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Health

Society turns a blind eye to the plight of the disabledShe walks in smiling, her steps not steady. She heads straight to a table, although partially blind. She stumbles and almost falls over. Another woman runs to help her regain her balance.

Nineteen-year-old Easter Nduta Njoroge is taking a computer operation course at the United Disability Empowerment in Kenya, a non-profit, non- political organisation whose main objective is to economically empower people with disabilities.

Monday, 08 June 2009 09:16

Women shun a rehab centre

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"The current situation is worrying to us because we know there are females who are in 

substance abuse and need help. Yet they are not coming to be helped the way men are doing," says Dr Nelly Kitazi, the hospital's Superintendant

 

A female rehabilitation centre at Mathari hospital may be closed down or given to the male wing after female drug abusers failed to turn-up in large numbers to utilize it.

The 15-bed centre has been operating below capacity, sometimes with no or only two female clients in a given month. The wing was build after complaints that the hospital lacked a female centre that could be used to rehabilitate women who abused alcohol or other drugs.

Mrs Amar Panesar with some of the childrenThere is nothing more devastating to new parents than the heart-wrenching news that the diagnosis that their precious newborn has a congenital condition.

Facing the uncertainties of lifelong disability and medical challenges in their offspring, parents say it is a lonely and painful place to be initially– but with time and perseverance it can also be a source of strength and a platform for championing issues that escape the attention of policy planners, health and education professionals.

Edwin Onyango, a small scale farmer in Kisumu West district in Nyanza province was diagnosed with diabetes in 1998. However his meager income and the prohibitive cost of medicine in government and private pharmacies leave him no option but to support his condition with medicinal herbs.

“I used to buy prescribed drugs in small quantities when money was available and I ended up under-dosing myself. I then resorted to medicinal herbs on the advice of a friend,” says the 58 year old father of eight children.

If you are the type that does not wash hands after leaving the toilet or before handling food, then the country is turning the spotlight on you during a massive campaign to have you do just that.

The campaign, which started late last year, is informed by new studies that show many Kenyans carrying faecal bacteria on their hands because of their laxity in washing hands after visiting a toilet, relieving themselves in any other spaces, or after cleaning a child’s bottom or changing dirty nappies.

Buoyed by what is happening with preventing malaria and unnecessary deaths using less costly and simple methods, health experts want similar strategies be applied on other diseases.

Recent studies indicate the use cost-effective preventive strategies such as mosquito nets has reduced hospital admission due to malaria by close to 50 percent, cutting down the number of deaths by thousands and medical bills spend on treating the disease.

Buoyed by what is happening with preventing malaria and unnecessary deaths using less costly and simple methods, health experts want similar strategies to be applied on other diseases.

Recent studies indicate the use of cost-effective preventive strategies such as mosquito nets has reduced hospital admission due to malaria by close to 50 percent, cutting down the number of deaths by thousands and medical bills spend on treating the disease.

The findings that malaria caseload in many parts of African countries is reducing faster than ever before is good news. But attempts by different players to take credit of the reducing numbers of malaria cases seems not go down well with others.

 Malaria experts believe emphasis on the nets alone as a preventive measure is not 

viable and the focus should be on a combination of methods known to be effective.

Those who manufacture and distribute Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) that prevent mosquito that cause malaria from transmitting the virus, claim over 60 percent of the success is attributable to the use of these nets. This claim seems to be overshadowing other known contributing factors, which are playing a major role in this reduction.

Monday, 19 January 2009 03:38

Smoking leaves man without a jaw

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An estimated 90 percent of people with mouth cancer are tobacco users, with smokers being six times 

more likely than nonsmokers to develop mouth cancer, according to Mouth Cancer Foundation, a UK organization that supports and advocates for the rights of cancer patients.

While puffing away on his eight cigarettes each day, Leonard Mbuthia used to smile and dismiss warning messages on the dangers of smoking. He never thought those dire effects would happen to him.

But one Friday evening this April, after finishing his sixth cigarette of the day, Mbuthia felt a sharp pain rush through his lower left jaw. At first, he thought one of his teeth was infected, and just gurgled salty water.  

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