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French watchdog sounds alert over chemicals in diapers

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PARIS: A French public health watchdog issued a warning only about the risks of several chemicals found in disposable nappies, particularly artificial perfumes, leading the government to demand that manufacturers withdraw them from their products.

The Anses health body stressed there was no medical study which had proved health problems caused by disposable diapers. But “we cannot exclude a risk… because we have recorded some substances that are above healthy limits,” the deputy director of the Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (Anses), Gerard Lasfargues, told media.

The chemicals identified in the study – described as the first of its kind – including two artificial perfumes as well as other complex aromatic products that are refined from oil, and potentially dangerous dioxins. The French government called a meeting of nappy manufacturers on Wednesday morning and gave them 15 days to remove the products identified by the watchdog.

“I want to reassure parents: Anses says that there is no immediate risk for the health of our children,” Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said after the meeting. “Obviously we should continue putting nappies on our babies. We’ve been doing that for at least 50 years,” she said while adding that the report does not exclude “health risk for children in the long term”.

“That’s why as a precaution we want to protect our children from possible effects,” said Buzyn, who met the manufacturers along with the economy and environmental ministers. In a statement on Wednesday, market leader Pampers, which belongs to US consumer products group Procter & Gamble, said its diapers “are safe and have always been so.”

Scientists working for Anses tested 23 types of nappies in real-life conditions as they were worn by children, which it said was a world first. “We calculated the amount (of chemicals) absorbed, calculated according to the time a nappy is worn, the number of nappies worn by babies, up to 36 months, and then we compared the results with toxicology standards,” Lasfargues said. An average baby in France wears 3,800 to 4,800 nappies, Lasfargues said, with the potentially hazardous chemicals found even in products marketed as environmentally friendly.

 

 

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NIH issues alert on epidemic-prone infectious diseases

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ISLAMABAD: National Institute of Health (NIH) has issued Seasonal Awareness and Alert Letter (SAAL) for epidemic-prone infectious diseases in Pakistan.
According to an official of NIH, the main purpose of this alert was to inform all concerned health authorities and professionals at all levels and to facilitate them for timely and efficient response to the outbreaks or epidemics.
He said this alert letter was developed for the spring season from March to June 2019. In this letter, NIH exhibited patterns of high priority communicable diseases including Chikungunya, Cholera, CCHF, Dengue, Leishmaniasis, Measles, Polio and Pertussis.
These diseases are predicted to be on high alert during the season while alert also contains a detailed introduction of diseases, case definitions, infectious agents, modes of transmission, case management, and prevention. 
Through this letter, NIH also informed about national and international public health events like Typhoid Fever (Extensively Drug Resistance strain) and Naegleria fowleri as national while Ebola Virus Disease and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS CoV) considered as International events during the spring season.
He said the NIH also advised the federal, provincial and district health departments as well as other stakeholders to take keep a continuous watch on the anticipated seasonal public health threats and taking of all preventive or curative measures in this context.
There is additional information regarding ‘Mosquito Alert Pakistan app’ also included in this letter. NIH has recently launched its first-ever android based application which will help to collect information about mosquito species present in different areas.   
The institute also issued an advisory regarding pollen allergy and suggested various preventive steps during the pollen season including limiting outdoor activities during high pollen counts, keeping windows and doors closed, limiting close contact with pets and using filter masks while going outside.

 

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Free medical camp held at Mohmand

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1st Deputy Commissioner Peshawar Sports Fest

PESHAWAR: Directorate Health Services Tribal Districts Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Friday organized a free medical camp in the far-flung area of Yakaghund, R.H.C hospital at Mohmand tribal district.
As many as 530 patients were examined in the camp which included children, men women and elderly people of the community.
Dr. Sanam Gul and tribal district Engineer Faizan Khan, Sadiqeen and Programme Coordinator Shah Faisal Kaka Khel personally supervised the camp and ensured the quality service to maximum people.
He said such camp would be conducted throughout the tribal belt with the support of Health Directorate and Greenstar. Tribal District Doctors include Dr. Iqbal, Dr. Mati Ullah, Dr. Ajmal, National Programme Coordinator Dr. Pervez Iqbal, Lady Dr. Faiza Rehman, Lady Dr. Lubna also paid a visit to the camp where consultation, screening, counseling, check up and registration of the patients were done.
Dr. Kaleem Ullah Khan told media men that community was in dire need of such services and the Greenstar was effectively catering to those needs.
The camp held under the Greenstar Project and supported by KFW was one of its kind which not only included free consultation and medicine provision but family planning services and on the spot counseling.

 

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Arrangements for anti-polio drive reviewed

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Arrangements for anti-polio drive reviewed

KARACHI: A coordination meeting of all related departments, chaired by Commissioner Sukkur Rafique Ahmed Buriro on Thursday reviewed the arrangements made for upcoming anti-polio drive in the district.

The meeting was attended by Police officials, representatives of PPHI, WHO, educational institutions and officials of allied departments of the administration.

Addressing the participants of the meeting, the Commissioner said that coordinated efforts were underway to eradicate the menace of polio once for all.

All related departments were participating in the anti-polio drive and using all available resources to make the campaign more effective and successful, he added.

He urged the polio teams to work with more commitment and dedication to achieve 100 percent results.

The administration also urged the parents and citizens to get their children vaccinated against the polio and root out the crippling disease forever.

The meeting also discussed security arrangements for the polio teams.

 

 

 

 

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