Today is World Health Day. It falls on 7 April every year – the purpose is to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health each year. In 2018, it is one of 9 official campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Health for All” has been the WHO’s guiding vision for seven decades, since the Organization’s Constitution came into force on 7 April 1948.
The Interstitium is found under our skin and between our organs. It contains 20 percent of the fluid volume in our body and may serve as a shock absorber for our body, amongst other functions yet to be discovered. And it could be the mechanism via which cancer spreads, although this would require further research.
A research team from the School of Medicine in New York University published their study that led to the discovery in the journal Scientific Reports.
“What we saw (was) this open fluid-filled space supported by this collagen bundle latticework,” said pathologist and study author Neil Theise, a professor at NYU’s School of Medicine.
They called the new organ “interstitium” – to me it’s rather apt and sounds like the name of some sci-fi movie.
According to the study, the Interstitium is a network of fluid-filled compartments strung together in a mesh of collagen and flexible protein called elastin.
It exists all over our body, under our skin and between our organs.
Before the discovery, scientists thought the layer was just simple dense connective tissue.
The existence of the interstitium has hitherto eluded scientists because of the way tissue is studied – samples are thinly sliced and treated with chemicals that allow researchers to identify key components more easily, before being placed under a microscope.
This process drains fluid from the sample so the compartments collapse, like “a building with the floors suddenly knocked out, leaving the whole structure to flatten like a pancake”.
The discovery of the interstitium was accidental and happened when scientists first noticed the compartments when looking at a bile duct for signs of cancer.
Today is World TB Day. It falls on 24 March every year – the purpose is to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic impact of tuberculosis (TB) and urge acceleration of efforts to end the global TB epidemic.
One of the targets of WHO’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 is to end the global TB epidemic.
“How do I know if I have been infected with TB germs”? Read about the tests you can take if you have been exposed. I’m running this article as part of promoting public awareness and health education about tuberculosis, in the lead-up to World TB Day this Saturday (24 March).
If you have been around someone who has TB disease, you should go to your doctor or your local health department for tests.
There are two tests that can be used to help detect TB infection: a TB skin test or TB blood test.
The skin test is used most often.
A small needle is used to put some testing material, called tuberculin, under the skin.
In 2-3 days, you return to the health care worker who will check to see if there is a reaction to the test.
In some cases, a TB blood test is used to test for TB infection.
This blood test measures how a person’s immune system reacts to the germs that cause TB.