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Women Welfare / Development

‘Additives and preservatives injurious to health’

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Source : The Hindu Date : 16.06.2009

‘Additives and preservatives injurious to health’

Special Correspondent

SHGs take part in food safety programme

Udhagamandalam: A two-day programme to train women on ways to detect adulterants in food got under way here on Monday.

Over 30 members of various self-help groups in and around this hill station are participating in the food safety programme organised by the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs in association with a Chennai-based organisation Centre for Consumer Education, Research, Teaching, Training and Testing (CONCERT) and the Udhagai Consumer Protection Association.

Speaking to The Hindu the Coordinator, CONCERT, G. Santhanarajan said that such a programme was being conducted for the first time in the Nilgiris.

Pointing out that it was the 40th in the State, he said that the objective was to enhance awareness about the various forms in which food was being adulterated.

Stating that globalisation has paved the way for the entry of food items from different parts of the world, he alleged that the additives and preservatives, which were being liberally used, were injurious to health.

While some of the items used for value addition violated the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act, life style changes have made people throw caution to the winds and go for wax polished fruits, GM food etc.

Testing kits

Expressing the hope that such programmes will help promote health consciousness among the people, he said that the beneficiaries will be provided with spot testing kits developed by CONCERT for detecting adulterants.

Stating that goal of the organisation was to create a society in which the consumers were well informed and capable of taking care of themselves and people in their neighbourhood, Mr. Santhanarajan said that those who have undergone training will train others.

The trainees were women who had passed standard X and in the age range 18-50.

They were all social activists.

In the programmes conducted so far in different parts of the state tea was found to be one of the most adulterated items.

While a demonstration on how to use the kits formed part of the programme, some of the participants said that the training will go a long way in checking the activities of adulterants.

Meanwhile, some of the consumers opined that if the public was allowed to gain access to such programmes they could put forth their views which will help expose the adulterators.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 June 2009 05:35

“Urological disorders posing risk to quality of women’s life” Health & Lifestyle

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Source : The Hindu Date : 12.06.2009

“Urological disorders posing risk to quality of women’s life” Health & Lifestyle

M. Dinesh Varma

Delay in mean marriage age, changing lifestyles, stress cited as reasons

CHENNAI: The flip side to the emergence of a brave new generation of self-assured, confident and career-oriented modern woman is showing up in the clinical setting.

With the mean age of marriage and the birth of the first child delayed by a few years, as more women turn working professionals, a host of urological disorders are posing a risk to their quality of life.

This delay, coupled with changing lifestyles, stress and unhealthy diet is triggering a rash of urogynaecological diseases ranging from the stigmata-shrouded urinary and bowel incontinence to a life-threatening condition like breast cancer.

Doctors, who are worried that the well-deserved rise in social stature for women should come with health costs, recommend simple lifestyle modifications, balanced diet and pelvic floor exercises as preventive methods.

“With 50 per cent of women over the age of 35 suffering from some form of pelvic floor problem and the incidence of breast cancer doubling in two decades, there is an urgency to familiarise women on the ailments and their symptoms that most suffer in silence,” said Thankam Varma, Medical Director, Institute of Reproductive Medicine and Women’s Health at Madras Medical Mission.

MMM recently launched a Department of Urogynaecology and a breast clinic to exclusively cater to women suffering from these common disorders with the aim of catching disease at an early stage.

It is estimated that 3 out of 10 women with urinary problems have some form of urinary leak. When pioneering urogynecologist N. Rajamaheswari of the Government Kasturba Gandhi Hospital led a survey of 1,062 outpatients (aged 20-70), the results had shown an alarmingly high prevalence of Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI).

Experts say that urinary disorders are triggered by physiological changes in a woman’s life that damage the pelvic floor.

Among women above the age of 40, hormonal flux and the laxity of tissues lead to prolapse of pelvic organs — a condition associated with symptoms such as dragging sensation, palpating a lump, difficulty in walking or sitting.

Bowel dysfunction presenting as incontinence or faecal urgency is another problem that most women are too embarrassed about to even confide with the family let alone a doctor.

“Today, the barrier in treating urogynaecological problems is the reluctance of women to seek medical help rather than a limitation of treatment options,” said A. Tamilselvi, consultant urogynaecologist.

Cancer profiles in urban settings too have changed over the years with breast cancer outstripping cervical cancer as the leading tormentor of women. Going by ICMR data, the incidence of breast cancer is 1 in 22 women in Mumbai and 1 in 29 women in Chennai.

“While the emerging scenario is bad enough what is worse is that 50 to 70 per cent of these cancers are diagnosed at Stage III or IV when the tumour would have spread to lymph nodes and distant sites,” says Suresh Anand, oncoplastic surgeon.

With stage presentation of breast cancer a determinant of survival years (9 out of 10 women survive by simply detecting the warning signs early), it is important for women above the age of 35 to undergo a mammogram.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 June 2009 10:36

Rating of SHGs from June 16

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Source : The Hindu Date : 10.06.2009

Rating of SHGs from June 16

Staff Reporter

NAGAPATTINAM: A special four-day programme for rating the performance of the women self-help groups (SHG) formed under the ‘Mahalir Thittam’ project in the district will commence on June 16.

The rating will facilitate the groups to be eligible for revolving fund assistance and credit linkage benefits.

In a press release issued here on Tuesday, the District Collector, C. Munianathan, said that the following is the schedule for rating of the SHGs to be held at the panchayat union offices mentioned alongside: June 16 (Nagapattinam, Keezhaiyur, Tirumarugal); June 17 (Thalaignayiru, Vedaranyam and Kilvelur); June 18 (Sembanarkovil, Kuthalam and Mayiladuturai); June 19 (Sirkazhi and Kollidam).

The Collector appealed to the leaders of the Panchayat Union-level Federation to ensure effective participation of all the SHGs at these meetings to qualify for the governmental financial assistance.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 June 2009 14:22

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