Tag Archives: health

Ebola Heroes

It is amazing how every crisis has a hero who puts their own interests down for the sake of another. Ebola is no different. Whereas most of us would rather be miles away from the infection, there are people who cannot sit around, reading about it in the paper while other human beings suffer. The world media has focused attention on the efforts of Samaritan’s Purse and Medecins Sans Frontier. Well deserved praise of people from outside the continent, who

Kenya is wrong on Ebola

On 13th August – the World Health Organization issued a statement putting Kenya on the list of ‘high risk’ countries for Ebola transmission. Reason being that Kenya airways have many flights to countries that already have a serious Ebola crisis. Today- 14th august, President Kenyatta says ‘Kenya will not shun West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak…..’ The WHO tells us that as of 11th August – 1975 people have been infected with the virus and 1069 have died of

A different look at HIV transmission

Did you see the DN2 cover story in yesterday’s (5th August 2014) Daily Nation ? It was about the risk of HIV spreading from the homosexual to heterosexual world by bisexuals. The three men interviewed (Elly, Otieno and Evans) have sex with men to make money while having a girlfriend on the side. http://mobile.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/Bisexuality-gay-HIV-Aids-Jennifer-Wambua/-/1950774/2408034/-/format/xhtml/-/hy1jpu/-/index.html In the western world, HIV-1 transmission networks among Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) rarely include women and scientists have been interested in finding out

Poisoning in little children

When little ones learn to crawl, everything they come across has to be tasted. The tongue seems to be their most effective way of exploring the world. When my friends and I had toddlers crawling about the house, absolute silence from them put us in instant panic mode. ‘What is that baby of mine chewing on?’ we wondered as we searched for them. We found millipedes, dead gecko’s and poo in mid-chew a few times, little faces twisted in a

Health, demons and superstition

If you were to believe some people, the devil lurks in every corner. When a common cold is spreading in this cold season – there are people ‘binding the devil’ and praying that it will not reach them. Even among those who sat in biology classes and will put ‘virus’ as the cause of common cold and ‘droplets’ as the means by which it spreads – in their answer sheets on exam papers. I once had a friend who would

Fighting FGM- Part II

The female circumcision debate has heated up in the media and in parliament . I have followed the discussion in The Daily Nation and there are some rather interesting tit bits. Take this letter to the editor by a regular contributor.     She was of the opinion that slapping a ban on FGM is not enough and explains that if these women are given something else to dream about, the practise will die.

The devil in health-part II

I did spend some time wondering whether this topic was worth writing about – but since i had read the literature I thought why not. We scientists don’t like to talk about demon possession, its one of those topics deemed totally uncool, unscientific and oh so unlearned to get hooked on. However, we can’t ignore this discussion in Africa, as it permeates a lot of our life. It especially affects our outlook on mental health.

The devil in health

As science sheds light on disease causation, attributing ill health to the devil is shifting to the periphery more and more. Take the example of Kilifi in the days when malaria was killing hundreds of children a year. A child that had cerebral malaria was thought to have been attacked by a spirit that hated bad smells and children suffering from convulsions were exposed to bad smells to drive the spirits away. Cerebral malaria has a high fatality rate and

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