Medi-snippets: Genetic testing for early detection of breast cancer | Sunday Observer

Medi-snippets: Genetic testing for early detection of breast cancer

Genetic testing plays a major role in early detection of breast cancer, especially, for women with a family history. Genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are now available in Sri Lanka. Testing is done on DNA extracted from peripheral venous blood. Genetic consultations are available at the Human Genetics Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo. For more details call 0112689545 during working hours – 4 p.m ( Monday to Friday).

Dengue confab with a difference

A 3 day conference organised by the College of Medical Administrators of Sri Lanka ending October 26 was reportedly to focus on several new technologies apart from dengue prevention. These included, a light bulb that may kill influenza viruses, rice fortification with zinc, value addition for graphite, more drones to check air quality and a 3 –D printing for artificial limbs. The Conference, in collaboration with the Health Ministry and World Health Organisation’s country office in Sri Lanka, with 500 participants both local and foreign, was held under the theme, ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution and Healthcare –Extended Life in the Digital Era’.

Food with adulterated condiments

Public Health Food Inspectors have alerted the public to beware of eating food at wayside eateries which have escaped regulation rules since many of these illegal eateries sell food spiced with adulterated condiments. Sources from the PHI Union were quoted as saying that reports of samples of such foods through surprise raids have shown adulteration in many of the spices, such as, chilli, turmeric powder and pepper powder. Brick powder and colouring were mixed in chilli, while synthetic colour and dyes such as, metanil yellow were added to turmeric. Sometimes, salt is added to make the weight heavier. They urged consumers to taste the spices if sold loose before buying them and to purchase only packeted spices of recognised brands carrying labels, address of manufacturer and date of expiry. Meanwhile, last year, 3,770 food outlets were found to be selling unhygienic food, with fines for over 6,800 unhygienic food outlet owners amounting to over Rs 21 million, health inspectors said.

Meanwhile, investigative officers attached to the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) of the Southern Province have intensified their raid on errant traders in the region.

Violations of safe food brings big money for CAA

The Southern Provincial Assistant Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) director S. Nandasiri has been quoted as saying the CAA has collected Rs 7 million in fines between January to September this year following 1,864 raids conducted at several shops in Galle, Matara and Hambantota . The suspects were fined for selling food unfit for human consumption, altering price tags as well as sale of electric items without warranties.

New TB drug cures most patients

A new treatment for a drug resistant strain of tuberculosis can cure 80 percent of patients according to trials last week and a, ‘game changer’ in the fight against the global killer. Doctors in Belarus a country with one of the highest rates of multi drug resistant TB in the world, spent months treating patients with the new drug Bedaquiline alongside other antibiotics. According to the results of the 181 patients given the new drug , 168 completed the course and 144 were reportedly totally cured. TB killed 1.7 million people in 2017 according to the World Health Organisation making the airborne infection the World’s deadliest infectious disease.

However, despite its huge death toll global experts charge it has received only a tenth of the global research funding that goes to HIV/AIDs research. World TB Day on October 15 brought into focus the plight of over 1 million children who may die from TB meningitis in the next five years.

Sri Lankan officials have urged all patients to complete their treatment given free to all patients at state hospitals saying the Directly Observed Therapy for TB patients ( DOTS) was now being encouraged to ensure that patients complete their treatment. Screening for TB and diagnostic tests are also available at all district chest clinics, for anyone who suspects he or she has TB, an unnamed official told the Sunday Observer.

Sri Lanka to set up first Palliative Care Hospital

A 2 acre property in Anuradhapura is reportedly to be the location for Sri Lanka’s first Palliative Care Hospital which will be completed in 2019 as a collaboration between the Health Ministry and Shanthi Foundation, a regulated charity. At present, formal palliative care services are not available except in a few hospitals which function largely as residential facilities for patients undergoing radiotherapy or chemotherapy, Health sources were quoted as saying.

Long delayed operating theatre opened

The operating theatre at the Minuwangoda Hospital delayed for over five years has now been opened. Health officials were quoted as saying the new theatre could not be opened due to the lack of human resources.

Health officials were reportedly asked to provide required human resources and facilities for the theatre. They reportedly promised to provide more facilities such as, ambulances and new building complexes to the hospital. Sources were quoted as saying that 20 of the 450 new ambulances had already been distributed among state hospitals and another 50 would be distributed this week.

Garbage mars Pahala Kadugannawa

Residents of Pahala Kaduganawa are protesting to the authorities for intervention to prevent dumping of garbage with non biodegradable waste which has polluted streams and caused water pollution.

Gardening boosts health

Do you know that a home garden, besides providing a free supply of fresh produce, can offer profound benefits for your brain, body and mind? Researchers have now found evidence that growing plants whether in school or at home enhances the brain power of students while one study found the act of gardening may lower your risk of dementia by as much as 36%. Other benefits include encouraging an active lifestyle which lowers the likelihood of obesity, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, stroke, and depression, among many more.

Gardening also gives gardeners the benefits of sun exposure a key source of vitamin D which fortifies your bones and immune systems, reports from a popular gardening magazine says.