Medi-snippets: Hands free devices will protect mental health | Sunday Observer

Medi-snippets: Hands free devices will protect mental health

Health Ministry officials have warned against the long term use of mobile devices due to the danger of serious health issues. Addressing a media conference marking World Mental Health Day on October 6, Community Specialist of the Family Health Bureau, Dr Ayesha Lokubalasooriya was quoted as saying that long term exposure to electromagnetic sources could affect one’s health adversely. She advised those using such devices regularly, to instead, use hands free devices, ( e.g. handsets, ear phones ) and minimise the use of mobile devices. Health officials were quoted as saying they had submitted these recommendations to the Ministry of Health to make the public aware on how to reduce brain and nervous system related health issues.

Meanwhile, Health Promotion Bureau ( HPB) Director, Dr Paba Pallihawadana addressing the media on Mental Health Day, has reportedly warned mobile phone owners to refrain from using them in the bedroom and keeping them switched on for long hours at night noting, it had an adverse impact on health. Explaining the connection between mobile phones and neurological issues, she reiterated that electronic equipment could cause brain damage .

Advise parents ahead of Gr 5 exam results

President Maithripala Sirisena has directed all school Principals to organise awareness programmes for parents a week ahead of the release of Grade 5 Scholarship results, to treat children with affection irrespective of their success or failure.

Addressing the Annual Prize Day ceremony of the Kandy Model School on October 6 to mark World Teachers’ Day, the President reportedly said, the country’s children faced many problems and mental anguish due to parents’ belief that the Gr 5 Scholarship exam was the only criterion deciding their child’s future. He reportedly recounted a series of anguishing moments some children had to face on account of the Scholarship exam and added that this matter deserved urgent attention of all education authorities.

15% school kids obese

Fifteen percent of Lankan schoolchildren are obese and most are addicted to sugar, Director, Non Communicable Unit of the Health Ministry was quoted as saying, last week. Sugar was an additive stronger than cocaine, he reportedly said, at a media discussion at the Health Promotion Bureau (HPB). He said, an individual should consume six teaspoons or less (30 gr) of sugar daily. However, children and adults consumed much more than the recommended level which led to diabetes and other non communicable diseases early in life. He was also quoted as saying that over 70 percent of deaths in Sri Lanka occurred due to NCDs caused mainly by consuming too much sugar, salt, fat ( oil) alcohol and smoking at excessive levels. A 330 ml sweet drink with a red label contained 6 to 9 teaspoons of sugar in addition to caffeine which causes kidney stones, tooth decay, insomnia and mental stress, he reportedly said.

Video film contest for school kids on ‘Bitter Sugar’

The Health Ministry is organising ashort video film competition on the theme “Bitter sugar” to encourage schoolchildren to avoid eating too much sugar . It is being organised by the NCD Unit of the Health Ministry in coordination with the Ministry. Competition rules include the following: Each video should be of five minutes duration and only school staff and schoolchildren can participate in the production: Either a video camera or a mobile phone can be used to shoot the film . Closing date for handing over the videos is October 26. More details can be obtained by calling the following number Tel 00126695999 during office hours, a Ministry source has said.

Disability no bar for Gr 5 student

A differently abled child using her mouth to hold the pen got flying colours at the recently released Gr 5 Scholarship exam. Dinusha Bandara, (11), from the Mawanella Kotagala Ashokapura Special Needs Children’s School scored 145 marks despite her formidable handicap. A talented student and artist, born without hands and feet, she was only a few days old when her parents brought her to Preethipura and later moved to the Mawanella Home where she was given all encouragement to foster her talents, her school Principal has been quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Exams Dept analysts have been quoted as saying that the Gr 5 Scholarship exam results this year has been the best in six years with 36,144 of the 350,191 students qualifying for bursaries and gaining eligibility to apply for better schools.

Disposing non hazardous waste in BOI Zone

A new scheme to dispose of non hazardous solid waste was formally inaugurated at the BOI Biyagama Export Processing Zone ( BEPZ) at its Material Recover Centre ( MRC). Under the new solid waste disposal scheme, the non hazardous industrial waste that has accumulated at the MRC will be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.

Collection centres to buy recyclable waste

Mahaweli Development and Environment Deputy Minister, Ajith Mannapperuma has reportedly said, collection centres will be built to purchase recyclable waste gathered in houses. He was quoted as saying that a mechanism would be introduced to educate the public to recycle household waste in their homes, safely.

The Deputy Minister has also been quoted as saying that organic waste could be made into compost and used for cultivation while other recyclable waste at home could be sold to the collection centres, paving the way for cleaner, healthier environments.

Disaster management report on health launched

A report containing strategies on providing essential health services during emergencies such as, natural disasters, was launched in Colombo recently in the presence of Health Deputy Minister Faizal Cassim, Ministry sources have said.

A report on how to operate during emergencies at district level was also reportedly handed over to the Deputy Health Minister.

The USAID provided equipment for 90 state hospitals in eight districts damaged by floods in 2017.

Health sources said a total of 250 health workers had been trained to manage during emergencies by the USAID. Satellite telephones were also provided to the Disaster Management Unit of the Health Ministry.

Private sector promotes ‘Happy Parenting’

A private insurance company AIA Insurance is conducting a series of seminars across the country to educate and advise parents on the importance of positive and happy parenting, while keeping abreast of the changes in the world.

Company sources reportedly said, parents devote themselves to ensuring they raise their children right, but sometimes get stressed by the challenges. The islandwide drive is intended to provide professional expertise and advice to parents to discover the key to making their families happy and healthy in a changing world.