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Simple lifestyle changes could prevent lung cancer cases

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Health

Lung cancer is a deadly disease that never ends nicely. People die in suffering and it is extremely difficult even for their families. However, it doesn‘t have to be that way. Scientists from UNSW Sydney revealed that four in five lung cancers are completely preventable through healthy lifestyle. That includes not smoking, boosting fruit intake and being physically active.



This research pooled seven Australian cohort studies of 370,000 people. In other words, it is very broad and its results are respectable. Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death both in Australia and worldwide. It causes huge expenditures for healthcare systems, it destroys lives of the families of the patient, it causes suffering and pain. Currently, smoking is the cause for around the half of lung cancer cases. Of course, the best decision is to quit, but this new study showed that the lung cancer risk remained elevated for 40 years after stopping smoking. However, out of the 74,600 lung cancers attributable to current smoking in Australia in the next 10 years 25,400 could be avoided if all current smokers were to quit.

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However, quitting smoking is not enough to avoid cancer, even if it is the majority of the battle. This study also showed that eating two serves (about 300 grams) of fruit each day may reduce the lung cancer burden by 8%, and doing the recommended 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week may reduce the lung cancer burden by 16%. In fact, situation with fruit and exercising is much worse than with smoking. For example, 16 % of people in Australia are smokers, but 74% are not meeting guidelines for physical activity. 50 % of people are not eating enough fruit, which is strange, because fruit is delicious. But scientists are still pointing their fingers at smoking.

Dr Maarit Laaksonen, one of the authors of the paper, said: “The majority of Australians could benefit from increasing their fruit intake and physical activity. But for those who currently smoke, stopping smoking should be the first course of action”. But what are scientists suggesting? They are saying that steps must be two-fold. Population must be very well-informed about the harms of smoking and benefits of not smoking. And then a strong structure must be created to help people who want to quit smoking.

A lot of smokers are admitting that they want to quit but simply cannot, because they return to this bad habit. Doctors can help them replacing the social function of smoking with something else. In fact, even e-cigarettes can be a simple gradual step towards quitting completely.

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Health & Lifestyle

Cote d’Ivoire: Destroying the Killer Rice

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Authorities in Cote d’Ivoire have destroyed 18,000 tonnes of rice declared to be unfit for human consumption.

This follows tests carried out by the country’s consumer association which had demanded the government to do so after the cargo from Myanmar had been refused entry in Togo, Guinea and Ghana over quality issues.

The national and international quality control tests revealed the unfit nature of the rice.

It should be noted that most African countries depend on imports because local farmers are unable to meet the ever rising demands.

Source: Africanews

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Health & Lifestyle

Mali: Donkeys deliver vaccines as diseases spike with violence

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Reuters DAKAR –

With spiraling ethnic violence exposing more children in Mali to fatal diseases, health workers are using donkeys and boats to deliver life-saving vaccines, charities said on Wednesday.

In the central Mopti region – where 157 people died in one attack last month – suspected measles cases rose five-fold in one year to 98 in 2018, U.N. children’s agency UNICEF said, due to a four-fold jump in unvaccinated children to 70,000.

Motorcycles, which health workers used to reach remote villages, have been banned to reduce militant activity, forcing them to use traditional means like horses, it said.

“The problem of vaccination is directly linked to the current conflict,” said Patrick Irenge, medical coordinator for the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), which is using cars and boats as mobile clinics to reach cut off communities.

“If there is a lull in the violence, a small window that opens, we organize a vaccination campaign.”

Last month’s massacre was the deadliest to date in a conflict between Dogon hunters and Fulani herders which has displaced tens of thousands of civilians in the West African country since it escalated last year.

Pneumonia is one of the top killers of children in Mali and it can be prevented with vaccines – as can measles – but it is too dangerous for many parents to venture out with children.

“Transport is difficult because we don’t have the means to rent a vehicle or a horse cart,” said Aissata Barry, a 34-year-old mother in the village of Kankelena, about 4 km (2.5 miles) from the nearest health center in the town of Sofara.

“There are rapists on the road. That’s what we’re afraid of,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone, adding that one of her neighbors was raped two weeks ago.

Mamadou Kasse, a local health worker who vaccinated Barry’s children, said the number of children he can reach each day has fallen since he swapped his motorbike for an eight-hour ride in a donkey cart with a cooler full of vaccines.

Reporting by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit news.trust.org

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