ISLAMABAD: Representatives of civil society on Sunday urged for promotion and protection of breastfeeding practice in the country to protect the health of mother and child.
They said this on the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) which is observed every year from August 1 to 7 across the world and in Pakistan to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies. This year, the theme of WBW is Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life.
They said that breastfeeding has a multitude of benefits for women and children, regardless of whether they live in a rich or poor household. They added as per Lancet, a reputable medical journal breastfeeding saves lives and improves health.
According to them, as a perfectly adapted nutritional supply, breast milk is the ultimate personalized medicine which may save about 820,000 lives a year, 87 percent of them infants under six months of age. It also helps to prepare children for a prosperous future. Longer breastfeeding is associated with higher performance on intelligence tests among children and adolescents.
Despite the high cultural acceptance for breastfeeding in Pakistan, the country has the highest bottle-feeding rates and lowest exclusive breastfeeding rates in South Asia. The percentage of exclusively breastfed children in Pakistan has remained static, with just a microscopic increase evident, over the last seven years.
According to the Demographic Health Survey, this percentage has risen only from 37.1 percent in 2006-07 to 37.7 percent in 2012-13. However, when it comes to the bottle-feeding race, Pakistan has no close competitors as bottle-feeding rates have risen from an already undesirable 32.1 percent in 2006-07 to a high 41 percent in 2012-13.
Pakistan was among the 118 countries who had voted in favor of adopting International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes during the World Health Assembly in May 1981. However, the legislation came very late in Pakistan when “The Protection of Breast-Feeding and Child Nutrition Ordinance, 2002” (XCIII Of 2002) was passed on 26th October 2002, and Pakistan became one of the 42 countries with legislation to adopt most of the articles of the Code.
Currently, all provinces have adopted or passed provincial laws for protection and promotion breastfeeding, however, implementation of these laws is still dream.
Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance Pakistan (SUNCSA, Pak), a coalition of over 150 civil society organizations together with SUN Academia and Research Network Pakistan, a network of 52 universities is organizing multiple activities from provincial to community levels to highlight the importance of breastfeeding during this year.
This also included a vibrant social media campaign for promoting enabling social environment to support and encourage breastfeeding.
In order to improve breastfeeding situation, SUNCSA suggested the federal and provincial governments to enforce legislation on breast milk substitutes, provide a supportive environment for maternity protection for women in employment and ensuring breastfeeding is initiated in maternity facilities and no infant formula is routinely used.
The Civil Society Alliance also suggested the capacity building of health providers and community workers to offer counseling on feeding and mother-to-mother support groups in the community, accompanied by communication strategies to promote breastfeeding, using multiple channels and messages tailored to the local context.
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.