Medi-snippets: Workplace health checks can reduce NCD risk drastically | Sunday Observer

Medi-snippets: Workplace health checks can reduce NCD risk drastically

25 November, 2018

Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) is reportedly planning to introduce a Japanese style health and productivity management system in local companies, to decrease the number of non communicable disease patients in Sri Lanka. Senior Director for Global Strategy, South West Asia Planning Dept. at JETRO, Kazuhiko Obama has been quoted as saying, the proposed system will include the application of regular health check ups on similar lines as in Japan, and that regular health check ups are compulsory in Japan and it was the companies or organisations which looked after their employees’ health. He further noted, employees have to produce a comprehensive health check up report to their employers annually. He also reportedly noted that NCDs account for about 70 % of total deaths in Sri Lanka.

The project is to be undertaken in collaboration with Lankan companies and health related organisations. JETRO is reportedly in discussion with the Government to introduce a similar system which it says would be highly beneficial to the Lankan people. According to Obama JETRO has already conducted workshops in Colombo in 2017 and 2018 for company CEOs to convince them of the importance of having such a system when it concerns the health of their employees. Describing their response as ‘very positive’, he was quoted as saying that JETRO would organise more such workshops in Colombo shortly. “Healthy employees will enhance productivity and lessen the burden on the Sri Lankan Government which offers free health care services at a high cost”, he was quoted as saying.

Antibiotics grossly misused in S.L.

Antibiotics are being used in a dangerous manner in Sri Lanka Health Ministry’s Deputy Director General Laboratory Services, Dr B.V.A.H. Beneragama has reportedly said at a media discussion at the Health Promotion Bureau in Colombo last week. He was quoted as saying that at present 13% of the total expenditure of the Medical Supplies division of the Health Ministry was for antibiotics. He reportedly noted that a National Strategic Plan has been formulated to address this issue. He is also quoted as saying that there were thousands of quacks in Sri Lanka who prescribe antibiotics for patients. Some qualified doctors also do the same, he reportedly said. According to Dr Beneragama, antibiotics were given to chicken so that they gain weight. Some Ayurvedic doctors too prescribe antibiotics he added. He observed that many patients go to private doctors and ask for antibiotics without prescriptions. “Antibiotics must only be issued on prescription, he stressed, noting that once antimicrobial resistance is developed the entire country would suffer, adding that WHO had said that by 2050 around 50 million would die without antibiotics.

Differences in antibiotics use globally

Underscoring the danger of antibiotics misuse, the World Health Organisation ( WHO) has drawn attention to the differences in antibiotics consumption in different countries and regions. It has been quoted as saying that while antibiotics usage was dangerously high in some countries, there was a shortage in others spurring risky misuse, and driving the emergence of deadly super bug infections. A report based on 2015 data from 65 countries and regions, showed a significant difference in consumption rates from as low as around four defined daily doses per 1,000 inhabitants per day in Burundi to more than 64 in Mongolia. The WHO has repeatedly warned the world is running out of effective antibiotics and last year urged governments and the big pharma to create a new generation of drugs to fight ultra resistant super germs. WHO has also reminded that while overuse was worrying, low usage was also of concern. It has been quoted as saying that resistance can occur when people can’t afford a full course of treatment or have access to sub standard or falsified medicines.

Discovered in the 1920s antibiotics have saved millions of lives by defeating bacterial diseases like pneumonia, TB and meningitis. But over the decades bacteria have learned to fight back building resistance of the same drugs that destroyed them.

Women more at risk for heart attacks

Researchers on heart disease have warned that women leading unhealthy lifestyles to be heart friendly. According to a news report published by the Daily Mail, unhealthy lifestyles increase the risk of a heart attack for women more than they do for men. The new finding puts to rest a long belief that doctors and patients alike have, that heart disease was a problem that mainly affects middle aged overweight men. However, a study by an expert at Oxford University suggests women with unhealthy lifestyles increase their risk more than men with the same habits. Data from over 470,000 British people revealed, women with high blood pressure or type 2diabetes – both of which are related to obesity, drinking and diet see their heart attack risk more than men with the same condition. Women with type 2 diabetes were 96 % more likely to have a heart attack than women without. For men, the risk rises only 33%. For women with stge2 hypertension the heart attack rises 152 % compared to 71% for men. And women who smoke are 246 % more likely to have a heart attack compared to 123% for men. A spokesman for the British Heart Foundation has been quoted as saying that regardless of your sex, risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes increase the risk of a heart attack, and that the findings were an important reminder that heart disease does not discriminate and we must shift perceptions that it only affects men .

Wellness products to lure medical travellers

Sri Lanka has all the ingredients to successfully promote the nation as a leading wellness nation, by harnessing both its well established medical system in indigenous medicine, western health services and other alternative medical practices, Export Development Board Chairperson Indira Malwatte has reportedly said at a conference recently. Wellness tourism sector has been identified as a key sector for development under the National Export Strategy. Speaking of global wellness tourism trends, Founder and Managing Director of Wellbeing Escapes London has reportedly said, areas such as family wellness and emotional healing were growing at a rapid pace across the world.

Most HIV infected patients don’t know they are infected

Consultants participating in a media discussion on HIV/AIDS at the Health Promotion Bureau last week were quoted as saying that one third of persons in Sri Lanka infected by HIV were unaware that they had the disease. They said, every week around six new HIV infections were being detected and reported to the Epidemiology Unit of the National STD/AIDS Control Program Unit ( NSACP). The new HIV infected persons were reportedly between the ages of 15 and 49 years. The estimated number of HIV positive patients in Sri Lanka is around 4,200.

Sports lowers risks of heart attacks

Studies in the American Journal of Epidemiology has said, physical activity helps lower the risk of heart attack. Playing sports helps the heart to pump more blood and is thus a type of workout for the body resulting in fewer chances of malfunctioning of our heart, the report has been quoted as saying.