About 640,000 Czechs over 15 drink alcohol in a risky way and may be addicted, according to a report on the use of drugs in 2015 submitted to the government on Wednesday. About 12.5 percent of Czechs (19 percent of men and 6 percent of women) drink alcohol regularly or even daily. According to the report, completed by the National Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Addiction, there were nearly 47,000 problem users of pervitin, heroin and other illegal drugs in the country in 2015.
The Prague Municipal Court has rejected an appeal from an Ostrava woman who a lower court refused to award compensation for the fact that she is forced to live in an environment with polluted air, iDnes.cz reported. Pavla Skýbová was seeking CZK 1 million from the state on the grounds that timely action was not taken to improve the air quality in Ostrava. In recent years some carcinogens up to nine times above EU limits have been found in the air in the north Moravian city.
Around 36,000 people have disappeared from the Czech Republic’s smallest districts, those with populations below 500, between 2001-2014. Such districts still number around 3,500 with 840,000 people living in them. However, if the trend continues then the Czech countryside could follow the example of Spain, Italy, and Greece and become a virtual museum. Districts often face the problems of an ageing population, most of the educated leave for bigger cities, high unemployment, and poor services. The Ministry of Agriculture has woken up to the problem and is now encouraging business start-ups in such localities with grants.
Pornography and computer games are causing immense harm to young males and worse is yet to come with improved virtual reality. That is the message of US psychologist Philip Zimbardo, who was recently a special guest of the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival. However, Zimbardo, who is now 83, is best known for his Stanford Prison Experiment, which found that students placed in the role of prison guards soon became abusive, even torturing others cast as inmates. I asked the psychologist why he believed the 1971 study was still so well-known
The National Institute of Public Health has registered 16 cases of Zika virus infection in the Czech Republic. So far, some 800 people have undergone the tests, Hana Zelená of the Ostrava Institute told the Czech News Agency on Sunday. The tests have also detected presence of antibodies against the airborne virus in another 15 people. There are no Olympics or Paralympics athletes among the infected.
The Czech Republic and most of its Central European neighbours are among the least empathetic countries in the world according to a US survey. Michigan State University attempted to survey around 104,000 people aged between 18 and 90 in 63 countries worldwide and tried to rank their overall empathy. On the basis of those scores, the Czech Republic was placed 55th in the table. Slovakia was placed in 57th place with nine out of the 10 worst placed countries in former communist countries. The most empathetic countries are Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Peru, Denmark, and the United Arab Emirates.
The Czech branch of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has just marked its tenth anniversary. Today it has a team of 125 doctors, nurses and logistics experts active in crisis regions the world over. To find out more about what they do, the challenges they face and their role in the migrant crisis I spoke to the head of the Czech branch Pavel Gruber and Nurse Jitka Kosíková, who is just back from an MSF search and rescue mission in the Mediterranean.
The Czech Republic saw a jump in the number of new HIV cases, 244, in the first three-quarters of 2016, an increase of roughly one-third year-on-year. Last year, the country registered 185 new cases during the same period, the National Institute of Public Health confirmed. Statistics on HIV infection in Czechoslovakia began in 1985. Since then, the Czech Republic saw an overall 2,864 cases of HIV infection; in 500 instances the virus progressed to AIDS.
The presence of coliform bacteria in tap water in Brno could be a combination of different factors, an official revealed on Monday, among them a weaker dose of a disinfection agent than usual or a higher water temperature. Petr Šindler of Brno Waterworks and Canalization confirmed the news, saying it was not possible to determine which factor had been dominant. The city has since quadrupled the amount of chlorine in the water supply. Coliform bacteria was found in Brno tap water in September.
Homeopathy sceptics in a number of cities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia staged a mass "overdose" of homeopathic remedies, in a bid to prove they have no effect. In Prague homeopathy critics, among them doctors, vets and members of the Sysifos club of sceptics met on Palacký square where they demonstrated the production homeopathy medicine on homeo-rum which they offered the public. Similar happenings by homeopathy sceptics have been held abroad.