Medi-snippets: Action against drug menace | Sunday Observer

Medi-snippets: Action against drug menace

President Maithripala Sirisena has called upon the leaders of the states in the Bay of Bengal to take collective action against illegal narcotic drug smuggling . Addressing the fourth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation ( BIMSTEC) recently, he drew attention to the obstacles of fighting the drug menace in the world community. He reportedly said, it was the menace of drugs and narcotics, hashish, marijuana and other drugs illegally smuggled, mainly by sea that largely affected youth and schoolchildren who were the main targets. He is reported to have urged BIMSTEC the world community and all states to commit themselves to the war against drug trafficking collectively.

Meanwhile, a 24 hour operational unit to monitor calls relating to drug trafficking was opened Tuesday September 18 at Police Headquarters.

GMP certificate mandatory from 2019

The Good Manufacturing Practice ( GMP) certification by the Sri Lanka Standards Institute ( SLSI) will be made compulsory for all food and beverage products by early 2019 , Consumer Affairs Authority sources have said. They have also reportedly said, food and beverage producers who have already obtained the SLSI certification such as ISO, HACCP and FSSC need not obtain the GMP certificate.

Food and beverage producers and those selling food and beverages can apply for the certificate by visiting the SLSI office or obtain an application online. The rule will be enforced from March 1 2019, and warned that strict action will be taken against those who did not obtain the certification from SLSI, the CAA said.

Cabinet approves setting up NHRC

The Cabinet has approved the setting up of a National Health Research Council. Health sources were quoted as saying, the Health Minister had submitted a Cabinet paper to this effect and although approval was granted in 2003 it had not been implemented. Sources said, the Council comprising five members would be set up with an Extraordinary Gazette notification while the Health Minister would regulate, supervise, develop and manage health research activities through the Council.

Specialists can work up to 63 years

The retirement age of medical consultants ( specialised doctors) has been raised to 63 years, Public Administration Ministry sources reportedly said . The retirement age for consultants was 60, and has been increased to 63 years through a gazette notification effective retrospectively from June 2017.

A gazette notification was issued on August 27 to this effect due to the shortage of medical consultants in Sri Lanka, many of who had left the country to serve in other parts of the world due to the huge demand for their skills and expertise, and the training they received from state medical faculties and state hospitals, informed sources said.

NCPA gets tough on child abuse

The National Child Protection Authority is to introduce stiffer laws to be adopted for a comprehensive framework to prevent violence , abuse, neglect and exploitation of children, Chairman NCPA H.M Abayaratne has reportedly said .

Informed sources were quoted as saying that since 2011 over 500,000 phone complaints had been lodged through the Hot Line 1919 relating to physical and mental child harassment along with 64,000 written complaints during the same period.

The NCPA Chairman was quoted as saying that the Authority had formulated a set of guidelines for Day Care Centres and teachers attached to such centres would receive a training manually developed by the NCPA.

Committee probe on oil spill

The Petroleum Industries Ministry will shortly appoint a committee to probe into the oil spill in the seas off Muthurajawela, the Ministry Secretary Upali Marasinghe has reportedly said. He said, the report of the Committee was expected in two weeks with the Committee comprising officials representing the Marine Environment Protection Authority, the Ceylon Shipping Corporation Ltd , Sri Lanka Coast Guard, and Petroleum Industries Ministry.

Informed sources have reportedly said, the cleaning up operations would take several months. A damaged ship to shore pipeline had leaked into the sea last Saturday while unloading furnace oil to the Muthurajawela Oil Refinery Complex causing serious environmental damage to the adjacent areas, prompting Health sources to express concern on the possible health impacts on those living in and around the affected areas.

Amonia gas cylinder injures five

Five persons sustained injuries and were hospitalised last week due to an ammonia gas cylinder exploding in a rubber factory in the Wagwatte area, the Ingiriya Police Media sources reportedly said.

Around 27 employees work in this factory and the ammonia is used to prevent the rubber milk from curdling during the process, removing the excess water from the rubber milk. Witnesses were quoted as saying an explosion had occurred while one of the tanks had exploded accidentally with two boys on the lorry inhaling the toxic smoke and being rushed to hospital.

Ratnapura Provincial Hospital to be upgraded

Cabinet has approved a proposal by the Health, Nutrition & Indigenous Medicine Minister Dr Rajitha Seneratne to improve the Ratnapura Provincial General Hospital as the Teaching Hospital affiliated to the new Medical Faculty of the Sabaragamuwa University. The Ratnapura General Hospital is one of the biggest full-fledged, multi-specialty, tertiary care hospitals in the country and health sources said, improving and upgrading it as a Teaching Hospital would result in wide ranging benefits for the entire community as well as the medical students.

Hospital frauds to be probed

The Health Minister has reportedly instructed the Investigations Unit of the Ministry to investigate into malpractices, corruption and other issues related to private practice during duty hours, as well as any incidents relating to malpractices in the provision of free eye lenses and heart stents, following complaints from patients. The investigations are to be conducted confidentially, sources have said.

Suicides escalate

There was a significant rise in suicides last year, compared to the past three years 2014-16, a new research by the Health Promotion Bureau has revealed. It was also highlighted that more men than women had committed suicide last year.

Carbolic manure under the microscope

The Agriculture Minister has reportedly instructed the National Fertiliser Secretariat to test the composition of carbolic fertiliser produced from urban waste and to submit a report. This follows allegations by certain parties that carbolic fertiliser produced from urban waste carried a high percentage of Cadmium, a Ministry release has reportedly stated. Cadmium and heavy metals can cause long term health hazards, especially, to children and pregnant mothers, Health Ministry sources told the Sunday Observer.

Milk does not cause coughs - study

A research has debunked an old wives myth that giving milk to a child with a cold would worsen the cold and bring on a cough as well. According to popular belief, milk causes the body to produce more mucous because of the way it mixes with saliva and becomes sticky in the mouth.

Now, researchers say, it is important for parents not to be put off giving their child milk due to a common cold, because it is an important energy source and a good way to get vitamins and minerals.

Researchers have asserted that the myth was not true urging parents not to deprive their children of a valuable source of energy, minerals and vitamins.