Modern Health & Safety Standards for Yemen [Archives:1998/17/Health]

April 27 1998

People can talk about making the home a safer place to live but that means having to live up to the latest of standards. Some might be costly like the installation of air filtration systems in the Yemeni home or inexpensive like the use of a new dental cleaner to avoid plaque build up. Health care also means reading container labels carefully before using a product and making sure it is environmentally friendly, that is it does not damage the environment.

If you’re Yemeni, the”miswak” has practically no price at all, and apparently does its job. So as a traditional form of dental care it should stay around in use. Yet others will probably switch to new proven techniques of dental care including the modern sculpted brushes that can reach all the regions of the oral cavity. The more recent brushes are more specialized, with hard bristles on the inside for the teeth and surrounding softer ones to massage the gums. Dental floss also introduced on the American markets more than twenty years back will also find its place in the Yemeni medical cabinet. It insures that food particles do not remain remain trapped in between teeth which the toothbrush cannot reach if the teeth are set too close together.

As far as allergy cures are concerned some will continue avoiding the allergen causing hay fever but as we step into the 21st century more will seek professional help and undergo the hay fever treatments that I underwent as a child in Canada, or the alternative medical approach such as homeopathic medicine.
When it comes to the control of different pests in the home like the common mosquito, recent technology tends to add alternative solutions. Netting on windows would be simpler in the long run, people would avoid inhaling noxious fumes and worry less about using an ozone friendly spray. In the case of the flying pest, a can of spray might do just as well as one of those imbued disks that is housed in a vaporizer and plugged into a wall outlet for the night. New treatments are now out on the market for the elimination of age old parasites and their associated vectors which afflict man. And man should not stop thinking of what he set out to solve; after all is he out to eliminate the problem or to support the latest move on the market place? Some products which have been out on the market for years are just as good if not better than the “new and improved” ones.

Home is the place where controls not only eliminate their occurrence but make sure that they don’t come back. More attention should be placed on making a safer home, and more hygienic instead of concentrating on needless expenses. The “child proof” safety cap as a deterrent against young children opening up medicine bottles in the bathroom cabinet was an inexpensive innovation and popular with young families in Canada years ago. Since then accidents caused to infants due to the consumption of bottled pharmaceuticals have dropped remarkably. This sets a good example for any future production of dangerous household articles in Yemen; young children should not have easy access to their contents.

In the case of dubious water supplies, catching the microbe at the source then prevents needless efforts and costs imposed by having to inspect the installation of filters and other equipment for the treatment of drinkable water. Stagnant water sources are good vectors for contamination and should be avoided. They should also be drained so that flies cannot deposit their eggs in them. Malaria is on the increase in this country because of the stagnant water pools.

What about child care? A vast array of new products lure an unsuspecting parent into making a purchase; most often common sense is all that’s needed. Taking soap for example, mnay Yemeni mothers in Yemen follow traditional practices, but with the introduction of new products the uneducated mother could fall victim to insistent marketing of a perfumed soap that might cause irritation. Mothers should consult a pediatrician for the best soap to use for the child especially if he has sensitive skin. Its also important for mothers to carefully read what the product is indicated for on its package, an abrasive soap is then indicated more for the mechanic whose hands are covered with oil; a neutral soap, like those with glycerin is indicated for people whose skin are to sensitive to perfumed soaps.

What about shampoos, testing might show which is safer, but the key is that the product also has to stand up to the test of time. If Selsun Blue has been long on the market, that’s because it’s a good anti-dandruff shampoo, any other product that tries to take its place is likely to end up being a poor imitation.
Martin Dansky/Yemen Times