Medi-snippets: NCD phone survey at March end | Sunday Observer

Medi-snippets: NCD phone survey at March end

17 March, 2019

The first ever phone survey of Non Communicable Diseases ( NCD) in a South Asian country will commence in Sri Lanka at the end of this month. NCDs have spiked to unacceptable levels, especially, diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, heart problems and cancer. To prevent their spread and save the future citizens of this country from the NCD epidemic, Director NCD Unit of the Health Ministry, Dr Thilak Siriwardene reportedly said they would conduct a phone survey. People will receive a telephone call from 1995 (only) to their mobile phones by the end of this month or early next month. Addressing the media at a press conference at the National Eye Hospital in Colombo last week, he appealed to the public to answer the call considering it as their contribution to save future generations from NCDs.

Police train mastiffs in drug detection

Police Kennels have trained a batch of 70 mastiffs that could be successfully deployed to detect cocaine, heroin or any other hard drug during anti narcotics raids conducted by the Police. Sources were quoted as saying that separate kennel units have been established at the Katunayake Air Port and the Colombo Port to assist in anti narcotics raids. The mastifs at the Galle Kennels are deployed for raids conducted at the Galle and Hambantota harbours and the Mattala airport.

Over 10 bn from budget for stents and lenses

Health Minister Dr Rajitha Seneratne has reportedly said that Rs ten billion would be set aside from Budget 2019 to obtain quality heart stents and eye lenses at affordable prices for the public. Speaking at a meeting at Matugama recently, he was quoted as saying that it was also proposed to obtain Rs 1,053 million for promoting mental health in the country. New Mental Health Units will be set up in twenty state hospitals. The Minister pledged to reduce the prices of another 27 medical drugs bringing a total of around 100 brands of drugs to be made available at low prices. Other promises in the offing include a new laboratory costing Rs 70 million to be set up at the Welisara Chest Hospital to conduct tests with hi tech equipment. He further promised to develop the Ayurvedic gardens at Haldummulla and Pattipola which contain valuable herbs, at a cost of Rs135 million.

Nearly 9,000 dengue cases in first two months of year

A total of 8,904 suspected dengue cases were reported from all parts of the island at the end of February, this year, the Epidemiology Unit sources have said. According to them the highest number 2,017) were from the Colombo district while the second highest number (1,354) had been reported from the Jaffna district, and the 3rd highest (1,093) from the Gampaha district. The Colombo Municipal Council registered 384 dengue cases during the same period while the other parts of the Colombo district recorded 1,633 cases. The total number of dengue cases in the Western Province was 3,627, the sources said.

Medical experts and Consultants have urged those affected to refrain from going to work or school and to take plenty of rest and liquid and avoid nonsteroidal and anti inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as Ibuprofen which causes Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever ( DHF).

Anyone with fever for over two days have also been asked to seek medical attention without delay.

Fuel from plastics

State Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Dilip Wedaarachchi has been reported as saying that plans are underway to implement a project to produce fuel from plastics, polythene and discarded fishing nets.

Addressing a meeting at Kaduwella recently, the Minister reportedly noted that the project would be implemented close to the fishery harbours in the country.

He said the fishermen engaging in deep sea fishing discarded plastic bottles and large quantities of polythene to the sea, polluting it in alarming proportions. He said with the implementation of the project they could bring back the discarded items and hand them over to the fishery harbours to produce fuel using eco friendly methods.

Lack of staff at Tangalle Hospital premature baby unit

The premature baby unit of the Tangalle Base Hospital is on the verge of closure due to lack of staff, sources of the hospital were quoted as saying. About 300 deliveries occur at this hospital per month and among them are several premature babies who need specialised treatment.

Doctors at the unit were quoted as saying that there were only three doctors to treat such babies which was inadequate. Hambanatota District Director of Health services was quoted as saying that more doctors would be provided by the Provincial Director Health services soon.

Brothel raid arrests eight sex workers

Wennappuwa Police arrested eight sex workers at a brothel functioning under the guise of an Ayurvedic spa, recently . Three of the suspects aged 17, 23 and 26 were identified as hailing from Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura and Badulla. Around 34 illegal Ayurveda spas in the Kurunegala and Puttalam districts have been raided in the past three months where 73 young men and women were arrested, Police sources reportedly said.

Meanwhile, 17 suspects were arrested with narcotics at a hotel in Polhena Matara, last week, and remanded further. The youngest suspect is said to be a student leader of a leading school in Matara. The students had come to know each other through the popular social media website Facebook. They are alleged to have been in possession of cocaine and several other banned narcotics.

Japan to ban physical punishment of children

The Japanese government plans to ban corporal punishment of children by parents through legal revisions following a series of recent child maltreatment cases by parents in the name of discipline. The planned legal revisions are also aimed at strengthening the authority of child welfare centres nation wide to ensure prompt separation of children from abusive parents. Foster parents and welfare workers will also be banned from physically punishing children as a means of discipline.

Citing two cases it was said that a 5-year-old girl had been allegedly assaulted by her parents and had died last year in her Tokyo home as she left a desperate plea for her parents to forgive her and stop mistreating her. The second case involved a ten-year-old who revealed that her father had made her stand for long hours as a way of disciplining.