

case studies mentioned by Dr Mohd Yusof included a child who touched an electrical wire atop a commuter train, resulting in 70% of his body covered with burns.

Another involved a child who played with matches and started a fire that claimed his father’s life and left him with burns on 45% of his body.

“It is sad dealing with children, especially when changing their dressings,” he said.

The two-day HKL Burn Seminar covers various aspects of burns, including infection control and reconstructive surgery.

Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah who opened the seminar, said HKL had received 121 burn cases so far this year, with 10 deaths.

“I hope more units will be opened at hospitals nationwide due to the increase in outpatients for burns,” he said.

via When ‘remedies’ make things worse – Nation | The Star Online.

WEB To PDF: Web Page to PDF Creation App With Tons of Features | App Saga


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We have featured other web page to PDF apps before, but WEB to PDF is a powerful PDF creation app with lots of useful features other apps simply don’t offer.

With Web to PDF you can easily create a PDF from an URL you enter on the address bar. However, the best features of Web to PDF are its reading, editing, and storage options. Instead of scrolling downwards to view the entire PDF, this app lets you view your PDF one page at a time. You can swipe left or right at the screen to turn pages, giving it an ebook feel. This app also lets you edit directly on the PDF file you have created. Add text or handwritten notes directly on the PDF using this app.

You also have the option to rearrange pages just by dragging each page to your desired position. Finally, this app also lets you upload your PDF files to Dropbox or send your PDFs via email so you can easily access them from anywhere.

App Screenshots

– See more at:

via WEB To PDF: Web Page to PDF Creation App With Tons of Features | App Saga.

Yogurt-Chia Pudding Recipe – Bon Appétit



  • 2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
  • tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup, plus more
  • Cocoa nibs, sunflower seeds, and/or toasted coconut (for serving)


Calories (kcal) 110 Fat (g) 5 Saturated Fat (g) 2.5 Cholesterol (mg) 15 Carbohydrates (g) 11 Dietary Fiber (g) 1 Total Sugars (g) 9 Protein (g) 5 Sodium (mg) 55


  • Mix yogurt, chia seeds, and agave syrup in a large bowl; cover and chill at least 12 hours. Serve, drizzled with more agave, if desired, and topped with cocoa nibs, sunflower seeds, and/or toasted coconut.
  • DO AHEAD: Pudding can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

via Yogurt-Chia Pudding Recipe – Bon Appétit.

Breath test for TB developed

Researchers have developed the first breath test for TB in the laboratory.

It provides rapid information on drug resistance that takes up to six weeks using standard methods, US scientists report in the journal, Nature Communications.

The bacteria emit a unique gas signature within 10 minutes of exposure to an inhaled antibiotic in rabbits.

TB infects 8.6m people each year worldwide and kills 1.3m, second only to HIV.

Early diagnosis and treatment are a priority in the global fight against TB, according to the World Health Organization.

Optimally treating somebody the best you can at the time of that single encounter, so someone can go home with the right set of tablets, would be really, really useful”

Dr Graham TimminAssociate Professor at the University of New Mexico

The new research used an inhaled form of isoniazid – an antibiotic commonly used to treat the disease – which is activated by a TB enzyme.

The test exploits the fact that this enzyme is unique to TB, said Dr Graham Timmins, Associate Professor at the University of New Mexico, US, who led the research.

“We realised that we could actually look at the conversion of isoniazid to its active form by monitoring one of the labelled gases that’s given off during its activation,” he explained.

The researchers gave a special molecularly-labelled form of isoniazid to laboratory rabbits.

In the presence of TB, labelled nitrogen gas was released from the lungs and detected by a machine called a mass spectrometer.

A positive result indicates that TB bugs are present and suggests they are susceptible to isoniazid.

Treatment options

TB is very difficult to treat, requiring at least six months of treatment with multiple drugs.

Childhood TB can be harder to detect than the adult form of the disease
The test could be particularly useful in children where sputum samples are problematic

Failure to complete treatment has contributed to the rise of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), accounting for 30% of cases in some countries.

For many years diagnosis of TB relied on a lengthy wait for the bacteria to grow in a culture of the patient’s sputum.

“If you do it by culture, it can take a month to six weeks before you get a result,” said Dr Timmins.

In the last few years a new DNA detection technique called GeneXpert has been endorsed by the World Health Organization.

From a sample of sputum it can detect whether a sample contains TB and whether it is is resistant to one of the key drugs, rifampicin, in about three hours.

But for full drug resistance information the patient has to wait longer.

“Optimally treating somebody the best you can at the time of that single encounter, so someone can go home with the right set of tablets, would be really, really useful,” said Dr Timmins.

The new breath test samples the whole lung for what is hoped will be greater sensitivity, in a wider range of patients, with results available almost instantly.

‘Clever idea’

“It’s a clever idea,” said Dr Ruth McNerney, senior lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The test could “add a bit more certainty” to the diagnosis of MDR-TB, and “it’s worth pursuing, definitely,” she said.

At present the breath test only detects isoniazid sensitivity. It will therefore need to be used in combination with other tests.

“This is just the start of the program we want to instigate,” said Dr Timmins.

The next step will be to show that the tests work in humans in a clinical setting.

“Lots of good ideas fail when you put them into the clinic,” conceded Dr Timmins.

via BBC News – Breath test for TB developed.

In pictures: Mali’s motorbiking eye surgeons

An eye surgeon on a motorbike in a remote region of Mali

Eye surgeons in Mali travel long distances in extreme heat on motorbikes visiting remote villages to try and eliminate one of the leading causes of preventable blindness.

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Eye surgeon Boubacar Fomba examining a boy's eyes on a motorbike, Mali

They go from village to village and treat anyone with the advanced stages of trachoma, a bacterial infection, before it causes irreversible blindness. Trachoma is common in children and the women who care for them. It is infectious and is spread by coming into direct contact with the discharge produced from the eyes or nose of an infected person through contaminated objects such as towels. Flies also transfer the bacteria from the discharge.

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Eye surgeon Boubacar Fomba uploading information on a mobile phone

The locally trained health workers upload their findings by mobile phone to a central system. They report the number of people they screen for the disease, the surgeries they carry out, and the number of follow-up consultations they provide.

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Eye surgeon Boubacar Fomba examining Kany Doumbia' eyes in N'Korobougou, Mali

Here in the remote village of N’Korobougou, in the western region of Koulikoro, Boubacar Fomba diagnoses a 68-year-old woman with trichiasis, the advanced stage of trachoma, where the infection has become so bad that the eyelashes have turned inwards, painfully scratching the eyeball with every blink. “I started having pain and itching there about 20 years ago,” says Kany Doumbia, who earns a living through agriculture and gardening.

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Eye surgeon Boubacar Fomba in Mali

Mr Fomba is part of a team working on a Sightsavers project to tackle a backlog of advanced cases in Mali. It is hoped that the disease can be eliminated in the West African nation by the end of next year – an aim made possible largely thanks to a multi-million dollar donation by the Conrad N Hilton Foundation.

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An eye surgeon preparing for an operation - Mali

The 10 surgeons in the team work across 10 different districts, each covering between 20km (12 miles) and 30km a day and conducting at least three operations each day. Poor communities in hot and dusty climates – where access to water is poor – are most affected by the disease.

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An eye surgeon performing trichiasis surgery - Mali

During surgery the eyelid is rotated outwards, directing the eyelashes away from the eyeball – a procedure that takes as little as 10 minutes. Globally an estimated 8 million people suffer from the advanced stages of the disease and require surgery to prevent them from going blind. In Mali, an estimated 25,000 people need surgery before elimination is reached. The prevalence of the disease amongst children under nine has dropped to below 5%.

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Kany Doumbia in N'Korobougou, Mali

After the surgery, Ms Doumbia said she felt a real change because the pain she used to have had gone – and she was relieved that she would be able to continue to sell her garden produce in the nearest city, Ouelessebougou. “I had started to fear losing my sight because the pain became frequent and often my vision was blurred,” she said.

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Eye surgeon Boubacar Fomba shakes Kany Doumbia's hands in N'Korobougou, Mali

“We consult dozens of people per day,” Mr Fomba says. “And people come to us because they were recommended by other patients. That makes us feel proud.” Antibiotics are also prescribed to treat the infections – and the surgeons explain that facial cleanliness is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of the bacteria.

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An eye surgeon on a motorbike in a remote region of Mali

In the afternoon, each motorbike surgeon sets off for the next village where they will spend the night – so that another day of examinations and operations can begin early the next morning. Gallery by Javier Acebal for Sightsavers.

via BBC News – In pictures: Mali’s motorbiking eye surgeons.

Brazil releases good mosquitoes to fight Dengue fever


Brazilian researchers in Rio de Janeiro have released thousands of mosquitoes infected with a bacteria that suppresses Dengue fever.

The hope is they will multiply, breed and become the majority of mosquitoes, thus reducing cases of the disease.

The initiative is part of a programme also taking place in Australia, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Julia Carneiro reports from Rio.

via BBC News – Brazil releases good mosquitoes to fight Dengue fever.

Sierra Leone widens Ebola quarantine to three more districts


Umaru Fofana is in the Sierra Leone capital, Freetown


Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma has widened a quarantine to include another one million people in an attempt to curb the spread of Ebola.

The northern districts of Port Loko and Bombali, and Moyamba in the south, will in effect be sealed off immediately.

Nearly 600 people have died of the virus in Sierra Leone and two eastern districts have been isolated since the beginning of August.

The move follows a three-day nationwide lockdown that ended on Sunday night.

New figures released by the UN World Health Organization show that 2,917 people have died in the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, with Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea worst affected.

Two eastern districts have already been isolated and the extension of the indefinite quarantine means more than a third of Sierra Leone’s 6.1 million population now finds itself unable to move freely.

During Sierra Leone’s three-day curfew, more than a million households were surveyed and 130 new cases discovered, the authorities say.

A vendor stands among her goods in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Thursday, 18 September 2014There are fears the quarantine and border closures in the region could devastate the economy

President Koroma said the move had been a success but had exposed “areas of greater challenges”, which was why other areas were being quarantined.

Only people delivering essential services can enter and circulate within areas under quarantine.


Skills shortage:

Guinea's Red Cross health workers wearing protective suits prepare to carry the body of a victim of Ebola at the NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres Ebola treatment centre near the hospital Donka in Conakry, 14 September 2014
  • Liberia with a 4.2m population: 51 doctors; 978 nurses and midwives; 269 pharmacists
  • Sierra Leone with a 6m population: 136 doctors; 1,017 nurses and midwives; 114 pharmacists

Source: Afri-Dev.Info

Ebola drains weak health systems


In a televised address, the president acknowledged that the isolation would “pose great difficulties” for people.

“[But] the life of everyone and the survival of our country take precedence over these difficulties,” he said.

According to WHO, the situation nationally in Sierra Leone continues to deteriorate with a sharp increase in the number of newly reported cases in the capital, Freetown, and its neighbouring districts of Port Loko, Bombali, and Moyamba, which are now under quarantine.

Country Existing bed capacity Newly funded beds Extra beds required
Guinea 180 0 40
Liberia 315 440 1,550
Sierra Leone 323 297 532

Despite efforts to deploy more health workers and open new Ebola treatment centres in the worst-affected countries, there was still a significant lack of beds in Sierra Leone and Liberia, with more than 2,000 needed, WHO said.

The situation in Guinea appeared to be stabilising, with up to 100 new confirmed cases reported in each of the past five weeks, but it was still of grave concern, it said.


Ebola virus disease (EVD)

Ebola virus
  • Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
  • Spread by body fluids, such as blood and saliva
  • Fatality rate can reach 90% – but current outbreak has mortality rate of about 70%
  • Incubation period is two to 21 days
  • There is no proven vaccine or cure
  • Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery
  • Fruit bats, a delicacy for some West Africans, are considered to be virus’s natural host

Ebola virus: busting the myths

via BBC News – Sierra Leone widens Ebola quarantine to three more districts.






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via 隱形殺手!小心高血壓併發中風危機 | 20140925 | 華人健康網.

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via 喝絲瓜水≠美白 珍藏2個意外好處 | 20140925 | 華人健康網.

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