---- Editorial ----
Be prepared for any eventuality
The detection of four cases of swine flu in East Siang district should worry the
officials of health department. Regional Medical Research Center, Dibrugarh disclosed
the detection of swine flu after four samples collected for testing Influenza A and
Swine Flu H1N1were found positive. Though health department has allayed fear claiming
that case is not serious, everyone needs to be on their toe. With monsoon battering
the state there are every chance of epidemic outbreak. Departments like health, PHE,
urban development and municipalities will have to coordinate and work together to
face any eventualities.
On regular basis government should review the preparedness of health department
to deal with any potential health crisis. Also there is need to ensure the availabilities
of doctors, nurses and medicines in the hospitals especially in those located in
interior areas. Strict action should be taken against those health department officials
who remains absent from their place of postings. Govt should remain prepared in true
sense to face any kind of health crisis.
---- Readers Forum ----
Put statutory health warning on all soft drink
Sugar consumption is continuously increasing in the world, passing from 5.1 kg/capita
at the beginning of the 20th century to an average of 24 kg/capita in 2014. A big
contrast is observed between developing and developed countries. With the globalization
of the economy and the increase of free trade among nations, sugar has been rapidly
commercializing as a cheap available product. Significant part of sugar use comes
from soft drink consumption that include sugar-sweetened, high-sugar categories
carbonates, juice and sports energy drinks, and the sugar substitutes with colorings
preservatives and other ingredients. With the diversity of meals and recipes, sweet
taste is more and more controlling the nutrition of millions of people around the
globe. Although sugar consumption is essential for the body; however, soft drink
consumption must be regulated. High sugar intake increases the chance of obesity
and obesity related ailments, diabetes, cancer, abnormally impacts mental behavior;
and has negative impact on the local environment. WHO recommends a daily maximum
of 10% of calories from free sugar.
Sugar is being added to all dishes and drinks creating nutrition imbalance among
the consumers. US show one of highest sugar consumption per capita. Big multi-national
food companies like Coca-cola and PepsiCo spent 7.27 billion US$ in advertisement
in 2013. The omnipresence of these companies in the strategic sector of nutrition
is changing the availability, affordability, and desirability of soft drink; thereby
reshaping sugar consumption patterns across the globe.
The economic agreements between nations in North America (NAFTA) resulted in the
preferential elimination of tariffs on soft-drink imports. Furthermore, the stronger
protections for US investors, is giving companies free pass to reshape world nutrition
pattern from diversity to a uniform, unhealthy and unbalanced diet.
Significant correlation has been established between sugar consumption and the annual
rate of depression. Comparing the effect of coffee and soft drinks on depression
of US citizens, frequent consumption of sweetened beverages (1-4 cans/day) can slightly
increase the risk of depression; while coffee consumption slightly lowers the risk
of depression. Furthermore, an addition of sweeteners in beverage, coffee or teas
increases the depression risk.
A study on UK based soft drink industry identified five sectors (packaging, ingredients,
manufacturing, waste management, and transport) on greenhouse gas emission (GHG)
with large impact in the environment. Based on their findings, carbonated drinks
in the UK produced over 1.5 million tons of CO2 eq. greenhouse gas (GHG) per year;
which represented 13% of the GHG emissions from the whole food and drink sector in
2010. This is equivalent to the emissions generated from burning 3390 barrels of
oil which contribute to global warming that affect the survival of ecosystem. Furthermore,
the use of artificial sweeteners in soft drink is raising concerns because of the
fact that these products pass undigested and end up in stored water.
Presence of several artificial sweeteners in the aquatic environment has been documented
around the globe. As a consequence, aquatic organisms are subjected to long-term
exposures which could have a negative impact on the natural ecological systems. The
large amount of unmetabolized artificial sweetener in rivers are likely to negatively
impact the local environment, natural biodiversity and endanger several aquatic organisms.
The negative relation between frequent soft drink consumption and prevalence to diseases
is a serious issue from the perspective of public health perspective ad hence needs
immediate attention. It is therefore important to impose a ban on soft drink advertisements
and to put a statutory health warning on all soft drink bottles and cans for making
public aware of the risks associated with soft drink consumption.
Saikat Kumar Basu,
CM musical Chair will hamper and not aid
It is a disturbing thing to read of the demand for resignation of the present Arunachal
If we are being dragged into the Arunachal CM Musical Chair again, it will hamper
and not aid our State.
In this short span of time, since the days of former CM Lt. D. Khandu, we have witnessed
turbulence in the leadership circles of our State! It appears to a common man that
the top elected leaders of our State are more interested in Power politics; aligning
and dis-aligning themselves in various equations while the business of the State
remain in shambles!
So many developmental projects are left unattended. Hydro-power Projects rot. Hospitals
lack doctors. Schools lack teachers. Dispensaries are empty. Unemployment is on the
rise. Social and economic issues are not settled. Houses continue to burn. Roads
continue to form fish ponds. Job seekers continue in dismay. And the list goes on
and on. And all these happen while the leaders of our State worry about themselves,
thinking about toppling and raising CM after CM!
My impression about present CM Pema is positive. I think he is energetic, and a decisive
leader. He is sincere in his responsibilities. He should be given enough space to
prove himself. He has the pressure to maintain the standard of his father as former
CM and even take things further for better. He seems to stand at a crucial time.
There are huge issues facing the State. The State politics is in the transition period.
The merging of State's 'old' and newly arrived BJP must be tricky enough. His hands
must be full!
It would not be unfair, at the same time to say, if the claims of the APCC is true
that a certain Bureaucrat at the top of the system is erring, that must be dealt
with. And if the charges of APCC against the CM himself is true, then the CM must
confess it and repent. And if the charges are false, let honorable CM call a press
conf and lay out his case for all to hear. Let there be transparency.
I would appeal to our elected leaders to think of the common people in your constituencies!
Think of their issues, their struggles, their letters and memorandums submitted to
you over the years! Think of your promises to them! Think of the finance you 'sanctioned'
for them in public meetings, but are not given as yet. Think of the benefits that
could be theirs. If you would only stop to think of the amount of responsibilities
you have for the development of people you represent, you will not have time to
scheme or plot. You would be consumed in service and dedication! You will not be
able to make yourself as the center of your decisions; rather you would be making
your people as the center of your service!
Anyway, when the day comes, when you will no longer be the MLA/Minister/CM and so
on, the good deeds you have done for the good of the voiceless, the common man will
continue to bear witness to your greatness. Rich people are easily forgotten, but
a merciful person is cherished long after he / she is gone. Service is an opportunity.
Let us do it now! Tomorrow may be too late to try.
Aphu A Ngwazah,
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