Peace, Human Rights & Health: Part 1

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What is Peace?

The Njoroges are happily married for almost forty years. They have been blessed by four children, three triplets who are girls and one boy. Two of the girls are already electrical engineers and work for a leading engineering firm in Algeria. One of the girls is a housewife. The boy, Alfred, got addicted to alcohol and is currently undergoing rehabilitation.

The couple are always happy until when Alfred confronts them. Alfred is not yet married while his sisters have stable families. Alfred finds it difficult to adapt to life without alcohol. Sometimes, he escapes from the rehab center and go back home at midnight. He bangs the door and disturb the peace of the duo who by then are enjoying the moonlight night. Mr. Njoroge quarrels his wife for not bringing up the child well. The wife cries not knowing what to do. What is wrong with the family?

The Njoroges are not in harmony. Peace is defined as a state of tranquility or quiet within a system. Alfred disturbs the peace of his parents when he comes home drunk. He makes Mr. Njoroge disturb the harmony his wife had the whole night. He blames her for the wrong upbringing of their child.

Peace can also be defined as:

  • Inner peace of mind
  • Absence of war
  • Pact to end hostility
  • Harmony in personal relations.

Peace is subjective. One’s peace my not necessarily mean the same to the other. Therefore, for the benefits of peace to be seen, there must be a reduction in violence. This is called positive peace.

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For our case, Alfred must reduce the frequency of coming back home drunk and disturbing the good time of his parents. This will mean that Mr. Njoroge will have no reason to brawl his wife about the bad direction she gave her son during childhood.

What about negative peace? This refers to complete absence of direct violence. If Alfred decides to completely stop coming home drunk, which means that he has to adhere to his rehabilitation schedule, then we call this negative peace.

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Do you know that peace is different from harmony?

Harmony includes the notion of freedom, justice, equality or sustainable development of basic human needs.

 

 

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25 Facts about Left handed people

Scientific Left Handed Facts

  • Make up between 5% and 10% of the population (depending on who you ask)
  • More likely to have allergies
  • More prone to migraines
  • More likely to be insomniacs
  • Use the right side of the brain the most
  • Three times more likely to become alcoholics – the right side of the brain has a lower tolerance to alcohol!
  • More likely to be on extreme poles of the intelligence scale
  • Tend to reach puberty 4 to 5 months later than right handers
  • More likely to suffer stuttering and dyslexia
  • Twice as likely to be a man
  • Better at 3D perception and thinking
  • Better at multi-tasking
  • Live on average 9 years less than right handed people (this study was disproved!)
  • 39% more likely to be homosexual

Interesting Left Handed Trivia

  • Left handed pens are a thing! Who knew!?
  • Make especially good baseball players, tennis players, swimmers, boxers and fencers (almost 40% of the top tennis players are lefties)
  • Celebrate left handed day once a year – August 13th – International Left Handers Day
  • Draw figures facing to the right
  • Recover from strokes faster
  • More likely to pursue creative careers
  • Of the seven most recent U.S Presidents, 4 have been left handed
  • Left handed college graduates go on to become 26% richer than right handed graduates
  • On a QWERTY keyboard there are 1447 English words typed solely with the left hand, whilst only 187 are typed with the right hand.

Bizarre Left Handed Statistics

  • Adjust to seeing underwater quicker
  • Less able to roll their tongue than a righty
  • Nails grow faster on the left hand than the right

 

Myths you had about a medical student

 

Lend me your attention. I hate myths, I love facts. When writing this post, I may refer to medical students only. At the back of your mind, I mean anyone doing a medical related course.

Many a time people have had myths about medical students. Myths that must be scrapped off. They must be buried and forgotten. But wait, why? Because a medical student is the same as any other student.

  1. Medical students are geniuses. Brother, you got it wrong. I find mathematics and physics courses demanding for more space in the grey matter than medicine.
  2. Medical students come from well off families. Its only fate that landed them there. Not riches.
  3. Medical students are perpetual smokers and drinkers. To some extent, yes. But every Tom, Dick and Harry is liable to abusing drugs.
  4. Boys doing medicine love girls and sex. Hey girl, shut up and accept the meme you say that all men are the same.
  5. Girls doing medicine love money. This one calls for a debate.
  6. A medical student is always busy reading. Absolutely wrong. The good thing about medicine is concept. What will keep you reading is whatever you are not interested in.
  7. A medical student never gets below 80% in exams. Did you know that marks are not plucked on trees? Wait till you see staggering grades of your medic friend.
  8. Medical students stay in school forever. Ladies give birth even before completing school, and start families. Don’t be cheated.
  9. Medical students are introverts. Maybe the friends you have are introverts. I love my classmates because they are outgoing. You will never miss them in parties.
  10. Medical students observe a healthy lifestyle. Actually, the patients do well than physicians when it comes to healthy diet and behaviors.

Med school is never smooth

Since my childhood, I ever wanted to be a doctor. It was my father’s footsteps that I chose to follow. At my second class, I posed for a photo, donned in my school uniform with a plastic smile on my face, carrying a huge medical book. I could not fathom it’s contents but I do now.
Then came high school, where education was pushed inside you with a hypodermic needle of learning. I loved biology. I though medicine was just biology and nothing else. After completing my fourth grade, I was given a chance to study my dream career, which am finding hard to handle. Not because I don’t have content, but because I never have the chance to write what I read for. During my three years, this is what I have realized.
1. Med school is more than the basic biology. You meet mathematics, the difficult chemistry, and even Information Technology.
2. Time is always available. The slogan that time is not there is long faded. It only depends on your priorities.
3. The notes on the first, last and at the corners of the pages are the once set in exams.
4. That which you ignore will always be set in exams.
5. You will read and have the knowledge but you will never please the examiner.
6. If you don’t know you don’t know.
7. It’s right to help a friend during an exam but intelligently. He might be a better doctor after doing masters in what he likes.
8. Doing a supplementary might be a norm, but rewinding the class might send you into a comma.
9. good doctors are those who spent many years in med school, so do not worry if you remain behind.
10. Doctors are not well paid. use your mind to get at the top.

Malaria protein could provide a wide range of cancer treatment

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Malaria protein could give us a broad cancer treatement

Malaria has been a menace in Sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world, with about 3.2 billion people at risk of contracting it (World Health Organization, 2015). WHO also states that in 2015, Africa had 89% cases and 91% of malaria deaths. In spite of this, scientist have spent sleepless nights to do more research on malaria and its protein, and found that it could aid in cancer treatment.

Tumor cells, placenta and malaria have something in common; a sugar. Not just any sugar but one that can pave way for development of broad cure effective against ranges of cancer. This discovery was published in a book called Cancer Cell, as a result of collaboration between the University of British Columbia, the University of Copenhagen and BC Cancer Agency, and offers an explanation to observations scientists longed to explain. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that in low transmission settings where women of reproductive age have relatively little acquired immunity to malaria, there is pregnancy associated with malaria. But the scientists were more interested about another possible cause of malaria in pregnancy, which could lead to an incredible solution to cancer.

They discovered that the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum makes infected red blood cells to produce and present a malarial protein called VAR2CSA, which sticks to a type of sugar exclusively found in the placenta, which is also present in tumor cells. It was also interesting to find out that both placental and tumor cells divide rapidly. “Scientists have spent decades trying to find out similarities between placenta tissue and cancer, but we didn’t have technology to find it,’’ study coauthor and project manager Mads Daugaard in a statement. “When my colleagues discovered how malaria uses VAR2CSA to embed itself in the placenta, we immediately saw its potential to deliver cancer drugs in a precise controlled way to tumors.”

The researchers also tested the protein against normal and cancer cells and encouragingly, the drug displayed specificity to cancer cells only. They saw it kill up to 95% of the cancer cells lines investigated including brain, blood, prostate and breast. This was done in a culture dish, but they went further and tested it in mice, which gave an impressive result. Another two companies in the world are already working towards developing a compound suitable for trials in humans.

There is some irony that a disease destructive as malaria can be exploited to treat another dreaded disease. Should this work, it would be easier to treat multiple cancers using a single drug. The long term effect will be cheap and safer chemotherapy.

MEN GET BREAST CANCERT TOO

2100-men-get-breast-cancer_blc_02-FIMEN GOT BREASTS TOO, SO IS BREAST CANCER

Cancer still claims more lives globally with the World health Organization (WHO) estimating annual morbidity and mortality at 14 million and 8.2 million respectively. This prevalence is more in developing countries due to poor economy and less awareness. WHO also states that about 52100 deaths occur due to breast cancer annually. Most of it is associated with women. But the figures still include men who die due to breast cancer, though minimum. Therefore, more must be done to make men aware that they are also culprits.

According to the American Cancer Foundation, breast cancer in men is 100 times less common than in women. Females develop breasts faster than men especially during puberty, due to high levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones. Men have these hormones too, but in little amounts. The less breast tissue in men account for minimal cancer risks, although other factors can also contribute. Since men also have breast tissue, they are prone to breast cancer.

Risk factors for breast cancer in men include age (above 60 years), history of cancer in the family, Klinfelter’s syndrome ( Genetic condition related to high estrogen levels in the body), chronic liver disorders, heavy alcohol use obesity, exposure to large amounts of radiation early in life and gynecomastia (Enlargement of breasts in men). 

If you are a man, you may look out for the following symptoms:

Painless, tender lump, hardening or thickening in breast.

Dimpling, puckering or redness of the breast skin.

Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple.

Inverted nipple or other parts of the breast.

Nipple discharge.

Many men will feel embarrassed when they have these symptoms. Others will ignore due to lack of knowledge that they can get breast cancer. This delays diagnosis and treatment. Survival rates are similar in both men and women if found at the same stage. This also makes it easier for cancer to spread to neighboring lymph nodes. Survival is high if diagnosed early. Men, Be Ware!!

DOCTOR’S CRY

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Ahem. Is everything ready? I’ve got a whole bunch of emotions to project now. Let’s start.

Once upon a time, when I was born in this creepy, large and harmful world, I never knew what I would land into. All things seemed the same, I was very naïve about life. I passed through early childhood school, scooping awards not knowing where they were leading me to. Then came this time when I had to graduate from childhood to bigger childhood. Yes. My primary school.

Have you ever had a chance to learn in a public school? Where you fend for yourself, you hustle for transport means amidst of the not so busy Kisumu traffic? You are passed by private cars, shuttles and school vans and buses of those in private schools? Sometimes you walk in the sun and beat the rain just to quench the thirst for education? Suddenly a few lead this life. But among the few, they understand what is meant by suffering for the better. I managed to meander through up to my eighth grade, not managing to appear in the newspaper as my allies did. What next? Another level of graduation to serious adulthood. Secondary school life.

Boarding school life was one of my dreams that Maranda High School gave me. Trust me. I know what is meant by struggling through brave and sharp minds to the pinnacle of the list. The top is meant for chosen few but still it means no crime to lure them leave you the place just for a bite. The four years were like a standstill of time. I don’t know whether someone held the clock and made it go reverse. From dust, I still managed to beat my way through, not so good though but my primary school dream of being in the newspaper came through. Never mind that. Then the best and worst part came. I graduated to eldership, yes! Campus life.

Someone told me there is a lot of freedom in campus. I agreed with him. It was my loving Dad. A serious parent never lets their children go to campus without advice, although they say it, guys just listen and say “Tumezoea kuambiwa” (we are used to being told). It’s not bad, even the Bible quoted, remind them even if they know. I am still stuck here. My dream of being a doctor will one day come true, and I will continue with this piece until I graduate again to working hood.

Folks, remember that God never lets you down. Those challenges you face are for your own good. Nobody will hold them for you. But above all, never give up. Trust in yourself, in your efforts, for you will see through your ambitions.