Monthly Archives: June 2010

Mumps outbreaks – local parents warned

One of the main NHS targets in my area is to increase vaccination rates, especially for the MMR.  Photo advertisements assure us… “Now they’ve had the jab I know they’re protected” states Jayne, Chessington.

And local GP surgeries have been doing their bit too.  Non vaccinated parents received letters from their GP informing them of a current outbreak of mumps and the need to immunise.  The letter stated that “The bugs causing these illnesses (Diptheria, Tetanus, Whooping Cough, Mumps, Measles, Rubella, Hib and Meningitus) are still present in the community and will cause these infections if vaccines are not given.” Even a local health official admitted that the word ‘will’ should have read ‘may’!

I wondered what the vaccination status of those contracting mumps were, and what numbers and type of complications arose?  Were primary school children, to whom the letter was aimed, at risk, was the outbreak in the non-vaccinated and were the complications a concern?

However, if you take a look here  you will see that the mumps ‘outbreaks,’ are mostly in the universities.  For parents of children of primary school age, to whom these letters are aimed, the majority of mumps cases are in the vaccinated (1 or 2 or more doses).

Of all cases just 1% of cases are hospitalized with less than 1% having complications.

When I requested information from the HPA (Health Protection Agency) re UK data (as the data given is for Europe) I was told that “It is difficult to ascertain the completeness of the data we receive. ” When I asked about details of age and seriousness of the 19 mumps complications last year they stated that “We are unable to provide this information to you as it falls under deductive disclosure due to a smaller dataset, and we would be in breach of patient confidentiality if this information is disclosed.”

BMA junior doctors worried about homeopathy

As you may know, the BMA are trying to pass a motion against homeopathy, in particular in the NHS.  The British Homeopathic Association support the Faculty of Homeopathy who have condemned the motion put forward by junior doctors calling for a halt to NHS funding of homeopathy.  The motion was put forward at a recent British Medical Association (BMA) conference. The Faculty will be making representations through their members at the conference in Brighton on June 29th. They are also planing to stage a patient demonstration on the morning of Wednesday June 30th and would be grateful for your support in either of 2 ways.

Write to your MP and copy to the BMA:

Dr. Hamish Meldrum Chairman
British Medical Association
BMA House
Tavistock Square

Key points would be:

BMA is proposing motions that affect patient choice and outside their remit as a trade union
They have not consulted homeopathic doctors nor patients to make such motion
Homeopathy on the NHS costs very little and helps patients that have often not been helped through conventional methods and have chronic health problems. When homeopathic medicines account for only .0001% of the NHS drugs budget it seems immensely cost effective for NHS. Let them have any information about your positive personal experience

2) Let the Faculty know if you have patients/contacts in the Brighton area who would be willing to join a patient demonstration on the morning of weds 30th June – we obviously need a good crowd not to look pathetic.

Please contact Cristal Sumner

Fermentation – the healthy & cheaper way to a healthy gut

  • I am noticing that when mums describe themselves as parents, fermentation is used alongside other natural health interests…..
  • Cultured veggies are already partially digested, so they’re easy on the system. Not only are they readily absorbed by your body, they enhance your body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients from the other things you eat at the same time.
  • They help to balance the pH of your digestive tract.
  • They offset the toxic and carcinogenic effects of the charcoal from BBQ.
  • They are naturally packed with digestive enzymes and probiotics, which support the health of your digestive system.
  • They help to heal the lining of your intestines by promoting the growth of healthy flora.
  • They promote a healthy and strong immune system.
  • And last but certainly not least, they help reduce sugar cravings.

Click here for a home made recipe from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions

For the serious and time rich person but certainly cheaper than commercial probiotics.

Comments welcome as fermentation and comparing home-made to capsule is new to me

Protecting who & why? Editor in China sacked for exposing possible vaccine deaths

Always difficult to assess stories from China but it seems plausible that vaccines are not always handled or stored properly, sometimes leading to them being ‘ineffective’ and other times leading to fatal accidents.

… an intrepid Chinese editor has been sacked after his paper ran a story exposing the careless handling of health vaccines that may have caused the deaths and serious illnesses of children in Shanxi Province…

However, Yuehang has stood firmly behind the story and its writer.  Wang Keqin a prominent investigative journalist in China who wrote the report exposed how a gross failure to refrigerate vaccines had led to the deaths of four children and the illness of at least seventy-four others in Shanxi Province, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The vaccines were left unrefrigerated to prevent their stickers from peeling off, ironically these stickers depicted the government’s quality assurance.

When I was a teenager I kept a book with my favorite sayings..

“It is not our mistakes but our cover ups which are morally inexcusable”  or something like that.  I would add now that to repeat mistakes or not share mistakes, when mortality is the bar, then that is morally inexcusable too.

When my local GP practice discovered a problem with their fridge at least they told those affected, ‘More than a hundred patients, including children, have been … told any jabs over the past five years may have ineffective,’ due to poor refrigeration.  The news was reported and was discussed by the PCT.

I’m sure all concerned were relieved that at least the fridge was partly working…

Protecting who and what? – Flu vaccine crisis in Australia

Considering that seasonal flu vaccinations across Australia for children under five have been suspended, after 23 children in Western Australia were admitted to hospital with convulsions following their injections, it is surprising that a Church venue canceled the AVN seminar on Flu Vaccinations…

Just one of dozens of interesting letters supporting Meryl Dorey -President Australian Vaccination Network -

Dear Church council
I am appalled and outraged that you could cancel the use of your venue for the AVN seminar.
As an Australian citizen, we live in a democracy and have the right to free speech, to hear other people’s point of view and make up our own minds. …
What happened to the rights of parents who similarly weren’t informed that the double vaccine, seasonal flu and swine flu hadn’t been thoroughly tested before it was given to there children?
We have to ask questions like why health departments promote these untrialed vaccines – is it in public good?  To quote Prof Peter Collignan from ANU who is a microbiologist, “Last winter, the likelihood than a child without risk factors would die from swine flu was less than one in a million. When such a high proportion of children develop moderate to severe febrile reactions to the influenza vaccine it is likely we are doing more harm than good by vaccinating the entire population.”
Yours faithfully

One child, aged 1, remains in a coma in a Perth hospital.

This poor child’s parents may have been interested in the The Cochrane Collaboration’s 40-year retrospective study on the flu vaccine which showed that in children under the age of 2, the vaccine was completely ineffective.

Nutrition in Hospitals

I belong to a Nutritional steering group as part of the local LINk (soon to renamed Health Watch).  We were welcomed into our local hospital to taste the food, ask questions, and were impressed by an excellent presentation from head dietition, and the editor of the RSPH handbook, Eating for Health in Care Homes.

The idea is that we build up relationships with local providers and then link them with the views and experiences of local users.  The aim is to improve local health and social care.  Sounds great in theory but how will stretched NHS professionals view the aims and potential changes from of a bunch of lay people tasting the sticky toffee pudding?

Happy to say, good so far…

From the questions we raised a few have been answered with a month.  We questioned artificial sweeteners in the squash products on the children’s ward.   “A sugar alternative is being investigated” we were informed.  And then we wondered how risk of de-hydration is monitored?  700 red lids for the water jugs have been since been sourced for the at-risk patients!

This may be progress – I will let you know the final outcomes and also to our questions on the use and safety of GM food, providing un caffeinated drinks  and the lack of protein at breakfast.   Already an interesting divide between dietitians and nutritionists has appeared.  My knowledge is from nutritionists and the Arnica Network.  I thought it was common knowledge that there were questions over the safety of GM foods, that caffeine reduced nutritional absorption and that protein was needed at every meal to stabilize the blood sugar levels.  However, the dietitians in our steering group were unconvinced…. my work is cut out for me know to gather evidence for what I take for granted in my world!

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