Diabetic patients of today need to bear the trouble of pricking their fingertips whenever they have to get readings of their blood sugar level. However, with the announcement of the Google Contact Lens on January 16, 2014, pricking yourself could be a thing of the past soon. Equipped with antenna and sensors the Google Contact Lens can regularly feed data to a device that shows the readings. It’s estimated that more than 35 million people suffer from diabetes worldwide. So the technology could indeed benefit millions of people.
Google also announced that it had already performed successful trials with patients and now was looking for partners in the medical industry to roll out the product in markets. Furthermore, the company also informed that it was looking at ways to make modifications to the product so as to warn patients about dangerous levels of blood sugar.
The cases of diabetes are growing more and more globally as dietary patterns are changing. A lot of diabetes patients don’t even realize that they are suffering from the disease, until the effects are severe. Troublesome screening techniques dissuade many from taking tests to determine whether they are diabetic or not. But Google’s new offering could definitely ensure that the diagnosis is much less troublesome and early.
With dietary habits changing throughout the world, the number of diabetic patients is constantly increasing. While cases of Type II diabetes, that is transmitted hereditarily, is more or less common throughout the world, the number of patients with Type I diabetes is growing at alarming rates. Most diabetic patients heavily change and their dietary pattern after diagnosis, often due to the fear of severe consequences. But through the constant data feed of glucose level, patients may not need to feel guilty and fearful after eating a bar of chocolate.
The announcement by Google has been welcomed by a lot of people within the health industry.
Despite a weak health system, low spending on health and widespread poverty, Bangladesh achieved great strides in population health. The development in life expectancy, TB control, vaccination rates, and a child’s chances of surviving past the age of five is evident, as per a series of focus papers published in the Lancet.
This success, in the eighth most populous country in the world, comes due to specific health programs which have focused on such issues like family planning, gender equality, immunization, and diarrhea treatment, said the researchers. Another positive factor has been the wide use of health workers going out into communities.
Mushtaque R Chowdhury, a professor of population and family health at BRAC University said life expectancy in general had increased to 68.3 years which is above than neighboring India and Pakistan. Maternal mortality had dropped by 75 percent since 1980’s and infant mortality has more than halved since 1990, said Mr. Chowdhury.
Three biggest drivers of change are cited, access to medicines, scaling up treatment for TB and improved access to primary care. Though primary care is still problematic and attempts to increase access to essential drugs has usually been market driven, another approach which involved using community health workers saw treatment completion rates rise from less than 50 percent in the 1990’s to more than 90 percent now on the highest rates in the world.
In bringing about changes in communities women have played a key role. Through the massive and unprecedented deployment of diverse cadres of mostly female front-line health workers reaching every household and empowered women to control of their own health and reproduction these changes come.
A rapid fall in fertility from seven births per woman in 1970 to 2.3 in 2010 becomes possible for the female health health workers, recruited to deliver door to door family planning services. Contraceptive use also rose from 10 percent in 1970 to around 62 percent which is contributing to the speed and magnitude of improvement in mortality, particularly in women.
Bangladesh still suffers from other health problem including “persistent malnutrition” in children and mother, though success in birth rate reduction and child mortality have applauded.
Riddhi Pratap Rana confesses that around a decade back, he used to be a drug addict. Yet today, as a clean man, he runs a successful drugs and alcohol rehabilitation center in Kathmandu Valley. “As an ex-user, I felt that it was my duty to open a center that understood the reality of drug addiction” says Mr. Riddhi. Under his initiation the Maya Nepal Rehabilitation Center was established in February, 2006. The center is situated around 6Km South of Kathmandu City at Harisiddhi, Lalitpur.
Maya Nepal operates as a registered Non-Government Organization (NGO). “Drugs and alcohol rehabilitation can’t be done by those who consider profit to be their primary motive” says Krishna Man Maharjan, a senior staff at the center. Hundreds of people have managed to recover from their alcohol or drug addiction under the caring and supportive guidance of Maya Nepal. With a success rate of over 60%, the center has helped hundreds of people rebuild their lives away from their substance addiction. The center can accommodate up to 60 people at a time.
The recovery programs of Maya Nepal are strongly tied with sports, music and meditation. To ensure that the patients have other things to focus away from their addiction during their rehabilitation, the center actively promotes sports and healthy entertainment. Krishna revealed to us that a lot of patients have managed to rebuild their career and lives with active support from the center.
Maya Nepal has also been focusing lately on AIDS rehabilitation. It operates a dedicated center for HIV-AIDS patients in Rajbiraj district, around 100km south of the capital. Its programs on AIDS awareness has been applauded and awarded by several international organizations. Every year, the center organizes about 50 awareness programs across different schools and colleges to make young people and children aware about the dangers of drugs, alcohol, HIV-AIDS and other blood borne diseases.
“I have started to believe in myself. I know that I can rebuild my life again, away from my alcohol addiction when I am out of this center. I hope that my past mistakes are forgiven and I am given the opportunity to lead a normal life in the society”, says a hopeful patient recovering at the center.
There aren’t sufficient number of psychological treatment and rehabilitation facilities for recovering patients with different addictions in Nepal. But even in this context, Maya Nepal has indeed set an example by helping to rebuild the lives of hundreds of people.