WHAT'S THE BUZZ

HIV+s should not rely on homoeopathy

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned people with HIV, TB and malaria to stay away from the use of homoeopathic medicines.

The WHO’s statement came following concerns of young researchers who fear that encouraging the use of homoeopathy in developing countries could risk people’s lives.
A group called Voice of Young Science Network had also campaigned for ‘evidence-based’ care.

Dr Mario Raviglione, director, Stop TB department, WHO, said: “Our evidence-based WHO TB treatment/management guidelines, as well as the International Standards of Tuberculosis Care do not recommend use of homoeopathy.”
Speaking on the use of Homoeopathy to treat diarrhoea in children, a spokesman for the WHO said: “We have found no evidence to date that homoeopathy would bring any benefit”.

“Homoeopathy does not focus on the treatment and prevention of dehydration — in total contradiction with the scientific basis and our recommendations for the management of diarrhoea.”

Even smokeless tobacco is not safe

Smokeless tobacco products like snus can higher a person’s risk of having a fatal heart attack or stroke, says a new study.

To reach the conclusion, the research team, led by Dr Paolo Boffetta at International Agency for Research on Cancer in France, analysed the results of 11 studies carried out in Sweden and North America on the use of smokeless tobacco products and the risk of developing or dying from a heart attack or stroke.


Differences in study design and quality were taken into account to minimise bias. They found a small increased risk of death from a heart attack or stroke among users of smokeless tobacco products compared with non-users.

Flu vaccine may cut antibiotic use

A Canadian study suggests that in addition to helping protect against disease, influenza vaccination may also prevent inappropriate antibiotic use.

The study points out that, starting in 2000, the Canadian province of Ontario introduced a universal immunisation programme offering free influenza vaccines to anyone 6 months of age or older.

It further states that other provinces continued to target only high-risk groups, and their contacts for vaccination.

The authors compared prescription rates for influenza-associated respiratory antibiotics before and after the Ontario programme began, and compared the Ontario prescription rates with those of other provinces.

They observed that the broader immunisation effort in Ontario was associated with a 64 per cent decline in antibiotic prescriptions, compared with the other provinces that maintained targeted vaccination programmes. They also found influenza-associated mortality to fell by 39 per cent.

Quarrels may give kids headaches

A new study has revealed that family quarrels and lack of free time can lead to headaches in children.

The research led by Jennifer Gassmann has revealed that boys who experienced more than one family quarrel per week had a 1.8 times higher risk of developing headaches.
The amount of free time available to them seemed to be even more important.
The findings revealed that boys who only sometimes had time to themselves had a 2.1 times higher risk of developing headaches.

Parents’ behaviour when their child complains of headache also seemed to play a major role.

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