Medi-snippets: DGHS issues emergency response to medical top brass | Sunday Observer

Medi-snippets: DGHS issues emergency response to medical top brass

The Ministry of Health, Nutrition & Indigenous Medicine has requested immediate action from all Provincial Directors of Health Services , Regional Directors, Directors of Teaching Hospitals and Medical Superintendents of General/ Base Hospitals and MOHs to mitigate the likely health risks of flood affected persons following the heavy rains now being experienced.

In a circular dated November 5, Director General Health Services Dr Anil Jasinghe has said, due to the heavy rains large tracts of land have been flooded raising fears of communicable diseases. He has asked the health sector in such areas to be alert and proactive to mitigate any infectious disease while ensuring prompt response, to minimise the suffering of the affected persons.

Health facilities have been informed that all pregnant mothers in displaced settings, in the third trimester of pregnancy be admitted to the nearest hospital and given antenatal and essential obstetric care till they return to their homes.

Emergency ambulances and 24 hour transport facilities are also being made available to all affected areas to transport patients, Health Ministry sources said.

More mosquito breeding sites likely due to rains

Dengue Control Unit sources have warned that the rains followed by short bursts of sunshine could spawn hundreds of new dengue carrying mosquito breeding sites across the country. They emphasised the need for the public to regularly clean their gardens and remove any possible breeding sites as it was impossible for the Health Ministry alone to carry out this task.

They said, it was important to seek medical advice in the event of fever and do the relevant lab investigation at least by day three of the illness.

Meanwhile, according to the most recent Epidemiology Unit report there has been a drastic fall in the number of dengue cases with no suspected cases being reported up to November 2 across the island. Of the number reported approximately 36% were from the Western Province. The Unit has stated, strengthening patient education in the management of fever has resulted in the relatively low mortality rate.

A total of 4,130 cases of suspected cases of dengue have been reported up to November 2 this year resulting in over 50 deaths . From 7,278 cases in January the figure tumbled in February, March and April but rose again in June and July after which they fell to a new low in October ( 1,707). District wise, Colombo had the highest number, 7,951 suspected cases despite a drop to 372 cases in October and none in November. Gampaha ( 4,478), recorded the second highest, Kalutara ( 2,528) and Kandy ( 3,126) also averaged over two thousand cases, respectively . Other districts with an equally high number of accumulated cases for the year included Jaffna (2,593), Batticaloa (4,379), Kurunegala (2,034), Puttalam (1,520), Ratnapura (1,412), Moneragala (766) and Kegalle (1,581).

The Epidemiology Unit has also warned of the rise of Leptosirosis (Rat Fever) . The total number of cases reported this year so far is 3,553 with 303 reported in October. The diseases peaked in June and July and sources said, non traditional sites were now being found where the disease has erupted.

They said, the farming community and those engaged in cleaning activities of drains, etc, should wear protective clothes and take Doxycycline as prophylaxis treatment given free to all patients. Patient education had also been undertaken with leaflets in Sinhala and Tamil being issued to all at risk while national guidelines on the management of rat fever have been issued to all regional medical staff in affected regions .

Antibiotics increases obesity in children

New research on antibiotics has focussed attention this Antibiotics Awareness Week on a little known side effect of antibiotics on children- obesity. Babies and toddlers who are given more antibiotics are much more likely to become obese, a study suggests.

A review of more than 300 children found those prescribed antibiotics during their first two years of life had a 26% higher risk of obesity. The longer they had been taking the drugs and the more classes of antibiotics they had taken, the greater the risk.

Girls given four to five more types of drugs were reportedly 50% more likely to become obese. According to researchers these powerful drugs can kill important bacteria in the gut which help regulate body weight.

Two day confab on Drug Control

The National Dangerous Drugs Control Board held a two day conference on illicit drugs control and prevention in Battaramulla on October 29 and 30. Both, local and foreign experts participated in the discussions and shared their expertise. Meanwhile, the Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention ( PTFDP) with the objective of expanding the national drive to educate the student community on the dangers of drug addiction, has turned to the Army seeking instructional assistance from Army officers and other rankers. With the concurrence of the Armed Forces West Commander 23 officers and 23 other rankers were trained by experts during a full day training at Panagoda recently.

The PTFDP reportedly intends to use the trained Army personnel to be sent to government schools for lectures on the dangers of drug use, under a program to be launched shortly, in collaboration with the Education Ministry.

Cabinet nod to promote National Kidney Fund

The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal by President Maithripala Sirisena to appoint a supervisory committee chaired by the Secretary to the President to provide funds from the President’s fund to expedite the activities of the National Kidney Fund.

The Cabinet of Ministers also approved the proposal presented by Faisal Kasim Acting Minister of Health Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine to implement the proposal regarding Home dialysis, considering the recommendations of the Cabinet Sub Committee.

The Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal by the former Health Minister to get a Digital X-ray Investigation System using the funds provided by FINEXPO Financial Supporting systems.

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