Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Rupali Ghosh

I believe women of all ages should know what PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome is and how to prevent it. It is a common endocrine system disorder among women of reproductive age. The exact cause is unknown but genetics and environmental factors are believed to be involved in the development of PCOS. It is a leading cause of female infertility and affects about 10 million people in the world. In fact, almost 1 out of 10 women have PCOS and it begins during a girl’s teen years. Some of the most common sign of PCOS include: Irregular period that come every few month, not at all or too frequently; Extra hair on face, other parts of body (called hirsutism); Acne; Weight gain and/or trouble loosing weight.

If you give a close look on these symptoms of PCOS, you will find that these aren’t so much annoying. So, women don’t pay much attention on these symptoms and left PCOS untreated. Even . They can’t realize that they have a disease. They think it is their normal physiological condition. Irregular period is main symptom of PCOS. In underdeveloped and developing country like Bangladesh, period is still a matter of shy. Women don’t want to go to doctor for this alarming symptom and PCOS developed gradually.

The hormones involved in PCOS include Androgens, Insulin and Progesterone. All women produce a little amount of androgen in ovaries and adrenal glands but PCOS are caused by high levels of androgen (mainly testosterone) causing hyperandrogenism. Androgens are sometimes called “male hormone” and estrogens are called “female hormone”. Women with PCOS have more androgen than estrogen. Higher than normal androgen level in women can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg during each menstrual cycle and can cause extra hair growth and acne, two signs of PCOS.

High level of insulin is another suspected cause of PCOS. Many women with PCOS have insulin resistance especially those who are overweight or obese, have unhealthy eating habits, do not get enough physical activity and have a family history of diabetes. Insulin is a hormone that control how the foods (you eat) have changed into energy. Insulin resistance is when body’s cells do not respond normally to insulin. As a result, insulin level in blood becomes higher than normal. Over time, insulin resistance can lead to type2 diabetes.

Women with PCOS always have low progesterone level and lack of progesterone causes increased production of luteinizing hormone (LH). Increased amount of LH stimulates ovary to make more estrogen and androgens which stimulates more follicle toward ovulation. If these additional follicles are also unable to produce a matured ovam, the menstrual cycle is dominated by increased estrogen and androgen production without progesterone. So, this is the fundamental abnormality that creates PCOS and anovulation occurs. Anovulation may produce tiny cysts in the ovary but a study in 2013 found that all women with PCOS don’t have cysts in their ovary. So, it is easily assumed that women with PCOS are t higher risk of pregnancy and delivery complication. This risk increased more when you have PCOS along with diabetes. So, it is suggested that blood sugar level should be checked before pregnancy.

Other complications of PCOS include cardiovascular disease, endometrial cancer, metabolic syndrome, sleep apnea and fatigue. Women with PCOS are at twice as much risk of heart disease and stroke. If a woman has high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and high levels of inflammatory proteins which lead to insulin resistance by changing function of blood vessel that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. In PCOS, infrequent period occurs which may increase the risk of endometrial cancer. Chronic anovulation leads to a lack of shedding of the lining of uterus and endometrium can thicken which may increase the abnormal cells, as women ages can develop into cancerous cells. Women with PCOS have a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a collection of condition include high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, impaired glucose tolerance. It increases the risk of prediabetes and type2 diabetes.

There is no specific treatment of PCOS till now. Some medications are given to improve the symptoms and feel better. For irregular period birth control pill is given and it encourages the ovulation. Now-a-days metformin is recommended which is actually used to treat type2 diabetes. Metformin lowers the insulin and blood sugar level in women with PCOS and help to loose weight. Study suggested that with the loosing weight, the menstrual cycle come back to normal. Drugs that curb androgen levels (Spironolactone) are another common treatment used for PCOS and it improve the androgen related symptom such as excess hair on body.

PCOS Awareness Association says that “Preventing PCOS is possible if right weight is maintained and stay away from stress”. For maintaining weight a healthy diet and physical exercise is mandatory. A study found that women of South Asia are more sensitive to PCOS. The main cause is that carbohydrate (mainly rice) is the main food of most people in South Asia which play an important role in weight gain. So carbohydrate in particular need to be limited especially sugar, sweets, sodas, processed foods and even breads and grains. It is also found that PCOS are transferred generation to generation. So, if your mother has a history of PCOS, you should do blood tests periodically to check blood glucose level and hormone level. So it can goes without saying that PCOS can be prevented by your willpower of maintaining your BMI (body mass index) within 20-25 and don’t ignore any symptom like irregular period. Don’t be shy to go to doctor and PCOS will stay away from you.

Rupali Ghosh is a undergraduate student at Department of Pharmacy, East West University, Bangladesh.  She can be reached at divyaewu@yahoo.com

 

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‘The Poisonous Drink’

Rafat-Alam

In recent times, young generations are so much fond of soft drinks like Coca-Cola, Sprite or Pepsi etc on any kind of occasions, especially while taking snacks. It seems like one of the major items in any festival. Now-a-days, it is quite impossible to arrange a program without having soft drinks in the food items. Students like School, College or University going are the major consumer of these soft drinks. But, do they know what they are actually drinking?

These kinds of soft drinks have so many demerits that are beyond imaginations. The major problem it causes is the higher uric acid concentration. Now, the question arises, from where the uric acid fact comes in. Soft drinks generally use a major sweetener which is consumed in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. This high-fructose intake raises serum uric-acid, either by the induction of catabolism of nucleotides or by reducing the uric acid excretion. In several studies conducted in United States, it has been already proved that, artificially produced added sugars like fructose containing in the sugar-sweetened soft drinks is associated with the higher plasma uric acid concentration.

Elevated Uric acid concentration can not only lead to the development of Gouty Arthritis, but also it can develop insulin resistance, high triglyceride levels, chronic inflammation which may affect the development of hypertension.

So, we can easily assume that, fructose containing soft drinks which contain fructose with which we are so much attached, is slowly taking us close to a large number of life-threatening complications. To avoid these unnecessary circumstances, we should think twice before having such kind of poisonous drink.

Rafat Alam is a post graduate student North South University, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He can be reached at rafat00786@gmail.com

 

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Antibiotics and its Resistance Crisis: “Ultimate Goal of Death”

Sifat-Sharmin-Shiba

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) within a wide range of infectious agents is a growing public health threat of broad concern to countries and multiple sectors.Antibiotics have been transformed into medicine and saved millions of lives in last century. Butin recent years the vast emergence of resistant bacteria is occurring worldwide and it’s endangering the efficacy of antibiotics. From many decades it has been used to treat the bacterial infection diseases. We know Antibiotics are those antibacterial, which are a types of medications that destroy or slow down the growth of bacteria. Antibiotics are powerful medicines that fight bacterial infections, can save lives when it used properly. Antibiotics either stop bacteria from reproducing or kill them.But these lifesaving antibiotics become the most terrible threat when its resistance occurs tremendously.Very high rates of resistance have been observed in bacteria that cause common health-care associated and community-acquired infections (e.g. urinary tract infection, pneumonia) in all over the world.Antibiotic resistance threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi. A post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries can kill, far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is instead a very real possibility for the 21st century.

It is the abilities of bacteria and other microorganisms to resist the effects of an antibiotic to which they were once sensitive. Antibiotic resistance is a major concern of overuse of antibiotics which also known as drug resistance.Usually antibiotics are used to treat in bacterial infections,but many of us are using antibiotics to treat viral illness (like-common cold,flu,asthma, sore throats) without any prescribed medication or professional healthcare system,which is one of the main reasons of resistance.It happens when bacteria evolve and become resistant to the antibiotics used to treat the infection they cause.Some of the major reason of antibiotic resistance crisis can be discussed below-

According to NCBI, in many developing countries (example-Bangladesh) antibiotics are unregulated and widely available over the counter without any prescription. This lack of regulation results in antibiotics that are easily accessible, plentiful, and cheap, which promotes overuse of drugs and also resistant as well.

Inappropriate antibiotic use can refer to two types of antibiotic misuse:when an antibiotic is prescribed,but not needed or when it needed the wrong antibiotic,dose or duration is chosen.Most common things happens that-patients are not finishing their antibiotic course according to their treatment and medication, for this reason bacteria can easily change their position and make e resistance wall against the prescribed antibiotic.One example can be given from a blog- Third generation cephalosporin was a sound drug (especially round shaped bacterial drug). This remedy and last hope of gonorrheal infection now no longer provide us reliance against these types of diseases. Cephalosporin preventive bacteria has spread throughout the world and now daily at least one million people are infected by gonorrhea. (http://www.sachalayatan.com/anarjo_sangeet/52317). So,do you think how deadly threat it will be in future?

According to NRDC Most of the Livestock producers are given antibiotics to animals to make them grow faster or help them survive crowded, stressful and various unsanitary conditions. When these drugs are over used,by humans or animals,some bacteria become antibiotic-resistant, threatening the future effectiveness of these medicines.

Besides that,Poor infection control in hospitals and clinics, lack of hygiene and poor sanitation, Regulatory Barriers and lack of new antibiotics being developed also can be the reason of antibiotic resistance which are going to increase day by day.

Since it has now become a life threading situation so we all should prevent this condition as early as possible.The most prior step now is to stop taking antibiotics in viral infections.According to WHO- Doctors, Nurses Veterinarians and other healthworker shouldn’t prescribe or dispense any kind of antibiotics unless they are truly necessary and you have made all efforts to test and confirm which antibiotic your human patient or the animal you are treating should have. And also should take proper chosen antibiotic with exact dose and duration of time.Make sure that – Antibiotics which are given to animals are used only to control or treat infectious diseases and under veterinary supervision. Misuse of antibiotics in livestock, aquaculture and crops is a key factor contributing to antibiotic resistance and its spread into the environment, food chain and humans. Neat and clean conditions and regular vaccination of animals can curtail the needed of antibiotics.Many development organizations,Govt. and Non-Govt. industry altogether can also help to take proper step to prevent this crisis.

Last but not least we cannot prevent antibiotic resistance crisis completely because, now this condition isn’t in our control but we can counteract against it to get rid of the-ultimate goal of death.

Sifat Sharmin Shiba is an undergrad student in Department of Pharmacy East West University, Bangladesh. She can be reached at sifatshiba2015@gmail.com

 

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Ocean acidification: The silent struggle in the sea

Zarin-Tasneem

Many people are aware of Global Climate change, but most people are unaware of the secondary consequences of this process. One of these consequences is ocean acidification. Ocean acidification can be loosely explained as the gradual decrease in ocean pH, caused by the uptake of carbon dioxide from the earth’s atmosphere. Meaning, as more and more carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, the ocean’s pH decreases.

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) from humankind’s industrial and agricultural activities has increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. As a result, fundamental changes in seawater chemistry are occurring throughout the world’s oceans.

This process is slow. Acidification of the ocean due to rising amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere that subsequently gets absorbed by the ocean. Half of the world’s oxygen is produced by small photosynthetic organisms in the ocean. Just like land plants, they use carbon dioxide and convert it into oxygen. According to Scripps Institute of Oceanography, the ocean is responsible for absorbing 26% of all carbon emissions; this translates to 2.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide. This process is vital to all respiring organisms on the planet.

Because of this large rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the ocean has been absorbing more than it can use for photosynthesis. Because the ocean cannot use this carbon dioxide, but it is still contained within the water, it creates a more acidic environment-reducing the ocean’spH. This is a harmful process for many reasons: animals that use calcium carbonate (all shelled organisms) are now being exposed to acidic conditions. As many people know due to the egg-in-vinegar experiment, the acid dissolves calcium, which means it dissolves shell. This not only puts our favorite shellfish at risk — it harms the microorganisms that are vital to our survival. These small organisms are known as plankton. There are animal plankton (zooplankton) and plant plankton (phytoplankton). The latter are the ones that create half of our oxygen.

The predicted increase in ocean acidity is about 0.5 pH units in the next 100 years. This might not seem like much, but it’s important to remember that the pH scale is logarithmic; therefore, something that is pH 7 is actually 10x more acidic than something that is pH 8. Doing the math, a decrease of 0.5 pH units means that in 100 years, the ocean is predicted to be more than 3x more acidic than it is today.

Sea life is also sensitive to changes in ocean chemistry, and there are many ways the marine ecosystem can be thrown off balance. For example, calcifying invertebrates (things with calcium carbonate shells, like snails, andlimpets) can’t grow as well in acidic conditions. These invertebrates normally feed on algae (e.g. Seaweeds or phytoplankton), which conversely grows just fine — sometimes even better — in acidic conditions. This is not only because the algae is not being eaten as much, but also because for them, the dissolved carbon is actually a beneficial resource. Thinking back to basic plant biology, this makes sense: terrestrial plants (i.e. Plants that grow on the land) take up CO2 for photosynthesis and release oxygen, and algae have to do something similar. Since they live mostly submerged in the ocean, they don’t have ready access to CO2 gas in the air like terrestrial plants do, so instead they take up the dissolved carbon.

If algae is taking up the carbon, why do we have an ocean acidification problem at all? The answer is for two reasons: one is that there is so much extra carbon that the algae can’t possibly use it all, and the other is that carbon is not the only limiting resource for the algae to grow (they also need other key nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorous). But this still leads to an intriguing idea — can we grow more algae to help balance the pH in the ocean? Some researchers think we can do this by creating controlled blooms of phytoplankton, which are microscopic algae like diatoms and Radiolarians. These are good candidates; diatoms alone already take up huge amounts of carbon (they are responsible for 20% of the impact of all algae combined), and would just need a local influx of fertilization to feed a massive bloom.

Ocean acidification is not just about the coral area it’s about us, the entire human race. Many of usstill cannot feel the threat but this process is actually happening. How will it feel to live in a world without fish? And breathing in an atmosphere full of carbon dioxide?  Maybe a solution for our generation is to think that we won’t have to encounter these things. But our great grandchild will surely face, oceans full of acidic water and dead species floating on them. Maybe they will roam around with an oxygen cylinder on their back.

Whether we pay attention or not ocean acidification is worsening day by day. And the primary felons arewe people. So, if we want to save life in the oceansand save ourselves, since we depend on that life, the time is to start slashing carbon dioxide emissions is now. A reduction of consuming fossil fuel is also necessary.

People cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but they can change themselves. That is something it takes to change a whole community, a nation, a human race.

Zarin Tasneem is a student of University of Dhaka. She can be reached at z.tasnim00@gmail.com

 

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Fast Food Trend

Nandeeta-Samad

‘Fast Food’- the most alluring term for the current generation , at present has visibly occupied a wide locale of people’s fountainhead of refreshments. There was once a time when people used to invite people at home to celebrate any success with the dear ones. But now days, visiting restaurants is somewhat trendy and even the word ‘invitation’ has been replaced by the word ‘treat’. In today’s life, when a person do amazing result in an exam, get scholarship or a job or achieve any kind of success, the first sentence may be even before ‘congratulations’ by his/her friends shows up as ‘hey! Give us treat’. When it is about giving treat, pizzas or pastas or cheesy burgers or nachos or other mouthwatering items starts floating in imagination. Even, I am writing this article with a similar thought and I cannot even deny smiley face with that I am also a fast food lover.

We are already aware of the health hazards caused by the consumption of fast foods. But it is really hard to resist the temptation for enjoying the mushrooming restaurants’ offers and delectable local or foreign fast food items.

If I simply uphold some contents of these fast foods, apart from high calorie, high concentration of sodium and cholesterol mark a significant magnitude. On the contrary, the fast food items contain a trifling percentage of dietary fiber, vitamins and other minerals which are essential for proper body function.

According to ‘Healthline’, the major 13 perilous effects on health by fast foods are – storage of extra calories, increased insulin resistance, high blood pressure, bloating and puffiness, shortness of breath, depression, dental distress, blood sugar spike, weight gain problems, high cholesterol storage, hearth diseases, headache and acne.

Now if I highlight the most common non-communicable diseases caused by fast foods, hypertension, type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and obesity come first. It is found in a study that a person eating fast food at least two times a week will gain at least 10 pounds of extra weight. And as fast foods has a correlation with increasing blood pressure, hypertension may also lead to stroke. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), fast food consumption is strongly associated with insulin resistance which is solely related to type-2 diabetes. And surprisingly true, fast foods may also lead to cancers as well. According to Corporate Accountability International, one-third of cancers are related to poor diet; this is often paired with the fact that obesity is closely linked with cancers of the colon, kidney and esophagus.

It is to bear in mind that not only early, middle and older adults are at health risk of fast food consumption. Fast food also affects the health of children and sows a seed of obesity in later stage if fast food intake is uncontrolled in childhood and ultimately obesity leads to several other health pitfalls. Most significantly, as the nutrients needed for physical and mental growth and development for an individual are missed in the fast food items, proper and balanced physical growth and mental development can be impaired due to fast food intakes.

There is also a remarkable study finding proving the psychological problems caused by fast food intakes. It is common that some people eat more food mainly fast foods during depression but A study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition showed that eating commercial baked goods (doughnuts, croissants, and, yes, even bran muffins) and fast food (pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs) may be linked to depression. The study determined that people who eat fast food are 51 percent more likely to develop depression than those who eat little to no fast food. It was also found that the more fast food study participants consumed, the more likely they were to develop depression.

It is quite difficult for us to boycott fast food consumption utterly. We can just lessen the tendency and regularity of fast food intake. As we know ‘excess of anything is bad’ so we can check our desire and can enjoy homemade delicious items with our families and friends instead of hanging out in a restaurant. We can fight shy of taking deep fried and greasy fast food items and also the nutrient content of a fast food during consumption can give an objectionable message to us. And lastly, if fast food intake is totally irrepressible for an individual, physical exercise is mandatory for him/her for maintaining a healthy and disease free body.

Nandeeta Samad currently pursuing her Master degree under Institute of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Dhaka. She is also an associate Fellow, Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS), Youth Ambassador, ActionAid Bangladesh and Young Fellow, South Asian Youth Society (SAYS). She is from Bangladesh. Mail her at nandeeta6@gmail.com

 

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Do processed foods matter for our kids?

mdtanvir-islam

Every achievement in our life is in vain if our kids become ill. It is our duty to serve our kids better food, clothing and environment and keep them healthy. But our children falls in trouble when we are passing major time in a day outside home to earn money and keep less time to give them homemade food.

At that time, what we do, we buy foods from outside. Most of them are processed food. Pasta, cereal,biscuits, crackers, chips, even yogurt or fruit juices arefilled with various artificial agentswhich increases foods self-life for long period, and stand still tasty with enough sugar and salt in it.According to statistics, average American diet consists of 70% processed food. Study published in the journal BMJ Open shows that about 60% of an American’s daily calories come from “ultraprocessed” food. They defined ultraprocessed foodscontaining ingredients such as colors, flavors, sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, emulsifiers and other additives that we wouldn’t cook with at home. According to Ethical Consumer Market Report 2015, in UK, sales of organic food and drink have been 16% down at 2015 from their peak in 2008.

People around the world are dangerously falling into the processed foods which leads to serious health hazards. For children, they are significantly devastating. Some examples might be more helpful to get the picture. According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, development of insulin resistance due to the concentrations of chemicals (advanced glycationendproducts, or AGEs) can caused by processed foods. And this (Type 2 Diabetes) can ruin your child’s childhood as well as future. In 2011, another study published in the Lancet says, with eliminated processed food children with ADHD observed a significant decrease in ADHD symptoms. But those symptoms intensified again, when the foods were reintroduced.In 2012, a study published in Clinical Epigenetics found that high consumption of additives like high fructose corn syrup contributes to mineral deficiencies which can contribute to autism spectrum disorders.

The processed food manufacturers often make hoax by using words like – organic, reduced calorie, cholesterol free, sugar free, reduced fat, colorful advertisements and so on. That is why you might not always choose healthy food for your kids, even you are thinking your choice was right. They are actually making you to think like that.

There are few tricks to select healthy foods for your kids. One of them is avoid any kind of packaged food as possible. Best option is buy the fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmers market next to you. They are raw, fresh, cheap and most important-healthy.

And it is obvious, everyone is not so lucky to keep farmers market in their choice and have to go to those super-shops to buy foods. Here’s a trick too.  Try to buy those packaged food, where there are smaller list of ingredients on the package. When you look on the ingredients list of a branded cereal, you will see a huge number of ingredients are listed there. Long list of ingredients yields that the food is heavily processed, especially when you can’t recognize them at all.

The ultimate message of this article is we should always feed our child healthy food. And processed food is not a solution of that. We should make our best choice to feed our child. That’s the nobility of homemade food. When we make our food at home, we always think about what is going to the body of our kids. And we have a strong confess and motivation to keep them well and healthy. The manufacturer may not think that way for your kids like you. It is not possible every time, but try your best. That will give more control what you are feeding your kids. ‘Parents’ is a mask of duty and responsibility. Beneath the mask, there are ideas. And ideas are bulletproof.

MdTanvir Islam is a graduate nutritionist & public health specialist. He has completed his gradation under department of Nutrition and Food Technology of Jessore University of Science & Technology and post-graduation under dept. of Public Health at American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB). He has interest on public health and recent health issues. He can be reached at tetratul@gmail.com

 

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Personality Disorders! Should be ignored or be supported?

Tahiya Islam

The term “personality” bears various meanings to various people. We often speak about the personality of a person and criticize him/her on the basis of their behaviors without properly understanding the meaning of it. Personality is basically the combination of the characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character. A set of qualities that make each person different from the other is termed as personality. But this personality can become problematic sometimes.

There are many people in our surroundings who want to be the center of all attraction all the time. It is not normal, because they feel uncomfortable and disturbed if they are not given the full attention all the time. These people are considered to be shallow, self-centered and they can engage in any kind of sexual or seductive and provocative behavior to draw attention to themselves. This kind of people often get bored or frustrated with the same activities of life. They do not stay faithful with their relationships either. Sometimes, they act out to be the victim or the princess in their relationships and blame the other side rather than themselves. They are ready to do anything to be the center of attraction. Their moralities are often compromised because they give priority to self-satisfaction than being satisfied morally in life. These people are great initiators in terms of doing any kind of work but after a certain amount of time, they lack the interest and importance of completing that particular work. They become really enthusiastic to make new friends, contacts and communications than maintaining the existing commitments with the existing people in their lives.

Researches have claimed that these behaviors are observed in an individual’s adulthood. Because an individual continuously grows throughout the whole childhood and adolescence. Researchers have termed this disorder as Histrionic Personality Disorder.

There are many theories behind the causes of this disorder. Most professionals subscribe to a biopsychosocial model of causation — that is, the causes of are likely due to biological and genetic factors, social factors (such as how a person interacts in their early development with their family and friends and other children), and psychological factors (the individual’s personality and temperament, shaped by their environment and learned coping skills to deal with stress). This suggests that no single factor is responsible — rather, it is the complex and likely intertwined nature of all three factors that are important. If a person has this personality disorder, research suggests that there is a slightly increased risk for this disorder to be “passed down” to their children.

People with this disorder tend to be insecure at times which hamper their lives in such ways which are not even understandable by them. The feeling of “I am not good enough”, “I am not smart enough” and “I do not think I can do it” damage their confidence in the most harmful way. They start avoiding work, school, university or any other place where they need to involve themselves in socializing and interacting with others. They constantly think about what others think about them and become very sensitive while facing any situation. They often isolate themselves and become lonely or timid. Researchers have termed this to be Avoidant Personality Disorder.

The low self-esteem and fear of rejection sometimes make the individual confused about their individualism and sense of morality. Some tend to indulge themselves in isolation due to recurrence of situations where they find themselves to be extremely low confident. In the worst cases, they tend to become suicidal because no urge of staying alive remains in their minds. Others tend to become aggressive and indulge themselves in situations or incidence in which they become histrionic.

We often show our sarcastic side to those who suffer from these personality disorders rather than being helpful towards them. This attitude makes us ignorant and insensitive about the disorders and the harmful effects they can create in an individual’s life.

An individual suffering from these disorders can be immensely helped just by talking to his/her closed and beloved ones. We all know the great saying “Sharing is caring”. These people are usually less confident or uncomfortable to have deep conversations about their problems. Brothers, sisters, parents, friends, partners can play a great role in creating an impact to the individual along with a psychologist or psychiatrist. These disorders can also be treated by taking medications but medications are less effective than psychotherapy. Medications such as- anti depressants and anti-psychotics must be prescribed when depression is associated with these disorders. But psychotherapy and sharing are the most two important factors that can easily help an individual to let go of all the foul feelings that make a “would be perfect” individual “the most hatred persona”.

Tahiya Islam completed her graduation under Department of Pharmacy, East West University. She is a student correspondent at Association of Life Science and Engineering Writers (ALSEW). Tahiya can be reached at tahiya945@gmail.com

 

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We Have Only One Planet, There is No Plant B.

arushi-madan

Once I visited for ‘Earth Day walkathon’, I pointed participants were happily joining the walkathon without knowing what it is for and what message it is conveying. Ironically, at the end of walkathon, I noticed people carelessly throwing waste including empty plastic water bottles, cans, chips wrappers etc in the open ground. Then I realized that there is a lack of awareness on basic environmental values in mass people. It made me to think how can a serious problem of global warming, an environmental menace, be tackled unless people are aware that problem exists, it is realistic and they are the stakeholders in contributing to the problems. This realization inspired me to adopt the cause. Ever since then, I have been into “Environmental Advocacy” by campaigns and working at grass root level.

I have been advocating the cause of environment conservation and sustainable living in the UAE for more than 5 years. I inspire others by environmental campaigns, awareness sessions, workshops, organizing environmental activities and sharing environmental values and achievements through print and social media.

I take every opportunity to spread awareness about the need to protect the environment and reduce waste. I have campaigned at malls, supermarkets, labor camp, factories, Toastmasters club meetings etc.By organizing many environment events and campaigns, I have mobilized youth to work towards environmental protection. By involving them, I have taught them environmental values which they will never forget. It is rightly said “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”.

Believing in the saying “Man with words and no deeds are like a garden full of weeds”, I practice and preach. I work at the grassroots level to set an example for others to follow like by my self -initiated projects “Waste segregation system “and “Energy Saving system” in my building.

I visit schools and educate students about environment values like the 3 Rs (Reduce, Reuse & Recycle) with the help of videos, quizzing, Environmental Games and Green Talk sessions. I demonstrate the concept of recycling by my self-made coffee tables which I made from discarded tyres. I have been visiting various factories and summer camps as well to educate people about environment protection.  I have linked up many companies having non-working inventory – to recycling agencies.

I organize educational trips to green sites to educate people about sustainability.I write articles on environmental issues/values like recycling, waste management, frugality, energy efficiency etc in various national newspapers to inspire people to be eco-conscious.

I try to impact all segments of society as everyone is a stakeholder in environment. Besides spreading environment awareness among youth, I have also done the same for laborers and women through environment awareness session exclusively for them. I believe in the saying “If you educate a man, you educate an individual but if you educate a woman, you educate a generation”, that’s why I regularly hold sessions and workshops exclusively for women from different segments (separately for working women & housewives).

I truly believe that trees are the lungs and lifelines for our Mother Earth and I organize “Tree Plantation” on various occasions. I have been planting trees on my birthdays, my parents’ anniversaries, and significant days like Earth Day, Environment Day, and International Youth Day etc. I visit primary schools, carry saplings with me and plant them with young kids to involve them in tree plantation and to lay their green foundation.

I also organized a campaign “A Dose of Help” to collect unused (not expired) medicines for the needy and to protect environment so that they don’t go to landfill if thrown. Collected more than 1000 medicines of more than 120 different types including insulin, thyroxine , paracetamol , cough syrups etc.These medicines were given to Emirates Red Crescent for the poor patients.

I am on a mission to inspire and empower more eco-warriors to get into action and lead us into greener future.My passion to work for environment has made me win many laurels, national and international awards which not only motivate me but also ensure that I am on the right path.

My message to the youth of future:

I would like to inform the global youth to shed away obstacles and not to delay for others to initiate. Have a “Let me” approach rather than “Why me”.  Apart from academics, involve yourself in social and voluntary activities to improve the lives, to give back to society and to make this world real place to live. For example, if you find a place dirty, please don’t say “the place is dirty”. Rather, clean it and say “Itwas dirty”. Do it and set examples for others.  Youth has immense potential to bring about a revolutionizing change, let’s use “Youth Power” and bring a positive change to the environment and to the world. Let’s increase our handprint to reduce our footprint. Let’s leave our mark.

My urge /message to readers:

Be the change makers than just the change seekers. Be the change you wish to see in the world.”Going green” doesn’t have to be a daunting task; we don’t need to bring drastic changes to our life style. So before taking any action, please ask yourself 3 questions.  Is it necessary? What will be its impact on environment? Is there any eco friendly alternative? Easy and small steps can make a difference. They may be small at individual level but if all of us follow them, they collectively have a bigger & positive impact on the environment. After all our carbon footprint adds to yours, yours adds to mine and ours adds up to the global carbon footprint. Remember, the earth can live without humans but humans cannot live without earth, we have only one planet, there is no planet B.

Arushi Madan is a student of Electronic & Electrical Engineering of University of Birmingham, UK. She is an environmental activist and working on different climate issues and creating awareness to reduce environmental pollution. Besides she has been working as a Regional Ambassador of Tunza Eco- Generation. She can be reached at madhumadan2003@yahoo.co.in

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Vulnerable Water Resource in Somalia

aminul-islam-sohan

Water is the fundamental factor to sustain life. Water crisis is a big issue in Somalia. Due to the civil war in Somalia the hole system collapse. There is no permanent government that can take the responsibility to provide basic service to the people. Only some international NGOs working in Somalia for the betterment. If only water issue is raised except other serious issues, it is at stake. There is no enough water resource to fulfill the existing water demand, moreover, the quality of water is not standard.

According to the hydrological view there are only two rivers name “Jubba” and “Shabelle”. The run off coefficient of Jubba is 6.5% and Shabelle is 2.1%. High flood causes frequently in these river due to high level of river bed, embankment broken by people and closing the flood release channels etc. Unfortunately, drought is also a major problem in these two rivers. The lowest flow of the two river is zero or close to zero in several years. Salinity is an another problem for river water. Salinity is found maximum from the month April to June, moderate from December to march and slightly found in October and November.

There are only seven water basins and Gulf of Aden is the remarkable basin situated in northern zone of Somalia and it reaches to the Indian ocean. Except the Gulf of Aden, no basin can reach to the ocean as the rainfall evaporated and infiltrated quickly.

The wars and the barkads are most common water storage system in Somali village. These are the artificial catchment, water pan, pond or dam to accumulate storm water. The average size is 20 m long, 10 m width and 3.5m depth. As it is totally depending on storm water, there is no way to harvest the rainwater in dry season as a result, many people and livestock expire. A large number of people displace from village to the city in search of water only.

Boreholes, dug wells, springs and subsurface dams are the main source of groundwater. Though the surface water source is limited, these groundwater options are widely used to meet the minimum need of water for human and livestock’s. Due to the poor construction and common outlet for both livestock and humans, the quality of water falls. Average depth of wells are 2m-10m. On the other hand, borehole depth varies from 90m-220m depending of various zone. Many boreholes have been uncontrolled due to the unsustainable draw down of static water levels. Some springs are found in mountainous area of Somalia, but this is not enough to fulfill the water demand.

Water scarcity is the main obstacle for production and irrigation. The minimum annual rainfall is 20mm and maximum annual rainfall is 1350 mm. At the same time the annual potential evapo-transpiration is between 1500mm-3000mm which exceeds rainfall in all months of the year. So, crop production largely depends on riverine area of bay region. According to the information from Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALM), if 65% irrigation efficiency is considered, minimum 9230 m3 of water would be required per hector.

Water scarcity, salinity and electrical conductivity, turbidity, hardness are the main problem of drinking water. The urban area use artificial water resource. But it is a matter of regret that rural people have not enough resource of water in addition they drink water without any treatment. Sanitation system also vulnerable due to water. Besides environmental issues, the livestock’s, agriculture in the upshot the hole ecosystem is threatened only for the water. It is high time for the researchers, scientists, technologist and donors to come forward to help the feckless people.

Aminul Islam Sohan is Lecturer, Department of Civil Engineering, Mogadishu University, Somalia. He is also a international correspondent at Association of Life Science and Engineering Writers (ALSEW). He can be reached at sohan.bd71@gmail.com 

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A Brief to Chikungunya Virus

sristy

In this beautiful world and dazzling nature we can see that nature gives us opportunities of being calm, broader in thoughts and a peace of mind. But on the other hand many people have to fight in this world against many of diseases. Some may be curable with a short treatment; some may need a lifelong treatment; some can be only manageable but not be prevented from its root.

Like many diseases Chikungunya virus infection plotted its name in history. The name of this disease may be new to many of us but Chikungunya virus was forts identified during an occurrence of dengue like illness in Tanzania in 1953. Then physician’s assessment was that it might be caused by dengue virus but after serological and antigenic test of isolates scientists found that it was an alphavirus.

By infected day-biting mosquitoes of Aedes genus this arboviral disease is transmitted to human. The main symptoms of this infection are quite similar to dengue fever which may lead the physician to treat their patients for dengue fever instead of Chikungunya.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Chikungunya infected patients may develop symptoms almost 3-7 days letter of being bitten by the tainted mosquito. The usual symptoms include fever and joint pain. Headache, muscle pain, rash, joint swelling may also occur. This infection is rarely fatal but the symptoms can be severe and cause disability of many patients. After treatment, within a week most patients may feel well again but some may have persisting joint pain for several months. This may be a risk factor for older adult patients of greater than 65 years, newborn infants if infected during birth and patents with medical conditions as hypertension and diabetes mostly.

The first incident was not like that it has not been occurred any more in between these long times. In the mean time this has numerous outbreaks documented in Africa and South-Asia. On the French Island region Chikungunya fever outbreak in 2005 and six patients were hospitalized with the fever. Under the observation four of them developed meningo encephalitis and two of them developed acute hepatitis.

In the Asian epidemic the first outbreak was reported in 1958 in Bangkok, Thailand and continued until 1964. After a late break it reappears in the mid 1970 and turned down in 1976. From some areas of India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar major outbreaks were reported in 1960s. The Chikungunya fever outbreak was first identified in Bangladesh in 2008. Another outbreak occurred in 2011 that was officially reported from Dohar in Dhaka. After that a survey descript that about twenty-nine percent people of rural resident experienced Chikungunya fever throughout three months of outburst.

Though scientists have not found any vaccine for this infection a proper treatment can cure from Chikungunya fever. All we can help a patient to get abundance of relax, drink a lot of fluid to keep away from dehydration. If any patient have Chikungunya virus prevention of mosquito bites is necessary at least for the first week of illness. Though a mosquito bites that is infected by a person’s blood who is suffering from Chikungunya fever, this virus van be transmitted to others.

We have to be aware of preventing Chikungunya virus that means we need to avoid infected mosquitoes from biting humans. For that we have to take proper measures to exclude the mosquitoes in educational institution, office, hotels, prayer halls, hospitals and even residential areas. Awareness should be developed to mass people about to be hygienic and about the treatment and care of patient during diseased condition rather than being careless. Government and society should come forward to take proper steps for cleaning the environment around households and officials to prevent this disease. If only we want we can save us!

Farzana Khan Sristy is a pharmacy student, has completed 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. Farzana is a student correspondent at Association of Life Science and Engineering Writers (ALSEW). She can be reached at farzana_sristy@yahoo.com

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