WHO warns against the spread of antimicrobial resistance

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 20, 2019   •   3746

A person holds pharmaceutical tablets and capsules in this picture illustration taken in Ljubljana September 18, 2013. REUTERS/SRDJAN ZIVULOVIC.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns against the spread of antimicrobial resistance around the world.

A recent UN report showed that 700,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant diseases. Among the 700,000 there are around 230,000 people who die from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.

“Drug-resistant diseases could cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050 and damage to the economy as catastrophic as the 2008-2009 global financial crisis,” the report reads.

On June 18, the WHO launched a campaign which aims to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance, adverse events and costs. 

The AWaRe tool or Access, Watch, Reserve tool aims to make antibiotic use safer and more effective. The tool specifies which antibiotics to use for the most common and serious infections.

Dr. Hanan Balkhy, WHO Assistant-Director General for antimicrobial resistance said tackling antimicrobial resistance requires a careful balance between access and preservation

“The AWaRe tool can guide policy to ensure patients keep being treated, while also limiting use of the antibiotics most at risk of resistance,” she said.—AAC

The cold winds are rising: How to stay healthy amid cold weather illnesses

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 29, 2019

The cold winds are rising, and cold weather illnesses are coming.

No season is a good season to get sick so it is better to prepare your body to prevent any illnesses especially those that are most common during the cold season.

Department of Health (DOH) Spokesman Eric Domingo said flu season is already starting in other countries and is slowly reaching the country. Domingo also advised the public to be more vigilant especially when flu season begins.

“Ang flu season medyo nag-umpisa na sa ibang bansa at dito sa atin medyo parating na rin iyan (Flu season is already in other countries and is slowly making its way into the country) and we really advise everybody to be more extra vigilant kapag ganito na malapit na ang flu season (especially when flu season is almost here),” he said.

But if you are already feeling the flu, here are some remedies you can try.

  • Stay hydrated: Drink warm lemon water, fresh fruit/vegetable juice.
  • Sip hot soup/broth
  • Gargle warm water with salt for your sore throat
  • Drink tea that has anti-viral or anti-bacterial properties (Green or black tea, turmeric fresh or dried ginger, ginger paste, fresh garlic cloves
  • Use humidifier inside your home to prevent the further spread of virus
  • Wear face mask or always cover your mouth while coughing
  • Wash your hands regularly

The DOH also reminds the public not to take medicine without proper doctor’s prescription. The health department also encourages people to get vaccinated.

“Mahirap din po na magkaroon ng komplikayon ang flu, katulad ng pneumonia na maaaring ikamatay ng mga matatanda, (It is difficult to have complications due to the flu or pneumonia which dangerous to the elderly)” Domingo said.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Adults should have at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 5, 2019

Much as we enjoy being a couch potato, our bodies need the right amount of exercise to stay healthy.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults ages 18–64, to have at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week or 75 minutes of rigorous physical activity a week.

Studies have shown that physically adults have lower rates of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and depression.

Other benefits include:

  • less risk of a hip or vertebral fracture;
  • exhibit a higher level of cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness; and
  • more likely to achieve weight maintenance, have a healthier body mass and composition.

The WHO said the recommendation is applicable to all healthy adults. However, there will be adjustments depending on the exercise capacity of an individual and the specific health risks or limitations.

“There are multiple ways of accumulating the total of 150 minutes per week. The concept of accumulation refers to meeting the goal of 150 minutes per week by performing activities in multiple shorter bouts, of at least 10 minutes each, spread throughout the week then adding together the time spent during each of these bouts: e.g. 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity 5 times per week,” according to their statement.—AAC

Health, environmental advocates urge not to burn trash in cemeteries

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 28, 2019

Health and environmental advocates urge the public not to burn trash especially in cemeteries during the observance of Undas.

In a joint statement, public health expert Dr. Maricar Limpin and zero waste campaigner Jove Mendoza said there are health and environmental dangers in burning trash.

Exposure to these pollutants can cause breathing difficulties and trigger asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory illnesses, especially among children, the elderly and those already suffering from weakened immune systems,” Limpin said.

Meanwhile, Benosa reiterated that burning trash in public is prohibited. He said among the laws banning and penalizing open burning are Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, and Republic Act 8749, or the Clean Air Act.

“Instead of burning discards, we appeal to cemetery administrators and visitors to follow the provisions of RA 9003, which requires the segregation of discards at source and their ecological management such as by composting the biodegradables and recycling the recyclables,” said Benosa.—AAC

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