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Posts tagged ‘World Health Organisation’

Some bacterial infections in S’pore found resistant to antibiotics

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File photo illustration: A pharmacist pulls out a box of medicine at a drug store. (AFP/Manjunath Kiran)

According to a new report by the World Health Organisation, resistance to antibiotics poses a “major global threat” to public health. And in Singapore, the Ministry of Health is aware of the problem.

SINGAPORE: According to a new report by the World Health Organisation, resistance to antibiotics poses a “major global threat” to public health.

And in Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) is aware of the problem.

Various bacterial infections here have been found to develop different degrees of resistance to antibiotics.

Also emerging are cases of bacterial infections that are resistant to certain powerful, broad spectrum antibiotics, which are considered the last line of defence.

One of the causes of resistance is the over-use of antibiotics.

Cases of infections that have become resistant to antibiotics are more difficult to treat, and to combat that, new antibiotics have been developed.

But it will take time before the new antibiotics are approved and available in the market.

Chan Soo Chung, executive director of the National Healthcare Group Pharmacy, said:
“Some of the more potent ones will require delivery by injection rather than oral medication, and therefore it is going to drive up costs, plus the fact that you are exposing people to more side effects from more potent drugs.”

MOH said it will continue to work with healthcare institutions and other stakeholders to reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics.

It will also emphasise the importance of hand hygiene and good infection control practices.

via Some bacterial infections in S’pore found resistant to antibiotics – Channel NewsAsia.

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UN warns of health crisis brewing in west Myanmar

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Muslim children are seen inside their tent at a camp for internally displaced people at Theechaung village on the outskirts of Sittwe, western Myanmar on April 1, 2014 – by Soe Than Win

 

A wave of attacks against humanitarian workers in Rakhine state has choked off health, water and food supplies to isolated communities and camps for people displaced by deadly sectarian violence.

The exodus worsened an already dire medical situation for hundreds of thousands of people left without access to treatment after the government in February ordered aid group Doctors Without Borders to leave the region following protests against them.

International relief groups in Rakhine have come under mounting pressure from local Buddhists who accuse them of bias towards Muslims.

Health services for most of the 140,000 displaced people in Rakhine and more than 700,000 vulnerable people outside the camps are “severely hampered”, Liviu Vedrasco of the World Health Organisation said in a joint UN statement with humanitarian groups released late Wednesday.

Life-saving therapeutic treatment for more than 300 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition has been suspended in the state capital Sittwe, the statement said.

“Without the immediate and full restoration of an enabling and secure environment to re-establish essential life-saving assistance, the humanitarian situation will rapidly deteriorate, putting children and their families at even greater risk,” said Kelland Stevenson, country director for Save the Children.

Mobs ransacked offices, looted warehouses and smashed equipment in last week’s attacks.

More than 170 aid workers were pulled out from the state as a result — the first time providers have been forced to leave en masse — and there are fears that the entire relief infrastructure has been severely damaged.

“What happened in Sittwe last week was not just an attack on international organisations, but an attack on the entire humanitarian response in Rakhine State,” said UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Renata Dessallien.

The United States also expressed alarm at the deepening crisis and called on Myanmar to end severe travel restrictions which have long hampered access to vast swathes of Rakhine.

“Currently, large segments of the population do not have access to adequate medical services, water, sanitation, and food,” said State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf.

“The government has so far failed to provide adequate security and the travel authorisations necessary for the humanitarian aid workers to resume their life-saving services.”

Long-standing animosity between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine erupted into bloodshed in 2012, leaving dozens dead in clashes.

Aid workers have faced a Buddhist nationalist campaign to stop local people cooperating with them, while boats used to deliver supplies have been destroyed.

The UN said it was in talks with Myanmar authorities to ensure relief was delivered.

Tensions have been heightened by Myanmar’s first census in three decades, which has stoked anger among Buddhists that it might lead to official recognition for the Rohingya, a Muslim minority viewed by the authorities as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

via UN warns of health crisis brewing in west Myanmar – Latest news around the world and developments close to home – MSN Malaysia News.

Scientists in Vietnam releases Dengue-blocking mosquito

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VIETNAM: Scientists have managed to find ways to reduce the spread of dengue by infecting aedes mosquitoes with bacteria from fruit flies.

Mosquitoes implanted with the Wolbachia bacteria act as natural vaccines to prevent the mosquitoes from being infected with the dengue virus and shortening the life cycle of mosquitoes with the virus.

At the Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Vietnam, mosquitoes were deliberately infected with the bacterium called Wolbachia.

It works to prevent mosquitoes from being infected with dengue, thus preventing it from transferring the disease to the public.

The discovery even garnered the attention of scientists at Monash University, Australia.

Wolbachia is a bacteria commonly found in most insects , especially fruit flies.

Research conducted in a small community in Australia has yielded encouraging result.

After two and a half years, Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes were found to have taken over the population of normal mosquitoes, with 95 percent of mosquitoes remain dominant.

Oxford University study estimated that about 390 million people in tropical countries are infected with dengue each year.

It is three times more than the World Health Organisation previous released figures.

via Scientists in Vietnam releases Dengue-blocking mosquito | Astro Awani.

Southeast Asia’s largest neonatal intensive care unit now operational


KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital

Southeast Asia’s largest Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is now operational — sited at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the facility has a capacity of 32 beds, and is equipped with advanced features and technology.

SINGAPORE: Southeast Asia’s largest Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is now operational — sited at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the facility has a capacity of 32 beds, and is equipped with advanced features and technology.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong launched the facility on Saturday.

It is the main referral centre for newborn babies suffering from complex and high-risk medical conditions, managing some 400 to 450 admissions a year, including full-term, as well as pre-term babies.

Over the past two decades, the prematurity rate in Singapore has increased from 7.2 per cent to 9.5 per cent, despite lower birth rates.

Mr Gan said this was probably brought about by evolving social and medical trends, such as an increase in maternal age, more couples opting for assisted reproduction, and capabilities to provide earlier intervention for complicated pregnancies.

The expansion in capacity will enable the hospital to care for more babies requiring intensive support and care.

He said: “In addition to enhancing capacity and medical capability, we also made improvements to our healthcare financing system to provide parents with greater peace of mind over their children’s healthcare costs.

“This is especially so as the cost of care for premature babies and those with congenital conditions can be quite significant.”

Earlier this year the health ministry announced the extension of MediShield coverage to congenital and neonatal conditions from March 1, to provide all children with early insurance protection from birth.

Singapore’s neonatal mortality rate has fallen from 1.5 per 1,000 resident live births in 2000 to 1.1 in 2012. According to the World Health Organisation, this makes the country one of the countries with the lowest neonatal mortality rates.

– CNA/ac

via Southeast Asia’s largest neonatal intensive care unit now operational – Channel NewsAsia.

More Singaporeans suffering from ‘low vision’

SINGAPORE – She looks just like a regular student but, for Ms Christina Au, the world is one great blur.

The 22-year-old SIM student suffers from hereditary optic neuropathy, a disorder of nerves and visual pathways that results in blurred vision. Unlike myopia, however, the condition cannot be fixed by corrective lenses.

Ms Au is one of 285 million visually impaired people the World Health Organisation is trying to help through World Sight Day today, an annual day of awareness to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment.

The number of new “low vision” clients at the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped has increased steadily over the past six years. With 158 registered in the last financial year,it now has 3,377 clients.

Ms Au’s vision started deteriorating when she was 10 years old.

Today, she copes by using her memory, an eyepiece with 20x magnification, and a smartphone with nearly a dozen transport apps to help her get around independently. She also enjoys baking, karaoke and shopping.

“Despite my disability, the things I enjoy doing, the things I can do, they are like that of any other girls of my age,” she said.

AsiaOne

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