Healthy Pets, Healthy Humans: All about rabies

Protect yourself by protecting your animal; rabies is real.

Pets are adorable and having them is beautiful. But having a pet comes with certain responsibilities that many in Ghana fail to recognize like keeping your pet healthy. This attitude is borne out of the long standing disregard for people’s personal health which transcends into the care of our pets.

But having a healthy pet = having a healthy human.

This equation is so because of the close nature with which we live, relate and play with our pets. The most common pets that people in Ghana have in our homes are dogs and cats. These animals are also prone to certain diseases and illnesses that could cause humans to also get sick if not treated early or prevented. One of such diseases is the Rabies disease.

The Rabies disease is a 100% preventable illness that has a 100% fatality (death) rate if symptoms of the disease starts to show. It is a viral disease which means it is caused by a virus.

How is it transmitted? : Rabies is transmitted through the bite of an animal who already has rabies.

The animals that can be affected by rabies includes dogs, cats, raccoons, bats.

How to Prevent Rabies in animals:

1. Vaccination: The most effective way to prevent rabies in your pet is to vaccinate them against rabies. The anti-rabies vaccine is what protects the animals from the disease. These vaccines are given at the veterinary clinics around the country. This vaccine is given every year to protect the dog/cat, from getting infected with rabies.   Visit a Vet hospital for your rabies vaccine.

2. Keep your pets in the house: It is safe to keep your pets in the house without allowing them to go and roam around alone. In Ghana there are lots of stray dogs and cats in both our cities and villages and these dogs are mostly rabid dogs and cats. When you leave your pets to go out and play with these animals you not only expose them to rabies, but you expose your family too.

3. Keep your kids away from strange animals : Children are found of playing with dogs and cats. It is necessary to keep your kids from animals you do not  know. Educate your child on Rabies and why it is important to stay away from animals that are not owned by the family.

4. Protect the communities against stray dogs: Stray animals like dogs and cats  are animals that do not have a home and are not cared for by anyone. These dogs are dangerous to the people because they have the ability to infect other animals and even people with rabies through their bites. The community leaders are therefore encouraged to do away with such animals to protect the lives of the people.

Prevention is better than cure. Prevent rabies, protect your life.

 

 

 

Is your love compatible? : Know your Genotype before “I do” .

As the most common genetic disorder in Ghana and the world at large, Sickle cell plays a major role in the heath, economy,  and overall life many people and not just persons living with Sickle cell.

Knowing your sickle cell status and that of your partner’s  before the big question and saying “I do” will not only prevent a lot of heart ache buy also protect your future children from the possibility of being affected with sickle cell.

In this season of love, make the choice of including sickle cell in your conversations.

  • Talk about it with your partner/beloved/finance.
  • Go and screen together to know your genotype if you haven’t already.
  • Seek for clarification from a health professional if you do not understand your results.
  • Ask for the Hb Electrophoresis. This test will show you exactly what type you are. Example AA, AS, SC, SS, etc.

Knowing your genotype before marriage or child birth is one of the most responsible decisions you can make as a parent.

Let’s be responsible

The KSS Project

K- know it  early , S – share it early,  S- Stop it early

#sicklecellisreal ,  #sicklecellis100percentpreventable

Avoid these mistakes during valentine’s day: Let’s make it a healthy Valentine.

It’s the Love Season. People are giving love and others receiving love. There are a lot more people who will be feeling like they are not a part of the season. But  that can’t be true if you are alive. You can also show someone love.

In the spirit of celebrating love, there are some actions that bring unhealthy and undesirable consequences that may last through a lifetime. It’s a day of love, let’s live it avoiding these mistakes.

1. Having unprotected sex : Most dates will end up in sexual activities at the end of today. If he or she is not your husband or wife, I would advice you abstain. But if you will engage in it, then better be safe than sorry. Protect yourself, protect your partner.  Use a condom.

2. Hooking up with your Ex : I know valentine’s day can be an emotional time for people especially if you’re single. But making a rush decision to hook up with your Ex can be tricky. Old flames need little to spark up again. Engaging in sex with your Ex might seem familiar to you but remember he/she might not be in the same state of health as when you dated. He/she may have had a couple of relationships. Having sex with this person can lead to getting infected with  HIV or other Sexually transmitted infections. Do not take it for granted just because the two of you used to date. HIV is real, protect yourself.

3. Too much Alcohol intake: The healthy amount of alcohol intake is one bottle for women and at most two for men in a day if you want to drink. Don’t turn this day into a drunken night. There are so many Alcohol related injuries  (road traffic accidents, bar brawls, etc) , rape, diseases etc. Watch what you’re drinking and how much.

4. Indulging in Aphrodisiacs : There is a pool of alcoholic drinks in the market in Ghana. Almost every drink is a sex enhancing bitters. Because of nature of the day, most men will be tempted to drink these beverages to “enhance their potency ” sexually on order to crown their day. But beware of these drinks. Most of these bitters are causing harm to kidneys, the liver, prostate and even impotence. You don’t need them. If you feel there is something wrong, go and get checked at the hospital.

5. Having high expectations : It is always better to expect little and be surprised with much than the other way round. Feelings of disappointment can lead to feelings of depression. Depression can cripple you emotionally, physically, mentally  and even spiritually. Allow yourself room for adjustable expectations. You will be saving your health a great deal.

Enjoy your day thinking about your health.

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A Real Sickle Story

This is Latrice’s story.

Hey my name is Latrice I am 26 years old, and I live with sickle cell anemia. I had my first crisis when I was 3 years old, and from then on I started my not so normal life as a kid in and out of the hospital. Much just like most my mom did not know that much about sickle cell so it definitely surprised her a bit. Even though she was told I had sickle cell, she was also told it could go either way. Well come to find out the way it went didn’t work in her favor, I’m guessing. A single mother who was still taking care of 2 children having to take off of work to either take me to the doctors or set up some type of system so I could be looked after in the hospital.
As I got older I started to feel guilty with inconveniencing others. I felt like it was my sickness, so my responsibility. At a certain age I was able to stay in the hospital myself, and although I liked it because my mom didn’t have to take so much time off dealing with me, and my illness. I had other things to deal with such as dealing with a pediatrician who never really understood sickle cell and because of that she came off very aggressive and mean. I remember telling her I was in pain sometimes and she would ignore me saying there was no reason I was sick, and as I got older and started to go through issues she would basically tell me I didn’t belong in pediatrics. When it came to things that I couldn’t control. I mean Sickle Cell didn’t stop other issues in my life. She couldn’t understand that either. So that left me to have a horrible relationship with my pediatrician. So I felt like when I was sick I had u7u
to keep it to myself because no one would understand.
Becoming an adult I went through even more crisis, some that I couldn’t understand. I tried different jobs one was working at the V.A hospital outside as a valet worker. I had to spend so much time out of work because I was either sick and literally could not make it out of bed, or was spending days to weeks inside of the hospital. Because of one admission that went wrong. I was forced to leave that job. After that, I spent months without work and depressed feeling like I had no control of my life. I was able to get another job after some months but the same thing just kept happening. In and out of the hospital dealing with issues of my life not being where I felt I was supposed to be based on the people around me. I dealt with a lot of depression, and anxiety, which did not help with me constantly getting sick.
Becoming older, experiencing more of what life has to offer. Realizing my dreams and that even though I live with this disease I do not have to suffer with it. I started to go to conferences, and looking up different things that I could do to help my situation. I realized that I love to tell people my story, tell them about this disease that I had dealt with all of my life. I wanted to tell other young people who are dealing with diseases such as sickle cell that your life is not over. I now at 26 years old am ready to live and overcome this thing that seemed to have a hold on my life for so long. I am going back to school, enjoying myself. Taking it one step at a time. Letting God guide my steps, reading more and not just leaving my sickness up to the (so called) professionals to take care of it. I AM TAKING BACK MY LIFE! For the rest of you sickle cell warriors keep fighting, and it is time for you to also take back what belongs to you.

Now let’s talk warriors

1. What can we learn from Latice’s story?
2. What can we seek to change?
3. Can you  relate?

Share with others.

Comments are welcome

Simple ways to Keep school kids from dehydration in this hot season.

Children and the elderly are more at risk of dehydration than any other group. Reducing their risk is therefore important to keep them healthy.

1. Make available good drinking water in the schools or classes. School owners should put in place water dispensers in the corridors to encourage the students to drink more water.

2. Give your child a water bottle filled with water. Parents must put water in the back packs of their wards. Tell them to drink the water.

3. Give frequent water breaks in class. A minute or two break to drink water will go a long way to prevent possible dehydration. It will also encourage all the kids to drink since every one will be taking part.

4. Keep activities indoors : The hot season is good for trying some indoor activities or games. Staying long in the sun to play is not advisable as it causes them to sweat a lot. This leads to tiredness and subsequently loss of attention and interest.

5 . Do not over load students in the school bus: The school buses mostly have more students in it than it is supposed to carry. But in this hot weather, it is more risky overloading students due to reduced air entry to the bus, excessive heat leading to dehydration. Too much Sweating is also not good.

Let’s keep our children healthy in the heat.

#Notodehydration

Picture by Nathaniel Tettey.

It is Hot! Tips to stay healthy in this heat.

“Chale it’s hot!” Have you said this yet? I have; so many times this past weeks. As much as I love the way clothes dry fast, I totally hate the way I feel in this weather.  But as much as it is an uncomfortable period, and has the potential to make a lot of people sick, there are a number of things you can do to maintain your health and make it more bearable.

1. Drink a ton of water! I am on my 4th sachet of water today and I know I’m going to need more before the day ends. Dehydration is common in this season. Don’t replace drinking water with soft drinks or alcohol. Take in lots of water.

2. Stay indoors during the day: It is advisable to spend more time indoors while the sun is up than outdoors.  Keep your activities outside to a minimum.  Too much exposure to the sun is not good for your health especially if you do not wear sunscreen.

3. Wear light clothing : Dress lightly during this season.  Do not wear too much layers of clothing. And when at home, wear a few clothes.

4. Wear hats and sunglasses : carlos-alberto-gomez-iniguez-107821.jpg

Time to wear hats when going out. Also get your huge sunglasses out of the case and put them on. If you don’t have it yet, just go get some in town, in the shops, or the eye-care service centers. It doesn’t have to be expensive to protect your eyes.

5. Take cool baths/ showers during the day: artem-beliaikin-475601.jpg

If you happen to be home during the day, take cool showers, swim  or soak yourself in cold water . It will do a world good.

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The School nursing system in Ghana needs revising. Here is 5 reasons why

One part of the school system that has always been neglected and  it’s  effect underestimated  is the school nursing system in Ghana eventhough our schools house the most valuable assets our country has which is out future generation.

Below are 5 reasons why this system needs serious attention and immediate revamping.

Reason 1:  In Ghana, school nurses are only or mostly found in senior high schools. The few that may be in junior high schools are in certain private schools. Leaving the majority of school children  in nursery, kindergarten,  primary, and junior high schools without any qualified system of  health care in the schools.

Reason 2: The school nurses provided by the ministry of health to the senior high schools are Retired Nurses who are infused back into the system to continue working. These nurses are already tired; how can they effectively care for these huge numbers of adolescents in our schools.

Reason 3:  The “school nurses” are given no training with regards to adolescent health and preventive health strategies. It is just assumed that they are nurses with experience so they can work in the school. But school nursing needs more than just years of Nursing practice to be effective.

Reason 4: The presence of the Free SHS policy has greatly multiplied the number of students in each school thereby increasing the need for proper school nursing  (health ) system for the protection of the health of the students and the school community as a whole.

The H1N1 saga at the Kumasi Academy SHS is a clear indication of a poor school health system.

Reason 5: There is lack of monitoring, evaluation and  supervision of the school nurse in Ghana. The school nurse in Ghana is left to do what he/she wants without any one checking if it’s right or wrong.

Let’s pay attention to the health of our young population because they are our future.

#ChangetheSchoolNursingSystem

#Protectthehealth9ofstudents

It’s Urgent! Sexual health education in our schools now!

Before 2017 ended, December saw two gang rapes that became public knowledge throughout the country. One in Ashanti Region (Bantama-Kumasi) and the other in the Central Region. Both of these unfortunate incidents were by teenage boys in high school both junior and senior high schools.

Aside the high level moral corruption displayed by these boys, and the emotional and physical trauma their act inflicted on their victims (the girls involved), they also showed  clear ignorance on their part with regards to the high exposure to sexually transmitted infections like HIV when they took turns to forcefully have sex with the girl.

1. All the boys involved  did not protect themselves from possible STI that may be from either of them or the victim. Instead they all without wearing Condoms inserted their penises into the victim’s vagina. This act can be the breeding ground for STI transmission among young folks because of the sexually active nature of these boys.

2. The victim did not try to negotiate with them to at least wear  a condom to protect herself from any possible STI. Negotiations in sex is a skill that is taught in sexual health education to enable these young girls to protect themselves. But she clearly lacked the knowledge and skill which endangers her with regards to STI.

3. Teenage pregnancy could become a resultant effect from these acts. Something the boys evidently did not think about hence their neglect of condom use.

The lack Sexual health education in our schools has become a health hazard for the youth and the nation at large. With the increasing numbers of adolescents engaging in early initiation into sex, the unavailability of Sexual health education is not only a great disservice to the young people but the nation at large.

Sexual health education among adolescents should be taken seriously in Ghana to help nurture a  well-informed and well guarded population for a healthy future.

#Sexual health education in our schools now!

Spread the word. Let’s protect our future generation. Let’s protect our future.

4 most important personal information employers must have of their employees.

A young man about 22 years was rushed to the emergency department after falling unconscious. He was a driver’s mate (bus attendant). He was brought in by one of the drivers at the bus station he works at.

Upon arrival, the driver was only able to mention the patient’s nickname but not his real name. He did not know his age, he had no idea where he stayed,  he couldn’t tell us about any relatives or next of Kin we could contact us and he certainly had no information regarding his medical history.  

When asked how he didn’t know anything he said; the boy has been at the station for over 5 years. He works with a lot of drivers as a driver’s mate. They only know about a relative of his who comes around to look for him once in a while but they do not have his number. According to the driver, patient was fine in the morning but fell to the ground suddenly and didn’t wake up so they brought him. His BP was very high over 200/140mmHg.

Sadly the young man died later that night. From cardiac (heart complications ).

After his death the station master came around. He said the boy drank a lot of alcohol, and he would even cause disturbances at the station sometimes.

Now getting the news of the death to the boy’s relatives was a problem because no one knew them. The body was sent to the morgue without any family member’s knowledge.

What’s the gap? There is an absence of personnel personal record keeping system in the informal sectors like the transport stations. Unlike the formal sectors and institutions where key information is collected and kept on record, these informal places of work have none, which makes it dangerous in times of emergencies like this one.

Example; Station masters should have the personal emergency information of all the people under him. The drivers, mates, etc.

Type of information needed for the emergency personal information records. 

1.Name  ( Name on ID card) :It is very necessary for people’s real names to be kep on record. This is because most people tend to call their fellow workers by their nicknames which most times replace their real names. And in times of emergencies, their real names are not known. Patients get abandoned unintentionally all the time by their relatives and friends because the names they are admitted with are often times different from what is on record.

2. Age : A person’s age tells a lot about them which is more so medically.

3. Place of residence: Where the people live.

4. Next of Kin: Knowing who to call in time of emergency is very vital especially in this age where money is needed to get most things done at the hospital. Also in cases where blood transfusion is needed, having someone to call can be all that is needed to save a life.

These four pieces of personal information should be collected and kept for time of emergency. It can be life saving.

Spread the word.

Leave your comments here.  Like and follow my blog for more on health.

 

Have healthy breasts with these tips.

One of the most visible parts of a woman’s body is her breasts. Not only are the breasts visible, but they provide a sense of womanhood,  enhances her beauty, they serve as a source of pleasure during sexual intimacy and my personal favourite which is that the woman’s breast provides the most healthy form of nutrition for her baby. For these reasons, it is very important for us to take very good care of our breasts.

Ways to Keep your breast healthy! 

  1. Be breast aware:  You need to know your own breasts. Being breast aware means you know everything about your breasts. How it feels, how it looks, the size of both breasts and how it looks. This can only be done if you periodically check and examine your breasts. Breast awareness is very necessary to keeping your breast healthy since you are able to identify early any changes that may occur.  Also being breast awareness means you know about breast cancer and what to look out for with regards to the signs and symptoms.
  2. You need to maintain a healthy weight : Studies have shown that being overweight during adulthood especially after menopause  increases a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer. Therefore it is healthier to keep a normal weight as you grow older to reduce your chances of breast cancer.
  3. Exercise! Hit the road with some brisk walking, or skip a rope every now and then. You can also join a gym or try some yoga at home. All these can serve as good exercise that can keep your breast healthy.
  4. No / Less Alcohol intake : Too much Alcohol use can also increase your risk of breast cancer. It us advisable to reduce alcohol use more importantly after menopause.
  5. Know your Family health history: Some cancers have genetic predisposition. Breast cancer is one of such. Which means if a biological family member (eg. Mother, sister, aunt, etc.) has experienced breast cancer, there is an increased risk for you. By knowing this about your family’s medical history you can properly take care of yourself by adopting a healthier lifestyle to prevent it.
  6. Taking oral contraceptives: Some oral contraceptives can increase your risk of acquiring breast cancer.  If you intend to use any, make sure to read about it or ask questions when next you’re at the family planning office.
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A 19-year-old girl had a baby and experienced post partum anaemia (anaemia after having a baby) and was brought to the emergency department. She was HIV positive.

Upon talking with her she disclosed that, She had been infected with the HIV disease at birth since both parents were HIV positive. She has lived with the condition all her life and she has been taking her drugs.

Asking about the father of the baby, she revealed that he did not know her HIV status. I asked why she wouldn’t inform him, but chose to have unprotected sex with the man and subsequently have a baby with him. But she refused to say anything and kept quite.

 

Now here’s the kicker. ..

1. There are more young people living with HIV and other STD  than you may think.

2. Unprotected sex is costly so use a condom. It is way cheaper!

3. HIV doesn’t have a look anymore.  People living with HIV look healthy and strong just like others without the condition.  So stop looking out for unhealthy and emaciated individuals. You will make a mistake.

4. Stick to one partner and be committed to each other. That’s the only way to protect yourselves.

5. Always undergo a screening test of HIV before engaging in unprotected sex in a relationship.  Love has everything to do with it. Love protects so protect each other.

HIV is very real so live your life with healthy sexual practices.

#HIVisreal