Radio drama improves people’s attitude to health 0

A radio drama project to promote child nutrition, agriculture and maternal/child health issues has shown an improved attitude of listeners to such issues.

According to the project implemented for six months at Saboba and Savelugu Assemblies in the Northern Region in 2018, those, who listened to the radio dramas on child nutrition, agriculture and maternal/child health issues, improved in terms of their attitude towards those issues compared to those, who did not listen.

The project, whose findings were released at a workshop in Tamale on Friday, used radio dramas to propagate messages on good nutrition, health and agricultural practices to listeners to assess if listening to such messages would have any impact on their lives.

It was implemented by the Texas A&M University School of Public Health in the United States, University for Development Studies (UDS), Ghana Health Service (GHS), Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and Community Health Nurses Training College, Tamale.

Dr Mahama Saaka, Senior Lecturer, Department of Nutritional Sciences of UDS, who presented the findings at a forum in Tamale, said even though the attitude of listeners improved, it did not result in a change in their health conditions as malnutrition was still high at the area.

Dr Saaka suggested that Ghana Health Service scale up the project to reach a large number of the population to help change their attitudes to help improve the country’s health indicators.

Professor Lisako McKyer, Associate Dean for Climate and Diversity, Health Promotion and Community Health Science at Texas A&M University was hopeful that the project marked the beginning of a productive partnership amongst the implementers saying “Together, we can and we will positively impact the lives of all.”

Hajia Azara Amadu, Northern Regional Nutrition Officer lauded the project saying it was in line with the behavioural change campaigns of the GHS to promote improved health practices amongst the people.

Source: GNA

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Teen Dies of Tapeworm infection after eating under-cooked Pork 0

A man died after eating under-cooked pork caused parasitic larvae to invade his brain.

The 18-year-old, who has not been named but is known to be from India, was rushed to a hospital after he lost consciousness following a seizure.

An MRI brain scan revealed the patient had cysts throughout his brain, with the damage being consistent with the life-threatening condition neurocysticercosis.

Neurocysticercosis occurs when parasitic larvae found in under-cooked pork build-up in the body until they invade the central nervous system, triggering seizures.

Despite doctors’ best efforts to save him, the man died two weeks later.

Results of an MRI scan revealed the man had numerous cysts in his cerebral cortex (pictured as white dots)
Lesions were also found in his brain stem and cerebellum (seen as white dots)

Results of an MRI scan revealed the man had numerous cysts in his cerebral cortex (pictured left as white dots). Lesions were also found in his brain stem and cerebellum (seen right)

The case report was written up in The New England Journal of Medicine by Dr Nishanth Dev, of ESIC Medical College, Faridabad, in the north Indian state of Haryana. Dr Dev treated the patient.

The man was rushed to ESIC Medical College after he endured tonic-clonic seizures.

These occur when an electrical discharge affects the entire brain and cause a patient to lose consciousness immediately.

Tonic-clonic seizures usually last one-to-three minutes.

If they continue for more than five minutes or in quick succession, the patient may require life-saving treatment.

Once at hospital, doctors noted the man seemed confused.

This is common of tonic-clonic seizures, with most patients feeling tired and disorientated for up to several days or even weeks after.

The man’s parents reported he had been complaining of pain in his groin for the past week.

A physical examination also revealed he had swelling in his right eye, as well as tenderness in his right testicle.

An MRI scan showed the patient had numerous cysts in his cerebral cortex – the outermost layer of the brain, which is responsible for thinking and processing information collected via our five senses.

Lesions were also in his brain stem, which is at the base of the vital organ, and sends messages between the brain and the rest of the body.

And cysts were found in his cerebellum – the area at the back of the brain that coordinates voluntary movements, like posture, speech and coordination.

Doctors noted the extent of the man’s brain damage was consistent with that of neurocysticercosis.

Neurocysticercosis occurs when the parasitic larvae Taenia solium invades bodily tissue from the intestine, and build ups in the central nervous system, muscles, skin and eyes.

Serum tests confirmed the man was infected with T. solium.

Doctors decided against treating him with antiparasitic drugs due to them typically worsening inflammation in those who have cysts in their brain.

These medications can also cause cerebral edema – excessive accumulation of water in the brain – and vision loss.

The man was therefore treated with the anti-inflammatory steroid dexamethasone, which is more commonly used to relieve conditions like allergies, arthritis and psoriasis.

He was also given anti-epilepsy drugs.

Sadly, however, it was not enough to save him.

WHAT IS NEUROCYSTICERCOSIS?

Neurocysticercosis is a parasitic infestation caused by larval cysts of the pork tapeworm Taenia solium.

These cysts can enter the brain, leading to life-threatening seizures.

People develop the condition by eating undercooked pork.

They may also swallow microscopic eggs passed in the faeces of a person with an intestinal tapeworm if they do not properly wash their hands after going to the toilet and contaminate surfaces or uncooked food.

The World Health Organization recognises neurocysticercosis as a leading cause of adult epilepsy worldwide.

Neurocysticercosis can be prevented through proper handwashing.

Treatment often involves medication to reduce swelling in the brain and kill tapeworms.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

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Risk of getting cancer from drinking just one bottle of wine is the same as smoking up to 10 CIGARETTES a week 0

Having one bottle of wine each week raises the risk of cancer by the same amount as smoking up to 10 cigarettes, scientists claim.

In the first study of its kind, academics managed to compare the known dangers of smoking to that of drinking too much.

They found the ‘cigarette equivalent’ of one bottle of wine – roughly 10 units – is five cigarettes for men or ten for women each week.

And the risk of cancer from downing three bottles of red or white wine each week, or 10 large glasses, is much higher.

In the first study of its kind, academics managed to compare the known dangers of smoking to that of drinking too much

In the first study of its kind, academics managed to compare the known dangers of smoking to that of drinking too much

Researchers at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Bangor University and University of Southampton carried out the study.

Dr Theresa Hydes and team estimated 10 in 1,000 men would develop cancer at some point in their lives from drinking one bottle of wine each week.

However, for women this figure was 14 out of 1,000, according to the study published in the journal BioMedCentral Public Health.

Men were more likely to get gastrointestinal cancers from drinking, while the risk of breast cancer was greatest for women.

The risk was much higher for both men and women who drink three bottles of wine per week – more than double the recommended amount.

The study found 19 out of 1,000 men and 36 out of 1,000 women would eventually develop cancer if they drank this amount.

And the risk of cancer from downing three bottles of red or white wine each week, or 10 large glasses, is much higher

And the risk of cancer from downing three bottles of red or white wine each week, or 10 large glasses, is much higher

The NHS recommends that adults drink no more than 14 units each week — that's 14 single shots of spirit or six pints of beer or a bottle and a half of wine

The NHS recommends that adults drink no more than 14 units each week — that’s 14 single shots of spirit or six pints of beer or a bottle and a half of wine

BEER BEFORE WINE IS NOT FINE, SCIENTISTS FIND

Beer before wine and you’ll feel fine, is how the tactical tippler thinks – but the old adage appears to be a myth.

In a less than surprising revelation, researchers last month found hangovers are just as bad, regardless of what order you drink your drinks.

Scientists gave alcoholic drinks to 90 volunteers in different combinations in a laboratory experiment on two separate nights.

Some were asked to drink two and a half pints of Carlsberg, followed by four large glasses of white wine. A second group started with wine before beer.

Researchers had to control the drunk participants, who were singing and dancing, with a megaphone. They were sent to bed in the lab at 1am.

Participants were asked about their hangover the following day and gave a score on a so-called Acute Hangover Scale.

The findings, led by a team at Cambridge University, indicated that no matter how you order your drinks, if you drink too much you are still likely to be ill.

Dr Kai Hensel, one of the researchers, said: ‘The vomiting rate was a little higher than I’d have thought. But they enjoyed it.’

This carries the same risk as smoking eight cigarettes a week for men, or 23 a week for women, Dr Hydes and colleagues estimated.

The researchers did not estimate the risk of cancer from drinking beer because they went on units, not type of beverage.

Dr Hydes said: ‘We must be absolutely clear that this study is not saying that drinking alcohol in moderation is in any way equivalent to smoking.

‘Our finds relate to lifetime risk across the population. At an individual level, cancer risk represented by drinking or smoking will vary.

‘And for many individuals, the impact of ten units of alcohol (one bottle of wine) or five to ten cigarettes may be very different.’

Dr Hydes said comparing the risks of alcohol to smoking could encourage adults to cut down on booze.

She said: ‘It is well established that heavy drinking is linked to cancer of the mouth, throat, voice box, gullet, bowel, liver and breast.

‘Yet, in contrast to smoking, this is not widely understood by the public.

‘We hope by using cigarettes as the comparator we could communicate this message more effectively to help individuals make more informed lifestyle choices.’

The researchers used data available from Cancer Research UK and official statistic bodies used by nations in the UK, including ONS.

They were able to analyse what proportion of deaths can be attributed to smoking and alcohol, and then estimate the risk of cancer they both cause.

The NHS advise men and women not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis – such as weekly.

Regularly consuming more than the recommended amount is known to raise the risk of cancer, liver disease and heart disease.

A large glass of wine contains around three units, while a bottle is closer to the 10 mark. A pint of beer is around 2.3.

 

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