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Lancet. 2004 Feb 21; 363(9409):658-659.A lengthy policy article on schistosomiasis control surely represents a sign of renewed interest in the control and research on this disease. However, we would like to complement the article with a few issues to clarify the current WHO policy and the commitment of the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) to sustained control of morbidity due to schistosomiasis. Jürg Utzinger and colleagues state that World Health Assembly (WHA) resolution 54.19 does not contain recommendations for preventive measures. We would like to point out that the resolution does recommend preventive measures. It urges WHO Member States “to promote access to safe water, sanitation and health education through intersectoral collaboration” and “to ensure that any development activity likely to favour the emergence or spread of parasitic diseases is accompanied by preventive measures to limit their impact”. WHO welcomes the international momentum in favour of provision of clean water and sanitation which will eventually lead to long-term transmission control, provided sufficient quantities of safe water are made available in transmission areas so that individual households will have safe water for daily activities other than their needs for drinking and cooking. (excerpt)
Nutrition Research. 2003; 23(9):1165-1176.This study investigated the nutritional status and eating habits of Mongolian children in relation to dental health. Growth and oral health of 151 Ulaanbaatarian children under age five were examined, and their parents were interviewed on child’s health and eating habits. Every tenth child had a low weight for age and the mean energy intake of the weaned children was 89%-96% of the recommendation by WHO. Frequent eating exposed the teeth of children to many acid attacks. Every third child over age three had serious developmental defects in their teeth, which might be associated with deficient intakes of energy and calcium, highly variable vitamin D supplementation and gastrointestinal infections. All of the examined 4 to 5-year old children had caries and the average number of decayed teeth was 6.5. Severe caries was related to the abundant use of sugar, whereas proper dental health was related to use of hard cheese. (author's)
Nutritional status of vegetarian and omnivorous adolescent girls. [Estado nutricional de adolescentes vegetarianas y omnívoras]
Nutrition Research. 2001 May; 21(5):689-702.This study compared the dietary and anthropometric profile of 24 ovo-lacto-vegetarian and 36 omnivorous female adolescents, between 15 and 18 years old. Weight, height and skinfolds were measured. Food frequency questionnaires and a three day food record were used for dietary assessment. Vegetarians presented subscapular, suprailiac and midaxillary skinfolds statistically higher than omnivores, but the percent body fat was not different. The vegetarian diet provided smaller amounts of energy than that of the omnivores ( p < 0.05) and only 17% of the vegetarians was able to reach the recommended allowance for protein. Regarding calcium, 83% of the vegetarians and 69% of the omnivores ate less than 2/3 of the recommended allowances and a significantly higher percentage of vegetarians presented low ingestion of iron, riboflavin, and niacin than omnivores ( p < 0.05). It was concluded that the intake of vegetarians was lower in fat and cholesterol, and less adequate in micronutrients than the omnivores ones. (author's)
In: UNICEF Bangladesh. Situation analysis report, prepared for UNICEF Bangladesh country programming. [Dacca] Bangladesh, UNICEF, 1977 Apr. 35-47.Although much work has been undertaken regarding the various aspects of nutrition in Bangladesh, the problems of malnutrition seem to be as bad as they ever were. Protein-calorie malnutrition, diarrheal disease-related malnutrition and vitamin A deficiency are still major problems. The situation has been further aggravated by natural and man-made disasters. As well as being linked to such factors as food availability, medical service delivery, environmental sanitation and education, malnutrition is also affected by economic and social factors like low salaries and employment levels and women's status. The 1st 5-year Plan of Bangladesh (1973-78) outlined as a general strategy for improving nutritional standards, increased supplies of cheap calorie and proteinous food, e.g., fish, animal products, vegetables and sugar. Specific aims of the plan included a concentration to improve and extend pulse and groundnut cultivation. However, it was only with the setting up of a National Nutrition Council in 1976, that concrete attention has focused on nutrition education. A brief review of food production and food aid shows that the latter can be counter-productive if not targeted at vulnerable groups or when it is not necessarily related to need as it is to surplus in the donor countries, for it may act as a disincentive to local farmers as they might not be able to meet the competition from food aid. The preliminary report of the Bangladesh Nutrition Survey of 1975-76 underlines an overall reduction in per capita food intake since the 1962-64 survey. The Report also shows that food intake varies seasonally with a potential period of protein-calorie deficiency between June and November. Government attempts to effect a rapid increase in food production have concentrated on methods of irrigation, e.g., deep and shallow tubewell irrigation, which require a certain level of community involvement. These are poorly utilized, leaving a large proportion of land, belonging mainly to small farmers, fallow during the dry season. The logistics problem faced in the various attempts to reach vulnerable groups with food aid seems to point to an overcomplicated distribution mechanism. UNICEF, in cooperation with the government, has attempted to direct assistance to the poor through increased work and service availability, increased fish availability, and the dissemination of nutrition information through journals and demonstration projects. Included in the report are tables illustrating food intake, food grain requirements and availability, land utilization and irrigation, yield of major crops, wages and income distribution.