Scientists unravel how guava leaves treat diarrhoea | UN, Haitian officials investigate possible disease outbreak in rural Haiti | Nigeria cholera updates

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Campbell, Dan

Oct 21, 2010, 9:49:17 AM10/21/10
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Scientists unravel how guava leaves treat diarrhoea

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COct 21, 2010 – RESEARCHERS have provided newer insights into why guava leaves are effective in the treatment of different forms of diarrhea, further adding credence to the existing traditional knowledge about this plant and justifiying its continued use globally.

In a study that demonstrated the usefulness of guava leaves in different forms of infectious diarrhea, the researchers attributed the effectiveness of the crude decoction of guava leaves to the leaves’ ability to prevent the production and action of toxins by germs that causes diarrhea as well as cause a reduction of these germs’ abilities to colonise the layer that covers the intestine.

Colonisation of the intestine enables the germs to resist being swept away by secretions in the intestine and their subsequent proliferation that is followed by toxin production.

In addition, they found out that the decoction inhibited the growth of two of the six bacterial strains tested (S. flexneri and V. cholera) whereas there was no effect of quercetin at any of the concentrations tested on the growth of all six strains tested.

They speculated that the efficacy of crude extract of guava leaves in treatment of diarrhea may be due to the interplay between the different active constituents that may be present in the extract leading to better activity and/or decrease in potential toxicity of some individual constituents. Alternatively, the individual action of different constituents present in the extract may collectively contribute to the efficacy of the extract.

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Written by envhealth@usaid Edit

October 21, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Posted in Diarrhea

Tagged with Guava

UN, Haitian officials investigate possible disease outbreak in rural Haiti

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Oct 20, 2010 – PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Health officials in rural Haiti are investigating a possible disease outbreak that could be responsible for dozens of deaths and a surge in hospital patients, UN aid workers said Wednesday.

Haitian government officials say at least 19 people have died after suffering brief bouts of fever, vomiting and severe diarrhea, with dozens of more deaths suspected. Most are reportedly children.

Hundreds of patients reporting those symptoms have overwhelmed a hospital in the seaside town of St. Marc, some 45 miles (about 70 kilometres) north of the capital of Port-au-Prince, Catherine Huck, country deputy for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told The Associated Press.

It remains unclear if the cases are linked. U.N. and Haitian health care workers are running tests for cholera, typhoid and other diseases, with results possible on Thursday, said OCHA-Haiti spokeswoman Jessica DuPlessis.

“We are trying to connect all the dots,” Huck said.

The Artibonite is Haiti’s most important farming region. The area was not severely damaged in the Jan. 12 earthquake but received thousands of refugees from the wrecked capital to the south, many of whom stayed.

Hospitals in the area have enough supplies to respond to a fatal outbreak of diarrhea, including rehydration salts, for about three days, DuPlessis said. Officials overseeing sanitation and water in areas affected by the earthquake, where 1.3 million people live under tarps and tents in squatter settlements, have also been notified.

Written by envhealth@usaid Edit

October 21, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Posted in Diarrhea

Tagged with Haiti, Humanitarian aid

Fears rise over health crisis in Nigeria

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Oct 21, 2010 – Both the UN and Doctors without Borders are expressing concern that a free-for-all gold rush in northern Nigeria will kill more people if nothing is done.

At least 400 children have already died and more are serously ill as the mining is leaving large quantities of lead in the air, soil, and water.

On top of that cholera has now broken out, and could ravage an already weakened population. More than 700 people are being treated in makeshift hospitals;

“More deaths will happen from cholera in the next month or so if action is not taken. The contribution of lead toxicity in this community will be much more significant in the long term if these problems are not addressed,” says Dr. Nathalie Thurtle.

Impoverished local farmers have been digging up the gold-bearing ore with their hands and recent heavy rains have helped the lead leech into a wide surrounding area, making the pollution hard to contain. However doctors are struggling to convince locals the source of their new-found wealth is to blame.

Written by envhealth@usaid Edit

October 21, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Nigeria – Cholera kills 9 in Sokoto

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Oct 21, 2010, Sokoto – Cholera outbreak in Lugu village of Wurno Local government of Sokoto state has claimed at least, nine lives from October 7th to date, Vanguard can authoritatively reveal.

The death of the nine persons, which included adults and children of both sexes, Vanguard gathered Thursday, were recorded at the isolation camp set up in the village by the Medicines Sans Frontiers, MSF and assisted by the local government health officials.

According to a local government health official overseeing the operations at the camp, Mallam Sambo Idris, 1,185 cases had so far been recorded.

He said that 18 patients were presently on admission at the camp while the rest had been discharged. “We receive an average of 2-20 patients per day and the number is fluctuates,” Dr. Femi Olulode, a staff with MSF told Vanguard.

Written by envhealth@usaid Edit

October 21, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Posted in Cholera

Tagged with Nigeria

Nigeria: Diarrhea Kills 194,000 Children Under Five Years

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Oct 21, 2010, Bauchi — The United Nation Children Funds (UNICEF) said diarrhea is the single cause of the death of 194,000 children less than five years in Nigeria.

A statement made available to newsmen in Bauchi by the UNICEF indicated that hand washing, especially among children, would help reduce the incidence of diarrhea.

It stressed the need to always wash hands with soap or ash and water at critical moments particularly after using the toilet and before handling food.

“In Nigeria, diarrhea is the cause of 194,000 deaths of children under five every year, which is the second highest in the world, after India.

Hand washing is simple, powerful, and everybody can do it. Every time you wash your hands at restaurant, school, home and work, you may be saving your own life or someone else’s,” the statement reads.

Representative of UNICEF in Nigeria Dr. Suomi Sakai, said, “We have to do it every day of the year not just on Global Hand washing day but as a health measure.”


Dan Campbell, Web Manager
Environmental Health at USAID
1611 North Kent St., Suite 300
Arlington, VA 22209
Ph: 703-247-8722
Environmental Health at USAID:
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