Archive for the ‘Health’ Category


By Adol Akuei, Eldoret, Kenya

Adol Akuei

Adol Akuei

August 5, 2017 (SSB) — “The secret of good health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

It is with deep sympathy and empathy that I am writing this article address to the public based on; the ongoing sufferings of our people back home. This is especially in the health sector, not political sector or rather arena as you may think of it.

Besides, it is mainly to create awareness unto the victims and those that are in the status of being “victims” of this disease that I called “the second HIV/AIDS”, that is HEPATITIS. It has been reported that the disease is quite rampant in our country and it needs direct address and awareness since most of our people are melting away with their hope buried in the stigma of the disease and would rather think that all is done and that they can easily die.

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CMD Rapid Response to Cholera Outbreak in Cattle Camps and around Jiech and Mogok Payams, Ayod County

By CMD Team, Ayod, South Sudan

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May 14, 2017 (SSB) —- A CMD Rapid Response Team was deployed fast in Ayod County- Jonglei State to respond to cholera outbreak around the cholera camps in Jiech and Mogok Payams. 45 deaths had been reported, 40% of those being children and youth before this swift intervention.

The CMD team is supporting the County Health Department that had been overwhelmed by the number of cases; coupled by lack of supplies and capacity to contain the spread of cholera in the location. The situation is worsened by accessibility challenges as these are hard to reach and often-insecure areas.

A team from CMD responded fast with limited resources, and with the support of the health cluster embarked on collecting samples from suspected patients that were brought to Juba for laboratory tests and examination.

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The drug, meant to protect HIV-negative people from contracting the virus, is targeted at high-risk groups

By DOROTHY OTIENO, May 1, 2017

HIV-AIDS prevention: Thank to PrEP and PEP, you can protect yourself and love ones from HIV/AIDS

Thank to PrEP and PEP, you can protect yourself and love ones from HIV/AIDS

Sexually active young women and girls aged 15 to 24 are among the high-risk groups targeted in the May 4 rollout of a new method meant to protect HIV-negative people from contracting the virus.

The approach, known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), involves people at high risk of contracting HIV taking an antiretroviral pill, Truvada, daily to lower their chances of getting infected.

“By having these medications in the bloodstream, HIV may be unable to establish infection,” said Dr Elizabeth Irungu from the Partners Scale-up Project.

Truvada costs Sh3,700 per month and its generic equivalent is Sh413.

However, the cost of access is higher due to transport cost, consultation and laboratory fees.

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Ministry of Health in Collaboration with South Sudan HIV/AIDS Commission Organized one Day Participatory Workshop in Bor- Jonglei State

By Achiek de Mabior, Bor, Jonglei state

images-of-hiv-aids

April 21, 2017 (SSB) — Jonglei State Ministry of Health in Collaboration with HIV/AIDS Commission Conduct one Day Consultative Workshops in Bor town, the workshops is aiming at the State and County level for the NSP review/Development and Dialogue for GF application. Dr Achol, the D/Chairperson for the HIV/AIDS Commission in South Sudan call upon the Citizen of South Sudan and Jonglei state in Particular to give the Generation of this time a chance to enjoy their live but should be protected such that they remain alive for the next Generation.

Dr Achol further said that, the most Dangerous place in Juba with high Population with HIV/AIDS infection is Shirkhat, and the most people who are staying in Shirkat are the people from this State of Jonglei and they think that they are save from the Disease while most of the people have contracted it from the bordering areas of Nimule, Kaya, Nadapal, Uganda, Kenya and DR Congo, Dr Achol call upon the citizen of Jonglei State through their Participants to provide theirs Sons and Daughters with Condoms such that they can be able to protect themselves from the Dangerous Disease (HIV/AIDS)

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By Ajang Barach-Magar, Dar es Salaam – Tanzania

images-of-hiv-aids

January 29, 2017 (SSB) — There is no law that prohibits publishing of false or bogus information. In a civilized society, however, doing this should attract dire retributions for those who indulge in it. The nature of punishment can range from constant questioning of the integrity of the culprit’s research to premature termination of their careers.

As they say, my desire is not to track the fall of every sparrow. I have seen a few remarks made in the past and it looks like time is nigh to set the record straight regarding a few factors surrounding the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV/AIDS). The origin of HIV/AIDS is a controversial one. One account holds that it originally plagued monkeys.

The simian immunodeficiency virus or SIV which is the Chimpanzee equivalent of HIV is believed to have mutated into the virus we know it today. Humans might have come into contact with the infected blood of the hunted chimpanzees mainly via accidental cuts. Not much was known about it until 1981 when it was first reported among gay couples in the United States.

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It takes more than one person to transmit HIV. It takes more than one person to fight HIV. Affected or infected this is our fight. Let’s come together to fight HIV. KNOW YOUR STATUS Today. Together we can combat HIV.

By “Together We Can”, Juba, South Sudan

December 12, 2016 (SSB) — HIV/AIDS: HIV stand for human immunodeficiency virus, HIV can lead to the disease call AIDS, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Unlike some others viruses, the human body can’t get rid of HIV completely. So once you have HIV, you have it for life.

HIV attacks the body immune system, specifically the CD4 cells (T cell), which help the immune system fight off infection. If left untreated, it reduces the number of T cell in the body, making person more likely to get infections, over time it can destroy so many cell that body can’t fight off infections and diseases.

These infections are called opportunistic infections or diseases. Cancer take advantage of weak system too, and this is when a person develop AIDS, it the last state of HIV INFECTIONS.

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Joint Commentary by Dr. Thoi and Diktoor Pal Chol, Juba, South Sudan

assuming

Stop assuming

September 16, 2016 (SSB) — Comment by Dr. Loi: There is no medical diagnosis known as “Malaria typhoid” in the conventional medicine. Please be careful in terms of where you go for treatment in Juba. It is very unfortunate that South Sudan Medical Council is silence about the malpractices in the country. Malaria is a parasitic disease transmitted to human by mosquito. Typhoid is a bacterial infection acquired through dinking contaminated drink or eating   contaminated food.

Avoid mosquito and you will not get malaria. Ensure that you drink clean water and eat clean, well cooked food and you will not experience symptoms and signs of typhoid in your entire life. Those who are inventing a new medical diagnosis known as “malaria typhoid” need to check their medical knowledge and probably check their medical qualification as well.

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“There comes a time when the nation is more important than an individual,” said former vice president of Kenya, Professor George Saitoti.

By Pal Chol Nyan, Juba, South Sudan

Interns helping the wounded at Juba Teaching Hospital

May 29, 2016 (SSB)  —-  In a surprise move and according to a well-placed source, the Health Authority circulated a strongly worded letter to all the Heads of Departments in Juba Teaching Hospital directing them, with threats of a carrot and stick policy in case of non-compliance, not to allow the interns to practice in Juba Teaching Hospital. To quote it verbatim, the letter reads” The house officers are not allowed to practice in Juba Teaching Hospital until further notice”. The house-officers or interns by definition are the fresh graduates from the medical school or college of Medicine who are therefore required by law to do a rotational training in the hospitals under the supervision of a senior medical officer or a consultant for a specified period of time to qualify them to become medical officers or competent medical practitioners.

When you graduate from the college of medicine, you have got to do, as an obligation, a clinical training for you to efficiently attain skills in the basics of medicine, paediatric, obstetrics/ gynaecology and surgery. After finishing all the shifts, in principle, you sit for exams and once you pass, you are thereafter registered as a qualified and a proficient medical officer or General Medical Practitioner (GP)/Clinician. Therefore, you can decide whether or not, you want to go and specialize after having acquired enough knowledge or experiences. You cannot be called a medical officer once you just graduate and have not gone through this channel.

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By Ajang Barach-Magar, Nairobi, Kenya

chemotherapy

Cancer and Chemotherapy

March 11, 2016 (SSB)  —-  Few would disagree that cancer has emerged and is currently recognized as one of the leading pathologies that pose the most potent threat to our health. Cancer is loosely defined as an abnormal proliferation or uncontrolled growth of cells. However, this definition is considerably general as cancer refers to over 100 distinct cellular deformities.

Someone once hypothesized that political matters are too important to be left to the politicians a lone. And I’m veering toward similar lines; that matters involving our health should be a primary concern to all of us, not just the Scientists & Doctors. That is why I sought to undertake this incursion.

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By David Matiop Gai, Kampala, Uganda

Nuer white army

South Sudan Rebels: Nuer White Army Fighters

January 26, 2016 (SSB) — With the long suffering and pain of civil war in the Sudan, the longest civil war in Africa, millions of South Sudanese lived with different types of mental illness, and mental health problems such as alcoholic addiction, drugs addiction, personality disorder, defense mechanism or representing problems, social anxiety, insecure and fears, nightmare, survival of rape, and family dysfunctional. All these huge problems were not handled and addressed after comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) in 2005 until today in 2016.

The reasons why are demands of psycho-social counseling remained as the main factor for South Sudan today than tomorrow is because a healthy mind is life; a healthy mind is wealth, and a power point for development. Always sound-minded, mental health and physical fitness, and normality of mind are incorporate development of individuals, families, and the country.  Dr. John Garang said in the past that, “Weak people represent weak government, because where will government get its resources without people?” which mean healthy people in term of brain functioning produce strong productions of government ability. It is also correct to mention that mental treatment is part of government priority when healthy minds know what to do, and not to do, and if South Sudan wants healthy people in the country, they should go along this treatment otherwise the whole nation is not healthy in mind.

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By Lino Lual Lual, Juba, South Sudan

juba

The city of Juba, South Sudan

December 6, 2015 (SSB)  —  Water is essential for human life and environmental as the source of life development on earth. Life is tied so much to water, air and food, while food is tied to water too, but their both shortage are becoming a global issue due to increasing of population and climate change which need new strategies sources of water beside its efficient use together with conservation measures to be an important component of the country’s national water plan.

There are major huge of demanding water resources in South Sudan’s population growth, in industrial development, expansion of irrigated agriculture, massive urbanization and rising standards of living. However, half of the world’s rivers and lakes are seriously polluted of the waterways and surrounding river basins have created millions of environmental refugees. Some of the world’s biggest cities like Beijing, Dhaka, and Mexico City depend heavily on groundwater for their water supply.

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By Malith Alier, Juba

President Kiir and Museveni in Kampala, October 2014

President Kiir and Museveni at the state house, Entebbe, October 2014

In South Sudan, one can encounter tens or even a hundreds of handshakes in a good day like Sunday or SPLA Day celebrations.

Greeting through handshake is an induced affair among family, friends and colleagues as a gesture of social “meeting of the minds.” It goes beyond acceptance and understanding across humanity.

Greeting as a social tool for communication can be done in various ways. It can be through hand wave, signal, verbal or handshake.

It happened that handshake is preferable to all these other mode of passing good wishes. Handshake and bodily contact are very common among close friends and family members who have stayed apart without seeing each other for quite some time. It is not uncommon to see a couple patting their backs with their chests in complete contact. Seen at this portrait, the ones in such contact are in complete meeting of minds as in business agreement. Some people kiss one another as is the case with Ethiopians. Other people or societies have the habit to tapping their fingers in unison to show rhythm.

This writer went to a courtship one day in Juba and was mesmerised by ladies from Ngok Lual Yak who insisted that we should tap our thumbs in the way they do it in that community. This style of greeting made us refresh our traditional handshake to something worth remembering for life.

The handshake we have come to cherish so much has its dangers as exhibited by the recent outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa. Specifically, the countries of Liberia, sera Leone, guinea among others have known that the virus is spread through body fluid like sweat, saliva and other fluids.

The Ebola outbreak reverberates throughout the world and many people originating from West Africa, the epicentre of the virus carry it to far away nations like Belgium, USA and France. This has prompted many countries, South Sudan included, to take precautionary measures against the deadly super virus.

Last Tuesday, the government of South Sudan through a Council of Ministers resolution, banned handshake as a precaution against Ebola virus. Whether the ban will be observed by anyone is another matter altogether considering the fact that the masses have come to live with handshake for very long. For South Sudanese society, refusal to shake hands is considered mean.

This year, the country experienced the outbreak of cholera for the first time since CPA. Cholera is another contagious disease just like Ebola. It can be spread through contact with a patient and kills within a short period if not treated.

Shaking hands further comes with other nuisances like waste of time as well as being an obstacle to other people in public places. On many occasions, individuals who bump into each other would stand just where they met to shake hand and exchange a few words about everything though trivial.

The West African nations are well aware of those dangers associated with shaking hands. Particular individuals who have no custom of using hankies or serviettes blow and rub their noses and swipe the fluid on their clothes. This category of people is the one quick to offer “free” handshake with anyone without warning.

Stories abound about some people who have fore knowledge of the dangers of handshake and decided to use gloves or handkerchiefs to protect themselves from the people above. These self conscious people are often ridiculed for being aware of the unintended consequences of shaking dirty hands. To them, their motto is caveat emptor or simply let the buyer beware.

However, this approach is absentmindedly used against them by complacent traditional supporters of handshake.

Perhaps it is now time to consider further measures beyond handshake. Some people have already decided not to share beds with partners until their country is totally declared free of Ebola.

Final precaution; don’t drink too much, you might forget yourself and unknowingly come in to contact with Ebola carrier travellers in the pubs!


ABSURD SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEFS: A STUMBLING BLOCK TO PROPER HEALTH CARE PROVISION BY HEALTH PRACTITIONERS IN SOUTH SUDAN

By Malueth Jacob Guet

Our south Sudanese society and especially the dinka are deeply immersed in many superstitious beliefs.they have been tied/glued to these beliefs to the extent that any enlightened person /scientist finds it very hard to demystify such long held beliefs as such individuals have and continue to live in fear.

Some of them are harmful because they create unnecessary fear while others are harmless. Here are some of the major superstitious beliefs in Dinka & by the way some of these are common across many tribes in South Sudan

‘Peeth/ Beny e nyin’: it is widely believed by many dinka that some people have evil eyes/ piercing eyes.these people who are called apeeth are thought to be the causes of diseases/illnesses..as such they believe they can put gravels into someone’s eyes to make that person blind or into the stomach to make her/him have abdominal discomfort

When a epidemic strikes like the current cholera outbreak in Juba, it’s considered a curse from the deadancestors which might be angry for one reason or the other

Sudden death is explained as the work of an evil, jealous brother, relative, friend, former business associate or a perceived curse by angry grand parents

When any person experiences visual or auditory hallucinations (seeing things and hearing sounds that are not real , its believed he /she is being tormented by angry dead relatives , in laws , parents, for not either carrying out certain obligations or other reasons

When a person is born with any gross congenital abnormality like deformed fingers, ears, six fingers, they call it ‘chieek’. The elders usually go head to carry out a ritual to appease ‘chieek’ less the child dies

Some of the minor ones are

Don’t cross the body of a person lying down or you will be wishing her /him death

Don’t whistle at night or you will invite ‘kaa pinny’ or snakes

When you stumble using your right or left foot , something bad or good awaits you some where

Don’t beat a child with a broom or child becomes a bed wetter and to stop the bed wetting habit, cane the child using electric fish (deer)

If your teeth fall off, throw them on top of a roof ( i have forgotten why )

That when a child fails exams , it’s the result of someone’s evil plan against the child or jealousy of a co-wive , relatives

An itchy hand means you will soon touch some money / get some money from relatives/friends

When one’s ear rings , there’s someone talking about them some where or some one is backbiting them

Burry a razor blade at your goal post during a match and you wont conced a goal

These are just a few of the many superstitions. I guess most of those who grew up in rural settings in south Sudan might have heard some if not all. I don’t blame our people because superstitions have been there for centuries for example the Italians thought malaria was caused by bad air hence the name ‘MAL’ meaning bad and ‘aria’ meaning air. How ever some are harmless while others are not.

Take for example peeth ,an irrational explanation for cause of some diseases . you get a person who has a staphyloma ,cataract that may require surgical treatment or stomach discomfort that may be sign of irritable bowel syndrome , gastric ulcers , chron’s disease, ulcerative colitis but he/she may instead seek attention from witch doctor therefore not getting the required medical intervention from a qualified health personnel at the right time.

Take another example: an alcoholic, orphaned young man (Deng) in his 20’s, traumatisedby the decades long Sudanese civil war and death of her fiancée,…who begins to present with bizarrebehaviour, aggressiveness together with visual , auditory , olfactory hallucinations( seeing , hearing ,smelling things that are not there).

Though this could be a possible psychiatric case/ schizophrenic case, the relatives may think that Deng is being tormented by his grandparents that he didn’t burry in 1991…further saying the people Deng is seeing are his grandparents. very absurd!

The resulting effect of such beliefs is health care is delayed then finally health denied to the one who’s in need…. It is therefore of paramount importance to educate our people, sensitise them through awareness programs.

Tell them that diseases /illnesses are caused by microbes (small living organisms) and body’s physiological changes. When we don’t get rid of such, we are still a long way from achieving proper health care

Is your wife safe with her doctor?

Posted: September 2, 2013 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary, Featured Articles, Health, Socio-Cultural

Of course, this is a valid question but rather than just craning our neck on the ‘poor’ doctors, we should logically extend the same question to family lawyers, security guards, cooks, auntie/nannies, CEOs, Bosses, and God know where the list ends.

And not just ‘is your wife safe with’ so and so, but also ‘is your husband safe’ with so and so.

At least insofar as the implied message is concerned, it is the rogue doctors/lawyers/CEO/Bosses that are the problem, not the wife/husband, which is a rather far-fetched argument in some cases.

There is no absolute proof that they might not be willing victims of the ‘sin’ or even, dare I say, the initiators in the hope of defraying the cost or just a safe mpango wa kando.

http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000092474&story_title=is-your-wife-safe-with-her-doctor

HIV/AIDS GNAWS SOUTH SUDAN

Posted: August 14, 2013 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary, Featured Articles, Health, Tearz Ayuen

By Tearz Ayuen

I presume everyone knows that being the world’s newest state, South Sudan is faced with a number of challenges. But what everybody doesn’t know though is what exactly these challenges are and how they came or come about. Some of them are: Christianization—overdependence on others – both individual and national, grinding poverty and vitriolic tribal politicking. In this piece, I will focus on diseases, AIDS in particular.

AIDS is coming on all fronts and it is here to stay. It’s robbing the country of its good men, women and youth. It has already claimed many lives, and many people are living with it. Before, we had war widows and orphans. Now, we have HIV/AIDS widows and orphans. Well, how does this virus gain momentum in the world’s baby nation? The following are some of the plausible factors, causes, theories which possibly bespeak endemicity of the virus.

The first possible cause is depicted in the dialogue below. I don’t know what I should call it. Please be my guest: give it a title.

1. Freedom is not free

Mu’die: Wear your condom, Honey.
Paanriak: No, I don’t like wearing condom.
Mu’die: Why? It’s protective, Sweetie.
Paanriak: I know. Just let me eat you without a condom.
Mu’die: Never
Paanriak: Okay Okay….I will give you more money.
Mu’die: Over my dead body.
Paanriak: I will increase your demand by 100%.
Mu’die: No way.
Paanriak: Okay, 200%?
Mu’die: I said no. I’m putting my G-string back on.
Paanriak: Babe, please stay. I beg you.
Mu’die: Nope.
Paanriak: Okay, Okay, Okay, I will give you a thousand dollars.
Mu’die: You’re lying
Paanriak: I’m serious. Wait a minute.
(From a small black briefcase, he removes a bundle of 100-dollar bills).
Mu’die: Baby you’re rich (She purrs).
Paanriak: Look: one hundred, two hundred, three hundred, 4, 5, 6,7,8,9, one thousand.
Mu’die: Now come closer. (Mwaaaah)
Paanriak: (switches off the lights).

2. Breakdown of Societal Norms

With South Sudan now at peace, peoples of various cultural backgrounds are importing some practices – both bad and good. Acculturation is visibly driving out African traditional way of life here. It’s unstoppable. A notably inevitable foreign practice is courtship style. Love relationship.

Back in the day, the art of winning a girl’s heart was golden and revered. It was an important rite of passage. It would take a young man a very long long time to talk a girl into his betweens. That’s four to five years or so. Or two lovers would just abstain until marriage. This was meant to give lovers enough time to study one another, to know each other well.

A girl would die to know what kind of a man her groom-to-be is. Is he weak or strong? A coward or a brave one? Is he a son of a witch or respectable woman? Is his mother impeccable? Does he have siblings? Brothers and sisters? Is he a son of a poor man or of a wealthy one? What is his mother’s mother called? His father’s grandfather? Could we be related?

At least a girl would get to know more about her wooer before opening her thighs. Today, however, it takes a blink of an eye for a boy to make his new girlfriend read classical Arabic:

Monyjooth: How’re you, Halawa?
Nyanthuuk: Fine
(Believe it or not, this girl is in abnormal high-heels – the length of her leg).
Monyjooth: You look familiar. Haven’t we met before, Mrembo?
(They have never ever met in real life – but online, Facebook)
Nyanthuuk: I can’t remember (she blushes).
Monyjooth: It’s okay, Sweetie. Come and sit with me at my table.
Nyanthuuk: No, I am with my friends. I can’t leave them alone. There they’re on the dance floor.
Monyjooth: No, don’t worry about them. I won’t harm you.
Nyanthuuk: Okay. But just a few seconds only.
(They sit at a table. And the dude immediately barks orders at a nearby waitress. The girl makes her orders too. Minutes later, the waitress comes back with two bottles of Snapp and tots of Black Label. And an amorous conversation begins):

Monyjooth: Did you say you do not know me?
Nyanthuuk: Yes. But I’m not sure whether we’ve met before or not.
Monyjooth: Sure?
Nyanthuuk: Yes
Monyjooth: Sure?
Nyanthuuk: No, wait a minute. (With her mouth wide open) OMG! It’s you Johnnie. I didn’t expect to meet you in a place like this. I do like your Facebook updates. When did you arrive in this town?
Monyjooth: It’s been three days now. You know this place is so noisy. I can barely hear you. May we please go to some quieter place?
Nyanthuuk: No
Monyjooth: Come oooon!! We’ll be back quickly.
Nyanthuuk: No.
Monyjooth: Come on, my Queen (He stretches out his hand to hold hers. She accepts. Of course, No allegedly means Yes in the world of women. Allegedly).
(Off they vanish into darkness)

3. Drunkenness

Alcohol is a mysterious liquid. It makes wonders. Each wonder is manifested in each drunk. Depending on the level of intoxication, it makes one talk and talk and talk. Some talk sense, others talk nonsense. It makes others violent. Very wild. It makes others dull and boring.

It eroticizes others. This is the worst group. This type is the favorite target of the virus. After a few bottles of beer, one begins to see unseen things – naked women.

He begins to fall for any girl he lays his eyes on. He wants to talk to any girl in a club. If by any chance he initiates a talk with a loose broad, they end up bonking in an alley or parking lot.

4. Prostitution/Influx of sex workers

The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement has attracted East Africa’s sexually independent women. They have come in all sizes, shapes and colors – fat, slim, light-skinned, short, tall, etc. they had to abandon Kampala’s Kabalagala area and Koinange street in Nairobi for South Sudan’s sex-starved men. They operate in illegally legal brothels in Jebel, Gumbo, Konyo-konyo and other markets in Juba. Their clients are majorly soldiers, businessmen and visiting cattle herders.

Soldiers normally live apart from their wives. This makes some of them give in to strong sexual desires by visiting those places. I don’t have an idea why many young cattlemen travel all the way from camps to sleep with these sex workers. Could it be the craving for brown skin? Or is it failure to endure romantically torturous traditional love relationships in which men wait for centuries before tasting the forbidden fruit.

5. Polygamy

Polygamy is reportedly good. Marry many wives. Beget many children. Gain respect and prestige. But with resource scarcity today, coupled with need for every wife to be satisfied romantically, sexually disgruntled wives tend to seek sexual diet somewhere else. This also makes bad men sleep in hotels with hawkers, knowing that each wife thinks he is in one of her co-wives’ house.

In conclusion,
When we were younger, silly and stupid, teachers tried their best to educate us about the dangers of pre-marital sex – mostly Aids. They tried everything, including some biblical scriptures. Fornication and stuff. They also talked about ABCs of HIV: Abstain, Be faithful to one an unaffected partner and Consistent use of condom.

In secondary school, my teacher, an ecclesiastical dude named Mwangi – in a bid to discourage me and my peers from running after female schoolmates and from contracting HIV, said: “If you want to survive adolescence, if you want to celebrate your 40th birthday, assume that every girl there is in this school is living with the Virus.” Mr. Mwangi please!

However, none of those pieces of advice was heeded. We still ran after girls, both in school and outside. We hardly used condoms. I remember the only time we put it on was when one thought of pregnancy and everything else that it brings forth – beating (What do you know about being kicked in the ribs with Timberland boots, by your lover’s brothers and male cousins?), early fatherhood. What helped and still helps us is our minds. We wear condom in the mind.

So, I would urge every single South Sudanese to not put condom on his phallus but his mind. Mind. And I mean to say: Since it is hard, almost impossible, to heed HIV-related advice, go on dipping your thingy into any hole but make sure your mind wears a condom. I said Mental Condom. Mental condom.

Tearz © 2013

China Pouring Fake Drugs Into Africa, Endangering Millions

Posted: January 6, 2013 by PaanLuel Wël in Africa, Health

29 Dec 2012, 10:43

China Pouring Fake Drugs Into Africa, Endangering Millions

December 28, 2012 | Posted by Nick Chiles

Though China is increasingly becoming the most visible and active foreign presence on the African continent, there is a downside, as revealed by a recent expose in the UK’s The Guardian: As many as a third of the malaria drugs in countries like Uganda and Tanzania are fake or substandard—putting the health of millions at risk—with most of them believed to originate in China and India.

The Guardian report says the drugs look identical to real ones, and the fake ones can only be identified with lab testing. In addition to the malaria drugs, analysis of antibiotics and contraceptives have also turned up fakes. The article says some pills contain no active ingredients, some are partial strength and some the wrong formulation entirely.

According to the Guardian, the fake medications have led to deaths, prolonged illness and increased drug resistance in areas of east Africa.

In response to the Guardian article, China has denied the allegations—but a foreign ministry spokeswoman said through Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, that foreign traders should “procure medicines from legitimate companies through standardized channels.” That sounds like a tacit acknowledgement that the counterfeiting is going on.

“Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily press briefing that the accusations are unfounded, noting that co-operation between the Chinese government and African countries has played an important role in improving the healthcare environment for people in Africa,” Xinhua reported on Thursday night.

China is now Africa’s largest trade partner, with its tentacles reaching into many sectors of African life. Earlier this month, China’s largest English newspaper, China Daily, launched an African edition, continuing a trend of Chinese media expansion into the continent. The trend follows increasingly strong trade partnerships between China and Africa’s fast developing nations. Weekly editions of China Daily will be published in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city. The stat-run paper joins fellow Chinese news outlets China Central Television and Xinhua in the leap to Africa.

“The relationship between China and the African continent is one of the most significant relationships in the world today,” China Daily publisher and editor-in-chief, Zhu Ling told the BBC. “It is growing and complex and not always understood… We hope to set that straight.”

CCTV Africa also launched out of Kenya earlier this year, with Xinhua providing radio service alongside television and print coverage. Xinhua also launched a partnership with a Kenyan mobile firm Safaricom to provide news service by way of mobile devices.

China has spent much of the year advocating its investments in China, promising to help aid in developing infrastructure and trade. The communist republic has become Africa’s largest trading partner, but some analysts believe that the rapidly growing relationship between the two could make Africa too dependent.

The Guardian report on the fake drugs comes as the Sundance Film Festival’s hottest documentary is a movie, titled Fire In Blood, from director Dylan Mohan Gray, focusing on how in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Western governments and pharmaceutical companies blocked low-cost antiretroviral drugs from reaching AIDS-stricken Africa, causing 10 million or more unnecessary deaths.

Apart from the lives lost because of the fake drugs, there are additional concerns about drug resistance building in east Africa.

“It’s a crisis any time someone dies,” Nick White, who chairs the Wellcome Trust’s south-east Asia major overseas programmes and the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (Wwarn). “It’s a massive problem that people have simply ignored. It’s not like a boil that’s beginning to burst because it’s been a problem for a long time. What has happened is we are beginning to recognize it more.”

Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the US Council on Foreign Relations, told the Guardian: “Nobody has a head count – or a body count – on numbers of Africans that have died as a result. But China’s role certainly has been dreadful.”
About Nick Chiles

Nick Chiles is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author. He has written or co-written 11 books and won over a dozen major journalism awards during a journalism career that brought him to the Dallas Morning News, the Star-Ledger of New Jersey and New York Newsday, in addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief of Odyssey Couleur travel magazine.

http://atlantablackstar.com/2012/12/28/ … –millions/

No peace of mind for war-weary South Sudanese

Posted: September 22, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël in Health, Junub Sudan, Reports
Tags:

By Hannah McNeish

JUBA, Kenya, Sept 22, 2012 (AFP) – Staring blankly about his hospital ward, former South Sudanese soldier Ajing Deng has not been the same since getting caught in an enemy bombing raid earlier this year.

He is oblivious to all that goes on and only reacts when a nurse tries to give him another tranquilliser shot.

“Sometimes I sedate patients to stop them from moving,” said Juba’s military hospital head nurse Philip Oluru.

Deng, 30, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He is one of the countless people in South Sudan bearing invisible scars from his country’s decades-long civil war with neighbouring Sudan.

Despite hosting one of Africa’s longest running and bloodiest conflicts that has killed an estimated 2 million people and displaced many more, the new nation has neither psychiatrists nor health facilities to treat cases like Deng.

Deng was among the troops from the South who marched to Heglig, a disputed oil-rich area between Sudan and South Sudan, in April. With no aerial support, the soldiers from Juba were bombed incessantly by Khartoum.

The ex-combatant is still to recover from the experience.

“The patient started talking to himself, that’s why they brought him here. We treated him with typhoid and malaria drugs at first but saw no improvement,” Oluru says, adding that Deng was initially presumed to have fever-induced hallucinations.

But then Deng became restless and couldn’t sit still, Oluru said.

“We tried to tie him down but it didn’t work,” he says.

Deng’s case is far from unique among South Sudan’s battle-weary military, officials say.

“Cases of post-traumatic stress disorder are many within the Sudan’s Peoples Liberation Army. We have so many cases… we cannot help,” says Peter Ajak Bullen, director of the military hospital.

Mental health patients admitted to the hospital have very few options in terms of treatment: sedation and basic counselling from three hospital staff with some training in psychology.

“This is only a short-term solution. It is not enough. Most of these patients are depressed, suicidal and with violent, murderous traits,” Bullen says.

For some of these traumatised patients, suicide has become the only way out.

“Soldiers just shoot themselves,” says psychologist Amasi Ibrahim Adam as she wearily makes her rounds through the wards.

Bullen, the hospital director, knows all too well the dangers that mental health disorders pose in the battlefield.

“In the front line… there are many cases of a colleague shooting another. It’s just because of depression,” he says shaking his head.

“Almost every two weeks there are reports of someone committing suicide or killing someone else. It’s a big problem”, says South Sudan’s military spokesman Philip Aguer.

For civilians suffering from mental health issues here the situation is equally grim.

In a tiny ward in Juba’s public hospital, patient Mathew Hakim is handcuffed to the bed. Despite being heavily sedated, he still manages to scream out snatches of garbled sentences about an Israeli invasion.

“We only have 12 beds. Aggressive patients are taken to the sanatorium at Juba prison,” says senior medical officer George Wani.

Deputy Health Minister Yatta Yori Lugor says that recognition of mental health problems usually extends only to the most obvious cases, such as the naked people who can be seen wandering and shouting in Juba’s streets.

That means that many cases simply go undiagnosed.

With security taking up a large percentage of official expenditure and aid agencies struggling to provide the most basic services, there have been no resources for working out official figures on the number of people affected by PTSD.

The only certainty however, is that the newly formed country is unable to properly care for those afflicted.

“Depressed people don’t need these tranquillisers. They don’t need prison. They need anti-depressants that we don’t have,” says medical officer Wani.


Are the healths providers in South Sudan (both foreign and citizens) qualified/certified professionals or merely a bunch of exploiters?    

Is there any Legislation/Act that protects the consumers of health & disability services in South Sudan? What are the criteria used to decide whether a health professional is certified and allowed to practice, for instance as a doctor? I will really appreciate if someone in South Sudan or elsewhere that is familiar with the system can enlighten me about the general health system in the country.

Health is an extraordinarily sensitive area that requires immediate attention of any given government to make sure that the consumers of health & disability services are protected by the laws of the land.  Otherwise, if not, the government will never know if the rights of its citizens (consumers) are being respected until serious misconduct surfaces or detected in the long run. I know we still have a society where doctors and other professionals are considered with high regards and virtue – nobody dares to question their conducts, whether right or wrong. This is because they are either trusted or people feel inadequate (who am I to question the doctors?) to question them as well as maybe fearful that if they do, they will not be given the treatment they deserved.   
There is a need for a Legislation/Act as well as set up equivalence to the New Zealand’s Health & Disability Commissioner to protect the rights of the consumers, and here is why.  I was compelled to find out more information about the health system after I had found out my mother’s eye was hurt by those who claimed to be “Eye specialists” in Wau.  What even drew my interest is my work in this area (in New Zealand) as Specialist Advocate (Health & Disability Commissioner) and I am quite familiar with the health system – consumers’ rights and providers duties whenever providing health & disability services.     
  
New Zealand has a Legislation/Act called “Code of Consumers’ Rights” that protect the consumers of Health or Disability. There are 10 Rights that includes:  
1.      Respect and Privacy: You should always be treated with respect, including respect for your culture, values, beliefs and personal privacy.
2.      Fair Treatment: No-one should discriminate against you or push you into doing something or making a decision that you are not comfortable with.
3.      Dignity and Independence: Your care and treatment let you live a dignified, independent life.
4.      Appropriate Standards:  Everyone looking after you should work together to make sure that you are treated with care and skill and that you receive the right services for your needs.
5.      Communication: You have the right to be listened to, understood and receive information in whatever way you need. Where possible, an interpreter should be provided if you need one.
6.      Information: Your condition should be fully explained to you, to allow you to make choices for possible treatments. You should be given information on the benefits and side effects of treatments and told how long you may have to wait, who will be treating you and any costs involved. You can ask any questions about the services and expect an honest and accurate answer.
7.      It’s your decision: It is your decision whether to go ahead with treatments or not and you are able to change your mind at any time.
8.      Support: Your condition should be fully explained to you, to allow you to make choices for possible treatments. You should be given information on the benefits and side effects of treatments and told how long you may have to wait, who will be treating you and any costs involved. You can ask any questions about the services and expect an honest and accurate answer.
9.      Teaching and Research: All these rights also apply when you are taking part in teaching or research.
10.  Complaint: You can make a complaint about any aspect of your care or treatment. You should be given information on the process involved in making a complaint so it is easy for you to do so. Your treatment should not suffer if you do make a complaint.
How this unique Code of Consumer Rights is the only Code of Right of its kind in the world with legal rights for consumers and matching duties for providers who are required to respect these rights. It is highly valued by New Zealand consumers. This Code came as a result of an independent inquiry into the actions of the medical profession at National Women’s Hospital in relation to women with cervical cancer. The Commissioner of Inquiry found out that the women patients were not told about their condition or treatment options; discouraged from asking questions about their treatment; entered into research studies without their knowledge or consent as well as being treated without respect.
The Commissioner made a number of recommendations for improving the imbalance between patients and doctors. These were later extended in the Act to include all health and disability consumers and providers. Three key recommendations were for enforceable CODE of RIGHTS as well as Advocates to be on the side of patients/consumers.
The advocate assists consumers who bring their complaints forward about the health or disability services they are unhappy with, as well as provide training/education sessions to both providers and consumers. Serious violation and breaches of the above 10 Code of Consumers’ Rights can lead to prosecution. For example, a doctor who seriously breaches this code can be sent to the Medical Tribunal for disciplining as well as lost his/her license to practice in New Zealand as well as possibly in the group of the Five Country Conference (FCC) (i.e. New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America). The Governments of FCC work together to exchange information about the high-risk situation to reduce the impact of fraud.   
Inappropriate eye operation
My instinct is telling me that there might be a lot of medical negligence and apparent violation of consumers of health & disability rights. I am particularly concerned about how foreign health providers are exploiting the country merely to make money out of the vulnerable populace. This came to my awareness after my own mother‘s eye (one) was operated on in Wau (to remove what they called water in the eye?) and I don’t think it was done by a competent /qualified specialists. It has been four months now since she has this surgery, but she cannot see using that eye. I & my brother who is also in the Diaspora were not informed that it was going to be an operation or how deep it was going to be; otherwise, I/we would have taken her to a neighboring country (e.g. Kenya).  
We eventually decided to take her to Juba for a follow-up and a second opinion and the specialists there (whom I believed were much competent) discovered that there were substantial gashes on her eye, which were caused by that operation. To be precise, she was seeing quite well with that eye before the surgery – it was just that the eye was getting a bit dimmer (something quite normal especially when people get old)…these doctors claimed that there were some water in it, which can be basically removed to see well again. I am trying to find out if South Sudan has any relevant legislation or Act to such carelessness. In other words, I want to make sure that these self-claimed Specialists are not allowed to hurt more people, and I am facilitating with my relatives on the ground to find out if there are laws surrounding such medical misconducts, and probably take them to Court. It’s quite frustrating because of the distance.        
Finally, I would like to appeal to the law makers to frame legislation like the above if there is nothing in place yet to protect the consumers. I am sure many lives will be safe and damages prevented. However, implementing it is an essential component that the laws are adhered to; therefore, it is imperative that a Commission is set to reinforce such legislation as well as inform or educate public (consumers) and providers’ health & disability alike.   
   
Of course, an appropriate (government sponsored) research is required to determine how the current health system can be ameliorated – such investigation can impart the policy and decision-makers to produce an informed Legislation/Act.      
I am happy to be contacted, lest if advocates of health & disability services in South Sudan would like to know how this Code of Consumers’ Rights in New Zealand is sub-guarding and helping the consumers in terms of improving the health and disability systems and holding providers to their professional duties in New Zealand.    

Santino Atem Deng
M.Ed (Hons) Counselling
New Zealand

Ever wonder what it would be like to sleep with a mean film director, a socialite or the guy who does voice-over in movie trailers, or perhaps with one of your Facebook friends? As part of a new safe-sex initiative, the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (SMI) on Tuesday launched an app called Provligget, or Test Nooky, allowing you to do just that…The app allows users to “test sex” with a range of fantasy characters, ranging from a personal trainer, to an unfaithful woman, to a handyman, all portrayed by more or less famous Swedish actors.

http://news.yahoo.com/app-lets-swedes-test-sex-friends-fantasy-figures-175220541.html


Chagas, a tropical disease spread by insects, is causing some fresh concern following an editorial—published earlier this week in a medical journal—that called it “the new AIDS of the Americas.”

More than 8 million people have been infected by Chagas, most of them in Latin and Central America. But more than 300,000 live in the United States.

The editorial, published by the Public Library of Science’s Neglected Tropical Diseases, said the spread of the disease is reminiscent of the early years of HIV…………

Read more….

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/chagas-tropical-disease-really-aids-145745645.html