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CDC Warns Untreatable Gonorrhea is On the Way...P15 Tips for reducing cell phone radiation exposure P2 New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, DC.,

February

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Whitney Houston Found Dead at 48 Drowned in a pool of Prescription pills “..including Lorazepam, Valium, Xanax, and a sleeping medication"

P6 1963 - 2012

Women disagree on birth control rule

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HEALTH CARE Jobs Top Among The Best Paying

Where the Jobs Are P23

Cleaning Umbilical Cord Saves Lives P17

Asthma is hitting adults in greater numbers P17

INSIDE P2


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February 2012

GLOBAL HEALTH BEAT

Health Tip: Tips for reducing cell phone radiation exposure Are smartphones a bigger radiation concern than regular cell phones? - Vincent

The radiation risk is from the cellular transmitter itself, so the risk from smartphones is not any greater just because they can do more.

A recent report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization lists mobile phone use in the same category as by Ken Collead, gasoline engine exhaust, burn / Dataand chloroform. Officially, cell Doctors phone radiation is listed as a "carcinogenic hazard" according to their findings.

In fact, it could be argued that smartphones could reduce your risk because you spend less time with the phone to your ear talking because of the text messaging, video call and Internet capabilities. Reducing the amount of time your phone is turned on and near your body (less than an inch) are the general recommendations that most authorities are suggesting.

To put this into perspective, the same scoring system has put some pickled vegetables and coffee in the same category, so this report is by no means a link suggesting cell phones cause cancer but it has stirred the controversy up again.

#1 - Use the speakerphone when possible. If you hold it in front of your face a couple of inches from your mouth pointing the top of the phone away (like we see on reality TV shows), you will exponentially reduce the exposure to any of the radiation being generated by the cellular antenna.

No one has come even remotely close to linking the development of cancer cells with cell phones, but taking steps to reduce your exposure can't hurt.

Here are some specific tips:

#2 - Use a wired or wireless headset, but don't put the phone in your pocket while it's being used or you will defeat the purpose. Distance

from your body is the key, so place the phone on a table, desk, etc. while on the call. If you are really paranoid about electromagnetic radiation, you should remove the headset

when you aren't using it. Walking around all day with a bluetooth headset in your ear constantly scanning because you're concerned

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A Good Diet Includes Many Cancer-Fighting Foods (HealthDay News) -- Losing weight can help reduce your risk of cancer if you're overweight or obese, but not all diet plans are effective in lowering that risk, an expert says.

a Daily physical activity. "Diet plans that encourage short-term change usually don't provide the nutrients your body needs on a daily basis. These diets make our 'bad' list," Amin said in a cancer center news release.

Diets that help protect against cancer are those that encourage long-term changes in eating habits and also provide a variety of options from all food groups, explained Daxaben Amin, a senior clinical dietitian in the clinical nutrition department at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Gluten-free diets are becoming popular but people shouldn't go gluten-free unless they have celiac disease, Amin advised. Going gluten-free means avoiding foods with whole grains, which are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals -- all of which protect cells from damage that can lead to cancer.

The Mediterranean-style diet promotes a lifelong commitment to good nutrition and also meets many of the dietary guidelines for preventing cancer and heart disease, including: aPlenty of fruits, vegetables and other plant-based foods. aUsing herbs and spices to flavor foods instead of salt. aLimiting consumption of red meat and alcohol. aUsing healthy fats such as olive and canola oils instead of butter.

Health Tip Global Health News Nation News Women’s Health Children Youth

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Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week. Another good diet is the whole-body type of diet, which involves eating six to seven small meals a day instead of the usual three large meals. It offers the following cancer prevention

Men’s Health Care for Your Health Home Health Care Skin & Beauty Fitness & Living

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Physical Therapy Health Insurance Medical Tecnology Dental Hygiene Job Search

Carbohydrate-free diets are another bad choice. Completely eliminating carbohydrates deprives the body of its primary source of energy and of some important cancer-fighting foods -- vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. benefits: aFruits, vegetables and whole grains in at least half your daily meals. aLimiting foods high in fats. aEating lean protein.

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"Instead of going carb-free, choose your carbohydrates wisely. Pick whole grains rather than cakes, cookies and other foods made with processed or refined grains and sugars," Amin suggested.

CARE for your Health


GLOBAL HEALTH BEAT

February 2012

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Global Health News WHO says world TB cases decline for first time WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of people getting sick with tuberculosis has dropped for the first time, while the death toll from the disease reached its lowest level in a decade, helped by progress in countries like China, the World Health Organization has said. In 2010, 8.8 million people fell ill with TB and 1.4 million died, both marking a notable decline over prior years, the United Nations health agency said in releasing its 2011 Global Tuberculosis Control Report. "The findings reflect a significant milestone for global health," said Dr. Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO's Stop TB Department, at a news briefing. "But history teaches that we cannot be complacent about TB. The international community therefore must not perceive these achievements as job done."

Doctor Marion Aritonang (L) checks the lungs of a newly diagnosed tuberculosis patient at the Indonesian Union Against Tuberculosis clinic in Jakarta., Credit: Reuters/Beawiharta

TB is a worldwide pandemic, with about a third of the world's population infected with the bacteria, although only a small portion ever develop the disease. The WHO has revised its estimates to show that the absolute number of cases has been on a decline since 2006, not on a slight rise as previously reported. The number of people ill with TB peaked at 9 million in 2005. The death toll from TB peaked at 1.8 million in 2003. The WHO officials attributed the decline to better data collec-

tion around the world; increased funding in China for addressing TB; better prevention and care in the former countries of the Soviet Union and Latin America as their standard of living improves; and a drop-off of infection in Africa, which had peaked with the HIV epidemic. The TB bacteria destroys patients' lung tissue, causing them to cough up the bacteria, which then spreads through the air and can be inhaled by others. If untreated, each person with active TB can infect on average 10 to 15 people a year.

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One Million Free Condoms Worldwide to be Distributed During International Condom Day 2012 AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization which currently provides medical care and services to more than 125,000 individuals in 26 countries worldwide, will mark International Condom Day (ICD)—an informal holiday observed on February 13th in conjunction with Valentine’s Day—with free condom distribution events and innovative safer sex awareness events set for over 30 cities in 15 countries around the world as well as HIV prevention media campaigns and free HIV testing events in some locations that will be taking place over the days, nights— and week—surrounding the holiday. Together, AHF and its global partners plan to distribute over one million free condoms and conduct as many as 10,000 free HIV tests in conjunction with worldwide events planned for the 2012 International Condom Day ef-

fort. AHF’s International Condom Day events include the launch of AHF’s ‘Condom Nation’ tour from the famed Venice Beach Boardwalk in California in the United States—a 20-state, sixmonth nationwide tour of AHF’s specially-outfitted 53foot long, 18 wheel big rig

truck which will stop in select cities, towns and states to hand out free condoms and safer sex information in conjunction with local partners along the

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One billion people disabled, first global report finds World Health Organisation says disabled people more likely to be denied healthcare and less likely to find work The proportion of disabled people is rising and now represents 1 billion people – 15% of the global population – according to the first official global report on disability.

care and rehabilitation services, and inaccessible transport, buildings and information. In developing countries the picture is even worse.

An ageing population and an increase in chronic health conditions, such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, mean the proportion has grown from an estimated 10% in the 1970s.

Tom Shakespeare, one of the authors of the World Report on Disability, said: "The clear message from the report is that there is no country that has got it right. Italy is a world leader in terms of inclusive education and de-institutionalisation of people with mental health problems but in other areas it is not. In the US the access is phenomenal – it is a civil rights issue. However, if you are looking at poverty and employment it is not good.

Karen McVeigh guardian.co.uk, But, despite a robust disability rights movement and a shift towards inclusion, disabled people remain second-class citizens, according to the report by the World Health Organisation and the World Bank. One in five experience "significant difficulties". In developed countries, disabled people are three times more likely to be denied healthcare than other people. Children with disabilities are less likely to start or stay in school than other children, while employment rates are at 44%, compared with 75% for people without disabilities in OECD countries, the report found. Barriers include stigma, discrimination, lack of adequate health-

"Disabled people do not need to be poor and excluded; they do not need to be segregated. They do not need to be second class citizens."

A disabled child and his classmate in Dakar, Senegal. Across the globe, disabled children are less likely to attend school. Photograph: Seyllou/AFP/Getty Images

One of the most "shocking and powerful" issues to come out of the report, according to Shakespeare, was the discrimination in healthcare.


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February 2012

GLOBAL HEALTH BEAT

Should the World Health Organization Regulate Alcohol Use?

A

University of Oxford researcher is calling on the World Health Organization to put in place policies that would regulate alcohol use.

stituting a minimum age to purchase alcohol. These recommendations, Sridhar argued, should become legal requirements.

Devi Sridhar, a lecturer in global health politics, wrote that WHO should treat dangerous drinking as a global public health crisis, just as the agency treats disease outbreaks and tobacco use. WHO, she said, requires countries to report outbreaks of certain diseases and also institutes policies requiring member nations to take measures designed to curb tobacco’s supply and demand.

Excessive drinking is also a major public health issue in the U.S. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive drinking cost the U.S. $223.5 billion in 2006. Losses in workplace productivity, illnesses caused by too much drinking and motor vehicle accidents made up most of the burden.

“About 2.5 million deaths a year, almost 4 percent of all deaths worldwide, are attributed to alcohol — more than the number of deaths caused by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria,” Sridhar wrote in her commentary, published in the journal Nature. In 2010, WHO published a document, the WHO Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol, that included strategies such as prohibiting “unlimited drinks” promotions and in-

nificantly. “If we can get countries around the world to agree on these type of strategies, we can have a significant impact on morbidity and mortality,” he said. Even if there is international consensus on ways to reduce problem drinking, Sridhar said there will likely be problems with enforcement, just as there are with tobacco in certain countries.

Dr. Ihsan Salloum, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, said while binge drinking and alcoholism are problems in the U.S., preventive strategies in this country, such as raising the legal drinking age and taxing alcoholic beverages, have helped reduce the alcohol-related health burden sig-

Nonetheless, she said WHO must move forward with efforts to make safer consumption of alcohol a public health priority. “The WHO is the only body with the legitimacy and authority to proactively promote health through the use of international law,” she wrote.

UN-backed report warns of dangers of increasing electronic waste in West Africa

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est Africa is facing a significant increase in waste generated by electronic equipment which poses mounting health and environmental risks, according to a United Nations report released today. About 85 per cent of the waste produced in the region comes from domestic consumption, the report reveals. However, the problem is further exacerbated by industrialized countries importing used equipment which often proves to be unsuitable for re-use and end up being discarded. “Effective management of the growing amount of e-waste generated in Africa and other parts of the world is an important part of the transition towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient Green Economy”, said Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

dominant exporting country to Africa for both new and used electrical and electronic equipment, followed by France and Germany. According to UNEP, although the use of electrical and electronic equipment is still low in Africa compared to other regions, it is growing at a staggering pace as more people start using mobile phones and personal computers. The report, which was prepared by the Secretariat of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal and partners, also documents the economic and environmental potential of building a resource recovery and waste management system for electronic waste, along with the risks of continuing on the present course.

The report assessed the situation over two years in five countries – Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria – and found that they produce between 650,000 and 1,000,000 tons of domestic e-waste each year, which can have a negative impact in the environment and increase the risk of health issues.

“We can grow Africa’s economies, generate decent employment and safeguard the environment by supporting sustainable e-waste management and recovering the valuable metals and other resources locked inside products that end up as e-waste,” Mr. Steiner said, adding that the report provides various strategies to limit damages and provide economic opportunities, something that is crucial for long-term sustainability.

As for waste coming from other countries, the report notes that the United Kingdom is the

“E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream world-wide and a key waste stream under the

Domestic Consumption is Main Contributor to Africa's E-Waste. Photo: UNEP Basel Convention,” said Jim Willis, Executive Secretary of the Basel Convention. The convention’s secretariat is administered by UNEP. “Dealing with electronic and electrical equip-

ment properly presents a serious environmental and health challenge for many countries, yet also offers a potentially significant opportunity to create green businesses and green jobs.”


GLOBAL HEALTH BEAT

February 2012

Page 5

Nation News

Economic recovery still ‘disappointingly’ slow

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he tale of the tortoise and the hare might be an apropos analogy for economic recovery in Montana this year.

Both businesses and consumers would like the recovery from one of the worst recessions to race along quickly, but from all indications the recovery here and statewide will continue to plod along.

“In every other recession, we’ve seen relatively strong bounce-back,” he said. “This recession was different because it was accompanied by a financial crisis. It was a completely different animal.” The banking crisis froze up credit markets and for a short time stopped ordinary credit transactions. “We haven’t had one of those events since

By LYNNETTE HINTZE/The Daily Inter Lake

Healthcare Jobs: Fastest Growing Job Sector in Next Decade Of all industry sectors, healthcare jobs will grow the fastest, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said yesterday. In fact, healthcare and social assistance will see an increase of 5.6 million jobs over the next decade, many of which located in health practitioner offices.

growth this summer, he said, driven by consumers’ continued reluctance to spend money. There are some bright spots in Montana, though: n Energy and natural resources are booming, largely on the east side of the state, and account for 14 percent of the state’s economy. n The agricultural industry has seen healthy increases in gross receipts. n There’s been an encouraging uptick in job growth. n Consumer confidence is higher in Montana than in the United States. Some of the lingering problem areas in the economy — construction and retail sectors — specifically affect the Flathead Valley.

And like the tortoise, slow and steady will win the race. That was the underlying message at Friday’s annual economic outlook seminar delivered in Kalispell by the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research. “Recovery has been disappointingly slow,” said Bureau Director Patrick Barkey. “In Montana we were surprised to find growth lower in 2011 than in 2010.” A surprising amount of inflation — roughly 4 percent in 2011 — kept strong growth at bay in Montana, as did underperformance in two key sectors: health care and government. Even though health-care earnings increased slightly, they were about $203 million less than projected in 2011, Barkey said. And as the size of government continued to shrink, that left a $308 million dent in projections. “That’s a half-billion dollar error,” Barkey said. The national economy also is playing into Montana’s slow recovery.

1929,” he said, adding that similar financial crises occurred in Japan in 1992, Sweden in the 1980s and much of Southeast Asia in the late 1990s. “And the evidence tells us the recovery from these kinds of recessions is measured in years, not months,” Barkey said. Nationally, weak consumer and business spending, long-term unemployed workers and exorbitant government debt are perhaps the three biggest strikes against recovery. As a result of this slow rebound, Montana didn’t attain the 2.6 percent growth rate projected last year. The state managed only 0.7 percent growth in 2011. Economists project a 2 percent growth rate in 2012. There won’t be any huge gains over the next four years, either. In 2013 the statewide growth is expected to be only 1.6 percent; with further projections of 1.9 percent in both 2013 and 2014 and 2.1 percent in 2015. Slow and steady, like the tortoise. Barkey predicted pauses and spurts of growth as the recovery slowly continues. In fact, there could be another slowdown in

“The housing bust is like a virus we haven’t expunged from our bodies yet,” Barkey said. “And retail remains weak. It’s kind of a sick puppy.” Employment in Flathead County’s construction industry has declined 44 percent from its 2007 peak, according to Gregg Davis, health-care director for the bureau, who supplied Flathead County-specific data for the bureau’s 2012 outlook compilations. From 2007 to 2012, more than 5,270 private jobs were lost in the Flathead, with only 416 gained, Davis said. Most employment losses were in manufacturing and construction, with wage losses totaling $104 million. Davis said personal health-care spending in Flathead County this year will be about $670 million. That will increase to more than $760 million by 2014. “The health-care sector is one of only two sectors to add jobs to the [Flathead] economy in the three years since the county’s peak employment in 2007,” he said. “While other sectors in the economy have lost more than 5,000 jobs, health care has added more than 400 jobs, comprising a remarkable 99 percent of the total jobs added economy-wide.”

Between 2010 and 2020, healthcare support occupations will grow 34.5 percent, personal care and services occupations will grow 26.8 percent, and healthcare practitioners and technical occupations will rise 25.9 percent. Office and administrative support occupations will see the most new jobs at 2.3 million, although at a projected slowerthan-average growth of 10.3 percent. Regarding specific job titles, BLS predicts there will be 712,000 more registered nurses, 706,000 home health aides and 607,000 personal care aides. The BLS forecasts for the decade's growth might be off to a slow start. Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations posted fewer advertised jobs in January, especially for general internists and family and general practitioner positions, according to Conference Board data released this week. "One-third of the projected fastest growing occupations are related to health care, reflecting expected increases in demand as the population ages and the health care and social assistance industry grows," BLS said. However, as the patient population ages and calls for more healthcare workers, the workforce also is getting older, Reuters reported.

CARE for your Health The Global Health Beat is bi-month comprehensive publication dedicated to health and wellness. The GHB is distributed at Newsstands, health intuitions, Physician offices as well by subscription Atlanta 678-914-6701 Chicago 847-708-6590 New York 718-655-4182


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February 2012

GLOBAL HEALTH BEAT

GREATEST VOICE OF ALL

Whitney Houston Cause of Death: Autopsy Answers Will Take Time, Doctors The public likes instant answers. When Whitney Houston died on Feb. 11 at the age of 48, Internet commentators whose medical knowledge derives from the TMZ School of Celebrity Misfortune assumed that drugs had finally done the singer in. According to the TV program 'The Doctors,' however, it will take time to ascertain the true cause of death -- and that's if it can even be determined.

W

WHITNEY HOUSTON (1963 - 2012)

hitney Houston's official death certificate has been filed in Los Angeles County. The immediate cause of death is listed as "deferred" and the manner of death is noted to be "pending investigation." The document reveals that the singer will be laid to rest at the Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, N.J. Her father, John Russell Houston, who died in 2003, was also buried at Fairview. Houston's funeral will be held at noon on Saturday at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J., where Houston honed in her powerful voice in the choir. The 48-year-old singer was found "underwater and unconscious" in the bathtub of a Beverly Hills, Calif., hotel room Saturday afternoon. Prescription drugs were found nearby, and bottles of champagne and beer were in an adjacent room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, as seen in photos of

the scene obtained by TMZ. Amid the circumstances of her death and Houston's history of drug addiction, many have speculated that the singer died after taking a toxic mix of prescription drugs and alcohol. But the cause of death has yet to be determined. "You can look at a body and not know [what] the cause of death is,'' said Ed Winter, a Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman. "You might have a suspicion, but the person could have suffered a heart attack or embolism." Houston's autopsy is complete, but results of toxicology tests are not expected to be in for six to eight weeks. Investigators will be looking into doctors who wrote multiple sedative prescriptions for Houston as they try to determine the cause of the pop superstar's death. Winter told ABC News the office is "conducting an investigation and will try to obtain medical records from her doctors."

As host Dr. Travis Stork says in the clip below, there are only a handful of things -brain bleed, blood clot, heart attack, etc. -that can cause sudden death. He then asks guest Dr. Michael Fishbein, a pathologist at the UCLA Medical Center, to explain the process of an autopsy. The first step, Dr. Fishbein says, involves studying the deceased's medical history and

determining if drug use or disease might have been the culprit. Examiners then look for signs of foul play or injury. "Then we open the body and systematically examine all the organs," the doctor says. Given that Houston had admitted to using cocaine, the doctor says that use of stimulants could lead to an enlarged heart, and that such a condition could lead to sudden death, even if the person had kicked their habit. "Someone can die of cocaine abuse and not have any cocaine in their system if they've used cocaine in the past," Dr. Fishbein says. "In this case, everyone is assuming Whitney Houston died of a drug overdose, but I think, frankly, it's premature and perhaps unprofessional," he adds.


GLOBAL HEALTH BEAT

February 2012

Page 7

Women’s Health

Women disagree on birth control rule The birth control debate, waged in public principally by men, has generated an active discussion among women of faith.

it to reduce her ovarian cysts. She said she knows plenty of people who use oral contraceptives for nonsexual reasons. She doesn't believe

Some see it as a personal health issue and resent the Roman Catholic Church's pushback against the government's mandate that employers provide free coverage of contraception. Some see it as a religious issue and resent gov-

Take Laurel Johnson (raised Methodist), Noelle Obermeyer (Catholic) and Jennifer Piatt (non-Catholic). All are Creighton University law students. All back President Barack Obama and his administration's mandate that women get free contraception. Johnson, 24, said she's been on the birth control pill since age 13 — when doctors prescribed

Piatt added, however, that her Creighton student health insurance paid for a tubal ligation after the birth of her third child.

"We have a governmental body that is trying to control religious institutions and the free practice of religion," said Butler, a Catholic mother of five. She also trains deacons and teaches in the Omaha Archdiocese's four-year biblical school.

Then there's Dr. Carolyn Manhart, a 37-year-old Catholic mother of four who won't prescribe birth control to her patients.

ernment intrusion into their faith lives.

But among local women willing to speak out, opinions ranged widely.

Jean Butler, a mechanical engineer-turned-theologian, called Obama's compromise "very disappointing."

"That's pretty much stopping the conception of life," she said.

By Erin Grace, WORLD-HERALD

And a number of women working for Catholic institutions wanted to remain silent for fear of their careers.

debated as intensely? "Is Viagra covered? That's what I want to know," she said.

a religious institution's rights should trump individual rights. Obermeyer, 27, said she's hoping to rally students who are in favor of this aspect of the health care law. "As someone who grew up in the Catholic Church," she said, "I don't think I should be forced to make a medical decision based on what the church says I can and cannot do." Piatt, 30, said she's concerned about privacy and fairness — why aren't men's health issues

"It was a whole life-changing thing for me to realize that I couldn't in conscience prescribe it," she said. The Obama administration on Friday offered faith-based institutions some distance from contraceptive coverage: They won't have to pay for it for their employees, but their insurers will. That still troubles Manhart, who worries about the larger implications: What could the government force religious institutions and doctors like her to do?

She said contraception "strikes at the heart of marriage" and called it a "great atrocity" that women lack education about the biology of their own bodies. "There's nothing wrong with planning a family," she said. "The question is how you do it." Butler, a member of St. Robert Bellarmine Church, contacted people in her pro-life circle who spent Friday evening calling The WorldHerald and sending emails stating their opposition to Obama's position on contraception. One email came from Linda Antonelli, who, objecting to the morning-after pill, wrote: "If a woman chooses to end her pregnancy by ingesting a pill, that is her choice, but to force me to pay for her decision, by covering the costs via my participation in a common insurance plan, is gut-wrenching. How can I?"

Violence against women: How to prevent date rape agreed to have sex but decided to stop for some reason. If her partner forces her to continue the sexual act, that is also considered rape.

The Pinoy Abroad section of GMA News Online is running a series of articles on gender-based violence to help empower women and enlighten men.

The website cited the story of Azeeza who was at a party with friends. Although she only had a couple of drinks, she could not remember what happened that night. She woke up to find herself in the bed of someone who was at the party. Afraid that she was raped, she went to the hospital. Tests showed that she had sex. She knew she was drugged because she had no idea what happened to her.

Dating someone we like is meant to be a happy experience. However, some women end up being victims of “acquaintance rape” or sexual assault by the person the victim is dating. Date rape is more common than most people think. A United Nations (UN)-affiliated organization said the UN Crime Trends Survey defined rape as sexual intercourse without a valid consent.

Drugs and sexual assault A US government site – womenshealth.gov – said drugs are "sometimes used to assist a sexual assault."

The “International Statistics on Crime and Justice” of the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control (HEUNI) said Southern Africa, Oceania and North America have the highest recorded rape rates, while Asia has the lowest.

"Sexual assault is any type of sexual activity that a person does not agree to. It can include touching that is not okay; putting something into the vagina; sexual intercourse; rape; and attempted rape,” it said.

Young women at highest risk An Australian government site said: “Date rape can happen to women of all ages but young women between 15 and 24 are at highest risk.” "While it’s mostly women who are raped, guys can be victims of date rape too. And, as with fe-

male victims, guys are usually assaulted by other men," the New South Wales AttorneyGeneral's Department Crime Prevention Division in Australia said. Attackers "might use physical and verbal

threats, emotional blackmail, or alcohol and drugs” to force their victims into having sex, it said. It added that the woman may have initially

“The drugs often have no color, smell, or taste, so you can't tell if you are being drugged. The drugs can make you become weak and confused — or even pass out — so that you are unable to refuse sex or defend yourself,” it added.

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February 2012

GLOBAL HEALTH BEAT

Do pregnant black women receive worse medial treatment than whites? n America, data consistently shows that black women experience the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality compared to other ethnicities.

An estimated 2 maternal deaths occur daily among black women in America, according to an Amnesty International report, which also considered that disparities in health outcomes are driven by unequal access to health services. However, pregnancy and childbirth in America

By Onome Akpogheneta The Grio remains a relatively safe experience compared to other world regions. Of the 1000 women who die daily from preventable pregnancy-related causes, 99 percent die in developing countries. Similarly, most neonatal deaths occur in developing countries. Yet, this safety is not seen in data among black women. Black women in America also have the poorest pregnancy-related outcomes. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) encourages research to understand the reasons for ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related outcomes. But evidence as to whether, and how much, racism plays a role in determining these disparities is not readily available. "African-American women are often made to feel marginalized, stigmatized, and stereotyped because of racism practiced against them," the authors of a paper on African-American women's childbirth preparation argue. "Especially important is identifying ways to decrease racism's negative impact on childbearing families and their preparation for birthing."

Academic literature describing how black American women prepare for childbirth remains very limited, say some researchers.

women will need hospital intervention during their pregnancy and deliveries, and may have to face these reported concerns. "These are issues that need to be exposed, explored and understood by the healthcare, public services and non-profit sectors so that we can collectively work towards equity in the provision of healthcare services for pregnant and parenting black women," said Monroe.

For black women in Oregon, poor treatment from health providers during pregnancy is suggested as a contributor to poor pregnancy outcomes in preliminary results from the International Center for Traditional Childbirth (ICTC) and Portland State University. "Many [women] are in the public health care system. They don't have access to or support to take birthing classes or maintain breastfeeding. They often give birth alone with no support besides hospital staff. And, some expressed fear during their time in the hospital based on their treatment," said Shafia Monroe, CEO of ICTC. ICTC's mission is to increase the number of midwives, doulas, and healers of color, and to empower families in order to reduce maternal and infant mortality. New findings released this year show the risks and benefits of home birthing in America. The data was compiled from over 2 million live births and presented at the 2012 Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. For births initially planned to be done at home,

The preliminary Oregon data, taken from a study of 245 women, showed nearly two-thirds of pregnant black women did not attend birth education classes prior to giving birth. In addition, only a quarter of women continued to breastfeed infants after six months, compared to the Oregon average of over 60 percent, and the national average of over 40 percent. The majority of women in the study also received government-paid health insurance coverage.

there were higher risks of seizure or problems with the baby's breathing and movement immediately following delivery. However, births done at home carried less of a risk of ending with obstetrical intervention such as caesarean deliveries.

"[We need] community-based, direct healthcare services that can lead to big changes, and ultimately equity, in how black women are treated throughout the birth process," added Monroe.

"This trade-off between maternal benefit and neonatal risk of deliveries outside of hospitals should be weighed in the decision regarding birthing facility preferences," said lead author Yvonne Cheng of the University of California.

While women of all ethnicities report varying experiences during prenatal care, few studies attempt to address the pregnancy-related outcome disparities, specifically related to black women's experiences. In order to offer more support to pregnant women, alternatives like group prenatal care are being integrated into healthcare systems.

"Black women only accounted for around 2 percent of women who had planned home births," Cheng told theGrio. "We were not able to examine race or ethnic-specific outcomes." Even with home birthing as an option, some

Moms-to-be often wish to be active participants in their care and cherish the opportunity to

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Study: Cleaning Umbilical Cord Saves Lives

S

imple use of an inexpensive disinfectant could save hundreds of thousands of newborn lives each year. That's the conclusion of recent studies from South Asia.

Two other recent studies had similar findings - one in Nepal, and one in Pakistan, published online along with Baqui's paper in The Lancet.

The umbilical cord is usually cut right after birth.

The World Health Organization recommends leaving the stump alone.

Baqui says treating the umbilical cord stump with chlorhexidine antiseptic is a safe and inexpensive strategy that could put a big dent in infant mortality rates, especially among the 60 million or so babies who are born at home each year.

But that raw stump can be a pathway for potentially fatal infection if the cord is cut with an unsterilized instrument, or if the baby is born in an unsanitary environment.

"This is a simple intervention. It has the potential to avert about half a million deaths globally [each year], so I think it's something simple and we should just go ahead and implement."

Newly-published research led by scientists at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, involved about 30,000 newborn babies in Bangladesh. In one-third, the umbilical cord stump was left untreated. In the other births the stump was cleaned with an antiseptic called chlorhexidine, either one time or daily for a week after birth.

In a commentary published with Baqui's paper, experts at the UCL Institute for Global Health in London say it could be a challenge to introduce the chlorhexidine treatment on a large scale in some regions. But if it can be implemented, they believe the disinfectant treatment would be as successful in the real world as it has been in these studies.

The survival rate was significantly higher when the antiseptic was used, says senior author Prof. Abdullah H. Baqui. "What we found is, in the single cleansing there's a 20 percent lower neonatal mortality. In the seven-day cleansing arm, there's only six percent lower mortality, which is not statistically significant."

A new study concludes cleaning the umbilical cord stump could save infant lives, especially among the 60 million or so babies born at home each year by VOA

Photo: photos


GLOBAL HEALTH BEAT

February 2012

Page 9

Children & Youth Health

Bush promotes youth health involvement

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arbara Bush ’04 wants young people to work in global health — even if their training doesn’t seem to fit the job.

smaller groups to create business plans targeted at addressing specific concerns about youth involvement in global health. This technique, she said, was similar to the way she came up with the idea for the Global Health Corps. Students submitted plans including establishing a high school honor society oriented toward global health and building a network of bloggers to hype raise awareness about global health messages.

Bush, the eldest child of President George W. Bush ’68, addressed nearly 40 undergraduate and graduate students at the Yale School of Public Health Wednesday morning. Bush encouraged the students to get involved in global health in unconventional ways, such as through logistics, policy and advocacy instead of medicine, the more traditional route. She suggested that health careers can be financially rewarding and added that the long-term viability of such careers is often underestimated.

Audience members said they found Bush’s advice extremely relevant to their lives as university sudents. Alex Bowles GRD ’12 said promoting programs like the Global Health Corps directly to students at Yale would be effective at interesting students who might otherwise not have become involved. Stephanie Platis SPH ’12 agreed, adding that she found Bush’s focus on youth voices to be inspirational.

By Robert Peck Yaledaily

Bush said many students wrongly think global health jobs are economically infeasible, but some organzations have managed to make global health work more lucrative by helping employees specialize in profitable fields. “That way, when your uncle in Florida [former Gov. Jeb Bush] asks why you didn’t go into finance, you have an answer,” Bush said. Bush began her presentation by asking all audience members to briefly outline their interest in health to demonstrate the diversity of perspectives in the room, each of which could

lead to meaningful , she interacted extensively with members of the gay and lesbian community, which she said gave her deeper insight into HIV due to the stigma she saw LGBTQ people facing, even if they were HIV-negative. In 2009, Bush and five others co-founded the Global Health Corps — a nonprofit that sends students around the globe to work on solving health-related problems — after winning a

$250,000 grant from Google. So far, the program focuses on East Africa and urban centers in the United States, she said, but it has plans hosted by the Global Health Leadership Institute, primarily consisted of members of the “Strategic Thinking in Global Health” class, which is co-taught by Michael Skonieczny, Leslie Curry and Branford College Master Elizabeth Bradley GRD ’96.s needed in global health fields, Bush broke the students into

“[Bush] is an incredible person,” said Platis. “All the work they do is so relevant to what we’re learning. I think it affords all of us the opportunity to put these skills to use and get some incredible groundwork experience.” Bradley is the faculty director of the Global Health Leadership Institute, which is an offshoot of the Jackson Institute of Global Affairs. Skonieczny is the executive director of GHLI.

Poor Diet Kills 2.6 Million Infants a Year --Says Survey by Save the Children London — Malnutrition is the root cause of the deaths of 2.6 million children each year, and the bodies and brains of 450 million more will fail to develop properly due to inadequate diet over the next 15 years unless immediate action is taken, according to a survey published on Wednesday by a leading international charity.

Justin Forsyth, chief executive of Save the Children, said: "This is a hidden hunger crisis that could destroy the lives of nearly half a billion children unless world leaders act to stop it.

The survey of developing countries, A Life Free from Hunger, produced by Save the Children, estimates one in four children are already stunted because of malnutrition.

"Every hour of every day 300 children die from malnutrition-related causes simply because they don't get to eat the basic, nutritious foods that we take for granted in the UK.

In some developing countries the figure is one in three. In India 48% of children are stunted. And in high population-growth Nigeria and Tanzania, the problem is escalating rapidly, it says. Soaring food prices are identified as an aggravating factor. But these damaging trends can be halted and reversed using tried and tested solutions if political will exists and public awareness is raised, the report's authors say. They urge David Cameron to use the 2012 Olympics, when dozens of heads of state will be

A boy is weighed in India: 48% of children in the country are reported to have stunted growth. Photograph: AP in London, to host a "world hunger summit" and launch an international campaign to aid malnutrition victims. Campaigners also want the issue addressed at the G8 summit in Chicago in May.

"Yet solutions are clear, cheap and necessary. Not only will tackling hunger save children's lives but, at a time of economic meltdown, it will help reboot the global economy." Overall progress had been made in recent years

in reducing avoidable child deaths worldwide through immunisation and training frontline health workers, Forsyth told the Guardian. Now a big push was required on a third front, to reduce and ultimately eliminate malnutrition. The survey, which looked at thousands of families in the developing world, says 2012 is a vital year. By mid-2013 it will already be too late to provide protection from stunting for the last generation of children who will reach their second birthday - a key nutrition milestone - by the deadline set by the UN's 2015 Millennium Development Goals. The survey says: "Significant progress has been made in saving children's lives. The number of children not making it to their fifth birthday has fallen from 12 million in 1990 to 7.6 million in 2011. "Momentum is building - in 2011 world leaders made critical progress on immunisation by pledging to vaccinate 250 million children by 2015, saving four million lives, and 40 countries committed to filling the 3.5 million health workers gap.


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February 2012

GLOBAL HEALTH BEAT

Men’s Health Groundbreaking Medication in Men's Sexual Health to Revolutionize Treatment of Premature Ejaculation More men suffer from premature ejaculation (PE) than any other sexual dysfunction, twice that of the more recognized erectile dysfunction. But there have been no safe and effective treatments for PE until now with the introduction of Promescent, an FDA approved, over-thecounter medication. Promescent is already being hailed as the only go-to treatment by medical experts and thought leaders worldwide.

Newport Beach, California (PRWEB) February 10, 2012 Premature Ejaculation (PE) affects approximately 30 million men in the United States, twice as many as the more highly publicized Erectile Dysfunction (ED). But unlike ED, which can be treated by effective drugs such as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis, PE is a condition that lacks a truly effective option sanctioned by the medical community and

the FDA. The frustration felt by doctors and PE sufferers, however, is now over with the introduction of Absorption Pharmaceutical's groundbreaking treatment. Promescent is a revolutionizing, over-the-counter PE treatment approved under strict FDA monograph guidelines. CEO of AP, Jeff Abraham says, "The field of sexual medicine is dominated by behemoths like Glaxo, Pfizer, Eli Lilly and J&J so our success is all the more remarkable and a powerful testament to our breakthrough product. We remain committed to establishing Promescent as the number one preferred choice of every urologist and sexual medicine expert to treat their patients who suffer from PE." Dr. Ronald Gilbert, chief urologist at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, CA and Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Absorption Pharmaceuticals, developed the lidocaine based topical anesthetic after recognizing the absence of a safe and effective treatment for PE sufferers. "Although premature ejaculation is widely considered the most prevalent male sexual dysfunction, men who suffer from poor control of ejaculation have not had the treatment options

(continued from page 19)

6 Diets for Men These plans may appeal to diet-wary dudes By Angela Haupt For most guys, dieting isn't barstool or even water-cooler conversation. Nor do men generally relish the thought of loading up on salad,

lemon water, or brothy soups. "'Diet,' to guys, sounds very feminine," says Brian Wansink, a food behavior scientist at Cornell University and author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think.

So many plans have muscled up in an attempt to attract men, going heavy on meat, allowing beer, and emphasizing dumbbells rather than yoga mats. Some have recruited professional athletes, like Charles Barkley, as spokespeople to project that dieting isn't just a woman's game. U.S. News, which publishes annual Best Diets rankings, took a closer look at 6 diets, listed in alphabetical order below, that are geared toward men. Two plans, the Men's Health Diet and Flat Belly Diet for Men, have not been evaluated by U.S. News. While these plans may resonate better with men, there's no promise that they'll deliver

(continued from page 19)

In guys, women pick healthy over manly U. NOTTINGHAM (UK) — Having a healthy skin color is more important in determining how attractive a man is to women than how manly he looks. Researchers in the Face Perception Group at University of Nottingham took photographs of 34 Caucasian and 41 black African men’s faces in carefully controlled conditions and measured the skin color of the faces. The team found that in both the African and Caucasian populations the attractiveness ratings given by the women was closely related to the amount of “golden” color in the skin. Their findings have been published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior. The research, led by Dr. Ian Stephen, used a new computer technique called Geometric Morphometric Methods to measure mathematically how masculine the faces are. “We used this technique to mathematically compare the shape of the men’s faces to a similar sample of women’s faces from the same populations,” says Stephen. This technique gave each face a mathematically determined masculinity score—an independent

measure of how typically male they are. Thirty African and 32 Caucasian women then rated how attractive each of the men in the photographs looked. When we find a member of the opposite sex attractive, that is our brains telling us that person is an appropriate mate. In evolutionary terms, people who can identify healthy fertile mates will be more successful at leaving offspring.

“Our study shows that being healthy may be the best way for men to look attractive. We know that you can achieve a more healthy looking skin color by eating more fruit and vegetables, so that would be a good start,” he says. Women may need to be familiar with a particular population before they can detect these color cues. While the golden color was very important when women were rating faces of their own ethnic group, women don’t seem to care about skin color in other-ethnicity men.

“The attractive color in our This might be because the skin face is affected by our color of other groups is so unfamilhealth—especially by the iar that the women cannot detect amount of colorful antioxi- "Our study shows that being healthy may be the best way for these relatively subtle color differdant carotenoid pigments men to look attractive. We know that you can achieve a more ences. we get from fruit and vegetahealthy looking skin color by eating more fruit and vegetables, so bles in our diet,” says The research was carried out in colthat would be a good start," says Ian Stephen. (Credit: T-Design / laboration with investigators at Stephen. “These carotenoids are also Shutterstock) futurity University of Nottingham’s thought to be good for our Malaysia campus, Bristol Univerculinity of the face had no effect on the attracimmune and reproductive systems, making us sity, and Brunel University London. tiveness of the face. healthy and increasing our fertility. The mas-


GLOBAL HEALTH BEAT

February 2012

Page 11

Study: Exotic African Fruit Extract Melts Away Pounds, Inches — And Weight Loss Isn't the Best Part, Say Doctors

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Move Over Weight Watchers, an exotic super fruit called 'African Mango' is quickly becoming America's hottest new way to lose weight.

Tiffany Waterson, a 30-year-old mother of three from St. Petersburg, Florida, says she struggled with her weight for years until discovering African Mango.

And much to the chagrin of the nation's $40 billion-dollar diet industry, which sells outrageously expensive surgical procedures and drugs that have done little, if anything, to trim America's ever-growing collective waistline.

"I gained 40 pounds with my last child, and I was already 25 pounds overweight," says Waterson. "I tried several diets and tried to stay away from the foods I loved and nothing seemed to work. I might have lost a few pounds, but it would always come back."

Indeed, interest in the use of African Mango extract (irvingia gabonensis) as a safe, effective and inexpensive weight loss alternative surged after Dr. Mehmet Oz called it, mentioning no specific brand, a "breakthrough supplement" and a "miracle in your medicine cabinet" on his Emmy Award-winning The Dr. Oz Show, which aired on September 13, 2010. Similarly, one of the show's leading medical contributors, Dr. Tanya Edwards, M.D., called African Mango extract, mentioning no specific brand, a "miracle pill" after it helped her lose 7 pounds in less than a month without making

Waterson says she just about gave up hope of ever losing the weight until she read an article about the slimming and health benefits of African Mango.

Beyond the weight loss, the volunteers taking African Mango extract 30 minutes before meals lost a stunning average of 2.4 inches from their waistlines as well as 1.8 inches from their hips — and the reduction in pounds and inches isn't even African Mango's greatest benefit, according to researchers. Of more significance is the marked improvement in multiple measures of overall health, say the study's authors. Findings show that in volunteers supplementing with the super fruit extract, their bad LDL cholesterol, triglyceride, and glucose levels all plummeted — suggesting that, unlike many diet pills on the market, African Mango actually improves your health while promoting safe weight loss.

any changes to her diet or exercise routine. Subjects Lost 3,990% More Weight — But That's Not the Best Part According to a recent study published in the scientific journal Lipids in Health and Disease, men and women supplementing with African Mango extract for just 28 days lost an astonishing 3,990% more weight than those taking a placebo (8.9 lbs vs. 0.22 lbs).1

What Is African Mango, and How Does It Work? Despite the recent frenzy surrounding African Mango and its ability to cause safe weight loss, the fruit has actually been used as a diet aid for centuries in Cameroon, Africa.5 The brightly-colored tropical fruit is native to Cameroon's west-coastal rainforests. African Mango, or bush mango, differs from other mango fruits in that it produces a peculiar seed, which natives of Cameroon refer to as Dikka nuts.5 For hundreds of years, an extract from the seeds called irvingia gabonensis has been used among Cameroon villagers for its wide-ranging medic-

CARE for your Health ADVERTISE or SUBSCRIBE Atlanta 678-914-6701 Chicago 847-708-6590 New York 718-655-4182 A Bideas Communications Publication

inal benefits, which range from reducing and preventing obesity to lowering cholestrol to regulating blood sugar to treating infections.1,5 Americans Swear by African Mango's Slimming Benefits

"I read all about it and said what the heck, I'll give it a try and ordered some," says Waterson. "I have been taking African Mango for six months now, and I am down 33.5 pounds." "All I have done is take the pills like the bottle says and drink plenty of water, and I don't eat past 8 p.m. I still eat what I have always eaten, just smaller portions. And now to tone my body up I'm doing light exercise, and I am loving my new body."


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February 2012

GLOBAL HEALTH BEAT

An Open Letter to Parents:

Leave A Legacy of Health Not Just Wealth

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he current state of our economy has raised questions about whether today's kids will be better or worse off than their parents. But, as a physician and father, I question whether they will be healthy enough to even live longer than their parents. Today, more physicians than ever are treating children for "adult" diseases like diabetes, hypertension and even heart disease. So, we should be equally concerned about the future of their health as we are about their wealth. This Black History Month and Heart Health Month, I decided to write an open letter to African American parents, urging you to start a family legacy of good health. The future of our children depends on it. It's no secret that heart disease, obesity and diabetes are taking a toll on our families and our communities at a rate higher than any other ethnic group in the country. And it is mostly preventable. As a father to a six-year-old, I know "Do as I say, not as I do" doesn't work when kids are watching and mimicking your every move. Therefore, as parents, we have to take the first steps toward building a healthy,

active lifestyle for ourselves with hopes that our kids will "do as we do."

health doesn't have to be serious and boring, so have fun with it.

Contrary to what you might think, taking those steps doesn't mean cutting out the things you enjoy - doing that can actually lead to weight gain. To be honest, I'm not giving up my favorite foods and beverages, and neither should you. It's really about making better decisions. If you use two sticks of butter in your famous peach cobbler, use one or a healthier butter substitute. If you use salt pork in collard greens, try smoked turkey instead. Or, if you love soda, try a low- or no-calorie version or drink from a smaller cup.

This isn't a letter of "shoulda, coulda, wouldas" because I understand food is a cultural and satisfying experience. Rather, it is a challenge for you to take inventory of your family's health habits and make small adjustments that could bring about big changes. Studies show that just a small weight loss can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other diseases.

Another problem I often see in my practice is the idea that kids need to "clean their plate." This was once a good rule, but now that we are feeding our children adult-sized portions, it can be dangerous. With my daughter, I allow her to decide when she's full - clean plate or not - because kids are good at saying when they've had enough. So, next time you sit down to dinner, put a little less on your child's plate and listen when they tell you they're full. It might also help you rethink the amount on your plate, too.

So this month and year round I'm taking a pledge, and I hope you will too: I pledge to leave my daughter with better health habits than the generation before her. I will leave her with less risk for heart disease, diabetes and obesity. I will be active for her and with her. And I will make decisions that set her on the path to good health for the rest of her life. Good luck creating your family's good health legacy for this generation and the next.

Dr. Rani Whitfield Lastly, family time shouldn't only be TV time. Get up and be active together. If your kids are jumping around with their Wii game, join them. If they're playing tag in the backyard, be "it." One thing I love to do with my daughter is dance because it's good exercise and lets us be silly together. Leaving a legacy of good

Dr. Rani G. Whitfield, known best as "Tha Hip Hop Doc," is a board certified family physician with a private practice in Baton Rouge. He uses hip-hop music to educate teens and young adults on health issues and is a consultant for several organizations including The Coca-Cola Company. He can be reached at www.h2doc.com.

Tips for reducing cell phone radiation exposure (continued from page 2) about EMR from your cell phone just seems wrong if you're in the conspiracy camp! #3 - Avoid using the phone to your ear when the signal is weak. The amount of radiation generated fluctuates with use, but we do know that a weaker signal from a cell tower causes the transmitter in your handset to crank up it's power which results in higher radiation levels. #4 - TXT or e-mail instead. If you aren't in the 'txt first' camp that the younger generation lives by, this might be a good reason to follow their lead. The direct messaging options in social networks like Twitter & Facebook are also becoming very efficient alternatives to picking up the phone. Reducing the amount of time your cellular transmitter is next to your ear will definitely reduce your exposure. #5 - Don't carry your phone around in your shirt or pants pocket. Since the dis-

tance from your body is the critical component, using a belt clip or belt case, storing it in your briefcase (or purse for the ladies) when you aren't using the phone is suggested. Your cell phone is constantly connecting with various cell towers near you, so the transmission of low levels of radiation is pretty constant. If you know you won't need to use it for an extended period of time, turn it off or put it in 'airplane mode' which turns off the cellular transmitter. Again, these are precautionary steps for anyone overly concerned about the conflicting and confusing information that continues to circulate about the risks of cancer from cell phones and not a mandate or indictment of the technology we all know and love! Ken Colburn is president of Data Doctors Computer Services and host of the Data Doctors Radio Program, noon Saturdays on KTAR 92.3 FM or at www.datadoctors.com/radio. Readers


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February 2012

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CARE for your Health

High fiber foods reduce disease: Study ISLAMABAD: According to a health review put together at the Rain Forest Research Institute in India, and recently published in the International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health, increased dietary fiber consumption can reduce the risk of developing a number of health complications.

chitins and other plant components. Consequently, the term "fiber" is somewhat of a misnomer, since not all indigestible plant substances are fibrous. To avoid gastrointestinal discomfort, such as gas and loose stool, the Indian review team advises that people gradually increase their fiber consumption throughout the day by including more fiber rich foods, such as whole grains, legumes, fruits (consumed with the skin on), greens, nuts and seeds. As worrying health conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity are wreaking havoc in western populations, scientists warn that early onset of illness may be a sign of fiber-deficient diets, which could easily be corrected naturally simply by consuming a wider variety of plant-based foods. The "western-type" diet is rich in red meat, processed sugars, refined flour and countless unnatural additives, often under the pretext that people don’t have enough time to spend on preparing complicated meals that are healthy. Nonetheless, porridge, smoothies, salads, mashed legumes, whole breads and crackers are examples of simple dishes that can significantly improve fiber intake. Even having just one or two more unpeeled fruits each day is beneficial to gastrointestinal health.

Dr. Vikas Rana, who has looked at multiple studies conducted over the last two decades across the globe, explained that dietary fiber can reduce cholesterol levels and decrease blood glucose, maintain gastrointestinal health, increase calcium bio-availability and promote immune function. Dietary fiber (also called roughage) consists of the indigestible part of foods, and can be grouped into two categories: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is readily fermented in the colon into gases and active byproducts, whilst insoluble fiber is not fermented, but absorbs water as it moves through the digestive system to form the bulk of the stool. Chemically, dietary fibers consist of non-starch polysaccharides (of which the most well known is cellulose), waxes,

"Consuming adequate quantities of DF [dietary fiber] can lead to improvements in gastrointestinal health, and reduction in susceptibility to diseases such as diverticular disease, heart disease, colon cancer, and diabetes. Increased consumption has also been associated with increased satiety and weight loss," concluded the science team. For both current and future generations, now just may be the time to educate ourselves on the impact of dietary fiber on long term health. The scientists note that since fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes are widely available all year round in western countries, getting people to eat more fiber is simply a matter of education. This way, individuals may avoid making unhealthy, low-fiber dietary choices throughout their lives.

WHO says world TB cases decline (continued from page ) improves; and a drop-off of infection in Africa, which had peaked with the HIV epidemic. The TB bacteria destroys patients' lung tissue, causing them to cough up the bacteria, which then spreads through the air and can be inhaled by others. If untreated, each person with active TB can infect on average 10 to 15 people a year. TB is especially common in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Russia. The countries the WHO especially noted for progress in the fight against the disease were Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania, Brazil and China, which saw a drop of nearly 80 percent to 55,000 TB deaths in 2010 since 1990. Globally, the TB death rate dropped 40 percent in

2010 compared to 1990, and all regions except Africa were on track to reach a 50 percent mortality decline by 2015. CHALLENGE OF DRUG RESISTANCE Some countries routinely vaccinate children with Bacillus Calmette-Guerin, made by several companies including Merck & Co Inc. The vaccine doesn't always protect against TB. The infection is also treatable by antibiotics, such as isoniazid or Sanofi's Rifadin, but they must be taken daily for months to be effective. Because people do not always take the drugs as directed, multidrug-resistant (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR-TB) strains have emerged. Leaving them untreated increases the risk of drug-resistant strains of TB spreading.

Doctors Health Press Supports Study Showing that Drinking Milk Regularly Could Positively Impact Brain Function Boston, MA (PRWEB) February 11, 2012 The Doctors Health Press, a publisher of various natural health newsletters, books and reports, including the popular online Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin, is lending its support to a new study showing that drinking one glass of milk a day could positively impact the brain and mental performance. As reported in Doctors Health Press eBulletin on February 9, 2012, researchers found that adults with higher intakes of milk and milk products scored significantly higher on memory and other brain function tests than those who drank little to no milk. Milk drinkers were five times less likely to “fail” the test, compared to those not drinking milk. The Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article reports that these results come from a study on about 900 adults between 23 and 98 years of age. They were put through a series of brain tests, including visual-spatial, verbal and working memory tests. Regardless of age and through all tests, those who drank at least one glass of milk each day had an advantage. The highest scores for all eight mental performance tests were ob-

served for those with the highest intakes of milk and milk products. These benefits held true after controlling for other factors that can affect brain health. Overall, milk drinkers tended to have healthier diets, but there was something about milk intake specifically that offered the brain a health advantage, according to the study. Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin also reports that the potential to stave off mental decline may represent a novel benefit with great potential to impact the aging population. While more research is needed, the scientists suggest that some of milk’s nutrients may have a direct effect on brain function and present an opportunity to slow mental dysfunction. Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin points out that the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend three glasses of low-fat or fat-free milk daily for adults and each eight-ounce glass contains nine essential nutrients that Americans need, including calcium and vitamin D. (SOURCE: Crichton, G.E., et al., "Relation between dairy food intake and cognitive function: The Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study," International


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February 2012

GLOBAL HEALTH BEAT

Home Health Care Home health industry fights minimum wage rule WASHINGTON – Home health care companies are leading the fight against an Obama administration proposal to require them to pay their workers the minimum wage, despite data showing that the industry was one of the few nationally to maintain profits during the worst of the recession.

Most home health care payments come from private insurance or the family of the person needing care, said Gale Bohling, director of government relations for the National Private Duty Association. Requiring them to pay minimum wage and overtime could hurt a population that would rather stay home than go to institutionalized care, he said.

One of the industry's leading companies, Home Instead Senior Care, spent at least $362,000 in 2011 fighting the proposal while it also touts an 18.8 yield ratio of investment to revenue, which was the highest in the group reviewed by the magazine Franchise Business Review.

According to the Department of Labor, in 2008, Medicare and Medicaid accounted for about 75% of home health care services revenue. And, Bohling said, as the states face budget cuts, Medicaid won't be able to keep up with salary increases.

A spokesman for Home Instead sent a news release from the Private Duty Homecare Association stating that the proposed rules would cut employees' hours and, ultimately, hurt caregivers. Home health companies have been more profitable in the past two years, even as other businesses have been hit hard by the economy, said Michael Lubansky, an analyst with Sageworks, which analyzes financial data for privately held companies. A Sageworks analysis showed that publicly owned home health services companies made a net profit of 2% in 2006 and 4% in 2009, and remained stable for the past two years. Private companies rose from a 6% net profit in

2006 to 8% over the past two years, the data show. "In home health care, you can't even tell you had a recession," Lubansky said. The minimum wage is now $7.25 an hour. A Labor Department proposal issued in December would require home health care companies to follow federal wage and hour laws regarding their workers. It would overturn an exception first granted in 1974 that was aimed at allowing friends and family members to care

for elderly relatives. Since then, however, the home health care industry has used the provision to exclude certified nursing assistants and trained comfort providers from bigger paychecks. Those workers, the Labor Department says, were never meant to be excluded in the first place. Changing the rules, industry officials say, would damage the quality of care, limit job opportunities and possibly force senior citizens from their homes and into nursing facilities.

Despite the industry's rapid growth, fueled in part by the rising number of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age, wages for home health care workers have averaged about $10 an hour. Many workers lack health insurance, allowances for travel time or paid time off, said Kristin Smith, who researched the issue for the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire. Many workers, Smith said, also have advanced training, such as certified nursing assistants. "It does differ from a kid working at McDonald's for minimum wage," Smith said. By Kelly Kennedy, USA TODAY

More than $4 billion in health care fraud recovered WASHINGTON (CNN) - The federal government recovered almost $4.1 billion stolen in health care fraud schemes during fiscal year 2011, Obama administration officials announced Tuesday. The figure is up 58 percent from 2009.

dled two large, multiple-city fraud takedowns. In one case, 115 people were arrested in nine cities for alleged false b i l l i n g schemes amounting to more than $240 million. A second case involved $290 million in allegedly fraudulent bills in which 91 defendants were charged in eight cities.

"This is an unprecedented achievement -- and it represents the highest amount ever recovered in a single year," said Attorney General Eric Holder. The Justice Department reported more than 1,400 people were charged with fraud in 500 cases. There have been more than 700 convictions. "We're regaining the upper hand in our fight against health care fraud," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The numbers are contained in the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program Annual Report, which is sent to Congress. Holder and Sebelius credited their Medicare Fraud Strike Force teams for tracking down crime in areas with "hot spots" of unexplained Medicare billing. The strike forces include prosecutors and investigators from the FBI, the Justice Department and the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.

In fiscal year 2011, new teams were created in Dallas and Chicago. They joined seven existing groups in Miami; Los Angeles; Detroit; Houston; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Tampa, Florida; and the Brooklyn borough of New York.

Health care fraud has attracted both organized crime organizations and street gangs, according to Kevin Perkins, the FBI's assistant director for the Criminal Investigative Division.

Holder said recently strike forces have han-

Perkins said that through computer analysis

the FBI can look at many thousands of Explanation of Benefit forms and detect hot spots showing excessive Medicare billing, which law enforcement can then pursue. "We're making an impact," Perkins said. Officials say fraudulent schemes include illegal marketing of medical devices and pharmaceuticals for purposes not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Medicare fraud by hospitals and other institutional providers, illegal pricing by makers of drugs, and violations of laws against self-referrals and kickbacks. Sebelius said aggressively pursuing health care fraud is a great investment. "Over the last three years, for every dollar we've spent, we've put more than seven dollars back in the hands of American taxpayers," she said. The money goes into the Medicare Trust Fund, the U.S. Treasury and state treasuries. Officials said the Affordable Care Act helps in the fight against fraud in various ways, including providing $350 million in resources, increasing data sharing, and expanding efforts to get money back after overpayments.


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February 2012

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Why men should take check-ups seriously M

en have been said to neglect their health, forgetting that as they age, their bodies become more susceptible to certain health conditions, such as colon and postrate cancers, athritis and other illnesses. Experts, therefore, warn that as people grow older, regular medical check-ups must be on their to-do lists. Ruth Olurounbireports. While the gap between men’s and women’s life has been shortened, experts are saying that men still need to pay more attention to their health and checkups, as several habits tend to come together to shorten their lifespan. Studies have found that men tend to drink and smoke more than women, tend to neglect their health and are also more of workaholics. These attributes, experts said, were reasons men should take their health more seriously. Research has shown that men who do not go for regular check stand a hugher risk of dying earlier than expected. Accordingly, a Scottish report warned that men must take the checkups more seriously as figures reveal that they can expect to die “six years earlier than women.” The Scotland Health Minister, Ms Susan Deacon, said that in the country, deaths from testicular and bowel cancers showed marked increase, while adding that another big worry

was the number of men with mental health problems committing suicide, a situation she said could have been easily prevented if the men had been to the hospital for checkups earlier.

Not only that, experts are saying that men who do not go for regular checkups are more likely to die from heart disease and cancer, Case in point, Scotland. “Deaths from testicular and bowel cancers are on the increase and three times as many men than women are likely to commit suicide,” the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported of Scotland. Dr Ayo Fayehun, who worked with University College Hospital (UCH), said during a lecture that some health conditions that affect men, such as prostate and colon cancers, heart diseases and in some cases arthritis, can be prevented with early diagnosis, if men go for regular medical check-ups and screenings. He explained that many of preventable diseases could only be prevented and treated with early diagnosis, if screening tests have detected the diseases earlier. Dr Yemi Fashanu, an orthopaedist said that people suffering from arthritis should not have suffered the condition if the case was discovered earlier and treated. Experts have said that arthritis, especially

painfully severe or advanced arthritis, is indicative of a body that is, and has been, racked with chronic inflammation for a long time. Dr Nathan Wei, a United State-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit, said there are “more than 100 different types of arthritis conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, pseudogout, psoriatic arthritis, and fibromyalgia to name a few.” He added that these 100 different conditions pose unique problems for diagnosis and treatment, while saying that most types of arthritis involve joint inflammation. Dr Wei also said that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) “is the most common serious inflammatory form of arthritis. It affects roughly one per cent of the population and is the prototypical autoimmune form of arthritis. Because it may do most of its damage in the first year, early diagnosis and aggressive therapy is critical. If left untreated, RA may shorten life expectancy by as

much as 18 years!” He explained that, ordinarily, an inflammation takes a simple scratch for the body to automatically release chemicals that cause fluids to accumulate and white blood cells to gather around the area of the scratch. “As your body fights foreign substances and bacteria, inflammation, redness, heat, swelling and pain occur at the site of the injury. In arthritis, unfortunately, this natural defence mechanism goes awry. Elements from the blood designed to fight infection and repair injury attack the body instead. “And, unless this inflammatory process is

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CDC Warns Untreatable Gonorrhea is On the Way A new strain of gonorrhea is resistant to one of the last known effective treatments

G

onorrhea, one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the United States, is increasingly showing resistance to one of the last known effective antibiotic treatments, leading researchers from the Centers for Disease Control to "sound the alarm" about potentially untreatable forms of the disease. "During the past three years, the wily gonococcus has become less susceptible to our last line of antimicrobial defense, threatening our ability to cure gonorrhea," Gail Bolan, director of the CDC's sexually transmitted disease prevention program, wrote in The New England Journal of Medicine last week. According to the CDC, gonorrhea has a long history of developing immunity to antibiotics, but doctors have always had a stronger medicine up their sleeves to treat patients. Not anymore— about 1.7 percent of gonorrhea is now resistant to cephalosporins, the last line of defense against gonorrhea. That might not seem like much, but it's a 17-fold increase since 2006, when about one tenth of one percent of gonorrhea was believed to have resistance to

cephalosporins. According to Bolan, the strains are showing up most often in the western states, where 3.6 percent of gonorrhea has shown resistance to cephalosporins, and in men who have sex with men, with nearly 5 percent of gonorrhea showing resistance.

"The trends in decreased susceptibility that we're seeing, coupled with the history of emerging resistance and reported treatment failures

"As far as gonorrhea goes, I'm not aware of any new drugs in the pipeline," says Mahoney. "This is just one more example of a bigger problem—bacteria are developing resistance faster than we're inventing new medicines to fight them." Mahoney says Congress and the Food and Drug Administration should encourage and reward pharmaceutical companies to devise new antibiotics. According to a PEW report, only two new classes of antibiotics have been introduced since 1968 because antibiotics are difficult to produce and are less profitable than other drugs.

The disease has been estimated to affect 600,000 Americans annually, causing burning with urination, abdominal pain, itching, and genital discharge. Nikki Mayes, a spokesperson for the CDC, wrote in an email that by using a combination of cephalosporins and other antibiotics, American doctors have been able to prevent anyone from getting a completely untreatable case of gonorrhea. But she says it's only a matter of time.

the antibiotics and innovation project at PEW Charitable Trusts.

Bolan writes in the medical journal that a vaccine to prevent gonorrhea "remains key to prevention and control," but that it is a "distant goal." in other countries point to the likelihood of treatment failures on the horizon," she writes. Not much help is on the way, according to both Mayes and Nicole Mahoney, senior officer of

"The threat of untreatable gonorrhea is emerging rapidly," she adds. --By Jason Koebler


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February 2012

GLOBAL HEALTH BEAT

Skin & Beauty Study doubts anti-aging BEAUTY CORNER claims for DHEA NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – The hormone supplement DHEA may be promoted as a fountain of youth, but there is no good evidence that it boosts older women's memory, sexual function or general wellbeing, a new research review concludes.

But more recently, she told Reuters Health in an email, some larger, longer-term trials have found no benefits.

But none of those claims hold up in longer-term studies, according to the new review, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. "In the 1990s, DHEA was considered to be the elixir of youth, with preliminary studies suggesting benefits," said Dr. Susan R. Davis, the lead researcher on the review and director of the women's health research program at Monash University in Victoria, Australia.

managing sexual dysfunction, mood, cholesterol and insulin levels. "Our data would suggest that there is basically no benefit for postmenopausal women to use DHEA supplements to improve sexual function, well-being, cognitive performance, or for prevention of diabetes/insulin resistance or to lower cholesterol levels," Davis said.

DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that is converted into other steroid hormones, including testosterone and estrogen. People's levels of DHEA naturally peak during their 20s, then taper off as they age. Because of this, over-thecounter synthetic DHEA supplements are marketed as an anti-aging weapon. The supplement is claimed to sharpen memory and other cognitive skills, boost libido and sexual function, and enhance overall feelings of "well-being." It's also said to help protect against heart disease by improving cholesterol levels, and against diabetes by improving the body's use of the blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin.

By Amy Norton

way. Some of the other International Condom Day events include: MEXICO—Puerto de Veracruz and Mérida, Yucatan: Across the country, AHF Mexico celebrates the ‘Condom Carnaval,’ which includes large scale events in Veracruz and Mérida in conjunction with those cities’ pre-Lenten Carnavals. AHF’s ‘Condom Carnaval’ will offer free HIV testing events with as many as 70,000 free condoms expected to be

The state of your skin is your body's way of telling you that something is bothering it

On the other hand, she noted, some trials have suggested that DHEA might help slow the loss of bone density after menopause. The researchers looked at 10 studies that have looked at the effects of DHEA on bone density over 6 months to 2 years, and the majority showed some positive effects on women's bone mass.

A few earlier studies found, for example, that DHEA might boost older women's memory. But they included only a small number of women, and lasted only 2 to 4 weeks. The largest study to look at the question -- a 2008 trial that followed 115 women for 1 year -- found no evidence that DHEA benefitted women's memory or other cognitive abilities. Similarly, Davis and her colleagues found, the bulk of the evidence was negative when it came to DHEA for

However, Davis said, it's not known whether DHEA can lower older women's risk of bone fractures. DHEA capsules are widely sold with vitamins and supplements, costing about $6 for a month's supply. The most common side effects of DHEA appear to be acne and excess hair growth on the face and body, Davis said. Researchers do not yet know what negative health effects, if any, might come from long-term use. SOURCE: http://bit.ly/gpY9kN Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, online March 16, 2011.

One Million Free Condoms (continued from page 3)

What is the state of your skin?

given out in the two cities (as the date is so close to Carnaval, a popular annual event throughout Mexico, the testing and condom distributions events will draw the public and media). In addition, ten other Mexican cities and locations will distribute as many as 75,000 additional free condoms and provide over 2,000 free HIV tests via mass testing events at many of the 12 AHF Mexico ‘Condom Carnaval’ locations. INDIA—New Delhi: AHF and partners in India will target sex workers

at brothels in New Delhi with condom distribution and free HIV testing with goals of handing out 3,000 condoms and providing 100 free HIV tests. KENYA—Mombasa and Kithituni: In Kithituni, ICD will be marked on Feb. 10th at Emali, during its market day. Major activities for the day are: 1) A short public procession to capture audience attention on the events of the day, and at the

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There is nothing more frustrating than starting the day with a face full of pimples - especially when your teenage years are a distant memory. The condition of your skin could be your body's way of letting you know that something is not right. In Chinese medicine, every part of the face is indicative of how well different organs of your body are performing. Take a notice of where spots are appearing to find out the reason behind them. Forehead This is the area that shows how well your body is eliminating toxins. Too much saturated fat and alcohol could be to blame for blemishes on your forehead. Spots around the eyebrow area signify stress. Another culprit could be your fringe. Using a lot of hair products causes sweat to be trapped, leading to a build-up in the area, causing spots. Blitz those zits: Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and drink herbal teas and water. Cut down on meat and alcohol and keep your scalp clean. Neck Shampoos and conditioners can be common triggers for head, neck and jawline pimples. The preservatives

and perfumes in them can be harsh on the skin. If your skin is sensitive, problems can be caused by spraying perfume on the neck line. Blitz those zits: If you have long hair, tie it back at night to avoid contact with the skin. Use shampoos and conditioners that are free of chemicals. Cheeks Rashes and pimples on the cheeks are a sign you are suffering from contact dermatitis, a mild allergy to skincare products, make-up, perfume or even contact lens solution. Acne-like spots in this area could mean you have rosacea, a common skin complaint. Symptoms include flushing, visible blood vessels and highly sensitive skin. Alternatively, if the spots are flaky, you might be suffering from inflammatory skin condition, seborrheic dermatitis. See a dermatologist. Blitz those zits: Avoid exposure to sunlight, alcohol and spicy foods. Cut back on dairy to combat acne. Apply a primer, that acts as a physical barricade between the skin and contaminants, before wearing foundation. Mouth Sufferers of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) tend to get acne


GLOBAL HEALTH BEAT

February 2012

Why good manners equal better health

Asthma is hitting adults in greater numbers As the mother of a young boy with asthma, Tracy Rice never thought that she might be affected with the disease. But when she was in her early 40s, her doctor diagnosed her with it. Since that time, about 15 years ago, Rice has struggled to manage her condition and keep herself out of the hospital.

Household hygiene is important in limiting the spread of viruses and bacteria, a study released by the Hygiene Council found. Everyone knows Miss Manners is all about being polite. Turns out she’s also part health-care practitioner, without even knowing it. At least that’s one conclusion from a new international study by the Hygiene Council released Wednesday. The survey of 12,000 people in 12 countries found that good manners — such as handwashing, sneezing into a sleeve instead of your hand, and staying home from work when sick — leads to better health. People who were embarrassed at sneezing or coughing on others and who washed their hands regularly were 2.5 times more likely to report fewer colds or diarrhea. “At first we were surprised about that, but it really is just thinking about other people,” said Dr. John Oxford, a London professor of virology and chairman of the Hygiene Council, a panel of global scientific and health experts who focus on household health and cleanliness. Understanding what drives hygiene is important, said Oxford, and it comes down to changing behaviour through habit, the same way Canadians learned to wear seatbelts or brush their teeth.

Awareness of basic hygiene like handwashing has risen dramatically in Ontario in the past decade following outbreaks of infectious diseases such as SARS and H1N1, said Dr. Donald Low, hygiene council member and microbiologist-in-chief at Mount Sinai Hospital. But much of the focus has been in hospital settings. Household hygiene is also important in limiting the spread of viruses and bacteria. Canada ranked fourth on the survey for personal hygiene, behind Brazil, Germany and France, and second to household hygiene, behind the U.K. and Australia, who were tied for first place. But the bar is set low and there’s a long way to go, noted Oxford, with only 60 per cent of Canadians reporting they washed their hands five times a day or more. It found Canadian women were more hygienic than men, with homemakers reporting the highest level of cleanliness and students the lowest. The Lysol Habit Study involved 130 questions on behaviour and health.

One Million Free Condoms same time, educate the general population. A motorbike, van and acrobats will lead the Kithituni procession. The Mombasa procession will be lead by Simba Ropa (local dancers), puppeteers and skaters. 2) Education on condom use and clarification of misconceptions or myths on condom use—the target is to have an education session with the peer educators for groups of 5-10. This will be a mobile activity targeting youth at pool sites and bars, as well as market ven-

dors. 3) 80,000 condoms will be distributed, with a concentration on education for using condoms and their role in prevention. NIGERIA—Abuja; and Benue and Kogi states: AHF partners coordinating International Condom Day events in Abuja, the capital city, and in the states of Kogi and Benue, plan to target 3,000 people for free HIV testing and distribute over 23,000 condoms.

Page 17

Richard Tubbs had asthma as a child. It went away by the time he joined the Marines in his teens but came back later. Now 58, Tubbs has learned to manage it. As an AfricanAmerican and (now former) smoker, he was more likely to have asthma as an adult. / Frank Espich / The Star

When she's around smokers, she makes sure she's near an open window or ceiling fan, and she watches for other triggers. Plus, she keeps up with medicines that allow her to stay one step ahead of her illness. Sometimes, however, the disease gets the better of her. "My chest starts tightening, and then I can't catch my breath," said Rice, 50, who went to the hospital three times in the past year. "These last two times were really scary." Commonly thought of as a disease that affects mostly children, asthma has been increasing among adults. A recent study from Ball State University's Global Health Institute found that nearly 14 percent of Indiana adults have had asthma, similar to national statistics. Younger adults were more likely to fall into that number, suggesting that asthma has become more common with time. While 16 percent of people ages 18 to 44 said they had asthma at some point, only 11 percent of those 45 and older included themselves in that category. "We have seen an increasing prevalence of lifetime asthma and also current asthma, and nobody is quite sure why that is," said Dr. Joan Duwve, chief medical officer at the Indiana State Department of Health. "It is really difficult to tease that out because there are so many variables when you're talking about asthma." Potential culprits include an increase in allergens in the air; infections; poor air quality; more time spent indoors with exposure to pet dander, mold and dust mites; and smoking. Genetics also may play a role. About half of those with asthma have a family mem

ber who also has the condition, Duwve said. "It's always a mystery how these adults suddenly come down with this," said Robin Costley, asthma educator for the Marion County Health Department and coalition manager of the Asthma Alliance of Indianapolis. "A lot of times nothing has changed. They just start having symptoms." Certain populations seem more affected than others, the Ball State study found. Women are more likely to have asthma than men -- about 16 percent compared with 11 percent. Blacks are more likely than whites to experience it -- about 18 percent compared with 13 percent. Poverty also seems to be a factor. More than 15 percent of people who have household incomes of $50,000 or less report having asthma, compared with 12 percent of those at $75,000 or more, the study found. Asthma can be costly, especially for those who struggle to control their disease. Attacks may send them to the hospital; in 2009 the cost of asthma hospitalizations in Indiana came to $122 million, Duwve said. African-Americans with asthma were hospitalized three times more often than whites and were four times more likely to visit the emergency room with asthma, Duwve said. The last time Rice went to the hospital, she had to stay two days until she was stable enough to head home. The Eastside resident recalls one time when she tried to cut the grass. Not realizing it was a trigger, she did not don a mask. Within a few minutes, she couldn't breathe.


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February 2012

GLOBAL HEALTH BEAT

Fitness & Healthier Living

Exercise helps maintain form Like many local golfers, Dave McKillen of Mason usually spends his winters inside, living vicariously through the Golf Channel.

The golf-specific exercises - which use inexpensive medicine balls, Swiss balls and resistance tubing - are designed to promote flexibility and strength.

Conditioning and strength training, especially during the off-season, has been slow to catch on in the golf world, despite the sport's rigors. Even at the professional level, it took talk of Tiger Woods' weight training routine to get others on board, said Brian Adkins, an avid golfer and physical therapist with Oxford Physical Therapy Centers.

An exercise that requires rotating one hip against the resistance of an exercise band while keeping the torso straight has helped McKillen address areas of lower-body tightness and weakness, he said. Another exercise reverses the concept, attaching a band to one shoulder and requiring McKillen to rotate just the trunk - turning away from the ball and into the tension.

But for McKillen, things feel different this year. After seeing a commercial about a golf fitness program from the Titleist Performance Institute, McKillen called Adkins. Four months later, while other golfers are working out the kinks after a particularly soggy spring, McKillen is enjoying a measurable improvement in the trajectory and accuracy of his swing, and in his confidence. "What I walked away with is a better foundation from my feet up to my hips, and a better understanding of body mechanics and how it affects your swing," McKillen said. "I'm a lot more comfortable on the first tee." The Titleist program, which was introduced about a year and a half ago, focuses on golf-specific exercises that stretch, strengthen and break down the kinesiology of a golf swing, helping golfers address any physical limitations so they can climb off last season's performance plateau or just stay on the course. "How many golfers aren't able to get their ball

"As a golfer, it's given me a better sense of how to make that first move," McKillen said.

to target, and it's because they don't have that rotation or aren't stable?" said Adkins, one of several local physical therapists, personal trainers and other fitness professionals certified to offer the training program. "You have to know how to work your body." Like other rotational sports, a golf swing requires a balance of stability and flexibility, Adkins said, starting with a solid connection to the ground. Adkins likes to think of it in terms of flinging a rubber band: Obtaining the maximum distance and accuracy requires an ample range of motion to pull back one end of the band and generate a release of force, enabled by stability at the other end.

To build muscle memory of how these motions come together in a swing, many exercises are done holding a golf posture. While McKillen, 59, wasn't experiencing any particular aches or problems, he was starting to feel some muscle tightness.

"It's not like just doing crunches," Adkins said. "Coordination is the last piece of the puzzle."

"Getting older, you tighten up and lose some of your rotation," McKillen said.

Most golfers continue seeing Adkins about once a month to maintain form, address any fresh frustrations or set their sights on a new goal.

Every golfer is different, but common problem areas are stiffness and tightness in the trunk and rib cage and in the rotation of the hips, Adkins said. To power the rotation, golfers also need to be grounded from the feet to the hips and "stable and strong in the abs" and glutes, which are common areas of weakness, Adkins said.

With retirement and grandkids on the horizon, McKillen, who plays three or four times a month and hits the range another two or three times during the season, is looking for his time on the golf course to increase. "That's my overall motivation. I taught my boys how to play, and I want to be able to play with my grandchildren," he said.

Pregnant black women and medial treatment versus whites (continued from page ) reasons for ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related outcomes. But evidence as to whether, and how much, racism plays a role in determining these disparities is not readily available. "African-American women are often made to feel marginalized, stigmatized, and stereotyped because of racism practiced against them," the authors of a paper on African-American women's childbirth preparation argue. "Especially important is identifying ways to decrease racism's negative impact on childbearing families and their preparation for birthing." Academic literature describing how black American women prepare for childbirth remains very limited, say some researchers. For black women in Oregon, poor treatment from health providers during pregnancy is suggested as a contributor to poor pregnancy outcomes in preliminary results from the International Center for Traditional Childbirth

(ICTC) and Portland State University. "Many [women] are in the public health care system. They don't have access to or support to take birthing classes or maintain breastfeeding. They often give birth alone with no support besides hospital staff. And, some expressed fear during their time in the hospital based on their treatment," said Shafia Monroe, CEO of ICTC.

at home carried less of a risk of ending with obstetrical intervention such as caesarean deliveries. "This trade-off between maternal benefit and neonatal risk of deliveries outside of hospitals should be weighed in the decision regarding birthing facility preferences," said lead author Yvonne Cheng of the University of California.

ICTC's mission is to increase the number of midwives, doulas, and healers of color, and to empower families in order to reduce maternal and infant mortality.

"Black women only accounted for around 2 percent of women who had planned home births," Cheng told theGrio. "We were not able to examine race or ethnic-specific outcomes."

New findings released this year show the risks and benefits of home birthing in America. The data was compiled from over 2 million live births and presented at the 2012 Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

Even with home birthing as an option, some women will need hospital intervention during their pregnancy and deliveries, and may have to face these reported concerns.

For births initially planned to be done at home, there were higher risks of seizure or problems with the baby's breathing and movement immediately following delivery. However, births done

"These are issues that need to be exposed, explored and understood by the healthcare, public services and non-profit sectors so that we can collectively work towards equity in the provision of healthcare services for pregnant and

parenting black women," said Monroe. The preliminary Oregon data, taken from a study of 245 women, showed nearly two-thirds of pregnant black women did not attend birth education classes prior to giving birth. In addition, only a quarter of women continued to breastfeed infants after six months, compared to the Oregon average of over 60 percent, and the national average of over 40 percent. The majority of women in the study also received government-paid health insurance coverage. "[We need] community-based, direct healthcare services that can lead to big changes, and ultimately equity, in how black women are treated throughout the birth process," added Monroe. While women of all ethnicities report varying experiences during prenatal care, few studies attempt to address the pregnancy-related outcome disparities, specifically related to black women's experiences. In order to offer more support to pregnant women, alternatives like group prenatal care are being integrated into healthcare systems.


GLOBAL HEALTH BEAT

February 2012

Page 19

Physical Therapy Demand for Therapy Jobs Critically High in 2012

R

ehabilitation therapy is a diverse field within the healthcare industry. It includes both occupational and physical therapy. Occupational therapists work primarily with senior citizens, evaluating and improving their abilities related to physical maladies. While physical therapy is in close relation to occupational therapy, a physical therapist works more with treating specific injuries and diagnosing physical problems. As a physical or occupational therapist, you would work with a wide range of people and injuries. One appointment could be with a toddler who needs help with developmental delays and the next might be with an injured veteran learning how to fulfill basic needs. Institutions that commonly hire physical and occupational therapists include hospitals, nursing homes, schools and drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. Both jobs are in demand as we begin the New Year.

therapists within a 100-mile radius,” according to Eric Dickerson, managing director at recruiter Kaye/Bassman International.

it depends on where you work and your personal attitude. Therapists need to be patient, as some clients show small increments of progress over long periods of time. If you enjoy your job, stress levels will most likely be lower than if you do not.

If anything, the shortage will deepen, because the aging of physical therapists is dramatic. In 2000, 15.6 percent of PTs were between the ages 50 and 64; in 2010, 32 percent were in that age bracket, according to a report from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Unemployment among physical therapists remains remarkably low: In 2010, only 0.4 percent — one in 250 — of PTs seeking work were jobless. “Nobody knows how accountable-care organizations and medical homes will shake out, but healthcare reform in general will decrease the number of uninsured, which will increase demand for PTs,” says Marc Goldstein, senior director of research for the APTA. “Physical therapy programs are being developed or expanded, so the current level of 6,000 graduates annually should creep up.”

With so many potential jobs looming over the horizon, graduates of physical therapy schools should be careful to choose the right opportunity to set up a fulfilling lifetime career. pass a certification test to begin practicing in the workforce. Job Stress and Activity Levels

Physical Therapists Shortage Critical Educational Preparation A report from Monster.com indicates that physical therapists (PTs) are among the most secure professionals in the healthcare industry, because supply fails to meet demand for their services practically everywhere. “There are pockets within the US where there are only five

In order to become an occupational or physical therapist, you must have a college degree. Most positions call for at least a master’s degree, coupled with at least 24 weeks of supervised fieldwork. Upon graduation, candidates must then

Therapists work hard. They are often active throughout the day, as they meet the diverse needs of each patient. They must be able to switch quickly from one patient to the next, with often only a few minutes of transition in between. Some clients require more physical activity than others do. When it comes to stress,

6 Diets for Men (continued from page 10) greater better results than gender-neutral diets can. The Abs Diet. Want to drop up to 12 pounds of belly fat in two weeks and (maybe) rock a six-pack in six weeks? No problem, claims Abs Diet creator David Zinczenko, editor in chief of Men's Health. The New Abs Diet ($25.99, Rodale, 2010) is male-oriented, while its counterpart, the New Abs Diet for Women ($25.99, Rodale, 2011) appeals to a female crowd. When most guys embark on a new diet, they ask one thing, Zinczenko says: When do we eat? The Abs Diet is all about eating more of the right foods more often; followers get at least six meals and snacks a day. And one cheat meal a week is required, a time for men to indulge.

all participants get three meals and two snacks a day. The company has even bragged about the fact that pointscounting is unnecessary: "Jenny Craig knows that the only time you want to count points is at a basketball game." The Men's Health Diet. "This is a diet that puts a man in charge by giving him a list of foods he can order in a restaurant or buy in a supermarket, and rules he has to follow most, but not all of the time," says Stephen Perrine, editorin-chief of Best Life magazine, who created the diet when he was at Men's Health. Men must stick to seven "rules of the ripped" 80 percent of the time, he says. These include eating protein with every meal and snack, never skipping breakfast, and eating before and after exercise.

[Diets That Let You Eat Out]

[Diets That Let You Drink Alcohol]

Flat Belly Diet for Men. Men who sign up for the Flat Belly diet get more calories than women who follow the plan. And the Flat Belly Diet for Men ($15.99, Rodale, 2010) features male models and success stories. Recipes are designed to appeal to guys, too. Options include a rancho-chipotle omelet, spicy chicken cheese steak with caramelized onions and peppers, and grilled flank steak with olive oil mojo sauce.

The Paleo Diet. Eat like a caveman? Talk about playing to stereotype! Going Paleo means chowing down on, say, Atlantic salmon for breakfast or a cold pork chop for lunch. Grains are outlawed, which may make this plan tough for women, who typically favor carbs. "You might get a little more traction with men on the Paleo Diet," says David Katz, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center.

Jenny Craig. Yes, in previous years the diet has been backed by female diet role models like Valerie Bertinelli and Phylicia Rashad. But the company is stepping up its efforts to target men. Last year, spokesman Jason Alexander—a former Seinfeld star—said he lost 30 pounds on Jenny Craig for Men. Guys are paired with a Jenny Consultant who is trained to address male dietary issues; aside from that, the men's and women's plans are identical, and

Weight Watchers. Over the past year, the popular pointscounting program has begun touting technology to appeal to men. The company promotes its iPhone and Droid apps that track food, exercise, and weight. "Men like apps," says Katz. The company's website for men promotes a beer cheat sheet that lists calorie counts for various brews, and it boasts that followers can eat anything they want—so heading to a bar or wings joint is OK.

PhysicalTherapySchools.com recommends you consider the type of setting you prefer to work in. Would you rather work with kids in a school, or older folks in a nursing home? Ask about the team atmosphere at the facility. Will you be working closely with other therapists, or will you be on your own? Ask these important questions before you accept a position. --Jessica Bosari, Contributor

Treatment of Premature Ejaculation seen in other sexual dysfunctions such as erectile dysfunction", says Dr. Gilbert. Prior to Promescent, the most common treatment for PE was a class of daily anti-depressant medication called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Although SSRIs address the issue of early ejaculation for some men, there are also negative side effects such as reduced sexual desire, nausea, diarrhea and insomnia. SSRIs also require a daily dosage regardless of sexual activity. Unsatisfied with SSRIs to treat PE with his own patients, Dr. Gilbert began his quest to find a better alternative. Years of research and development by Dr. Gilbert and a major US university's school of pharmacy resulted in Promescent, considered to be a game-changer in the treatment of PE. Unlike SSRIs, Promescent does not have the potential for side effects. The medication is sprayed on the penis and quickly absorbs to a dry state. Because of its unique patented formulation, Promescent is able to penetrate through the protective barrier of

the epidermis to where the nerve endings that control ejaculation are located. This allows for the user and his partner to maintain full sexual sensation without any transference of the medication to his partner. Using a metered-dose spray bottle, Promescent can be applied in a precise, adjustable dosage. Another significant advantage to Promescent over SSRIs is its on-demand usage. Rather than the required daily intake of SSRIs, Promescent is applied 10 minutes prior to sexual activity. Promescent has garnered overwhelming praise and acceptance by top urologists and sexual health experts worldwide as well as key opinion leaders in the field. "Controlling ejaculation is a common request for men. I always recommend Promescent. My patients tell me that, when using Promescent, they have a significant delay in ejaculation and an improved sex life. It is easy, and it works." Michael Chancellor, MD, Director of Neuro-Urology, Beaumont Hospital Pittsburg, PA


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February 2012

GLOBAL HEALTH BEAT

Health Insurance

What Health Insurance Covers "No worries, I've got health coverage," whispers the burglar under his breath, while balanced on a third-story ledge.

ficial conception? Sorry, you're on your own. Which stands to reason, as childlessness is more of a familial status than a medical condition. Convalescent care? Only if your insurer's medical policy decrees that it's "normally" received for a specific condition.

Except he doesn't. That would fall (pun intended) under "illegal conduct," one of the many and varied general exclusions that health insurers have in place to keep ambitious policyholders from gaming the system.

Cosmetic services is a big one that can easily fall into the category of "Wait, are you sure that isn't covered?" Under most circumstances, you'll have to pay for your own face-lift, botox injections, breast augmentation and rhinoplasty. (God help you if you think you want all four. Besides, a big nose adds character.)

Most people have only a nebulous idea of what their policies cover, which isn't exactly a healthy way to go through life. If you're going to commit something to memory, better your coverage details than the lyrics to a song or the dialog from a movie. Next time you're feeling bored, open the benefits booklet you received the last time you bought health insurance. What's that you say? You threw it out? Or it's buried under a pile of papers? Ask for another copy. Considering that your life might hang in the balance, it's probably worth it. You'll find that the list of exclusions extends well beyond the infamous pre-existing conditions. What Is and Isn't Covered? A standard policy covers doctor visits on a regular schedule, and likely incorporates a nominal fee - say, $30 a visit, three times annually. Add pharmaceutical discounts, and that's all most people use their policies for. You pay less than you otherwise would for the checkups and the drugs, but factoring in the premiums, you probably end the year a few hundred dollars behind. Most people gladly accept that trade-off, reasoning that if they were to suffer something traumatic and expensive, they'd be covered up to their policy's maximum. You'd like to think that a catastrophic injury or illness - a broken leg suffered under honest

circumstances, or perhaps H1N1 - will be covered, but will it? The insurers' lists of general exclusions are the result of thousands of man-hours, if not man-years, of in-house attorneys cutting off every possible legal challenge before it happens. They range from the esoteric to the surprising. Health club memberships, for instance. At least one stingy policyholder must have attempted to file a claim for his gym dues, because it's in there succeeding hearing (aids) and preceding hypnosis ("Does not cover services related to hypnosis, whether for medical or anesthesia purposes"). Some of the general exclusions are understandable: if you're going to be admitted to a hospital for a necessary procedure, your insurer isn't going to pick up the tab for personal laundry services or a TV in your room. (That's in there, under convenience/luxury/deluxe services or equipment. It includes items such as wheelchair sidecars and fashion eyeglass frames.) Arti-

Anything ordered by a court is the patient's problem, or possibly the court's. Certainly not the insurer's. That includes genetic testing, among others. Routine eye examinations aren't typically covered, nor anything related to obesity: no laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery, no commercial weight loss programs. Any complications from bariatric surgery that result in an extended stay aren't covered, either. You'll also pay out-of-pocket for experimental/investigative procedures. Your insurer would rather not incur risks that it doesn't know the potential downside of, thank you very much. Kobe Bryant's platelet-rich plasma therapy (which appears to be working wonders, at least in the short run) isn't approved for use in the United States, let alone covered by insurance. It's astonishing how many people will go for a regular dental checkup, find out they're due for a deep cleaning and two sets of x-rays, assume that "everything's covered," and get an unpleasant surprise at the checkout desk, adding insult to infirmity. Again, leaving things to chance is a great way to punch holes in your net worth.

2012 Medicare choices come early: How not to overpay not covered by another statesponsored healthcare program.

Last year, Henry D’Aloisio needed to adjust his Medicare coverage to pay for doctor’s visits. He thought the changes would be simple, and that decades of administrative experience would have prepared him adequately for the paperwork and small print.

“When I first started looking into changing my plan, I figured, ‘This must be easy,’ ” D’Aloisio says, noting that he had worked as an administrator for decades before switching to teaching full time. Bureaucracies, in other words, didn’t faze him. “But for Medicare enrollment, I felt like I needed an attorney to get everything right.”

But it was much more time consuming and complex than he had been expecting — “the most daunting” task he’s faced in 50 years, he says. Soon, many other Medicare beneficiaries will face similar challenges. The annual open enrollment period, during which people over 65 can sign up for Medicare or change details about their plans, begins on Oct. 15 and ends on Dec. 7. That’s roughly a month earlier than it’s been in previous years. In D’Aloisio’s case, the 68-year-old retired teacher and administrator from Cranston, Rhode Island, had enrolled in Medicare Part A — the basic federal program that covers inpatient care in hospitals — when he was eligible for full retirement at 66. But during last year’s open enrollment period, he needed to add Part B benefits to cover doctors’ visits, outpatient care and other health services.

D’Aloisio says he felt overwhelmed by the switching process, which took three weeks, hours of phone calls and much time spent waiting for his email and voice messages to be answered. He says his eventual acceptance into Part B required a signed statement — a note — from a principal he had worked for in Rhode Island’s Department of Education, explaining how long he had worked there and that he was

The confusion D’Aloisio experienced is common among Medicare enrollees and causes most of them to pay more than they have to, according to a recent study from PlanPrescriber, a company that provides free Medicare-related comparison tools and educational materials. More than 90 percent of Medicare enrollees spend more than necessary on their healthcare, the study reports.

The company evaluated data from more than 25,000 Medicare beneficiaries who logged on to planprescriber.com and shared information about doctor’s visits and prescribed medications. At least 90 percent of them were able to pay less for Medicare benefits under alternative plans, the study found, and most of the seniors who inputted data were able to save up to $42 per month by switching to lower cost plans. The study was not peer reviewed. With Medicare open enrollment approaching, now is the time to take action. Medicare prescription drug premiums won’t go up in 2012, but premiums are only one factor to consider, according to Steve Zaleznick, a Washington D.C.-based lawyer who specializes in Medicare advice and retirement financing services. “Traditional Medicare has got gaps” which exclude certain types of prescription drugs or doctor’s visits, explains Zaleznick. People generally choose one of two options to fill those gaps: They either enroll in a Medicare supplemental plan combined with a Medicare drug plan or they enroll in Medicare Advantage, which allows beneficiaries to receive benefits through private health plans.


GLOBAL HEALTH BEAT

February 2012

Page 21

Medical Technology The Future of mHealth

Mobile Phones Improve Care in Developing World Bill Gates, co-chairman and trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, speaks at the mHealth Summit November 9, 2010 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. The mHealth Summit is organized by the Foundation for the National Instututes of Health, mHealth Alliance and National Institutes of Health. The event will explore ways mobile technology can increase the access, quality and efficiency of healthcare to millions of families in communities in the U.S. and around the globe. People in developing nations depend on mobile phones to access health services and prevent disease, as mobile technology creates a platform for improving healthcare in remote, underserved areas.

community health workers began using specially programmed Nokia cell phones to track information about cholera infections in Haiti’s Central plateau. The disease affects thousands of Haitians in isolated mountain communities, and worsens during the fall rainy season.

The Future of mHealth is our series that explores opportunities and challenges of mHealth, which aims to put widespread access to healthcare within the reach of those who need it most.

Diseases such as cholera are on the rise, as well, since the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which created a large homeless, migratory population and eased the disease’s spread.

According to the United Nations International Telecommunications Union, nearly 70 percent of people in the developing world have a mobile subscription, and Cisco reports worldwide 48 million people without electricity and landline Internet access have a mobile phone, showing that of mobile use outpaces basic infrastructure in many rural and developing areas.

By tracking and reporting new cholera cases quickly using mobile technology, health workers can isolate the disease to prevent spreading and get treatment to people who need it. Cholera can kill within 24 hours of infection. Before the mobile program, health workers often walked six or more hours to submit weekly disease reports from outlying areas, losing critical days of response time.

These numbers represent an opportunity for the mHealth field, because devices can reach people who might otherwise go without care and services, impacting the health of entire populations and furthering public health initiatives in remote, underserved areas.

In Kenya, text messages improved recovery rates in malaria treatment programs by 25 percent. Researchers sent SMS reminders to Kenyan health workers’ mobile phones twice a day for six months, focusing on inspiring and informing community workers to help them stick with ongoing malaria treatment efforts.

Halting the Spread of Contagious Disease In developed countries, mobile health innovations manage and prevent chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. In developing nations, however, the need is much different. In countries without access to clean water, sanitary conditions and basic preventive care, communicable diseases still run rampant.

Bill Gates Cell phones fight cholera in Haiti, for example. Late last year,

The program helps the workers remember to administer malaria medications regularly and to keep their spirits up in a tough job, underscoring the potential of mobile devices’ to bring both practical solutions and hope to areas that need it most.

(continued on page 23)

Today's medical technology helps to diagnose and treat When Valencia Family Medicine opened in February 2009 in Los Lunas, co-owners and certified family nurse practitioners Kathy R. Fresquez-Chavez and Leona Herrell knew the future was not just coming, but already there. A recent federal mandate had come down, notifying health care providers that if they wanted to bill their patient's Medicare, and get paid, it needed to be done electronically. Providers have until 2014 to switch over to a fully-electronic billing and records system. "We started right away when we opened, so we wouldn't have to go back and upgrade," Fresquez-Chavez said. When patients visit the office, they won't see the medical assistants or the staff of certified family nurse practitioners hauling around cumbersome paper patient files in manila folders. Instead, vitals taken by the assistant are jotted on a slip of paper. The CFNPs make notes on the same paper and all the information is entered into the patient's electronic chart after the

visit. The electronic records system is linked between their primary care clinic and their new walk-in, express care facility on Main Street in Los Lunas.

Valencia County with almost 21 years in health care and 16 years of higher education, 11 of which have been in the medical field. She specializes in pediatric, mental health and adult medicine.

"So if someone goes to the express care and is a patient here for primary care, they can access their records," Fresquez-Chavez said. "And if they aren't a patient and need to come here for follow-up care, the information is already there. We don't have to wait to get if from someone else."

Herrell has 25 years of experience in health care, and 10 years of higher education in the medical field. Prior to her nurse practitioner experience, she worked for the Presbyterian organization in a variety of settings for 10 years.

While the records system for the two facilities is connected, Fresquez-Chavez said HIPAA regulations prevents it from being shared with anyone without a patient's permission.

Fresquez-Chavez holds a master's degree as a family nurse practitioner and is currently in her doctoral program with the University of Alabama.

"We can release information to another provider in cases of emergency," she said. "Otherwise, that information can only be transferred with the patient's signature and approval." Fresquez-Chavez, an Española native currently living in the South Valley, comes to

Julia M. Dendinger-News-Bulletin photo: Lucus Enslin, a certified family nurse practitioner at Valencia Family Medicine in Los Lunas, does a little multitasking as he makes a call on his cell phone while logging into the clinic’s electronic patient records system.

With more than two decades in the medical field, FresquezChavez has seen medical technology and devices change.


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February 2012

GLOBAL HEALTH BEAT

Dental Health Oral Hygiene Tips for Kids Children generally have more sensitive teeth and gums, especially if they’re below seven years old. The time when teeth just started developing is crucial for having good oral and dental health in their adulthood. Parents have the responsibility to guide their children’s development, and so dental healthcare professionals recommend these tips to introduce children to healthy dental hygiene practices.

We all should change our toothbrushes every three months or risk potentially serious oral health problems – that’s the message from British Dental Health Foundation’s Dr Nigel Carter.

Have the right type of toothbrush and toothpaste. Introducing your kids to daily brushing helps them get started on basic proper oral hygiene practices. Using toothbrushes with soft bristles is good for their sensitive teeth and gums, and will avoid early oral complications that can develop into major problems. Having pea-sized, not-too-sweet, child-friendly toothpaste is also recommended to ensure they don’t swallow any of it.

Jenna Schrock ezinemark.com

like, which can encourage them to floss regularly. Supervise kids’ eating habits.

Using mild fluoride rinse will help protect their teeth and gums. Unlike adult mouth wash that contains alcohol, fluoride rinse is good to use after brushing and flossing, especially before the kids go to bed. Using a mouth rinse early on will get them used to regular mouth washing, an essential adult dental hygiene practice.

Daily brushing, rinsing, and flossing may not deliver positive results if your kids eat more junk food than healthy ones. Having a balanced diet rich with fruits and vegetables will give them the nutrients and vitamins that their growing bodies need. Aside from talking with your family Los Angeles dentist, consulting with nutritionists and dieticians will also help facilitate your kids’ overall health and protect them from oral diseases.

Make flossing a habit. Aside from brushing and using fluoride rinse, flossing also protects teeth by removing food debris that toothbrushes can’t clean. A good Los Angeles dentist recommends flossers, which are little plastic devices that hold floss tight, making it easier for kids’ small hands to use. Some flossers also come in cartoon designs that children

Visit the dentist regularly. These tips apply to children in general, but consulting with a professional Los Angeles dentist regularly can further help determine the appropriate oral hygiene practices that will work best for your child’s specific needs. Yearly visits will also help detect potential oral problems and monitor your child’s dental development.

Introduce them to fluoride rinse.

Violence against women (continued from page 7) rape,” it said. “The drugs often have no color, smell, or taste, so you can't tell if you are being drugged. The drugs can make you become weak and confused — or even pass out — so that you are unable to refuse sex or defend yourself,” it added. The site recommended some actions women can take to prevent themselves from becoming victims of date rape: Do not accept drinks from other people. Open beverage containers yourself. Keep your drink with you wherever you go, even to the bathroom. Do not share drinks with other people. Do not drink from punch bowls or other open containers as these may contain drugs. If someone offers to get you a drink, watch it being poured. Don't drink anything that tastes or smells strange. Ask a nondrinking friend to accompany you. If you realize that you have left your drink unattended, do not drink it anymore and pour it out. If you feel like the effects of drinking alcohol are stronger than usual, seek help right away. Self-defense

Old Toothbrushes are a Severe Health Risk, Warns Dental Expert

The US self-help site Women's Self-Defense Instruction Online suggested some self defense tips "to reduce the likelihood of date rape." When dating someone for the first time, meet during the day and in a public place. Do not depend on your date for transportation. When a woman rides someone else's car, she can easily be taken to a secluded place. Do not take drugs or alcohol. If you do drink, know your limit. Stay away from men who seem to have violent tendencies or won’t take no for an answer. Date rape statistics The National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC), a nonprofit organization in the United States that advocates victims' rights, cited the following US statistics: 77 percent of rapes are committed by “non-strangers” or people whom the victims know; a woman is four times more likely to be raped by someone she knows than by a stranger; date rape is rarely reported to the police; Each year, one in eight women in college is raped, and in 85 percent of the attacks against women, the victims knew their attackers.

necessary expense but changing your toothbrush, or the head of an electric toothbrush, is actually very cheap. To spend £8 a year for four toothbrushes is nothing compared to losing a day off work and spending large

The Chief Executive of the UK’s largest oral health charity has urged more people to start investing in new toothbrushes more regularly, before it develops into a “breeding ground” for germs and bacteria. Numerous studies over the years have reported the toothbrush to be the cause of repeated infection in the mouth. Not only able to grow and reproduce on the bristles of the brush, the bacteria also have the ability to transmit organisms responsible for diseases throughout the body. Yet past surveys conducted by Foundation show that almost two thirds of the population fail to change their toothbrush after the recommended three months. “They may seem like a rather insignificant tool but they form a crucial part of our daily routine and although most toothbrushes are used twice a day for months on end, they are rarely cleaned thoroughly and are often kept in warm, moist conditions, ideal for bacterial growth,” says Dr Carter. “Despite this, there is little public awareness that the bristles may become contaminated by either the hundreds of microorganisms thriving in the mouth or the many thousands living in the environment.” Dr Carter added: “It is so simple but by replacing a toothbrush more often, we can prevent a lot of unnecessary illness and disease. The strongest argument to change your toothbrush regularly is to prevent re-infection following the flu or a cold. A dirty toothbrush can also be responsible for many ear, nose and throat infections. “Perhaps it is considered an un-

amounts of money on preventable dental work, unnecessary prescriptions or over the counter medicines due to poor oral health. “There are plenty products on the market which claim to successfully disinfect toothbrushes, although the effectiveness of them is very debatable. My advice would be after three months to buy a new toothbrush and begin to re-use the old brush for alternative household chores. When it is completely worn out then recycle it.” The British Dental Health Foundation is looking to increase public awareness of how best to maintain or develop good oral health as part of its National Smile Month campaign, which has been running since 1977. Another survey conducted by the Foundation as part of the nationwide oral health campaign showed that almost two-thirds of Britons would be happy to lend their toothbrush to their partners, children, friends and even celebrities. “It might seem kind to share your toothbrush with a close friend, but it’s a very bad idea. Sharing a toothbrush leaves people susceptible to all sorts of oral and general health problems. But even if you don’t let anyone else use your brush, you still need to replace it every three months to make sure germs don’t build up, and to keep your brushing as effective as possible.”


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February 2012

JOB POSTINGS of the people of Brooklyn.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS DIRECTOR - Job ID: 41734 Will manage the day-to-day healthcare operations of this Assisted Living community to ensure resident's healthcare needs are met. Ensure residents are treated with respect and dignity and ensures quality care as resident's healthcare needs change. Responsible for the direct supervision of care giving and coordination of health care needs within the community. Provide training, supervision, and monitoring of associates. Report to the Executive Director. Brookdale Senior Living is the nation's leading operator of Senior Housing Communities with over 640 locations in 36 states. We are a fast growing, publicly traded company with a rich 34 year heritage of senior housing expertise. www.BrookdaleLiving.com How to apply for this exceptional opportunity Apply Online: www.brookdalecareers.com

Requirements: NY license, NCCPA/ANCC/AANP certified, DEA, ACLS Contact: Megan Evans Phone: 1-800-394-6376 Fax: 631-265-8875

Hartford, CT

Contact Information: If you are interested in this position, you may: Email your resume to Jobs@HCRecruiters.com, or Fax your resume to 1-877-735-3682, or RN Clinical Supervisor 13583 February 23, 2012 Hartford, CT Full-time Associates 3 years

TELEMETRY RN PROGRESSIVE CARE UNIT Queen, NY

Available at pleasant, well-managed small model pediatric office practice. Flexible hours, no nights or weekends, professional atmosphere, comfortable work environment. Good computer skills required. RN or LPN preferred, others with suitable experience considered. (301)846-0811 or nursejob@msn.com

REGISTERED NURSE Ho Ho Kus, NJ

Ho Ho Kus, NJ 07423 Date Posted 2/19/2012 Job ID 17214229-0003240094-01 NURSE RN – Busy Bergen Cty pediatric ofc needs P/ T nurse for AM & PM & 2 wknds a month. Pediatric Exp. pref. Fax 201-652-6485

REGISTERED NURSE

Lawrenceville, Georgia

Requisition #: 1074 Department: MEDICAL UNIT UNIT 8 Hourly Rate: Min: $22.18- Mid: $28.84 Work Schedule: WEEKDAYS/WEEKENDS/7P-7A Biweekly Hours:72 City:Lawrenceville Shift Preference: FT Facility: GWINNETT MEDICAL CENTER-GMC

Lawrenceville, Georgia

Job Description: Ready to give back to others? Nurses are an integral part of the healthcare team supported by great physician camaraderie. Our Registered Nurses independently use the nursing process to safely, therapeutically and efficiently care for a group of patients, using information from a variety of sources to assess, plan, implement, identify outcomes and evaluate patients plan of care. Medical conditions of patients in the unit: Emphysema, Pneumonia, Infectious diseases, GI bleeding, Diabetes, Cancers, Acute and Chronic Renal Failure and Surgical patients. Qualifications: Graduate of an accredited School of Nursing. Current State of GA RN licensure. Current BLS. Minimum 2 years recent Med/Surg experience required. Must have excellent customer service skills, team oriented and ability to multi-task.

Location: Queens, New York Profession: Registered Nurse (RN) Unit/Specialty: Telemetry Client: Hospital Shift: Days / Nights Medical Biller - Medical Billing (Kareo Billing Software) Specialty Professional Services, Corp - Bronx, NY 10457

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

The Bronx, NY

- EXPERIENCE REQUIRED Location: Bronx, New York Profession: Medical Biller - Medical Billing Client: Clinic Shift: Flexible

Job Announcement Number:OA-12-572828-DP SALARY RANGE: $43,542.00 to $68,498.00 / Per Year SERIES & GRADE: VN-0610-00 POSITION INFORMATION: Full Time - Excepted Service Permanent DUTY LOCATIONS: 1 vacancy(s) - Brunswick, GA WHO MAY BE CONSIDERED: United States Citizens JOB SUMMARY: The Dublin VAMC has an opening for (1) Registered Nurse at the Brunswick CBOC, Brunswick GA. Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 572828 Phone: (478)272-1210x5566 Email: DEBRA.PURNELL@VA.GOV

Nursing Education Consultant (19993) State-wide travel is required. If you have a disability and require assistance to apply for this position, please call (404) 656-5551 or the Georgia Relay Service. Annual Salary Minimum: $35,568.56 Annual Salary Maximum: $62,301.24

A (BSN) degree from a nationally accredited college or institution is required. Additional Information: Interested in applying? Applicants may send one State of Georgia Application and/or their resume to:* Secretary of State/Human Resources Office 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, S.E. Suite 820, West Tower Atlanta, GA 30334 Fax: (404) 651-9530

PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT OR NURSE PRACTITIONERONCOLOGY Coastal SC Job Description: We are seeking a Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner for an opportunity with an Oncology group in coastal, SC. Must have 1+ year experience in Oncology. You will be offered a competitive compensation and benefit package. Contact us today for more details on this outstanding practice opportunity. License Requirement: SC Job Details Date Posted: 02/24/2012 Position Type: Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner Languages: English (Fluent) Career Level: Early Career (2+ yrs experience) Job Status: Full Time Specialty Type: Internal Medicine: Oncology SourceMD: Contact: Don Shumate

MED MGMT CLINICAL COORD

New York

Contact Us: 218-14 Northern Blvd, Suite 205 Bayside NY 11218 www.thespecialty.com P 718-428-3600 F 718-225-9421

Req. Num: Category: Location: Schedule: Shift:

ER POSITION FOR PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS & NURSE PRACTITIONERS Brooklyn, NY

Qualifications/Responsibilities: BS Nursing or related field and 5 years of clinical experience or a combination thereof. Working with IPA providers, other members of the interdisciplinary care team and CMO medical directors and in accordance with regulatory and benefit coverage parameters, help determine and coordinate comprehensive care plans appropriate to the health care needs of IPA members, including but not limited to, inpatient hospitalization, discharge planning, outpatient services, professional services, home care, durable medical equipment and other ancillary services. Evenings and weekend hours maybe required.

NES HealthCare Group is seeking Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners with 2-3 years of ER experience for positions at Lutheran Medical Center Emergency Department in Brooklyn, NY . Lutheran Medical Center is a Level I Trauma Center and Stroke Center. Dr. Bonnie Simmons, Chair of Emergency Medicine, is an expert in emergency department operations, patient flow, customer satisfaction, and disaster medicine. The current ED staff consists of 15 top-notch emergency medicine physicians, as well as 30 physician assistants and nurse practitioners. Lutheran Medical Center has cared for the citizens of Brooklyn since 1883, and is the hub of Lutheran Healthcare, a network of primary, acute and long-term services dedicated to improving the health and well-being

Graduate of an accredited School of Nursing. Current State of GA RN licensure. Current BLS. Minimum 2 years recent Med/Surg experience required. Must have excellent customer service skills, team oriented and ability to multi-task.

Duties & Responsibilities: Under general supervision, the Nursing Education Consultant position of the Professional Licensing Boards Division (PLB) plans, schedules, and coordinates site visits to schools that offer Registered Nurse (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) education programs within the State of Georgia

Specialty Professional Services, Corp - Jamaica, NY 11432 Created on Feb 23, 2012 Must Have 2 years U.S. Hospital Experience within a Telemetry Unit First Come First Serve - Please call today 718-428-3600 ext 204

MEDICAL BILLER NEEDED

NURSE 25 hrs/wk available at Classified As seen in The Frederick News - Post

Skills/Requirements:

Description: An experienced home health care RN is needed to oversee nursing services provided by field RNs to home bound patients. A knowledge of Medicare and Medicaid regulations, compliance, coordination, paperwork and supervision is necessary. Very competitive salary and benefits package. Adult Med/Surg., Psych./Behavioral Health and Pediatric experience all a plus.

Title: Job ID: Date Posted: Location: Job Type: Education: Experience:

NES Provides: -CME reimbursement for this opportunity -Competitive remuneration -Comprehensive Malpractice Insurance -Flexible Scheduling as an Independent Contractor

REGISTERED NURSE (RN)

Email: careers@brookdaleliving.com (include job id in subject line) Fax: 215-357-5334

RN CLINICAL SUPERVISOR

Lutheran PA/NP Opportunities: - Full-Time Candidates only at this time - Various PA shifts per day (double to triple coverage at all times)

focus required. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills required. Commitment to interdisciplinary teamwork required. Experience in intergrating and applying benefit coverage rules and assessing coordination of benefits guidelines and managed care regulation required. Main Tel: 718-920-4321

76848 Nursing Exec Blvd/Yonkers Full time 8:30am-5pm Mon-Fri

NYS licensed RN and current registration, Minimum of 2 years recent experience of utilization review or case management in a managed care organization. Required experience in the use of Med. Mgt/UM computer systems and the application of UM decision support criteria required. Experience in use of windows based software applications and data entry

REHAB DIRECTOR (23286)

Phone: 877-251-7356

Richmond, Virginia

Great opportunity - Seeking a Director of Rehab in a Home Health Rehab setting in Richmond, Virginia. Active Physical Therapist licensure required. Please sumbit your resume to Teresa@cambridgeheatlhcare.com or call 410-750-1095. Job Details Date Posted: 02/23/2012 Position Type: Rehab Manager / Director Employment Role: Director Job Status: Full Time Specialty Type: Home Health or Physical Therapy Employment Setting: Home Health

Atlanta 678-914-6701 Chicago 847-708-6590 New York 718-655-4182


GLOBAL HEALTH BEAT

February 2012

Page 24

How To Get An $80,000 Job In Health Care Without A College Degree New workers trying to enter the job market are finding barbed wire everywhere. Or at least, almost everywhere. One industry, health care, continued to add jobs even during the 2008-2009 downturn and is doing so again during the beginning of a possible double dip. Altogether the sector added four million jobs over an otherwise jobless decade. Look at this graph from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Health care grew in a straight line up, never missing a year of growth. It’s tough to extrapolate the future. Will that line continue to point up? It would be too easy to go to a graduation party and look 2011′s version of Benjamin Braddock in the eye and say: “I have two words for you: health care.” So I’m going to be a lot more specific than that. Here are two related words: medical coding. First, a little background. Every time a patient goes to see a doctor at her office or in the hospital that doctor gets paid. She gets paid not for counseling you or performing surgery on you. She gets paid for successfully submitting a bill to the insurer, whether it’s Medicare, Blue Cross Blue Shield or even your flinty little HMO. Creating that bill is a non-trivial matter. Taking what a doctor writes in your chart and translating it into a claim that won’t get rejected is a

bonafide skill that very few people have compared to the need. It requires knowledge of anatomy and medical terminology, reading comprehension, and familiarity with thousands of different coding options. And here’s the twist that makes coding such a great field to go into: it’s about to get a lot more complicated. Right now hospital coders use a standard called the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems to classify patients and get reimbursed properly for their care. The version in use at American hospitals is called ICD-9, a set of codes that’s been around for almost 30 years. It has approximately 17,000 different entries. Starting in 2013 hospitals are upgrading to ICD-10, a standard already used in Europe. Mention ICD-10 to hospital executives and you may trigger all sorts of fight and flight responses, shudders, shivers, and even full-blown Freudian denial and repression. Why? ICD-10 is an incredibly complicated taxonomy of over 155,00 different codes. (Although there’s also some sentiment, like this one shared by 3M that the transition may be less complex than billed.) Hospitals’ pain in complying with this new system will be coders’ gain. Coders who know ICD10, that is. There are 172,5000 people in the field, all of whom need to be retrained, according to health care consultant Veronica Hoy. She

writes: “One reason the coding shortage is likely to persist is that the industry will need more coders to minimize productivity decline while staff training on ICD-10 gets underway. Even when this training is complete, organizations will continue to experience a decline in productivity due to implementation and go-live efforts (plus the inherent learning curve in using the new code sets).” Many coders who are nearing retirement may choose to accelerate the process. There will be a massive human capital shortage. And that’s good for job-seekers. It’s not unlike how computer programmers were needed to prepare for Y2K–except that ICD10 is really happening. I’ve heard from reliable sources that as it gets closer to the October, 2013 switchover an experienced ICD-10 coder will command $60,000 to $80,000 a year–and get multiple offers.

For ambitious coders, earnings can be much higher. It’s a field that can lead to other important roles in a health system like analyzing claims and utilization, quality improvement and safety monitoring. I’m sure there’s at least one hospital CEO out there who started as a coder. Probably more than one. So how do you become an ICD-10 coder? Almost every community college offers certificates and coursework. Some hospitals train their own. And there are private schools, some online. So what are you waiting for? Get off the couch and start coding.

New Hospital to Create 500 Local Jobs The Future of mHealth Georgia - A new hospital just minutes away from Dacula is expected to bring not only high quality medical services to the area, but also jobs. Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) plans to build a 100-bed facility adjacent to the existing River Place Medical Plaza 1 on Thompson Mill Road. The hospital will include an emergency department, diagnostic services and more. Construction on the new hospital is expected to begin in early 2013 with a target completion date of spring 2015.

Though construction is still a year away, the planning phase is in high gear. On Jan. 26, NGHS held the last in a series of community or “visioning” forums designed to gather input re-

ing the community into the design process and soliciting input regarding patient expectations. “This visioning will be a very important part of their planning as they begin to go into the design phase of the project,” Bowers added. The hope, Bowers said, is that the end product will meet the needs of the community and will be consistent with their expectations regarding the delivery of healthcare.

Cathy Bowers, director of Those who have been public relations and marketunable to attend the foing for NGHS, said the hosrums may still participital is expected to create pate in the planning approximately 500 jobs process by taking a 15once it opens, but the ecominute online commuCathy Bowers, director of public relations nomic impact from the nity engagement new facility will begin to survey. be felt as soon as groundbreaking ocgarding plans for the new hospital. The curs. forum, held at Hamilton Mill United “The purpose of the survey is to get Methodist Church in Dacula, drew a feedback from the community on some “There will be a lot of subcontractors small, but interested crowd. In total, of the features they already value and that will be used from the area, so we about 500 people have participated in treasure,” Bowers explained. “Its really think that it will definitely have a very the forums. a good way to involve people in the positive economic impact on the comBowers said the hospital design firm, community.” munity during this process,” she said. HGA Architects, does a good job bring-

(continued from page 21) Financing Healthcare in Developing Areas Mobile banking is on the rise in the developing world, presenting another opportunity for mobile health to grow because it represents a way for poor families to pay for healthcare without carrying large amounts of cash or relying on sparse banking services. In African nations with limited banking services and computer access, people use cell phones to send money to family and friends, pay bills and track their savings. Kenya’s M-Pesa system is the world’s largest mobile banking platform, according to a PBS NewsHour report, with more than 13 million active customers. The mobile finance system allows people to store and transfer mobile credits on their phones and withdraw cash from local vendors. The same technology could soon further mobile health initiatives as well, allowing people to save credits toward future health needs, for example, or distribut-

ing mobile payment incentives to villagers who immunize their children. The Pesinet agency uses cell phones to provide a form of “health insurance” for families in Mali, which has one of the world’s highest child mortality rates. Under Pesinet’s program, community health workers test children weekly for signs of illness, then enter the data from the weekly checkups into a customdesigned mobile app. Workers send data to an online database, where doctors analyze it and send out alerts to health workers and children’s’ families to arrange treatment if necessary. Families pay a small monthly fee to enroll in the program, which entitles them to free weekly examinations and covers half the cost of any medications needed. As mobile devices proliferate worldwide, they create a route to healthcare access in areas where traditional medical services are in short supply, forming a base for communication, treatment and funding to improve public health.

Global Health Beat  

The Global Health Beat is bi-month comprehensive publication dedicated to health and wellness. The GHB is distributed at Newsstands, healt...

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