SCINQ Asia: Growth in the Philippines is leaving people behind to eat food from landfills

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The Philippines may boast one of the top growth rates in the world, but it is clearly not a case of a rising tide lifting all boats. Extreme poverty in a large part of the population makes them susceptible to countless diseases. Food insecurity forces slum dwellers to scavenge through garbage for uneaten food to be cooked and eaten at home or sold to neighbors. The practice opens people up to hepatitis A and cholera and a host of other diseases.

There’s good public health news coming from Southeast Asia. According to the World Health Organization, “Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Thailand have become the first countries in WHO South-East Asia Region to achieve Hepatitis B control, with prevalence of the deadly disease dropping to less than one per cent among five-year-old children.”

Pneumoconiosis is a major occupational disease in China, understandable coming from a heavily industrial country. The condition is caused by the inhalation of dust particles. Health authorities have devised a strategy to address the problem. According to China Daily, “The action plan pledges that by the end of 2020, authorities must grasp the dust hazards situation of related employers and the employers’ reporting of the health of occupational pneumoconiosis patients to supervisors.”

A drug resistant form of malaria is spreading through Asia. The strain of plasmodium is replacing the local strains still susceptible to medication in Vietnam, Laos and northeastern Thailand. The researchers found that “The multidrug resistant KEL1/PLA1 parasites had spread internationally, in some regions making up more than 80 per cent of the parasites analysed.”

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons 

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