World Health Organization Seeks Financial Aid To Fight The Spread Of Zika Virus

ZIKA 2

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) called on Wednesday for $56 million (39 million pounds) to combat the Zika virus, a disease that has been linked to severe birth defects in Brazil and has spread to nearly 30 countries and territories.

The funds sought would be used until June to fast-track vaccines, carry out diagnostics and research into how the mosquito-borne virus spreads, as well as virus control, the WHO said.

A public health expert, Lawrence Gostin, said the United Nations health agency had “grossly underestimated” the need as the virus, which has spread rapidly across the Americas, will likely spread to many other regions.

The WHO declared the outbreak a global public health emergency on Feb. 1, noting the association of the virus with two neurological disorders: microcephaly in babies and Guillain-Barre syndrome that can cause paralysis.

“Possible links with neurological complications and birth malformations have rapidly changed the risk profile for Zika from a mild threat to one of very serious proportions,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in a WHO strategy paper on Wednesday.

The funds sought include $25 million for the agency and its regional office and the rest for aid partners such as UNICEF. The WHO expects the money to come from states and other donors. In the meantime it has tapped a new emergency contingency fund for $2 million for initial operations.

Gostin, a professor at Georgetown University in Washington, said the WHO should have a much larger emergency contingency fund. He compared the funding plan to the WHO’s initial slow response to the outbreak of Ebola, a virus that killed more than 11,300 people in two years, mostly in West Africa.

BRAZIL MICROCEPHALY CASES RISE

Brazil, worst hit by the Zika outbreak, said on Wednesday that most of the 508 confirmed cases of microcephaly reported in the country are likely related to the virus, and called its previous count too conservative. Brazil is investigating more than 3,900 additional suspected cases of microcephaly, but it has not yet been proven that the virus can cause the rare defect.

Microcephaly is marked by abnormally small head size that can result in developmental problems. The Health Ministry reported on Wednesday a total of 4,443 suspected and confirmed cases of microcephaly, up from 4,314 a week earlier.

Researchers on Wednesday reported finding the virus in the amniotic fluid of two fetuses diagnosed with microcephaly, suggesting Zika virus can cross the placental barrier and providing another piece of evidence linking the virus with the birth defect.

There is no treatment for Zika, which had been viewed as a relatively mild illness until the concerns over microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome emerged.

At least 15 companies and academic groups are rushing to develop a vaccine. Hopes of a breakthrough took a small step forward on Wednesday when U.S. biotech firm Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc said its experimental shot had induced a robust and durable response in mice.

Shares of the U.S. biotech firm, which expects to test its product in humans before the end of the year, rose by as much as 7 percent on Wednesday.

COLOMBIA MAY HOLD CLUES

Colombia is another Latin American country hard hit by Zika and that country’s health minister said the effects of the virus there could have global relevance as scientists research the suspected link with microcephaly.

In contrast to Brazil, Colombia has yet to register any cases of the birth defect connected to Zika, Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria told Reuters.

Zika is primarily transmitted by a type of mosquito, meaning current efforts to control the outbreak are focused on protecting people, especially pregnant women, from bites and eradicating mosquito populations in affected areas.

However, research is under way on potential transmission by sexual contact. The WHO noted on Wednesday that “existing scarce evidence indicates that there may be a risk of sexual transmission.”

But research studies are needed to assess the presence of the Zika virus in semen and other body fluids and potential sexual transmission as well as mother-to-child transmission, the WHO said.

OPINION AND CONCLUSION

“Thanks for the feature article Stephanie Nebehay, but you have still hidden the main truth of the Zika Vrus spread from the general public. The mosquitoes causing the birth defects were genetically modified. Can a bite from a normal mosquito cause a baby’s head to shrink? Who are they fooling?” – Micro-Surgeon and Scientist Johan Van Dongen.

The Dilemma Of Teenage Smokers

Teenage 2

Thousands of people today, including teenagers, are heavy smokers due to various reasons such as nervousness, pressure, frustration and stress. Smoking has claimed and continue to claim thousands of lives yearly that, it became an urgent issue to the World Health Organization (WHO) to institute a “No Tobacco Day” on May 31, 1987, to discourage and eradicate cigarette smoking.

Despite the warning on cigarette boxes, smokers choose to satisfy their desire unconcerned. Cigarette has been known to contain eighteen different poisons. The two most destructive are tar, a carcinogenic or cancer producing substance and nicotine. Some of these attack the delicate membranes of the windpipes and those that find themselves in the bloodstream interfere with its normal circulation.

It’s now like a fashion to see teenagers between the ages of 10 and 15 holding cigarettes at hideouts, in public places and schools. It’s like a competition. Many teenage students are heavily hooked on cigarettes than adults. When one asks any teenager the reason for smoking, they smile away. Those capable of giving you an answer say “It’s pressure and stress.” Tobacco smoking is said to cause many ailments as emphysema, tuberculosis, night sweats, chest pains, wheezing, and loss of weight, cancer and complications in pregnancy.

Since the campaign against smoking began, WHO has introduced many measures to prevent smoking in buses, airplanes, trains restaurants and other public places, but many see this campaign against smoking as a bother or nuisance. They only realize the mistakes they had done when a disease is diagnosed. Cigarette smoking is not an expensive luxury but a slow silent murderer. Apart from the harm cigarette does to the body, cigarette waste dirties the environment. It is a difficult task getting rid of cigarette stubs littered around.

Recommended steps by health specialists to refrain from smoking

A person that gives up smoking does something worthwhile for his health. But many smokers have a real battle to conquer when it comes to stopping the habit. Staying away from other smokers, as much as possible will reduce the temptation to smoke. Instead of smoking, a heavy smoker should rather become a vigorous campaigner against the use of tobacco in any form. This may change the attitude of friends toward smoking.

Taking plenty of exercise, including deep breathing and long walks in open air several times daily, will clean the lungs and improve one’s sense of well being. Eating regularly, and not attempting to lose weight, will gradually break the tobacco habit. A smoker who wants to quit must avoid highly seasoned foods, alcohol, tea and coffee, according to health magazine I read recently. These can easily influence one to crave to smoking.

Drinking enough water at least ten glasses a day, help to reduce the craving for tobacco. Many may not believe this but try and see, as prayer is one of the effective the answers to many problems.

FEMALE CIRCUMCISION: Barbarism And Cruelty Against Young Girls

 

Female circumcision should be abolished

Female circumcision or female genital mutilation involves the cutting of the clitoris of young girls before getting married. This savage and barbarous acts are dominant in Islamic countries.

Female circumcision or female genital mutilation involves the cutting of the clitoris of young girls before getting married. This savage and barbarous acts are dominant in Islamic countries.

The Bible speaks about circumcision, but only for a male child. “And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.” Genesis 21:4 indicates that. To this day, many Christians around the world circumcised male children, but there is nowhere written in the Bible that female should be circumcised.

The question is ‘Where does female circumcision come from and what’s the significance behind this practice which has caused a health hazard to thousands of girls in countries mostly practiced? Every religion has its dos and doesn’t or built on certain principles but at times some principles or traditions followed by ancestors are meaningless. Female circumcision is one of them.

The idea behind this barbarous act is to “help” the woman to be faithful and stay with only her husband. It’s forbidden for a woman to marry two men or sleep with another man if married. That is the case, but nothing wrong for a man to marry ten women? This is greed than law or principle governing a religion.

Oppression and discrimination against women continue in many parts of the world, including Africa and Asia. Many women have become subject to all kinds of horrible situations, ranging from rape, sexual harassment, physical battering, acid attacks to psychological abuse. Unfortunately, female circumcision is now a threat. Non-sterilized dangerous implements are used daily to mutilate the genitals of women without ceasing, despite all the efforts by some organizations to stop this cruelty.

Scientifically and biologically, the isn’t any medical record indicating that male circumcision poses a health hazard, but hundreds medical reports confirming that female circumcision is a health hazard. This act has no significant health benefits for girls or women, instead, causes severe bleeding and injury to female genital organs. Many women, who have had severe complications after circumcision, end up in wheelchairs, crippled or barren. This cruelty also steals away their feeling and orgasm.

It is estimated that about 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with disastrous effects of female circumcision. Horrific procedures have severely traumatized and psychologically affected thousands of women. Female circumcision is practiced in 26 countries across Africa. In the Republic of Sierra Leone, an ethnic group called “The Bondo Society” still carries this outdated tradition. Gambia launched a three-year program aimed to abolish Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The project captioned “Eradication harmful traditional practices through rights education” started from to 2010 to 2012. It will be very wise on health grounds when other countries practicing this inhuman act follow. FMG is a crime. The World Health Organization is against it. The world should, therefore, fight against this wicked act. It’s totally inhuman. Cases of female circumcision should be considered as a crime against women.

 

Female circumcision is a crime

A victim of the female circumcision who wants to prevent others from suffering