“OTC!” -A Sneaky Orient Problem

nur_a_safa

Every drug is a poison depending on its dose. Those are not the substance which can be easily obtained and these are lifesaving staffs for us only then, when their infliction will be in expected way. Various drugs are now in global market for incarnation. Some of those can be used without the exhortation of physicians and some are not. Notable, drug policy is now at grievous danger. OTC drugs are those drugs which can be bought without the prescription from a healthcare center or pharmacy for medical or nonmedical purposes. On the other hand some medicines arestrictly prohibited to sell over the counter without any accessing of prescription (i.e. anticancer drugs, narcotics, antidepressant and some pain-reducing analgesics). At present many people are regularly using their medication without proper prescription. They are purchasing these drugs as ‘OTC’.
It has not been many years since the drug regulation is interrupting for business means. If we look through the previous decades the accessing of OTC drug has increased at more than the mark. The drug selling rate is higher than the prescription is stating. A recent statistics done by Mordor Intelligence, USD 120 billion is the global market value of OTC drug where this rate should be much low in according to the prescribed amount of drug. This increasing rate results impeding the health of people especially in developing country population like south Asian people. It’s suspected that in future India will be the top 10th OTC drug seller in the world.
In south Asian countries, non OTC drugs are bought by the people spontaneously without the prescription or recommendation of pharmacist. This leads to cause intense problems like socio-economic hazards or super infections. As the drug accessing policy is not followed up to the mark, the opioids addiction has become very prominent here. UNDOC stated that in India heroine is sold as ‘OTC’ drug which costs only fifty rupees! Not only in India but also in Bangladesh the scenario is same. Drugs like antidepressant, opioids are sold here without prescription. Day by day the adverse drug reaction rate in body is getting higher. Rate of drugs dose missing is also enhancing. With the consequence of this misspending, most of the antibiotics have become inactive here (i.e. penicillin, tetracyclineresistancein Bangladesh). “I take Rivotril 2 mg (clonazepam) regularly. Doctor prescribed me when I told him that I was having sleep disturbance those days but now I can’t sleep without it.” This statement was given by a known person to me. And the staggering thing is she can purchase this high tranquilizer dosage strength without any prescriptions. These scenarios become very common in Bangladesh. It’s also seen here that people presume his own medication from a friend’s prescription, suffering from same health issue and they easily get them from pharmacy store nearby. As a result the poly pharmacy is rising in young age.If it is operated in such way, that time may not far from now, when drug toxicity will be the one of the premiercauses of rising mortality rate.
The drug policy becomes slack here over passage of time causes are always there when a problem revolts. Prime causes of this problem are lack of public awareness against drug abusing, loose environment on enforced law and incognizance about health safety among people.
These problems will sort out only then when there are hospital pharmacists in every hospital for counseling the patients. In Bangladesh for 500 patients there is only one doctor. Clinical pharmacist is the solution of this problem. But there is not required number of clinical pharmacists in south Asian countries. As the situation is reversed here so this solution has become one of the prime ways to overcome this problem. Pharmacy practices have become necessary to stop the drug abusing. Here the situation is much more complicated beyond our imagination. Except India and Pakistan, other countries are not running the six years long Degree of pharmacy course. Though in Bangladesh professional pharmacy course is now running by some specific public universities but not by all the universities. As a result, in Bangladesh only one elite hospital provides nearly 10-12 clinical pharmacists. This hospital is very expensive and not easily accessible for ordinary people. Most of the universities here are focused on industrial pharmacy which provide 4 years academic course.Nepal is now running 3 years long pharmacy course.Many countries of south Asia still have no noticeable concern on this issue. Government of these countries should give concern to make change in the system. “Without the authorized prescription by a hospital pharmacist, a drug should not be sold” – this policy should be run here as soon as possible. So called ‘OTC’ drugs selling counter should be banned immediately following this purpose.
It is the time to make an updated statistics report on drug misspending as ‘OTC’ and their interaction rate with publics’ health in Bangladesh and other south Asian countries as well. From an assumption, there are lots of people out there, who are now suffering from this toxicity and suspiciously many will be in future. This will turn in a devastating matter globally. Proper initiatives should be taken by the drug law enforcing committee. If it is not done at very soon then both the government as well as general people of south Asian countries will have to face a great challengeto solve this problem in near future because the solution is not easy anymore.

Nur A Safa is an undergrad student at department of pharmacy in East West University. She can be reached at nurewu14@gmail.com

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A New Addiction

fahmida_nasrin

“Wait! Wait! Don’t start; let me take a snap of these foods to upload on Facebook!” This is just an example of a group of friends who were hanging out in a food cart and they were thinks that sharing photos on social media are more important than eating.
Sounds odd but these kinds of activities like frequently uploading photos, checking out in a place, sharing excess unnecessary activities like watching movies or listening music or feelings something in social media are become very common and frequent in everyday. The more these social networkings sites are getting easy to access in personal life are becoming more in public. It seems like people are getting addicted or abusing this apps instead of doing proper uses.
In this era Facebook or other communication applications, such as Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp become an efficient part of our everyday life indeed. All these applications enable interaction with other people; effectively interaction is a main characteristic of these as part of social media and it’s really hard to find a person who’s not using these apps. The easy access and the increasing use of smartphones enhance the popularity of social networking sites. There is a growing amount of individuals suffering diminished control over their use of online communication applications which leads to diverse negative consequences in offline life.
People who crave attention, Facebook and other social network become a venue for them to act out. These people may make inappropriate statements, pictures and videos to establish a profile in front of the world which they believe is very important and are making them cool. By the time they just forget that, the posts and materials that are published online tend to be permanent and may haunt them in the future. Anyone can take an advantage of these things. There is a proverb nowadays “Once you put it on the internet, it’s there FOREVER”. This is why it is important not to post personal photos or put very personal information on the internet; that might call a problem for you in future. There might be a threat of a photo or personal information being used on a website without your consent or knowledge.
Many studies have also shown that there are no spelling and grammar rules while texting or posting something for makes things easy. In fact it is found cool to misspell and not make sense. Which diminishing the proper way spelling or grammatical terms specially on children. They find it hard to differentiate between social networking communication and real world communication. In fact many teachers are complaining that social networking communication with misspelling or short spelling and lack of grammar are seen in students’ school writings.

Social media habits are also blamed for lack of sleep and sleep problems in teenagers. Bright light emitted from smart phones and tablets are thought to disrupt sleep cycles. For young people sleep is important for learning, the development of the young brain, as well as for growing and staying healthy.
Social networking sites making people more self-centered specially the children and teenagers because they found this more interesting then the real life stuffs. Since Facebook and other sites give children or teenagers their own page which is about them, it leads some vulnerable kids to think that everything revolves around them, a precursor for emotional problems in their later life. This might also result in inability to empathize.
But I’m acutely aware that the possibility of fraud is even more prevalent in today’s world because of these sites and the opportunity for instant communication with strangers. We are making friends easily just by accepting a friend request without knowing them properly. We are letting someone into our life that we don’t even know. This is huge chance for the fraud people and can take photos and use them without consent or hack accounts and use information, including photos, to blackmail us. They can even play with our emotions also.
In a nut shell, revolutionized by the technological enhancements and with increasing aspects of social media and networking, sometime we are getting somewhat trapped into it for our own activities! But it ups to us that how we use it. We should not get addicted to it.
Why we always draw an image of drug, when thinking the about addiction? Com’on, addition is not only a matter of drugs; it’s a matter of yours. Think twice, whether you want make yourself leaded by you or get addicted by a media without even noticing that.

Fahmida Nasrin is a student of Department of Pharmacy of University of Asia Pacific. She can be reached at fahmida.nasrin.27@gmail.com

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Steroid Abuse in Bangladesh

nawshaba_mahzabin

As a student of pharmacy, I have always been curious on steroids. It has both effects of magical touch and dark spell on the people. Steroid is said to be the ‘Last Option’ in treatment as it suppress the immune system. Steroids mainly work by inhibiting synthesis of prostaglandin. So roughly it may seem as a ‘Quick and Magical Recovery’ but this really has a dangerous effects in the long run for chronic use.
Steroid play a great role for organ transplantation as it suppress the immune system after operation. Also different types of steroids like dexamethasone prednisolone, testosterone, estradiol, cholic acid, progesterone and cholecalciferol (VitD) are very important for human body. Steroids (cholesterol), lipids, and proteins – these are main components of bi-layered cell membrane.
Though being such an important element, steroids have a really long list of adverse effect and abuses. Steroid abuse is generally seen among three classes of people. I will be discussing these three classes only.
Arnold Schwarzenegger still is a craze among people. Every man dreams to have a body like him. The bodybuilders, gym going people, who are so passionate about their health and physical appearance that they easily get attracted to steroids to have a ‘Schwarzenegger’ look in a short time. The quick result inspire them and lead to a long term use of steroids. This gradually results in various side effects like aggressive mood, reduced immunity, swelling of face, veins, hypertension etc. Gynecomastia is also another side effect of steroids that frequently occur in men. Also puffiness of cheeks, cataract, edema, liver problem, blood poisoning etc. Change in prostate gland size is another major problem which can later cause sexual problems and also decreased sperm count.
Steroid abuse has been an alarming issue for the Bangladeshi women also. Lots of cosmetic companies in Bangladesh are vastly using steroids in their beauty products. Also, in Dhaka, the top level beauty parlors are using huge amount of steroids for beauty care service like facial, spa etc. Different classes of beauty conscious people, models, media celebrities etc tend to go to these branded parlors frequently. They become the victim in the long run. Steroid can indirectly cause early aging. Also have effects on pores, face swelling, abnormal facial hair growth due to hormonal alteration etc.
Another horrible side of Steroid abuse has been recently marked, that is steroid abuse in the brothels. The poor women living there are regularly using the drugs having no idea about the danger. Oradexon is a popular drug in these areas for being cheap and available. Under aged girls living here, are taking these drugs by themselves or by force as this help them to gain weight quickly. The women here are attracted to steroids as they believe that it help to make themattractive. One of them even says,
“I don’t worry about the health risks because I have a son. I take Oradexon and I have good customers and I have made quite a good future for my son.If I die because of taking Oradexon I won’t have any remorse because my son is all set,”
Oradexon is the same drug that is used by some farmers to fatten up their cattle, especially during the time of ‘Eid-Ul-Adha’ when the market demand is high. This drug has a very long half-life and remain in the meat of the animal. So when people eat the meat, they are basically taking the drug in an indirect way and unintentionally. This later result in the same harmful results in their bodies.
If steroidal drugs are taken according to the physician’s prescription, then it is safe for health and also can be very much beneficial. But using steroids for unethical and non-therapeutic use is realy dangerous for the health. So campaigns, seminars, workshops etc are arranged and still going on to spread awareness about steroid abuse.

Nawshaba Mahzabin, is a student of Department of Pharmacy, East West University. She can be reached at nawshaba.shormi@gmail.com

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Sleep Paralysis: Evil Care or Charisma of the Brain.

mehedi_mala_mitu

Imagine, after a long hectic day, as usual you have fallen asleep with an expectation of having a pleasant sleep and to wake up in the next morning feeling refreshed. But instead of that, in the middle of the night you just awaken at an unexpected time and suddenly you feel two things that you cannot move at all and realized that you are not alone. You feel weight in your chest that some uninvited, strange, frightening things press you down but you cannot see because there is too dark. Even you cannot speak to call for help. Isn’t it scary!
7.6% of people have experienced it within their life time and this experience is called sleep paralysis. It can last several minutes. Sleep paralysis occurs frequently among 3-6% of the world population and about 30% of young adults (Research conducted by J. Allan Cheyne, 2001).
Modern sciences do not have a clear and convincing knowledge about this phenomenon though research on sleep paralysis is going on. According to modern sciences some probable causes of sleep paralysis are genetic link, sleep deprivation, sleeping on the back, long standing sleep disturbances, life stress and mental condition such as bipolar disorder.
Sleep paralysis is mainly two types, one is hypnagogic sleep paralysis and other is hypnopompic sleep paralysis. In case of hypnagogic sleep paralysis, after falling asleep body slowly relaxes and a person become less aware, if that person becomes aware in that stage then he may experience sleep paralysis. There are two types of sleep occurs in mammals, rapid eye movement (REM sleep) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM or non-REM sleep). A cycle of REM and NREM sleep lasts about 90 minutes. At first, NREM sleep occur which takes up to 75% of overall sleep time. In this stage body relaxes and restores itself at the end of NREM, REM sleep starts. During REM sleep eyes move quickly and dreams occur but the rest of the body remains very relaxed and muscles are turned off. If a person become aware before finishing the REM cycle then sleep paralysis may occur, this is hypnopompic type.
Hypotheses have set forth possible explanations of the various symptoms. Ethan Green, a sleep blogger and the founder of “No Sleepless Nights” run several polls among thousand people to find out the reality of sleep paralysis. Most of them share three common experiences. These are: presence of an intruder in the room, demon pushes their chest or doing some unpleasant things and having an out-of-body experience, but modern science explains these three that people report. The first two occurs because of the combination of three reasons. Firstly, during REM sleep stage when muscles are turned off, breathing may affected which becomes shallower. So in that time when a person become try to breathe deeply but he cannot be able to breathe then brain might misinterpret this as a feeling that something unpleasant pushing down the chest. Secondly, when the person is in a threatened state, body naturally reacts with its fight or flight defense mechanism. Thirdly, several brain structures might interact to create hallucination which can be misunderstood with demonic in some way. An out-of-body experience is another type of hallucination in neurological mechanism which is explained by coordinating movement of brain.
Sleep paralysis can affect men and women of any age group and the average age when it first occurs is 14 to 17 years. Sleep paralysis cannot affect a person’s sleep or health. But if episodes of sleep paralysis occur then the person should consults with a sleep specialist or a doctor. There are no specific tests for this but doctors do some study to the patients like polysomnogram where doctor takes overnight sleep study of the patient. It includes brain waves, heartbeat, breathing and the movement of arms and legs during sleep. Electromyogram (EMG), which records the level of electrical activity of muscle and normally the level, is very low during sleep paralysis. Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT), measures how fast the patient fall asleep during day and if the sleep paralysis is narcolepsy type or not.
Most people do not need treatment for sleep paralysis. As sleep deprivation causes sleep paralysis, one must improve sleep habits like try to make sure six to eight hour sleep each night. People with mental problem like bipolar disorder should take medicine that doctor prescribed. Sleep paralysis may also happen after a change of medicines and this issue must be informed to the doctor. Antidepressant medication can be taken to reduce stress and to regulate sleep cycle, as stress is one of the reasons for sleep paralysis. If narcolepsy or any other sleep disorder presents then treatment should be taken as soon as possible.
Spiritual research by the SSRF (Spiritual Science Research Foundation) of Sleep paralysis has revealed that one of the main spiritual reasons for these phenomena is an attack by ghosts or demon. There are many different beliefs about sleep paralysis in many different countries which are mainly based on six-sense.
Every person wants a sound sleep and a pleasant dream during sleep. Sleep paralysis prevents from getting a good night’s sleep. It is a nightmare, though chances of happening this during lifetime are very low. Still no one wants this horror experience. A healthy life style and good sleep habit can prevent you from this terror.

Mehedi Mala Mitu is a pharmacy student, completing her graduation under the department of Pharmacy, East West University. She can be reached at mitumala043@gmail.com

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Rotavirus: The Hidden Killer

marufur_rahman_moni

Rota virus causing severe diarrheal diseasegenerally attacks the infants. According to its appearance of wheel, the virus is called ‘Rota’ where Rota means wheel. Comparing to other deadly diseases like Hepatitis B or C, this virus hasn’t less significance. Children who are under 5 years are at the major risk as a statistics done by World Health Organization (WHO) shows that around 527,000 children die each year globally and hospitalized more children than the death number. It is noticeable that rate of mortality is very devastating till now, although the virus was discovered more than four decades ago. Four scientists,Ian Holmes, RuthBishop, Geoffrey Davidson and Brian Ruck discovered Rota virus in 1973. It was found in the cytoplasm of mature epithelial cells which lines the duodenal villi. The target area of the virus is villi of small intestine. By damaging their transport mechanism, the virus causes severe diarrhea.

Rotavirus is a double stranded (ds) RNA virus has seven groups (A to G). Among those groups, only A, B and C attack human where as others are non infectious for human.As the transmission route of this virus is fecal-oral, touching the contaminated areas and putting hands in the mouth may increase the infections. That’swhy; people have to keep away their babies from contaminated areas.There are some sympthoms to detect the conditions whether a baby is infected or not. These aresunken eyes, cheeks, abdomen, fontanelle of the infants and dry eyes.They are the primary symptoms of the infections. Moreover, severe chronic diarrhea, dehydration can be happened if the situation goes to the worst.
It is evident that no specific treatment has been introduced in order to overcome the Rota virus attack. However, vaccines are invented for preventing the virus attack. The most important thing is that our body is able to build up its own immunity against this virus. Antibody against viral protein 7 and viral protein 4 are important for protection. Besides this, immunoglobulin ‘A’ also works for protection. But the severe thing is the first infection. First infection is so dangerous that doesn’t give the permanent immunity. However, subsequent infections are considered less severe as our immune systems build up in the meantime. But the fact is, although this infection occurs once, re-infection can occur at any age. So, everyone should be aware of Rota virus attack. For this, children must wash their hands with soap or handwash,especially after toileting or diapering. Similarly, parents also must wash their handsduring serving the foods.

Vaccines are the safest way to escape away from this virus attack. Most commonly, two oral, live and attenuated rotavirus vaccines, Rotatrix and RotaTeq are considered comparatively safe and effective against this virus. According to WHO recommendation, these vaccines should be administered in an infant after 6 weeks of age as the first dose.At the same time, DTP vaccination also should be administered.Like many other developing countries, Bangladesh is also at stake of Rota virus emergence.According to the hospital based surveillance, it is estimated that 33% of all diarrhea admissions among under 5 years aged children were due to Rota virus in 2000 to 2006 in Bangladesh.Studies also found that this virus had been spread in rural area mainly and vaccines have enough strength to prevent more than 1 lakh hospitalized patients in Bangladesh. But it is a matter of great disappointment that Rotavirus vaccines has not date after 2014 although this initiative of vaccination camp were taken by the end of 2014 under the National Immunization Program of Bangladesh 2011-2016.Hopefully, this initiative will be started again. Because of, the sooner administering the vaccines in the infants, the better will be rate of mortality of child.

Md. Marufur Rahman Moni, is an undergrad student completing his graduation under dept. of pharmacy East West University, Bangladesh. He can be reached at moni007.mrm@yahoo.com

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Don’t Let Breast Cancer Take Your Dreams

aboni_nasir

One of the most deadly diseases among the South Asian women is Breast cancer. It must be stressed that every single breast cancer patient will has unique scenario. If the breast cancer are diagnosed and treated before metastasis, the outlook will almost always be highly positive.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), Breast cancer is globally the most common cancer type seen in women and also the one that causes most deaths occurring in disease. One of every four women with cancer has Breast Cancer. The incidence of Breast Cancer globally was reported was 25.2% and the mortality rate was 14.7%.

Breast cancer is not just a disease that strikes at women; rather it strikes at the very heart of who we are as women: how others perceive us, how we perceive ourselves, how we live, work and raise our families or whether we do these things at all.

Basically breast Cancer is an uncontrolled growth of breast cells. Usually Breast Cancer either begins in the cells of the lobules, which are known as the milk-producing glands, or the ducts, the passages that drain milk from the lobules to the nipple. Less commonly, Breast Cancer can begin in the stromal tissues. This devastating disease mainly caused by a genetic abnormality.

Breast Cancer is not the same for all women but here are some factors that may contribute to a woman’s chance of developing the disease.

Unchangeable risk factor can be aging, family history of breast cancer, gender, genetic risk factors, menstrual periods personal history of breast cancer, previous chest radiation therapy and race.

Lifestyle related risk factor- alcohol, hormone replacement therapy, not having children, obesity and high-fat diets, no breastfeeding and smoking.

There is a proverb that “A feel a day keeps the doctor away”. The most common symptom of Breast Cancer is the feeling the presence of a lump or an area of thickened tissue over the breast. Among the lumps nearly 90% are benign or not cancerous but all lumps and abnormalities need to be checked before moving forward to cancer.

It is not necessary to claim a patient must die after the cancer; rather still there can be some hopes of life. The most important prerequisite is early detection. Initially diagnosed breast cancer brings the chance of surviving from the disease. There are also more choices for treatment when Breast Cancer is detected early.

We may never understand illnesses such as cancer. In fact, we may never able cure it, but an ounce of prevention is worth more than a million pounds of cure. Breast Cancer prevention starts with healthy habits, which include- healthy diet, limit alcohol drinking, stop smoking, controlling weight, physical activity, breast-feeding, limiting dose and duration of hormone therapy, avoiding exposure to radiation and environmental pollution, etc.

Breast Cancer remains the leading cancer type among the global female population with 1.35 million new cases in every year. However, this incident rate growing up day to day due to unawareness of the people, lack of confidence about medical treatment, improper screening, maltreatment and lack of motivation to go for Institutional treatment and management. Furthermore, because of poor socio-economic infrastructure and atmosphere which loom large for the social stigma and instilment of fear among the patient, they keep themselves aloof from taking treatment of the patient with cancer.

In Bangladesh, the rate of Breast Cancer occurrence is estimated to be 22 per 100,000 females of all ages, compared to 125 per 100,000 females worldwide. For Bangladeshi women aged between 15-44 years, Breast Cancer has the highest rate of occurrence 20 per 100,000, compared to any other type of cancer.

Every woman needs to know the facts. And the fact is, when it’s a matter of life threatening breast cancer, every woman is at risk. Thus, early diagnosis of Breast Cancer is crucial in terms of prolonging the lifetime and effective treatment of the disease.

Aboni Nasir is a graduate pharmacist. She has completed her gradation under department of pharmacy of East West University. She has interest on public health and recent health issues. She can be reached at aboni.nasir92@gmail.com

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All You Need To Know About Emergency Contraception

tasmi
Emergency Contraception (EC) is a method which is used to prevent pregnancy after few hours or days of intercourse. It is called emergency contraception because the partners may have had some accidents while performing intercourse. EC offers people a last chance to prevent an unwanted pregnancy when other contraceptive methods fail, after unprotected sex or in the case of a sexual assault. Most types of EC are less effective than other forms of modern birth control, and they don’t protect against sexually transmitted infections but EC can make a woman much less likely to get pregnant.
Key Points to Know:
Copper IUDs are the most effective form of emergency contraception.
Emergency contraceptive pills are most effective the sooner you take them, but can still have some effects for up to 4-5 days after unprotected intercourse.
Emergency contraceptive pills might be far less effective, or ineffective, during 1-2 days of each cycle, right around the time of ovulation.
Proper Time for using EC:
You can consider using EC after unprotected intercourse when there is a possibility you could be fertile. This includes 5–7 days before ovulation occurs, until 1–2 days afterwards your fertile window. Ovulation usually happens in the middle of the menstrual cycle, but this can be different for everybody, especially if your cycles are not regular.
Options for EC:
There are two major options for emergency contraception: Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) and the Copper IUD or Intra Uterine Device.
Emergency Contraceptive Pills:
Emergency contraceptive pills are better known as ‘Morning after Pills’ although we may name them ‘As Soon As Possible’ pills. There are two main types of ECPs available in the Bangladeshi market, Levonorgestrel and Ella.
The most common type of ECP contains levonorgestrel, and is marketed under different brand names and available without a prescription. Levonorgestrel ECPs are taken in a single dose as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse. While the packages of these pills may state that they should be taken within 72 hours, their effectiveness may last for at least 4 days (96 hours).
The other ECP, called Ella, contains anti-progestin called ulipristal acetate. Ella is only available with a prescription, and is taken in either a single or split dose. Ella is considered to be the most effective type of ECP and may be effective if taken until at least 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected intercourse.
Emergency contraceptive pills primarily work by blocking or delaying ovulation. They change the body’s hormones to prevent the release of an egg from the ovary. When ovulation doesn’t happen, sperm cannot come in contact with an egg. So pregnancy doesn’t occur.
The Copper Intrauterine Device (IUD):
Copper IUDs are the most effective form of emergency contraception. They are small devices, inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. They’re a long-lasting contraceptive, and can stay in the body for up to 10 years.

copper-iud

Copper IUDs can be used as emergency contraception if they are inserted into the uterus up to 5 days after ovulation. Since the exact timing of ovulation is difficult to know, most sources recommend inserting the IUD up to 5 days after unprotected intercourse to ensure it will be effective and safe. Copper IUDs are inserted by medical professionals in a clinic.
A copper IUD will work by preventing sperm from fertilizing an egg, or, if an egg is already fertilized at the time a copper IUD is inserted, the IUD will prevent the fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. Copper IUDs are nearly 100% effective as emergency contraception, making them the most effective option.
Data from 1993-2007 show that there has been a gradual decline in trends of unintended pregnancy in Bangladesh from 33% to 29%; among the 29%, 15% were mistimed (wanted later) while 14% were unwanted. In 2011, 61% of married women were current users of a contraceptive method, either modern or traditional, which is a small increase from the data collected in the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) 2007. Despite this rise in contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR), the unmet need for family planning is estimated to be 14% among women of reproductive age in the country. So access to contraception is an essential component of reproductive health services, which helps to lower the levels of unmet need for family planning and, in turn, the numbers of unintended pregnancy. Knowing the options and informing your choices can help you in making emergency contraception as effective as possible.

Tasmi Akter is a professional pharmacist from Bangladesh; she is serving as Analytical Development Executive at Eskayef Bangladesh Limited, a multinational pharmaceutical company. She can be reached at tasmi.mouw@yahoo.com

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STREET FOOD: NOT A CHANCE

shiblu

Street foods refer to many kinds of foods and beverages which are made and/or sold by vendors and hawkers especially in streets around trading centers and other public places. Street-vended foods are exposed to contaminations as they are sold in the open and are often not covered. Street vendors create attraction their products to their customers, they often handle from places such as bus terminals, industrial areas, schools, market places and streets.
The ingredients of Street food are dependent on specific area and largely unregimented. In Bangladesh, the most popular and traditional street-vended foods includes jhal-muri, fuchka, vhel-puri, panipuri, bun, cake, danish, betel-leaf, chola, peaju, sweet, sheek-kabab, laddu, singara, somucha etc. However, questions have been raised about the safety and microbiological quality of these food products.
Food borne illnesses are a widespread problem globally. Developing countries bear the brunt of the problem due to the presence of a wide range of food-borne diseases.The vendors in Bangladesh lack education regarding the basic food safety issues. Vendors generally use carts and stands, where they do not have easy access to running water, furthermore dish and hand washing is done using the same bucket, sometimes even without soap. Practices used during food preparation such as handling, cleaning, sorting and grading packaging, storing and wrapping in low grade plastics are some of the critical factors that increase the risk of inadequate food safety.
Most of the people like students, uneducated labors, homeless who buy food from the vendors. The cost of street foods are comparetively cheaper than the rich foods from the retaurants and fast food outlets due to large cost of gas, oil and other elements in municipal areas where inexpensive street foods are generated than the hoom made food.
Most handlers of street-vended foods in underdeveloped countries, and the developing world at large, are largely ignorant of basic food safety issues. In Bangladesh products (from the raw material to the finished stage) are often exposed to sources of contamination like soil, dust and sand. Other common real risk factors include time, temperature abuses, hygiene and sanitation of street food vending operations. Street foods displayed on open work area can easily be contaminated by dust, exhaust smoke, insects, and hands of the buyers. In most cases, tap water is not available for washing hands and utensils at vending sites; hand and utensil washing are usually done in one or more buckets, and sometimes without soap. Toilets, waste disposal and refrigeration facilities are rarely available. Wastewater and garbage are therefore discarded nearby, providing nutrients for insects and other house hold rodents, which may carry food borne pathogens. Most traditional street foods arepresented and delivered in the open, without proper protective packaging. Available data indicate that street foods carry high levels of microorganisms, including pathogens. The presence of coliform, andsalmonellae, shigellae, staphylococci or enter pathogenicEscherichia coli in street foods are evidenced.
People are more likely to develop food borne illnesses than others. High-risk groups are like older adults, pregnant women, infant and young children, long-term chronic disease patients.
During January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010, public health departments reported 1,527 food-borne disease outbreaks, resulting in 29,444 cases of illness, 1,184 hospitalizations, and 23 deaths. Among the 29,444 outbreak-related illnesses, 1,184 (4%) resulted in hospitalization.Salmonella caused the most outbreak-related hospitalizations (49%), followed by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (16%), and norovirus (9%).Outbreaks caused by some pathogens were particularly severe. For example, Listeriaoutbreaks resulted in the highest proportion of persons hospitalized (82%), followed by Clostridium botulinum(67%), and paralytic shellfish poisoning (67%).

Street food vending has become a major community health issue and matter of concern for all of us. A lot of food-borne disease outbreaks are occurring every year worldwide. The reasons behind this includes lack of appropriate knowledge and supervision on street food vending, preparation of food under insanitary conditions and displaying food openly which also lead to further contamination by dust, insects, rodents and hands of intending consumers.Due attention should be given by the government to improve knowledge aboutfood safety and quality standards of street foods sold in the country. Most importantly,relevant agencies such as consumer protection rights and others need to ensure andenforce strict compliance to hazard analysis and critical control points in all foodproduction sectors in Bangladesh. Five keys to safer food like keep clean, separate raw and cooked food, cook food thoroughly, keep food at safe temperature, and use safe water and raw materials should be campaigned in the each corner of the country.

Md. Abu Bakar Siddique Bhuiyan is a pharmacy student, completing his graduation under the department of Pharmacy, East West University. He can be reached at Shiblu.pharm@gmail.com

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Get Ready For Glorious Jobs While Doing Ordinary Work

arafat

“I cannot develop myself because I am doing a boring job!” one of the most common complaints I get from numerous participants of various seminars. Everyone wants to do a job by doing what s/he can develop himself every day. I wish if it was that simple! You want to be a project manager doing a million dollar project by leading 50 people but in reality, you are a junior business associate who mainly compiles reports, so how can you develop yourself and make yourself prepare for the job you dream of? If this is your problem then do not worry, almost every professional out there has faced or is still facing it. I am going to provide you with some suggestions to overcome this development barrier.

Myth about dream job

I really disgust idealistic quotes about this non-ideal corporate world. “Do your dream job” sounds something like dream jobs are available on super shops; you go there and pick one. And most of the times no matter what motivational speakers tell you; this is very challenging to find your true passion. And especially, in a country like Bangladesh where 47% graduates are unemployed. If you are not lucky, it will take much time and effort to get your dream job (assuming you know what your dream job is). And many a time after getting your long cherished dream job, you may find yourself doing ordinary routine work which does not help you to develop continuously.

Suppose, your dream is to be enterprise software developer and you dream of working on large scale automation. But on your present job you are doing some basic HTML, CSS and the opportunity of doing more sophisticated tasks is limited. In such case what should you do? How can you ensure you are preparing yourself for the bigger glory in upcoming days?

Some of us can manage to get dream job that ensures their continuous development. If you are one those lucky one, you do not need to read this article. Just do your job properly. Otherwise, go through the rest of this article.

Step 1: Self-study

Do extensive self-study. Suppose, you want to be a project manager but unless you are a real project manager and you manage real projects, you cannot mitigate your gaps. But what you can do is to minimize the gap. Suppose, you want to be a developer but right now you are doing some reporting tasks. No problem, start self-learning. In this age of internet, you can learn anything if you want. Watch video tutorials, read eBooks, do sample projects, gather information, participate in online competition and so on.

During my student life, I first decided to build my career as a project management professional, at that moment I did not know where to do outside projects. But I knew I could read and started reading. I read many books on project management, people management, agile software development and so on. I used to see YouTube videos on these topics. Of course, bookish knowledge cannot replace practical experience but it is much better than getting disappointment because I am not getting my desired job! And profound theoretical knowledge will surely give you many advantages.

Step 2: Take Coaching

Self-learning may be enough for learning anything. But still, I recommend doing some extra courses if possible. You can do such courses on the internet too. These courses will help you to learn in an organized manner. Surely learning will depend on self-learning mainly and what the instructors say is not always right but these courses will be beneficial for you to determine the effective way of learning. And also, as you want to be something other which you are not right now, these relevant courses on your resume will express your passion to your potential employers.

I have seen many successful IT professionals who are from non-IT background. They do courses from various institutes. Taking coaching is not mandatory but it is worth a shot. Such courses can be a good source of networking too.

Step 3: Do related projects

Suppose, you are a QA professional but you want to switch your career to UI designer. In addition to learning by your own and doing courses, you should try to gain some first-hand experience beforehand. If possible, do some additional tasks at your present office like helping the UI team in various capabilities. If this is not possible, do some outside projects. Do not focus on how much money you are earning from those outside projects; focus on how much you can learn.

Same suggestion goes for other jobs too. What you want to do, do it, if possible do it as an additional responsibility at your current job or do it outside. It will certainly give you a definite edge. I know a friend who was an electrical engineer but wanted to be a UI designer, he used to do this at his company as a volunteer and also he used to do a lot of outside projects. Today he is a successful UI designer.

Step 4: Create network

Suppose, you are a sales executive but you want to make a career in product branding. Now there are various groups on almost all work discipline on Facebook and LinkedIn. Be a member of those groups, participate or create discussions, try to create a professional rapport with personal touch with other members of those groups. You should participate in various seminars on product branding. These seminars will provide you with opportunities to create network. Networking can help you a lot in career transition.

Do not invest too much on creating rapport. Be careful so that your enthusiasm and interest will not bother others.

Finale

Getting your dream job and succeeding at it is a continuous process. Do not work hard only, work smartly too. You will reach there.

 

Arafat Ibn Sultan Riyadh is a seasoned product and project management professional and an agile coach. Moreover, he is a career counselor and motivational speaker. He is currently serving as the Product Manager at Bdjobs.com Ltd. He is cofounder and Strategic Consultant NWIT and Strategic Consultant Activation Ltd. He can be reached at arafatmist@gmail.com

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Nanomedicine Drug Delivery

sristy

Medicinal science is developing day by day. With the development of science old strategies of using medicine is changing. Patients want comfortable administration of drugs, easy and relief from disease. For this medicinal scientist were looking for better drug delivery system and Nanomedicine drug delivery system has become an era in this field.
Nanomedicines are also called nanotherapeutics and are versatile carrier because of their unique features of interactions with target receptors. Nanomedicine drug delivery system is a process of diagnosis, treating and preventing disease, turmeric injury, relieving pain and improving human health at molecular level using molecular tools and knowledge.
By using various nanoscales structured materials and nanodevices many important medical problems can be addressed. This drug delivery includes nanocolloidal drug carriers classified as lipid-based and polymeric nanocarriers. Lipid based nanocarriers are further subdivided into vascular nanosystems, particulate and emulsion based nanocarriers. Liposomes are extensively studied lipid based nanocarriers. Liposomes are bilayer vascular carriers composed of phospholipid, cholesterol and stabilizer; can encapsulate both Hydrophilic drugs in aqueous core and Lipophilic drug in respectively.
Nanomedicine drug delivery increases the localization of therapeutic compounds, imaging agents, radio sensitizers, and small molecule therapeutics and gene medicines. For example, use of siRNA to target tissues such as site of infection, inflammation and solid tumors. It is done through a passive targeting mechanism called the enhanced permeability and retention effect.
Modern medicine has implemented a lot of Nanomedicine for treating and curing the diseases. Drugs are either integrated in the particle matrix or attached on the surface of the particle to deliver in the specific cells or targets and give maximum bioavailability.
The soft vesicular nanocarriers, Ethosomes are composed of ethanol phospholipid and stabilizers. High percentage of ethanol helps penetration in the stratum corneum that is an aid in the treatment of psoriasis. By the activation of phospholipase A2 Eicosanoids are derived from arachidonic acid. It causes vasodilatation, edema and exerts chemotactic movement on leukocytes which acts as growth factors for hyperproliferation of keratinocytes in psoriasis. To treat psoriasis, researchers have delivered therapeutics encapsulation of drug in the nanocarriers. Betamethasone dipropionate and salicylic-acid-loaded microemulsion for topical application of psoriasis has reported 72.1% reduction in inflammatory response. The increased therapeutic action is gained by the enhancement of drug penetration through the skin by the nanocarriers containing saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, surfactant and cosurfactant.
Nanomedicines for parenteral application include Liposomes and other lipid-based carriers as micelles, lipid emulsion and lipid drug complex and various ligand targeted product as immune conjugates.
For the treatment of cancer several Nanomedicine drug deliveries have been developed, most interesting systems are nanococktail and nanorobotics. Nanococktail is defined as a “cocktail” of different nanometer-sized particles that work within the bloodstream to locate, adhere to and kill cancerous tumors. Two different nanomaterials the size of only a few nanometers contains a nanococktail. One nanomaterial was designed to find and adhere to tumors and the second nanomaterial was fabricated to kill those tumors.
Responder particle Nanoworms contains nanoparticles with strings of iron oxides have showed up brightly in magnetic resonance imaging. They would be useful to identify the size and shape of a tumor in a patient before surgery. The second type is hollow nanoparticles loaded with the anticancer drug doxorubicin and might be used to kill the tumor without the need for surgery.
Nanorobotics in medicine includes early diagnosis and targeted drug-delivery for cancer biomedical instrumentation, surgery, pharmacokinetics monitoring of diabetes and health care. Targeted drug delivery with lesser side effects and improved bioavailability is the important features of nanorobotics. Cream containing nanorobots removes right amount of dead skin and excess oil that can be used to cure skin diseases.
Nanomedicine drug delivery system has brought a revolutionary change in the application of medicine to treat many diseases and has become life saving magic. Though they are expensive than the conventional therapies of drug, that day is so close to us when we will able to use it for every life threatening diseases.

Farzana Khan Sristy is a pharmacy student, completing her graduation under the department of Pharmacy, East West University. She has interest on recent development of treatment methods and drugs. She is doing her research on Phytochemical activities. She can be reached at farzana_sristy@yahoo.com

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