This week, organizations around the globe are working to create awareness and educate people about the signs, symptoms, treatment and prevention of one of the leading causes of death and disability, stroke.
Wednesday, 29 October officially marked World Stroke Day. According to the World Health Organization, every year 15 million people worldwide suffer a stroke.
Five million die, and another five million are left permanently disabled. Globally, stroke is the second leading cause of death above the age of 60 years, and the fifth leading cause of death in people aged 15-59 years old. In many developed countries the incidence of stroke is declining even though the actual number of strokes is increasing because of the aging population. In the developing world, however, the incidence of stroke is increasing. In China, 1.3 million people have a stroke each year and 75% live with varying degrees of disability as a result of stroke.
For people with serious physical and mental disabilities, the government offers maximum monthly pension benefits of slightly more than 80,000 yen.
The sum invariably represents an indispensable means of financial support to such people. To be eligible for the program, a person must be covered by the national pension system or have consulted a doctor about their condition before they turn 20 years of age. Screening to determine eligibility for the program should be fair and strict. At the same time, it is vital to ensure that no deserving person is denied benefits.
During the next five years, 3 million Vietnamese women will benefit from a 21 billion VND (1.2 million USD) free program checking for osteomalacia, a bone softening disease.
The checks will be carried out by HCM City's Association of Osteomalacia and Fonterra Brands Vietnam Company. According to Le Anh Thu, chairwoman of the association, about 2.5 million Vietnamese have osteomalacia, of whom more than one third are women. In women over 50, oesteomalacia is the second most common serious ailment after heart disease. Of every five people who break a thigh none due to the ailment, one dies within a year.
Wheelchairs given to children with disabilities.
More than 200 wheelchairs were given to children with disabilities last week in seven northern provinces thanks to funds from the Vietnam Fund for Children (VNFC) and the Vietnam Industrial and Commercial Bank (VICB) worth 315 million VND (19,000 USD). This is an annual program between VNFC and VICB. About 600 wheelchairs worth 900 million VND (54,500 USD) will be sent to disabled children in 19 cities and provinces nationwide this year.
New results from the landmark ONTARGET Trial show that, in Asian patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), telmisartan (MICARDIS) 80mg is as effective as, and significantly better tolerated than, ramipril 10mg in reducing the risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack, stroke and hospitalization for congestive heart failure.
These preliminary results were presented today at the 19th Great Wall - International Cardiology Congress (GW-ICC) in Beijing, China. Telmisartan and ramipril were equally protective in Asian and non-Asian populations. Of note, telmisartan was significantly better tolerated than ramipril in this Asian population, with 19.9% patients stopping their treatment permanently with ramipril compared with only 14.4% patients treated with telmisartan (p=0.0004). Even though only patients considered tolerant of both treatments were selected to enter ONTARGET, 5.9% of patients on ramipril stopped their treatment due to cough - an adverse reaction to ACE-inhibitors - compared with only 1.4% of patients treated with telmisartan.(1) Analysis will be conducted in the near future to further examine these interesting findings.
Established in 1985, Action on Disability in Development (ADD) is an international development agency that works with partner organizations of disabled people in Africa and Asia to create a world where all disabled people are able to enjoy their rights, fulfill their responsibilities and participate as fully as they choose at every level in their societies.
Japan - The Board of Audit has found that employment associations in 29 prefectures misused about 110 million yen that was paid by the Japan Organization for Employment of the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities (JEED), as fees for carrying out its operations over an eight-year period until fiscal 2007. According to sources, an audit by the board revealed that the public bodies had spent the money provided by JEED for dining, fraudulent business trips and other purposes. The money is intended to cover administration costs and the cost of holding consulting events and lectures on employment of the elderly and disabled.
The General Assembly would call on States to take all necessary measures to ensure the right of women and girls to the highest attainable standards of health, paying special attention to securing appropriate prenatal and post-natal care for the prevention of obstetric fistula, according to a draft resolution approved unanimously today by the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural), which broke off from its discussion on the promotion and protection of human rights to take action on the text.
Obstetric fistula, a condition caused by prolonged childbirth without medical intervention, leaves 50,000 to 100,000 women with a hole in their birth canal each year.
In addition to suffering from incontinence, these women face social ostracism and cultural backlash. "Women reported being physically isolated from their families in West Darfur and mistreated by in-laws in Burkina Faso," Vrachnos said. However, "more than half of the 71 women living with fistula interviewed in the Central African Republic indicated that their husbands provided moral and financial support." As a result of the work of UNFPA and other committed organizations around the world, eliminating obstetric fistula by 2015 is becoming an achievable goal.
So far, in the last five years, UNFPA's programs have helped almost 80,000 women with obstetric fistula.
Scammers are targeting Singapore's older netizens in an array of scams, from fake kidnappings to offers of miracle cures, say Internet experts and police.
Some scams, for instance, promise pricey miracle cures for diseases such as arthritis and cancer. There is also a kidnapping scam in which a victim gets an e-mail message claiming that a loved one has been abducted. Con-men ask the senior for ransoms that can stretch into tens of thousands of dollars. Seniors more trusting nature makes them particularly vulnerable to scam e-mail messages aimed at stealing financial information like credit card numbers and online banking personal identification numbers.
Philippines - The Department of Finance (DOF) has thumbed down a request from drug stores in the country for the government to give them a tax refund for the discount they extend to senior citizens. Earlier, the Drug Stores Association of the Philippines (DSAP) asked fiscal authorities for a full recovery of the discounts they give to senior citizens via tax credit. They claimed that they could no longer afford to give discount because their mark-up is low at five percent to 10 percent.