May 242017

PESHAWAR: Speakers at a seminar urged the government to keep track of menstrual hygiene practices among girls and women, saying that 79% of Pakistani women do not manage their periods hygienically, which is a public health issue.

The Tuesday seminar was held in connection with Menstrual Hygiene Day, which is celebrated worldwide on May 28, with the aim to increase awareness about the importance of safe and hygienic period management. It was organised by the Water and Sanitation Cell (Watsan) of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Local Government department in collaboration with Unicef, International Rescue Committee and Plan Pakistan among others at the University of Peshawar.

Unicef defines menstrual hygiene management as the awareness, information and confidence to safely manage one’s periods by using hygienic products, having bathing and washing facilities and ability to dispose of used menstrual products with dignity and privacy.

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K-P Health Department Director Dr Nasreen Akbar was the chief guest, while students, women, LG elected representatives, as well as government officials were in attendance.

In her address, Afshan Bhatti, the representative of Real Medicine Foundation, a non-profit working to improve the health sector in disaster-hit regions, said that according to a research conducted by her organisation, 79% of Pakistani women were not properly managing menstrual hygiene.

“Like safe drinking water and improved sanitation, menstrual hygiene is also one of the basic needs of women to live a dignified life,” she said. “There is a need for allocation in the budget to take steps to improve menstrual hygiene in K-P and the country.”

Shazia Sardar from Integrated Rural Support Program (IRSP) Mardan informed the participants that one-third of girls drop out of school before completing primary education due to a lack of proper menstrual sanitation arrangements at educational institutions.

Health department director Dr Akbar said menstruation is a sign that a girl has hit puberty but unfortunately in local society, it begins to affect the girl’s socialisation and therefore can have a significant negative impact on her education.

She said teachers and lady health workers can play a vital role in this regard, she said. “We can play a very important role in lessening the burden on hospitals by giving appropriate attention to cleanliness when it comes to menstruation and sanitation,” she said.

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Dr Akbar appreciated the efforts of the working group for menstrual hygiene management at the provincial as well as federal level and recommended that the series of the awareness sessions needs to be extended to the district level to educate more adolescent girls.

Dr Wasaf Syed and Gloria from Unicef, Hina Kausar from Water Aid also spoke on the occasion and stressed upon the provision of sanitation arrangements to properly dispose of menstrual products at schools.

These arrangements could include the availability of nurses at schools to guide girls and help manage period pain; availability of sanitary pads with teachers or in girls washrooms; running water in the restrooms; and special disposal cans to ensure safe and private disposal of pads and other period products as is the case in several developed countries.

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May 242017

High platelet counts, a condition called thrombocytosis, are strongly associated with cancer cells in the body, new research has found.

According to a study published in the British Journal of General Practice, an early diagnosis for cancer can be achieved by examining platelet counts – claiming it had the same relevance as a lump did for breast cancer.  The scientists believe that using a simple blood test that determined levels of platelet could speed up diagnosis process by up to three months for thousands of patients in a year.

Sarah Bailey, the co-author of the research from the University of Exeter, said “this is a clue which can be used in practice by GPs to help them select patients for further investigation … most excitingly in some patients who may not already have other symptoms of cancer to achieve an earlier diagnosis.”

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The researchers randomly selected almost 50, 000 individuals aged 40 or more, to examine the data for the study – using data of about 31,000 with raised platelet count and nearly 8, 000 without. The team discovered that those who had thrombocytosis were more susceptible to cancer than others: 11. 6 per cent [men] and 6.2 per cent [women]. While 4.1 per cent men and 2.2 per cent women without raised platelet counts were found to have cancer.

“We found cancer was more commonly diagnosed in men with raised platelet counts than it was in women with raised platelet counts and we believe that is because there are more causes of raised platelet counts in women that are not cancer,” said Bailey.

Researchers noted cancer to be more common in those who have the condition for a long time – concluding that 18.1 per cent of men and 10.1 per cent of women developed cancer six months after being diagnosed with raised platelets.

While a link between thrombocytosis and some cancer types has been suspected before by researchers, new guidelines by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence suggest a high platelet count could be a sign of oesophagal, stomach, lung or uterus cancer. However the relation between thrombocytosis with factors like age and sex are unclear.

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A professor of primary care oncology at the University of Leeds, Richard Neal endorsed the study, saying it “demonstrates the potential for a commonly used blood test to identify some patients with cancer earlier.”

“This work should begin to change practice so that GPs should be testing patients with raised platelet counts for cancer, especially those without other potential cancer symptoms,” he added.

On the other, Dr Jasmine Just, health information officer at Cancer Research UK,  thinks more research is needed to confirm if tests after thrombocytosis could help save lives. “There are lots of possible reasons a person’s platelet count might be high, and in most cases, it won’t be down to cancer,” she said. “Measuring platelet count in patients who don’t otherwise warrant a blood test is not necessarily a good idea. But if a patient has a blood test for another reason and a high platelet count is found, then one of the possible diagnoses doctors should consider is cancer.”

This article originally appeared on the Guardian. 

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May 242017
England take on South Africa in Champions Trophy buildup

AB de Villiers and Eoin Morgan pose with the trophy. Photo: ICC LONDON: Eoin Morgan is hoping the return of three key players from the Indian Premier League will help England defeat top-ranked South Africa in their upcoming one-day international series.A three-match contest between the sides starts with a day/nighter at Headingley on Wednesday, with the series given added spice by the fact it acts as a warm-up for next week´s Champions Trophy tournament in England and Wales.That competition will see England trying to end their 42-year wait for a maiden major International Cricket Council ODI trophy, with the 2010 World Twenty their lone global short-format title.All-rounders Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes, together with wicket-keeper Jos Buttler, were all given permission to miss England´s opening two ODIs this season against Morgan´s native Ireland and instead extend their IPL stints.Stokes and Buttler, who played for Rising Pune Supergiant and Mumbai Indians respectively, might have been in opposition in Sunday´s final had they not been recalled to an England training camp in Spain.Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen told Sky Sports the decision was “an absolute shambles”.“What are they going to Spain for? To field a couple of balls? They should be playing in the IPL,” he said.Stokes — paid a record $2.16 million to play the eight-week IPL season — was instrumental in Pune reaching the knockout phase after a brilliant debut campaign in the lucrative Twenty20 competition.The 25-year-old left-handed batsman and right-handed pace bowler scored 316 runs in 12 matches, with a [Read More…]

May 242017
6 times Bollywood totally wrecked Hollywood films

Just few days back Bollywood star Tiger Shroff happily announced that he will be stepping into the shoes of his idol Sylvester Stallone, in a Hindi remake of the cult Hollywood classic Rambo. Interestingly his announcement received a quick response from the Sylvester himself. “I read recently they are remaking Rambo in India! Great character, hope they don’t wreck it,” he wrote. Compiled from, here is a list of Indian remakes of hit Hollywood flicks which tanked at the box office and must have surely made the makers of the original wonder why they sold the rights of their film in the first place. Sigh! Bang Bang! PHOTO:FILE Siddharth Anand adapted Bang Bang! from James Mangold’s Knight and Day, starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. The Indian remake starred ace actors Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif. However, the only saving grace for this film was Hrithik’s chiseled body and Katrina’s cute looks. Nothing else worked in the film’s favour! Brothers PHOTO:FILE Starring Akshay Kumar and Student of the Year star Siddharth Malhotra as estranged brothers, the film is an official remake of Hollywood’s 2011 flick Warrior. The Hindi adaptation was directed by Karan Malhotra. Despite having power-packed performers in the remake, the film bombed at the box office. Players PHOTO:FILE The Abbas Mustan directorial was a remake of The Italian Job. The original film was a super hit and performed well financially and critically, courtesy director Peter Collinson. But, the Indian remake was a huge miss and flopped big time [Read More…]

May 242017
Manchester attack scars Europa League final

STOCKHOLM: Shaken by the deadly Manchester bomb attack, Manchester United’s players arrived in Stockholm on Tuesday for a Europa League final against Ajax that has been scarred by tragedy.United manager Jose Mourinho said the attack, which left 22 people dead and 59 injured, had deeply affected his players, who held a minute’s silence at their Carrington training base prior to leaving for Stockholm.United cancelled their eve-of-match press conference at the Friends Arena, but Mourinho and his players solemnly went ahead with a scheduled walk around the pitch before returning to the team hotel.“We’re all very sad about the tragic events last night; we can’t take out of our minds and hearts the victims and their families,” Mourinho said in quotes published on United’s Twitter account.“We have a job to do and will fly to Sweden to do that job. It’s a pity we cannot fly with the happiness we always have before a big game.“I know, even during my short time here, that the people of Manchester will pull together as one.”Announcing the decision to cancel their press conference, United said in a statement: “We are sure that, in the circumstances, you will all understand our position on this matter.“Our thoughts are with the victims at this terribly difficult time.”Ajax coach Peter Bosz told his pre-match press conference: “The feeling that prevails is that the final doesn’t have the glow it should have.“Tomorrow evening should be a football feast, but because of events in Manchester, we’re all affected, particularly as [Read More…]

May 232017
Manchester victims in United's 'minds and hearts', says Mourinho

Jose Mourinho said the victims of a deadly suicide bomb attack in Manchester were in the “minds and hearts” of his squad as United prepare for Wednesday’s Europa League final against Ajax in Stockholm.The Daesh extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack that killed at least 22 people, including children, and injured dozens at a concert by US pop star Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena on Monday.“We’re all very sad about the tragic events last night, we can’t take out of our minds & hearts the victims & their families,” Manchester United manager Mourinho said in comments on the club’s Twitter feed.“We have a job to do & will fly to Sweden to do that job. It’s a pity we cannot fly with the happiness we always have before a big game.”Mourinho, who joined United last year, added: “I know, even during my short time here, that the people of Manchester will pull together as one.”The Portuguese led his players in a minute’s silence on United’s training pitches and the club said they were cancelling Tuesday’s pre-match press conference in Stockholm.“Due to the tragic events in Manchester last night and the effect that this has had on everyone here at our club and within our city, we have decided to cancel this evening’s pre-match press conference in Stockholm,” United said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the victims at this terribly difficult time.”Meanwhile David Beckham, who made his name as a global football star at United, expressed his [Read More…]

May 232017

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s candidate vying for the top slot of World Health Organisation (WHO) could not qualify as Ethiopian candidate won the election with 133 votes. UK candidate Dr David Nabarro, former health minister of Ethiopia Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Dr Sania Nishtar were among the top three contenders vying for the post. The election campaign for WHO director general started in November last year, in which six countries fielded their candidates: Pakistan, Italy, France, UK, Hungry and Ethiopia. Reform on the menu as WHO votes for new chief First round of the elections were held in January this year in which Dr Nishtar, former health minister, was elected amongst the top three candidates. All 194 member states voted on Tuesday in the final round for to elect the director general for the next five years. In the first round Dr Ghebreyesus secured 95 votes, Dr Nabarro 52 and Dr Nishtar got 38 votes. The Pakistani contender could not qualify for the final round with short of 14 votes. Pakistan’s former health minister among top contenders for WHO chief post She was the first Pakistani candidate to have gone so far. Federal Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar and other health officials were in Geneva to support the Pakistan’s candidate. The government and civil society had widely supported Dr Nishtar. She is Pakistan’s first female cardiologist who founded Heartfile in 1998, a think-tank that also financed poor patients. Dr Nishtar has vast experience in global health in the multilateral system. [Read More…]

May 232017
Di Maria, Pastore homes raided in PSG tax probe

This file photo taken on April 09, 2017 shows PSG Argentinian forward Angel Di Maria – AFP1PARIS: Investigators raided the headquarters of Paris Saint-Germain and the homes of the club’s Argentinian stars Angel Di Maria and Javier Pastore on Tuesday in a tax fraud probe, legal sources said.French prosecutors launched the investigation in December following revelations by the “Football Leaks” website concerning financial transactions and other details involving top football players.Di Maria and Pastore are being investigated in connection with the probe into the use of tax havens to hide earnings from the marketing of image rights, the sources said.The leaks also targeted Real Madrid´s Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United´s Paul Pogba.The Paris head office of PSG as well as its administrative offices were raided, the source told AFP, confirming a report by French investigative newspaper Mediapart.According to the newspaper, the raids were the first in connection with the tax evasion allegations contained in the leaks published in December by Mediapart along with a consortium of media outlets known as European Investigative Collaborations.The paper alleged that Di Maria, who joined PSG in August 2015 from Manchester United, had pocketed at least 5.1 million euros ($57.2 million) between 2013 and 2016 through offshore transactions.According to Mediapart, PSG signed a contract with an offshore company in Panama through which it took a share of the player´s earnings, although the club told the paper it had never received a commission from any tax haven company. Click for detailed story

May 232017

MANCHESTER: Police on Tuesday named a young man – reportedly British-born of Libyan descent – as the suspect behind a suicide bombing that ripped into young fans at a concert in Manchester, killing 22 including an eight-year-old girl. Manchester police identified the suspect as 22-year-old Salman Abedi, but declined to give any further details. British media said he was born in the northwestern English city and that his Libyan parents had fled the regime of Muammar Qaddafi. Prime Minister Theresa May vowed “terrorists will not prevail”, after the Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the attack at the conclusion of US pop star Ariana Grande’s concert late Monday at the Manchester Arena, one of Europe’s largest indoor venues. Manchester terror attack: What we know Threatening more attacks, IS said in a statement published on its social media channels: “One of the caliphate’s soldiers placed bombs among the crowds.” Manchester police chief constable Ian Hopkins told reporters: “The priority remains to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network.” Witnesses described the horror when the suicide bomber blew himself up and anguished parents appealed for information on their loved ones, as Mancunians opened their doors to shelter people lost in the confusion, and taxi drivers offered free rides. “There were fathers carrying their little girls in tears. People were pushing down the stairs. It was just… chaos,” Sebastian Diaz, a 19-year-old from Newcastle, said. Manchester attacker aimed to cause ‘maximum carnage’: May Britain’s worst terror bloodshed for [Read More…]

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