Medi-snippets: Beware health impact from sub grade lunch sheets | Sunday Observer

Medi-snippets: Beware health impact from sub grade lunch sheets

2 June, 2019

A joint operation by the Central Environment Authority ( CEA), the Consumer Affairs Authority and the Police uncovered a low quality lunch sheet manufacturing company at Hekitta Road, Wattala . The lunch sheets were manufactured with HDPE materials and calcium, a large stock of which was found in the production unit. Three extruder machines, three cutting machines and mixtures granted an Environmental Licence only to produce LDPE shopping and grocery bags had been found in violation of the National Environmental Act. Health sources noted that serving hot meals on lunch sheets which was now the trend, was a grave risk to one’s health, especially, if the sheets used were of sub quality. “It could lead to cancer when used over a period of time,” a health official said. Meanwhile, the Health Unit of the Ministry of Health is to conduct a survey of all eating wayside boutiques and pavement stalls starting in the Colombo district where food parcels wrapped in lunch sheets are being sold. CEA sources are also said to have held discussions to inform owners and manufacturers of lunch sheet companies the correct type of lunch sheets that should be used. We have told them and parents that they must stick only to food grade quality lunch sheets. Owners of companies producing low grade lunch sheets will be severely punished officials said on anonymous grounds.

Sri Lanka’s universal health coverage spans nearly seven decades

Sri Lanka has had universal health coverage for nearly seven decades through a comprehensive and free of charge health system incorporating preventive and curative rehabilitation care, Health Minister Dr Rajitha Seneratne was quoted as saying at the 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva , Switzerland, recently. Commending measures by the Government to prevent non communicable diseases ( NCDs) he said that prevention and early detection of NCDs was being stepped up with I,846 Lifestyle centres and 906 women’s clinics island wide.

Technology to prevent adulteration of Lankan products

A technological methodology to ensure that products made in Sri Lanka are original and not fakes duplicated by foreign companies has reportedly been introduced by the Life Science Division of the Atomic Energy Board ( AEB). The methodology known as Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer will be helpful in controlling contamination of tea, cinnamon, spices and foods made and produced in Sri Lanka, Atomic Energy sources have reportedly said. A number of Lankan products of low quality are said to be now being sold in foreign markets AEB sources reportedly said, noting that stable isotope techniques are tools used by researchers worldwide in authenticating foodstuffs, tracing drugs, identifying food adulterants and pollution monitoring . The novel methodology was installed under the technical assistance of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with the IAEA and Sri Lankan Government jointly sending Rs53 million for the new equipment. AEB sources were also quoted as saying that research institutes and the business community in Sri Lanka would be able to obtain this useful service from the AEB Head Office at Orugodawatte in the near future.

New strategy to tackle deaths from snake bites

The World Health Organisation ( WHO) last week, unveiled a new strategy to dramatically reduce deaths and injuries from snakebites, warning that a dearth of anti venom could soon spark a public health emergency. Each year nearly three million people are bitten by poisonous snakes with an estimated 81,000-138,000 deaths . Another 400,000 survivors suffer permanent disabilities and after effects, WHO figures reportedly found. In a new report, the UN health agency urged the international community to take steps to address the problem which it warned has been dangerously underestimated and neglected. Two years ago, the WHO reportedly categorised snake bite envenoming as a Neglected Tropical Disease and presented a strategy that aimed at cutting snake bite related deaths and disabilities by half by 2030. Snake venom can cause paralysis that stops breathing, bleeding disorders that can lead to fatal haemorrhage, irreversible kidney failure and tissue damage that can cause permanent limb loss.

As a tropical country that attracts snakes, limited studies in various districts have shown that over 80,000 snake bites occur annually. Health authorities said the number of deaths from snake bites has reached a new low due to inputs by the Health Ministry and new technology to identify envenoming.

Appeal from the Lanka Alzheimer’s Foundation

Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) has commissioned the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) to create the world’s largest survey on people’s attitude around dementia, which will form the basis for the World Alzheimer Report 2019, to be released in September. The survey which is fully anonymous will only take around 10 minutes of your time but completing it will benefit people with dementia all over the world. We need more people to complete the survey in Sri Lanka. Please help us by spreading the word via email and social media to anyone who may have an interest, says its founder President Lorraine Yu . She said the questions were predominantly multiple choices, targetting four key socio-demographic groups: The general public, health care professionals, people living with dementia, carers of people with dementia.

Use local herbs to fight pain, morning sickness, colds, flu Headache? Bronchitis? Arthritic pain?

Ever thought of taking our own local herbs to cure them? The Institute of Indigenous Medicine, Department of Dravyaguna Vigana Senior Lecturer Dr S,D Hapuarachchi has reportedly said that two commonly used local ingredients, ginger and turmeric can cure these problems. Spelling out their benefits in a recent news report, she said the benefits of ginger included : Relieving pain in a migraine, Curing motion sickness, Relieving menstural pain, and joint pain from arthritis. Ginger can help control morning sickness and ginger is also an excellent remedy for cold and flu as it acts as an antibacterial and shortens the illness span, she reportedly said . In the case of turmeric, she has reportedly said it lowered cholesterol, destroyed free radicals and raised immunity levels.