Oct 9, 2017

Trump policy set to hinder war on polio in Pakistan: report


Experts looking into the crippling impact of polio in Pakistan and Afghanistan have stated that the biggest obstacle is not lack of money, but the mistrust of the western governments who bankroll the vaccines, The Guardian reported.

And now US President Donald Trump is about to deepen that mistrust. If the US continues to threat Pakistan, the anti-US sentiment will increase dramatically, which have led to attacks on polio workers and prompted tribal leaders to ban vaccination campaigns.
It would not be the first time the US has got in the way of the war on polio. The fight against polio suffered its biggest blow in 2011 when the CIA concocted a fake hepatitis vaccination campaign as part of its efforts to find Osama bin Laden. The Taliban issued fatwas and murdered dozens of health workers. In 2014, Pakistan recorded more than 300 polio cases.
In his recently announced South Asia strategy, Trump signaled a tougher line on Pakistan, “We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change, and that will change immediately,” he said.
“It is hard to predict how local communities will respond to health workers if bombings pick up,” said Monica Martinez-Bravo, a researcher at CEMFI and co-author of a new paper on mistrust of vaccines in Pakistan. But she documented a clear correlation between support for militant groups at times a result of air campaigns, will decline in immunisation rates.
Bombings complicate access for immunisers, and insurgents have used polio to demand a halt to airstrikes in return for allowing vaccinations. This year, in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan, the Taliban banned inoculations for 15 months, relenting only when a 14-month-old girl contracted polio.
Since the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was launched in 1988, an estimated 16 million people have been saved from paralysis, and 1.5 million children from death. The virus loiters in the environment. Last week, standing above a river in Rawalpindi overflowing with sewage after the monsoon rains, Sarwat Boobak, area coordinator for WHO, said her team had detected wild polio, a sign that people were still shedding the virus, even in the capital Islamabad.
A long-time polio worker, Boobak fled her home town of Karachi in 2012 after the CIA vaccination scheme was revealed. “Our work suffered so much after that,” she said.
The backlash predominantly hit female health workers who make up the backbone of vaccination teams. Since then, at least 41 polio workers have been killed in Pakistan, as have several polio workers in Afghanistan. An overwhelming majority of Pakistanis welcome vaccination workers, a few refusals can keep the disease alive.
“Polio vaccines are produced in western countries, and are made out of pig fat or contain alcohol, the two things that are forbidden in Islam,” said Akbar Wazir, a tribal elder from North Waziristan. Equally false are beliefs that vaccines transmit HIV or cause sterilisation.
Such misconceptions grew stronger after the CIA ruse, said Martinez-Bravo. “Once people found credible evidence for one claim, it lent credibility to the others,” she said. This year, 250,000 Pakistani polio workers will target 38 million children who require a course of 10-15 vaccinations. A campaign of that magnitude requires goodwill from communities.

“Certain elements don’t want the Pakistani government to succeed, including in polio campaigns,” said Rana Muhammad Safdar, emergency coordinator for polio eradication in Pakistan. He would not rule out that military operations could endanger vaccination campaigns. “By now we have been able to prevent 500,000 paralysis cases in Pakistan alone,” he said. “We all must be extra careful.”
Post Polio Litaff, Association A.C _APPLAC Mexico

Oct 5, 2017

Study Provides New Insight Into Patients’ Healing Journeys

Researchers developed model of how people transcend suffering to find healing.

Article ID: 681075
Released: 13-Sep-2017 5:05 PM EDT
  • Credit: Sara Warber
    This model of the "healing journey" describes how people who are ill re-establish a sense of integrity and wholeness. Researchers' thematic analysis of patient interviews found that healing is a complex, long-term process facilitated by persistence and trusting relationships.
The study is one of few to examine healing from the patient perspective. “The findings are helpful because they show, from the lived experience of people who are suffering, how the winding path of healing happens,” said co-author Kurt C. Stange, MD, PhD, a Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve University and a Scholar of the Institute for Integrative Health, which helped fund the study.
The authors performed thematic analyses of in-depth interviews with 23 patients who had a variety of medical, psychological, and social issues. All had experienced healing, defined as “recovering a sense of integrity and wholeness after experiencing illness and suffering.” Interviews were conducted by the first author, John Glenn Scott, MD, PhD, for an earlier study of healing relationships between doctors and patients.
Using a combination of qualitative methods to analyze the transcripts, the authors identified emerging themes and developed a model illustrating the healing journey. The process it depicts begins with a wounding event, causing suffering, defined as “the experience of distress when the intactness or integrity of the person is threatened.” Its degree and quality are related to the individual’s characteristics, relationships, and stage of life. Through persistence, the suffering person forms safe, trusting relationships with helpers, who in turn, enable the person to gain resources, such as positivity. The cycle of acquiring relationships and resources repeats indefinitely, fostering beneficial attributes, such as self-acceptance. These contribute to a restored sense of wholeness and integrity, which constitutes healing.
Healing Journey Model
Transcript analyses revealed that healing was an erratic, long-term process, experienced uniquely by each person with their individual circumstances. The authors wrote: “People in the sample experienced healing journeys that spanned a spectrum from overcoming unspeakable trauma and then becoming healers themselves, to everyday heroes functioning well despite ongoing serious health challenges.”
The study found that people on healing journeys created connections with a wide range of helpers, including not only family, friends, and health professionals, but also non-human sources of support, such as pets, spirituality, and personal interests. Crucial to forming connections were a feeling of safety and a sense of trust that connections would be conducive to healing. These relationships proved instrumental in helping participants develop skills and resources through observation and practice, including the ability to reframe suffering in a positive light, the choice to adopt an optimistic attitude, and the capacity to take responsibility for one’s recovery from illness.
The authors note that the healing journey was recursive in nature, not step-wise.  Mustering persistence and battling despair, people continually formed connections and gained new resources. As a result, they gradually found relief from suffering and began to exhibit emergent characteristics: a sense of hope, self-acceptance, and a desire to help others—the immediate precursors to healing.
Importantly, the authors go on to say that restoring a sense of integrity and wholeness doesn’t require the absence of illness. None of the study participants was cured, yet as the authors point out, “they were all able to transcend their suffering and in some sense to flourish.”
The authors are hopeful the study will influence a shift in the way patients and health care practitioners think about and approach healing. “By filling a gap in understanding the healing process, the study’s findings may offer hope to those who are suffering and guide how they respond to their state of illness,” said Dr. Stange. “Likewise, greater understanding of patients’ journeys may positively inform the way health professionals, caregivers, and communities support those who are ill.”
Other authors include two Institute for Integrative Health Scholars, Paul Dieppe, MD, FRCP, FFPH (University of Exeter Medical School) and David Jones, MD (The Institute for Functional Medicine), as well as Sara L. Warber, MD (University of Michigan Medical School), and John Glenn Scott, MD, PhD (Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine).
In addition to funding from the Institute for Integrative Health, Dr. Jones received some support from the Institute for Functional Medicine, and Dr. Stange received some support from a Clinical Research Professorship from the American Cancer Society.
# # #
About The Institute for Integrative Health
A non-profit organization based in Baltimore, the Institute for Integrative Health was founded by Brian Berman, MD, in 2007 to catalyze new ideas in health, understand the complex network of factors that influence health, and promote the well-being of individuals and communities. Learn more at www.tiih.org.
Media contact: Robin Yasinow, The Institute for Integrative Health, 410-299-5437, ryasinow@tiih.org

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