Monday, April 25, 2011

The Disease - MALARIA!

My blog post this day will shed more light on the deadly disease that is predominant in Ghana. Do people really know about the disease?

The post below is from the Wikipedia page..../wiki/malaria. What does it say about Malaria?

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. It is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, including much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Americas. The disease results from the multiplication of malaria parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases progressing to coma, and death.

Four species of Plasmodium can infect and be transmitted by humans. Severe disease is largely caused by Plasmodium falciparum. Malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium malariae is generally a milder disease that is rarely fatal. A fifth species, Plasmodium knowlesi, is a zoonosis that causes malaria in macaques but can also infect humans.
 Malaria transmission can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites by distribution of inexpensive mosquito nets and insect repellents, or by mosquito-control measures such as spraying insecticides inside houses and draining standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs. Although many are under development, the challenge of producing a widely available vaccine that provides a high level of protection for a sustained period is still to be met. Two drugs are also available to prevent malaria in travellers to malaria-endemic countries (prophylaxis).

A variety of antimalarial medications are available. In the last 5 years, treatment of P. falciparum infections in endemic countries has been transformed by the use of combinations of drugs containing an artemisinin derivative. Severe malaria is treated with intravenous or intramuscular quinine or, increasingly, the artemisinin derivative artesunate which is superior to quinine in both children and adults. Resistance has developed to several antimalarial drugs, most notably chloroquine.

Each year, there are more than 225 million cases of malaria, killing around 781,000 people each year according to the latest WHO Report, 2.23% of deaths worldwide. The majority of deaths are of young children in sub-Saharan Africa. Ninety percent of malaria-related deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria is commonly associated with poverty, and can indeed be a cause of poverty and a major hindrance to economic development.

As citizens of the world, let's all rise up to STOP MALARIA! Let your voice be heard!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Every two minutes a woman dies of cervical cancer- Dr Hiadzi

Accra, March 29, GNA - Dr Edem Hiadzi, Medical Director of Lister Hospital on Tuesday said statistics available indicated that every two minutes a woman dies of Cervical Cancer worldwide. He noted that the disease was the second most common cancer affecting women worldwide and accounting for about 10 per cent of all cancer cases.

Dr Hiadzi announced this at a sensitisation programme on the "effects of Cervical and Prostate Cancer on Reproductive Health of Individuals" for students of the Central University College, at Prampram in the Greater Accra Region.
He said the programme was part of the Corporate Social Responsibility of the hospital to educate the public on issues affecting their health.

"Cervical Cancer develops in the cervix, the low, narrow neck of the uterus that opens into the vagina," he said.
In addition, he said the disease was of vital importance because it prevents infections from reaching the uterus. He explained that cervix plays a major role in pregnancy and birth stages, adding that it lengthens during pregnancy serving as a barrier to protect the foetus and also expands during child birth to allow the baby to pass through.

On the causes of Cervical Cancer, Dr Hiadzi said, it was caused by a virus called Human Papillomavirus (HPV) which was transmitted during sexual intercourse and sometimes through intimate genital skin to skin contact.

"Every sexually active women risk catching the virus. In fact up to 80 per cent of women will be infected with some type of the virus at sometime in their lives," he added. He warned that the risk of infection starts from the first sexual encounter and would continue through life.

Dr Hiadzi indicated that every year, across Africa, 79,000 women were diagnosed with the disease with about 62,000 women dying. Most health care providers lack the needed skills to educate, provide screening services, identify and manage cases appropriately. He announced that vaccines against the HPV infection was now available in the country and therefore prevention was currently possible.
Dr Hiadzi urged women to vaccinate alongside screening to reduce the risk of the disease.

He advised sexually active female students to go for checkups to know their Cervical Cancer status while admonishing the inactive ones to abstained from sex. Touching on Prostate Cancer, the medical director said this was the leading cause of death in men especially in developing countries like Ghana.

Prostate Cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in a man's prostate gland. The prostate is found just below the bladder. He said as the life expectancy in developing countries increased the incidence of prostate cancer also sours up. Dr Hiadzi noted that African and black Americans men were more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage of their lives. He said screening for the cancer was to detect the disease at the early stages, adding that 93age is a risk factor, the older you are the higher the risk of the ailment".

Minimising the chance of getting Prostate Cancer, Dr Hiadzi said people could eat more low fat and high fibre foods, stressing that vegetables like kontomire, broccoli, cauli-flower, carrots and cabbage with food supplements such as vitamins D and E may also help prevent the disease.

He advised men to talk to their doctors about the disease for early screening and prevention. Symptoms of Prostate Cancer include weak or interrupted flow of urine, frequent urination especially at night, Blood in the urine, difficulty urinating and erectile dysfunction.

View article source here!