Medi-snippets: Cabinet nod for plain cigarette packs | Sunday Observer

Medi-snippets: Cabinet nod for plain cigarette packs

Cabinet has given approval to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes, National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Chairman Dr Palitha Abeyekoon was reported as saying at a health seminar at the Sri Lanka Medical Association ( SLMA) last week, to mark World No Tobacco Day which fell on May 31. He reportedly said that following the decision, the sale of cigarettes within a radius of 100 metres from any school will also be banned.

Spelling out the contents of cigarettes, SLMA President Dr Anula Wijesundara was quoted as saying that one cigarette contained over four thousand chemicals and four hundred of them were harmful to health. Around 20,000 Sri Lankans die due to various health issues caused by smoking, she said.

Consultant Chest Physician Dr Saman Kapilawansa pointed out that 90 percent of patients warded in state hospitals had fallen ill due to smoking. Passive smoking was also a serious health risk as cigarette smoke is said to remain in the environment for about five hours. He reportedly said that tobacco smokers were up to 22 times more likely to develop lung cancer in their lifetime when compared to non smokers.

Celebrating World Milk Day

World Milk Day was observed around the world recently. First celebrated in 2001 by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, with the participating countries increasing every year, the focus is on milk and milk related activities. Its message is to raise awareness on aspects of natural milk such as the nutritional value of milk which contains nutrients required by the body (calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous, iodine, iron, potssium, folates , vitamin A, vitamin D,riboflavin vitamin B 12 , B12 protein, healthy fat etc) and its impact on the health of children particularly during their growing years.

Studies have shown that milk is the only food you can survive wholly on since it provides every nutrient your body requires. It was also found that milk has purifying properties and can cleanse and detox your body. Researchers have found that it frees the bacteria in your gut and many nutrients in milk act as prebiotics to keep your gut bacterial healthy .

All medicinal drugs to be produced locally within two years

Health and Indigenous Medicine Minister Dr Rajitha Seneratne has been quoted as saying that Sri Lanka will produce all its drug requirements in two years. Addressing a press briefing in Colombo recently, he said the import of drugs would cease after two years, as the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) along with other stakeholders would increase their production capacity to meet the country’s needs. He reportedly said over 805 drugs would be produced by the end of this year and that 38 agreements have been signed between the SPC and investors to start drug manufacturing companies. According to him the country has only 40 CPC outlets.

He said the huge increase in profits earned by the SPC in the recent years reflected its rapid progress. In 2014 the SPC had earned Rs741 million in profits. By 2018 the profits increased to Rs 1.7 billion.

The Minister promised to expand these branches to every electorate under phase2 of its project. He said the Health Ministry would save 90 billion by 2021 without importing drugs.

Over 300 dialysis machines for CKDu patients

Health Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne has reportedly said that 300 dialysis machines would soon be provided to high risk CKDu ( (Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology ) zones especially marked for patients suffering from this disease. Speaking at the World Health Assembly in Geneva recently, he said a health assessment scheme would be introduced to curb the resurgence of malaria and filariasis and that programs would be launched to prevent the spread of the Human Immuno Deficiency Virus, TB, dengue, malaria and filariasis. 

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