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3 in 5 newborns not breastfed within first hour of life: Unicef

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New Delhi, July 31 : An estimated 78 million babies — or three out of five — worldwide are not breastfed within the first hour of life which puts them at higher risk of death and diseases and lower their chances of meeting physical and mental growth standards, according to a new Unicef and WHO report.

However, India has made some progress within a decade from 2005-15 and has doubled breastfeeding initiation in the first hour of birth. But the early initiation rates were found significantly lower among newborns delivered by caesarean section in the country.

“The India data points to the fact that the breastfeeding initiation within an hour after birth has almost doubled in India, increasing from 23.1 per cent in 2005 to 41.5 per cent in 2015,” the report said.

Citing the National Family Health Survey (2015-16), the report notes that 54.9 per cent children are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life and use of water and other fluids is one the main reasons for discontinuation of exclusive breastfeeding.

Children who are not breastfed within one of hour of birth have 33 per cent higher risk of neonatal mortality and the challenge that India faces is to ensure that breastfeeding starts in time and children are given only breastmilk in the first six months of life, the report warns.

“Breastfeeding gives all girls and boys the healthiest start in life. It stimulates brain development, boosts their immune systems and helps protect them from chronic conditions later in life,” said Yasmin Ali Haque, Unicef India Representative.

“Breastfeeding is one of the smartest investments to boost human capital, stimulate economic growth and give every child the same opportunity to thrive. We need to support all mothers to initiate breastfeeding early, exclusive breastfeed for the first six months and continue to breastfeed for at least the first two years.”

Globally, the report says, delays in breastfeeding have endangered babies. “When breastfeeding is delayed after birth, the consequences can be life-threatening — and the longer newborns are left waiting, the greater the risk.

“Improving breastfeeding practices could save the lives of more than 800,000 children under five every year, the vast majority of whom are under six months of age.”

The report warned that a delay in breastfeeding is linked to an increased risk of infant death. Those first breastfed between two and 23 hours after birth face a 30 per cent higher risk of death within their first 28 days than those breastfed within the first hour after birth, it said.

Babies breastfed for the first time at 24 hours after birth had twice the risk of death than those breastfed within their first hour.

The report is based on United Nations Children’s Fund data from 76 countries. It does not include figures for North America, Australia, New Zealand or western Europe.

It also notes that the proportion of babies breastfed immediately after birth varied greatly from country to country.

It said breastfeeding rates within the first hour after birth are highest in east and Southern Africa (65 per cent) and lowest in east Asia and the Pacific (32 per cent).

Nearly one in 10 babies born in Burundi, Sri Lanka and Vanuatu are breastfed within the first hour. By contrast, only two in 10 babies born in Azerbaijan, Chad and Montenegro do so.

(Ians)

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11-kg tumour extracted from Mumbai woman’s abdomen

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Mumbai, Sep 20 : Doctors in Mumbai have extracted a gigantic 11-kg tumour from the abdomen of a 55-year-old woman after a marathon nine-hour surgery.

A team of medicos headed by oncologist Dr Tanveer A. Majeed, urologist Dr Santosh Palkar and Dr Shilpa Deshmukh performed the complicated surgery at the Zen Multispeciality Hospital in Chembur.

The patient Sujata Sinha (name changed) is a housewife who noticed her abdomen growing daily accompanied by breathing difficulties.

At the height of lockdown in June, she consulted a local doctor who confirmed the presence of a tumour with ultrasound and CT scan.

However, owing to the lockdown she did not take any further steps or medicines, even as the tumour continued to grow rapidly, making her look obese.

Finally, she was referred to the ZMH and Dr Majeed checked her condition on September 8 to find she was weighing around 80 kgs, and suffered from diabetes and hypertension.

Further tests revealed the huge abdominal tumour encroaching the right half of the abdomen, pushing the right kidney to the left side, duodenum, liver, small intestine and colon to the left side, besides her major blood vessels supplying to the heart.

After further clinical diagnosis, the patient was advised surgery by Dr Majeed as it indicated a rare cancer of connective tissues that resemble fat cells under a microscope.

“After opening the abdomen, we found a huge tumour which had displaced all the other body organs to the left side. It weighed 11 kgs and had dimensions of 55 cm x 40 cm x 35 cm, and the patient lost around one litre of blood during the nine-hour operation,” said Dr Majeed.

The patient is recuperating well at the hospital now, has started an oral liquid diet, can breathe normally, and will be required for a follow-up after three months.

“We delayed treatment due to the pandemic lockdown. But I am fortunate to be operated at ZMH where the doctors saved my life. I feel much lighter now, can eat and breathe properly and resume normal life,” said the patient gratefully.

Prior to this, a team of doctors at the Global Hospital, Parel, had extracted a massive 12-kg tumour from a woman’s abdomen in December 2014.

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Uttar Pradesh man nabbed for importing drugs from United States

He used to order the drugs from the US through Instagram or Wickr and the payments were made through bitcoins.

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Lucknow, Sep 20: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has arrested a person from here and seized 2.7 kg of bud (curated marijuana) concealed in an air compressor machine at Delhi.

The consignor is based in the US and a few earlier seizures made by NCB had the same origin which alerted the NCB team.

The payment for the consignment was made through bitcoins and came into contact through Instagram ID of the consignor.

According to the NCB press statement, the parcel was sent to India from the US on August 31.

A detailed investigation into the case with the help of digital analysis led NCB team to the consignee C. Gidwani, a Lucknow resident, who accepted his involvement in the case on September 18.

The necessary digital evidence was also seized. He admitted that he used to import such parcels on a regular basis for last one and a half years for himself and further distribution to his friends.

He used to order the drugs from the US through Instagram or Wickr and the payments were made through bitcoins.

The accused also revealed that he used to get ‘charas’ and ‘marijuana’ from Delhi and Bangalore-based suppliers. Further investigations into the backward and forward linkages were underway.

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World Alzheimer’s Day 2020: Everything you must know about the brain disease

The theme for World Alzheimer’s Day 2020 is “Let’s Talk About Alzheimer.”

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Alzheimer disease

World  Alzheimer’s Day is observed every year on September 21. The day aims at raising awareness and challenge the common stigma that surrounds Alzheimer related dementia.

According to Alzinfo, every 65 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s disease. At current rates, experts believe the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s will quadruple to as many as 16 million by the year 2050.

The theme for World Alzheimer’s Day 2020 is “Let’s Talk About Alzheimer.” The day was first observed in 2012.

What is Alzheimer?

Alzheimer, in simple terms, is a brain disease that negatively affects memory, thinking, and behavior. These changes interfere with daily living. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Most people with the disease get a diagnosis after age 65. If it’s diagnosed before then, it’s generally referred to as early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Symptoms of Alzheimer:

According to the National Institute on Aging, in addition to memory problems, someone with Alzheimer’s disease may experience one or more of the following signs:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life, such as getting lost in a familiar place or repeating questions.
  • Trouble handling money and paying bills.
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or leisure.
  • Decreased or poor judgment.
  • Misplaces things and being unable to retrace steps to find them.
  • Changes in mood, personality, or behaviour.
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, and community.

Stages of Alzheimer:

  • Stage 1. There are no symptoms at this stage but there might be an early diagnosis based on family history.
  • Stage 2. The earliest symptoms appear, such as forgetfulness.
  • Stage 3. Mild physical and mental impairments appear, such as reduced memory and concentration. These may only be noticeable by someone very close to the person.
  • Stage 4. Alzheimer’s is often diagnosed at this stage, but it’s still considered mild. Memory loss and the inability to perform everyday tasks is evident.
  • Stage 5. Moderate to severe symptoms require help from loved ones or caregivers.
  • Stage 6. At this stage, a person with Alzheimer’s may need help with basic tasks, such as eating and putting on clothes.
  • Stage 7. This is the most severe and final stage of Alzheimer’s. There may be a loss of speech and facial expressions.

Treatment Of Alzheimer:

Alzheimer’s is most commonly identified through patient and family history, and by talking to the immediate family about the presence of symptoms. Also, brain imagining may be suggested to check for beta-amyloid protein deposits. As of today, there is no curative treatment for Alzheimer’s. Drugs are usually administered to manage symptoms and healthy lifestyle changes.

Despite this, Alzheimer’s is one of the most expensive diseases to get treatment for. The global cost of dementia is estimated to be around $1 trillion currently.

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