Who should have their blood pressure checked?

From the age of 3 years, every person needs to have their blood pressure checked.

 

Yeah, I understand how you just said “huh?”    I bet you didn’t know that.

But that is just it. After the age of 3 years, our blood pressure can and should be measured. It has become increasingly necessary for children’s health statistics to be monitored because children are getting sicker than before.

But everyone needs a blood pressure check every  now and then. Some need it more frequently than others;

Children who need their blood pressure checked more frequently

  • Children who are obese
  • Children who critically ill
  • Children who have been on admission at the intensive care unit

Adults who need frequent blood pressure monitoring

  • People who are overweight or Obese
  • People with a family history of high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • People with a family history of low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure
  • If you have experienced pregnancy induced pre-eclampsia
  • Above the age of 40

 

So if you haven’t cheched before, start today…

If you haven’t checked again, please do……

 

Advertisements

7 things every parent should know if you have a sick child.

Being a  parent is a big responsibility. Having a sick child can be very stressful in all levels and more so if you  have a chronically ill child.

A Chronic illness is any illness that persists over a long period and may last throughout a person’s life. This type of illness demands continuous medical management.

It can be overwhelming for a parent to know their child is suffering from an illness, much more if it will not be for a short while. Because of this, most parents become helpless not knowing what and how they can help their young ones.

In this post you will learn how as a parent you can be your child’s biggest advocate and help in their treatment and care.

1. Know your child’s medical condition: Know everything about the disease condition of your child. From the name of the condition, what might have caused it, how it is being managed. You can know all this by asking your child’s doctor. You have a right to know so ask. The doctors and nurses also have a responsibility to inform you and educate you on it. When you know, it gives you control over how you can care for your young one.

2. Be a part of their care: You become a part of your child’s care if you accompany them on their hospital visits. Your child may be a teenager who can attend the clinic by themselves , but it always necessary for a parent to be present with them.

3. Know and monitor their medication: rawpixel-600792-unsplash.jpg As a parent, you should know the medications your child is taking. The name, the type of drug, what it is used for and possibly even the anticipated side effects. You can make a habit of reading drug leaflets for such information. It gives you an idea as what to expect. And in times they may be reacting to a particular drug , you can be aware.

4. Speak to their school: If your child is chronically ill. For eg; if your child is a diabetic, you need to alert the school especially if they provide lunch for the kids so they know what your ward can eat or not. If it’s a boarding house, your child’s house master/mistress should be made aware of your child’s condition so they can provide him/her with the necessary assistance and care to help them maintain their health.

5. The whole family should be aware: When a member of the nuclear/immediate family is chronically ill, it is important if the others know about it more so if it’s a minor. This is beneficial and sometimes life saving in case of an emergency. This makes everyone in the family capable of giving an accurate history of the patient’s medical history.

6. Be an advocate for your child:  I have met parents who are not able to fight for the rights of their children in hospitals, schools and even in our communities. But that is something as  parent you should know how to do. Speak up when your child is not receiving the best of care or attention. That is your child so protect them with everything in you.

7. Give them all your love: Even though caring for a sick child can be stressful, it is very good for the children to know that you love them regardless of the stress, frustrations and financial strain you may be experiencing due to the illness. Remember love is also healing.

There has been many instances where parents with chronically ill children are ignorant about their children’s condition. These have led to poor choices with their care and management. But by observing these 5 points, you are sure to promote the health and wellbeing of your child.

 

 

15 Patient’s rights you never knew you had in Ghana.

 

 

The ignorance of most Ghanaian patients is something that lots of stakeholders benefit from with the exception of the patient who bears the disadvantage. From the government heads to the hospital heads, the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, midwives, medical laboratory scientists, and all other working professionals and auxiliaries in our health facilities across the nation. Because the patient doesn’t know their right, they are more often than not given any kind of care. But learning your right as a patient can not only arm you to demand the right care, but also put others on their toes to deliver the best care.

THE PATIENT’S RIGHTS

As a patient;

  1. You have a  right to quality basic health care regardless  of your geographical location ( it is your right, do not let anyone make you feel like they are doing you a favour).
  2. You are entitled to full information on your condition and its management and the possible risks involved except in emergency situations when you are unable to make a decision and the need for treatment is urgent. (As a patient, always ask questions. If the nurses and doctors are not telling you, you have the right to ask. So ask and be informed about your own health. Never leave the hospital not knowing what you are suffering from, what caused it, how to prevent and manage it).
  3. You have the right to know of alternative treatment(s) and other health care providers within the Service if these may contribute to improved outcomes.
  4. You have  the right to know the identity of all your caregivers and other persons who may handle you  including students, trainees and ancillary workers .
  5. You have the right to consent or decline to participate in a proposed research study involving you after a full explanation has been given. The patient may withdraw at any stage of the research project.
  6. If you decline to participate in or withdraw from a research project, you are still entitled to the most effective care available.
  7. As a patient you have the right to privacy during consultation, examination and treatment.
  8. In cases where it is necessary to use the patient or his/her case notes for teaching and conferences, the consent of the patient must be sought.
  9. You are entitled to confidentiality of information obtained about you and such information shall not be disclosed to a third-party without your consent or the person entitled to act on your behalf except where such information is required by law or is in the public interest.
  10. You are entitled to all relevant information regarding policies and regulation of the health facilities that you attended.
  11. Procedures for complaints, disputes and conflict resolution shall be explained to patients or their accredited representatives.
  12. Hospital charges, mode of payments and all forms of anticipated expenditure shall be explained to the patient prior to treatment.
  13. In case of any exemption facilities, they shall be made known to the patient.
  14. As a  patient you are entitled to personal safety and reasonable security of property within the confines of the Institution ( As a patient in a hospital, it is the duty of the hospital to protect you from any kind of harm. If the hospital fails to do so, you have the right to demand for it or in severe cases, take legal action against them).
  15.  You (patient) have the right to a second medical opinion if you so desire. (This means if you are not comfortable, convinced or satisfied with the care and options you are being given by a particular doctor or hospital, you can ask or choose to seek another opinion).

 

Share with others….

Faithfulness is healthy; Cervical cancer Prevention by the man.

Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in Ghana. It is also known as a sexually transmitted disease. This is because the virus that causes this type of cancer (Human Papillomavirus ) is transmitted through sexual contact. This virus can be found in all places in the body but when it gets to the cervix of the woman it leads to cervical cancer.

Both men and women may carry this virus and by engaging in unprotected sex with a partner who is infected with the virus, you can get infected too.

Every sexually active woman stands a risk of getting cervical cancer because of this virus.

More women use contraceptives to prevent getting pregnant but not as a protection from sexually transmitted infections. ” with the exception of condomsContraceptives only prevent pregnancy and not infections

Condoms use is something that is still not practiced in many sexual relationships. This is a dangerous practice especially in unmarried relationships that monogamy is not assured.

The man has the ability to protect his woman  (wife, girlfriend, fiancée) from cervical cancer by staying true to her. By maintaining a monogamous sexual relationship, the man reduces greatly  the woman’s risk of cervical cancer. This is because the risk of infecting each other with the virus decreases if it’s just you two. Faithfulness is healthy.

What the man can do to prevent Cervical cancer in his partner. 

1. Try faithfulness to her. No sexual gallivanting.

2. Encourage her to undergo cervical screening.

3. Help her to stay healthy physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

Let’s keep our women alive and well.

Share with someone.

 

Dear Ghana, we can fight rabies. It is possible : (Findings from the Healthy Pets Healthy Humans Campaign).

In 2015 I witnessed a series of rabies cases in the Emergency department which all ended in the death of the victims.

What all victims had in common were that;

1. They had all experience dog bites.

2. They were all ignorant of first aid after a dog bite.

These patients died basically due to ignorance.

The Healthy pets, Healthy humans campaign was birth after a patient who had sought medical care after the dog bite was given tetanus injection and asked to go home, only to acquire rabies later.

I realized then the problem of ignorance was not just with the people but the health care givers as well. 

The campaign was started in December 2015. This was what we did…

1. We created audio CDs on Rabies education and prevention in the local Twi dialect. The audio included how rabies was transmitted, animals that can transmit rabies, what to do after a bite, signs and symptoms of rabies, etc.

2. We partnered with  some  Assembly men in the Kumasi metropolis who in turn led us to the various information centers. After speaking with them, they played the audio CDs for a week to sensitize the people.

3. After playing the CDs, we organized mass anti-rabies vaccination for those communities.

4. In all three communities were visited for vaccination but the audio was played in five communities. 50 dogs were vaccinated against rabies.

These were our findings after interactions with the people:

1. The people were eager to vaccinate their dogs after they heard the education via the information centres.

2. Secondly, the people were willing to pay to vaccinate their animals contrary to popular belief that Ghanaians wanted free vaccination and there were no funds for that.

3. Most dog owners were discouraged from sending their dogs to the veterinary due to;

a. Long distance from their homes to the roadside.

b. Transportation cost from taking a taxi with the dog to and from the veterinary hospital.

4. Others also did not know the severity of rabies so they never thought it wise to send their dogs.

Thsee are  my recommendations:

1. I believe the education on Rabies should be made paramount to the understanding of the average Ghanaian. Innovative strategies like ours need to be employed to deliver the message to the people.

2. Our health care workers need to be abreast with the management of Rabies and other conditions that frequently present at their facilities. Tetanus as the only treatment after a dog bite has to stop! People are dying when they shouldn’t.

3. Well functioning animal laws need to be put in place and monitored to control and reduce the reckless ownership of animals and stray dogs in our societies.

4. Ministry of health and the Government at large need to start giving attention to quality health education and preventive health as a whole to better improve the health and choices of Ghanaians.

NB: Healthy pets Healthy humans is a campaign that needs to supported adopted by the Government and other stakeholders to be done on regional and national levels to help combat the incidence of Rabies in our dear country Ghana. 

This approach can very well be adopted by other African countries.

It is Possible!

Help me spread the word.

 

How to manage dog bite in the hospital: For the health care givers

The hospital /clinic or health center is a place people come to seek medical help to get better from their sickness or ill-health.  But in Ghana, some health service centers are gradually becoming mere scare crows of what they should be. And instead they are rendering services that are causing more harm to the patients.

One of such harms is the management of patients with dog bites. The trend in most Ghanaian hospitals and clinics is the administration of tetanus injections to people after dog bites and sending them home. 

This act has caused the death of many Ghanaians who thought they had received adequate care after visiting the hospital. The patients who are given tetanus injections end up getting Rabies and then they die.

It is sad to know that these persons took the initiative to go seek medical help but due to the “inexcusable ignorance” of some “health professionals” in Ghana, they lose their lives.

“Tetanus does not prevent rabies after a dog bite! “

So here is what should be done after a patient comes with a dog bite. 

  1. Ask when the dog bite happened. 
  2. Where it happened. Most dog bites that are often reported happen outside of the victim’s home. Some happen in the bush, in the farm, in the vicinity where they live or in someone’s house. Knowing where it happened gives you an idea as to the kind of dog that bit the patient if the dog is a stray dog (which is mostly the case) or has an owner. Stray dogs have a high probability of carrying rabies.
  3. What was done after the bite. The right thing to do is to wash the area affected with soap under running water. But if something else was done, the area should still be washed thoroughly at the clinic with povidine iodine.
  4. Give anti-rabies post exposure prophylaxis. This is an injection given after the bite. It may not be available in some health care centers so if you can’t get it in your hospital or clinic, please write it for the patient to buy from a pharmacy or refer them to another hospital higher than your facility.
  5. Ask them to monitor the dog: If a dog with rabies bites a person,  the dog usually dies after a few days. By monitoring the dog, you can know if the dog has rabies or not.

Let’s learn together to save lives.

Share with a friend.

What to do after a dog bite: Follow these first aid steps to prevent Rabies.

After a dog bite, most people do not know the right things to do which can be dangerous if the dog has rabies. But by following these simple steps, you can save your life and that of your loved ones after a dog bite.

First aid after a dog bite

  • WASH WASH WASH: Wash the affected area under running water with soap. Wash thoroughly for about 5 to 10 minutes. luis-tosta-266667-unsplash.jpg
  • You can also wash with povidine iodine.
  • Go to the hospital for the anti rabies post exposure prophylaxis  (PEP).
  • If you are given tetanus, insist on the anti-rabies PEP. TETANUS DOES NOT TREAT/CURE RABIES! 

Spread the word

Share with someone and save a life.

 

It’s time to Name & Shame. Check your expiry dates!

The habit of checking product expiry dates is one that is lacking amongst most Ghanaians. But this practice is one that allows companies to produce and import products especially foods with wrong manufacturing dates. And for others, the foods that are expired or near their expiry dates are reduced and sold to the public.

This ill act by some companies exposes the Ghanaian populace to food poisoning and other conditions that affects the health and consequently the economic growth of the nation.

Let’s all make it a part of the buying process to check the manufacturing and expiry dates of products before purchase.

IMG-20180305-WA0003This product was purchased by a friend last week and the manufacturing date is tomorrow 15th March, 2018.

  • Let’s all make it a part of the buying process to check the manufacturing and expiry dates of products before purchase.
  • Tell your family who can’t read to ask someone to check for them before they buy.
  • Always double check the dates on products especially if it’s reduced to clear or promotions.

#BeVigilantonproductDates

#OperationNameandShame

Share and let’s protect our lives

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

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