All news from Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh

Dengue spreading to Nepal: A Major Threat In 2019

Dengue has become a global problem since the Second World War and is common in more than 110 countries. Each year between 50 and 528 million people are infected and approximately 10,000 to 20,000 die. The earliest descriptions of an outbreak date from 1779. Its viral cause and spread were understood by the early 20th century. Apart from eliminating the mosquitoes, work is ongoing for medication targeted directly at the virus. It is classified as a neglected tropical disease.

Craving For Unhealthy Food? An App Helps To Control You

A simple tilt of a smartphone could be the key to improving healthy food choices, reducing weight and delivering new treatment options for chronic obesity. This new study, led by Dr Naomi Kakoschke from the Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences (MICCN), showed that simple Approach-Avoidance Training (AAT) using engaging technology reduced the yearning for unhealthy food, contributing to weight loss.

In Bangladesh, Digging Deeper Wells Reduces Arsenic Poisoning

Chronic arsenic poisoning has long inhibited Bangladesh. The South Asian country has spent decades battling natural occurrences of the toxin that can be found in millions of its shallow wells, the cause of an estimated one in every 20 deaths in the country (around 43,000 deaths a year according to the World Health Organization).

The good news is that incidents of contaminated groundwater in wells are reducing. While a study conducted in 2000 showed around 75 per cent of wells (out of 6,000 surveyed) exceeded World Health Organization guidelines of ten micrograms of arsenic per litre, a recent study found that this number has plummeted to only 30 per cent (of the 50,000 surveyed). 

Routine Immunisation: Health Ministry Of Bhutan Introduces PCV

With the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) into the routine immunisation, the vaccine would now be given to infants at six weeks, 10 weeks and nine months of age in all health facilities. The vaccine prevents transmission of pneumococcal bacterial diseases such as pneumonia, otitis media, bacteraemia, and meningitis in children under 5 years.The health ministry with GAVI and UNICEF introduced PCV 13 into the routine immunisation.

Want To Know More About Cancer? Mathematics Can Help Us

Researchers have developed a new mathematical tool, which can improve our understanding of what happens when cells lose their polarity (direction) in diseases such as cancer. The result is advancing our understanding of how the fertilized egg cell develops into a complete organism. Biological shapes, like individual organs or an entire body, can be reproduced or maintained with great accuracy, just like in the embryonic development or during the adult stage.

Concussion-detection Device Is In Market

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared a new medical device invented by a Twin Cities neurosurgeon to detect signs of concussion by tracking a patient's eye movements. The device, called the EyeBox, was invented by Minnesota neurosurgeon Dr. Uzma Samadani following the discovery that slight discrepancies in how a patient's eyes track an image on a screen can reveal a wealth of information about underlying brain dysfunction.

Electricity-Producing Bacteria: Technology Identifies

Living in extreme conditions requires creative adaptations. These hardy microbes, which can be found deep within mines, at the bottom of lakes, and even in the human gut, have evolved a unique form of breathing that involves excreting and pumping out electrons. In other words, these microbes can actually produce electricity. The study has been published in Science Advances.

Automated Phone Calls Help Patients To Take Medicines

Remembering to take medication is vital for managing long term health conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or multiple conditions. Latest research from the University of Cambridge suggests that using interactive voice response (IVR) technology supports patients to take their medicine as prescribed. During a pilot study, published in the journal BMJ Open, seventeen patients received daily automated telephone calls for one month. All patients had high blood pressure. The calls were tailored to patients' needs and provide them with advice and support about taking their prescribed medicines.

Bhutan Govt. To Focus On Poverty Eradication

As part of its policy to eradicate poverty in the 12th Plan, the government will identify target groups of poor and vulnerable people and implement need based interventions to increase their ability to earn income and improve their overall standard of living. Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji said this during the deliberation on the 12th Plan in the National Assembly yesterday.

Study: Child Nutrition Remained Stable a Year After 2015 Earthquake in Nepal

Despite widespread destruction, including severe agricultural-related losses caused by the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, child nutrition remained stable in the hardest hit areas, a new study finds. A team of researchers found that indicators of childhood malnutrition improved or remained stable a year after the earthquake hit. The study, published in PLOS One, also found that household food insecurity decreased significantly over the same period.