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Health Bulletins
April, 2012

Heath Systems

 

A good health system delivers quality services to improve the health of people, when and where they need them. The exact configuration of services varies from country to country, but in all cases requires a robust financing mechanism; a well-trained and adequately paid workforce; reliable information on which to base decisions and policies; well-maintained facilities and logistics to deliver quality medicines and technologies. In this article we will provide guidelines for good health systems.

 

A well-functioning health system responds in a balanced way to a population’s needs and expectations by:

- Improving the health status of individuals, families and communities

- Defending the population against what threatens its health

- Protecting people against the financial consequences of ill-health

- Providing equitable access to people-centered care

- Making it possible for people to participate in decisions affecting their health and health system.

 

Without strong policies and leadership, health systems do not spontaneously provide balanced responses to these challenges, nor do they make the most efficient use of their resources. As most health leaders know, health systems are subject to powerful forces and influences that often override rational policy making. These forces include disproportionate focus on specialist curative care, fragmentation in a multiplicity of competing programs, projects and institutions, and the pervasive commercialization of health care delivery in poorly regulated systems.

 

Keeping health systems on track requires a strong sense of direction, and coherent investment in the various building blocks of the health system, so as to provide the kind of services that produce results.

Parkinson’s Disease

 

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a slowly progressing disease of the nervous system that causes people to lose control over their muscles. Here’s an easy-touse guide to a complex illness: Parkinson’s disease. This guide offers brief information on Parkinson’s symptoms, tests and treatment.

Symptoms

- Trembling of hands, arms, legs, jaw and face

- Stiffness of the arms, legs and trunk

- Slowness of movement

- Poor balance and coordination

- Sleep problems

- Trouble chewing, swallowing or speaking

- Depression

 

Risk factors

Age: offset is usually in middle or late life, and the risk continues to increase with age (onset average age 57),

Heredity: genetics may play a role but the chance increases by no more than about 4-6%,

Sex: men are more likely to develop PD than women,

Exposure to toxins (e.g. pesticides) may lead to developing PD

Diagnosis

Medical history: As part of your medical history, your doctor will want to know about any medications you take and whether you have a family history of Parkinson’s.

Neurological exam: This examination includes an evaluation of your walking and coordination, as well as some simple hand tasks.

There’s no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but medications and in some case, surgery (e.g. deep brain stimulation) may be helpful. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, such as physical therapy to improve your mobility range of motion and muscle tone, a healthy diet and exercise.

 

PD is not by itself a fatal disease and the average life f a PD nerally the same as for people who do not have the disease.

1) What is Gynaecomastia?

Gynaecomastia is a common condition that causes boys’ and men’s breasts to become larger than normal. It is most common in teenage boys and older men.

 

2) What are bruises?

Bruises are bluish or purple-coloured and tender patches that appear on the skin when tiny blood vessels, called capillaries, break or burst underneath.

 

The blood from the capillaries leaks into the soft tissue under your skin, causing the discolouration. Over time this fades through shades of yellow or green.

 

3) Will eating red and processed meat give me cancer?

There is evidence that eating a lot of red or processed meat increases your risk of bowel cancer. People who consume more than 90g a day of red and processed meat should cut down their consumption to 70g a day.

 

4) What are side effects?

Side effects or adverse effects are unwanted symptoms caused by medical treatment. All medicines can cause side effects, particularly if they’re not used as prescribed. The risk of getting side effects varies from person to person and they range from mild (e.g. nausea) to severe (e.g. life threatening conditions).

 

5) What is the body mass index (BMI)?

BMI is a measure used to check if individual weight is healthy for their height. Ideal BMI is in the range of 18.5- 24.9

- 25 to 29.9 is overweight

- 30 to 39.9 is obese

- 40 or more is very obese

Allergy

After four months of rain, snow and bitter cold weather most spring allergy free people welcome the sight of the first bloom of spring. Spring or hay allergy starts when the trees start to bloom and the pollen gets airborne. In this article, we will provide you with an overview about spring allergy!

 

Pollen are tiny grains released into the air by plants (e.g. pine, olive, cedar,palm) for the purpose of fertilizing other plants. Breathing in pollen triggers the immune system to release antibodies which attack pollen - leading to the release of histamines into the blood. The following table illustrates the symptoms and ways for treatment of spring allergy:

Water Pollution

Adequate supply of fresh and clean drinking water is a basic need for all human beings on the earth, yet our world is witnessing water pollution at an alarming rate. In almost all cases the effect is damaging not only to individual species and populations, but also to the natural “Biocoenosis”

 

biological communities. In this article, we will focus on the effects of water pollution on human health.

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Symptoms

Treatments

Runny nose, sneezing

Antihistamines

Watery eyes

Eye drops

Coughing, congestion

Decongestants

Dark circles under the eyes

Rest and a balanced diet

Fever

Cromolyn sodium nasal spray

To enjoy this spring, try these tips:

- Try to stay indoors to avoid pollen and dust,

- Keep your doors and windows closed and air purifiers turned on to keep allergens away,

- Clean areas where pollen may collect e.g. vents, bookshelves, carpet,

- Shower and wash your hair after going outside.

Spring allergy is widespread and affects up to one in five people!

Water pollutants

Effects on human health

Pesticides

- Damage the nervous system

Fluorides

-Yellowing of teeth and damage of spinal cord

Nitrates

- ‘Blue baby’ syndrome: restriction of oxygen in infants

- Increased ulcers

- Digestive tract cancers

Arsenic

- Liver and nervous system damage

- Vascular diseases

- Skin cancer

Heavy metals

- Damage to the nervous system and the kidney

- Metabolic disruptions

Chlorinated solvents

- Reproduction disorders

Petrochemicals

- Lung cancer

Salts

- Unsuitable for drinking and irrigation

Additionally, exposure to polluted water can cause diarrhea, skin irritation, respiratory problems, and other diseases, depending on the pollutant that is in the water body. Untreated water provides an optimum habitat for insects (e.g. mosquitoes) and parasites that act as vectors for infectious diseases.

 

Among these diseases are malaria, dengue and others that cause significant damage to human health. Extent of contamination of the seas and oceans are so large that many countries set health standards in the content of these or other harmful substances.

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