Syrian Gov. launches a wide scale vaccine campaign

The Ministry of Health has launched the national campaign for vaccinating children. This campaign will last until the 1oth of next December and it is considered the first time that the ministry allocates two weeks for this vaccine due to the critical and current circumstances that the country is passing through. This long campaign aimed to contain the 3 million children in the remote and rural areas. The vaccines in Syria cost more than SP. 2 bln. They are imported in very critical and hard conditions and ranked the first class according to world standards. Homs governorate has received its allocations of vaccines while Deir ez zour will receive them sooner. The World Health Organization WHO)will deliver the allocated vaccines to Aleppo Governorate.

Minister of Health Saad al-Naief said the campaign will be executed in the health centers. The center’s number now is 1816 while in the past it was 1921, 105 centers became out of service. The campaign will be executed in the mobile caravan clinics and health centers in the desert, countryside and cities. 

Al-Naief said the success of the campaign basically centers on the role played by mothers to take their under 5-year old children to the health centers for vaccination. It is worth noting  that there is no bad affect to give the vaccine to children who catch a cold.

In a meeting held recently with reporters at the Health Ministry in this regard, al-Naief said that the Ministry signed many contracts with the eastern countries to ensure distinctive medicine and vaccines and which will be presented in the market in future.

“Syria has attached great importance to the national programmes of vaccines. By this support, Syria gets rid of Measles and no case of polio has been registered since 1995”, the minister said. 

Al-Naief pointed out that the Ministry has carried out a two-stage national vaccine campaign to children less than five years old in October and November of 2011. The previous campaign was successful because it included large number of children of the country in spite of the awful and difficult circumstances that the country is witnessing and the great risks facing the workers at the health sector during fulfilling their duties in preserving the citizens’ health.

Al-Naief expressed his gratitude to the role played by media in supporting the Health Ministry’s efforts to encourage citizens to pursue the health habits which in turn reduced the number of children deaths under one and five year-old.  

Director of the national vaccination Nidal Abu Rasheed said there is no damage at all to give the vaccine for the children vaccinated previously, adding that the campaign will focus on the shelter centers and the displaced gathering in the governorates due to the current circumstances.

Al-Naief said  “Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi is contacting with the UN and the humanitarian organizations to follow up the operation of vaccinating of the Syrian children who were obliged to leave their homes and move to camps in Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey due to the practices pursued by the terrorist groups.

Inas Abdulkareem   

Lettuce, most delicate salad plants in this world

 Lettuce is one of the most delicate salad plants in this world, which is grown as a leafy vegetable. The vegetable is usually consumed as cold and raw, in salads, hamburgers, tacos and a number of other dishes. There are basically six different types of lettuce, namely Butterhead (Boston or Bibb), Chinese lettuce, Crisphead (Iceberg), Looseleaf, Romaine (Cos) and Summer Crisp (Batavian). All of them are used for the purpose of making salads. Usually, lettuce leaves are slightly bitter; however they might be specifically bred in a way that helps rid them of the bitterness. Being high in nutritional value, lettuce offers its users a number of health and nutrition benefits. To know more about them, let us check out the information provided in the following lines.

 Nutritional Value of Lettuce

Given below is the amount of nutrients present in 100 gm of lettuce:

  Carbohydrates - 2.2 g, Dietary Fiber - 1.1 g, Fats - 0.2 g, Protein - 1.4 g, Water - 96 g,    Vitamin A - 166 μg,  Folate (Vitamin B9) - 73 μg,  Vitamin C - 4 mg, Vitamin K - 24 μg,  Iron - 1.2 mg, Energy - 10 kcal (60 kJ). 

Health & Nutrition Benefits of Eating Lettuce

The juice of lettuce, when mixed with rose oil and applied to the forehead, can help ease headache and even aid a sound and restful sleep.

 Lettuce, being high in dietary fiber, aids digestion and is good for those suffering from constipation.

 Lettuce has been associated with reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and cataracts. This mainly results from the presence of beta-carotene, the chief disease-fighting nutrient, in the salad.

    Since lettuce is pretty low in calories, it makes the perfect snack for those trying to lose weight.

    Lettuce is rich in folic acid, which is known to help prevent neural-tube birth defects in the beginning stages of pregnancy.

    It is believed that consumption of lettuce might help one get over nervous insomnia, as it contains a sleep-inducing substance.

    Lettuce has been found to be beneficial in the prevention of spina bifida and anemia.

    Lettuce has been associated with better liver health.

    Lettuce is frequently suggested to men who are suffering from the problem of premature ejaculation.

    A mixture of lettuce juice and spinach juice is said to be good for those who are troubled by the problem of hair loss.

    Lettuce is believed to be quite beneficial for people who often suffer from the problem of nervous cough.

    The high magnesium content in lettuce makes it rich in reviving powers, in relation to muscular tissues, brain and the nerves.

    Lettuce can prove helpful in treating acid indigestion, anemia, arthritis, catarrh, circulatory problems and colitis.

    Those suffering from gastritis, gout, irritable bowel, obesity, sexual addiction, stress, tuberculosis, ulcers and urinary tract diseases might benefit from the regular consumption of lettuce.

Raghda Sawas

lzheimer's Disease in Mice Alleviated: Promising Therapeutic Approach for Humans

Pathological changes typical of Alzheimer's disease were significantly reduced in mice by blockade of an immune system transmitter. A research team from Charité – Universitäts medizin Berlin and the University of Zurich has just published a new therapeutic approach in fighting Alzheimer's disease in the current issue of Nature Medicine. This approach promises potential in prevention, as well as in cases where the disease has already set in.

Alzheimer's disease is one of the most common causes of dementia. In Germany and Switzerland alone, around 1.5 million people are affected, and forecasts predict a doubling of the number of patients worldwide within the next 20 years. The accumulation of particular abnormal proteins, including amyloid-ß (Aβ) among others, in patients' brains plays a central role in this disease. Prof. Frank Heppner from the Department of Neuropathology at Charité and his colleague Prof. Burkhard Becher from the Institute for Experimental Immunology at the University of Zurich were able to show that turning off particular cytokines (immune system signal transmitters) reduced the Alzheimer's typical amyloid-ß deposits in mice with the disease. As a result, the strongest effects were demonstrated after reducing amyloid-ß by approximately 65 percent, when the immune molecule p40 was affected, which is a component of the cytokines interleukin (IL)-12 and -23.

Relevant for human therapy

Follow-up experiments also relevant for humans showed that substantial improvements in behavioral testing resulted when mice were given the antibody blocking the immune molecule p40. This effect was also achieved when the mice were already showing symptoms of the disease. Based on the current study by Prof. Heppner's and Prof. Becher's team, the level of p40 molecules is higher in Alzheimer's patients' brain fluid, which is in agreement with a recently published study by American colleagues demonstrating increased p40 levels in blood plasma of subjects with Alzheimer's disease, thus showing obvious relevance for human therapy, according to Science Daily.

National Vaccination Campaign Launched Today

DAMASCUS,(ST)_ Some 2.5 million under-five year old children  will benefit from the national vaccination campaign  which  was launched  on Monday (today)  through December 6th , in 1816 health centers  distributed across Syria, the ministry of health reported on Monday.

The vaccines covered common children diseases   as ; Cough, Diarrhea, flu and Jaundice, according to Ministry 's director of health care department Dr.  Ahmad Al-abboud.

In Damascus, the campaign   was launched Monday targeting   200 children in 59 health centers in 8 areas , said head of Damascus Health Department Dr. Imad Jamil.

It is worth noting that the national vaccination campaign is carried out in collaboration between several ministries concerned, people's organizations, the Syrian Red Crescent Society, UNICEF, the World Health Organization WHO and UNRWA.


Laughter, key of happiness

Research has shown that the health benefits of laughter are far-ranging. While more studies need to be done, studies so far have shown that laughter can help relieve pain, bring greater happiness, and even increase immunity. Positive psychology names the propensity for laughter and sense of humor as one of the 24 main signature strengths one can possess, and laughter yoga clubs are springing up across the country.

Unfortunately, however, many people don't get enough laugher in their lives. In fact, one study suggests that healthy children may laugh as much as 400 ties per day, but adults tend to laugh only 15 times per day.

 Read on for more findings about the health benefits of laughter, and see how to incorporate more humor and fun into your life.

Stress Management Benefits of Laughter:


 Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), dopamine and growth hormone. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins, and neurotransmitters. Laughter increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells. All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress.

•Physical Release

 Have you ever felt like you "have to laugh or I'll cry"? Have you experienced the cleansed feeling after a good laugh? Laughter provides a physical and emotional release.

 •Internal Workout

A good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterward. It even provides a good workout for the heart.


Laughter brings the focus away from anger, guilt, stress and negative emotions in a more beneficial way than other mere distractions.


Studies show that our response to stressful events can be altered by whether we view something as a 'threat' or a 'challenge'. Humor can give us a more lighthearted perspective and help us view events as 'challenges', thereby making them less threatening and more positive. (For more on changing your perspective, see this article on cognitive reframing.)

•Social Benefits of Laughter:

Laughter connects us with others. Just as with smiling and kindness, most people find that laughter is contagious, so if you bring more laughter into your life, you can most likely help others around you to laugh more, and realize these benefits as well. By elevating the mood of those around you, you can reduce their stress levels, and perhaps improve the quality of social interaction you experience with them, reducing your stress level even more!

How To Use Laughter

Laughter is one of my all-time favorite stress management strategies because it's free, convenient, and beneficial in so many ways. You can get more laughter in your life with the following strategies:

•T.V. and Movies: There's no shortage of laughter opportunities from the entertainment, both at the theater and in the aisles of the video stores, as well as at home with T.V. comedies. While wasting your time watching something marginally funny may actually frustrate you, watching truly hilarious movies and shows is an easy way to get laughter into your life whenever you need it.

•Laugh With Friends: Going to a movie or comedy club with friends is a great way to get more laughter in your life. The contagious effects of laughter may mean you'll laugh more than you otherwise would have during the show, plus you'll have jokes to reference at later times. Having friends over for a party or game night is also a great setup for laughter and other good feelings. (See this article on laughing more for additional tips on getting more fun and laughter into your life.)

•Find Humor In Your Life: Instead of complaining about life's frustrations, try to laugh about them. If something is so frustrating or depressing it's ridiculous, realize that you could 'look back on it and laugh.' Think of how it will sound as a story you could tell to your friends, and then see if you can laugh about it now. With this attitude, you may also find yourself being more lighthearted and silly, giving yourself and those around you more to laugh about. Approach life in a more mirthful way and you'll find you're less stressed about negative events, and you'll achieve the health benefits of laughter. (See this article on maintaining a sense of humor.)

•'Fake It Until You Make It': Just as studies show the positive effects of smiling occur whether the smile is fake or real, faked laughter also provides the benefits mentioned above. The body can't distinguish between 'fake' laughter that you just start doing on purpose, and 'real' laughter that comes from true humor--the physical benefits are exactly the same, and the former usually leads to the latter anyway. So smile more, and fake laughter; you'll still achieve positive effects, and the fake merriment may lead to real smiles and laughter.

Why laughter may be the best way to warm up a relationship

So much of our attitude about life and our capacity to meet life's challenges depends on the quality of the relationships we have, especially our most intimate relationships that when they go sour, life tends to feel bleak. Because the quality of our relationships has a powerful effect on physical and mental balance, as well as our sense of satisfaction in life, it's important that we keep our relationships rewarding and fresh.

What can laughter do?

What Health Benefits of Laughter?!

Lower blood pressure

 Increase vascular blood flow and oxygenation of the blood

 Give a workout to the diaphragm and abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles

 Reduce certain stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline

Increase the response of tumor- and disease-killing cells such as Gamma-interferon and T-cells

Defend against respiratory infections–even reducing the frequency of colds–by immunoglobulin in saliva.

Raghda Sawas