Google Blog Search

UK-based Pinoys join protest vs budget cuts

LONDON – More than 500 Filipino medical workers were among those who participated in the huge protest last week dubbed as the “March for the Alternative” of the Trade Union Congress in the United Kingdom
The event gathered an estimated 300,000 protesters who denounced budget cuts in public services and welfare benefits as well as reforms in the National Health Service (NHS).
Aside from the nurses, teachers, students, union members and organized labor groups also joined the rally.
The Pinoy marchers believe the budget cut will eventually cut off employment opportunities for new Filipino nursing graduates to give way to EU citizens. 
Louie Yambao has been working as a nurse in London for 9 years now. Yambao said the only way that nurses can come in thru London is via student visa, which requires a 10-hour work policy weekly.
However, this is not enough to sustain living conditions in London. 
Although the Pinoys joined the rally, they were not involved in the clashes between police and a breakaway group of protesters who attacked commercial establishments along Oxford and Regent Streets. Danny Buenafe, ABS-CBN Europe and Middle East News Bureau chief

Heart-attack risk spikes after sex, exercise

source: By Anne Harding,

( -- Exercising or having sex just about triples a person's risk of heart attack in the hours immediately afterward, especially if the person does those activities infrequently, according to a new analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Heart patients shouldn't abstain from sex or forgo exercise based on this finding, however. Although a threefold increase in heart-attack risk sounds scary, the overall likelihood of having a heart attack after working out or making love is still very low -- on the order of 3 in 1,000,000, as opposed to 1 in 1,000,000.

"Definitely, one should not interpret our findings as meaning that physical activity or sexual activity are dangerous or harmful," says one of the study's authors, Issa Dahabreh, M.D., a researcher at Tufts Medical Center's Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, in Boston, Massachusetts. "The effect at an individual level is small." Surprising heart attack risks
Moreover, the study participants who were more physically active appeared to be less susceptible to a heart attack following intercourse or a workout.

"People who exercise regularly have a much smaller increase in risk, if any," Dr. Dahabreh says.

Numerous studies have suggested that physical activity, including sex, can trigger a heart attack or cardiac arrest, but the magnitude of the risk has been unclear. To arrive at an estimate, Dahabreh and his coauthor reanalyzed data from 14 such studies dating back to the 1980s.

All of the studies used a so-called case-crossover design, in which the participants' activities in the one- to two-hour period leading up to their heart attacks were compared with their usual routines. If physical activity or sex were more common during the pre-heart-attack period than at other times, it would suggest that they triggered the attack. 5 ways to cut your heart attack risk
In the hours after exercising, the researchers found, a person's risk of heart attack increased about 3.5 times, while his or her risk increased about 2.7 times within two hours of having sex. Physical activity also quintupled the risk of sudden death due to cardiac arrest.

However, the risk of heart attack or cardiac death was reduced by 45% and 30%, respectively, for each additional workout the study participants completed in a typical week.

Although the overall (or absolute) risk of heart attack after sex or exercise is "very, very small," Dahabreh says, the findings do suggest that sedentary people who want to get in shape should increase their level of physical activity gradually to avoid undue stress on their hearts. (The American Heart Association makes the same recommendation.) The 10 best foods for your heart
Geoffrey Tofler, M.D., a professor of preventive cardiology at the University of Sydney Medical School, in Australia, stresses that it is extremely rare for sex or exercise to trigger a heart attack.

"If a healthy 50-year-old person has [a] one-in-a-million chance of having a heart attack in any given hour, tripling the risk will still only make three chances in a million of a heart attack in that hour," says Tofler, a co-author of one of the analyzed studies whowas not involved in the new research.

The analysis was "conducted very thoroughly" and is close to being the last word on the subject, Tofler adds. The findings should reassure heart patients and their partners, who are often anxious about whether it's safe to resume sexual activity after a heart attack or heart-disease diagnosis. "In conjunction with a return to regular physical activity, sexual activity carries a minimal risk," he says.

WHO urges more effort in fighting drug-resistant TB

source: By Masuzyo Chakwe

WORLD leaders need to step up their commitment and contributions to meet the goal of diagnosing and treating one million people with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) between 2011 and 2015, says global health organisations.

Commenting on the World TB Day which fell yesterday, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Stop TB Partnership called on world leaders to step up their commitment and contributions.

WHO yesterday released a report titled ‘Towards Universal Access to Diagnosis and Treatment of MDR-TB and XDR-TB by 2015’, which presents progress in the MDR-TB response in the countries with the highest burden of drug-resistant TB.
WHO director general Dr Margaret Chan said many countries had made progress, but despite the recent scale up in efforts, the world needed to do much more to get care to all MDR-TB patients who need it.

“We cannot allow MDR-TB to spread unchecked,” she said.

Dr Chan said leaving MDR-TB untreated increased the risk of spreading drug resistant strains of tuberculosis and WHO estimates that there would be more than two million new cases of MDR-TB between 2011 and 2015.

It stated that it was anticipated that the Global Fund would provide 84 per cent of all international investments in tuberculosis in 2011.

However, it stated that both domestic and international resources need to be scaled up to cope with MDR-TB and continue to make progress in the fight against TB.

Global Fund executive director Professor Michel Kazatchkine said MDR-TB was a threat to all countries as it is difficult and expensive to treat.

“Unless we make an extraordinary effort to tackle this problem, our ability to finance and secure continued progress against TB in general will be threatened” said Prof Kazatchkine.

United Nations secretary general’s special envoy to stop TB Dr Jorge Sampaio said it was time for countries with rapidly growing economies and a heavy burden of MDR-TB to step up their commitment and financing for their own MDR-TB programmes.

Dr Sampaio said several had the capacity to show new leadership on south-south cooperation and aid to neighbouring countries that are also affected.
And Stop TB Partnership executive secretary Dr Lucica Ditiu said the Global Fund's success could be measured in the number of lives that had been saved through care provided by the TB programmes it finances.

“Every TB patient should have access to proper care. We advocate on behalf of millions of patients worldwide and our strong partners such as WHO and the Global Fund. To reach a million people with effective care for MDR-TB over the next five years, we will need to work closely with all partners, especially with affected communities,” said Dr Ditiu.

MDR-TB is a form of tuberculosis that fails to respond to standard first-line drugs.

POEA sees more demand for Pinoys in Japan

AS REPORTS of Japan possibly slipping into recession surface, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) refused to be alarmed and instead see it as an opportunity to send in more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

In a phone interview, POEA Administrator Carlos Cao said he believes that the tragedy will be providing an opportunity for more Filipino nurses and caregivers to be demanded by Japanese health authorities.
“On the contrary, we think there will be more demands for Filipino nurses and caregivers since the recovery and rehabilitation in Japan will be on a massive level,” said Cao.

Aside from caregivers and nurses, he said the rehabilitation program will also result in the need for more construction workers.

The labor official, however, admitted that there is indeed a possibility that Japan slipping into recession could result to some job losses.

“It may have an impact on the OFWs in that sense,” said Cao while refusing to speculate on possible job losses.

Last Monday, international economists expressed fears that Japan's already weak economy is in danger of slipping back into recession in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that hit the country last Friday.

The POEA chief, for his part, believes that Japan slipping into a recession may be unlikely since it is considered as the world’s third largest economy.

“We all know about the resiliency of the Japanese economy so we hope and pray that they will be able to recover immediately,” said Cao.

POEA records show that there are now some 225,000 OFWs working in Japan as of last year. (AMN/Sunnex)

Filipino health workers draw praise in Libya

source: By Gilbert P. Felongco, Correspondent

Some 8,000 show commitment to profession by remaining in restive Libya

Manila: While most overseas workers in Libya had been trying to leave, Filipina nurses in the embattled North African country are drawing praise for their commitment to their vocation.
Reports reaching Manila said that thousands of Filipino nurses and medical staff have chosen to brave and wait out the several weeks of political strife out of professional commitment.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Esteban Conejos said that despite a move by the Philippine government to offer repatriation to Filipinos who volunteer to get out of Libya, some 8,000 nurses and other medical workers chose to stay despite the obvious risk to their lives.

"Our nurses deserve our admiration and also, I guess it's the reason Libyan people love Filipinos there," he said recently upon his return to Manila at the end of a two-week visit to Libya and Tunisia.

There are 1,300 Filipino nurses employed by the Tripoli Medical Centre — one of the largest hospital in Libya — and a further 600 at the Benghazi Medical Centre

Strategic areas
The fighting between government forces of Muammar Gaddafi and rebels had been largely confined to strategic areas in Tripoli and Benghazi and medical facilities in these locales are hard-pressed attending to civilian as well as military casualties. Conejos said that because of the commitment shown by Filipino medical workers, they have earned the respect of not only the Libyans, but other foreign nationals as well.

Prior to the outbreak of protests against the government of Gaddafi, the Department of Foreign Affairs said there were 26,000 Filipinos in Libya at any given time.

These Philippine nationals include skilled workers, information technology professionals, engineers, oil field workers, technicians as well as medical workers.

As of Friday, the DFA said nearly 14,000 Filipinos have left Libya. Of this number, more than 6,000 are already in Manila.

Earlier, Labour and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said her department's National Reintegration Centre for Overseas (NRCO) Filipino workers is ready with appropriate programmes for returnees, particularly those who have arrived and those yet to arrive from Libya.

She said mechanisms to ensure their smooth reintegration to mainstream Philippine society are in place.

Reintegration initiatives
"Even before this crisis in Libya erupted, the NRCO has already established various reintegration programmes for OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers)," said Dimapilis-Baldoz, adding that as early as November last year President Benigno Aquino instructed the Labour Department to set aside one billion pesos (Dh84.5 million) for the reintegration programme.

At least one out of every 10 Filipinos is employed in jobs overseas and with the current situation in North Africa and the Middle East, the Philippines could be forced to adapt measures that will allow its remittances-dependent economy to catch up with the rapidly developing changes abroad.