Health Board: Upcoming conferences, talks, campaigns and events

Hannah Laycock features in an exhibition about people who have multiple sclerosis (MS). Mumford and Sons bassist Ted Dwane – whose mother Sarah has MS – and photographer Louis Browne, created the MS Connection, a photography exhibition in London telling the stories of loneliness and isolation felt by many people living with MS. Photograph: Louis Browne@WMA/MS Society/PA

Hannah Laycock features in an exhibition about people who have multiple sclerosis (MS). Mumford and Sons bassist Ted Dwane – whose mother Sarah has MS – and photographer Louis Browne, created the MS Connection, a photography exhibition in London telling the stories of loneliness and isolation felt by many people living with MS. Photograph: Louis Browne@WMA/MS Society/PA

 

1) Fighting Blindness has just launched a new patient information booklet on age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Current estimates show that more than 7,000 people are diagnosed with AMD each year and that 7 per cent of Irish people over 50 are living with AMD. Early diagnosis is the key to stabilising the condition and preventing vision loss. See fightingblindness.ie

2) The Tallaght Welcomes Breastfeeding is a new initiative to encourage women to breastfeed while highlighting the benefits of breastfeeding to both infants and mothers’ health. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of babies getting infections and strengthens mother and baby bonding. The campaign was launched following HSE figures which showed lowest rates of breastfeeding in Dublin South West (which includes Tallaght). Initial breastfeeding uptakes rates are 84 per cent in Dublin South East, 81 per cent in Dublin South City, but only 48 per cent in Dublin South West. Community centres and organisations are asked to display a “Tallaght Welcomes Breastfeeding” sticker to assure mums they are very welcome to breastfeed in their premises.

3) Two Trinity College Dublin engineers have won an international award for a device which helps people with intellectual disabilities find their way to places easily. The combined smartwatch and smartphone app, waytoB lets a connected partner pre-programme set routes on a smartphone or desktop, which allows the smartwatch to guide the wearer via turn-by-turn directions. A partner can track their location and heart rate (to monitor stress levels) and immediately connect with them by phone if necessary. The device was invented by Talita Holzer and Robbie Fryers – two recent graduates of Trinity College Dublin, who now work as research engineers at the School of Engineering in Trinity. They won the Inclusion and Empowerment World Summit Award (WSA). Holzer and Fryers will present their innovation and receive their award at the WSA Global Congress in Cascais, Portugal, in March, 2019.

sthompson@irishtimes.com