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……

 

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Why Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in Ghana; a look at the women

Cervical cancer is cancer that affects the cervix. The cervix is found at the opening of the uterus of the woman.

An image showing the cervix 

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Cancer is an abnormal growth of the cells in any part of the body. In this case, the abnormal growth of cells in the cervix is what is termed, cervical cancer.

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Cervical cancer affects only women because the cervix can only be found in the woman. But the virus that causes cervical cancer which is the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) can affect both men and women through sexual contact.

Being a woman automatically puts you at risk of cervical cancer. Even though you may never be affected.

But the moment you engage in sexual activity regardless of your age, you greatly increase your risk of cervical cancer especially if you do not use condoms for protection.

It is a known fact that women who use contraceptives (not condoms) are at a greater risk of getting cervical cancer. This is because, most women in Ghana use contraceptives for protection against pregnancy not infections. Due to thus reason, other contraceptives aside condoms are mostly patronized by the women.

Now the problem is, because the women are protected from pregnancy, they practice unprotected sex. Which exposes them to the virus (HPV) amongst other sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, gonorrhoea and HIV.

According to the 2017 fact sheet (ICO/IARC Information Centre on HPV and Cancer), Hormonal contraceptives ( pills, injections, etc) use caused 22.9% of cervical cancer in Ghana. 

This does not mean that hormonal contraceptives are bad or that they cause cancer, but that they do not prevent infections and so if a woman is in a relationship which doesn’t promise monogamy, the practice of using condoms should be paramount to prevent the virus.

If you cannot abstain, then be faithful to one sexual partner. Always use a condom to protect yourself and your partner against STDS.

Condom is the only contraceptive that prevents infections !

The Ghanaian society is yet to empower women to be able to negotiate for their own protection during sex. In our community, the woman is powerless to defend herself and her health in relationships so if the man does not initiate condom use, the woman is unable to demand for it.

But the woman in our time must speak for herself. You need to demand for protection if it is not marriage. abstinence is still best.

And even in marriage if there is infidelity, you must protect yourself until both of you have undergone tests to show you are free from infections.

Don’t compromise on the quality of your health. Life is too short.

#Cervical cancer can be prevented.

 

 

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.

 

Lack of monitoring of private hospitals causing harm to patients’ health in Ghana.

 

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At the emergency department (ED), a patient was rushed into the most critical unit with an RBS (blood sugar) of  2.1mmol/L. Patient was 54 years old male accompanied by his wife. He was unconscious.

Patient arrived at the ED in an ambulance with two staffs from a private hospital. After resuscitating the patient, the accompanying “healthcare professionals” were asked certain questions and this is what we found out;

The patient was brought to their facility with difficulty in breathing. Without assessing the oxygen saturation (SPO2) they decided to refer because there was no oxygen in the hospital. No vital signs were checked (Blood pressure, Random blood sugar, pulse, respiration or temperature) and no other assessment was done on the patient. He was just put in an ambulance and brought to another hospital. Patient became unconscious en route to our facility.

At this point I was both disappointed and shocked to witness such, because the man (patient ) would’ve lost his dear life due to gross carelessness and ignorance on the part of these “health professionals” who were supposed to help him.

Now looking at the two young people (a woman and a man)  that brought the patient I couldn’t help but ask who they were;

The lady said she was a nurse but the gentleman with him answered quietly “I’m not a nurse”. Then I asked so who are you? He now says shyly “I’m a cleaner at the hospital, but I help bring patients from time to time when there is no one.”

“Huh! Herrrrrrh! ” was my reaction because I couldn’t believe my ears were hearing right.

A cleaner in the hospital accompanying an unconscious patient to a referral point. This is someone’s father, his wife was right with then but she wouldn’t know a thing because in Ghana everyone takes advantage of the ignorance of the citizens without reproach. He would’ve been dead and these two wouldn’t know anything.

We now took our time to educate “the nurse” who happens to be an unregistered nurse trained on the job. Taught her on the step by step assessment of patients when they are rushed to the hospital. And first steps in managing hypoglycemia.

This is my plight and plea;

1. Ghana has become so cheap a country and so careless of the lives of its citizens that we give licences to people to operate facilities that cater for the health needs of the people but fail miserably to monitor their operations. Some of these private facilities employ cheap labour in the form of unregistered/unlicensed nurses to cause such harm to patients who need genuine care.

There should be proper monitoring of such facilities to ensure quality care and improved health outcomes.

2. Professional bodies like the Nurses and Midwives Council should be proactive in protecting the name and standard of the profession by ensuring registered and licensed nurses are employed in all hospitals and clinics regardless of their private status.

Ghanaians deserve better than this!

So many lives are lost not due to their medical conditions but from such carelessness and ignorance.

Let’s protect Ghana

Better monitoring of health facilities can save lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

5 risks associated with Stress and 5 ways to de-stress.

It’s STRESS AWARENESS MONTH!
We all go through some kind of stress in life. From a job interview to a financial  debt, a sick child to a troubled relationship, even planning a wedding to writing an exam.  These stressors can negatively affect your health if not dealt with properly.
When stress is allowed to take control, it prevents you from living your normal life and can lead to
1. anxiety disorders
2. High blood pressure
3. Increase your risk of obesity
4. Increase risk of diabetes
5. Depression, etc.

But stress can be controlled by;
1. Learning to laugh it off!  Not every situation needs a serious approach. You have to laugh at some things just to keep your sanity. Plus laughter definitely looks better on you than moodiness.

2. Sharing with someone; Yeah I know ….by now you’re probably saying Priscilla you don’t know what people can do with your stuff. But I do. I know it can be difficult to trust sometimes but you need to let your guard down sometimes to share with someone just to lighten your load.

3. Let it go! It is enough, you have held on to this thing for too long and the stress of it is killing you. Learn to let somethings go. Not everything and everyone has to get an apartment in your head. Some people just have to spend a day, an hour or even some minutes in your mind and then puff!  they’re gone. Don’t stress yourself with temporary things.

4. Find your happy place. Is  it movies, music, prayer, the word of God, or reading stories. Go there. Be happy.

5. Tell yourself this too shall pass. This is actually one of my favourites in times of stress. I say to myself, this too shall pass. Because it is true. Nothing remains the same. If it will pass then there is no need killing yourself over it.

In this month of April, learn to de- stress and stay healthy.

#Raisinghealthwithpriscillao
#Stressawarenessmonth
#EducationInspiresChange

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.

 

Lack of Oxygen almost killed a Student athlete.

In the just ended inter schools sports competition for senior high schools,  one female student aged 19 years was rushed to the emergency department by an ambulance in a statement of unconsciousness.

The girl was given oxygen after her oxygen saturation recorded low values signaling her state as one of hypoxia (a reduced flow of oxygen to the tissues in her body ). She regained consciousness after some minutes of oxygen therapy.

The people who accompanied her to the ED were asked what happened and this was the account.

According to them, the patient was an athlete who had run in the competition that day. She later collapsed and was sent to the clinic in the stadium but there was no oxygen. They (Student red cross society ) were asked to send patient via an ambulance to the hospital. But there was no oxygen in the ambulance too. 

When asked whether they came with a teacher, the red cross guys said no. But the teacher would be coming later.

Here’s the danger;

Hypoxia can result in headaches, dizziness, hallucinations, blurred vision in milder cases. But in severe and prolonged cases, it can result in brain damage and even death.

So the problem is…

1. How can we have a clinic in the Sports stadium without oxygen especially during an athletics competition of students over a  thousand present? So didn’t they anticipate that there will be emergencies? Who is responsible for making sure these things are in place before such programs are conducted? Why was the job not done?

2. An ambulance without oxygen, should it even be put on the road? Much more to service students running and jumping. Of what use is it? A trotro or taxi could have done the same thing the ambulance did. Which is just transporting the patient and nothing else.

3. I believe a teacher should have accompanied her to the hospital. But of course, this is Ghana where we take everything for granted.

 

So who is responsible?

This girl would have died within some few minutes for what?

Lack of responsible behaviour?

A parent would’ve lost his /her child because some offices failed to do their work?

Ghana is gradually becoming a health hazard for its citizens especially the ignorant.

Dear citizen of Ghana, let’s ask for quality because it’s our right.

 

 

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