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More people will die from common surgical procedures and cancer treatments if dangerous bacteria continue to develop resistance to widely used antibiotics, a new study warns.

Patients rely on antibiotics to protect them from potentially deadly infections after undergoing chemotherapy, pacemaker implantation, cesarean sections or countless other medical procedures, said study senior author Ramanan Laxminarayan. He is director of the Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy, a public health research organisation in Washington, D.C.

The new study, published on October 15 in The Lancet, estimates that as many as half of infections after surgery and more than a quarter of infections after chemotherapy are caused by organisms already resistant to standard antibiotics.
If antibiotic resistance increases by just 30 percent in the United States, the tougher-to-treat bacteria could cause 6,300 more deaths a year and 120,000 more infections in patients undergoing either chemotherapy for cancer or 10 common surgical procedures, the researchers projected.

“Anytime you\\\'re going to need a surgery or a transplant, you\\\'re going to need effective antibiotics. It\\\'s something that affects all of us,” Laxminarayan said.

Concern over antibiotic-resistant bacteria is growing. Earlier this year, the Obama administration released a national action plan to combat antibiotic resistance.

Also, the \\\"superbug\\\" MRSA was in the headlines this week after causing a serious infection in the ankle of New York Giants tight end Daniel Fells, prompting speculation the NFL player might need a foot amputation.
The U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least 2 million people a year become infected by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and at least 23,000 die from these infections.
But most of these worries focus on the ability to treat existing bacterial infections, and ignore the widespread use of antibiotics to prevent infections after surgery or chemotherapy, said Dr Joshua Wolf, an assistant member of the infectious diseases department at St. Jude Children\\\'s Research Hospital in Memphis.

\\\"We know that kids with cancer have extremely high risk of bacterial infection that can be life-threatening. If resistance rates rise, those antibiotics will become less effective,\\\" said Wolf, who wrote an accompanying editorial in the journal. \\\"Surgery will become less safe, and cancer treatment will become more difficult.
To estimate the hazard posed to modern medicine by antibiotic resistance, the researchers reviewed hundreds of clinical trials between 1968 and 2011 that examined the effectiveness of antibiotics in preventing infection after chemotherapy or 10 common surgical procedures.

Those procedures included hip fracture surgery, pacemaker implantation, surgical abortion, spinal surgery, hip replacement, C-section delivery, prostate biopsy, appendectomy, hysterectomy and colon surgery.
Based on their review, the researchers estimate that between 39 percent and 51 percent of surgical site infections and 27 percent of post-chemotherapy infections are caused by bacteria already somewhat resistant to antibiotics.
Using a computer model, the study authors were able to show that with a 10 percent increase in antibiotic resistance, there would be at least 2,100 more infection-related deaths a year and 40,000 more infections following surgery or chemo.
A 70 percent increase in resistance would lead to an additional 15,000 deaths annually and 280,000 infections, they said.
\\\"It\\\'s a large enough number that it should be of concern,\\\" Laxminarayan said.
He added that the number would be even higher if the estimate included all procedures that require antibiotics, which range from simple root canals to organ transplants.
\\\"Antibiotics are the one medication that everyone will get at some point in their life,\\\" Laxminarayan said.
The development of new antibiotics will not help if effective antibiotic controls are not in place, Wolf said.
\\\"Our experience has been that when we introduce a new antibiotic, we see resistance develop fairly quickly,\\\" he said.
Doctors and hospitals can help by limiting use of antibiotics to cases that truly need them, said Dr Henry Chambers, chief of infectious diseases at San Francisco General Hospital.
Also, Chambers would like to see tough mandatory controls put in place. Currently, he said, \\\"in hospitals, pretty much anybody can order an antibiotic.\\\"
Consumers can play a role, too, Wolf added.
\\\"They can say no to antibiotics for coughs and colds. They can ask for an antibiotic alternative, if it\\\'s available. And they can ask for meat that\\\'s antibiotic-free,\\\" Wolf said.

SOURCES: Ramanan Laxminarayan, Ph.D., M.P.H., director, Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy in Washington D.C.; Joshua Wolf, M.B.B.S., assistant member, Infectious Diseases Department, St. Jude Children\\\'s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tenn.; Henry Chambers, M.D., chief, infectious diseases, San Francisco General Hospital

The National Consumers Forum - NATCOF participated in the 3 day celebration for the National Day Show at Roche Caiman. NATCOF was showcasing its 20th anniversary exhibition and giving out information on consumers rights and responsibilities at the stall under CEPS - Citizens Engagement Platform Seychelles. 

To mark World Consumer Rights Day , Consumer International(CI)launched a new Consumer Agenda for Fair Mobile Services.
The agenda sets out the issues that mostly affect consumers, including the need for access to a reliable service, the security of their data and fair contracts
and billing.

CI will submit the Agenda to the World Telecommunications DevelopmentConference, held by the International Telecommunications Union, where we
will be calling on phone regulators and companies to take action to stop these issues undermining the success of this new technology.
Ringing in the changes Can you imagine a world without mobile phones? In just a few years they have become an indispensable part of our lives and can be found in almost every country around the world.
But as the number of consumers using mobile services nears seven billion, what sort of service are they receiving?
Are they being treated fairly? Our 2014 World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) campaign Fix Our Phone Rights! is devoted to tackling the issues that mostly affect consumers of mobile services.

Why Phone Rights are importan

In 2013 it was estimated that 6.8 billion people owned a mobile phone. In 2011 that figure was 6 billion and in 2010 it was 5.4 billion.
At the same time, mobile services have transformed from just being telephones that enable us to talk and text, to mini computers giving us access to information
and services that are crucial to livelihoods and health. They are not just convenient, but increasingly important tools that help to empower citizens and consumers. Having access to mobile connectivity is a necessity.

CI\'s agenda for Phone Rights

CI\'s Consumer Agenda for Fair Mobile Services addresses the issues that affect mobile consumers across the world, and we hope every CI Member and
Supporter can join the call. Some of the issues we want to address are:

  1. Provide consumers with access to an affordable, reliable service. Consumers want to be able to have access to affordable mobile services in order to communicate and to access information. It is only reasonable that they then expect those services to be consistent and of a high quality without drop outs in service.

  2. Provide consumers with fair contracts explained in clear, complete and
    accessible language. Consumers often feel cheated by their mobile provider, either because of unfair contract terms and conditions or because they didn\'t understand what they had signed. Telecom providers should always provide consumers with fair contracts with all relevant information explained clearly so that consumers can exercise their rights to make informed choices.

  3. Provide consumers with fair and transparent billing. Consumers shouldn\'t be billed for services they didn\'t request. We demand fairness and transparency in our bills, and protection from billing fraud.

  4. Provide consumers with security and power over their own information. Telecom providers and regulators alike must protect the personal data that consumers give up in order to use mobile services. Whilst giving consent to use personal data can enhance the experience of using a mobile phone, it can also compromise the consumer\'s right to safety. Consumers must be able to set the terms of how this data is used.

  5. Listen and respond to consumer complaints. Telecom providers should have effective complaints systems and if consumers are not satisfied there should be redress mechanisms to ensure a fair outcome. We must be able to penalise providers for abusive and unjust business practices.

Some cereal bars aimed at children contain "staggering" levels of sugar and are better suited to the confectionery aisle, a consumer group has warned.

Which? has used World Consumer Rights Day to call for clearer traffic light nutrition labelling on the front of all cereal bar packs after finding some contain more than 40% sugar.

The watchdog took a snapshot survey of 15 cereal bars and breakfast biscuits and found the levels of sugar left some "more suited to the confectionery aisle", including those marketed directly at children.

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For centuries, people from tropical regions have known about the amazing health benefits of tender coconut water, which comes from young green coconuts. Each nut contains about 200 to 1,000 milliliters (approximately 1 to 4 cups) of coconut water.

It is a delicious and refreshing low-calorie natural beverage. Tender coconut water contains more nutrients than mature coconut water.

It’s packed with antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C and minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and zinc.

The micronutrients in coconut water help boost the immune system. Plus, the plant hormones called cytokinins in this health drink exhibit anti-aging, antithrombotic and anticancer effects.

This is only the top of the list of toxic food products which, in the opinion of foreign and domestic nutritionist, should be avoided. - The greatest enemy of health is processed foods with lots of additives, and still do not know which the long term effects of consuming these foods are – believes Rachel Harvest, a nutritionist from New York. - See more at:

One of the important things people should do is accept responsibility for taking care of themselves. It\'s important to question and understand your doctor\'s advice.There are many examples of people whose health has been tragically damaged as a result of a medical mistake. More than 100,000 people die each year due to medical errors. In the event you find yourself in a hospital or doctor\'s office for health-related reasons, here\'s a to-do of things you can do
TODAY to protect your health.

  1. Know what medications you are taking. Yes, I know this sounds very basic, but you would be surprised to know how many people don\'t actually know this information. I\'ll see some in my office sometime… Some men will leave it up to their wives to “keep track of that stuff.” This is a problem. Absolutely, you must take your own health seriously and know what medicines you\'re taking. It is not your spouse\'s job to know that information… It is YOUR job. This also includes herbal or nutritional supplements. You don\'t have to memorize the list, but be sure to carry one with you of ANYTHING you\'re taking and take the list to any medical appointments. Also, be sure to update it with new information as often as necessary.
  2. Get a second opinion. If you are facing a health crisis, be sure to get another opinion.
  3. Question everything. Yes, some doctors might get offended, but TOO BAD. In fact, they should welcome your input and your questions. If you\'re unsure about something, ASK. And ask again. When you\'re in the hospital, make sure you know what medicines you are being given and please do not hesitate to ask the nurses or doctors. They won\'t mind you asking, because they want to make sure there are no mistakes made either. This keeps everyone on their toes and tells your medical team you are actively involved in your own health care. Don\'t take anything for granted! Nurses and doctors are human and make
    mistakes just like the rest of us, so ask! And, if you\'re not able to be as involved in your care because you are recovering, make sure you have a family member who will advocate for your health!
  4. Watch out for infections. When dealing with health care practitioners, make sure you see them wash their hands before they touch you. This seems like common sense, but they get busy rushing from patient to patient. Recently, I heard a story from a patient the other day, about a Doctor coming in from another room and starting to examine him without washing his hands. Make sure they wash their stethoscope too! Speak up and protect your health, as if no one else will!
  5. Verify your prescriptions. If a doctor gives you a prescription, don\'t just take it and leave. It is important that you ask him/her what
    the drug is, the dosage, what it does and how to take it. Write this information down, especially if you are getting different prescriptions! A doctor\'s handwriting can be a serious problem too, resulting in many errors at the pharmacy. Again, speaking up and asking questions will ensure you get the medication you need that is right — and safe — for you.

  6. Listen to your body. You have that “gut” feeling that something isn\'t quite right. You go to the doctor and they run a test that results in a “negative” diagnosis. They tell you “you\'re fine, but you still have that nagging feeling something is wrong with your health. Go to someone else. Get another test, ESPECIALLY if you have symptoms that mirror this issue. Misdiagnose happen all the time, but they can be prevented. Follow your inner guidance.
  7. Discuss your surgery. If you are having surgery, get your information the day before to discuss your case. Calling in advance lets the doctors/anesthetists know you are taking responsibility for your health. Ask all the questions you need answered. These persons will be responsible for making sure that you are “out” during the surgical procedure, so it is important you get to know each other. Be sure to discuss any concerns or questions with them.
  8. Mark Your Body. Be sure to mark the “surgical spot.” There are MANY documented cases of the wrong fill-in-the-body-part being operated on and the wrong organs being taken out… It happens all the time. Don\'t be afraid to write “cut here” and “don\'t cut here” on your body!

  9. “Whatever You Say, Doctor…” Unfortunately, a lot of patients believe in the Doctor is God complex. This is simply not true. Saying that “I\'ll do whatever you say, Doctor” or “I\'ll take whatever you give me, Doctor” is not in your best interest. Doctors are only human, after all. Not only do they make mistakes: Sometimes, they have very different opinions from one another. If someone is suggesting you take a prescription medication or have surgery or some
    other aggressive treatment, be sure to get the facts. Is there no other possible way to deal with this issue than drugs or surgery? What other options would be available? If it doesn\'t feel right to you, chances are there may be another way of handling it. Even if that means going to another doctor or several other doctors; don\'t be afraid to do it. Don\'t put them on a pedestal. The bottom line: It is YOUR body and YOUR health. Speak up for yourself!
  10. Seek out alternatives. There is often another alternative way of handling adiagnosis. Because there are many different alternatives and natural healing modalities out there, be sure to visit several different practitioners if you have a health crisis. Again, ask lots and lots of questions. You must feel comfortable with ANY health care team member you entrust to protect your health and wellness!

Stay healthy, everyone!