Tuesday, March 18, 2014

HIV Prevention - The Pratt Pouch

I came across this video earlier today and was amazed at the creation of the Pratt Pouch. It is amazing what we can do as motivated individuals can when our forces are combined together and we focus on one goal. The Pratt Pouch was first designed and developed by students at Duke University who were aiming to reduce the amount o children born per year with HIV transmitted diseases from their mothers. The video below gives a detailed insight into this wonderful invention:

For  more info visit: http://www.dukesead.org/1/post/2013/06/first-human-use-of-pratt-pouch.html

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Why Health is Politics and Politics is Health PART 1 - Introduction

In general, when we look at places of order and structure for example a school, we have a hierarchy of people in authority and people in leadership. If there is a disruption to the chain of authority, the rest of the chain will be affected. For example, if we took out the Head of the Humanities Faculty, the people within and under the humanities department will suffer severely as there is no leader to take charge with lesson ideas,  oversee the planning of strategic polices to work towards the advancement of the department, to assess the performance of the department, teachers and pupils and contribute to the modification of educational plans. In effect, the pupils grades will drop and the standard of teaching will be lowered.

If we relate this concept into the world of health, the 'authority' in this case wold be political leaders (e.g. parties) of a certain country. Above that would be the president or prime minister. If people in leadership are corrupt, the people below the chain will be severely affected. These people are the population of the country - children, teenagers, adults and the elderly. The health of the population could be at risk if the leadership of a country is corrupt as planting the original seed of corruption leads to generations of poor leadership. Corruption is defined as "dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery". If the top tier of the hierarchy are dishonest or fraudulent, it will disrupt the entire chain as their could be rebellion from each sector of the chain which could potentially destroy the country. It is important that the people at the top of the hierarchy are united and are positively motivated to contribute towards benefit and progress of the country. This is why politics is health and health is politics.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

H.E.A.L.T.H - What is Health? PART 1

With almost a billion web pages/links relating to the term "health", it is more than evident that health is ranked as one of the most important things in human existence.

Health is defined as (extracted from WHO): Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

From the definition I can see that health is not just based around physical well being i.e. being able to walk, talk, smile etc. but is focused on a wider and larger scale of human well being, touching aspects of social development and psychological characteristics, spiritual growth and many more. 

Health is a blessing given unto each individual, right from the start of contraception. It has been shown that during the eight week of embryo development, the embryo becomes a fetus. Essential health related organs such as the kidneys, liver, brain, and lungs start to function indicating that health is incessant process starting right from age zero. 
The key towards the building blocks of life start from the formation of health. Without health, essentially there would be no "us" - no me and you, no world leaders, no doctors, no nurses, no teachers. Health can be generalized and extended to non-health related fields such as economics. In order to achieve a healthy and diverse economy, a strong and healthy banking system is needed from personal consumption from the population. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Social Determinants of Health

I recently found this video with Dr. Claire Pomeroy discussing and explaining the social determinants on health. I was very intrigued to see her view on health in the USA and her experiences with health as she grew up in foster homes. Her story, very inspirational yet very eye-opening, has given me an insight into how important social determinants into health are and that health is not just based on the medical field. Yes, MEDC's have the money and resources to afford all these medicines, vaccination etc. but do they have the right schemes and policies in place to take full advantage of what they have? There is no point spewing thousands of pounds on medicines if there is no stable health systems or policies in place in order to reach out into the public. I believe that everyone should be entitled to health care services no matter what background, age, society, race ethnicity they are from. Good health is universal, has no limits and should apply to every person on this planet. A basic right for continuous living should be readily available to everyone. I hope you give this video a watch, I enjoyed listening to her input into such a beaming issue in the world today.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

#2 Angola - Cholera

During the month of November till present, there has been a cholera outbreak in Angola which claimed eight lives, according to the provincial supervisor for epidemiology watch, Artur Braga. Five new cases of cholera is recorded daily in Hambo Municipality.

Artur Braga told ANGOP on Tuesday that 95 cases has been notified adding that the outbreak started with three cases daily at the beginning. He also pointed out the areas of Calomanda, Macolocolo, Calundo, Santo Antonio Chiva and Benfica Frederico, in the suburbs of the capital city, as the most endemic areas. Advice given to the population of Angola is to follow the basic preventive rules against the epidemics, such as potable water consumption, clean hands and the hygiene in residences.


Cholera is an infection of the small intestine caused by the bacterium "Vibrio cholerae". On a global scale, cholera percentage has increased since 2005 with cholera outbreaks affecting several continents and especially among developing world populations which have no access to adequate water and sanitation resources. Transmission of bacteria normally occurs through drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated. In 2012, 48% of cases were reported from Africa whereas between 2001 and 2009, 93% to 98% of total cases worldwide were reported from that continent. Symptoms of cholera are diarrhea and vomiting which in effect leads to rapid  dehydration, electrolyte imbalance (abnormalities in levels of sodium, potassium, and calcium) and in worst case scenarios - death. 

Solutions to the effects of cholera (mild and moderate cases only) is through using oral rehydration salts (ORS) which is effective and contributes to timely case management which reduces mortality rates to less than 1%. It consists of prompt rehydration of patients. ORS can successfully treat 80% of cholera patients, both adults and children. ORS can reduce the number of death, particularly during an epidemic and when given early when symptoms arise which therefore leads to lower death rates. By providing ORS to non-medical personnel, volunteers and family members have been proven to reducing death rates dramatically. 

ORS = sodium and glucose solution 
PREPERATION: diluting 1 sachet of ORS in 1 litre of safe water. 


http://allafrica.com/stories/201312111313.html http://www.nisenet.org/sites/default/files/cholera_bacteria_nise.jpg

Thursday, December 5, 2013

World Aids Day

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS. Unlike some other viruses, the human body cannot get rid of HIV. That means that once you have HIV, you have it for life.

Today marks #WorldAIDSDay which is in stand to unite people all over the world to join forces and in the fight against HIV and to remember the people who have died from HIV. The first event was held back in 1988 and still continues to arise every December 1st.

Stats show that approximately 100,000 people living in the UK and an estimated 34 million people globally have been affected HIV. More than 25 million people since 1981-2007 have died from the virus, concluding that it is one of the most destructive pandemics ever to be in existence. HIV can be passed on through infected bodily fluids, most commonly through sex without a condom, sharing infected needles or other injecting equipment and from an HIV-positive mother to her child during pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.

To get involved, please click the link down below. Your donations no matter how small is greatly appreciated and will be for a good cause.


Friday, November 8, 2013

#1 Albania - Cannabis suppliers?

To create a living and income for citizens in Albania, cannabis harvesting is just one of many jobs that is available. Aerial images predict around 60 hectares of land has been cultivated in Lazarat with over 300,000 cannabis plants which is equivalent to yielding 500 tons of the total cannabis production in Albania as a whole. People have been working for months in cannabis fields, where producers offer just e8 (R109) (£8.
34) for 10 kilograms of the drug. The illegal practice has grown in Lazarat over the past two decades of transition in Albania since the end of hardline communist rule. Gjirokaster hospital reported a total of 700 workers have now fallen sick from working in that environment that has been banned form the police for many years. They have been undergoing treatments to restore them back to a healthy state as the effects of cannabis have affected them greatly.  
In the last two months about seven to eight people arrive in the emergency ward each day and many more have come earlier with disorders from hashish,”  
Gjirokaster doctor Hysni Lluka told Top Channel television.

Not only adults work on the lands but teenagers and children work also who accounted for around 40% of those working in Lazarat. Symptoms of the effects of cannabis are stomach pains, irregular heart beats, high blood pressure and regular vomiting. 
This is a common issue that is not only found in Albania but in other countries around the world who cannot afford to be out of work and not earning an income as they have families and themselves to support. These farms need to have rules and regulations that completely ban children and teenagers from working in such horrible conditions. Not only are the lives of these young people are at risk, but children are growing up in these conditions and believe it is the norm of life. The disadvantages of cannabis outweigh the advantages in which an example is, cannabis decreases  a male's sperm count and reduces sperm motility. This leads to the suppression of ovulation in women and affects fertility. The production of cannabis is illegal in most countries therefore cannabis farms should not be allowed to start up. The main question now is: If Albanian farmers stop growing cannabis, what will they do instead? 

Albania’s once had a encouraging growth of apple production but it then collapsed towards the end of the 20th century due to poor governance and a steady decline in the economy. Currently, 90% of fresh apples consumed in Albania are imported. With this significant progress made, it is unfortunate that many farmers still lack basic knowledge on good agricultural practice to ensure a production system is safe for themselves, workers, consumers and the environment. With this in mind, Albania should set up schemes to boost the ethos and reputation of apple growing to farmers all over Albania. This type of farming does not have all the implications of cannabis growing and is a better alternative.