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!!

SPORTS DOPING. Who is responsible?

To some players, if the only thing standing between breaking or setting a record is an injection or tab, the choice maybe obvious

Many had never heard much about the term “doping” until recently when big names in the field of sports were accused (some found guilty) of using drugs that enhanced their endurance, strength and general performance on the field. As the number of sportsmen and women entangled in doping allegations grow, Adam’s blog asks the question about who is responsible for this growing habit in the field of sport. Is it the coaches, sponsors or the players themselves?

The Players

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A cartoon depiction of a doped up athlete

If one is to carefully look at the core of sport itself, the urge for sportsmen and women to be faster, stronger, among other attributes takes center stage. The ultimate award of a gold medal or a trophy in effect goes to the fastest athlete, the strongest weightlifter, the enduring marathon runner which triggers a race among athletes to become stronger, faster and more enduring lest they lose.

And the objective of winning brings with it other demands, winning by greater margins. Like they say, Records are made to be broken. For sportsmen, breaking or setting a record is always just around the corner and to some players, if the only thing standing between breaking or setting a record is an injection or tab, the choice maybe obvious. So are players solely responsible for doping? That’s for you (reader) to decide.

The Coaches

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Some coaches demand a lot from their players

You either run fast or your off the team”. It is common for coaches to direct such statements to their players. To some it’s a form of motivation but to others it’s an ultimatum with real consequences for the athlete. Some coaches demand a lot from their players, most of which maybe unattainable under normal circumstances. And since the coaches are in charge, they are in the perfect position to provide the “solution”.

Some athletes may not be aware that the injection or tablet that “coach” advised them to take is banned by sports federations and may have dire consequences for the player once discovered. In recent times we have heard of athletes (charged with doping) claiming there was a “mistake in the blood test”, or “I have never taken such drugs” and such claims may be true as the athlete could have taken the drug on the coach’s advice.

The Sponsors

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The Russian government was cited for running a “state sponsored doping” scheme

Sponsors come in all calibers. It could be a private company or the government, and to the sponsors, their investment should be met with remarkable results and performance. Besides the pressure sponsors put on players, some sponsors take the extra mile by getting directly involved in doping the players.

Recently, the Russian government was named for sponsoring the doping of hundreds of its athletes in the lead up to the Olympics in Rio which resulted into a ban of the athletes, some of whom may have been innocent or coarced into the doping activities.

As the quest for speed, strength and top performance ensues among sportsmen and women, the world of sport continues to get more entangled into the massive spiderweb of doping scandals that is being laid down by some athletes, coaches and the sponsors.

Thanks for reading…. Please follow Adam’s blog for more wonderful articles.

 

 

 

 

IS THE NRM’S MILITIRIZATION OF UGANDA A STEP TOWARDS TOTALITARIANISM?

The model turns the country into a chain of command with the president on top and the civilians at the bottom

Ministries, agriculture, police, the economy and now medical services in Uganda are among the new areas of operation for Uganda’s military men and women. A military background of sorts has become a major boost to the Curriculum Vitaes (CVs) of those willing to acquire juicy jobs in the Museveni government.

The National Resistance Movement’s 30 years in power have witnessed a massive increase of military men and women at the helms of sectors previously dominated by civilians, and many wonder if the move is slowly driving the Ugandan Republic into a state where the civilian is a subordinate to a military boss who in turn is controlled by the commander-in-chief, the President.

The model turns the country into a chain of command with the president on top and the civilians at the bottom. Such models have famously been used in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and today North-Korea. The dictionary calls it “totalitarianism”.

And a very vital component of totalitarianism is a military that serves the leader and not the people. Kind of what Museveni is trying to achieve by surgically appointing officers loyal to him to head various sectors. And for those members of Museveni’s party that aren’t real soldiers, the solution is in place as well.
  
Members of the President Museveni’s NRM party are annually called to a military type retreat in Kyankwanzi where they don military fatigues and get familiar with the sights and sounds of the AK-47 combined with party strategy discussions for the length of the retreat.

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Minister's J.C Miyingo and Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi at Kyankwanzi recently

Among those attending the retreat are members of parliament, ministers among other civil servants expected to serve the general public (including the opposition) with the utmost “impartiality”.

The president’s 2014 decision to put the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) under the control of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) sparked lots of criticisms and outrage as hundreds of civilians were swept aside from the NAADS.

Yet again, similar a decision has been made with the UPDF taking over service provision at a hospital in Wakiso district where a number of civilian medical personnel were fired by the president. The move has inspired the trending twitter hashtag “#WhatUPDFShouldTakeOver” with users expressing all sorts of suggestions to where next the president should appoint the military to replace civilians.

As the Ugandan military continues to take over civilians’ jobs, questions as to whether the country is en route to totalitarian rule grow even bigger.

Thank you for reading. And to ensure you have a great week, I leave you with some of the famous tweets about the trending twitter hashtag: #WhatUPDFShouldTakeOver. Enjoy…

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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.

Is Africa behind Huawei’s surging revenue?

In 2015, the company shipped over 108 million smartphones to Africa.

The pronunciation of the name Huawei may play tricks on many Africans, but never its products and services. Earlier this week, Huawei announced a 40% increase in revenues for the first half of this year which translates to 245.5 billion Yuan ($37 billion) compared to last year’s 175.6 billion Yuan.
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And with these latest revelations, we ask ourselves whether Huawei and China’s decision to invest in Africa is starting to pay off.

Huawei, a communications and technology company from China employs over 10,000 Africans and has invested millions in terms of dollars and technological infrastructure to the continent. In 2015, the company shipped over 108 million smartphones to Africa, not to mention the hundreds of meters of fiber optic cables that were laid among other internet supporting technology.
Credited for building 70% of Africa’s commercial 4G networks, today it is hard to encounter an ICT (Information and Communications Technology) supported organization or household in Africa that doesn’t use (directly or indirectly) Huawei technology. It could be a modem, a phone, a router and if not, one’s Internet Service Provider (ISP) maybe using Huawei technology.

Throughout the years, Huawei has been able to tap Africa’s virgin market in as far as ICT is concerned. Many Africans are now using social media, and are incorporating ICT into their lives and work setup. That is why I didn’t have to travel miles just to get this article to an editor nor did I use a typewriter.
African schools are not only conducting lessons on computers and other gadgets but have introduced the study of ICT as a subject or course unit. And amidst all these developments, Huawei managed to jump at the opportunity.

The company has provided a cheaper option to Africans in comparison to Apple and Samsung products, especially in the field of smartphones. The continent now boasts the fastest growing rate of mobile subscriptions in the world, with annual smartphone sales expected to reach 120 million by 2020.

The increased sale of smartphones to Africa has contributed to cementing Huawei’s position as the third biggest smartphone maker in the world behind Samsung and Apple, a gap it continues to close as represented by the company’s surging revenues.

CAN UGANDA PAY THE “PRICE” OF DEVELOPMENT?

Are we ready to enslave millions of foreign people and forcefully make them construct our roads, buildings, tend our farms, mine our minerals?

Flyovers, skyscrapers, private jets, bullet trains, fast internet among other things are the virtues of what we (Ugandans) picture to be a developed country, and one day we wish Uganda can be like America, Russia, Britain or even France, but are we willing to pay the price these countries paid to be developed?

SLAVERY.

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Slaves being forcefully marched to the Coast

Are we ready to enslave millions of foreign people and forcefully make them construct our roads, buildings, tend our farms, mine our minerals as we sit back and stroke our cats?  Are ready to lose our senses of humanity, empathy and condemn millions of people to slavery to build our economy? Are we ready to shackle and forcefully march millions of people through horrendous terrain, pack them like straw on boats and ship them across seas, tossing the sick and weak into the water on our way home? Because that’s the price Britain, America, France & other developed countries paid to acquire the development they bask in today.

NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

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Nagasaki atomic explosion

 

Is Uganda ready to invest in production of millions of nuclear weapons and if possible use them to obliterate hundreds of thousands of people just to show how powerful we are? Is Uganda ready to have the stain of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on its conscience? Because all developed countries have nuclear weapons, it’s more like a trend. Not to mention the kind of pressure that comes with maintaining nuclear resources and making sure your fellow nuclear powers don’t leave you behind as the technology develops. Is Uganda ready to pay this price?

WAR.

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An American soldier kicks a captive in the Vietnam war

 Are we ready to fight endless, ruthless and in most cases unjustifiable wars to acquire resources we don’t have or aren’t plentiful in our country? Like oil, Uranium, Gold, oil, and oil and more oil….. Are we ready to send our youth as soldiers to their deaths to acquire oil or conquer a foreign land? Because that’s what developed countries do. The United States, Britain, Russia, France are countries that have been engaging in warfare since their inception. France, Russia, America are some of the developed countries born through bloody revolutions and their history has forever been stained with wars. Iraq, Chechnya, Vietnam, Somalia, Afghanistan, the list is endless. Can Uganda pay this price?

CHILD LABOR.

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American child laborers during the industrial revolution

 Are we willing to employ our young children in factories, mines, oil refineries and other hard labor jobs just to reduce the cost of production? Because that’s what developed countries did to strengthen the backbones of their economies during the industrial revolution. Charles Dickens’ book “Oliver Twist” describes the horrors he (Dickens) went through as a child laborer during the industrial revolution in Britain. By 1900, the American industry had employed an estimated 1.7 children, all under the age of 15. And the number had crossed over 2 million by 1910. The revolutionary socialist – economist, Karl Marx said British industries at the time of the industrial revolution, “could but live by sucking blood, and children’s blood too,” Is this a price Uganda is ready to pay? You tell me.

COLONIALISM.

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Africans kissing the feet of colonialists

Being an ex-colony ourselves, we know the pain of the colonial lash, we have lived it, tasted it, bled on its stroke and its less than 60 years since this inhumane treatment was lifted from us. So are we willing to colonize, loot, mistreat, castrate and exploit other countries like our former colonial masters did us? Are we willing to inflict the pain of the colonial lash upon fellow humans so Uganda could have skyscrapers, bullet trains, bridges that open and close, diamonds for our Kings and Queens? Are we willing to go to Egypt and steal their artifacts, mummies, gold and dead pharaoh’s heads? Is Uganda willing to rip and pillage West Africa like France did? Are willing to pay the Price for development????

As Uganda looks forward to attain middle income status in the near future, we should know as a country that however slow our journey maybe, the cleanliness of our conscience when we get there will make the journey worthwhile. Because none of what we would have achieved will be stained will the blood and suffering of others.

Is Africa the new experimental lab for Western foreign policy?

The position Africa is in now was formerly held by the middle East and Latin America where coups and revolutions were instigated by the west to knock out noncomplying oil rich Arab Muslim dictators and drug dealing communist dictators respectively.

Following the recent outbreak of violence in the young nation of South Sudan, a series of questions have sprung up. And among these is whether the western governments who promise peace and democracy to African counties are sure of it, or they are just “experimenting”.

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A host of western powers promise “democracy” and “peace” to African countries in exchange for toppling dictators like Gaddafi or seceding from another country like Sudan but in the end, once these objectives are reached, the westerners are nowhere to be seen.

In 2011, the West orchestrated the toppling of Libyan dictator Col.Muammar Gaddafi, which was a good thing. But the promises of everlasting peace and freedom made to the Libyans are still unfulfilled and the people who made these promises are back home enjoying the premier league and basketball.

Still in the same year (2011) support was given to the Southern people of Sudan to secede from the largely Arab and Muslim dominated North of Omar al-Bashir, which was still a good thing as it put an end to the long conflict between the north and south, and gave birth to the new nation of South Sudan.

2 years after independence, the nation plunged into a bloody civil war that claimed thousands of lives while the people who convinced them to secede watched from the sidelines. The short lived peace after this civil war has been interrupted by the outbreak of fresh fighting in South Sudan.

The position Africa is in now was formerly held by the middle East and Latin America where coups and revolutions were instigated by the west to knock out noncomplying oil rich Arab Muslim dictators and drug dealing communist dictators respectively.

The common denominator in this string pulling is the abandonment of the respective countries once the instability worsens. Today Iraq still burns over a decade after dictator Saddam Hussein was toppled. Which is a similar case in Libya, and a few years after the post independence civil war in South Sudan, the bloodshed is back again and the instigators are nowhere to be seen.

So we wonder, when these guys promise peace and democracy to these countries, are they sure about it, or they are just experimenting their foreign policies?