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Health Bulletins
May, 2012



Globalization refers to the increasingly global relationships of culture, people, and economic activity. Globalization also has considerable effects on health that are mediated by income growth and distribution, economic instability, the availability of health and other social services, stress and other factors. In here we will explain to you how globalization is linked to health. It would be overly simplistic and inaccurate to describe globalization as either “good” or “bad” for health. For example, spatial change is leading to increased migration of people throughout the world. For high-income countries, the fear stems from the accompanied burden of unhealthy populations migrating from the developing world. Additionally, high-income countries export harmful products (e.g. tobacco, fast food) to other parts of the world. The migration of health professionals from poorer countries offers benefits to understaffed health systems in high-income countries.


Similarly, temporal change affects the spread of disease. The speed of modern transportation systems means that infections can potentially move around the world within a few hours (e.g. SARS). On the other hand, modern technology potentially enables the health community to respond more quickly to such emergencies.


Finally, cognitive changes brought about by advertising and marketing Western consumer goods have facilitated the global spread of so-called “lifestyle” diseases (e.g., obesity) in certain third world countries. Global consciousness is also leading to the increased sharing of principles, ethical values and standards that underpin decision making about health.


Thus it is essential for the health community to appreciate that, the effect of globalization on health is both positive and negative!

Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a digestive disturbance within the abdomen and intestine. IBS does not lead to serious diseases such as cancer. In here we will focus on this syndrome by providing an overview about the symptoms and the causes.


What are the symptoms of IBS?


The most common symptoms of IBS are:

• Abdominal pain and cramping,

• Diarrhoea, constipation or sometimes both

• Bloating and swelling of your abdomen

• An urgent need to go to the toilet

• A feeling that you have not fully emptied your bowel

• Passing mucus from your back passage


What causes IBS?


Researchers have yet to discover any specific cause for IBS, but some causes might include:

• When the contents move quickly through the colon, the colon loses its ability to absorb fluids leading to diarrhoea. Oppositely, the movement inside the colon is too slow, which causes extra fluid to be absorbed leading to constipation.

• People with IBS might have a highly sensitive colon that is affected by stress and certain foods.

• People with IBS, have abnormal levels of serotonin causing problems with

bowel movement, motility, and sensation.

• Researchers have reported that IBS may be caused by a bacterial infection in the gastrointestinal tract.

• Researchers have also found very mild celiac disease in some people with symptoms similar to IBS.


IBS symptoms can be eased, so please consult your physician if you

suspect having any of the aforementioned symptoms

1) Is smokeless tobacco safe?


It’s true that many people think smokeless tobacco isn’t as bad as cigarettes. But still its nicotine content is harmful and can cause cancer of the tongue or salivary glands.


2) How should I change my lifestyle after a heart attack?

There is evidence that lifestyle affects your risk of having a heart attack. You can change your lifestyle by:

• Making changes to your diet

• Regular exercise

• Quitting smoking

• Checking your weight

• Cardiac rehabilitation


3) Why should I use dental floss?

Dental floss is a plastic thread that removes food debris and plaque from areas your toothbrush can’t reach. This method of taking care of your teeth

helps prevent gum disease and teeth decay.


4) Can HIV be passed to an unborn baby in pregnancy or through



It’s possible for HIV to be passed from a woman to her baby:

• during pregnancy

• during labour and birth

• through breastfeeding

However, if you receive treatment for HIV during pregnancy and do not breastfeed your baby, the risk of your baby getting HIV is less than 2%. Without treatment, the risk is around 25%.


Insomnia is characterized by difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or both, or the perception of poor quality sleep. Insomnia may therefore be due to inadequate quality or quantity of sleep. Many people remain unaware of the behavioral and medical options available to treat insomnia. Insomnia is generally classified based on the duration of the problem. Not everyone agrees on one definition, but generally:



Recycling turns waste or unused products into valuable and usable ones.

Recycling can be very beneficial to the society and can harvest many social, economic and health returns. Thus it is important for our society to understand the benefits of recycling and some tips that will help maintain a better environment.


Benefits of Recycling

• Recycling protects and expands jobs and creates a new industry.

• Recycling reduces the need for landfilling and incineration.

• Recycling prevents pollution caused by the manufacturing of products from virgin materials.

• Recycling saves energy.

• Recycling decreases emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change.

• Recycling conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals.

• Recycling helps sustain the environment for future generations.


Top Recycling Tips

1. REduce, REuse and REcycle: Try to reduce the amount of material that will fill landfills with waste. Secondly, re-use the waste material that comes from merchandise (e.g. packaging). Finally recycle every recyclable item.

2. Know what products are recyclable.

3. Buy recycled: this will eliminate waste and the need to extract more virgin materials.

4. Recycle your water: For example you can rearrange your plumbing so that rainwater or wastewater from your shower and tub is used to flush your toilet.

5. Recycle your greenery by placing garden cuttings and your green kitchen into an outdoor or indoor composter.

6. Recycle your electronics e.g. batteries, cell phones etc…

7. Donate anything you no longer use.

You can see recycling is a simple way that you, as a consumer, can help out the environment.

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(English and Arabic)
See also


Transient insomnia

Short term insomnia




1-3 weeks

More than 3



Jet lag, stress (divorce, work), changes in shift work, withdrawal from alcohol or tobacco, physical symptoms (e.g. pain,





Bipolar disorder


acid reflux

disease, sleep

apnea, Alzheimer’s

Disease, heart

failure, asthma,


When to Seek Medical Care?

• If insomnia lasts longer than three to four weeks, or sooner if it interferes with a person’s daytime activities and ability to function.

• Insomnia is generally a symptom of an underlying situation or another medical or psychological problem, which may need to be addressed first or at the same time.

• Generally, a person will not be hospitalized for most types of insomnia. However, accidents may result from poor coordination and attention lapse seen with sleep deprivation.

• Worsening pain or increased difficulty breathing at night also may indicate that a person needs to seek emergency medical care.

An estimated 30%-50% of the general population is affected by insomnia, and 10% have chronic insomnia.

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