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My words and my answer to those who hate me

I am a brave person with a power of confidence and knowledge who have always accepted risk in his life and I have enjoyed standing against extremism. Do what you want to do, do whatever you can do. I am a lion whose nature is to die like a soldier and live like a leader.

Sexual crimes against children in Indonesia

In Indonesia, raping case is  on the  2nd ranks the most common crime after the murder.

Rape comes from the Latin rapere , means to steal, force, seize or carry away. Rape is an attempt to vent his sexual lust by a man against women in a way that violates according to the moral and law. According to the Women’s Crisis Center (WCC), rape is any sexual assault or coercion. Form of rape is not always intercourse, but any form of attack or coercion involving the genitals. Oral sex, anal sex, destruction of the female genitals with an object also is rape, and rape also can occur in marriage.

Currently, common rape against women is rape against children. Based on data from the National Commission for Child Protection (Komnas PA) in 2010 showed as many as 39.18 percent of 1649 cases of violence against children is sexual violence. Since 1993 there have been 1500 to 2000 cases of rape and in 2010 every 10 day recorded 33 cases of rape of children.

Based on  Article 1, paragraph 1 of the Law of the Republic of Indonesia No. 23 of 2002, children is someone who has not aged 18 (eighteen) years old, including children who are still in the womb.

Rape is usually done by a stranger to the child, but now it is very disappointing that  the rape was carried out by people who are well known to the victim (seductive rape), such as teachers, doctors, friends or the biological parent (father). Data showed that 68% of sexual violence against children, the perpetrators were their family

Ideally, a father is the leader in the family that responsible to provide protection, love and affection, a decent living, education and mental development of children so  the children has a personality that is established well and able to float ideas in a positive and focused way.

But not all fathers can carry out his duties properly, some of them destroy his daughter’s  life by raping on them (incest). Incest is a sexual intercourse or sexual relations that occur between two people that have bond,where the bond consanguinity between them is close enough, for example between the brothers with sisters, fathers with daughters, mothers with sons or uncles with nephews. In this case, sexual relations that occur there are a voluntary and there is coercion. That is coercion is called rape. Many people are known to rape incest, because this case is more frequently reported by victims or their families.

Sexual violence in this category is the hardest violence because the victim always  remember that the offender is a person in a family and near her own so that incest usually occurs over and over, and between the victim and the perpetrator most likely to meet each other.

Rape case  by a father that abusing his own daughter was a lot happening on  the middle class economy families, because the house that they have is very narrow, the conditions at home is only one room for a whole family members. So over time people who were there will inflame passions biological. Fathers that  spend more time at home because they do not have a job while his wife works outside home or abroad. Rape can also happens  due to environmental influences or background which affects living  way in the past, feel deprived or left behind of sexual experience when he was teen (sexual lag behind) as well as psychological shock due to spontaneous sexual stimulation and lack of understanding of religious values.

Most of the perpetrators  explained that they had raped their children because of sexual arousal (see parts of the body), a wife who can not serve their sexual needs, habits of children who sleep together with parents, horny after watching porn movie, unconscious, too fond of children, the influence from alcohol and social construction that is too strong (the way men judge women)

CASES EXAMPLE

We can see several examples of cases below:

1. Jakarta – April, 2002

A biological father raping 2 of his daughters since 1996 when they was aged 8 and 6 years old. The perpetrator complained  by his wife and he was imprisoned.

2. Bogor – April, 2002

A father raped his biological child until having a child. The perpetrator reported to the police  by the victim.

3. Surabaya – June, 2002

During the 3 years raping his own daughter. Perpetrators reported by the victim and his ex-wife who has been divorced for a long time.

4. Padang – August 19, 2005

HS (32 years old) raped her daughter for many times since  divorced with his wife and they used to sleep in one room.

5. West Sumatra – August 20, 2005

Not satisfied although already has two wives, a father raped his biological daughter (18 years old). Perpetrator  threatened the victim with a knife to obey his will. The perpetrator imprisoned.

6. Madiun – August 4, 2002

During the 3years while his mother worked abroad, Lel (14 years old) raped by her own father. It had happened for a long period  because the victim fear of the threat from her father. Perpetrator have been arrested and punished.

7. Malang – June 12,2008

M (44 years old), raping his daughter since she was  8 years old to 14 years old. The victim claimed that rape by her father since she was in 4th grade of secondary school. If counted, rape by her father is more than 10 times in a year. Rape is done because his wife works outside the country so no one fulfiil his  sexual needs. Perpetrator arrested after a complaint the victim and her boyfriend.

8. Nganjuk – April 21,2009

By the reason of drunkenness, Sutriyono (41) raped his biological child who was 15 years old. The child was raped beside her mother who was asleep. When the mother woke up and prohibit the perpetrator, he’s beating of his wife and banging her  into the wall. Both of them then reported this thing to the police and the perpetrator has been arrested and imprisoned.

9. Timor  – July 16,2009

IN (39 years old), three times raping his children. It was in October 12.2008, February 10.2009 and July 15.2009. The reason is that the father must raped her first daughter so can live happily if married later. Perpetrator reported by his wife, children and neighbors and have been detained by the police.

10. Labuhan Batu Selatan – January 20.2010

BN (42 years old), since 2007 has four times raping his daughter  who is now 15 years old. The victim told this to the neighbors and they reported it to the police. The perpetrator is imprisoned.

11. Padang – August 10.2010

AWE (48 years old), his child abuse began in 2005 because of seeing his beautiful daughter’s face. The perpetrator  was  reported by the victim to the police and was arrested.

12. Bangkalan – October 9.2010

MK (47 years old) had raped his daughter KLZ (16 years old)  for thirty times since she was in 3rd grade secondary school. The perpetrator reported by the victim and her mother to the police and  now is imprisoned.

13. Malang – October 22, 2010

BH (45 years old) raped his 16 years old daughter. He rape her when the condition of the house is quiet and his wife was ill. He have been detained by the police. BH crimes uncovered after his daughter  complained to her teacher at school so the school reported the incident to the police.

14. Purwokerto – November 23, 2010

KP (50 years old) raped his daughter MR (16 years old) until got pregnant for  5 months. The act was reported by the mother’s of victim and the neighbors as suspected her  physical changes. The perpetrator  who worked as a pedicab driver confessed that he had raped the victim from the beginning of 2009.

15. Jakarta – January 12, 2011

Puji  (40 years old) rape his daughter (B) from she was  in 4th grade of secondary school until now in junior high school and got pregnant for 1.5 months. The perpetrator  reported to the police by the neighbors after they saw  B have been pregnant.

16. Jakarta – February 5, 2011

MJ (40 years old) rape his  daughter MO (13 years old) in mid of January. Currently this case ready for trial.  Now  she moved into her relative’s house and not go to school anymore.

Rape action lasted for a long time because previously no one knows because the perpetrator is always tricky and threatened to kill the victim if the victim does not want to obey his will or try to report the rape to someone else.

Sexual crimes against children have been frequent in Indonesia, but  case like this is just like an iceberg phenomenon, to obtain estimates of the right or at least closer numbers to reality is very difficult because many cases unreported. Indonesian society still don’t have the courage to report these cases because it is still considered taboo in the family, they also think that these domestic issue is very privacy in a family.

RAPE IMPACT

1. Physical / Health Impact

Physical effects that can be experienced by victims are :

a. Damage to organs, such as the hymen, collapsed and died
b. Victims may be exposed to communicable diseases
c. Unwanted pregnancies

The possibility of pregnancy due to rape incest action if these people having child  will carry the homozygot gene. Some diseases can be inherited through a recessive homozygot gene which can cause death to the baby ie fatal anemia, impaired vision to children aged 4-7 years which could effect in blind, albino, polydactyl and so forth. A  genetic weakness and poor genetic history will grow dominant to the children.

Emotional disturbance experienced by the mother due to pregnancy affect fetal growth and development of pre-and post-birth. Moreover, many genetic diseases has a greater chance of emergence to the children that born from incest as a genetic disorder that causes mental health problems ( skizoprenia), mental retardation (idiot) and weak brain development.

2. Psychological Impact

Incest rape will make women living in a miserable life. Dependency and fear of the threat makes women can not resist being raped by her own father. It is very difficult for them to get out from it because they are highly dependent on the perpetrator  and still do not want to open a disgrace of  the man who basically they cared about and should be their protectors. As a result they are traumatized for life and psychiatric disorders.

The psychological impact suffered by victims are:

a. Disorders of sexual behavior

b. Severe Trauma / shock psychiatric (crying, isolate themselves, fear, self-blaming and suicide). This is commonly called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

c. Difficult to concentrate.

d. Can not trust other people.

e. Depression

Rape by someone who is known, the father, in psychologically it takes a longer time to recover because the victims have memory against the perpetrators of rape, so victims will experience a very long fear. Rape against children is also caused many of them unable to continue their study anymore because they are embarrassed by the circumstances, until eventually it caused the destruction of their future.

3. The impact in terms of humanitarian

Universal conscience of humanity (in general) that civilized until today condemned this act as a crime against the human values ​​that has sacrificed the moral feelings of the public.

4. Social Impact

In Indonesia, an incestuous relationship occurred in one family would cause the destruction of the family name in the public eye. Families can be ostracized by society and become the rumor the community. More important problem of child asylum cases of rape incest is that there is an unhealthy condition in a social context, relating to the social construction of the family. For example, people know the father and daughter as one family. But in case of incestuous rape cases, where the father impregnated her daughter, then when the child is born a child of the woman’s father then became a double status, father and grandfather.

ROLE OF THE STATE AND SOCIETY

Sexual crimes against children is a serious issue that should get priority attention from the State to immediately deal with it, because children who are victims have been humbled status and dignity, and will experience a long psychological trauma throughout her life. Role of the State becomes very important because the State has the obligation to preserve, protect and fulfill children’s rights.

Protection of children is all activities to ensure and protect children and their rights in order to live, grow, develop, and participate, in an optimal fit with the dignity of humanity, and get protection from violence and discrimination.
Perpetrators of rape against children in Indonesia can be arrested and subjected to punishment for violating the articles such as:

1. Article 81 paragraph 1 of Act No. 23 of 2002 on Child Protection

Any person who intentionally commit violence or threats of violence forced the children to do sexual intercourse with him or with another person, is punishable by a maximum imprisonment of 15 (fifteen) years and a minimum 3 (three) years and a fine of  Rp300,000,000.00 (three hundred million rupiahs) and at least Rp60,000,000.00 (sixty million rupiahs).

2. Article 46 of Law No. 23 Year 2004 on Domestic Violence

Any person committing acts of sexual violence as referred to in Article 8 letter (a) shall be punished with imprisonment of 12 (twelve) years or a fine of not more Rp36.000.000, 00 (thirty six million rupiahs).

A lot of reporting, arresting and a maximum punishment given to the perpetrators of  rape, but these crime is not reduced, even more to increase daily. If the perpetrators thinks that the punishment are not hard enough to make them refrain from doing such act, then cooperation with the community is require so this crime can be stopped, at least reduced in number.

Society as a social control including the school, the government, neighbors, friends and family should more caring and give attention to the situation that occurred in the vicinity. A little awareness that we have to consider other people will mean a lot to people who needs it. At least the perpetrators won’t be so brave committed rape if the people critical and look at the surrounding circumstances.  Needs courage from various parties, especially family, to be able to see this
proportional and siding with the victims to uncover case.

Also, it’s not enough only put this rape  problem against women as a moral issue, because this is also a problem of perspective and human reason; men’s  perspectives on women and women’s perspectives on men.

The perspectives should be changed, that a father is a man who should have the awareness to take care of  his family and its responsibilities as a leader in the family. A father does not just deserve to be respected, but also must appreciate his other family members. And women as wife and children, should be able to carry out its obligations properly, appreciate and cherish their family leader, appreciate and love themselves as individuals who have the same rights for life and able to resist and act decisively if their dignity as human beings have harassed and persecuted.

A daughter is the happy memories of the past, the joyful moments of the present, and the hope and promise of the future – Unknown

Eat your troubles away

Good health is important for mind, spirit and body. For us to function well and concentrate well, we need our health to be well. To achieve and maintain good health is an ongoing process in every age and happens through our daily routines such as eating, exercising, getting enough sleep etc. But to achieve good personal health, one’s life structure plays a great role s strong social relationships, positive attitude, longevity, productivity and good mood is important. The second important thing is personal hygiene to keep the body clean and prevent infection and other illness.

Besides these steps, the most effective and important thing is the food we eat. Healthy food reflects on our skin like a mirror and it can easily be seen on the face if a person is eating unhealthy food or have some sort of disease. So here are some tips of food that can help reduce pain and make us healthy.

Head ache

Eat plenty of fish as fish oil helps to prevent headaches. The same does ginger which reduces inflammation and pain.

Fever

Eat lots of yoghurt before pollen season. Also eat honey from your local region daily.

To prevent stroke

You can prevent stroke by building up fatty deposits on artery walls with regular doses of tea. (Tea suppresses actually the appetite and keeps the pounds from invading…green tea is great for our immune system.)

Insomnia

Use honey as a tranquilizer and sedative.

Asthma

Eating onions helps ease constriction of bronchial tubes.

Arthritis

Salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines prevents arthritis. (Omega oils in fish are good for our immune system).

Upset stomach

Bananas will settle an upset stomach and ginger will cure morning sickness and nausea.

Bladder infection

High-acid cranberry juice controls harmful bacterias.

Bone problems

Bone fractures and osteoporosis can be prevented by the manganese in pineapple.

Premenstrual syndrome

Cornflakes reduce the effects of PMS and also help to reduce depression, anxiety and fatigue.

Having memory problems

Oysters help to improve your mental functioning by supplying much needed zinc.

Colds

You can clear up your stuffy head with garlic and remember garlic lowers cholesterol too.

Coughing

A substance similar to that found in the cough syrups is found in hot red pepper. Use red (cayenne) pepper with caution as it can irritate your tummy.

Breast cancer

Wheat, bran and cabbage helps to maintain estrogen at healthy levels.

Lung cancer

A good antidote is beta carotene, a form of vitamin A can be found in dark green and orange vegetables.

Ulcer

Cabbage contains chemicals that heal both gastric and duodenal ulcers.

Diarrhea

Grate an apple with its skin, let it turn brown and then eat it to cure this condition. Bananas are also good for this ailment.

Clogged arteries

The mono unsaturated fat in avocados lowers cholesterol.

High blood pressure

Olive oil has been proven to lower blood pressure as well as celery that contains a chemical that lowers pressure too.

Imbalance in blood sugar

The chromium in broccoli and peanuts helps regulate the insulin and blood sugar.

The benefits of fruits

Kiwi

Tiny but mighty. This is a good source of potassium, magnesium, Vitamin E &fiber. Its vitamin C content is twice that of an orange.

Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Although an apple has a low Vitamin C content, it has antioxidants &flavonoids which enhances the activity of Vitamin C thereby helping to lower the risks of colon cancer, heart attack & stroke.

Strawberry

Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant vessels clogging free radicals protects the body from cancer causing, blood & major fruits.

Anti-oxidants and they actually keep us actually; any berry is good for you.

Orange

Oranges a day may help keep the cold away. Eating 2-4 can dissolve kidney stones as well as lessen the risk of cholesterol and prevent colon cancer.

Watermelon

A key source of dose of glutathione which helps boost our immune system packed with a giant coolest thirst quencher. It is composed of 92% water and contains other nutrients such as Lycopene – the cancer fighting oxidant, potassium and Vitamin C.

(watermelon also has natural substances sources that keep our skin healthy, protecting our skin from those natural SPF sources).

Tomatoes

A preventative measure for men as it prevents prostrate problems.

The easy way out

Suicide is defined as the deliberate killing of oneself. Nowadays, suicide has become the most growing cause of death among youth between 15 and 25. The difficult question is; “why do the students kill themselves?”

Some of the reasons may be the pressure the students face as they must succeed with the expectations back at home from parents. The shame in the classroom mixed with the shame at home marks the students deeply. Suicide does not come to mind immediately but slowly grows stronger as the person feels lost, lonely, confused, anxious, depressed and stressed. The major victims are those who come from a small town or village and are harassed by the “cool” students from the metro cities.

South Korea

Korea is famous for its education and one of the effects of this pressure has increased the suicide rates among students down to teenagers. A total of 146 students have committed suicide in 2010 alone.

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) is one of the nation’s top universities, but it has become known for the rising suicides among its students. Four students and one professor have committed suicide in the last three months at this prestigious university. KAIST’s students have blamed the pressure of intense competition and the unique penalty system which charges the students extra fees for underachievement that has contributed to the suicides. If the grades falls below 3.0, the student is forced to pay 63,000 Korean Won (around 58$)

KAIST University was established by the Korean government as the nation’s first science and engineering institution and has received huge government financial and legal support. Therefore, many have argued that KAIST students should not complain about the stress and competition since they are being supported by the government and enjoy privileges while ordinary students have none of these benefits. They are also excluded from military duty while all able bodied Korean men are obliged to take.

Mental Weakness

Right after the 4th suicide, President of KAIST, Suh Nam-pyo said in a press conference that the school will scrap its penalty system but it was not enough for the public who called for the President to resign since he had created this system. His comments after the suicide made people go against him as he meant that the students who committed suicide were suffering from mental weakness.

India

Between 2006 and 2008, 16,000 school and college students committed suicide according to the health ministry.  The World Health Organization (WHO) along with experts and doctors has demanded that a long term strategy needs to be put in place to tackle problems like anxiety, depression, stress and suicidal tendencies. As Cherian Verghese, a specialist with WHO India said; “The mental health system needs and overhaul. Our schools might be giving good education but we need education in life skills.”

The social taboo around mental health is a problem and the country needs more psychiatrists and social counselors who can counsel people during post-disaster trauma disorder. In a country with almost 1,21 billion people, living with social stigma, growing competition and the desire to succeed in every field, there are almost 3,500 psychiatrists trying to cope with the mental health.

From the beginning of 2010, more than 20 students committed suicide in Mumbai, India’s biggest financial capital. One of the mistakes of the schools is that, the schools pay more attention to results than to the “total education” of the child. And when parents are caught up with work, it creates a lack of attention and love but the expectation of good grades remains.

Japan

According to a report issued by the national police of Japan (NPA) as an annual study of suicide on March 3, 2011, suicide rates in Japan have increased 20% in 2010 and those who commit suicide mostly are unemployed. NPA report mentions the unemployed who committed suicide were mostly students or scholars. In 2009, the rate of student suicide unemployment counted 23 people and this number increased in 2010 with 53 people, 130% more.

China

As millions of students graduate every year, one in three graduates is unable to find a job. Already in 2009, suicide was listed as the leading cause of death among students. With 1.5 million graduates from 2009 still out of work, there are simply not enough jobs to go around, and the problem has been exacerbated by the impact of the global financial crisis.

In a country where university education has become crucial for the future success, the government has tried to manage the problem by offering soon-to-be-graduates positions as teachers and low level government positions in rural areas, but few are willing to return to the country side since their degrees was supposed to guarantee them escape and a better life.

Self-poisoning suicide attempts among students in Tehran, Iran.

A cross-sectional study was conducted on self-poisoned students admitted to Loghman-Hakim Hospital in Tehran, Iran and the study included age, sex, substance abuse, personal history, familial history and the immediate precipitant for the suicide attempt.

The results showed that a total of 248 students (200 F and 48 M) Self poisoning with a pharmaceutical agent was the most common attempt modality (87.5%). The most common precipitant for the suicide attempt was family conflict (54.4%), followed by romantic disappointment (29.4%). The most common psychiatric disorders were adjustment disorder (84.3%). and depression (18.1%).

Facts about suicide (religious tolerance.org)
  • Industrialized countries tend to have a higher suicide rate than poor developing countries.
  • U.S. suicide rates are highest in the western and rocky mountain states and low in the northeastern states.
  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among the population.
  • The most common method used my male are firearms (58%) and women to choose poisoning (40%).
  • More females than males attempt suicide.
  • More males than females succeed at suicide.
  • Married people have a lower rate of suicide than those who are divorced, separated, widowed or single.
  • Among the most common faith groups in the U.S., protestants have the highest suicide rate, Roman Catholics second and Jews as the lowest rate.
  • A person has a higher risk of committing suicide if their parent, close relative or close friend has taken their own life.

Click at the picture for a larger image

What are the reasons?

According to WHO, in the last 45 years, suicide rates have increased by 60% around the world and are placed among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 and almost 30% of the suicides in the world occur in India, Japan and China. India stands for 10% of the suicides in the world, Japan has 30,000 suicides every year, in South Korea, one human life is ended by suicide every 40 minutes and in China, 287,000 people take their own life vey year.

Now that we have seen the numbers and statistics of suicide, the focus should actually be on the reason why people choose to end their life, and researches have shown many various reasons combined with the culture and environment of the country they live in. But one important reason is economic hardship together with the society becoming more and more materialistic and the people’s struggle to keep up. In the urban areas, stress and depression is the major causes for suicide.

Japan has always had very traditional societal structure and for a person to lose his/her job is considered as the ultimate shame and suicide preserves the person’s honour and makes them avoid shame. Then there is the pressure placed on the Korean students that the exam season is known as the “suicide season”. Now, the Korean government has started to launch public campaigns against suicide as well as educational programmes to avoid signs of depression and prevent suicidal tendencies. In China, there is awareness of the problem but there is still no strategy put forward to prevent it.

I have collected various reasons from different sources and put them together as a small guideline to prevent students in any age to commit suicide.

1. Lack of harmony between child and parents.

Many parents work to make an earning and as they are pressured with time, tension from work, tight schedules, family problems and worries about life, they become unable to pay attention to their children. The only thing they achieve is to fulfil the children’s basic needs and provide money. The children feel lonely and pressured to not fail as this will bring them shame. Another important aspect is that parents must find time to follow what the children are doing, where they go, who their friends are and etc.

2. Inefficiency

Some parents expect too much of their children and this imposes a heavy burden on the child. The parents must not be disappointed, angry or insult the child in case of a failure but rather encourage them to succeed next time as failure is the pillar of success.

3. Admission process

India is one of the countries with this problem where students have to wait in long queue throughout the day in rural areas or at computer centers as t electricity comes and goes. Situations like this bring frustration and anger. Here the government or the school must provide better ways for the students to get the necessary tools they need.

4. Keeping happy atmosphere at home.

Parents should not involve the children in their tensions and listen carefully to them. The children will be stronger if the parents give them discipline together with love and good culture. By this, the parents will manage to transfer confidence to the children.

5. Frequent meetings between parent-teacher and child.

Frequent meetings make aware of children’s real position and their right things as well as wrong things can be checked out. Parents and teachers should encourage children by giving rewards and explain when they have done something wrong. These remedies will build the child for the future to handle failure much better.

 

Lesotho – A country of Women Upliftment

Independent from British colonial rule in 1966, the kingdom of Lesotho was used to be trouble state where just like rest of Africa the power struggle leads into the greed of politicians & affects innocent citizens. Gripped in the variety of law codes which decides the fate of the people of Lesotho who are by origin are from Buntu descent results of the early Buntu migrations who got settled down in this hilly country. Lesotho is the highest ground level in the world making it the only country who’s even the lowest point from the sea level is 1455mtrs above. It is sovereign state with constitutional Monarchy or parliamentary monarchy system where King has no public role with its capital at Maseru. Surrounded on all sides by South Africa; It has the healthiest sex ration in Africa where for 100 women there are 95 men. After the introduction of a proper constitution & democratic system in 1998 the condition of women has been lifted on a very wide scale. The involvement has reached at such a stage that now women shares equal number of ministries, public servants positions, Army ranks, in Lesotho political & public structure. The literacy rate of 95% among women & 75% literacy rate among men which is the highest in Africa & one of the highest in the world makes women more advantageous & opportunistic. This situation has now completely transformed the family per capita tally where in Lesotho there are more women earning members than men now.  Now women are serving in every field where in early years men used to dominate.

Concerns: As per UNAID 2009 report Lesotho has the world’s highest number of HIV/AIDS infected people where in every 4 women are infected out of 5 & the same of men as well. With the non availability of hygienic & proper medical facilities in the kingdom & poor sanitation & high poverty levels make Lesotho more vulnerable to the highest infant mortality rate in the world & the lowest life expectancy due to highest number of HIV/AIDS infected people which counts for Men 45 years & same for Women 45years too. The ration of doctors / physicians is 5: 10000

It is among the poorest countries in the world & majority of population lives below poverty line. 75% of the population is rural & 25% is Urban. Population growth rate is 0.13% with a total GDP of 2.13billion USD.

The curse of the Acacia tree

In the clinic area, some 150 people gather together for the daily painful ritual. The common thing between these poor souls is the thick stick they all support themselves on. They are all infected by Kala Azar. The treatment is extremely painful as the patient gets a high dosage of medicine injected on the seat muscle. During the 17 days of treatment, most of the patients have to be hold down by 3-4 people and to manage to walk afterwards; they have to use a walking stick. But even though the pain, these patients are the lucky ones. Some children have to walk days with high fever just to reach the clinic, and others never make it there.

The eruption

Life goes on in the villages as women carry water and children playing around. The big acacia tree looks beautiful at sunrise and sunset and the children likes to play around it. But it is here that the black sand fly is that infects 500,000 people a year. It is when the sun is on its way down that the fly’s swirls around the red tree. Children up to the age of 4 are most affected that attacks the skin, eyes and mouth.

2010 has been the year with large eruption since the largest epidemic happened in Sudan on the west side of Upper Nile under the civil war in 1980 and 1990’s. 100,000 people lost their life and many villages were left empty.

The reason for the epidemic can be explained by the large amount of refugees returning back after the peace deal between north and south in 2005 and an increased number of internally displaced in the states of Upper Nile and Jonglei.

South Sudan has been battling with the worst epidemic of the deadly kala azar disease during the last 8 years, with tens of hundreds of people infected according to medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres.

If the patient is untreated, the parasitic disease, spread by the bite of an infected fly, is fatal in almost 100% of cases. By the end of November, MSF had treated 2,355 south Sudanese for the disease. By the end of October 2010, more than 9,330 cases in south Sudan had been reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO), most of these were children. Almost 5% of those who received treatment at medical facilities later died, according to the WHO.

What is Kala Azar?

Click at the picture for a larger image

Kala Azar is a deadly disease caused by parasitic protozoa Leishmania donovani, transmitted to humans by the bite of infected female sandfly, Phlebotomus argentipes. It lowers immunity, causes persistent fever, anemia, liver and spleen enlargement, loss of body weight, diarrhea, and fatigue and if it is left untreated, it kills. The disease suppresses the immune system so that the patient is vulnerable to other infections. Kala Azar was first discovered of Western doctors in 1824 in Jessore, India (today’s Bangladesh) thinking it was malaria. The name Kala Azar is derived from Kala which means black in Sanskrit, Assamese, Hindi and Urdu and the Persian Azar for disease. It is regarded as the second disease after Malaria taking lives.

Current situation

The disease is endemic in three countries; Bangladesh, India and Nepal and approximately 200 million people in the Region are “at risk” from the disease. The disease is now being reported in 45 districts in Bangladesh, 52 in India and 12 in Nepal. The total number of districts reporting Kala Azar exceeds 109. Of the estimated 500,000 people in the world infected each year, nearly 100,000 are estimated to occur in the Region. In the endemic countries, Kala Azar affects the poorest as they have little knowledge about the disease and unlikely to seek early treatment and most of those who start treatment cannot afford to complete it.

Treatments

The Indian medical practitioner, Upendra Nath Brahmachari, was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1929 for his discovery of ureastibamine (an antimonial compound for the treatment of Kala Azar) and a new disease, post Kala Azar dermal leishmaniasis.

Even with recovery, kala-azar does not always leave the person unmarked. Sometime after successful treatment, a few months with African Kala Azar, or several years with the Indian one, a secondary form of the disease may set in, called post Kala Azar dermal leishmaniasis, or PKDL. This condition shows up as small, measles on the face, which gradually increases in size and spreads over the body. Eventually the lesions may form disfiguring, swollen structures resembling leprosy, and occasionally causing blindness if they spread to the eyes.

The medicine is expensive and the treatment very painful. The fact that this disease affects the poor and malnourished is making it worse. Most of the doctors working in the cities do not have the possibility to get to many villages or to transport the medicine for various reasons. To help these people, much needs to be done, and much money is needed for medicine and transport. The fact that children have to walk for days under the burning sun for days with high fever and extreme pain is sad and hard to imagine for us but unfortunately true.

 

Inbreeding – Cousin marriages and health disorders

It is estimated that at least 55% of British Pakistanis are married to first cousins and the tradition is also common among some other South Asian communities and in some Middle Eastern countries. But there is a problem: marrying someone who is themselves a close family member carries a risk for children, a risk that lies within the code of life, inside our genes. Communities that practice cousin marriage experience higher levels of some very rare but very serious illnesses known as recessive genetic disorders.

Such unions are seen as strong because they build on tight family networks and family events gets better because the in-laws are already related to each other and have the same family history. But the statistics for recessive genetic illness in cousin marriages is serious as British Pakistanis are 13 times more likely to have children with genetic disorders than the general population.

Cousin marriages

Cousin marriage is marriage between two cousins. This kind of marriage is highly stigmatized today in the West, but it does account for over 10% of marriages worldwide as it is common in the Middle East, where in some nations they account for over half of all marriages.

According to Professor Robin Fox of Rutgers University, it is likely that 80% of all marriages in history have been between second cousins or closer. It is generally accepted that the founding population of Homo sapiens was small, anywhere from 700 to 10,000 individuals. Rates of first-cousin marriage in the United States, Europe, and other Western countries like Brazil have declined since the 19th century, though even during that period they were not more than 3.63% of all unions in Europe. But in many other world regions cousin marriage is still strongly favoured: in the Middle East some countries have seen the rate rise over previous generations, and one study finds quite stable rates among Indian Muslims over the past four decades.

Cousin marriage has often been chosen to keep cultural values and ensure the compatibility of spouses, preserve familial wealth, sometimes via advantages relating to dowry or bride price. Other reasons may include geographic proximity, tradition, strengthening of family ties, maintenance of family structure, a closer relationship between the wife and her in-laws, greater marital stability and durability, ease of prenuptial negotiations, enhanced female autonomy, the desire to avoid hidden health problems and other undesirable traits in a lesser-known spouse, and romantic love.

United States

The United States has the only bans on cousin marriage in the Western world. As of February 2010[update], 30 U.S. states prohibit most or all marriage between first cousins together with other 6 states.

Cousin marriage was legal in all US states in the Union prior to the Civil War. However, according to Kansas sociology professor Martin Ottenheimer, after the Civil War the main purpose of marriage prohibitions was increasingly seen as less maintaining the social order and upholding religious morality and more as safeguarding the creation of fit offspring. By the 1870s, Lewis Henry Morgan was writing about “the advantages of marriages between unrelated persons” and the necessity of avoiding “the evils of consanguine marriage.” Cousin marriage to Morgan, and more specifically parallel-cousin marriage, was a remnant of a more primitive stage of human social organization. Morgan himself had married his mother’s brother’s daughter in 1851.

In 1846 the Governor of Massachusetts appointed a commission to study “idiots” in the state which implicated cousin marriage as being responsible for idiocy. Within the next two decades numerous reports appeared coming to similar conclusions, including for example by the Kentucky Deaf and Dumb Asylum, which concluded that cousin marriage resulted in deafness, blindness, and idiocy. Perhaps most important was the report of physician S.M. Bemiss for the American Medical Association, which concluded “that multiplication of the same blood by in-and-in marrying does incontestably lead in the aggregate to the physical and mental depravation of the offspring.”

These developments led to thirteen states and territories passing cousin marriage prohibitions by the 1880s. Though contemporaneous, the eugenics movement did not play much direct role in the bans, and indeed George Louis Arner in 1908 considered them a clumsy and ineffective method of eugenics, which he thought would eventually be replaced by more refined techniques. Ottenheimer considers both the bans and eugenics to be “one of several reactions to the fear that American society might degenerate.” In any case, by the period up until the mid-1920s the number of bans had more than doubled. Since that time, the only three states to successfully add this prohibition are Kentucky in 1943, Maine in 1985, and Texas in 2005. The NCCUSL unanimously recommended in 1970 that all such laws should be repealed, but no state has dropped its prohibition since the mid-1920s.

Europe

Only Austria, Hungary, and Spain banned cousin marriage throughout the 19th century, with dispensations being available from the government in the last two countries. Protestant, the Church of Sweden didn’t ban first-cousin marriage until 1680 and required dispensation until 1844. England maintained a small but stable proportion of cousin marriages for centuries, with proportions in 1875 estimated by George Darwin at 3.5% for the middle classes and 4.5 % for the nobility, though this has declined to under 1 % in the 20th century. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were a preeminent example.

The 19th century academic debate on cousin marriage evolved differently in Europe than it did in America. The first-cousin marriage was legal in ancient Rome from at least the Second Punic War (218–201 BC) to its ban by the Christian emperor Theodosius I in 381 AD in the west and until after Justinian (d. 565 AD) in the east.

Early Catholic marriage rules forced a sharp change from earlier norms in order to deny heirs to the wealthy and therefore increase the chance they would will their property to the Church.

Middle East

The Middle East has uniquely high rates of cousin marriage among the world’s regions. Saudi Arabia, have rates of marriage to first or second cousins that may exceed 50%, Iraq was estimated in one study to have a rate of 33%, and figures for Iran and Afghanistan have been estimated in the range of 30–40%. Though on the lower end, Egypt and Turkey nevertheless have rates above 20%.

All states in the Persian Gulf currently require advance genetic screening for all prospective married couples. Qatar was the last Gulf nation to institute mandatory screening in 2009, mainly to warn related couples who are planning marriage about any genetic risks they may face. The current rate of cousin marriage there is 54%, an increase of 12–18% over the previous generation. A report by the Dubai-based Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS) in September 2009 found that Arabs have one of the world’s highest rates of genetic disorders, nearly two-thirds of which are linked to consanguinity. Research from CAGS and others suggests consanguinity is declining in Lebanon and Egypt and among Palestinians, but is increasing in Morocco, Mauritania and Sudan.

Dr. Ahmad Teebi, a genetics and pediatrics professor at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, links the increase in cousin marriage in Qatar and other Gulf states to tribal tradition and the region’s expanding economies. “Rich families tend to marry rich families, and from their own – and the rich like to protect their wealth,” he said. “So it’s partly economic, and it’s also partly cultural.” In regard to the higher rates of genetic disease in these societies, he says: “It’s certainly a problem,” but also that “The issue here is not the cousin marriage, the issue here is to avoid the disease.”

Africa

Cousin marriage rates from most African nations outside the Middle East are unknown. It is however estimated that 35–50% of all sub-Saharan African populations either prefers or accept cousin marriages. In Nigeria, the most populous country of Africa, the three largest tribes in order of size are the Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo. Muslim Hausa practice cousin marriage preferentially, and polygamy is allowed if the husband can support multiple wives. Divorce can be accomplished easily by either the male or the female, but females must then remarry. Even for a man, lacking a spouse is looked down upon. Baba of Karo’s first of four marriages was to her second cousin. She recounts in the book that her good friend married the friend’s first cross cousin.

The Yoruba people are split between Islam and Christianity. A 1974 study analyzed Yoruba marriages in the town Oka Akoko, finding that among a sample of marriages having an average of about three wives. These included not only cousin marriages but also uncle-niece unions. Reportedly it is a custom that in such marriages at least one spouse must be a relative, and generally such spouses were the preferred or favourite wives in the marriage and gave birth to more children. Finally, the Igbo people of southern Nigeria specifically prohibit both parallel- and cross-cousin marriage, though polygamy is common. Men are forbidden to marry within their own patrilineage or those of their mother or father’s mother and must marry outside their own village. Igbo are almost entirely Christian, having converted heavily under colonialism

In Ethiopia the ruling Christian Amhara people were historically rigidly opposed to cousin marriage, and could consider up to third cousins the equivalent of brother and sister, with marriage at least ostensibly prohibited out to sixth cousins. A man marrying a former wife’s “sister” was seen as incest, and conversely for a woman and her former husband’s “brother.” Though Muslims make up over a third of the Ethiopian population, and Islam has been present in the country since the time of Muhammad, cross-cousin marriage is very rare among most Ethiopian Muslims.

South Asia

Attitudes in India on cousin marriage vary by region and culture. For Muslims it is acceptable and legal to marry a first cousin but for Hindus it may be illegal under the 1955 Hindu Marriage Act, though the specific situation is more complex. The Hindu Marriage Act makes cousin marriage illegal for Hindus with the exception of marriages permitted by regional custom. Cousin marriage is proscribed and seen as incest for Hindus in north India. In fact it may even be unacceptable to marry within one’s village or for two siblings to marry partners from the same village but in south India it is common for Hindu’s to marry cross cousins, with matrilateral cross-cousin (mother’s brother’s daughter) marriages being especially favoured. In Mumbai, studies done in 1956 showed 7.7% of Hindus married to a second cousin or closer in contrast to the northern city of New Delhi where only 0.1% of Hindus were married to a first cousin during the 1980s.

India’s Muslim minority represents about 12% of its population (excluding Jammu and Kashmir) and has an overall rate of cousin marriage of 22% according to a 2000 report. Most Muslim cousin marriages were between first cousins with a rate of 20%.

United Kingdom

There has been a great deal of debate in the past few years in the United Kingdom about whether to discourage cousin marriages through government public relations campaigns or ban them entirely. The debate has been prompted by a Pakistani immigrant population making up 1.5% of the British population, of whom about 55% marry a first cousin. There is evidence that the rate of cousin marriage has increased among British Pakistanis from rates in their parents’ generation. Most British Pakistani marriages are arranged, but these can be of two types: conventionally arranged marriages where the bride and groom have little or no say, and what some British Pakistanis describe as “arranged love marriages” where the bride and groom play an important role.

Other regions

In the East, South Korea is especially restrictive with bans on marriage out to third cousins, with all couples having the same surname and region of origin having been prohibited from marrying until 1997. Taiwan, North Korea, and the Philippines also prohibit first-cousin marriage. It is allowed in Japan, though the incidence has declined in recent years. China has banned it since passing its 1981 Marriage Law, yet there is a conspicuous lack of data on actual cousin marriage rates there.

Recent 2001 data for Brazil indicates a rate of cousin marriage of 1.1%, down from 4.8% in 1957. For example, in São Paulo in the mid-19th century the rate of cousin marriage apparently was 16%, but a century later it was merely 1.9%.

Social aspects of cousin marriages

People may think that cousin marriages are more common among those of low socioeconomic status, among the illiterate and uneducated, and in rural areas due to the dowries and bridewealths that exist, but some societies also report a high prevalence among land-owning families and the ruling elite: here the relevant consideration is thought to be keeping the family estate intact over generations.

In South Asia, rising demands for dowry payments have caused economic hardship and have been linked to “dowry deaths” in a number of North Indian states. The increasing number of cousin marriages in the West may also occur as a result of immigration from Asia and Africa and some observers have concluded that the only new forces that could discourage such unions are government bans like the one China enacted in 1981.

Genetics

In April 2002, the Journal of Genetic Counseling released a report which estimated the average risk of birth defects in a child born of first cousins at 1.7–2.8% over an average base risk for non-cousin couples of 3%, or about the same as that of any woman over age 40. In terms of mortality, a 1994 study found a mean excess pre-reproductive mortality rate of 4.4%, while another study published in 2009 suggests the rate may be closer to 3.5%. Put differently, first-cousin marriage entails a similar increased risk of birth defects and mortality as a woman faces when she gives birth at age 41 rather than at 30. Critics argue that banning first-cousin marriages would make as much sense as trying to ban childbearing by older women.

In Pakistan, where there has been cousin marriage for generations and the current rate may exceed 50%, one study estimated infant mortality at 12.7 % for married double first cousins, 7.9 % for first cousins, 9.2 % for first cousins once removed/double second cousins, 6.9 % for second cousins, and 5.1 percent among nonconsanguineous progeny. Among double first cousin progeny, 41.2 % of prereproductive deaths were associated with the expression of detrimental recessive genes, with equivalent values of 26.0, 14.9, and 8.1 % for first cousins, first cousins once removed/double second cousins, and second cousins respectively.

For example because the entire Amish population is descended from only a few hundred 18th century German-Swiss settlers, the average coefficient of inbreeding between two random Amish is higher than between two non-Amish second cousins. First-cousin marriage is taboo among Amish but they still suffer from several rare genetic disorders. In Ohio’s Geagua County, Amish make up only about 10 % of the population but represent half the special needs cases. Similar disorders have been found in the highly polygamous FLDS, who do allow first-cousin marriage and of whom 75 to 80 % are related to two 1930s founders.

A BBC report reported about Pakistanis in Britain where 55% of whom had married a first cousin and many children come from repeat generations of first-cousin marriages. The report stated that these children were 13 times more likely than the general population to produce children with genetic disorders, and one in ten children of first-cousin marriages in Birmingham either died in infancy or would develop a serious disability. The BBC story contained an interview with Myra Ali, whose parents and grandparents were all first cousins. She has a very rare recessive genetic condition, known as Epidermolysis bullosa which will cause her to lead a life of extreme physical suffering, limited human contact and probably an early death from skin cancer. Knowing that cousin marriages increase the probability of recessive genetic conditions, she is against the practice. Finally, in 2010 the Telegraph reported that cousin marriage among the British Pakistani community resulted in 700 children being born every year with genetic disabilities.

The increased mortality and birth defects observed among British Pakistanis may, however, have another source besides current consanguinity. Genetic effects from cousin marriage in Britain are more obvious than in a developing country like Pakistan because the number of confounding environmental diseases is lower. Increased focus on genetic disease in developing countries may eventually result from progress in eliminating environmental diseases there as well.

Public Health in Norway published in March 2007 a research on intermarriage in Norway. The report identifies both the prevalence of intermarriage and the medical consequences for the children. The analysis was done on the basis of data from the Medical Birth Registry, Statistics Norway, Population Register and the Cause of Death Register of data for all persons born in Norway from 1967 to 2005 because Norway is the only country in the world that keeps the statistic numbers between the parents of all born babies. These were the key findings:

Prevalence of intermarriage:

  • In Norway, the most widespread intermarriage can be found among people of Pakistani origin. In first-generation immigrants from Pakistan intermarriage is 43.9% of all children born of parents who are cousins, and the total intermarriage ratio is 54.4%.
  • Among the descendants of first generation immigrants from Pakistan, the proportion of cousin pairs 35.1%, and the total intermarriage ratio 46.5%. Interbreeding units are therefore somewhat lower than in the parental generation.
  • Intermarriage-shares seem to be heading down in the Norwegian-Pakistani population, both first generation immigrants and descendants.
  • Intermarriage is relatively common also among people with origins from Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Sri Lanka, Morocco and Somalia.
  • For people of Norwegian origin, intermarriage is very rare, but it used to be more common a few decades back. This particularly applies to second cousin marriages. In those of Norwegian origin is 0.1% of parental pairs cousins ​​and second cousins ​​0.4% (in the period from 1967 to 2005).

Medical risks of intermarriage
Intermarriage leads to increased risk of stillbirth, infant death and congenital malformations. In addition, there is an increased risk of death right up to adulthood among children of intermarried parents.
For children of cousin marriage is the increase of risk in the following order:

  • Stillbirth: 60%
  • Deaths during the first year: 150%
  • Congenital malformations: 100%
  • Deaths from the age of one year and up to adulthood: 75%

These findings are statistically reliable, and not the result of random variation.

The significance of intermarriage for public health
Since intermarriage is rare in the population as a whole, intermarriage does little for public health in Norway, however, it is a major cause of illness and death among children in the country groups where intermarriage is common.
One must always bear in mind that most children of intermarriage, marriage is healthy and completely normal. Illness and death affects only a small minority of them.

Jewish communities affected by Tay-Sachs

Tay–Sachs disease (TSD, also known as GM2 gangliosidosis or Hexosaminidase A deficiency) is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder. In its most common variant, known as infantile Tay–Sachs disease, it causes a relentless deterioration of mental and physical abilities that commences around 6 months of age and usually results in death by the age of 4. Tay-Sachs is caused by a genetic defect in a single gene with one defective copy of that gene inherited from each parent. The disease occurs when harmful quantities of gangliosides accumulate in the nerve cells of the brain, eventually leading to the premature death of those cells. There is currently no cure or treatment but the Tay–Sachs disease is rare.

Tay-Sachs disease was named after British ophthalmologist Warren Tay, who first described the red spot on the retina of the eye in 1881, and the American neurologist Bernard Sachs of Mount Sinai Hospital, New York who described the cellular changes of Tay-Sachs and noted an increased prevalence in the Eastern European Jewish (Ashkenazi) population in 1887. Research in the late 20th century demonstrated that Tay–Sachs disease is caused by a genetic mutation on the HEXA gene on chromosome 15. These mutations reach significant frequencies in several populations. French Canadians of southeastern Quebec have a carrier frequency similar to Ashkenazi Jews, but they carry a different mutation. Many Cajuns of southern Louisiana carry the same mutation that is most common in Ashkenazi Jews. Most HEXA mutations are rare, and do not occur in genetically isolated populations. The disease can potentially occur from the inheritance of two unrelated mutations in the HEXA gene.

Millions of Ashkenazi Jews have been screened as Tay-Sachs carriers since carrier testing began in 1971. Jewish communities, both in and outside of Israel, embraced the cause of genetic screening from the 1970s on and the increasing number of Tay–Sachs disease led Israel to become the first country to offer free genetic screening and counseling for all couples making Israel a leading center for research on genetic disease. Both the Jewish and Arab/Palestinian populations in Israel contain many ethnic and religious minority groups, and Israel’s initial success with Tay–Sachs disease has led to the development of screening programs for other diseases.

Tay-Sachs has sometimes created an impression that Jews are more susceptible to genetic disease than other populations. Sheila Rothman and Sherry Brandt-Rauf, of Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Society and Medicine, have criticized this emphasis on ethnic identity in the study of disease. When several breast cancer mutations were discovered in the 1990s, the TSD model was applied, both consciously and inadvertently. Researchers had initially focused on breast cancer cluster families, not on ethnic groups. But because thousands of stored DNA samples were available from Tay-Sachs screening, researchers were quickly able to estimate the frequency of newly discovered mutations in Ashkenazi Jewish populations.

Inbreeding in the Royal and Nobel families

The family relationships of royalty are usually well known to be highly inbreeded. Royal intermarriage was mostly practised to protect property, wealth, and position.

  • In ancient Egypt, royal women carried the bloodlines and so it was advantageous for a pharaoh to marry his sister or half-sister. Normally the old ruler’s eldest son and daughter (who could be either siblings or half-siblings) became the new rulers. All rulers of the Ptolemaic dynasty from Ptolemy II were married to their brothers and sisters, to keep the Ptolemaic blood “pure” and to strengthen the line of succession. Cleopatra VII (also called Cleopatra VI) and Ptolemy XIII, who married and became co-rulers of ancient Egypt following their father’s death, are the most widely known example of brother and sister marriage.

The family-tree of Charles II of Spain shows an extraordinary number of uncle-niece and cousin unions of varying degrees that can be seen on the picture.

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  • Among European monarchies Jean V of Armagnac formed a rare brother-sister relationship. Also other royal houses, such as the Wittelsbachs had marriages among aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews. The British royal family had several marriages as close as the first cousin, but none closer.
  • The most famous example of a genetic disorder aggravated by royal family intermarriage was the House of Habsburg, which inmarried particularly often. Famous in this case is the Habsburg jaw/Habsburg lip/Austrian lip typical for many Habsburg relatives over a period of 6 centuries. The condition progressed through the generations to the point that the last of the Spanish Habsburgs, Charles II of Spain, could not properly chew his food.
  • Besides the jaw deformity, Charles II also had a huge number of other genetic physical, intellectual, sexual, and emotional problems. It is speculated that the simultaneous occurrence in Charles II of two different genetic disorders: combined pituitary hormone deficiency and distal renal tubular acidosis could explain most of the complex clinical profile of this king, including his impotence/infertility which in the last instance led to the extinction of the dynasty.
  • The most famous genetic disease that circulated among European royalty was haemophilia. Because the progenitor, Queen Victoria, was in a first cousin marriage, it is often mistakenly believed that the cause was consanguinity, however, this disease is generally not aggravated by cousin marriages, although rare cases of haemophilia in girls (though not including Victoria) are thought to result from the union of haemophilic men and their cousins.
  • Intermarriage within European royal families has declined in relation to the past. Inter-nobility marriage was used as a method of forming political alliances among elite power-brokers and these ties were often sealed only upon the birth of progeny within the arranged marriage. Marriage was seen as a union of lines of nobility, not of a contract between individuals as it is seen today.
  • Some Peruvian Sapa Incas married their sisters. The Inca had an unwritten rule that the new ruler must be a son of the Inca and his wife and sister. He then had to marry his sister (not half-sister), which ultimately led to the catastrophic Huáscar’s reign, culminating in a civil war and then fall of the empire.

Queen Victoria

Royal dyslexia
When we look at the Norwegian history, marriage between cousins was rare and attempted to be prohibited in 1687 but the exception was the royals. They married relatives to build alliances, and ensure values ​​and positions. It is not different from the today’s cousin marriages except the only difference was that the royal house had a stronger fundamental superstructure that was at the family’s superiority. Monarchical thinking assumes that your place in society is God-given and that your family is predetermined.

King Olav V and Queen Maud of Norway
To keep the heritage in their own hands, the Spanish Habsburgs started to marry more and more within the family. The result was that the lethal inbreeding within a few generations brought the male succession to destruction with 11 royal marriages in 200 years. 9 of these were intermarriages including two marriages between uncles and nieces and four between cousins. As a consequence of this, the Habsburgs suffered stillbirths and deaths of babies. Between 1527 and 1661 there was born 34 children and of these, 10 died before the age of 1 year. Another 17 died before the age of 10.

The Habsburgs last king, Carlos II, was born in 1661 and the Spaniards called him El hechizado, the enchanted. He had a large head and was relatively weak as a baby. He did not learn to speak before he turned four, and learned to walk when he was eight years old and stayed weak and very thin. His first and second wife claimed he was impotent and he would vomit and suffer from diarrhea. As a 30-year-old, King Carlos looked like he was an old man. He also couldn’t manage to bring an heir so the Halsburg Dynasty died with him in 1700.
Scientists have calculated that 25.4% of his gene variants were inherited in double dose and they believe he was hit by two genetic diseases that today are known as CPHD and distal renal tubular acidos (dRTA).

The Danish royal house was struggling with similar problems. Early in the 1800s did not King. Several diseases spread in the European royal houses of the 1800s and the British Queen Victoria’s descendants were affected by haemophilia resulting in her son Leopold death of the disease as 30-year-old. Her daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Alice brought the disease to the European royal houses.

Porphyria is another “royal disease” and the British king George III (1760 to 1820) was known as “Mad George” for his madness. Two professors of molecular genetics, Martin Warren and David Hunt of the University of London, examined in the book Purple Secret (1998) a thesis that George III’s illness was porphyria. They followed “Mad George” s genes down to today’s royals, and estimated that the Queen’s cousin William, who died in 1972, suffered from the disease. Also porphyria was brought further into the European royal families.
Norwegian Princess Astrid has been open to and told how she has experienced it to be dyslexic, like King Olaf was and the Princess’ five children also struggling with this problem.
In contrast, Swedish King Carl Gustaf, the Crown Princess Victoria and her brother Prince Carl Philip has been open with the disorder.

Swedish royal family

Camilla Stoltenberg of Public Health in Norway explains:
“If you inherit the gene from one parent, you may get a slight degree of the condition. Inherit it from both mother and father, the stronger the disposition, and then you can get a more serious disorder.” What then is the relationship between intermarriage and dyslexia?
“The chance that you get two identical copies of a gene is higher. This is also true for genes that predispose to dyslexia. And since dyslexia is probably conditioned by many genes, it is also a greater chance that you may have received two copies of several of the dysleksidisponerende genes,” she says.

International World Tuberculosis Day, 24th March

24th March every year is the World Tuberculosis day designed to spread awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis and efforts to eliminate the disease. Today, this disease causes the deaths of about 1,6 million people each year, mostly in the third world.

The reason that it is on 24th March is because the day commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB Bacillus. By the time of the announcement in Berlin, Europe and Americas was already being raged by the TB-virus causing the death of every one out of seven people.

In 1982, on the 100th anniversary of Robert Koch’s presentation, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) proposed that March 24th would be proclaimed as an official World TB Day.

Signs and symptoms

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When the disease becomes active in the human body, 75% of the cases are pulmonary TB, that is, TB in the lungs. The symptoms include; chest pain, coughing up blood, and a productive, prolonged cough for more than three weeks. Systemic symptoms include fever, chills, night sweats, appetite loss, weight loss, pallor, and fatigue. Tuberculosis also has a specific odour attached to it; this has led to trained animals being used to vet samples as a method of early detection.

In the other 25% of active cases, the infection moves from the lungs, causing other kinds of TB, collectively denoted extra pulmonary tuberculosis. This occurs more commonly in immunosuppressed persons and young children. Extra pulmonary infection sites include the pleura in tuberculosis pleurisy, the central nervous system in meningitis, the lymphatic system in scrofula of the neck, the genitourinary system in urogenital tuberculosis, and bones and joints in Pott’s disease of the spine.

Causes

The cause of TB, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), is a small aerobic non-motile bacillus. High lipid content of this pathogen accounts for many of its unique clinical characteristics. It divides every 16 to 20 hours, an extremely slow rate compared with other bacteria, which usually divide in less than an hour.

Epidemiology

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A third of the world’s population has been infected with M. tuberculosis, and new infections occur at a rate of one per second. However, not all infections with M. tuberculosis cause TB disease and many infections are asymptomatic. In 2007, an estimated 13.7 million people had active TB disease, with 9.3 million new cases and 1.8 million deaths; the annual incidence rate varied from 363 per 100,000 in Africa to 32 per 100,000 in the Americas. Tuberculosis is the world’s greatest infectious killer of women of reproductive age and the leading cause of death among people with HIV/AIDS.

In 2007, the country with the highest estimated incidence rate of TB was Swaziland, with 1200 cases per 100,000 people. India had the largest total incidence, with an estimated 2.0 million new cases. The Philippines ranks fourth in the world for the number of cases of tuberculosis and has the highest number of cases per head in Southeast Asia. Almost two thirds of Filipinos have tuberculosis, and up to an additional five million people are infected yearly. In developed countries, tuberculosis is less common and is mainly an urban disease. In the United Kingdom, the national average was 15 per 100,000 in 2007, and the highest incidence rates in Western Europe were 30 per 100,000 in Portugal and Spain. These rates compared with 98 per 100,000 in China and 48 per 100,000 in Brazil. In the United States, the overall tuberculosis case rate was 4 per 100,000 persons in 2007. In Canada tuberculosis is still endemic in some rural areas. The incidence of TB varies with age. In Africa, TB primarily affects adolescents and young adults, however, in countries where TB has gone from high to low incidence, such as the United States, it is mainly a disease of elder people, or of the immunocopromised.

What are the main causes of TB?

There are a number of known factors that make people more susceptible to TB infection such as HIV. Co-infection with HIV is a particular problem in Sub-Saharan Africa, due to the high incidence of HIV in these countries. Smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day also increases the risk of TB by two to four times. Diabetes mellitus is also an important risk factor that is growing in importance in developing countries. Other disease states that increase the risk of developing tuberculosis are Hodgkin lymphoma, end-stage renal disease, chronic lung disease, malnutrition, and alcoholism.

Diet may also modulate risk. For example, among immigrants in London from the Indian subcontinent, vegetarian Hindu Asians were found to have an 8.5 fold increased risk of tuberculosis, compared to Muslims who ate meat and fish daily. Although a causal link is not proved by this data, this increased risk could be caused by micronutrient deficiencies: possibly iron, vitamin B12 or vitamin D. Further studies have provided more evidence of a link between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of contracting tuberculosis. Globally, the severe malnutrition common in parts of the developing world causes a large increase in the risk of developing active tuberculosis, due to its damaging effects on the immune system. Along with overcrowding, poor nutrition may contribute to the strong link observed between tuberculosis and poverty.

Prisoners, especially in poor countries, are particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and TB. Prisons provide conditions that allow TB to spread rapidly, due to overcrowding, poor nutrition and a lack of health services. Since the early 1990s, TB outbreaks have been reported in prisons in many countries in Eastern Europe. The prevalence of TB in prisons is much higher than among the general population, in some countries as much as 40 times higher.

Robert Koch

Heinrich Hermann Robert Koch (11 December 1843 – 27 May 1910) was a Prussian physician. He became famous for isolating Bacillus anthracis (1877), the Tuberculosis bacillus (1882) and the Vibrio cholerae (1883) and for his development of Koch’s postulates. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his tuberculosis findings in 1905 and considered one of the founders of microbiology,

Heinrich Hermann Robert Koch was born in Clausthal, Prussia one of the German states as the son of a mining official. He studied medicine under Friedrich Gustav Jakob Henle at the University of Göttingen and graduated in 1866. He then served in the Franco-Prussian War and later became district medical officer, Wollstein (Wolsztyn), Prussian Poland. Working with very limited resources, he became one of the founders of bacteriology, the other major figure being Louis Pasteur. After Casimir Davaine showed the direct transmission of the anthrax bacillus between cows, Koch studied anthrax more closely. He invented methods to purify the bacillus from blood samples and grow pure cultures. He found that, while it could not survive outside a host for long, anthrax built persisting endospores that could last a long time. These endospores, embedded in soil, were the cause of unexplained “spontaneous” outbreaks of anthrax. Koch published his findings in 1876, and was rewarded with a job at the Imperial Health Office in Berlin in 1880. In 1881, he urged the sterilization of surgical instruments using heat.

In Berlin, he improved the methods he used in Wollstein, including staining and purification techniques, and bacterial growth media, including agar plates (thanks to the advice of Angelina and Walther Hesse) and the Petri dish, named after its inventor, his assistant Julius Richard Petri and these devices are still used today. With these techniques, he was able to discover the bacterium causing tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) in 1882 (he announced the discovery on 24 March). Tuberculosis was the cause of one in seven deaths in the mid-19th century.

In 1885, he became professor of hygiene at the University of Berlin, then in 1891 he was made Honorary Professor of the medical faculty and Director of the new Prussian Institute for Infectious Diseases (eventually renamed as the Robert Koch Institute), a position from which he resigned in 1904. He started traveling around the world, studying diseases in South Africa, India, and Java. He visited what is now called the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Mukteshwar on request of the then Government of India to investigate on cattle plague. The microscope used by him during that period was kept in the museum maintained by IVRI. Probably as important as his work on tuberculosis, for which he was awarded a Nobel Prize (1905), are Koch’s postulates, which say that to establish that an organism is the cause of a disease, it must be:

  • found in all cases of the disease examined
  • prepared and maintained in a pure culture
  • capable of producing the original infection, even after several generations in culture
  • Retrievable from an inoculated animal and cultured again.

Koch’s pupils found the organisms responsible for diphtheria, typhoid, pneumonia, gonorrhoea, cerebrospinal meningitis, leprosy, bubonic plague, tetanus, and syphilis, among others, by using his methods.

Robert Koch died on 27 May 1910 from a heart-attack in Baden-Baden, aged 66.

Source info; Wikipedia

Yoga and Its Benefits – Traditional art form of Indian physiotherapy

The most important benefit of yoga is physical and mental therapy. The aging process, which is largely an artificial condition, caused mainly by autointoxication or self-poisoning, can be slowed down by practicing yoga. By keeping the body clean, flexible and well lubricated, we can significantly reduce the catabolic process of cell deterioration. To get the maximum benefits of yoga one has to combine the practices of yogasanas, pranayama and meditation.

Physiological Benefits
Physicians and scientists are discovering brand new health benefits of yoga everyday. Studies show it can relieve the symptoms of several common and potentially life-threatening illnesses such as arthritis, arteriosclerosis, chronic fatigue, diabetes, AIDS, asthma and obesity.

Psychological Benefits
Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness, increases body awareness, relieves chronic stress patterns, relaxes the mind,
centres attention and sharpens concentration.

Spiritual Benefits
When you achieve the yogic spirit, you can begin knowing yourself at peace. The value of discovering one`s self and of enjoying one`s self as is, begins a journey into being rather than doing. Life can then be lived practicing “yoga off the mat”.

Types of Yogasanas:

We should begin with basic yoga postures of the gentle surya namaskar before adding more postures to our yoga routines. With expertise comes confidence. Postures from the primary series should be gradually slotted into our yoga routines. If all goes well and you don`t tear a tendon, hinges don`t lock and so on, then the third week might be generous enough to allow you to begin practising sitting postures. A few words of caution: don`t gallop, you could end up unseated and kissing the turf. The slower the learning process, the more the chances of learning the tricks of the trade. And most importantly, never practise without a teacher.

Surya Namaskar,

or Salutation to the Sun, is a sequence of 12 asanas, to draw in peace, harmony and strength in the body. Surya Namaskar accords overall strength and flexibility to the body, which is why it is generally performed before other asanas. The simple exercises fight aging and rejuvenate the entire body.

TADASANA
Tada‘ means a mountain and sama upright, unmoved. ‘Sthiti‘ means standing still. ‘Tadasana‘, therefore, implies a pose where you stand firm and erect like a mountain. ‘Tada‘ also means a palm tree growing straight. This is the basic standing pose.  Tadasana is useful for an alert body and mind. It induces lightness and agility. If practiced as in the picture here, it also relieves stiffness in shoulders and back and tones ankles and knees.

UTTHITA TRIKONASANA
Utthita‘ means extended and ‘trikon‘ is a triangle. The asana tones the leg muscles and removes stiffness in legs and hips. It relieves backaches and neck sprains and straightens the ankles and neck.

VIRASANA CYCLE
Vira‘ means a warrior. The asana resembles a warrior in sitting position.

SALAMBA SIRSASANA
In Salamba Sirsasana, the head supports the whole body.
The asana enhances blood supply to the brain. It gradually activates the endocrine glands. Regular practice increases intellectual clarity, improves will power, respiration and digestion. Minor ailments such as common cold, cough and sore throat can be cured.

SALAMBA SARVANGASANA

As the entire body benefits from this pose, this asana is generally known as Sarvangasana. In the classical pose, the hands support the back. This is called Salamba Sarvangasana. This asana develops patience and emotional stability. It is particularly beneficial and soothing for the nervous system.
It helps relieve ailments of the chest such as bronchitis, asthma, and breathlessness. It also helps decrease anemic conditions. It helps better digestion and hastens recuperation from any long illness.

USTRASANA

Ustra‘ means a camel. As the name suggests, this asana is so called because the pose resembles a camel. People with drooping shoulders and hunched backs specially benefit, since the whole spine is stretched back. This pose is useful for elderly people and those suffering from spinal injuries.

URDHVA MUKHA SVANASANAUrdhva Mukha‘ means facing upwards. ‘Svana‘ means a dog. The pose resembles a dog stretching itself with its head up. This asana rejuvenates the spine and is specially recommended for people suffering from a stiff back. It is also good for people with lumbago, sciatica, slipped and prolapsed discs. The lungs gain elasticity due to chest expansion. Blood circulates in the pelvic region, keeping it healthy.

HALASANA

Hala means plough. This posture is generally performed after Sarvangasana and therefore is often considered its extension. This pose is beneficial for headaches and fatigue. It is good for arthritis and stiffness of the shoulders. It soothes the nerves. Abdominal organs are also rejuvenated. It helps relieve backache. Cramps in the hands are cured by interlocking and stretching palms and fingers.

SAVASANA

Sava means a corpse. Savasana is thus the posture of emulating the dead. Though this apparently simple posture is the most difficult to master, it is also the most rewarding and refreshing. Savasana is a precise method of disciplining both body and mind. It connects asana and pranayama and leads one to the spiritual path.

International women’s day celebrates 100 years of progress and regress

“Women hold up half the sky”

Mao Tse-Tung, Chinese statesman.

We are living in the 21st century and would think that the women’s situation has improved much the past 100 years. In fact it has, but there is still a long way to go. It is unfortunate that millions of women around the world today are victims of discrimination, violence, abuse, human trafficking, poverty and murder. We would have thought that they would have equal rights, and even though some countries has constituted this, many women are still being suppressed, victimized and having their human rights violated. I would first of all like to congratulate every single woman on this day but also write about the dark side of the reality many women have to face. I could have written hundreds of pages about every country but it is impossible to do it at once so I only wrote about some cases and add some figures and statistics that can give a glance of the harsh reality. Let us notice the important message given by UNDP saying;

Women should be viewed as “valuable partners” in life, in the development of a society and in attainment of peace or just as important as taking legal aspects to protect women’s human’s rights.

From past to present

Since the early days of the Industrial Revolution women in Europe and North America have made considerable progress towards equality with men, although much remains still to be done. The industrialization of Western countries at first had not improved the status of women, but degraded them even further by exploiting them and their children in factories as cheap labour. Slowly, women stared to receive recognition for their substantial share and the factory system changed, but women and children were still paid less than men. At the same time, middle- and upper-class women were increasingly confined to the home with little to do except to take care of their children. Their husbands no longer worked inside the house, but were absent during most of the day. This led to that these women found enough time to devout themselves to various religious and moral causes; some became interested in abolition on the women’s rights movement. The common thing between the working class woman and the upper class was that they all insisted on change and contribute to women’s rights.

Today, women in many non-western countries also called third world countries live in a state of misery and suppression. They wake up every day to struggle to survive or feed their children. Their concern is far beyond what the concerns of the western women have about their liberation. This was also obvious when the United Nations sponsored an “International Women’s Conference” in Mexico City in 1975 where there was a serious communication gap between women from industrial and agrarian societies. It also revealed that a billion women live in poor, rural areas. Most of them are illiterate, malnourished, exhausted, or even ill, and are forced to work long hours for little reward. Naturally, men share many of these hardships, but women still bear the greatest burden. In almost all of the underdeveloped countries, boys are more favored than girls as they are they are considered to be a guarantee for the families economic security, and the girls marry into another family. Even in poverty, boys are better fed, clothed and educated than girls. The girls have to struggle with work, have few rights and must undergo several pregnancies.

Despite all our technological breakthroughs, we still live in a world were a 5th of the developing world’s population goes hungry to bed, a quarter lacks access to safe drinking water and a 3rd lives in despair. A 3rd of the world’s poorest 20% live in India and China. Poverty is a large problem for women as they are affected worse than men. Some reasons for these are that they are less paid then men, less decision making power within the household or because of the responsibility of children. Poverty will not vanish but follow us to the next millennium as the situation for the 1.3 billion people who live in absolute poverty is still not improving. 900 million of these are in fact women. Women do not have the same opportunities as men and poverty is the leading cause of death. This poverty leads often to higher birth rates and physical and social underdevelopment of their children.

Women’s role in agriculture

As statistic numbers from 1991 showed that only 8.5% of rural women are economically active, research and field observations shows that the number is much higher. The fact is that rural women play an active part in food and other crop production, fisheries and livestock, especially poultry rising. In forestry, women are involved in the production and transplanting of seedlings. Since income from agriculture is often insufficient for subsistence, rural women’s non-agricultural activities, such as carpet weaving and other crafts are important to household survival.

Problems in acquiring land for women are widespread, but seem to be worst in Africa. Hindering access to credit, land ownership, technology, marketing, and training, are all sources of serious constraints on national development. There are needs for more women in decision-making positions, better organization of women in agricultural organizations, and for women’s unpaid work to be recognized in both official statistics and the calculation of GDP.

An overview of the Afghan women’s situation

“Your country is now embarking on a process to create credible and accountable institutions in which all Afghans are represented. These are decisions for Afghan men and women to make. The role of the United Nations is to assist and encourage this process. But, I would like to take this opportunity to say to all Afghans: there cannot be true peace and recovery in Afghanistan without a restoration of the rights of women.” UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his statement to the Afghan Women’s Summit for Democracy (Brussels, 4 to 5 December 2001)

Afghanistan is a country of approximately 23 million which, after three years of severe drought, 23 years of war and devastation and 5 years under the Taliban authorities, has been left as one of the poorest countries in the world. Afghanistan has also the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world as it was even before the Taliban came to power; Afghanistan had high maternal and child mortality rates and a very low literacy rate for women. But in the 1960s women participated economically, socially and politically. They even helped to draft the 1964 Constitution. In the 1970’s, there were at least 3 women legislators in the Parliament and women worked as teachers, medical doctors, professors, lawyers, judges, journalists, writers, poets and in the government.

After when Taliban came to power, women and girls were discriminated, marginalized and their human rights were violated. Women and girls were restricted in their access to education, health care facilitates and employment. During the rule of Taliban, only 3% of girls received some form of primary education but the ban on women’s employment affected the boy’s education as well as the majority of teachers had been women.

Taliban’s policies also limited women’s freedom of movement. Women couldn’t travel without being accompanied by a male relative, which put a strain on female-headed households and widows. In May 2001, a decree was issued by the Taliban, banning women from driving cars, which further limited their activities. Women’s removal from the public space also meant that women could not play any role in the political process and were excluded from all forms of formal or informal governance. Today, as the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan continues, a number of United Nations entities continue to be actively involved in improving the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan. Some examples of this work include:

Since September 2001, Afghan women have begun to increase their activities as several events were organized by and with Afghan women’s organizations inside and outside Afghanistan, such as panel discussions, conferences and international meetings, in order to ensure that the experiences and needs of Afghan women would receive the needed attention in all efforts directed at the post-Taliban Afghanistan. Schools for girls are being reopened, and young women are enrolling in universities. Women are seeking to return to their former jobs as teachers, doctors and civil servants. Radio and television broadcasts in Kabul once again feature woman commentators.

In January 2002, Hamid Karzai demonstrated his support for women’s rights by signing the “Declaration of the Essential Rights of Afghan Women”, which affirmed the right to equality between men and women and the Declaration was adopted by a meeting of Afghans in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, in 2000. Women are at the helm of two Ministries which are part of the new Interim Administration headed by Hamid Karzai. The Ministry of Women’s Affairs, which had never existed before, is headed by Sima Samar, a physician and founder of the Shuhada Organization network of clinics, hospitals and schools in Pakistan and central Afghanistan. Ms. Samar is also one of the five Vice-Presidents of the Interim Administration. Suhaila Siddiq, a surgeon who continued to practice in Kabul throughout the Taliban regime, heads the Ministry of Public Health.

Widows flock to city to die

Thousands of India’s widows flock to the holy city of Vrindavan waiting to die. They are found on side streets and their heads shaved and their pain etched by hundreds of deep wrinkles in their faces. These Hindu widows are poor and shunned from society when their husbands die, not for religious reasons, but because of tradition and because they’re seen as a financial drain on their families. They cannot remarry, they must not wear jewelry and they are forced to shave their heads and wear white. Even their shadows are considered as bad luck for many.

Hindus have long believed that death in Vrindavan will free them from the cycle of life and death. The widows hope that death will save them from being condemned to a life as widow again. “My son tells me: “You have grown old. Now who is going to feed you? Go away,” a widow says, as her eyes are filled with tears. “What do I do? My pain had no limit.”

There are an estimated 40 million widows in India and it’s believed that 15,000 widows live on the streets of Vrindavan, a city of about 55,000 in northern India. The situation is much more extreme within some of India’s rural community. There, it is much more tradition-bound; in urban areas, there are more chances and possibilities to live a normal life. Meneka Mukherjee is 85 years old. She speaks five languages and used to work as a geography teacher throughout her marriage, but now she is too sick and weak to take care of herself. Her daughter lives in another state and doesn’t have space for her mother, so Meneka moved into an Ashram in Vrindavan. Is human life worth nothing where there is too much human? Meneka thinks so. “India has so many people that India don’t have use for those who are useless,” she says. “Nobody can help everybody. Every night before I go to sleep, I pray that somebody will help me, and every morning I pray the same prayer. Maybe it would have been better if Idied? Maybe I should pray to die,” Meneka says.

“According to the Dharmashastra, the sacred Hindu legal text, covering moral, ethical and social laws, widows are expected to devote the rest of their lives to the memory of their husbands by renouncing life’s luxuries and by withdrawing from society. “Imagine, in front of a group of my relatives as large as this one, my bangles are smashed, my hair is shaved, my bindi removed,” Dr. Giri said before a conference for grief and renewal at the University of New England, Office of Multicultural Studies and Women’s Studies Department in 2005. “They are forced to wear white saris. Saddest of all is that they are often removed from their children and families, and abandoned,” continued Dr. Giri.

Here women of all ages who have become widows are waiting for the moment they, too, will follow their husbands to the fields of death to escape a life filled with isolation, poverty, despair and discrimination. Vrindavan has over 4,000 temples today and many ashrams. The approximate number of widows living in the holy city today numbers over 20,000. The conditions in some of the ashrams of Vrindavan are terrible, where sexual abuse and trafficking of younger widows occurs. Activists like Dr. Giri and the Guild of Service are working to better these conditions and to give widows their dignity back as well as health care, learning, sewing and weaving skills.

Although India’s widows today are not forced to die on the death of their husband – in ritual sati – by burning to death on their husband’s funeral pyre, they are still forced to undergo daily ritual humiliations, beg for alms each day chanting, to live completely apart from society, to live lives of extreme poverty, lonely for their children, alone and hopeless. Rising problems with widows and their husband’s family after the death of their husband can sometimes include sexual abuse from a husband’s brother or father, starvation or abandonment. Lack of education, lack of literacy and knowledge of basic human rights along with strong cultural beliefs in the conservative Hindu caste system and extreme poverty are the major causes of suffering today among the widows and it will unfortunately take a long time to change all of this for the better.

Types of violence against women

Violence against women happens through physical, sexual, psychological and economic abuse. But the most common are;

Physical abuse is most widespread method around the world. It includes slapping, hitting, kicking and beating. The perpetrator is often the husband,, ex-husband, boyfriend, ex-boyfriend or another family member. According to Population Reports, in nearly 50 population-based surveys, 10 to over 50% of women reported being hit or otherwise physically harmed by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. Violence against women is also a major cause of poverty because it keeps women from getting an education, working, and earning the income they need to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. And research shows that giving women in poor countries economic opportunity empowers them to escape abusive situations.

Sexual abuse can be performed either through verbal, visual or when it is forced intercourse. According to Population Reports, sexual abuse can lead to a wide variety of unhealthy consequences including behavioural and psychological problems, sexual dysfunction, relationship problems, low self-esteem, depression, thoughts of suicide, alcohol, substance abuse and risk-taking. There is therefore the need to raise awareness concerning violence against women by educating boys and men, punishing perpetrators by raising the costs and changing the attitudes and beliefs of the society in regard to women.

Several women are killed on the base of practicing witchcraft. For example, if a child is suffering from a disease in a neighbourhood, a women living nearby can easily be pointed out as a victim for casting a spell, but in fact, people are taking revenge from this women by accusing her for this. These cases happen in rural areas where the tribes make their own rules and police becomes helpless against the mob.

Sati is a custom that has occurred in India for a long time. Although it was prohibited by law, there are still cases reported from some parts of the country. When the husband dies, the wife throws herself on the fire and dies over him.

Besides rape, domestic violence is the worst type of violence against the women. A married girl (bride) is tortured by her in-laws and husband for not providing/giving enough gifts or cash money to their in-laws by her parents and when the in-laws of daughters lose hope for getting any more any cash from the girl’s parents they commit the most heinous crime as burning the girl to death and kill her using different short of violent measures. About 50 cases of dowry per day are registered all over India. Other ways of domestic violence happens when the husband beats up the wife on a regular basis.

 

Midnight in Oslo, Norway, by Hatef Mokhtar

Statistics on Violence Against Women All Over the World

An estimated 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the United States annually for sexual exploitation or labor (US Central Intelligence Agency, 2000).

  • One in five women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime (WHO 1997).
  • In USA a woman is raped every 90 seconds (US Department of Justice, 2000).
  • Somewhere in America a woman is battered, usually by her intimate partner, every 15 seconds (UN Study on the Status of Women, Year 2000).
  • Up to 70% of female murder victims are killed by their male partners (WHO 2008).
  • In Kenya more than one woman a week was reportedly killed by her male partner while in Zambia, five women a week were murdered by a male partner or family member (Joni Seager, 2003).
  • In the Russian Federation 36,000 women are beaten on a daily basis by their husband or partner, according to Russian non-governmental organizations (OMTC, 2003).
  • More than 135 million girls and women have undergone female genital mutilation and an additional 2 million girls and women are at risk each year (6,000 everyday) (A, UN, 2002).
  • 82 million girls who are now aged 10 to 17 will be married before their 18th birthday (UNFP).
  • In India there are close to 15,000 dowry deaths estimated per year. Mostly they are kitchen knives designed to look like accidents (Injustice Studies, Vol. 1, November 1997).
  • 4 million women and girls are trafficked annually.
  • An estimated one million children, mostly girls, enter the sex trade each year (UNICEF).
  • A study in Zaria, Nigeria found out that 16 per cent of hospital patients treated for sexually transmitted infections were younger than five (UNFPA).

Skin care – Tips to achieve healthy skin looking beautiful

Skin is your protective coat of armor. It shields organs and tissues within and regulates body temperature and detects hot, cold and dangerous. Don’t have time for intensive skin care? Pamper yourself with the basics because good skin care routine including sun protection and gentle cleansing can keep your skin healthy and glowing for years to come. Here are some tips that everybody can perform at home. Your skin needs exceptional care so make healthy skin care a priority.

Protect yourself from the sun

The most important way to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, freckles, age spots and rough dry skin that resemble leather. Too much sun exposure can also cause several of serious skin diseases such as skin cancer.

  • Avoid he sun between 10 AM and 4 PM. This is when the sun’s rays are the strongest and can cause sun burns.
  • Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with tightly woven long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats. You might also opt for special sun-protective clothing, which is specifically designed to block ultraviolet rays while keeping you cool and comfortable. Remember also to use sun glasses as strong sun can easily cause wrinkles around the eyes as we frown to see.
  • Use sunscreen when you’re in the sun. Apply generous amounts of broad-spectrum sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours, after heavy sweating or after being in water.

Quit smoking

Smoking makes your skin look older and contributes to wrinkles. Smoking narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow; oxygen narrows blood vessels and damages the elastic fibers. This depletes the skin not only from oxygen and nutrients, such as vitamin A, that are important to skin health but also damages collagen and elastin fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. In addition, the repetitive facial expressions you make when smoking such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke does also contribute to wrinkles. If you smoke, the best way to protect your skin is to quit. Ask your doctor for tips or treatments to help you stop smoking.

Treat your skin gently

  • Daily cleansing and shaving can damage your skin, so keep it gentle.
  • Limit bath time. Hot water and long showers or baths remove oils from your skin. Limit your bath or shower time, and use warm rather than hot water.
  • Avoid strong soaps. Strong soaps can strip oil from your skin. Instead, choose mild cleansers and use shower oil in the shower.
  • Shave carefully. To protect and lubricate your skin, apply shaving cream, lotion or gel before shaving. For the closest shave, use a clean, sharp razor. Shave in the direction the hair grows, not against it.
  • Pat dry. After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on your skin.
  • Moisturize dry skin. Find a moisturizer that fits your skin type and makes your skin look and feel soft that you can use every day. Unless you have acne, your skin needs moisturizer and this will smooth, soften and protect your skin. When you care for your skin, use a mild natural cleanser and warm water. Synthetic detergents and hot water are harsh. Cleanse the face by gently massaging with fingertips, rinse well and lightly pat dry.

Eat healthy food

Healthy food will help you look and feel your best. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. The association between healthy diet and acne isn’t clear, but research shows that a diet rich in vitamin C and low in fats and carbohydrates may promote younger looking skin.

Stress managing

Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin and a healthy state of mind you can set reasonable limits, scale back your to do lists and make time to do the things you enjoy.

So about the cliché that beauty begins from within is actulally true. Healthy looking skin is a reflection of your overall well being. As the body’s largest organ, it is your skin’s mirror showing whats going on in your body. When you feel good, you look good. So here are some small highlights that everybody should follow.

  • Water: for clear healthy skin, one must drink 8 glasses of water each day. The benefits of drinking water for your skin and health are many.
  • Healthy food: eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Include also other nutritious foods such as whole grains and high quality low fat protein. Cold water fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel provides healthy Omega3 fatty acids that are important for health and skin.
  • Beauty sleep: they call it beauty sleep for a reason because lack of sleep will show on your face so aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every nightly.
  • Regular exercise: Get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
  • Stress management: Make time for relaxation. Many find yoga and tai chi to be helpful.

Diet

Diet plays an important role in maintaining the health of the skin. Diet should supply all the nutrients needed to build health, namely, protein, carbohydrates, fats, essential fatty acids and all the essential vitamins and minerals. Such a diet will consist of liberal quantities of seeds, nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits, supplemented by special protective foods like milk, vegetable oils, yogurt, honey and yeast. Nutrients play an important role in maintaining a healthy skin. For example:

Your skin is unusually dry and rough. You have blackheads and whiteheads. You are probably lacking sufficient vitamin A. You could also be suffering from the deficiencies in iron, iodine and the B Vitamins. Adequate amounts of protein and vitamin C are also important.

The vitamins of the B group are important in producing beautiful skin. Vitamin B1 aids skin health by helping to keep the circulation normal.

Vitamin B2 or riboflavin deficiency can lead to brown pigmentation or liver spots on the skin. These ugly spots usually disappear if generous amounts of vitamin B2 are given over a period of six months. Severe riboflavin deficiency can lead to oily skin and hair and small deposits of fat under the skin of the cheeks and forehead and behind the ears. More severe deficiency of riboflavin causes the skin under the nose and at the comers of the eyes and mouth to crack and become sore.

Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine deficiency can result in dermatitis or eczema.

Niacin deficiency can also cause an eczema type of skin eruption with brown pigmentation, largely on the face, forearms and legs.

Deficiency of pantothenic acid, para-aminobenzoic acid, and biotin: This also leads to types of eczema. The symptoms will go away completely when these vitamins are generously added to the diet.

It is clear that Vitamin B plays a pivotal role in maintaining a healthy skin. So, diet that is rich in Vitamin B can go a long way in skin health. One of the important food in this connection is brewer’s yeast. Even the person whose skin seems smooth and healthy usually notices improvement in texture and glow, a week after adding two or more tablespoons of brewer’s yeast to the daily diet. Persons with eczema should, for an entire month, take a tablespoon of yeast stirred into citrus juice or water after each meal, between meals, and before retiring.

For further reading about healthy food and vitamins, see previous blog articles;

https://hatefsvoice.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/vitamins-and-minerals/

https://hatefsvoice.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/prevent-cancer-with-healthy-food/

https://hatefsvoice.wordpress.com/2011/01/16/28-days-to-a-healthier-heart/

https://hatefsvoice.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/12-ways-to-achieve-a-good-night%E2%80%99s-sleep-and-wake-up-rested/

 

 

Autopsy with difference – Pathological Research

While pathologists often need to open large parts of the body to investigate possible causes of death of the deceased, a new technique has opened discussions about maybe changing the entire autopsy process, writes BBC.

The technique developed by a research team at the University of Leicester, is to make a small incision in the neck of the deceased, and then they scan the body.

Trauma, fractures and cancer

Through computerized tomography, which is a cross-section image of the body without doing damage, or CT scans, the research team able to scan the body for external trauma, fractures and cancer.

Examination of the heart requires however a slightly different technique, but even here there is no more than a cut in the neck that is needed. A catheter is brought through the incision down to the arteries around the heart. Air and white liquid injected through the catheter, before a CT scan allows a detailed search for heart disease.

The technique, which has been tested on 33 people, has determined causes of death by 80 % accuracy. Sarah Saunder, who leads the research team, believes this method is as good at estimating the causes of death, like the original and it will also cost less to implement, and far more effective, she argues.

But it is still a disagreed method as other pathologists around Europe think it will be rather expensive to implement this technique as well as that the old method is the most secure one.

Angelina Jolie & The UN show off

The American film star and UN ambassador Angelina Jolie has spent two days in Afghanistan to meet refugees in war-torn country.

– We must make sure to rebuild the country now. This means that we not only provide shelter, but also ensure that there is water, employment opportunities, schools for the children and medical clinics, “said Jolie in a statement at the end of the stay.

Jolie arrived in Afghanistan on Monday and ended the visit on Wednesday.This is the actor’s second visit to Afghanistan. Though this great actress is also a great social worker but UN must focus on the fast & efficient utilization of funds & proper execution of the projects. People needs the basic not the stars to get plastic smiles as a remedy for their wounds. Though the efforts are app laudable but nothing better has been neither done so far nor achieved.

Cancer & Its Cells

آخرين اخبار درباره سرطان از بيمارستان جان هاپکينز

1- هر شخص داراي سلول هاي سرطاني در بدن خود است .اين سلول هاي سرطاني در آزمايشهاي استاندارد خود را نشان نمي­دهند تا آنکه به مقدار چند ميليارد سلول افزايش يابند. زماني که پزشکان به اشخاص مبتلا به سرطان اعلام مي­کنند که ديگر در بدن آنها سلول سرطاني وجود ندارد، اين حالت فقط بدان معناست که آزمايشها ديگر قادر به رديابي و پيدا کردن سلولهاي سرطاني نيست زيرا آن سلولها به مقدار قابل رديابي شدن در بدن وجود ندارند.

Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size

۲- سلولهاي سرطاني بين شش تا ده مرتبه در دوره زندگي يک انسان پيدا مي­شوند.

Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person’s lifetime

3- زمانيکه سيستم ايمني انسان قوي باشد سلولهاي سرطاني از بين مي­روند و از ايجاد تومور سرطاني جلوگيري مي­شود.

When the person’s immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors

4- زمانيکه شخص بيماري سرطان دارد نشانه آنست که وي داراي کاستيهاي تغذيه­اي شده است. اين کاستي ممکن است منشا ژنتيک، محيطي، غذاها و عواملي درشيوه زندگي باشد.

When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors.

5- براي غلبه بر کاستي هاي متعدد تغذيه­اي، تغيير در رژيم غذايي شامل اضافه کردن بعضي مخلفات غذايي، سيستم ايمني بدن را تقويت مي­کند.

to overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system.

6- شيمي درماني ضمن آنکه باعث مسموم کردن فوري سلولهاي سرطان است که سريع رشد مي­کند، سلولهاي سالم بدن درمغز استخوان و ديواره روده­ها و غيره را که سريع رشد مي­کند را نيز از بين مي­برد و مي­تواند سبب ضايعه عضو بدن مثل کبد، کليه­ها، قلب، ريه­ها و غيره شود.

Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastro-intestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.

7- پرتوگيري ضمن آنگه سلولهاي سرطاني را نابود مي­کند سلولهاي سالم را نيز مي­سوزاند، ضايع مي­کند و باعث تخريب آنها مي­شود.

Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.

8- درمان اوليه با شيمي درماني و پرتو درماني غالبا اندازه تومور را کاهش مي دهد. بااينوصف شيمي درماني و پرتودرماني درازمدت به نابودي بيشتر تومور منتج نمي شود.

Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.

9- زمانيکه بدن تحت تاثير مسمو ميت ناشي از شيمي درماني و پرتودرماني قرار مي­گيرد سيستم ايمني در معرض خطر و نابودي واقع مي­شود بنابراين شخص ممکن است مقاومت خود را در برابر انواع مختلف عفونتها و پيچيدگيهاي ناشي از آن از دست بدهد.

When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications.

10- شيمي درماني و پرتو درماني مي تواند باعث جهش ژنتيکي سلولهاي سرطاني گردد و مقاوم و پايدار شود ونابود کردن آن مشکل خواهد شد جراحي مي تواند باعث گسترش سلول هاي سرطاني به ديگر نقاط بدن شود.

Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.

11- يک راه موثر مبارزه با سرطان غذا نرساندن به سلولهاي سرطاني است. عدم رساندن مواد غذايي مورد نياز سلول براي جلوگيري از افزايش و چند برابر شدن تعداد سلولها است.

An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply.

سلولهاي سرطاني از چه موادي تغذيه مي شوند؟
WHAT CANCER CELLS FEED ON?

الف- قند تغذيه­کننده سرطان است. با قطع مصرف قند يک عامل مهم تامين غذا براي سلولهاي سرطاني قطع مي­شود. جانشينهاي قند نظير NutraSweet ، Equal، Spoonful و غيره با Aspartame ساخته مي­شود و زيان­آور است. يک جانشين طبيعي بهتر عسل مانوکا يا ملاس ناشي از قندسازي است ليکن مقدار مصرف آن بايد بسيار اندک باشد. نمک سفره داراي افزودني شيميايي است که رنگ آنرا سفيد کند.. جانشين بهتر نمک سفره نمک حاصل از آب دريا و يا Brag’s aminos است.

a. Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in colour. Better alternative is Bragg’s aminos or sea salt.

ب- شير باعث مي­شود که بدن بخصوص در سيستم گوارش (معده و روده ها ) مخاط درست کند. سرطان از مخاط تغذيه مي­کند. با قطع مصرف شير و جانشين کردن آن با شير سويا سلولهاي سرطاني در برابر بي تغذيگي قرار مي­گيرند.

b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk, cancer cells are being starved.

پ – سلولهاي سرطاني در محيط اسيدي مقاوم و پايدار مي شوند. رژيم مبتني بر گوشت قرمز اسيدي مي شود و بهترين آنست که ماهي خورده شود و بجاي مصرف گوشت گاو و خوک مقدارکمي گوشت جوجه مرجح است. گوشت قرمز همچنين محتوي آنتي بيوتيک هاي دامي ، هرمون هاي رشد و انگل است که تماما بخصوص براي اشخاص مبتلا به سرطان آسيب رسان است.

c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.

ت – رژيم با 80% سبزيجات تازه و آب ميوه و بنشن ، دانه هاي نباتي ، آجيل ها و مقداري ميوه بدن را در محيط قليايي قرار مي دهد. ازغذاهاي پخته شده شامل بنشن ،حدود 20% مي تواند به بدن برسد. آنزيم هاي زنده در آب سبزيجات تازه به آساني جذب مي شود و ظرف 15 دقيقه به سطوح سلولي مي رسد تا سلولهاي سالم را رشد کافي دهد و تقويت کند. براي بدست آوردن آنزيم هاي زنده بمنظور ساختن سلول هاي سالم کوشش کنيد آب سبزيجات تازه ( بسياري از سبزيجات از جمله جوانه لوبيا ) مصرف کنيد و دو تا سه مرتبه در روز مقداري سبزيجات خام بخوريد. آنزيم ها در حرارت 104 درجه فارنهايت (يا 40 درجه سانتيگراد) ازبين مي روند.

d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes t o nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C(

ت- از خوردن قهوه ، چاي وشکلات که داراي کافئين زياد است پرهيز کنيد. چاي سبز جانشيني بهتر و داراي خواص ضد سرطان است. بهترين نوشيدني آب است. براي جلوگيري از ورود توکسين هاي معروف(مواد سمي ) و فلزات سنگين در آبهاي لوله کشي به بدن ، مصرف آب تصفيه شده يا فيلتر شده مناسب است . از خوردن آبهاي تقطير شده پرهيز کنيد.

e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer-fighting properties. Water-best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.

12- هضم پروتئين گوشت قرمز سخت است و نياز به مقدار زيادي آنزيم گوارشي دارد. گوشت هضم نشده که در روده ها باقي بماند فاسد مي شود و مسموميت ايجاد مي کند.

Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines become putrefied and leads to more toxic buildup.

13- ديواره­هاي سلول سرطاني داراي پوشش پروتئين خشن است. با صرفنظر کردن از خوردن گوشت يا کمتر خوردن آن آنزيم بيشتري براي حمله به ديواره هاي پروتئيني سلول سرطان آزاد مي شود و به بدن امکان مي دهد سلول هاي سرطاني را از بين ببرد.

Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body’s killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.

14- بعضي مکملها: IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc سيستم ايمني را بهبود مي­بخشند تا سلولهاي مبارزه­کننده و کشنده خود بدن را براي از بين بردن سلول سرطاني تقويت کنند. مکملهاي ديگرنظير ويتامين اي (E) توان برنامه­ريزي کشتن سلول يعني روش معمولي خلاصي يافتن از سلولهاي آسيب ديده، غير ضروري و غير لازم بدن را دارند.

Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable the body’s own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body’s normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.

15- سرطان بيماري جسم و روح و روان است. داشتن روحيه مثبت و پيکار جو به شخص مبارزه کننده با سرطان کمک مي کند که به بقاي خود ادامه دهد. خشم و عدم بخشش و تند خويي بدن را در برابر محيط پر تنش وترشرويي قرار مي دهد. بياموزيد که روحيه اي توام با عشق و بخشندگي داشته باشيد. بياموزيد که همواره حالت آرامش و دلي آرام داشته باشيد و از زندگي لذت ببريد.

Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor. Anger, un-forgiveness and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.

16- سلولهاي سرطاني در محيط حاوي اکسيژن توان ماندن ندارند. ورزش روزانه وتنفس عميق باعث مي­شود که اکسيژن به لايه­هاي سلولي برسد. اکسيژن درماني روش ديگري براي از بين بردن سلول هاي سرطاني است…

Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level.. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.

Facts about Women

 

Population: The world’s population tripled from 1950 to 2010 and is now nearly 7 billion. There are 57 million more men than women, but in most countries there are more women than men.

Health: Women die more often from heart disease than men, and they constitute a majority of all HIV positive adults in Africa South of the Sahara in North Africa and the Middle East. 70% of the world’s poorest people who live on less than 15 million days are women.

Illiteracy: 2 / 3 of 774 million illiterate adults are women and this is the same number as 20 years ago. 72 million children do not attend school and 39 million (54%) are girls.

Professional life: Gender gap in employment is still high in all ages. Women are mainly employed in the service sector and part-time work is common in industrialized countries. Women also spend twice as much time on housework as men and it is estimated in both paid and unpaid work, women work longer hours than men, half of the country’s minimum standard for maternity leave and 2 of 5 meets the standards for financial compensation.

Power and political participation: There are 20 female heads of state in the world and only 23 countries have more than 30% female MPs. 13 of the 500 largest multinational companies have female executives.

Violence: Violence against women is a universal problem. Between 15 % and 71 % of women reported physical or sexual violence by a husband or partner. Many women said that their first sexual experience was not consensual. (24 % in rural Peru, 28 % in Tanzania, 30 % in rural Bangladesh, and 40 % in South Africa). Between 4 % and 12 % of women reported being physically abused during pregnancy.

Every year, about 5,000 women are murdered by family members in the name of honour each year worldwide. Trafficking of women and girls for forced labour and sex is widespread and often affects the most vulnerable.

Forced marriages and child marriages violate the human rights of women and girls, yet they are widely practiced in many countries in Asia, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.

Calories & Malnuitrition – Hand in Hand World Hunger

Numbers show that in 2010, there were around 1 billion people starving in the world making it 14% of the world’s population. Despite this it is produced enough food for everybody to eat as the world’s agriculture is producing 17% more calories each person today than they did 30 years ago even if the world’s population has increased with 60%. This is enough to feed every single person with 2500 calories daily. Unfortunately, many people don’t have the income to buy food or access to cultivated soil. Other factors that play in is natural disasters, wars and poverty.

 

Much of these calories end up in the landfills in the western countries. USA as an example, supplies its population with almost 4000 calories each day, more than what an average person needs daily. Their focus on light/diet products instead of healthy food has contributed to more morbid obesity in the world rather than food shortages and malnutrition.

 

Half of what we eat is enough for us, the other half makes the doctors salary.

Child Marriages – Robbing them of their innocence

Throughout the world, the problem of early, forced marriages of children is considered to be a violation of basic human rights. Child marriage is defined by when a child who is below the legal age (usually below the age 15) is married to an adult. Usually it’s almost a Young girl married to an older man. The second form of marriage is an arranged marriage where the parents of the child(ren) and the other person arrange a future marriage. Here, the two individuals who are promised to each other, does not often meet until the wedding ceremony which happens when they both are considered to be of a marriageable age.

Occurrence

It has been estimated that 49 countries around the world has a significant child bride problem, but the numbers are estimated to be higher because of the unregistered and unofficial marriages. UNICEF survey results of 100 countries shows that in developing countries, over than 60 million women aged between 20 and 24 was married before the age of 18. In the countries of Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Chad, Guinea, Mali, and Niger, more than 60% were found to have been married before 18. Despite sanctions on child marriage, more than 100 million children were expected to marry between 2005-2015.

Article 16.1 of United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women of 1979 (CEDAW http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/cedaw.htm)states that;

a) Men and women have the same right to enter into marriage.

b) The same right to freely choose a spouse and enter that marriage with their free and full consent.

Article 16.2 states: The betrothal and marriage of a child shall have no legal effect, and all necessary action, including legislation, shall be taken to specify a minimum age for marriage. CEDAW has not been ratified by seven UN member-states; the United States, Sudan, Somalia, Iran, Nauru, Palau and Tonga.

Although this practice is banned by many countries, there are still many children who are victims of practice. It is combined with culture and has many purposes. Some cultures use child marriage among different tribes, villages and families to secure political and other ties between them to prevent themselves from being assimilated. Other families use child marriage to gain financial ties with wealthier people to ensure their success. Every women and girl has the right to a healthy and just life but when violence of any kind occurs, the international community has the supreme responsibility to respond and transform norms and behavior that condones these human right violations.

How does child marriage affect girl’s futures?

No matter where child marriage occurs, it is regarded as violation towards the children with tiny voices. Parents choose to marry off their daughters early for a number of reasons. Poor families may regard a young girl as an economic burden and her marriage as a necessary survival strategy for her family and some see no value in girls compared to a boy. Others are concerned of their daughters might lose their virginity or get pregnant before marriage. Changing these views requires education and the right to refuse marriage. The parents think that marrying away the daughters protects them from the risk and danger of sexual assault and the husband cares of her as a male guardian.

In the rural villages of these countries many young girls are rarely allowed out of their homes unless it is to work in the fields or to get married. These uneducated girls are often married off at the young age of 11. Some families allow girls who are only 7 years old to marry. It is very unusual for a girl to reach the age of 16 and not be married.

Child marriage by region

Click at the image for a larger picture.

Europe

In France, 11% of girls are married before the age of 18.

Africa

Because of poverty, culture, tradition and conflicts makes child marriages widespread all over Africa. In many tribal systems, the groom has to pay a bride price to the bride’s family in order to marry her. In many parts of Africa, this payment happens in cash, cattle or other valuables but the amount decreases as the girl gets older. That’s why, the family’s wishes to marry the girl as early as possible, most of the times before puberty. Over half of the girls are sent away for marriage as the parents needs the bride price to clothe, feed and educate the rest of the family while a boy can gain education, employment and get married later.

According to many UN related reports made in Sub-Saharan countries, the incident of child marriages under the age of 15 is very high. This has resulted in health problems such as obstetric fistulae, prematurely, stillbirth, sexually transmitted diseases (STD), cervical cancer and malaria. In parts of Ethiopia and Nigeria, 50% of the girls are married as young as the age of 7. In parts of Mali, 39% of the girls are married before the age of 15 and in Niger and Chad; over 70% of girls are married before the age of 18.

Asia and South Asia

India

The status of the woman has been lower than the men for centuries and she has been regarded as the disrespected element of the society in many places. Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh tops list of child marriages by accounting 40% of these incidents a year. A total of 104 cases of child marriage were reported across the country in 2008, which is an 8.3% increase over the previous year’s figure.

The child marriage restraint Act, 1929 was passed during the British rule in pre-partition India that forbade a male younger than 21 and a female younger than 18 to get married. As South-Asia has the highest rate of child marriages in the world, India stands for 40% of the world’s child marriages according to UNICEF’s ”State of the World’s Children -2009”. In an effort to handle this problem, the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh, laws has been made and passed to register all marriages in order to make them valid. According to”National Plan of Action for Children 2005,” (published by the Department of Women and Child development of India) a goal was set out to eliminate child marriages by 2010. As for the child restrain act, a child is a person who, if a male, has not completed 21 years of age and if a female, has not completed 18 years of age. In case of such incident, the parent or guardian concerned may be punished with a simple imprisonment which may extend to three months and a fine. Those who solemnize and give consent to the wedding ceremony face the same punishment. A male above 18 years and below 21, entering into wedlock with a child, shall be punishable with simple imprisonment which may extend to 15 days or with fine which may extend to Rs1,000 or both. A male above 21 years marrying a child shall be punishable with simple imprisonment which may extend to three months and shall also be liable to fine.

Afghanistan

It is believed that between 60 and 80% of marriages are forced marriages and occurs mostly in the rural areas. This deprives the girls from education and isolates them further.

Pakistan

Even though the minimum age for marriage is 18 for men and 16 for girls, child marriages are still widespread and still practiced.

Bangladesh

According to the”State of the World’s Children-2009” report, 63% of all women aged 20-24 were married before the age of 18. The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs has been and still is making progress to increase women and girl’s education and employment opportunities. To reach out to those in rural areas, an attempt to speak with the religious leaders and cooperate with them has shown results and is hoped to decrease the practice.

Middel East

In April 2007, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) published a new study on child marriage in the world, “New Insights on Preventing Child Marriage: A Global Analysis of Factors and Programs.” The study included the latest ranking of the countries with the world’s highest incidence of child marriage. The chart included 68 countries and the country first on the list was Niger where 76.6% of women were found to have married before age 18, followed by Chad, at 71.5%. The proportion of child brides was above 60% in Bangladesh, Mali and Guinea and above 50% in Nepal, Mozambique, Uganda, Burkina Faso and India. Afghanistan does not appear on the list only because reliable facts are not available from that country. However, the incidence of child marriage in Afghanistan is believed to be quite high.

Yemen

49% of girls are married by the age of 18.

Saudi Arabia

Several human rights groups have documented high number of child marriages in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Saudi clerics have justified marriage of girls as young as the age of 9 and there is no laws defining the minimum age of marriage. The Saudi Ministry of Health on their side issued an official statement expressing its rejection of the marriage of minors, warning of repercussions, including adverse health and psychological effects on young girls. The statement gave details of related reproductive problems, increased incidences of early osteoporosis, in addition to a higher probability of high blood pressure, possibly leading to kidney failure, emergence of distortions of pelvic bones, also accounting for mental illnesses caused by emotional deprivation suffered by young girls after being taken away from parents, such as hysteria, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and may even lead to addiction as a means of escape, as well as negative effects on children of minors, including delayed mental development.

United States

Laws regarding child marriage vary throughout the United States, though generally children 16 and over may marry with parental consent. Fewer than 16 generally require a court order in addition to the parental consent. The awareness of early forced marriage and sexual abuse of young girls in the United States was increased by the April 2008 rescue of numerous children living on a ranch owned by a polygamist sect in Texas. Children can also be married under the age of 18 with permission from their parents. In Texas, Alabama, South Carolina and Utah, girls can marry at the age of 14, in New Hampshire at 13, in Massachusetts and Kansas, as early as 12.

Until 2008, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints practiced child marriage through the concept ‘spiritual (religious only) marriages,’ as soon as girls are ready to bear children, as part of its polygamy practice and laws have raised the age of legal marriage in response to criticism of the practice. In 2008, the Church changed its policy in the United States to no longer marry individuals younger than the local legal age as the Church leader Warren Jeffs was convicted of being an accomplice to statutory rape of a minor due to arranging a marriage between a 14-year-old girl and a 19-year-old man in 2007. The state of Texas removed all 468 children from the ranch and placed them into temporary state custody. FLDS denied the charges. The charges were eventually dropped in court as there was no solid evidence in support of this, and it was determined that the state entered the ranch illegally.

South America

It is estimated that 29% of women aged between 15-24 were married before the age of 18 in Latin America and the Caribbean with Guatemala and El Salvador with the highest rates at 41% and 38%.

According to a report issued by the United Nations, these early marriage unions violate the basic human rights of these girls by putting them into a life of isolation, service, lack of education, health problems, and abuse. The UNICEF paper also states: “UNICEF believes that, because marriage under the age of 18 may threaten a child’s human rights (including the right to education, leisure, good health, freedom of expression, and freedom from discrimination), the best way to ensure the protection of children’s rights is to set a minimum age limit of 18 for marriage.

Negative effects on child marriages

Poverty

Girls living in the poorest 20% of households are more likely to get married at an early age than those living in the wealthiest 20%.

Education

Women with primary education are significantly less likely to be married or in union as children than those who received no education. In Zimbabwe for example, 48% of women who had attended primary school had been married by the age of 18, compared to 87% of those who had not attended school. Furthermore, once entering a marriage or union, women are much less likely to receive further education or get divorce.

Health

Premature pregnancies are common with young brides, and these cause higher rates of maternal and infant mortality.

Since many married adolescents are pulled out of school at an early age, they may be unfamiliar with basic reproductive health issues. Despite the large number of married girls, policies and programs often fail to address their vulnerability to HIV, sexual transmitted diseases (STD) or other reproductive health needs. Furthermore, while parents may see early marriage as a way to help keep their daughters from becoming infected with HIV, data indicates that 17-22 percent of 15-19 year old girls in Sub-Saharan Africa are living with HIV/AIDS as opposed to 3-7% for their male counterparts.

Poor health, early death and lack of education lead the list of major problems related to child marriages. Child brides have a double pregnancy death rate rather than women in their 20s because of their young age. Besides from having children in young age, girls are also exposed for damages and rupture in their reproductive organs and their children will end up being sicker and weaker ending in an early death. These young girls are also at an increased risk of chronic anemia and obesity. Other problems are listed as:

  • Limited social support due to social isolation.
  • Limited educational opportunities or no schooling options.
  • Intense pressure to become pregnant.
  • An increased risk of maternal and infant mortality.
  • Restricted freedom of movement and social mobility.
  • Early marriage that creates a lifetime of poverty
  • Statistically, child brides have a higher risk of becoming victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse and murder.

Abuse

Abuse is common in child marriages. Women who get married in a young age are more likely to be beaten or threatened, and more likely to believe that a husband might sometimes be justified in beating his wife. Some women end up being murdered as well for different reasons. In addition, children who refuse to marry or who choose a marriage partner against the wishes of their parents are often punished or even killed by their families in so-called ‘honour’ killings.

Musa Qala – Centre of Afghan Opium Trade

The district is located to the North-East of Lashkar Gah district some 130 Km (three and half-hours drive) away. To the West is New zed district, to the East is Zamindawar district, in North is Baghran district and in South is Sangin district. According to the shura the district is divided into 5 clusters (Landi Nawa, Sharega, Kunjeck Nawa, Khuja and Nedaam Nawa). The district has a total of 220 villages (20 large, 200 small villages). Musa Qala River flows into the district from its Northwest. Kanjeck Nawa is the main village and also the seat of the government departments.  Temperature reaches 30C in summer and winters are very chilly.

PROVINCE: Helmand  Geo-Code  23, DISTRICT: Musa Qala  Geo-Code  2304, Population in 1990: Setlled: 45,905, Refugees in Pakistan: 9,680, Refugees in Iran: 6,200

Ethnical Data: 100% Pashtuns (Alizai Tribe which is a section within Group of Pashtun tribes are in good majority & have strong hold in the region).

It is the hub of Afghan Opium trade in Helmand Province which a major opium producing state of Afghanistan. Being the economic backbone of Taliban & the major centre of the related activity it has always remained on frontlines with the NATO forces & Taliban militia, In 2007 the town was the epicentre of the famous & most fierced battles fought by ISAf & Afghan National Army popularly known as the battle of Musa Qala code named operation Sankepit by US Marines. It was one of the large scale war operation faught with Taliban Militia till now.  It was also the first battle where Afghan National Army was directly involved & had fought after its formation since the fall of Taliban regime. The infrastructure is in shembles & hardly any facilities are in place for the local population.

Majority of the houses are made of mud, with domed roofs, surrounded by mud walls & rest have wooden roofs. No Sanitation & Drainage system is in place. Though the area has sufficient water resources but the Water potability is a major issue. Though wells & hand pumps are being installed & contructed by few NGOs’ working there but the situation is still not normal.

The condition of Farmlands is very poor. After the prolonged drought the soil fertility has been deteoriated. Now only 30% is cultivable where before drought it was 70%. Due the shortage of irrigated water, fertilizers, seeds the agriculture is hard to revive to a booming stage. The major crops whih can be grown & supported are Wheat, Maize, Barley & Tobacco.

Even after the US Invasion & ouster of Taliban the situation is not so different. Afghans specially needs to uderstand their rights & international community have to see the actual development being done for the welfare of the local people & where the funds are being utilised. Since its been already a long suffering of the peopl of Afghanistan. And now they cannot afford to waste their blood for no good receiving little for their own betterment. Government has to have develop a policy framework where the community can be supported on a greater scale & results can be seen in minimal time period.

Drugs that can kill you

The title of this post has been named so, because the people who are addicts or take drugs occasionally not only risks their lives but also destroys the trust & confidence of their family as well as challenge the very survival of the human race. So if any one who thinks he is doing it for fun & enjoyment then kindly have look at the details below:

Heroin / Brown Sugar / Opiates: brown sugar, sugar, and stuff. Street heroin is classified numerically from 1-4.  Heroin No.4 is often called “new China white”. Heroin-cocaine combinations are referred to as “cocktail” and “speedball”.

Source: Raw opium is the dried milky juice of the opium poppy seed capsules. The juice contains the following powerful drugs: morphine (about 8-14%), narcotine ( about 2-8%), papaverine (about 0.7-3%), and thebaine (about 0.2-1%). The best-known drugs made from raw opium are heroin and morphine. Heroin is a semi-synthetic drug manufactured from morphine or opium by double acetylation. First made in 1874 and used as a very strong painkiller, it was eventually withdrawn from the market because of its habit-forming potential.

Effects: Opiatics depress the central nervous system, relieve pain, relax and induce sleep, produce respiratory depression and inhibit coughing. The body`s reaction to opiates varies, depending on a variety of factors including the person`s frequency of use.

Health Problems: Choking on one`s own vomit Circulatory collapse, Pulmonary edema, Respiratory paralysis Diarrhea, Fever, Goose flesh, Insomnia, Muscle pain Narrowing of the pupils, Nausea or vomiting Runny nose, Sweating, Tear flow, Yawning, Constipation, Inability to perform coitus, Irregular menstrual periods, Listlessness, Loss of libido, Loss of weight, Severe psychological and physical dependenc. Hepatitis and AIDS are also frequently transmitted through the use of dirty injection needles.

Hashish and Marijuana: Hash, pot, hemp, joint sticks, grass,weed, Mary Jane, shit, bhang, tea, Acapulco gold, charas, ganja, and kif.

Source: Sticky, brown powder which may have red, black and green shades Hemp flowers are resinous and sticky. When the flowers are dried and have undergone an extraction process, they produce a brownish, slightly sticky powder which has the characteristic odor of hashish. The powder is often compressed into blocks. The origin of the hashish can be easily determined. Blackish hashish comes from Nepal and Afghanistan, dark hashish from Pakistan, brown hashish from Morocco, red hashish from Lebanon, and greenish/hay-colored hashish from Turkey.

Effects: Mild euphoria, a feeling of contentment

Health Problems: Agitation, Cardiovascular effects (rapid beating of the heart, changes in blood pressure), Changes in sensory perception , Conjunctivitis, Dilated pupils, Drowsiness, Irritation , Listlessness, Nausea, Psychological dependence, Self-neglect, Risk of personality changes, Loss of contact with reality. Chromosomal damage, Impotence, Temporary sterility, Development of breasts in men , Miscarriage in women, Distruption of DNA synthesis and the immune defense system in cells leading to the death of some cells. Damage to the lungs and airways, Lasting damage to the brain, since traces of THC remain there.

Cocaine and Crack: coke,snow, flake, nose candy, white lady, Bolivian rock, toot, blow, and Mother of Pearl. Ice, ice or rock(crack)

Source: Leaves of the coca plant. Cocaine hydrochloride (cocaine HCL, the hydrochloride salt of cocaine) is produced from the leaves of the coca plant. Prime cocaine is usually 70-85% pure, while street cocaine is usually less than 25% pure. Appearance: Fine white powder Street cocaine tends to become sticky and form clumps.It has a bitter state and acts as a topical anesthetic if applied to the oral mucous membrane for an extended period of time. Crack: Small, beige rocks. The drug usually appears as beige tablets about 2 cm in diameter, which are smooth on one side and have a notch on the other side. These tablets are not taken orally but are crushed and smoked.

Effects: Ability to handle higher levels of stress, Euphoria, Heightened  awareness, Hyperactivity, Increased psychic energy, Increased self confidence, Sexual stimulation. Short-term increase in performance, Dilated pupils. Elevated body temperature, Increased blood pressure, Increased heart rate, Rapid breathing, Sleeplessness, Irritability, Depression, Chronic fatigue, Inability to concentrate, Relationship problems, Paranoia, Headaches, Nosebleeds, Decreased ability to perform work.

Health Problems: Anxiety, Destruction of the nasal membrane (if inhaled). Heightened irritability, Nausea, Paranoia, Psychoses, Restlessness, Sleeplessness, Weight loss.

Amphetamines: capilots, bumble bees, Benzedrine, Dexedrine, footballs, biphetamine, Speed, uppers, ups, hearts, black beauties, pep pills.

Source: Amphetamines and amphetamine derivatives are chemical substances based on phenylethylamines. They are synthetic psychostimulants and appetite suppressants.

Effects & Health Problems: Discomfort, Disorientation, Elevated blood pressure, Elevated heart rate, High body, Temperature, Irritation, Nervousness, Optical and acoustic hallucinations, Cerebral hemorrhage, Frequent bouts of dysphoria, Heart and circulatory failure, Neurotoxicity, Paranoid psychoses, Stroke. Increased risk of exposure to HIV, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases if injected.

Metamphetamines: Speed, meth, crank, crystal, ice, fire, croak, crypto, white cross, glass. “Ice” is the street name for the smokeable form. Some users avoid sleep 3 to 15 days.

Effects & Health Problems: Addiction, irritability, aggression, hypothermia, stroke, paranoia, psychosis, convulsions, heart and blood vessel toxicity, hallucinations, arrhythmia, formication (the sensation of insects creeping on or under your skin).

Ecstasy: XTC, Adam, MDMA. Ecstasy is popular at all-night underground parties (called raves) and is the most common designer drug.

Effects & Health Problems: Psychiatric disturbances, including panic, anxiety, depression, and paranoia. Muscle tension, nausea, blurred vision, sweating, increased heart rate, tremors, hallucinations, fainting, chills, sleep problems, and reduced appetite.

Ritalin: Speed, west coast

Effects  & Health Problems: Loss of appetite, fevers, convulsions, and severe headaches. Increased risk of exposure to HIV, hepatitis, and other infections. Paranoia, hallucinations, excessive repetition of movements and meaningless tasks, tremors, muscle twitching.

PCP: Angel dust, ozone, rocket fuel, peace pill, elephant tranquilizer, dust. Marijuana joints can be dipped into PCP without the smoker’s knowledge.

Effect & Health Problem: Hallucinations. Out-of-body experiences, impaired motor coordination, inability to feel physical pain, respiratory attack, disorientation, fear, panic, aggressive behavior. Increased risk of exposure to HIV, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases if injected. Death.

LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethyl amide): Acid, microdot, tabs, doses, trip s, hits, sugar cubes. LSD is the most common  hallucinogen. LSD tabs are often decorated with colorful designs or cartoon characters.

Effects & Health Problems: Elevated body temperature and blood pressure, suppressed appetite, sleeplessness, tremors, chronic recurring hallucinations.

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