Blood pressure and fluid retention improve in those counseled by dietitians, small study shows
Encouraging people with kidney disease to reduce their salt intake may help improve blood pressure and cut excess fluid retention, at least for a while, a new study suggests.
Study participants lowered their systolic blood pressure (the top number)
by almost 11 points, on average, on a salt-restricted diet versus their usual diet. They also flushed out a liter of water (about one-quart) from their bodies, on average, by slashing salt in their diets, researchers said.
Having high blood pressure and retaining excess salt and water in the body stresses the heart and blood vessels, explained lead author Dr. Rajiv Saran of the University of Michigan.
For kidney disease patients, high blood pressure (or “hypertension”) and excess fluid in the body can be a toxic combination. “They die predominantly of cardiovascular disease,” said Saran, a professor of internal medicine and epidemiology in the nephrology division.
Yet doctors rarely have time or make time to counsel each patient about salt-restricted diets, he said.
Saran and co-investigators wondered whether having trained dietitians talk to patients with chronic kidney disease by phone or in person about ways to lower daily sodium intake would make a difference. Read More
Low back pain affects millions of people in the United States, and the condition is one of the most common reasons for people missing work. New guidelines from the American College of Physicians recommend noninvasive ways of treating nonradicular low back pain.
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA)
report that approximately 31 million U.S. individuals experience low back pain at one point during their lives. The ACA also note that low back pain is the leading cause of disability across the world, as well as one of the most popular reasons why people miss work.
The condition accounts for a large proportion of all doctor visits in the U.S., and almost 25 percent of the entire adult population in the U.S. has experienced at least one day of low back pain in the past 3 months.
The fight against Polio has been boosted by a new grant from Rotary International- the largest group of committed volunteering men and women committed to serve and change the world.
Rotary has announced $35 million in grants to support the global effort to end polio, bringing the humanitarian service organization’s contribution to $140 million since January 2016.
Nearly half of the funds Rotary announced January 2017 ($16.15 million) will support the emergency response campaigns in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin (Chad, northern Cameroon, southern Niger and Central African Republic). Four cases of polio were detected in Nigeria in 2016, which had previously not seen a case since July 2014.
With these cases, funding is needed to support rapid response plans in Nigeria and surrounding countries to stop the outbreak.
While significant strides have been made against the paralyzing disease, with just 35 cases reported in 2016, polio remains a threat in hard-to-reach and underserved areas, and conflict zones. To sustain this progress, and protect all children from polio, experts say $1.5 billion is needed.
In addition to supporting the response in the Lake Chad Basin region, funding has been allocated to support polio eradication efforts in Afghanistan ($7.15 million), Pakistan ($4.2 million), Somalia ($4.64 million), and South Sudan ($2.19 million). A final grant in the amount of $666,845 will support technical assistance in UNICEF’s West and Central Africa Regional Office.
Rotary has contributed more than $1.6 billion, including matching funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and countless volunteer hours since launching its polio immunization program, PolioPlus, in 1985. In 1988, Rotary became a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and was later joined by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since the initiative launched, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year to 35 confirmed in 2016, and no cases in 2017 so far.
What is Polio?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children.
The virus is transmitted by person-to-person spread mainly through the faecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (e.g. contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis.
Initial symptoms of polio include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs. In a small proportion of cases, the disease causes paralysis, which is often permanent. There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented by immunization.
Key Facts about Polio
- Polio (poliomyelitis) mainly affects children under 5 years of age.
- 1 in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis. Among those paralysed, 5% to 10% die when their breathing muscles become immobilized.
- Polio cases have decreased by over 99% since 1988, from an estimated 350 000 cases then, to 74 reported cases in 2015. The reduction is the result of the global effort to eradicate the disease.
- As long as a single child remains infected, children in all countries are at risk of contracting polio. Failure to eradicate polio from these last remaining strongholds could result in as many as 200,000 new cases every year, within 10 years, all over the world.
- In most countries, the global effort has expanded capacities to tackle other infectious diseases by building effective surveillance and immunization systems
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects over 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas.
Uganda Urged to tighten laws on Tobacco consumption
A couple of years ago, Uganda’s Parliament enacted the anti-tobacco consumption legislation. This law bares public smoking and tobacco advertising and puts in place fines for offenders.
At the time of its enactment, this was seen as a step forward towards reducing deaths as a result of tobacco consumption.
However, since then nothing has much changed and health activists are up again demanding for tough measures against tobacco use and production.
Baguma Richard Tinkasimire, the programs coordinator at the Uganda health communication alliance says that this legislation puts light punishments and fines on perpetrators and its implementation is poor. According to Baguma, tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship has persisted and this is dangerous.
“Tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship encourage people especially the youth to use tobacco, encourage tobacco users to use more, decrease user’s motivation to quit and quitters to relapse,” he sadly adds
Loopholes in the law
Baguma explains that the current law has many loopholes. “Under the current law, every public place must have a no smoking sign but many of our hotels, bars, offices and night spots do not have them.
What is more baffling is that you find ‘smoking zones’ and ash trays in these places and this is unlawful,” Baguma notes. He further reveals that as a result of these loop holes in the current law, public smoking and public tobacco consumption has persisted and this is a great health risk to both the consumer and the people around.
As a result of this trend, health activists have now drafted a private members bill that is before the floor of parliament. Baguma told this mouth piece that this bill (Tobacco control bill 2012) seeks to tighten the grip on tobacco production, advertising and consumption.
The bill at a glance
According to Doctor Hafsa Lukwata, a mental health specialist and one of the brains behind this law in the offing, the act seeks to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, economic and environmental consequences of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke.
According to the world health organization (WHO), tobacco is the single greatest preventable cause of death in the world today, killing up to a half of the people who use it.
The world health body estimates that tobacco use causes nearly 6 million preventable deaths each year of which 10 percent are due to exposure to second hand tobacco smoke. “If current trends continue, the number of annual tobacco-related deaths is predicted to increase to 10 million by the year 2020 with 70 percent of those deaths occurring in low and middle-income countries”, the WHO 2011 report warns.
This bill seeks to promote a smoke free environment, place a ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, restrict the sale, supply and use of tobacco products and to place tough fines and punishment on perpetrators.
Part IV of this bill advocates for an increment in taxes on tobacco products in an effort to control their trade. “The object of this part is to provide for price increase through taxation on tobacco products as an effective intervention in reducing demand for tobacco”, clause IV of the bill reads in part.
According to Baguma, there is a strong need to protect the vulnerable people who consume second hand smoke from cigarettes and tobacco. “We must put strong laws in place and implement them because health related problems related to tobacco use when they come, they are irreversible,” he added.
Shocking but true, Baguma does not buy the idea of designating smoking zones in public places like bars and clubs. “Designating smoking zones in public places is hopeless. Smoke from that area will eventually come to the non-smoking areas and affect others. Instead if one wants to smoke, let them go out of the public place and smoke from there.
In Uganda, tobacco growing has for generations been the main source of income for thousands in west Nile region and other areas like Kanungu. However Baguma observes that people in these areas can be helped to get an alternative crop to grow and earn big. He cites Bwambala Sub County in Rukungiri district western Uganda which used to be a tobacco production hub but people have now abandoned the crop in favor of upland rice.
Baguma notes that if people in Tobacco growing areas are well sensitized and given alternative crops to grow, they will definitely abandon tobacco growing.
Culturists Kill Police Officers In Kasese
July 28, 2012
The fateful incident happened at approximately 6am when a group of about 15 residents attacked the post with one automatic rifle and an assortment of spears, machetes, knives and shields.
In what appears to be a puzzling incident up to now, a police constable Ssemakula Mugabi was stubbed in the neck and he died on spot while the post commander Corporal Sunday Levi died later as he was being taken to Kirembe hospital.
The Western Regional Police Commander Wilson Kwanya confirms the incident which also left another police Constable Mandule Wilson badly injured.
Kwanywa told this site that three errant attackers were killed by police, two police rifles were as well taken by the foes as they retreated while some people have been arrested to help police in the investigations.
Police sources have identified the killed assailants as Alamazan Baluku, Zakayo and Daniel all residents of Kasese district.
Kyanywa says the intentions of the attackers are not yet clear but rules out any link to Uganda Congo cross border conflict. “The reason for the attack is not known at this point, but thought to be connected to local inter-tribal conflict and is not connected to the recent activities across the border in the Congo”, he explains.
This is the first attack on a security establishment in this area where people are sharply divided along tribal lines.
Residents Cry Foul Over Hospital Staffing
June 24, 2012
Health service delivery in Bugamba Sub County in Mbarara district will deteriorate if the issue of understaffing at Bugamba health centre IV is not urgently addressed.
The health facility which serves over 3000 people has only 8 health workers out of a total of 49 workers who are supposed to be there. Area residents now say the limited number of health workers is affecting service delivery at this multi-million shillings Centre. “The health centre opens late and due to the big patients to doctors ratio, some patients go back home without getting treatment” sadly noted Kizza Denis a resident of Byanamira cell in Bugamba adding that this issue has not got adequate attention from the leaders.
This facility has recently acquired a fully furnished operation theatre which now faces a prospect of lying idle for some time as long as the issue of few workers is not solved.
With the rugged terrain of the area which complicates access to the health centre, inadequate staffing is an aggravation of the health complications in the area. “There is nothing that hurts as reaching the hospital after such a long journey only to be told that you cannot be worked on since the workers are tired because they have been working on many patients” Benon Zebikire a resident of kitojjo cell which is about 10 kilometers from hospital said.
The Public Outcry
With this state of affairs, residents have more often voiced their concerns over this issue but all in vain.
The sub county chairperson Grace Bwire acknowledges the problem. “My office is aware of this problem and we have received many complaints from our people as well. We have forwarded our grievances to the top authorities for redress” he explained adding that they have even notified the area member of parliament Vicent Mujuni Kyamadidi who comes from the nearby village about the issue.
Stake Holders Intervention
In march this year, the coalition for health promotion and social development Uganda (HEPS), a non-governmental organization that seeks to promote health rights and responsibilities launched the HEAR project which is currently under implementation in many sub counties of Mbarara district including Bugamba.
Under this project, people are empowered to know their health rights and responsibilities. “Once people know their health rights, they will take them up or demand for explanations and actions from the people concerned” noted Pilagia Tusiime the project coordinator. “When people speak out with one voice, they are easily heard than we in the NGOs because sometimes we are misunderstood” Rosette Mutambi, the HEPS executive director elaborated during a 2 days community leaders training about health rights and responsibilities held at Bugamba community hall that ended on June 21.
Heps on Health Challenges
The case of Bugamba health centre IV is a small drop in the ocean. All health centres and hospitals in the country are faced with the same problems of under staffing, inadequate medicines and equipment, water and power shortages among others.
However Mutambi attributes all this to poor funding of the health sector. “Our national budget for health is so small. In the past years, the country’s health budget has been around 13 percent of the national budget but it might reduce for this financial year (2012/13) which is unfortunate” Rosette Mutambi sadly noted adding that with such a small budget, health issues like under staffing will persist.
Her voice is an addition to other calls by different stake holders advocating for more funding to the sector for a healthy population as an old adage goes “A healthy nation is a wealthy one”.