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Kids Conceived Via IVF Just as Healthy as Peers: Study

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Children conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) are as healthy as their naturally conceived peers, a landmark Australian study published on Wednesday has found.

The study, the largest of its kind, was compiled by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) and found that IVF children were healthy physically, mentally and emotionally by the time they reached school age.

David Amor, the lead researcher, said the results should provide peace of mind for parents of IVF children, as the number of births from sperm donor conception has doubled in Victoria since 2010.

“Women and couples who are choosing donors put a lot of thought and effort selecting them,” Amor told Australian media on Wednesday.

“The IVF services put a lot of effort into recruiting donors. The information the recipient gets about the donor is fairly minimal.”

“There’s some general health screening, but we don’t know if these men are representational of the general population. Given IVF is undergoing a bit of a renaissance in terms of the demand, these findings should be reassuring for parents,” he added.

For the study, the mothers of 224 Victorian IVF children were asked to fill out a survey on the health and well-being of their children, as well as themselves.

Results indicated that donor-conceived children had more special health needs than naturally conceived children but IVF children generally had a healthier family life.

Amor said that both of those results could be explained by the parents of IVF children being more protective of their own kids.

He said that researchers would now move on to study the health of IVF children who are in their own child-bearing years. (Xinhua)

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5 More Deaths Linked to Dengvaxia for Referral to UP-PGH

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Image Source: from www.thinkingpinoy.net by AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS

The Department of Health (DOH) will refer five new cases of deaths linked to the use of the dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia, to the panel of experts from the University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH).

“At least five cases are for referral (to the panel) for review,” DOH Undersecretary Enrique Domingo said in an interview with the media Tuesday.

Domingo said the DOH’s Epidemiology Bureau was coordinating with hospitals to get the case records of these five new cases.

The UP-PGH panel was formed to validate independently allegations of death due to Dengvaxia, which had been administered to more than 830,000 public school children under a DOH immunization program.

The panel is already looking into 14 cases of deaths linked to the controversial dengue vaccine. The same cases are being investigated by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), saying that the children succumbed to Dengue Shock Syndrome.

Meanwhile, Sanofi Pasteur has agreed to pull out the unused Dengvaxia vaccines in DOH storage facilities until Friday.

During a press conference at the DOH media relations unit in Manila following a meeting between DOH and Sanofi officials Tuesday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that based on their latest count, the remaining stocks to be pulled out stand at 1,187,815 doses, worth Php1,187,815,000.

“It was also agreed with Sanofi that reimbursement will be in about one to two days after retrieval,” he said.

Duque said the vaccines would be picked up from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, and the DOH offices in Calabarzon, Central Luzon and the National Capital Region.

In Central Visayas where a community-based immunization for dengue was also held, the withdrawal of the vaccines would be completed by next week, he added.

The meeting was also attended by World Health Organization Country Representative Dr. Gundo Weiler.

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Massive HIV-AIDS Info Drive Yields High Number of Screened Persons

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Image Source: qconline.com

The provincial health office’s aggressive campaign in the past couple of years on the deadly virus that weakens the immune system in man resulted in a rapid rise of individuals voluntarily submitting themselves for screening.

Last year, the HIV-AIDS campaign that was waged in schools and parishes all over the province encouraged 56 people for a check-up, more than double the 26 screened in 2016, and eight times more than the number 7 in 2015.

Although showing widespread awareness for those with questionable lifestyles, the trend was alarming, said Eunice Aida Batalon, provincial HIV-AIDS coordinator.

Out of the 56 screened in 2017 “the youngest was 12 years old, the oldest 72 years old, and two are females,” Batalon said in an interview at the Salvacion Oppus Yniguez Memorial Provincial Hospital (SOYMPH) at barangay Dongon, this city, January 10.

Samples of the blood taken were forwarded for confirmatory testing at San Lazaro hospital in Manila and the results were tellingly shocking: 4 out 7 screened in 2015 were confirmed positive; 4 out 26 in 2016 positive; and 7 out of 56 in 2017 were positive as well.

Those who had contacted AIDS in 2015 and 2016 already passed away, while 1 out of 7 in 2017 had expired, Batalon told PIA, although other sources said that 3 died in 2017.

Invoking confidentiality, Batalon would not state the whereabouts of those screened and those who perished, adding that not all were from the province alone as there were also those coming from the nearby towns of Leyte province.

While most of those afflicted cited poverty as reason for the infection, some well-off individuals also got infected, by way of men having sex with men (msm), Batalon said.

This year the continuing advocacy will focus on Parent-Teachers Community Associations (PTCAs), as parents and the family have vital roles to play to prevent the further spread of HIV-AIDS, Batalon declared. (ajc/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)

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Duque Welcomes P1.4-B Refund for Unused Dengvaxia

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Image Source: from www.thinkingpinoy.net by AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has welcomed Sanofi Pasteur’s move to refund the government Php1.4 billion for the unused doses of the controversial dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia, in the health department’s public immunization program.

“We will ask for a full refund eventually. But for the meantime, we want the immediate withdrawal of all (Dengvaxia) vaccine vials stored in our cold chain facilities,” Duque said in an interview Monday.

“Ang importante kasi mai-withdraw na nila lahat ng mga vials because they are also eating up our space. Hindi kami makatanggap ng bagong bakuna sa cold chain facilities and RITM and regional storage facilities (It is important that they withdraw the remaining vials, which are eating up space in our cold chain facilities. We could not accept new vaccines in these facilities, as well as the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and regional storage facilities),” he added.

The health chief said they also requested Sanofi to provide test kits developed by the University of Pittsburgh to conduct serotesting on children who received Dengvaxia, especially if they had no previous history of infection before receiving it.

Meanwhile, Sanofi said that their decision to reimburse the government for unused doses “is not related to any safety or quality issue with Dengvaxia”.

“Rather Sanofi Pasteur hopes that this decision will allow us to be able to work more openly and constructively with the DOH (Department of Health) to address the negative tone towards the dengue vaccine in the Philippines today,” the pharmaceutical company said in a statement, maintaining that Dengvaxia’s overall benefit remained positive in high endemic countries like the Philippines.

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DOH: Eat Iodine-Rich Food to Avoid Goiter

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Image Source: integrativenutrition.com

The Department of Health (DOH) and the National Nutrition Council (NNC) here urged the public to consumer food rich in iodine to avoid goiter.

NNC-7 Regional Director Parolita Mission disclosed in a recent Association of Government Information Officers-Philippine Information Agency (AGIO-PIA7) Forum that 92 percent of goiter cases is due to lack of iodine.

Mission urged the public to eat iodine-rich food such as seafoods and only use iodized salt with enough quantity of iodine content.

“Iodine can be taken from seafoods and iodine function is for processing metabolism,” Mission said.

She also said that iodine helps regulate the thyroid hormones.

Aside from iodine deficiency, the excessive intake of foods such as cauliflower, cassava, and broccoli can also cause or trigger goiter.

Dr. Anessa Patindol Medical Officer III of DOH-7 said that those who experience symptoms of neck enlargement should immediately seek medical attention as this is one of the common indications of goiter.

Although goiter commonly occurs among women, Patindol said it is still best for everybody to regularly take foods rich in iodine and avoid foods that may trigger goiter.

Patindol added that the treatment of goiter may be costly but DOH is providing assistance to those that seek medical attention.

“We are just requesting the public to seek early consultation if ever they have unusual changes in their body such as neck enlargement, and difficulty in breathing” Patindol said. (ays/PIA7/AGIO-PIA7 Forum)

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