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Words From a Patient Who Got a Second Chance

Mamografía

“Mammograms hurt, but not having them hurts more.” Image on Flickr by user Zumaques (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Some months ago, on her blog Anchas Alamedas, blogger Solentiname started to share the different stages she's gone through, since the moment she found a lump in her breast. On her latest blogpost, she writes to someone she calls Mimí and she tells her how she feeld after the surgery she experienced few weeks ago. She tells Mimi about her feelings, doubts, pains and joys:

No te preocupés porque no me ha dolido nada. Ha sido incómodo, pero cuando uno se salva de una cosa de esas, entrega endosado el derecho de quejarse, ¿verdad? Me siento casi obligada a la felicidad absoluta, a la perspectiva, al esto es preferible a un cáncer. [...] Y resulta, además, que yo no sé bien cómo sentirme. No me siento sobreviviente de cáncer, no siento que tengo derecho a ese título. [...] He pensado en tomarle la palabra a todas las personas que me han dicho que les dejara saber si podían hacer algo por mí y decirles que sÍ: que le paguen a todas sus empleadas una mamografía, que hagan una campaña, que salven así aunque sea una vida.

Don't worry, this didn't hurt at all. It has been uncomfortable, but when you manage to overcome something like this, you give up the right to complain, right? I feel almost forced to absolute happiness, to perspective, to the this is better than cancer. [...] And besides that, I don't know how to feel anymore. I don't feel as if I survived cancer, I don't feel entitled to the label of survivor. [...] I've thought of taking at their word to everyone that asked me to let them know if they could do something for me and I will tell them yes: pay a mammogram to each of your female workers, make a campaign, save at least one life.

She ends up saying:

No sobreviví a nada Mimí. No siento que la vida me esté dando una segunda oportunidad de nada. No me siento con una misión en la vida. No me siento especial, diferente, escogida. No me siento distinta.

I am not survivor at all, Mimí. I don't feel life is giving me a second chance of anything. I don't feel I have a mission in life. I don't feel special, different nor chosen. I don't feel I'm distinct.

Zambia's Cabinet Should Probe President's Health

In view of widespread rumors regarding the health of Zambia's president, Michael Sata, Gershom Ndhlovu argues that the constitution mandates the cabinet to probe his health:

The last time Zambia’s President Michael Sata was seen publicly was on or around June 20 when he hosted a Chinese government delegation led by Vice President Li Yuanchao at the Presidential Palace. At that time, Sata’s appearance was that of an ailing man, a confirmation of his scraggy appearance at the High Court a couple of weeks earlier.

When pictures of a seemingly sick Sata went viral on social media, one online publication, the Zambian Watchdog, reported that the President had been evacuated to Israel for treatment.

Obviously, the expose did not go down very well with government whose senior officials at the level of vice president and ministers issued all manner of statements ranging from the president being on a working holiday to wooing investors and meeting that country’s President Shimon Perez.

Upon his return to Lusaka, the president’s office tried to show him as working normally and even posted pictures of him chairing a Cabinet meeting. The people were not convinced and called of the bluff, alleging that the pictures were photoshopped.

However, the most disastrous public relations stunt that spectacularly backfired was the picture of President Sata swearing in then Solicitor General Musa Mwenye who had been ratified by parliament for the position of Attorney-General but had been unsworn for weeks on end. There had been concerns that Mwenye would not perform in his new role without being sworn in.

The picture which was published on the Presidential Palace Facebook page, supposedly with the aim of showing that Mwenye had been sworn in as Attorney-General, had in it a deceased individual and another one who had been posted to the diplomatic service two years earlier.

Accessibility and Lack of Appreciation for Young HIV Carriers Fighting AIDS

Image on Flickr by user

Image on Flickr by user max_thinks_sees (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Under the premise that AIDS is the second cause of teenager deaths in the world and the nvisibility for vulnerables populatons in this field, Puerto Rican journalist Natalia A. Bonilla Berríos writes about the participation of L’Orangelis Thomas Negrón, HIV carrier from birth, on the XX 2014 AIDS International Conference held last July in Melbourne, Australia.

Thomas wonders how accessible is life expectancy for teenagers and young people living with AIDS in the world? And she develops an answer:

Hice mención de las poblaciones claves y cómo, el no reconocerlas es una agresión a su propia existencia, y más aún cuando se es adolescente. La expectativa de vida, que se dice que es la misma que las personas que no viven con VIH, y cuán real es esto, cuando hay países que criminalizan el VIH y la homosexualidad; cuando quienes hemos vivido toda la vida con VIH no sabremos qué pasará con nuestros cuerpos en cinco o diez años porque no hay estudios suficientes; cuando las mujeres y transgéneros somos víctimas de violencia de género; o cuando migrantes y trabajadores/as sexuales no tienen acceso a la salud. Sobre todo, el hecho de que países desarrollados están a punto de firmar acuerdos que afectará el costo de los medicamentos genéricos de los cuales los países en desarrollo dependen.

I mentioned key populations and how no acknowledging them is an aggression against their existence itself, even more for teenagers. About life expectancy, said to be the same as individuales who live free of HIV, and how real that is, when some countries penalize HIV and homosexuality, when those of us who have lived our whole lives with HIV don't know what will happen with our bodies in five or ten years as there are no enough researches, when women and transgenders are victims of gender violence or when migrants and sex workers don't have access to healthcare. Above all, that fact that developed countries are about to suscribe agreements that will affect the costs of generic drugs, on which developing countries rely.

Visit Natalia Bonilla's blog. On Twitter, look for @nataliabonilla.

This post was part of the fourteenth #LunesDeBlogsGV,(Monday of blogs on GV) on August 4, 2014.

The Maya Nut, a Nature Giant

In the Guatemalan department of Petén, a group of local women market natural products prepared with Maya nut, well known as natural medicine. The president of the producer association, Benedicta Galicia Ramírez, notes they “pick up the seed and then dry it, toast and grind it to make fluor”, and that the Maya nut enhances children growth, with food values higher than maize, beans, cassava and plantain.

This species grows in many American countries, from Mexico to Peru, and is very appreciated for its medicinal and nutritious attributes:

Video: Here we introduce the project “Selva Viva”, by a group of women who produce food items from the Maya nut tree.

Here, the consumption of the Maya nut seed gets promoted.

Cameroonian Inventor Introduces First Locally-Made Tablet to Monitor Heart Diseases

Arthur Zang at the rolex awards via his Facebook page.

Arthur Zang at the rolex awards via his Facebook page.

Arthur Zang is a Cameroonian inventor specialized in IT and healthcare. His team created Cardiopad, a device that contains an electrocardiograph, a radioscope and a digital monitor. This tablet is connected through a regular mobile phone SIM card that is able to transmit an electrocardiogram from any point of the country to specialized centers where cardiologists can diagnose patients and remotely provide medical prescription. Arthur Zang was interviewed by Beaugas-Orain Djoyum on camerpost.com after he won one of the prestigious 2014 “Rolex Awards for enterprise competition” to explain his vision for the health care industry and innovation in Africa: 

Dans notre stratégie de déploiement, nous travaillons énormément et étroitement avec les médecins. C’est sur cette relation avec les professionnels de la santé que nous basons notre développement et le succès de nos appareils. Nous sommes proches d’eux. Nous comprenons leurs problèmes et c’est en fonction de leurs besoins que nous concevons des solutions aux problèmes de leurs patients. La vulgarisation du Cardiopad dépend surtout du degré avec lequel celui-ci pourra répondre aux attentes des médecins 

 

In our development strategy, we are working hard on establishing a close rapport with physicians.We base the development and success of our products on our keen understanding of the local health professionals. We are close to them and value their relationships. We understand their problems according to the needs they express, we are able to develop solutions for their patients. A wider distribution of the Cardiopad will depend mostly on the degree to which it can meet the expectations of local doctors. 

Safety Measures Against Ebola in Cuba

Thus far, no-one in Cuba has contracted the deadly Ebola virus and the government wants to keep it that way. Havana Times reports on “increased control measures to prevent the possible introduction of Ebola into Cuba”, adding that The Ministry of Public Health and other supporting agencies are being extra vigilant with monitoring any visitors arriving from high-risk countries.

Human Kidney Trafficking in China

A recent court case in Jianxi province revealed the insider story of human kidney trafficking business in China. Charles Liu from theNanfang.com curated the local investigative report on the operation of the underground business.

… a 21 year-old man looking to prove to his family that he was financially independent. After learning from a QQ contact that he could earn RMB 25,000 for selling a kidney he decided to go to Nanchang.

Distribution of SMS Printers in Cameroon to Reduce Delays in HIV Testing for Newborns

Afrique IT news reports that [fr] a new type of device (SMS printer) is being installed in several HIV testing facilities in Cameroon thanks to the Clinton Foundation and the telecommunication company  MTN :    

La Fondation Clinton et l’opérateur de télécommunication MTN ont établi un partenariat pour lutter contre le diagnostic tardif de l’infection au VIH chez les nouveaux nés. Comprenant une mini-imprinante, ce dispositif mobile sera installé dans 682 centres de prélèvements à travers le pays. Pour sa part la MTN devrait mettre son réseau, ainsi que ses équipements à disposition, pour un meilleur déploiement du service dans les régions trop éloignées qui semblent être les plus touchées. Les nouveau-nés pourront subir des tests pour le VIH dans divers hôpitaux avec l’impression immédiate des résultats en envoyant des tests via la technologie SMS à deux laboratoires spécialisés du pays.

The Clinton Foundation and the telecommunications operator MTN have partnered to fight against the late diagnosis of HIV testing in newborns.  This new mobile device will include a pocket-size printer and will be distributed in 682 testing centers across the country. For its part,  MTN will share its cell network and its facilities for better service deployment in remote areas that have the most urgent needs. Newborns will be tested for HIV in various hospitals, the results of tests will be printed via SMS technology in two of the advanced laboratories in the country to allow the preparation of the treatment.

If You Want to Sleep as a Baby, You Should Read This!

dormir

Image by peasap on flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Psychologist Johanna Perez Vásquez studies dream interpretation since 2001 and runs the blog in Spanish El sueño significado (Dream meant) to help her readers to learn to interpretate their own dreams. On this occasiion, she posts a series of tips for a more effective sleep, resulting in a better and more invigorating rest for next day activities:

A la voz de refranes como “el tiempo es oro” o “al que madruga Dios lo ayuda” el sueño ha perdido, paulatinamente, importancia al tiempo que se elogia a quienes –con ayudas químicas o sin ellas− duermen poco y trabajan mucho. Estilos de vida en los que el desgaste físico y mental no es seguido por fases de recuperación apropiadas no sólo entorpecen el aprendizaje de la interpretación de sueños sino que deterioran la salud, por eso las recomendaciones que siguen son útiles para dormir mejor y para conocerte más a través de tus sueños.

From sayings such as “time is money” or “the early bird catches the worm”, sleeping has gradually lost importance while people who sleep few hours –with chemical help or not− and work a lot tend to be prasied. Life styles where physical and mental exhaustion are not followed by proper recovery phases not only make harder to learn how to interpretate dreams but also damage health, that's why these recommendations are useful for a better sleep and to get to know yourself through your dreams.

Her recommendations are useful for those who want to learn dream interpretation and for every person who searches a better rest at night. According to her, the best thing to do before getting to bed is to have a light dinner, avoid exhausting night activities, a warm bath and a clean bed.

To read more tips about rest and dreams, follow Johanna on her blog and on Twitter.

This post was part of the ninth #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on June 30, 2014.

Budget Cuts Leave Barbados’ Health System Gasping for Air

Who in their right mind believed that a 35 million dollar cut to the health budget 2013 would not have adversely affected healthcare delivery in Barbados?

Barbados Underground fears that the primary medical facility in the country, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, is on its death bed.

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