Thursday, 23 March 2017

The Future of Medicine!












Located - 610.285 TOP

Eric Topol sketches the future for medicine, and also shows some of the dramatic changes in medicine, which have already taken place, over recent decades.

"Topol is one of medicine's most innovative thinkers about the digital future.... [A valuable contribution to a fascinating subject."
--New York Times Book Review



Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Encouraging to Enable!

Jessica May was moving quickly up the career ladder until she was tripped up by mental illness.

Following the birth of her first child, Jessica developed a problem with her thyroid gland that greatly exacerbated her pre-existing anxiety disorder.
"I've had anxiety my whole life," says the 36-year-old from Canberra, Australia. "The [thyroid] condition meant that my anxiety got out of control."
This was back in 2012, and Jessica decided to return to her civil service job sooner than originally planned, after she and her doctor agreed that getting back to doing the work she loved would keep her focused and hopefully mitigate her anxiety.
But Jessica, who had to reveal her mental health problem to her employers to receive the flexible schedule she needed, claims that her managers and colleagues started to make negative assumptions about her capabilities, and began to exclude her from projects.
"Because of how I was treated... I didn't really get better," she says.
Having previously managed 17 staff, Jessica says she felt disheartened and devalued.
Two women who have found work via Enabled Employment                           
Enabled helps people with disabilities find employment
However, the bad experience did ultimately have a positive impact - it made Jessica determined to help other people with mental or physical disabilities, and gave her the idea for setting up a business to do this.
"I knew there needed to be something for people with disabilities who just need a little bit of flexibility from their employers," she says.

So she decided to quit her government job and launch Enabled Employment, a recruitment consultancy that helps people with a disability find paid work.
Today, the Canberra-based company helps thousands of people find work at more than 400 businesses in Australia, including accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers, taxi hire service Uber, and even the Australian Defence Force.
To help get Enabled up and running, Jessica successfully applied for a small entrepreneurship grant from the Australian Capital Territory government.
She left her civil service job one Friday in December 2012, and started work at Enabled the following Monday, with help and support coming from a local start-up support initiative called the Griffin Accelerator. The number of people and companies using the business then slowly started to grow.
The business is similar to a regular recruitment agency, in that it maintains an online listing of available jobs, and acts as a mediator between would-be employees and hiring managers.
However, Enabled also offers what it calls "accessibility brokering", which means that it works to ensure that businesses are able to offer employees the working conditions they need to perform at their best. This includes checking on flexible working hours and ensuring that offices have disabled access and toilets.
Jessica is keen to stress that the company is not a charity. Instead it is a for-profit business.
She believes that charities that pay businesses to take on disabled staff can reinforce negative stereotypes about disabled people.
"It really devalues people with disabilities who are totally capable," she says. "We don't want anyone to feel like a charity case."
Instead, Enabled charges companies, typically a one-off fee equivalent to 10% of a person's annual salary. By contrast, people who use Enabled to find work don't have to pay it anything.
Jessica May (left) with Stella Young (centre)                           
The late Australian comedian Stella Young (centre)
was an Enabled Employment ambassador                
"There's 4.2 million people in Australia with a disability. Many of these people are very competent, it is really about trying to break down their barriers to work," says Jessica.
"We charge businesses for our services because you should be paying for amazingly qualified people, and you should also be paying for the diversity that it brings."
Enabled is valued at more than six million Australian dollars ($4.6m; £3.9m), and has expanded its services to include military veterans and indigenous Australians.
Suzanne Colbert, the founder of the Australian Network on Disability, says that Enabled has "freshened up" the Australian job market's otherwise "stale" attitude towards hiring people with disabilities.
She adds that Enabled has allowed employers to "tap into new sources of talent".
When it comes to its own staff, Enabled practises what it preaches. All seven full-time employees have a disability and work within a schedule that accommodates them best.
This was back in 2012, and Jessica decided to return to her civil service job sooner than originally planned, after she and her doctor agreed that getting back to doing the work she loved would keep her focused and hopefully mitigate her anxiety.
But Jessica, who had to reveal her mental health problem to her employers to receive the flexible schedule she needed, claims that her managers and colleagues started to make negative assumptions about her capabilities, and began to exclude her from projects.
"Because of how I was treated... I didn't really get better," she says.
Having previously managed 17 staff, Jessica says she felt disheartened and devalued.

However, the bad experience did ultimately have a positive impact - it made Jessica determined to help other people with mental or physical disabilities, and gave her the idea for setting up a business to do this.
"I knew there needed to be something for people with disabilities who just need a little bit of flexibility from their employers," she says.

So she decided to quit her government job and launch Enabled Employment, a recruitment consultancy that helps people with a disability find paid work.
Today, the Canberra-based company helps thousands of people find work at more than 400 businesses in Australia, including accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers, taxi hire service Uber, and even the Australian Defence Force.
To help get Enabled up and running, Jessica successfully applied for a small entrepreneurship grant from the Australian Capital Territory government.
She left her civil service job one Friday in December 2012, and started work at Enabled the following Monday, with help and support coming from a local start-up support initiative called the Griffin Accelerator. The number of people and companies using the business then slowly started to grow.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

ESRI Study - Disability

People with a disability are less likely than the rest of the working-age population to get a job and more likely to leave employment, even when their disability does not create difficulties with everyday activities.

The finding is contained in an ESRI report whose authors calculate that if all people with a disability who wanted to work had a job, half of all disabled people of working age would be in employment instead of the current 31%.
The ESRI study was commissioned by the National Disability Authority and draws on official data spanning the five years up to 2015.

ESRI study was commissioned by the National Disability Authority
ESRI study was commissioned by the
National Disability Authority

It finds that 31% of people aged 20-59 with a disability were at work compared to 71% of those without a disability.
While slightly more than four out of five with a disability were working or had worked at some stage, almost two out of five had not worked for four years or more.
For those without a disability, the rate of job entry picked up during the onset of economic recovery. However, the study found little sign of a recovery for people with a disability by 2015.
The authors calculate that if all people with a disability who wanted to work had a job, half of all disabled people of working age would be in employment instead of the current 31%.
However, the report says specific Government interventions are required, such as allowing people with a disability to retain medical cards when moving into employment.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

FARM SAFETY

The Health and Safety Authority has said that two men have died in separate workplace accidents in counties Offaly and Wexford.

Inspectors from the HSA will visit both scenes
Inspectors from the HSA will visit both scenes

Both men were farmers. 

In County Wexford, a man in his 20s died when the quad bike he was driving overturned into a ditch. In County Offaly, a farmer in his 70s died after he was struck by a tractor on his farm at 8am at Fivealley, outside Birr.

HSA inspectors have arrived on the scene, and an investigation has been launched into the circumstances of the accident.

Measles Outbreak

A measles outbreak in Romania has killed 17 children and infected thousands more since September due to poverty and an anti-vaccination movement.
Romanian health minister, Florian Bodog said that none of the children who died from the highly contagious virus had been vaccinated, adding that the last victim was a one-year-old girl from the northern city of Satu Mare.

More than 3,400 people have been infected since February 2016 compared with the year before when the country registered seven cases but no deaths, Mr Bodog said, according to the Hotnews.ro site.
He urged people to get vaccinated, saying it "is the only effective way to prevent the disease".
Measles is a contagious respiratory illness characterised by high fever and the eruption of small red spots.

The World Health Organization says children in affluent countries have a greater risk of infection because of scepticism about immunisation
The World Health Organization says children in
affluent countries have a greater risk of infection
because of scepticism about immunisation

The World Health Organisation recommends two doses of vaccination, the first by a child's first birthday, to ensure immunity and prevent outbreaks.
Such vaccinations should cover 95% of the population.
But Mr Bodog said only 80% of Romanians receive the first vaccination dose and just 50% receive the second.
In Romania, poverty, the lack of access to health services, and the percentage of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children are at the heart of the recent epidemic.
Religious organisations and public figures have led recent anti-vaccination campaigns.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, while Europe as a whole has made progress against the virus, Romania is still considered high-risk for transmission, along with Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Poland.

In poor countries, many people simply do not have access to the €1, but the WHO has pointed out that children in affluent countries, have a greater risk of infection because of scepticism about immunisation.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Essential Medicines - WHO

Essential medicines are those that satisfy the priority health care needs of the population. They are selected with due regard to public health relevance, evidence on efficacy and safety, and comparative cost-effectiveness.



Essential medicines are intended to be available within the context of functioning health systems at all times in adequate amounts, in the appropriate dosage forms, with assured quality and adequate information, and at a price the individual and the community can afford.



http://www.who.int/topics/essential_medicines/en/

 

Monday, 13 March 2017

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Friday, 10 March 2017

Medication Safety - HIQA

The Health Information and Quality Authority has said it found a wide variation in the medication safety arrangements in hospitals during the first unannounced inspections of this kind.

Under-reporting of mistakes, non-reporting of near misses with drugs and outdated reference materials were revealed during the series of inspections.
Particular problems were identified in University Hospital Waterford, Bantry General and Nenagh.
University Hospital Waterford did not have essential governance arrangements for medication safety.
HIQA says it was informed that medication-related clinical incidents were likely under-reported at Waterford.
There was also “outdated and potentially conflicting” reference information for using intravenous medication in clinical areas.
HIQA says that in response to the risks it identified, the hospital appointed a medication safety pharmacist.

The health watchdog has published the first inspection reports on medication safety in seven hospitals
The health watchdog has published the first inspection
reports on medication safety in seven hospitals:

At Bantry General, an immediate high risk was identified with instructions for administering intravenous medications that could be incorrect.
HIQA noted the low number of medication errors and near misses reported during 2016, relative to other hospitals.
Medication safety was not systematically monitored and there was no up-to-date local list of medications stocked.
At the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Nenagh the health watchdog found that near misses were not being reported.
The hospital did not have essential governance arrangements in place and there was “ambiguity” over who was ultimately accountable for patient safety regarding medication.
There was no up-to-date local list of medications stocked in the pharmacy.
At Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown, inspectors found it did not have a defined, multidisciplinary medication safety programme in place at the time of the HIQA visit.
Senior management said there was likely under-reporting of medication errors.
Frontline staff told HIQA inspectors that they had not received feedback on medication-related incidents they had reported.
The health watchdog has published the first inspection reports on medication safety in seven hospitals.
The inspections were carried out between November and December 2016 at Bantry General, Connolly Hospital, Naas General, Nenagh Hospital, the Mater, Sligo University Hospital and University Hospital Waterford.
HIQA says Naas, the Mater and Sligo showed good practice in relation to medications and patient safety and these hospitals had an open incident and near-miss reporting culture.
Sean Egan, HIQA acting head of healthcare regulation, said error associated with medication use constitutes one of the major causes of patient harm in hospitals.
He said that international studies suggest that on average at least one medication error per hospital patient occurs each date.
While most cases do not result in harm, patient harm does occur in a small but significant number .

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Water Goes Pink!

A Canadian town has apologised after a water treatment plant turned the water supply pink.
Residents of Onoway, Alberta, complained to the town office, when taps began running pink water on Monday.

In a statement, Mayor Dale Krasnow said there was no public health risk but the town "could have done a better job communicating what was going on".
The mayor said it was the unfortunate side-effect of a common water-treatment chemical, potassium permanganate.
The chemical is commonly used to remove iron and hydrogen sulphide from water, and the town office said it got into the reservoir when a valve malfunctioned during "normal line flushing and filter backwashing".
"While it is alarming to see pink water coming from your taps, potassium permanganate is used in normal treatment processes to help remove iron and manganese and residents were never at risk."
The chemical can cause skin irritation, according to the World Health Organization, but there were no reports of any adverse effects.
Complaints were more about being kept in the dark - residents said they were annoyed they were not told why the water was fluorescent pink, until Tuesday morning.
"This is a situation we can certainly learn from and develop a strategy for better response and communication should we ever face the same or similar situation in the future," the mayor said.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Grannies at School - Anniversary

Every afternoon, the grandmothers of Phangane village wrap pink saris around themselves and slip abacuses and chalkboard into their backpacks.They are going to school.

They live in Maharashtra state in India, a country where women are nearly a third less likely than men to be able to read and write.

Some of them have trouble with seeing the letters, and others feel chest pain when they talk.
But every day except Thursday, these women gather to learn from a teacher less than half their age.
International Women's Day 2017 is the one-year anniversary of the school, and photographer Satyaki Ghosh has been documenting the women's journey to literacy.

group of students with man                            
Yogendra Bangar, is the founder of the school.

He started it after women in the village told him that if only they could read, they would be able to read about the life of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, a 17th century king whose life is celebrated in the village every year.
"It is said that women have to be respected on Women's Day, so we thought that our grandmothers, who until now have not received respect, shall finally get the respect they deserve," he says.
"The people of our grandmothers' generation did not get any opportunity to go to school."