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Monday, 17 February 2020

UNDERSTANDING THE CORONA VIRUS OUTBREAK



Corona viruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). It is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. 
PREVENTIONS
1.      Regular hand washing: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty.
2.      Covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing: When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
3.       Thoroughly cook meat and eggs: Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.
4.      Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing
5.     Practice respiratory hygiene
6.      Maintain social distancing: Maintain at least (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever. When someone who is infected with a respiratory disease, like 2019-nCoV, coughs or sneezes they project small droplets containing the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the virus.

7.      Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth: Hands touch many surfaces which can be contaminated with the virus. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself. 

8.      If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early: Whenever you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing it’s important to seek medical attention promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Respiratory symptoms with fever can have a range of causes, and depending on your personal travel history and circumstances, 2019-nCoV could be one of them.

9.       Practice general hygiene measures when visiting live animal markets, wet markets or animal product markets: Ensure regular hand washing with soap and potable water after touching animals and animal products; avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with hands; and avoid contact with sick animals or spoiled animal products. Strictly avoid any contact with other animals in the market (e.g., stray cats and dogs, rodents, birds, bats). Avoid contact with potentially contaminated animal waste or fluids on the soil or structures of shops and market facilities.

10.  Wearing a medical mask can help limit the spread of some respiratory disease: However, using a mask alone is not guaranteed to stop infections and should be combined with other prevention measures including hand and respiratory hygiene and avoiding close contact – at least (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people.


SOME POINTS TO KEEP IN MIND
1.      Hand dryers are not effective in killing the virus.
2.     UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.
3.      Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature) because of infection with the new corona virus. However, they cannot detect people who are infected but are not yet sick with fever. This is because it takes between 2 and 10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever.
4.       Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth). Be aware that both alcohol and chlorine can be useful to disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used under appropriate recommendations.
5.      It is safe to receive packages from China as they are not at risk of contracting the new corona virus. From previous analysis, we know corona viruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages.
6.     At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new corona virus. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. This protects you against various common bacteria such as Salmonella that can pass between pets and humans.
7.     Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Homophiles influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new corona virus.
8.      There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new corona virus. There is some limited evidence that regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold. However, regularly rinsing the nose has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.
9.     Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new corona virus.
10.   Sesame oil does not kill the new corona virus. There are some chemical disinfectants that can kill the 2019-nCoV on surfaces. These include bleach/chlorine-based disinfectants, either solvents, 75% ethanol, per acetic acid and chloroform. However, they have little or no impact on the virus if you put them on the skin or under your nose. It can even be dangerous to put these chemicals on your skin.
 By-Tvisha 




Thursday, 13 February 2020

Let’s WASH Coronavirus By Hand Washing !


Let’s WASH Coronavirus By Hand Washing !
Corona virus is nothing new. It has been with us for a long time. Corona virus can affect both animals and humans. It is important to keep in mind that most corona viral infections are mild. In the last two decades, there were two serious corona virus infections–severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) which both had elevated death rates.

Corona Virus: What To Do

So, what can you do? Wearing a mask will not help protect you from becoming ill with any viral infection—corona virus included. I would check that off the list.
First, it is important to maintain optimal levels of nutrients, particularly vitamins A, C, and D. Iodine is essential to not only fighting off an infection it is necessary for proper immune system functioning. There is no bacteria, virus, parasite or fungus that is known to be resistant to iodine.
Most people have suboptimal vitamin A and C levels. Both of these nutrients have antiviral abilities and are able to support the immune system when it is under viral attack.To prevent becoming ill and to avoid having a poorly responding immune system, it is vitally important to eat a healthy diet free of all sources of refined sugar. Refined sugar has been shown to negatively alter the functioning of the white blood cells for hours after ingestion.
Finally, it is important to maintain optimal hydration—drink water! Take your body weight in pounds, divide by two and the resultant number is the amount of water to drink per day in ounces. Dehydration ensures you will be much more likely to suffer serious problems from any infectious process.
Hand-washing does seem extremely obvious—which may be the problem. Those of us who have lived our entire lives removed from epidemics of cholera and other deadly hygiene-related outbreaks haven’t witnessed the power of hand-washing and take it for granted. But it may be the single most important thing any given person can do to help stop and prevent outbreaks.
Respiratory infections are diseases we very often give to ourselves. People are told to cover their coughs and sneezes, but studies show a vast majority don’t wash their hands after doing so. Someone carrying the pathogenic microbes might shake your hand, or touch a doorknob or desk that you later touch. Once you pick them up, if you touch your face, the circle is complete.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Edited By : Gaurav



Tuesday, 11 February 2020

HEEALS Intern Testimonial Video

HEEALS Intern Andrea successfully completed his internship and share his experience through his Testimonial Video

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Internship Completed !!






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UNDERSTANDING RESPIRATORY AND URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS (RTIs and UTIs)



 
INTRODUCTION:  Respiratory tract infections can cause sinuses, throat airways or lungs. It is an infection that affects normal breathing. It can affect ones upper respiratory system, which starts at the sinuses and ends at the vocal chords, or just the lower respiratory system, which starts at the vocal chords and ends at the lungs. The immune systems of children and older adults are more prone to being affected by viruses. Children are especially at risk because of their constant contact with other kids who could be virus carriers. Children often don’t wash their hands regularly. They are also more likely to rub their eyes and put their fingers in their mouths, resulting in the spread of viruses. People with heart disease or other lung problems are more likely to contract an acute respiratory infection. Anyone whose immune system might be weakened by another disease is at risk. Smokers also are at high risk and have more trouble recovering.

SYMPTOMS:
1.      Congestion
2.      Runny nose
3.      Cough
4.      Sore throat
5.      Body aches
6.      Fatigue
7.      Dizziness
8.      Losing consciousness

There are 2 main types of RTIs- Upper RTI and Lower RTI. These are explained as follows:

UPPER RTI ( sinuses and throat)- Common cold, Sinus infection, Tonsillitis, Laryngitis.
An upper respiratory infection, or the common cold, is an infection that affects the nasal passages and throat. Treatment is usually simple, unless a person also has a chronic respiratory condition such as asthma. For an upper respiratory infection (URI) to occur, a virus enters the body, usually through the mouth or nose. A person may transmit it through touch, or by sneezing and coughing. Any place where people gather in an enclosed space, such as a classroom, office, or home, can be a high-risk area for the spread of URIs. Typically, a URI lasts anywhere between 3 and 14 days. In some cases, URIs can develop into more serious conditions, such as sinus infections or pneumonia.
LOWER RTI (Bronchitis, Chest infection, pneumonia)
Lower respiratory tract infections are any infections in the lungs or below the voice box. These include pneumonia, bronchitis, and tuberculosis. Lower respiratory tract infections differ from upper respiratory tract infections by the area of the respiratory tract they affect. While lower respiratory tract infections involve the airways below the larynx, upper respiratory tract infections occur in the structures in the larynx or above. People who have lower respiratory tract infections will experience coughing as the primary symptom.
CAUSES
Treatment will depend on the cause of your RTI:
  • a virus (like colds) – this usually clears up by itself after a few weeks and antibiotics will not help
  • bacteria (like pneumonia) – your GP may prescribe antibiotics  (make sure you complete the whole course as advised by your GP, even if you start to feel better)

Some Dos and Don’ts
Dos
  • get plenty of rest
  • drink lots of water to loosen any mucus and make it easier to cough up
  • drink a hot lemon and honey drink to help soothe a cough (not suitable for babies)
  • gargle with warm salty water if you have a sore throat (children should not try this)
  • raise your head up while sleeping using extra pillows to make breathing easier and clear your chest of mucus
  • use painkillers to bring down a fever and help ease a sore throat, headaches and muscle pain


Don’ts
  • do not let children breathe in steam from a bowl of hot water as there's a risk of scalding
  • do not give aspirin to children under 16
  • do not smoke – it can make your symptoms worse

Recovery time
  • Recovery time for a lower respiratory tract infection varies from person to person.
  • According to the American Lung Association, a healthy young adult can recover from a lower respiratory tract infection, such as pneumonia, in around 1 week. For older adults, it may take several weeks to make a full recovery.






URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS (UTIs)

A urinary tract infection or UTI, is an infection in any part of your urinary system, which includes your kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra.
For  women, the chance of getting a urinary tract infection is high. Some experts rank the lifetime risk of getting one as high as 1 in 2, with many women having repeat infections, sometimes for years. About 1 in 10 men will get a UTI in their lifetime.
Symptoms of UTIs
The symptoms of a UTI can include:
  • A burning feeling when you pee
  • A frequent or intense urge to pee, even though little comes out when you do
  • Cloudy, dark, bloody, or strange-smelling pee
  • Feeling tired or shaky
  • Fever or chills (a sign that the infection may have reached your kidneys)
  • Pain or pressure in your back or lower abdomen
Here are some key points about urinary tract infection. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.
  • Women have a lifetime risk of over 50 percent of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI).
  • Common symptoms include a strong, frequent urge to urinate and a painful and burning sensation when urinating.
  • A UTI is usually diagnosed based on symptoms and testing of a urine sample.
  • UTIs can be cured with 2 to 3 days of treatment.
  • Cranberry extracts do not treat UTIs but may help reduce the risk of recurrent UTI.

Causes of UTIs

UTIs are a key reason why doctors tell women to wipe from front to back after using the bathroom. The urethra -- the tube that takes pee from the bladder to the outside of the body -- is close to the anus. Bacteria from the large intestine, such as E. coli, can sometimes get out of your anus and into your urethra. From there, they can travel up to your bladder and, if the infection isn't treated, can continue on to infect your kidneys. Women have shorter urethras than men. That makes it easier for bacteria to get to their bladders. Having sex can introduce bacteria into your urinary tract, too.
Some women are more likely to get UTIs because of their genes. The shape of their urinary tracts makes others more likely to be infected. Women with diabetes may be at higher risk because their weakened immune systems make them less able to fight off infections.
Other conditions that can boost your risk include hormone changes, multiple sclerosis, and anything that affects urine flow, such as kidney stones, a stroke, and a spinal cord injury.
 SOME POINTS TO REMEMBER
  • Empty your bladder often as soon as you feel the need to pee; don't rush, and be sure you've emptied your bladder completely.
  • Wipe from front to back after you use the toilet.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Choose showers over baths.
  • Stay away from feminine hygiene sprays, scented douches, and scented bath products; they'll only increase irritation.
  • Cleanse your genital area before sex.
  • Keep your genital area dry by wearing cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes. Don’t wear tight jeans and nylon underwear; they can trap moisture, creating the perfect environment for bacteria growth.

HOW DOES HEEALS WORK TOWARDS THIS?
HEEALS aims at providing sensitization towards such topics through various projects. Under the ‘ PADS FOR GIRLS’ and  ‘ HANDWASHING PROJECT’ , our organization wants to educate young minds, especially girls, about menstrual hygiene and warding off potential diseases. Our projects are widespread and cover several cities including Delhi-NCR, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh etc. Lack of menstrual hygiene is a major factor for Urinary tract diseases and thus there is a need to sensitize people towards it. We therefore work towards making learning fun and interactive by conducting our workshops on a regular basis in various schools. Through our small efforts, we try to bring about a big change in society.

By : Tvisha 

Thursday, 6 February 2020

WASH Lesson & Handwash Workshop !

We organized WaSH Lesson & Handwash Workshop In Schools & Distributed Soap bars & wash info graphic posters .









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Tuesday, 4 February 2020

AN INTRODUCTION TO WaSH DISEASES



INTRODUCTION: WaSh is an acronym for water, sanitation and hygiene. Universal, affordable and sustainable access to WaSh has become a key public health issue all across the world. Not only is it a basic fundamental right, as recognized in 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly, but is also an important sustainable development goal set by the World Health Organization. Today, 2.2 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services and 4.2 billion people lack safely managed sanitation services. Unsafe hygiene practices are widespread and the impact on child mortality rates is devastating with more than 2,97,000 children under five who die annually from diarrheal diseases due to poor sanitation, poor hygiene or unsafe drinking water. Furthermore, 2 out of 5 people or 3 billion people around the world lack basic hand washing facilities at home.

SOME IMPORTANT FACTS
· 2.0 billion people still do not have basic sanitation facilities such as toilets or latrines.
· Of these, 673 million still defecate in the open, for example in street gutters, behind bushes or into open bodies of water.
·  At least 10% of the world’s population is thought to consume food irrigated by wastewater.
· Poor sanitation is linked to transmission of diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio.
· Poor sanitation reduces human well-being, social and economic development due to impacts such as anxiety, risk of sexual assault, and lost educational opportunities.

Without improved sanitation people have no choice but to use inadequate communal latrines or   to practice open defecation. For women and girls, finding a place to go to the toilet outside, often having to wait until the cover of darkness, can leave them vulnerable to abuse and sexual assault.
In the immediate environment,  the lack of effective waste disposal or sewerage systems can contaminate ecosystems.
In MANY parts of the India, there is little or no awareness of good hygiene practices and their role in reducing the spread of disease. However, it is often the case that even when people do have knowledge of good hygiene behavior, they lack the soap, safe water and washing facilities they need to make positive changes to protect themselves and their community.
The impact of universal access to WASH on global health would be profound. There is the potential to save the lives of the 829,000 people who currently die every year from diseases directly caused by unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene practices, and we could also drastically reduce child malnourishment, and help alleviate physical and mental under-development. Today, 50% of child malnutrition is associated with unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. Women and girls would have the facilities and knowledge to be able to manage their menstrual cycles in safety and dignity. Similarly, during pregnancy, childbirth, and post-natal care, medical staff, expectant mothers and their families will be better equipped to ensure newborn children are given the safest and healthiest possible start in life.
The main objective of water supply, sanitation and hygiene programmes is thus to reduce the transmission of faecal related diseases and exposure to diseases with epidemic potential, allowing people living with good health, dignity, comfort and security.
This concept is especially promoted in schools to improve health conditions in low-resource settings where people find it difficult to meet their daily needs.  While governments across the world efficiently try to reduce mortality rates owing to such diseases, the most basic measures include access to safe excreta disposal, support for basic hygiene practices such as hand washing with soap, and provision of a safe and reliable water supply.
Today, WaSH interventions are essential for assuring child health and development, It is a concept that is a determinant of educational outcome in girls, since maternal education a strong predictor of child health outcomes, including stunting and nutrition. Access to improved sanitation facilities, which are single sex and usable, is also essential for menstrual hygiene management and enables school attendance for pubertal girls.


HOW DOES HEEALS WORK TOWARDS THIS?

Globally, around a third of schools have no safe water supply or adequate sanitation, leaving children dehydrated and less able to concentrate, and forcing pupils to use inadequate latrines or go to the toilet outside in the school grounds. At HEEALS, we understand the cause and its effect on our surroundings. We thus try to spread awareness through actively organizing workshops in schools. Through our little efforts, we aim to make education fun. It is in our hands to prepare our future generations for being able to tackle problems related to such diseases. Through informative posters, slogans and catchy tunes, we aim to make students learn the importance of hygienic surroundings, while making it fun and interactive. The disease and time burden associated with lack of access to WASH prevents many adults from earning a living or fulfilling their potential in the professional arena. Not only could access to WASH free up adults, particularly women, to do more productive activities, the establishment and maintenance of WASH services would create associated employment. We strive towards making students understand preventive measures while actively encouraging their families to do the same.
- By Tvisha bhanot 
Wash Volunteer