MAKING A LIFE SAVER: The Midwives of tomorrow

On a chilly Wednesday morning, I find myself inside an examination room. Being a student myself, I had a longtime imagination of what an examination room looks and feels like, but this one is unlike any other I have been to before.

It’s one with beds, medical equipment, birthing mothers and new born babies. Although volunteers and in some cases dolls are used, for students of the Kibuli School of Nursing and Midwifery (KSNM), this exam is done in a nearly real life labour ward.

And just like in the real world, there are no answer sheets or benches for midwives to sit on. Your actions earn you marks from the watchful invigilators (Professional Midwives).

Any slight mistake could lead to failure. Failure in this exam could in the real world translate to the death of a mother or newborn child.

The exam is done in a nearly real life labour ward with watchful invigilators (professional midwives) awarding marks

This exam challenges students in five key areas (stations) that are crucial in the birthing process, having not more than 10 minutes to complete each.

In simple terms, from the moment a pregnant woman steps into a labour ward, up to when the baby is handed to its mother for the first breastfeeding.

Although this may seem simple to some, consider this; there are no specific actions to perform at each station. And just like in the real world, not all mothers give birth normally or do their babies come out breathing.

So the moment you walk to a station (in the exams), you don’t know what to expect.

Kamusiime Gloria, an examinee gives the Kamusiime Gloria, an examinee gives the “OK” sign to confirm a normal heartbeat of a newborn baby

Moments later without notice, she is given a scenario where the baby's heartbeat has stopped and she has to resuscitate the baby☝Moments later without notice, she is given a scenario where the baby’s heartbeat has stopped and she has to perform resuscitation.

To get a first person account of how challenging the exam is, I talked to Anek Sandrina who is pursuing a Diploma in Midwifery at KSNM.

Unlike other students who did the exam, Anek already has a certificate in midwifery, making her the perfect benchmark to find out how challenging the exam is.

According to Anek, it is the fourth station that challenged her most, also known as “The initial assessment of the mother”. Anek was given a scenario of a pregnant woman who was having convulsions (uncontrollable contractions of muscles) but with normal B.P (Blood Pressure).

An invigilator (with yellow file) watches as a student examinee performs ☝An invigilator (with yellow file) watches as a student examinee performs “The initial examination of the mother”, a crucial step in the lead up to delivery

According to Anek, she “couldn’t take any intervention to help the mother out”.

The intense and no room for error nature of these exams is challenging, but according to Sr. Nakigudde Fatuma, a Midwifery Tutor and the Deputy In charge Clinicals at KSNM, “This is like a preparatory examination for the forthcoming state final exams which they (students) do at the end of their course”.

The purpose of these exams is to “assess whether students have understood what has been taught”, she adds. The pre-state exams consist of 4 written papers with different subject combinations as per discipline of training.

The practical puts the student’s class skills to the test in a nearly real life labour ward. All this is because in a few months’ time, these students will be handling real mothers with convulsions, and newborn babies in need of resuscitation.

So the harder they are trained and tested now, the better they will perform when faced with real challenges in the labour ward. KSNM passes out an average of 35 midwives a year with Certificates or Diplomas.

And with Uganda making great strides in as far as maternal health is concerned, it is the future responsibility of these midwives to make sure that pregnancy as a cause of death is eliminated in Uganda.

Thanks for reading, please follow Adam’s blog for more stories. Also follow me on Facebook (Walusimbi Adam Media), Twitter (@adamwalusimbi) & Instagram (@walusimbiadam).

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Entebbe ready for #RotaryCR17

Scenic routes, great weather plus hundreds of fresh out of highschool Nkumba University freshers 😂. What else could you ask for? Slay Queens/Kings

Well, all the above is only but a fraction of what you’ll find at the Rotary Cancer Run 2017 (In Entebbe) which takes place this Sunday (27th August 2017).

Not in Entebbe??? There’s nothing to worry about 😎. There are 31 other venues countrywide that are hosting the Rotary Cancer Run at the same price (20k) for the same reason: “..construction of Linear accelerator bunker at St. Francis Nsambya Hospital”.

This “Linear accelerator bunker”, pheew.. that’s a long name, let’s just call it a bunker. This bunker will house the brand new cancer machine that was bought the last time out, so that we get to take the fight to the enemy (Cancer).

The run will start at 7:00 on Sunday morning from the Mayor’s Gardens in Entebbe. Heading towards Kitooro, Entebbe Airport, Nakiwogo among others places depending on the distance one wants to go for (5, 10 or 21km).

The Uganda Red Cross will provide first aid to those who need it and Jibu Water will take care of refreshments. Uganda Police, ENHAS (Entebbe Handling Services), DAS Handling Ltd, NMS (National Medical Stores), are among the organizations involved in the Cancer Run in Entebbe.

And if you haven’t got your ticket for the run, check the image below for details:

After getting your ticket, go prepare your running shoes, and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook (Walusimbi Adam Media), Twitter (@adamwalusimbi) & Instagram (@walusimbiadam) for I will cover the event for the online audiences.

Type of shops around you determine health of your heart

According to the World Heart Federation, an estimated 17.3 million people die of heart related diseases every year with over 1.25 million of those coming from Africa.

Many of us would be pleased to live in a neighbourhood where a KFC or even a “Maama Naki’s” chips and chicken shop is a stone’s throw away, but a new research study found a link between signs of early heart disease and the types of shops/stores surrounding where we live.

The research study was published earlier this week in the medical journal, Circulation which is run by the American Heart Association.

As much as chips, chicken and deep fried foods of sorts are highly regarded delicacies, but their impact on our health when consumed in huge amounts is devastating, especially to our hearts. And nothing fuels the consumption of such foods than when the shops selling them are the nearest to our homes.

This means one can easily grab these for lunch, supper and maybe for breakfast as opposed to healthier foods such as vegetables and fruits. In the case of an ordinary university student in Uganda, walking past chips, chicken and rolex shops near his/her hostel to go buy fruits or veggies at a market 400 metres away is a waste of time, after all there’s a pile coursework that needs to be done.

Dr. Jeffrey Wing, an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health at Grand Valley State University, Michigan and a co-lead author of the research said; “The lack of healthy food stores may help explain why people in these neighborhoods have more heart disease,”

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Consumption of fruits & vegetables build a healthier heart

The healthy foods in question are mainly fresh vegetables and fruits. But for the ordinary African, the consumption of vegetables is often regarded in society as a “poor man’s food” which makes the consumption of chips, chicken, burgers.. et cetera the order of the day, in a continent where very few like to be associated with poverty.

According to the World Heart Federation, an estimated 17.3 million people die of heart related diseases every year with over 1.25 million of those coming from Africa.

One can argue that a huge portion of those people could have had the chance to survive heart diseases, had it not been for the unhealthy food shops that surrounded them and continue to surround us today.

Thanks a lot for reading. You can follow Adam’s blog for more articles and can as well share these articles through your social media platforms to your friends and families. Thank you!!

Is your TV slowly killing you?

Symptoms include chest pains and shortness of breath, things one can get from asthma or even excessive smoking.

News, football, movies, music and many more joys of life are acquired from the television set, providing an impeccable combination of sound and images (both static and moving) unlike any other medium of communication and entertainment.

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The TV brings stories to life in our homes, cars, schools and anywhere else we desire to take it with, but a research study published on Tuesday this week revealed a devastating outcome for TV viewers who spend long hours in front of their sets.

The research was published in the American Heart Association’s journal “Circulation” and it revealed that “People who watch TV for five or more hours a day appear to be at much greater risk of dying from a blood clot in the lung”.

This condition is referred to in the medical field as “Pulmonary Embolism” which in simple terms is a blood clot.
The blood clot is fostered when a person spends a long time without activity in the lower body (like when watching TV on a couch) accompanied by slow blood flow.

The clot which usually begins in the legs and pelvis may then embark on a journey to one’s lungs where it can cause danger once it gets lodged in a blood vessel.

Pulmonary Embolism shares symptoms with other common chronic conditions which makes diagnosis even much harder. Symptoms include chest pains and shortness of breath, things one can get from asthma or even excessive smoking.

The condition is also common among travelers who spend long hours sitting in planes or buses destined for distant areas without rest.

To prevent the occurrence of this deadly blood clot, viewers and long distance travelers are advised to take some water when sitting for long hours, take breaks while watching TV or travelling and also do some bit of stretching to encourage blood flow to the lower parts of the body.

The habit of viewers moving away from TV sets during commercial breaks may be bad news for advertisers but a life or death situation for the viewers.

With the fast growing digital world, habits of lengthy watching are not only confined to TV sets but also extend to smartphones, tablets, laptops and other gadgets, but a separate research needs to be conducted to determine the relationship of these new viewing devices to pulmonary embolism.

The disease that makes women’s behinds grow big

An estimated 370 million women worldwide suffer from the disease. But most think it’s just a natural growth of their hip region, until when it reaches stage 3.

A number of women sacrifice a lot to increase the size of their “behind” while others, the size increases without the use of pills and injections. But in all this is a twist, a chronic disease that makes women’s behinds grow bigger, and bigger and bigger…………

A largely celebrated part of feminine sexuality is the region comprising of the hips, bums and thighs. This part has been immensely celebrated in movies, photography, social media and many songs have been made about it, most notable of all the “German Juice” hence the name.
With all this hype being built up about the “German Juice”, many women especially the less endowed have taken to desperate measures to acquire the “juice”, giving rise to businesses dedicated solely to increasing women’s behinds. Most notable of all in Uganda is FACO. Am not sure whether it’s an abbreviation or acronym. But FACO has always found a way to put a smile on the faces of ladies looking for the German juice.

But besides all the pills and injections FACO customers have to endure to get a bigger German Juice, one disease tends to do exactly just that. Yeah you read it right, a disease that increases women’s behinds. Now some women may wish to get this disease but here’s the mood killer, this disease is “chronic” meaning it will make your German Juice grow on and on…………

The disease is called LIPEDEMA. Below is the web definition:

“Lipedema (painful fat syndrome) is a chronic disease that occurs mostly in females. It is characterized by bilateral, symmetrical fatty tissue excess, mainly in the hip region, upper and lower leg areas and combined with a tendency for leg swelling that worsens with standing”

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Now if you are to look at the photos above about the 4 stages of Lipedema, the first 2 may appear like the ordinary thing we see in the media and may not appear like a disease, in fact if the first 2 ladies wore body shaping clothes, they would be the perfect package. An estimated 370 million women worldwide suffer from Lipedema. But most think it’s just a natural growth of their hip region, until when it reaches stage 3.

The most notable symptom of this disease is that, the patient develops a large lower half, which coincides with another media hype connected to women sexuality, “The Pear-Shape”. In the case of a Lipedema patient for example, one may be size 6 at the top half of their body and size 12 at the bottom half.

The cause of the disease is unknown but scientists believe it can be genetically inherited, then starts when girls reach puberty and becomes worse during or after pregnancy.
Cure of the disease still remains at large as doctors at the moment can only carry out surgery to try and reduce the swelling in patients which always comes back after sometime.

Thanks for reading. More Articles to come from Adam’s Blog, please follow us and help share our content through various social media channels. Because without you the reader, there can be no writer.
  

  

TAX INCREASE ON CHOCOLATES AND CONFECTIONERIES A FIGHT AGAINST OBESITY AND DIABETES

A survey conducted in 2011 showed that 4.2% of women aged 15-49 were obese while 0.6% of Ugandan men in the same age bracket were obese

Uganda’s 2016/17 national budget announced an increase in taxes imposed on chocolates and confectioneries. The 26.3 trillion budget which was read to the public last week, will generate 70 percent of its income from local taxes. This revelation may not put a smile on the country’s taxpayers, but could be a vital step in reducing obesity and diabetes in Uganda. That’s b’se chocolates and confectioneries are to become a little bit more expensive.

Candy bars, cakes, Swiss rolls, chocolates are replacing natural foods in the diets of most Ugandans. Employees have to grab quick meals in short lunch breaks while others opt to have their lunch on the job, for students, the 30 minutes of break time mean a trip to the canteen where a great deal of edibles sold are confectioneries.

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Confectioneries on sale

According to the World Obesity Federation, a survey conducted in 2011 showed that 4.2% of women aged 15-49 were obese while 0.6% of Ugandan men in the same age bracket were obese. A series of research studies have established a direct link between excessive consumption of chocolates and confectioneries to diabetes and obesity.

Consuming chocolates and confectioneries for three months of a school term or a week on the job surely qualifies as “excessive”. With the Uganda government dedicated to fighting obesity and diabetes, the tax increase may be key in this fight.

The producers of chocolates and confectioneries may not take on these taxes themselves but instead pass them onto the consumers by increasing the prices of the product. Hopefully it’s this price increase that will discourage many from consuming chocolates and confectioneries, and will be a vital step toward the reduction of diabetes and obesity in Uganda.

ARE WE FIGHTING THE WRONG ENEMY? Malaria kills more Ugandans than Al-Shabaab, ADF & LRA combined

We buy insanely expensive Jet fighters and choppers while some of our citizens can’t afford basic medical care.

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Malaria kills thousands of Ugandans every year, most of which are children and pregnant women, but we allocate more resources and funds toward the security sector while our real enemy lies far from the security of the country.

In 2013, The New Vision reported that the annual death toll due to malaria had hit the 100,000 mark. (http:// www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1319285/100-ugandans-die-malaria-minister)

We spend over 1.5 trillion on security, a large portion of our security forces carry guns that cost more than their monthly salary. We spend that much while thousands continue to die of malaria.

Malaria isn’t just a disease, it could mean the difference between a good & ugly economy. Some tourists choose not to come to Uganda for fear of the disease. Doctors, teachers, civil servants, taxpayers and other contributors to the economy all get affected by malaria.

With many children dying of malaria, the age gap will grow leaving many old employees in the economy. I can’t seem to find words stressing the importance of young people in the economy.

We buy insanely expensive Jet fighters and choppers while some of our citizens can’t afford basic medical care.

Until the day we to come realise that we are fighting the wrong enemy, thousands will continue to die

By
Walusimbi Adam