KARACHI: Health experts here on Wednesday sought mandatory application of updated technique Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) to ensure timely screening of donated blood against all sorts of associated infections.
Addressing a seminar organized by Husaini Hematology & Oncology Trust (HHOT) to commemorate World Hepatitis Day 2017 the speakers said this was crucial to help reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted infections (TTI) among the recipients of whole blood or any of its components.
Nucleic Acid Testing on the occasion was identified to hold highest standard methods critically needed to reduce the window period of transfusion of possible infections.
Experts to make their respective presentations on the occasion included Prof. Syed Muhammad Irfan, Head, Department of Hematology, Liaquat National Medical College Hospital Karachi, Dr. S. Sarfaraz H. Jaffry, Senior Transfusion Physician, HHOT, Dr. Agha Umer Daraz Khan, Chief Pathologist, HHOT, Dr. Ashraf Memon, Senior Pathologist, Kharadar General Hospital. NAT, they said was also a highly sensitive and advanced technique with the capacity to reduce the window period of TTIs ultimately
raising the safety of Blood Transfusion.
All registered blood banks should be encouraged to use NAT to improve screening standards in the province, they said.
Dr. Zulfiqar Dharejo, Program Manager, Prevention & Control of Hepatitis and Dr. Zahid Ansari, Secretary Sindh Blood Transfusion Authority the chief guest and guest of honor on the occasion.
Dr. Zulfiqar Dharejo said that hepatitis program has started three months therapy for patients to provide them most needed treatment.
“Hepatitis patients are being provided free diagnosis and complete treatment at as many as 75 sites across the province where facilities of screening and diagnosis etc. PCR is also being provided free of charge,” he said.
The event was also addressed by Asad Ali CEO of HHOT and Syed Jibran Ahmed. Prof. Syed Muhammad Irfan talked about thalassemia diagnosis, treatment, and prevention – emphasizing that blood screening was a very vital process for the survival of thalassemia patients.
Techniques of screening of blood donors should be done at high standards like NAT being the most modern tool, he said. Dr. Agha Umer Draz Khan said that Nucleic Acid Testing is a molecular technique for screening blood donations to reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted infections (TTIs) in the recipients.
“As per different studies, NAT has reduced the window period of HBV to 10.34 days, HCV to 1.34 days and HIV to 2.93 days,” he said. Almost 33 countries in the world were said to have implemented NAT for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), 27 countries for hepatitis B virus (HBV) and most of the developed countries are doing NAT for HBV,HCV,HIV+1& HIV-11.
Dr. Ashraf Memon shared with the audience, mainly comprising doctors, about the interpretation of markers of hepatitis with special emphasis on HBV.
With the help of these hepatitis viral markers, they can treat the patient in the better way, he said. Dr. Sarfaraz Jafry in his presentation,”Vein to Vein blood transfusion,” said blood components should be used rationally as an irrational use of blood transfusion creates a complication for the patient.
“Mass awareness is very much needed in general public at large and specifically in healthcare providers,” he said.
Silent hotpot restaurant for deaf
BEIJING: The Forgive Hotpot Restaurant in Beijing’s 798 art zone is always packed, but most servers never talk to customers.
Greeting customers with a big smile and a welcome gesture, waitress He Hong stands silently at the entrance of the restaurant where a billboard noting “most of the staff in this restaurant cannot hear or speak, so please be patient with them.” He, 24, shows a few cards that say “How can I help you?” and “How many people, please?” to customers. They are also offered cards saying something like “Order dishes” and “Pay the bill.” Instead of verbal language, the cards have become their only communication tools. He once studied food processing in a technical school in Zhengzhou, capital of central China’s Henan Province. “I couldn’t find a suitable job due to my disability until I came here,” she wrote down on a piece of paper. “My colleagues are all the same as me. We help and encourage each other. I regained my confidence.” Covering an area of 140 square meters, the Forgive Hotpot Restaurant opened in July. It has 12 employees, and among them, seven are hearing-impaired people like He. “I named it ‘Forgive’ because forgiveness is a good quality in humans.
The hearing impaired should forgive their physical imperfection. As for those abled, we should be more accepting to the imperfect people and things in the world,” said Lu Lu, the restaurant’s owner. The restaurant has become popular among local foodies thanks to its “silence.” It usually serves more than 100 customers per day on weekdays and over 200 on weekends. “I visit this hotpot restaurant because I’m moved by the staff’s optimism,” said customer Qu Bo. On a billboard on the wall of the restaurant, numerous paper slips with encouraging words written by customers have been pasted up. Lu called it the “love billboard.” Anyone who would like to write something will get a discount on their hotpot condiment purchase. “I hope the customers will express their appreciation to the servers and help them gain confidence in life,” said Lu, 30. “We have not received any complaints since the restaurant opened.” Lu has been engaging in charity work since 2012 and has joined several social organizations. As time passed by, she gradually found that financial aid alone could not solve all problems faced by people with disabilities.
“Offering them a job to support themselves is a sustainable way of helping,” she said. She came up with an idea of opening a hotpot restaurant to recruit hearing-impaired employees. “I chose hotpot because servers and customers do not need too much complex communication in such restaurants,” she said. However, she still met many difficulties. Some hearing-impaired employees lacked confidence and courage to offer face-to-face services for customers. With the help of her psychological knowledge, she spent over two hours every day providing counseling for her employees. To give them a sense of accomplishment, she has even allowed the hearing-impaired employees to hold a 20 percent stake in the restaurant. In the future, Lu plans to open about 300 such kinds of restaurants in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province, recruiting more than 2,000 people with hearing impairments. “Now there are numerous job applications, and my e-mail inbox is nearly full,” Lu said.
People with type 2 diabetes may be testing blood sugar too much
MICHIGAN: People with type 2 diabetes might be testing their blood sugar levels too much, a study says.
Researchers at the University of Michigan say that roughly 14 percent of people with diabetes, but who don’t require insulin, are spending hundreds of dollars per year and using thousands of test strips to check something that is not necessary. New research published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, based on insurance information for more than 370,000 people with Type 2 diabetes but who did not take insulin, suggests that these tests are unnecessary.
One of my patients who didn’t need to be testing daily told me that her previous doctor had told her to test her sugars two or three times a day, Kevin Platt, the internal medicine resident in the Department of Internal Medicine at University of Michigan and study lead investigator, said in a press release. These data show that over-testing is quite common – and with the appropriate guidance can be reduced significantly.
About 23 percent of people in the study refilled prescriptions for test strips at least three times a year, getting 90 strips at a time. Another 43 percent of participants filled prescriptions exclusively for metformin or other medicines that don’t have a risk of hypoglycemia. Once patients established the proper dosage of medication that didn’t cause a blood sugar spike, they no longer needed daily testing.
But those two groups kept testing their blood sugar, even though they didn’t need to. The researchers say many patients needlessly test daily to see how well exercise, dieting, and their medication regimens are actually working.
Over 400 dengue cases reported in 2018!
RAWALPINDI: District Health Officer Dr. Zeeshan Ahmed today said around 421 dengue positive patients were reported in Allied hospitals of the city in 2018, while last year 334 patients results were positive, in 2016 the number was 1106 and in 2015 the number was 3303.
He said to date, the allied hospitals have registered 421 confirm patients while at present only 5 dengue patients were under treatment in hospitals. The DHO said that Municipal Corporation area and Potahar Town witnessed a sharp decrease this year in dengue patients as 63 cases were reported in MCR area and 82 in Potohar area while last year the number was 74 in MCR and 189 in Potohar Town.
While Rawalpindi Cantonment Board area has witnessed an increase this year as 197 cases were reported and the number was only 40 last year, he added. He said that in the RCB area the number of cases were increased as there were some hurdles to reach sensitive areas. “Dengue fever situation is under control and no death has occurred due to it,” he added.