Category Archives: Health

Ten common honey myths

It’s common knowledge that honey is one of the healthy and accessible substitutes for sugar, but along the way to prove that it’s better than refined sugar several myths passed as truths in many people’s minds.

Today, we are going to name all the myths regarding honey. In other words, we’ll be clearing honey’s name. Therefore, with no further ado, let’s go to the subject and break down all honey myths.

  1. All Bees Produce Honey
    Many people don’t know that there are many different species of bees. As well, they consider that all the bees can produce honey for consumption but they couldn’t be more wrong. While all bees are able to make honey, it’s the quality they are able to produce that matters.

Read also Beeswax: Its uses around our homes

  1. Bees Don’t Need Honey to Survive
    There’s this theory that says bees don’t need honey to survive but it couldn’t be more wrong. Bees depend on honey to survive, that’s why they produce it in the first place, not for our consumption.

Read also Ghana: Beekeepers call for support to boost business

  1. Honey Never Spoils
    This is the most common myth out of all I think – honey doesn’t spoil. While in some condition it is true, in others is very wrong because it has the capacity to be spoiled. If you preserve it well and you never let the jar open for extended periods of time it can last forever. On the other hand, if you do let it open for extended periods of time it will spoil because it sucks the moisture.

Read also Bees for development Ghana distributes beekeeping equipment to citrus farmers in A.A.K District

  1. Crystalized Honey is Spoiled Honey
    After a long while honey might change its texture, but its composition remains the same. In fact, it’s due to its composition the change of texture, but even after crystallization, honey remains the same – the same taste and nutrients.
Crystalized Honey

Read also Bees for Development Ghana Trains Unemployed Youth in Beekeeping

  1. Honey can not be heated, because when it is heated, it releases toxins and becomes toxic
    When heated, natural honey cannot emit poisons and toxins, because they are not initially present in it. If we are talking about honey with the addition of artificial fillers that turn the product into a fake, then anything can happen to such a product. It is important to separate the concepts of “nutritional value of honey” and “bactericidal properties of honey”. Natural honey during prolonged heating, for example, in the oven as part of baking, does not lose its nutritional value, but it says goodbye to bactericidal properties instantly. So you can safely add honey to porridge or hot tea if you want to add sweets.

Read also Promoting Sustainable Beekeeping to Alleviate Deprivation and Poverty

  1. It’s Suicide for a Bee to Sting
    This is probably the first myth I ever heard about bees, it is not particularly about honey, but it’s about the ones that produce it. This myth is a half-truth – not true and not wrong either. You see, the bee dies only if it can’t manage to get its stinger out of your skin so it breaks along with its abdomen, so it dies. But the bee can still sting you and manage to get its stinger out of your skin so nothing breaks and the bee survives. Therefore, the bee doesn’t die because it stings you but because your skin is too thick to get its stinger out of your skin.

Read also Accra City Bees Project: British High Commission and BfdG organise training workshop for its grounds workers

  1. Honey on Metal is Destructive to the Metal
    It is well known that honey is a bit acid, and the same as any acid edible, if it stays long enough on metal it can destroy it a bit. But it has to stay for quite a while to see some damage, so at the end of the day honey can be destructive to the metal is some circumstances, so it’s not a fact.

Read also Disappointed citrus farmers in A. A. K. district trained to produce honey from bees

  1. “Honeymoon”
    The term “Honeymoon” came to us from ancient rites, in which honey was also directly involved. Then it was decided that in the first month the newlyweds must have eaten honey and drink honey drinks. Now, unlike past centuries, the “honeymoon” is associated primarily with a trip, during which you can plunge into a romantic atmosphere, forgetting about workdays and small things.

Read also Unemployment, Increasing demand for honey; time to invest into beekeeping industry in Ghana?

  1. Foamy Honey and Has a Different Colour than Light Brown Has Gone Bad
    Honey comes in many shades of colours and even its texture may vary. But its color has nothing to do with it being spoiled or not. Honey comes in different colors because it comes from different flowers – the colour is dependent on the flower is coming from.

Read also Protection of farms using bees as fences: Lessons from India

  1. Sweeteners and Table Sugars are more Delicious than Honey
    Those who believe this: have you ever tasted honey? Honey, it’s not only healthier but also sweeter and has fewer calories than sugar, so with less honey, you’ll obtain the same sweetness as you used to with sugar. Honey is basically the same as sugar because is composed mostly of glucose and fructose, but it also has the nutrients and vitamins, which make it healthier. So whether is more delicious or not is just a matter of taste, it’s not a fact.

Read also Plan bee: Basic rules to become a beekeeper

Conclusion
Honey is so much better for your health than sugar is, and you can ask anyone about this. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can overuse it because it can still lead to obesity, which leads to a lot of health issues.

Anyway, it’s important to know the truth about anything, and breaking the myths is the first step. Now that you know the truth about honey you can feel free to use it but you should make sure is natural or as natural as possible.

Read also Harmony in the hive: What do bees need?

Sadia Mané confirms he has tested positive for COVID-19

Sadia Mané has also confirmed that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

In twitter post the striker said, “Hello, I´ve been tested positive but I am feeling good and not showing heavy symptoms. I will begin my quarantine and recovery process immediately.

Make sure that you stay safe and follow all rules to protect yourself and your loved ones, to avoid a second wave of the COVID-19″

Read also COVID-19: Sadio Mane becomes latest Liverpool player to test positive

Here is his tweet:

LIFESTYLE: THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF PARSLEY HERB

By Dr. Raphael Nyarkutey Obu

The scientific name for Parsley is petroselinum crispum, and is a species of Petroselinum, a member of the family of Apiaceae plants. Other plants in the Apiaceae family include carrots etc. Parsley seed essential oil, just as the name suggests is extracted from the dried seeds of the Parsley plant through steam distillation method.

Ayurveda has recorded the effects of Parsley herb and its essential oil as a powerful diuretic without leading to any drying out of the body. The healing effects of Parsley seed essential oil are antiseptic, diuretic, anti-arthritic, anti-rheumatic, astringent, digestive, stomachic, tonic, carminative, emmenagogue, laxative, hypotensive, uterine, stimulant, febrifuge, detoxifying and antimicrobial.

According to Jillian Levy, CHHC, 2019, parsley is originally native to the central Mediterranean region, where even today it’s still the highlight of many of the area’s regional recipes.

Parsley herb and parsley essential oil have been used as natural detox remedies, diuretics, and antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agents for centuries in folk medicine. Countries and regions such as southern Italy, Algeria and Tunisia were some of the first growers of this healing herb.

According to Akıncı et al 2017 study, the following are the health benefits of Parsley:

phenolic compounds
antioxidant flavonoids
carotenoids
ascorbic acid
essential oils like myristicin and apiol
various nutrients like vitamins K, C and A
additionally, a 2013 report by Farzaei et al published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, parsley has been used as “a treatment of gastrointestinal disorder, hypertension, cardiac disease, urinary disease, diabetes and also various dermal diseases in traditional and folklore medicines.”

The study summarizes comprehensive information concerning ethnomedicinal uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacological activities of parsley. It involved a databases including PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, and Web of Science were searched for studies focusing on the ethnomedicinal use, phytochemical compounds and biological and pharmacological activities of parsley. Data were collected from 1966 to 2013. The search terms were: “Parsley” or “Petroselinum crispum” or “Petroselinum hortence”.

Historical importance of Parsley:

Parsley was traditionally used in making tea for treating gallstones and dysentery. Trusted as a powerful carminative, the leaves, seeds and roots of Parsley were used in treating numerous digestive problems including diarrhea, ulcer, flatulence and colic pain. The juice extracted from the roots of this plant was used in folklore medicine as a diuretic and for treating kidney disorders like nephrolithiasis (kidney stones).

Parsley seeds are used as an important spice in the Asian countries and specifically there is no Indian kitchen without Parsley seeds as the seeds and its powder are used in all kinds of routine cooking. The essential oil extracted from Parsley seeds was used in massage for normalizing menstruation and as a natural abortifacient. This oil is said to be effective in treating amenorrhea and menstrual pain or dysmennorhea.

Parsley herb is used for garnishing and adding extra flavor to all types of food items and is a major ingredient in tabbouleh, the national food of Lebanon. Crushed Parsley leaves have been used for topical application for insect bites, skin parasites and skin tumors. Other conventional uses of Parsley include its use for treating arthritis, anemia, cancer, prostate problems and liver disorders.

Parsley Benefits

Though, empirical research is needed, some evidence suggest that parsley support the following symptoms and disorders according to Jillian Levy, 2019 :

Inflammation
Oxidative stress/free radical damage
Anemia
Bladder infection
Digestive problems, including irritable bowel syndrome
Kidney stones
Bad breath
Arthritis
Bloating/edema
Gas
Acid reflux
Constipation
Poor immunity
Skin problems
Certain types of cancer
Scientific Studies:

very high in Flavonoid Antioxidants

Haidari et al 2011 study confirmed that parsley contains a range of protective vitamins and flavonoid antioxidants that are responsible for many of the disease-fighting parsley benefits being researched today. These antioxidants as researched by Dorman et al 2011 include luteolin, apigenin, lycopene(Rebekah Edwards,2011), beta-carotene and alpha-carotene.

Antioxidants help slow the aging process by fighting free radical damage, or oxidative stress, along with inflammation within the body. This is important because free radical formation is known to contribute to almost every age-related disease, including cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases and eye disorders.

One study in 1999 by Nielsen et al stated that, when adults were given high quantities of the herb parsley, they showed a significant improvement in lowering oxidative stress levels compared to those who didn’t receive it. This study was done by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration’s Institute of Food Safety and Toxicology in Copenhagen, Denmark. During the study, participants were initially given a diet that didn’t contain sources of antioxidants.

The researchers noticed that when the subjects were on the restricted diet, their oxidative stress markers rose, but when parsley was added to their diets during the second half of the study, it was found to help reverse the signs of oxidative stress thanks to its status as a high-antioxidant food.

Provides Essential Oils that Fight Cancer

A research by Chen and Dou, 2008 affirmed that, Parsley has exclusive elements in its oil known as volatile oil components namely :

myristicin,
limonene,
eugenol and
alpha-thujene.
tetramethoxyally benzene, and certain flavonoids including
apigenin,
luteolin,
appiin and
These powerful oil components benefit the body’s immune system and help fight cancer formation, in particular by slowing tumor growth, neutralizing oxidative stress and fighting off carcinogens, according to research studies. This herb is sometimes called a “chemoprotective” plant because it helps protect DNA from damage, stops cell mutation and helps induce apoptosis, or the death of harmful cells.

A research by Mafuvadze et al 2011 found apigenin in parsley, to “inhibit progestin-dependent synthesis of human breast cancer cells, significantly delaying the development of, and decreasing the incidence and multiplicity of mammary tumors”. Parsley in general is claimed as an effective chemoprotective food that guards the body from harmful free radicals that lead to dangerous diseases like cancer, atherosclerosis, asthma and diabetes. Parsley seed essential oil and the herb is a rich source of antioxidant nutrients like luteolin and other flavonoids have been proved to function as antioxidants that join with highly reactive oxygen radicals and aid in preventing oxygen-based damage to cells.

A study on ‘Cancer Prevention’ by Salman Hyder from the University of Missouri proved that the presence of apigenin compound in parsley and celery helps fight the growth of cancerous tumor in breast by blocking the formation of new blood vessel in tumors. Myristicin compound in Parsley oil has also been proven to restrain the growth of tumors especially in lungs.

Parsley and Prostate Health

According to the Blue Cure Foundation, 2016, there seems to be a connection with those eating a more Mediterranean-type of diet rich in herbs and spices and having a reduced risk of lung cancer. From these findings, many of the compounds found naturally in parsley are being explored.

One compound is called carnosol and has been tested for anti-cancer properties. Researchers believe carnosol can attack many different types of cancer, including prostate, breast, skin, leukemia, and colon cancer cells. One thing these studies have in common is that they are designed to see how a compound works against a known inflammatory pathway or gene that’s been associated with cancer growth. By watching how these compounds modify inflammatory pathways it can give some insight as to why and how these herbs are potentially so healing to the body.

For prostate cancer, carnosol has been found to block a phase (G2) in the cell dividing process in prostate cancer cells. It seems this compounds targets certain parts of cell growth and lowers the chances that prostate cancer cells can grow and spread to other areas of the body. Researchers do not know the exact effects of carnosol, but it seems to be safe for normal cells in the body and may be a useful agent for cancer prevention.

Another compound study is apigenin – a type of flavonoid (antioxidant) found mainly in parsley and chamomile, but also in onions, oranges, tea, wheat, and sprouts. Studies have associated this compound as having anti-oxidant, anti-mutagenic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, and anti-spasmodic effects. It’s been known to work against many types of cancerous cells, but one type of cancer, called choriocarcinoma (cancer known to spread to the lungs), has been looked at and the findings are interesting. It seems a Apigenin helps block the spread of this type of cancer and the spreading of cancer (metastasis) in general. Other studies have shown apigenin is great at helping stop cell growth. It works by blocking the tumor’s blood supply and even reduce the tumors uptake of glucose. There are too many individual pathways to discuss in depth, but the conclusion of one review mentions how this compound in particular “may provide some additional benefit beyond existing drugs in slowing the emergence of metastatic disease.”

It has been found to act similarly to carnosol, targeting inflammatory pathways and reducing the growth of cancer. Of course, all of these studies cannot be taken for face value, as more human trials are needed, but it does give hope that small changes in what we eat may dramatically alter the course of cancer.

The antioxidant properties in parsley have been shown to protect against DNA damage and inhibit cancer growth and spread. In cell studies, extracts of parsley were tested on liver cancer cells and found they were able to disrupt many cancer pathways. Researchers claim these extracts may be used for the development of a potential therapeutic anticancer agent.

The last anti-cancer agent to discuss is lupeol, a type of triterpene, which is a plant sterol known to help naturally lower cholesterol. Lupeol has the potential to target key molecular pathways associated with cancer. It’s been shown to be completely safe for normal cells and only attacking cancerous ones. Studies are underway to see if lupeol could be a therapeutic and chemopreventive agent for the treatment of inflammation and cancer, but until we get more research, eating parsley straight up is the way to go.

For breast cancer, naturally occurring flavonoids in plants may provide a variety of anticancer compounds useful for breast cancer prevention and treatment. Parsley, celery, thyme, celery, chamomile, onions, lemon balm, and oranges are all foods with available flavonoids like apigenin, which have been associated with cancer protection.

Men’s Health Benefits

Parsley is a big source of antioxidants for Spanish students in Poland. That may sound weird, but it’s true, the research shows oregano and parsley are major contributors in their diet. This can be true for any man trying to up his ante on antioxidants!

There was an interesting study asking experts in Ethnobotany, the scientific study of the relationships that exist between peoples and plants, what they thought were the most popular plants used to treat skin diseases and prostate cancer. A majority of the people asked responded with parsley, Chamomile, nettle and sage were others of popularity.

These tiny plants are packed with more nutrition than given credit. Adding parsley and other herbs and spices to the daily diet can only help boost overall health. One study found by just adding 1 teaspoon of parsley to about a half-cup of beans will greatly enhance the antioxidant content.

Apigenin and Prostate Cancer study

There are now over 3,000 PubMed-indexed journal articles discussing apigenin, with a new one appearing about every day. Over 600 articles relate to its role in cancer. A fascinating example appeared in September 2015. The first author was Sanjeev Shukla, PhD, in a research group headed by Prof. Sanjay Gupta of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland. These Ohio scientists found that apigenin effectively inhibited a molecule called IKKα. IKKα is an enzyme complex involved in regulating a transcription factor called NF-kappaB, responsible for cellular response to inflammation (Häcker 2006). They describe IKKα as a “key driver of the metastatic process” and therefore a “promising therapeutic target in anticancer drug research.” Their key point is as follows:

“Suppression of IKKα kinase activation…by apigenin might markedly reduce cancer progression…” (Shukla 2015).

Until recently, no potent inhibitor of IKKα had been identified. But these Case Western scientists have now identified an effective inhibitor of this undesirable enzyme—apigenin. Apigenin, they wrote, “exhibits anticancer efficacy in experimental tumor model.” It does this by directly binding to IKKα and suppressing genes associated with the invasiveness and migration ability of human prostate cancer cells. In mice, apigenin stops tumor growth, lowers the proliferation rate of malignant cells and enhances apoptosis (the predominant form of programmed cell death). They identified some other anticancer effects. Apigenin:

Causes cell cycle arrest in prostate cancer cells.
Suppresses migration in cancer cells.
Suppresses tumor growth in athymic nude mice.
There may be some special relationship between apigenin and prostate cancer:

“Accumulated evidence leads us to hypothesize that there is some distinct mechanism by which apigenin suppresses prostate cancer growth, and we believe this warrants further investigation.”

This 2015 article is not alone in identifying apigenin as a potent anticancer agent. A small but interesting clinical trial was performed in Groß-Gerau, Germany, and was published by Prof. Harald Hoensch of the University of Frankfurt. His group gave a food supplement of 10 milligrams (mg) of apigenin as well as 10 mg of EGCg (a main ingredient in green tea) to patients who had either colorectal cancer or premalignant polyps of the colon. The results were dramatic. In the control group, 47 percent (7 out of 15) had recurrences either of cancer or of their polyps. But in the treated group, only 7 percent (1 out of 14) had a recurrence. Writing in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. Hoensch said:

“Sustained long-term treatment with a flavonoid mixture could reduce the recurrence rate of colon neoplasia [cancer, ed.] in patients with resected colon cancer” (Hoensch 2008).

By now, I am sure that many readers will be wondering where they can get this amazing apigenin. Look nowhere, it is one of the ingredients in the Men’s Formula I formulated for Prostate Health. Also, it is actually quite readily available in the food supply. The most abundant sources are dried parsley leaves (This is why the Men’s Formula in tea form is superior for prostate health) and grapefruit. According to one nutritional Web site (merschat.com), dried parsley has an incredible 13,000 mg per 100 grams. In other words, it is 13 percent apigenin by weight! Fresh parsley has a considerable 225 to 300 mg per 100 grams. This is why the tea version of RNG Men’s Formula is recommended for Prostate Health. Other good sources are peppermint, thyme, raw celery and rutabagas. There is also apigenin in chamomile flower tea.

Put another way, one cup of chopped raw parsley has over 180 mg of apigenin. To get a 10 mg dose, as in the clinical trial, you would only need to take one tablespoon of raw chopped parsley per day. Alternately, you could sprinkle a small amount of dried parsley into your food. One can buy dried organic parsley in bulk. If you consumed one gram per day (the equivalent of two supplement capsules), this bag would last you well over a year. This is of course best done as part of a comprehensive, holistic life-style modification program and it is why every man needs the RNG Men’s Formula for prostate health as part of holistic health planning.

It seems unlikely that readers could harm themselves by taking this food factor. The toxicity of apigenin consists of an occasional allergic reaction, or possibly an undesirable interaction with other drugs. There is, however, one laboratory study that seemed to show that although apigenin was effective at killing leukemia cells, it simultaneously interfered with one standard drug used in the chemotherapy of that same disease (Ruella-de-Sousa 2010). It thus might be wise to NOT take high doses of this chemical if you are currently undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. This is why the RNG Men’s formula tea is well formulated to meet your need; instead of taking single ingredients. At the very least you should discuss this with your oncologist. Most reasonable doctors would not object to you adding a tablespoon of parsley to your daily regimen. It could do a world of good.

Acts as Natural Diuretic and Helps Relieve Bloating

Diuretics are a class of drugs that promote diuresis, or the increased production of urine. Also sometimes called water pills, these medications are used to remove excess water from the body and treat conditions like heart failure, liver disease and high blood pressure. But although often necessary in the treatment of several different health problems, diuretics can be accompanied by a slew of side effects such as high blood sugar, headaches and dizziness, causing many people to turn to natural diuretics as an alternative treatment method.

What is a natural diuretic? These powerful herbs, supplements and foods can mimic the effects of diuretics to increase urine volume and flush out extra fluids such as the Men’s Formula Tea. Plus, besides preventing fluid buildup, many also supply a host of health benefits as well as a range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to optimize other aspects of health as well. Switching out your over-the-counter (OTC) diuretic for a few natural options such as Men’s Formula Tea instead can have a powerful impact on your health. Interestingly, strong evidence exists that parsley can be used as a natural diuretic(Rachael Link, 2018) to help relieve water retention and ease bloating. Kreydiyyeh and Usta 2002 review done at the American University of Beirut. In the study, rats given parsley seed extract showed a significant increase in the volume of urine they produced over the 24 hours following. Parsley benefits digestive health because it helps stimulate kidney production of urine and draws excess water out of the abdomen, where it can cause discomfort and indigestion.

Improves Digestion and Kidney Health

Parsley and its essential oil are used to treat a number of gastrointestinal symptoms and disorders, including gas, constipation, bloating, indigestion and nausea. According to Ayurveda practices, to be accessed at https://ayurvedicoils.com/tag/ayurvedic-health-benefits-of-parsley-seed-essential-oil, parsley benefits digestion because the essential oil can help increase bile production and beneficial gastric juices that are needed for proper enzyme functions involved in food and nutrient absorption. The essential oil can be added to a bath or diluted and rubbed on the stomach area for relief.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Parsley Seed oil:

Ayurveda has gained great honor mainly due the fact that it appreciates individual differences and treats every individual with a specific therapy. This holistic approach trusts that no two human beings on earth are the same and so are their health conditions as well. With this faith, Ayurvedic treatment varies from person to person even if a group of people are affected by the same disease. Ayurveda identifies individuals based on their individual constitution that comprises three major energy elements known as doshas, namely vata, pitta and kapha. Dosha predominance is the deciding factor for determining your physical and mental attributes whereas imbalance of doshas leads to sickness.

Why is parsley good for the kidneys?

According to studies, parsley benefits for the kidneys include potentially lowering your risk of kidney stones and helping regulate the body’s pH level by reducing acidity. A 2017 study by Al-Yousofy et al concluded that “parsley acts as antiurolithiatic drug through decreasing urinary calcium excretion, increasing urinary pH, dieresis, decreasing urinary protein excretion and via its nephroprtective activity.”

Since the prehistoric period, Parsley is known as a diuretic and detoxifier that aids in eliminating dangerous toxins from the body through urine. The depurative property of this oil purifies the blood and promotes the trouble-free flow of oxygen to all the tissues in the body. Gently massaging your body with 2 drops of Parsley oil blended with coconut oil aids in promoting blood circulation and helps expel the unwanted substances from the body without any side effects. You can also add 2 to 3 drops of Parsley seed oil in your warm bathing water for treating fluid retention, urinary problems, kidney disorders and certain other problems like rheumatism.

Parsley seed oil as a natural diuretic increases the frequency of urination without making you tired or dehydrated. This aids in the removal of harmful toxins like salt, uric acid, fat deposits and microbes in the body, when left unnoticed can cause renal calculi, arthritis, skin diseases and may affect the overall functioning of the body.

Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties

According to Jillian Levy,2019, parsley benefits skin and dental health by fighting off infections and bacteria. Its essential oils are believed to be effective at eliminating fungus — plus it clears up bacteria-caused blemishes on the skin. For example, a test-tube study demonstrated that the extract showed significant antibacterial activity against yeast, molds, and a common, infection-causing bacteria known as S. aureus.

The extract may also prevent the growth of bacteria in food. Another test-tube study found it prevented the growth of potentially harmful bacteria, such as Listeria and Salmonella — both known to cause food poisoning. Though the extract shows antibacterial potential in test-tube studies, these benefits have not yet been studied in humans. The parsley oil held within the plant’s leaves, roots and seeds is considered antimicrobial. It’s used in soaps, detergents, perfumes and other hygiene products for its ability to kill bacteria and odors.

Parsley oil is very strong and can cause a skin reaction or topical burn. As such, do not apply it directly to the skin. Instead mix it with a carrier oil like coconut, olive or almond oil, and then apply to the skin in order to avoid any reactions.

Reduce Bad Breath

According to Jillian Levy, 2019, one of the many parsley benefits is that it’s a great way for how to get rid of bad breath. It is a natural breath freshener because it kills the bacteria in the mouth that cause odors.

Good Source of Bone-Protecting Vitamin K

Parsley provides high levels of vitamin K, an essential nutrient for maintaining bone density, fighting bone breaks and fractures. As a vitamin K food, this nutrient works together with the other bone-building nutrients in the herb — calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D and magnesium.

Immune-Boosting Vitamin C potential

Parsley benefits your immune defenses due to its high levels of antioxidants, including vitamin C and vitamin A. Vitamin C helps maintain a healthy gut environment, where much of the immune system is actually located.

Protect Eye and Skin Health by Providing Vitamin A

Parsley benefits for eyes are due to its high content of two antioxidants — pro-vitamin A carotenoid and beta-carotene — that are used by the body to boost eye health. These antioxidants protect the retina and cornea from damage as someone ages, helping prevent eye disorders like macular degeneration and cataracts. Vitamin A also fights signs of aging on the skin, protects eyes and skin from UV light damage, and may be able to help prevent skin cancer.

Folate Needed for Heart Health

Because it’s a vital B vitamin that plays a critical role in protecting the heart, folate deficiency is very dangerous. Parsley benefits cardiovascular health because we need folate in order to convert homocysteine, a type of amino acid found in the blood. Homocysteine is a potentially troublesome molecule that can cause damage to blood vessels when uncontrolled, potentially leading to a heart attack or stroke.

Balance Hormones

Parsley seeds have traditionally been used as an important spice in Asian countries and in India for normalizing menstruation, treating amenorrhea (loss of menstrual cycle) and decreasing menstrual pain. It’s believed to help balance hormones — important for fertility and preventing symptoms of PMS. This oil has emmenagogue properties that stimulate blocked menstruation and regularize the menstrual cycle. Massaging the abdomen with 2 drops of Parsley oil mixed with sesame oil helps in treating various problems associated with menstruation like abdominal cramps, fatigue, nausea, headache and back pain. Parsley seed oil also promotes the secretion of estrogen, the female hormones and nurtures the health of female reproductive organs. Since it helps prevent neural tube defects that can result when a folate deficiency takes place, the folate within this herb is also important for a healthy pregnancy.

Guards the system from rheumatism:

The major causes behind rheumatism and arthritis are fluid retention, obstructed blood circulation and amassing of uric acid in the joints and muscles. The detoxifier, depurative, stimulant and diuretic properties of this oil removes toxins like salts and uric acid from the joints and muscles, expels water retention, helps get rid of impurities in the blood and promotes blood circulation.

The Ayurveda and Aromatherapy book by Bryan Miller and Light Miller quotes “Parsley is excellent for the circulation and is known to eliminate broken capillaries in combination with Rose oil and cold compresses.” Parsley seed oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that aids in reducing rheumatic pain and inflammation. A warm massage with 3 drops of Parsley seed essential oil blended with sesame oil helps in reducing pain, inflammation and promotes frequent urination without loss of energy through which the harmful toxins in the body are eliminated. You can also use few drops of Parsley oil either in warm compress or in warm bathing water for complete relief from rheumatism, gout and arthritis.

Natural remedy for digestive problems:

As a laxative with carminative and stomachic properties, using Parsley seed essential oil in massage or in bath tub aids in enhancing the secretion of bile and certain other gastric juices along with digestive enzymes. This assists in stimulating regular bowel movements, treat constipation, flatulence, stomach infection, ulcer and pain.

Other health benefits:

Apart from these major health benefits, Parsley seed essential oil is also used for various other health problems like cough, colic, gastrointestinal disorders, wounds, swollen breasts, prostate conditions, jaundice, gall stones, cellulite, cystitis, sciatica, loss of libido, hemorrhoids and gum problems.

Nutrition Facts

One cup (about 60 grams) of fresh, raw parsley nutrition contains approximately:

21.6 calories
3.8 grams’ carbohydrates
1.8 grams protein
0.5 grams fat
2 grams fiber
984 micrograms vitamin K (1,230 percent DV)
79.8 milligrams vitamin C (133 percent DV)
5,055 international units vitamin A (101 percent DV)
91.2 micrograms folate (23 percent DV)
3.7 milligrams iron (21 percent DV)
332 milligrams potassium (9 percent DV)
82.8 milligrams calcium (8 percent DV)
30 milligrams magnesium (7 percent DV)
0.1 milligrams manganese (5 percent DV)
In addition, this herb also contains some vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, choline, phosphorus, zinc and copper.

Risks and Side Effects

How much parsley is too much? Jillian Levy, 2019 provided answer to this:

“This herb contains a small amount of naturally occurring oxalates, which can sometimes be a problem for people with kidney stones or gout. Oxalates are found in certain plant and animal foods and usually don’t pose a problem for most people, but for people who have compromised kidney or gallbladder function, they may want to be cautious if they notice any symptoms worsen while consuming parsley”.

What happens when you eat too much parsley? According to the researcher, you’d have to consume at least several cup’s worth to have a negative effect, however you might notice increased urination or a stomach ache if you eat it in excess.

Excessive consumption should also be avoided by pregnant women since it naturally has an effect on hormone levels and the menstrual cycle. It’s considered safe in normal food quantities, but large amounts or using the essential oil have not been studied enough in pregnant women to be considered safe.

Parsley Recipes

Parsley Tea (uses 2 to 4 tablespoons of fresh parsley with 2 cups of water). This tea has been used in natural folk medicine as a remedy for treating gallstones, indigestion, kidney stones, constipation and edema (bloating). Drinking ginger and parsley tea is also a great way to soothe nausea associated with pregnancy, stomach viruses, etc.
Parsley Juice. Benefits of parsley juice may include supporting detoxification by supplying nutrients for the kidneys and liver. In animal studies, the juice even seems to support brain health and behavior by positively impacting neurotransmitters levels and protecting neurons from oxidative stress.
Final Thoughts

What makes parsley nutrition so impressive?

It’s full of antioxidants, essential oils and vitamins, like vitamin C, A and K.
Parsley benefits include acting as a free radical scavenger, heart protector, brain protector, antidiabetic agent, antibacterial and digestive aid.
This herb is eaten fresh or dried and commonly used to make tea and juice. Parsley tea benefits include soothing the digestive system and decreasing stomach aches, while parsley juice supports the kidneys and liver in detoxification processes.
Parsley vs. cilantro:

What’s the main differences?

Both are nutrient-dense and look alike, but cilantro has a stronger smell and taste (resembling lime) and is used in Indian and Mexican cooking more often.
How much parsley should you eat per day? Up to one or two cups daily provides many benefits, but most people won’t be able to consume this much.
Aim for several tablespoons of fresh parsley per day, which still provides a decent dose of many nutrients.
Look for parsley that is bright green and doesn’t have noticeable wilting or brown spots.

Nutritional benefits of Sweet Corn

Corn is one of the significant popular cereals within the world. Originally from Central America, it’s now grown in countless varieties round the world.

Popcorn and sweet corn are popular varieties, but corn is additionally often consumed as a refined product as an ingredient in processed foods.

These include tortillas, tortilla chips, polenta, cornflour, sirup, and oil. Wholegrain corn is as healthy as any cereal grain because it’s rich in fiber and lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Corn is sometimes yellow but is grown in a style of other colors like red, orange, purple, blue, white, and black.

Nutritional values
Here are the nutritional values ​​of 100 grams of boiled yellow corn:

Calories: 96
Water: 73%
Protein: 3.4 g
Carbohydrates: 21 grams
Sugar: 4.5 g
Fiber: 2.4 g
Fat: 1.5 grams

Carbohydrates
Like all cereal grains, corn consists primarily of sugars.

Starch is its main carbohydrate, which makes up 28-80% of dry weight. Corn also provides small amounts of sugar (1-3%).

Sweetcorn or sweet pop could be a unique variety with a coffee starch content and the next sugar content, representing 18% of the dry matter. Most of this sugar is sucrose.

Despite the sugar content in sweet corn, it’s not a high glycemic food because it’s an occasional or medium glycemic index (GI).

GI could be a measure of how briskly carbohydrates are digested. Foods that are high during this index can cause unhealthy increases in glucose levels.

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Dietary fiber
Corn contains an adequate amount of fiber.

One medium bag (112 grams) of popcorn boasts approximately 16 grams of fiber.

This is 42%, resp—64% of the daily value for men and ladies. Although the fiber content of various maize forms varies, it’s generally around 9-15% of the dry matter.

The predominant corn fibers are insoluble fibers like hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin.

Proteins
Corn may be a decent source of protein.

Depending on the variability, the protein content varies from 10 to fifteen.

The most common proteins in maize are called zeins, representing 44-79% of the overall protein content.

Overall, the protein quality of zeins is low because they lack some essential amino acids.

Zeins have many industrial applications, employed in the manufacture of adhesives, inks, and coatings for pills, candies, and nuts.

Corn oil

The fat content of corn ranges from 5-6%, which makes it a low-fat meal.

However, corn germ, a by-product of corn milling, is rich in fat and is employed to create oil, a standard product used for cooking.

Refined vegetable oil consists mainly of polyunsaturated fatty acid, a polyunsaturated carboxylic acid, while the rest consists of monounsaturated and saturated fats.

It also contains significant amounts of tocopherol, ubiquinone (Q10), and phytosterols, which increase its period and make it potentially useful in lowering cholesterol.

Vitamins and minerals

Corn can contain adequate amounts of several vitamins and minerals. The quantity is incredibly variable betting on the kind of corn.

Popcorn is usually rich in minerals, while sweet corn contains many vitamins.

Popcorn

This popular dish boasts several vitamins and minerals, including:

Manganese: The fundamental element is manganese in large quantities in cereals, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. However, because of the phytic acid content of this vegetable, it’s poorly absorbed from maize.

Phosphorus: Phosphorus, which is found in higher amounts in popcorn and sweet corn, could be a mineral that plays a vital role within the growth and maintenance of body tissues.

Magnesium: Low levels of this vital mineral can increase the danger of the many chronic diseases, like cardiopathy.

Zinc. This chemical element has many essential functions in your body. However, because of the presence of phytic acid in maize, its absorption is also low.

Copper: The antioxidant chemical element, copper, is sometimes low within the diet of Western countries. Insufficient intake can have adverse effects on heart health.

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Sweet corn

Sweetcorn boasts a variety of vitamins, including:

Pantothenic acid. This acid is additionally called vitamin B5 and is found to some extent in the majority of foods. Its deficiency is, therefore, rare.

Folic acid. Folate, also called vitamin B9 or B complex, is a necessary nutrient, especially essential during pregnancy.

Vitamin B6. B6 could be a group of related vitamins, the foremost common of which is pyridoxine. It serves various functions in your body.

Niacin. Niacin in corn, also called vitamin B3, isn’t well absorbed. When cooking corn with lime, this nutrient will be better absorbed within the body.

Potassium. The essential nutrient, potassium, is necessary for controlling pressure and may improve heart health.

Other compounds

Corn contains a variety of bioactive plant compounds, several of which may help improve your health.

Corn boasts higher amounts of antioxidants than many other standard bowls of cereal:

Ferulic acid: It’s one in every of the most polyphenolic antioxidants in corn, which is present here in higher amounts than in other cereal grains like wheat, oats, and rice.

Antokyanov: This group of antioxidant pigments is to blame for blue, purple, and red corn.

Zeaxanthin: Zeaxanthin, named after the maize’s scientific name (Zea mays), is one in all the foremost common plant carotenoids. In humans, it’s related to improved eye health.

Lutein: Lutein, one among the most carotenoids in corn, is an antioxidant and protects your eyes from oxidative damage caused by blue light.

Phytic acid: This antioxidant can impair the absorption of minerals within the diet, like zinc and iron.

Popcorn

Popcorn could be a special kind of corn that cracks when exposed to heat.

This is because the water trapped in its center is converted into steam by the action of warmth and creates an inside pressure, which causes the cores to explode.

Popcorn is one of the most common whole grain foods within the world, consumed as a “snack,” especially within u.  s.

Wholegrain foods can have several health benefits, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and sort two diabetes.

However, regular consumption of popcorn isn’t related to improved heart health.

Although popcorn is healthy on its own, it’s often consumed with sweet soft drinks and sometimes comes with added salt and high-calorie cooking oils, which raise your cholesterol and damage your health.

If you prefer popcorn and need to avoid consuming unhealthy fats in it, you’ll be able to prepare it reception from corn to popcorn.

Read also Land of Disabilities: Life in Karni Village, where persons with disability are productive and hopeful – part 2

Land of Disabilities: Life in Karni Village, where persons with disability are productive and hopeful – part 2

This piece is a continuation of Land of Disabilities: Life in Karni Village, where persons with disability are productive and hopeful – part 1

NGO comes into contact with Karni

In the first quarter of 2016, an NGO, Macedonia Jerusalem mission, a charity arm of the Solution ground of Mount Moriah Church, discovered the Karni community and provided assistance to the scores of physically-challenged persons here by providing gardening equipment, watering cans, rakes, Wellington boots and clothes.

Through an outreach by the NGO that year, they encountered a group of students from the University for Development Studies, who themselves were en route the village for an outreach.

The plight of the inhabitants touched the very core of the NGO’s passion – prompting a decision to mobilize funds and other materials to lend a hand of support to the group.

The NGO, who look to adopt the community in order to mobilise resources from Accra to donate to them to complement their hard work, says it is constrained but will continue the project because it’s a divine calling.

Pastor Peter Afolabi, Executive Director of the NGO, noted his outfit’s vision is premised on three pillars, which it looks to ride on to better the lives of the less-privileged around the country.

“We serve as a voice for the voiceless, serve as a vessel through which resources could be channeled from society to those we deem less-privileged, and also promote entrepreneurial development among these persons.”

“By that, we look to establish vocational training programmes for some of these less-privileged persons, to equip them with some skills, they can leverage on, aside farming and menial jobs, to fend for themselves,” Mr. Afolabi elaborated.

During its first visit to Karni in the first quarter of the year 2016, it distributed used clothing, bicycles, farming equipment among others to the physically-challenged and visually-impaired community in the area.

Macedonai Jerusalem Mission decided to reach out once again to these deprived people here last Christmas by mobilising used clothing, raincoats, gardening equipment from Accra.

One group that doesn’t usually get the credit for donating to charity is the Kantamanto used Cloth sellers association. The group gives out bags of used clothes every quarter to NGOs, Corporate institutions among others to donate to charity.

Members of the association explain they make these donations in return for God’s blessings and improved sales. The compassionate Ghanaian will always want to extend a hand – these used cloth sellers epitomise this.

Auntie Mary as her colleagues call her, packs some clothes into a sack and drags it slowly from side to side, making her way to the pathway in front of her small stall.

The announcement from the Association’s chairman, Evans Ofori-Attah, was loud enough through the speakers to remind the traders of their earlier pledge to support the NGO in their quest to clothe the unfortunate, neglected inhabitants of Karni.

As she hands over the bag of clothes, she tells me, “we have been helping our less privileged brothers and sisters, especially the orphans regularly. During festivities, we organize ourselves and donate some of our wares to corporate groups that come around with the aim of going to donate them finally to the beneficiaries,” she notes.

“It is our small way of giving out to charity, and of course we know God blesses us anytime we do and our sales get better.” Nana Yaw is not different. He admits, the Bible instructs mankind to help the poor and needy, therefore giving out some of his wares to the NGO for onward donation to the community, was a biblical fulfillment!

The smell of dry sweat had filled the clustered Kantamanto market, as some young volunteers of the church helped cart the bags into a track, in preparation for the trip!

Christmas came early

With these donations, 2016 Christmas came early for the physically-challenged community here in Karni. Never mind the long, bumpy trip up the Upper West Region.

At a town hall organised by the group and carried through by the assembly member of the area, scores of residents and their children assembled – some assisted by their spouses and children. After the name-taking was done, each received used clothing and other equipment. The joy on the faces of these poor people was priceless. For those who could see, they simply tossed the clothes on their shoulder and trying them on.

They sang. They danced. Probably their most memorable Christmas! The children were not left out. They jumped from one point to the other, changing over their clothes from the ‘tatters’ into the ones they had just been given. Christmas for them was already here, with these things! They chattered among themselves, while they fitted the clothes on, amid broad pockets of smiles and occasional giggles.

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Nnama guesses her way through the small door, with her white cane in her right hand and her goodies in the other. She staggers slowly to avoid a fall – her empty mouth, with only four visible, discoloured teeth looked like she wanted to say something.

She kept smiling and nodding as she waited for her two other neighbours to join her before they steadily made their way onto the dry path that leads to their home. Some carried their gifts in a basin on top of their head, others used that carrier of the bicycle – it worked just fine.

Before I knew it, a man who should be in his forties, sporting a cream – coloured oversized and a torn shirt, emerges from the town hall, crawling on his buttocks.

He crawls slowly until he gets to a motorbike and is lifted by his son onto the back of the bike and ridden away. He had made his way to the town hall, to benefit from the donations from the NGO.

In front of the town hall, about seven children argue over who got a nicer shirt or pair of pants. But there’s a bigger need. Beyond the Christmas celebrations, lies an even bigger nightmare. These children have no uniforms, bags and other learning materials.

As he drools, struggling to string words together, Bayor murmurs…’I am fourteen years old. I’m in class four.”

He probably is a student who requires special attention, but from where?

His right arm appears to have been affected too.

While their friends and counterparts in the cities feast on chicken and rice dishes – maybe snacks, the children here are content with the used clothes they have received. The excitement among the residents spoke volumes. But for these children, the future remains uncertain as their parents continue to battle the experiences of disability with very little help from outside.

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Healthcare challenges (Absence of eye center)

An area of urgent help, what the people of Karni require, is, undoubtedly, the establishment of an eye clinic and the improvement of general healthcare here.

Madam Elizabeth is a medical assistant at the health facility in the community. She tells me the facility does not have an eye center to cater for the needs of the over 50 persons here who live with one form of eye defect or another, with some going completely blind, and others visually-impaired.

According to her, even the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) does not cover eye treatment in the area. These persons are, therefore, referred to Jirapa anytime they require optician attention. Some watchers have blamed the absence of an eye clinic in the community for the worsening situation where many more people are getting visually-impaired with each passing month.

But that’s not the only health care challenge here. The facility remains a controversial one, with disagreement over ownership, stifling healthcare delivery.

As medical assistant tells me, the Ghana health service – established facility has been taken over by The Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), who are managing the facility alongside the Ghana Health Service. This leaves the running of the facility in a cloud of uncertainty as the Medical Assistant employed by the GHS finds herself literally battling counter instructions from CHAG’s representative who’s the only midwife here.

While the controversy lingers on, the small facility lacks requisite equipment to run. Madam Elizabeth tells me the small cage-sized detention room has only one bed, while it also conducts family planning counseling in the open.

She however makes an appeal for the facility to be opened up, to create more space for clinical activities.

“We are very constrained here. The closest place we refer severe cases, including eye complications, is Jirapa, which in itself is some miles away,” Madam Elizabeth mentioned.

“We get some of the visually-impaired persons coming here for treatment, but we do not have an eye clinic or center here. It’s worrying, especially considering our situation here where we have all these people suffering from glaucoma, and other eye defects”.

This position is rightly corroborated by Assembly Member Mr. Kabiri, who is of the view that some of the visual impairment could have been avoided with prompt medical attention.

According to him, “during the period when the cattle were brought in for vaccination, the bites from the accompanying black flies, if treated, may just have saved many of these people”.

There is also the group who believe fervently in tradition over medicine. For these people, once they discover discomfort in their sight, they resort to herbs and local remedies.

Traditional Medicine

“Our people are very traditional in their approach to many things, especially when it borders on health matters. Several years ago, when these persons began feeling some discomfort in their eyes, their first point of call was the bush, where they used all sorts of herbs, to treat themselves,” Mr. Kabiri revealed.

As a result,” before they knew it, the condition had worsened. That is just one side of the story. There is also the group who simply had no clue. They attribute the condition to advancing age.”

In terms of facilities, Medical Assistant, Madam Elizabeth revealed “we have one small room, with one bed, which is almost below my sheen level. As you’d imagine, we have to break our backs, to cater for patients.

But that is not all, there’s virtually no space here, for even family-planning counseling – we sit in the open, under the mercy of the harsh weather conditions in this part to do this,” she further noted.

Education

School is on vacation because it’s Christmas holidays. Children are up and about. Some are helping on their parent’s gardens, others herding cattle but head teacher of Karni Basic School, laments dropping education standards and low attendance due to poverty levels here.

Head teacher, Justin Dofobari, explains that out of 27 registered and presented students for the 2015/2016 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), a pass per cent of 17 was recorded district-wide.

Mr. Dofobari admits, the results could have been much better. He attributes the poor performance to a number of factors which include lack of proper teacher-pupil monitoring and supervision.

“The school has a total population of about 360 from the kindergarten to the Junior High School stage. I can tell you, some of the classes have over 70 pupils, making it difficult for teacher supervision,” the head teacher noted.

As if that is not troubling enough, “many of the classrooms lack simple furniture – tables, chairs, cupboards and the like. Even course books are hard to come by.”

He also mentioned that nearly all of the pupils especially those at the kindergarten and primary levels, sometimes report to school without uniforms and shoes.

Uniforms from District Assembly

“The district assembly last year brought some uniforms but we had to distribute them to selected students because they were inadequate. This means the majority of them did not benefit. We have some pupils reporting to school in tatted clothes and others barefooted,” Mr. Dofubari added.

According to the head teacher, despite the crowding in some of the classrooms, many more children do not attend classes – he attributes the situation partly to low levels of education of the parents, many of whom do not find the need to get their wards into school.

Social support & LEAP

The intriguing story about these people here in Karni is one which is laced with a lot of mystery. Government’s Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) program, according to the assembly member here, is not covering all these persons living with disability.

There have been appeals from various quarters to open up the program to account for all the physically-challenged individuals and their families here, but that remains to be seen.

Concerns however, over the delay and sometimes non release of the disability common fund is also rife. We also gather accessing the disability fund by persons at the Lambuisse-Karni District Assembly has been another challenge they have had to deal with….

As one of the most deprived communities in the Upper west region, getting support from outside has been pretty difficult. Some NGOs and corporate bodies tend to focus on the communities in and around the regional capital, to the detriment of villages like Karni, which is a community desperately in need!

Some opinion leaders believe some of the donations that are brought to the community, get diverted by folks at the district assembly – a claim the assembly denies.

NGOs, Corporate Bodies To Blame

The Lambuisse-Karni District Assembly rather blames NGOs and other corporate bodies for going into the community to give out items, without prior approval and consent of the assembly’s Social Welfare department.

But some of these organized groups argue they want to get the items directly to the impoverished families here without third party intervention.

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Cursed village?

Some call it a cursed village! Others call it a village of circumstance! For years, there have been efforts to uncover how one community of about six thousand people came to have nearly 400 of them suffering one form of disability or another.

Karni could pass easily for a ghost town – with first-time visitors greeted with hardly anyone on the street. It took us several hours to arrive here from the Upper West Regional capital that Tuesday afternoon.

As we take the dusty road that leads to it, I notice the scant presence of human existence – barely a sight of anyone. The vegetation is completely dried out with large portions of farmlands burnt, leaving patches of black soot in the affected areas.

The air was so dry – you could spot some straying donkeys feasting on the remnants of the harmattan-affected vegetation.

The afternoon sun is unforgiving, in an expanse many, many meters away are dots of mud huts, which we’ll later find out are homes of the many physically-challenged people living here. Karni stands bare and silence prevails all around, except for a group of ‘pito’-drinking young men and women under a street hut, who all turn to catch a glimpse of our vehicle, in the dust cloud.

Just before the turn to our destination, on the left of the stretch, two persons appear in a distance, one leading the other on a footpath – the two were apparently visually-impaired old women, who expectedly were helping themselves towards their homestead, the picture became clearer as we drew closer.

Minutes later, another inhabitant consigned to an old wheelchair, rode past our stop. She was gracious in her warm afternoon regards to us. She’s probably over sixty and again probably got one or maybe two of her limbs amputated.

Chill sweeps over me

A sudden chill sweeps over me – many thoughts running quickly through my head. The eeriness of the place could be frightening, but not as the thought of a cursed village; left us all quite intrigued, I must say.

As we’d later find out, some adjoining villages believe Karni is cursed!

But, assembly member of Karni Central, Mr. Kabiri Luanga, gives some explanations to demystify the curse tag of the Karni community.

According to him, many decades ago when the community used to be the vaccination center for cattle in the upper west region, some cattle brought in to be vaccinated, came along with some disease-carrying black flies which are believed to have transferred various diseases to the people.

“Our village is not cursed, as far as I know. Many years ago, this community used to serve as the central point where cattle from across the region were brought for vaccination. During those times, the livestock that came in came along with black flies which carried disease pathogens,” Mr. Kabiri explained.

He added “many of the villagers who came into direct contact with these flies, contracted diseases through bites – that’s the beginning of our woes.”

“It did not end there, some of the vaccination for the six killer diseases in children was unavailable here, therefore many of the children at the time developed polio, measles and others, according to the records,” he revealed.

“The poor health delivery system here meant that many of our people developed several complications from very simple ailments – which could have been treated.” But there’s also the group who returned to the village after settling several years in other areas and are beloved to have brought some of the diseases along with them.

It appears a mix-bag of possible causes may be responsible for the plight of scores of inhabitants here.

Cursed or not, Karni remains a strange village. Strange in many ways than one.

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Medical conditions gone bad?

According to medical experts, visual impairment is a major source of morbidity in the world, with close to 300 million people living with one form or another.

About 80-90% of this number, however, are people living in low-income-earning communities in developing countries.

Resident in Ophthalmology at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Doctor Vera Beyuo gives an indication of the severity of the matter and how many of us are exposed to some of these, inadvertently.

“Eighty per cent of visual impairment conditions are treatable and preventable. The commonest defect however is cataract – which is associated with clouding of the lens and improper transfer of images,” Doctor Beyuo noted.

“Aside that, there is glaucoma, which is caused also by a number of factors – diabetes, injuries, infections, among others, with immune conditions also causing the whitening of the cornea. It damages the eye’s optic nerve and can result in vision loss and blindness,” she further explained.

However, “with early detection and treatment, an individual can often protect their eyes against serious vision-loss, especially as the condition has no glaring and easily recognizable symptoms”.

According to Doctor Beyuo, many of these visually-impaired persons in Karni may have developed the condition but due to the absence of pain or other manifest symptoms, did not take action till it degenerated into blindness and visual impairment.

Without treatment, people with glaucoma will slowly lose their peripheral (side) vision. As glaucoma remains untreated, people may miss objects to the side and out of the corner of their eye. Over time, straight-ahead (central) vision may decrease until no vision remains, medical experts reckon.

Doctor Beyuo further reveals ‘infectious causes – trachoma, onchocerciasis, despite their reduced incidence across the country, still remains in some communities with Karni, a good case in point, per the account of the community leaders.’

“Uncorrected refractive errors also cause visual impairment and, subsequently, leads to blindness. In many instances, however, it can be corrected with prescribed eye aids.” The causes of increasing cases of visual-impairment and blindness among Karni residents are varied and very remote in some instances.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, “measles is just re-emerging as a threat in developing countries, the disease has long been a leading cause of childhood blindness worldwide”.

One study estimates that measles causes up to 60,000 cases of blindness a year globally, with poor access to measles vaccination and malnutrition often correlating with higher rates of blindness in the most affected countries, including Africa.

It is believed that some of the conditions, among residents, here could have resulted from measles and other chronic diseases, which went unattended. To salvage what is left of the Karni community at this point, Doctor Beyuo prescribes regular medical outreaches.

“Despite Ghana having about hundred ophthalmologists catering for the needs of a population of over twenty six million (out of which number the specialists are not evenly distributed throughout the regions), it is possible to carry out eye-screening outreaches to very deprived communities, such as Karni,” Doctor Beyuo suggested.

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Special Attention

This way, many of those whose condition are not ‘hopeless’ as yet, can get their condition properly managed, while others who are just reporting with early symptoms can be identified and given some special attention.

It is the case that many deprived communities in the cities’ outbacks lack eye clinics and specialists to cater for their eye needs – a phenomenon many have attributed to the increasing cases of visual impairment and blindness in these parts.

On the issue of the black flies, ‘apart from the use of drugs on bi-monthly basis, that kills the larvae, there should be intermittent spraying of the kraals, and other areas where cattle are usually kept to prevent the spread of the infection,’ she advised.

While she believes all hope is not lost for some of the affected residents here, the earlier something drastic is done about the plight of the people, the better.

According to her, once the screening is done and the specific causes of the eye defect and impairment are identified, “some measures could be put in place to slow down the pace at which the disease progresses. Giving prescribed eye drops could also lower the pressure and preserve the little function of the eye that is left”.

Sadly, in the case of some of these people, the margins are very tiny and may be just a tad late – but there may be some hope on the horizon.

Doctor Beyuo, however, warmed that not all eye disease are infectious, therefore people should not stigmatize persons suffering some of these conditions.

“Blindness is not spiritual. Visual impairment is not a curse. Don’t self-medicate. However, not every eye problem is a bacterial infection….therefore see a healthcare provider, get assessed and treated appropriately, “she cautioned.

Social welfare dream (Organized model systems)

Over 650 million people are estimated to be living with disabilities globally, of whom more than 500 million are in developing countries. To help protect their rights, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in December 2006.

The convention and an additional optional protocol are intended to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities – UN.

In some states in America, thousands of citizens with disabilities are employed by facilities known as sheltered workshops where they among others ‘stuff envelopes, package candy or scrub toilets for just scraps of pay, with little hope of building better, more dignified lives.’

Many states, inspired by a new civil rights movement to integrate the disabled into mainstream life, subsidise nearly 300 sheltered workshops and now among the most segregated states in the nation for working people with intellectual disabilities, according to reports.

More than a decade after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Americans with disabilities have a right to live in the mainstream, many disabled persons and their families say they still feel forsaken — mired in profoundly isolating and sometimes dangerous environments they didn’t choose and can’t escape, according to an article authored by Chris Serres and Glenn Howatt on nfb.org.

Vermont has abolished sheltered workshops and moved most of their employees into other jobs.

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Best Countries for Unemployed or Disabled

In a guardian article published on its website titled: ‘Which Are the Best Countries In the World To Live In If You Are Unemployed or Disabled’ authored by many contributors from countries with specific provisions for disabled persons, the following were pointed out:

In Germany, Disabled children are automatically insured with their parents in the health insurance scheme without having to pay any additional costs. Children and students with disabilities are entitled to various rights, including wheelchair access and a sign language translator in certain circumstances.

Companies receive benefits and tax breaks for employing people with disabilities, while Grants are also available of up to €2,557 per project to adapt the home of a disabled person to their individual needs.

They are also entitled to housing benefit of up to €1,500, depending on the severity of the disability; help towards taxi fares to enable mobility and participation in normal life; and free public transport.

In Ireland, the overarching criteria for disability allowance is that individuals are residents of Ireland and have a disability that is expected to last for at least one year and substantially restricts a person from undertaking work that would otherwise be suitable for them.

“Deciding officers”, appointed under Irish social welfare legislation, determine who is entitled based on the merits of each individual case. Applicants are required to have their doctor complete a medical report which is reviewed by one of the department’s medical assessors.

Payments are means-tested above €50,000 of any capital. The maximum payment for those aged 26 or over is €188 per week for individuals. Those with children receive extra. There are about 2.6 million disabled people living in Italy, 4.8% of the population, who describe themselves as unable to perform essential daily tasks independently.

Benefits for disabled people are recalculated every year based on inflation and the cost of living.

In 2015, disabled Italians between the ages of 18 and 65 were entitled to €279.75 a month. They also receive tax breaks to buy certain goods such as special vehicles and adjustments to the home.

“In Italy generally, disabled people are not necessarily encouraged to work and the funds they are given are not enough to support an autonomous life,” according to the Academic Network of European Disability Experts.

People with physical or learning disabilities, as well as those with mental health conditions, are eligible for government assistance in Japan. According to the Japanese cabinet office, 7.4 million people belong in these three categories.

Adults with Severe Physical and Mental Disabilities

Adults with severe physical and mental disabilities with an income of less than ¥3.4 million yen (£20,000) are eligible for ¥26,800 yen (£153) a month, while families with children under 20 with physical and mental disabilities can receive ¥50,050 or ¥33,330 a month depending on the severity of the disability.

Applicants for disability grant in South Africa are assessed and diagnosed by a doctor who recommends whether their impairment is severe enough to qualify. The South African Social Security Agency makes the final decision.

A disabled person is typically eligible for a grant of R1, 350 (£76) per month – equivalent to 9% of South Africa’s average wage of R14, 731 per month.

How did they do it? Remains the biggest unanswered question, one would ask.

Across Africa many governments cite financial constraints as an impediment to promoting the rights of the disabled and marginalized groups in societies. But taking a leaf off their book may just show the way – while we address our minds to some of the special schools and homes which are failing us.

‘Useless liabilities’ versus Survival of the fittest

In the streets of Accra, hundreds of physically-challenged persons accost moving vehicles, halted by the traffic lights and beg for alms. Most do so in very untidy and unkempt clothes, in wheelchairs, skates, on crutches and some with their white cane, aided by another to navigate the streets, while the less-fortunate drag themselves on their buttocks, hands and knees.

Drive through some of the capitals major roads – and you’re sure to be met by one, two, or more of these persons, begging for a coin.

From where I sit aboard the public transport, the view from outside is wide. Just as the vehicle screeched to a halt before the traffic lights at the intersection around airport junction on the Accra-Madina stretch, a visually-impaired old woman, being held and dragged along by a young man, possibly in his early 20s, approaches the next window and begins to sing.

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Common Sight

While at it, she stretches her arms towards the occupant close to the window and recites why she should be helped because of her condition. Magnanimous as the passenger was, he was able to spin a one cedi coin into the hand of the begging woman, before the lights could switch from amber to green. The sight is just too common!

There have been concerns among a section of the public concerning these beggars, whom they describe as nuisance to movement in and around the capital, but when society fails these people, what possibly is the way out?

Karni provides some example – giving up and resorting to street-begging may not end the woes, but engaging in some meaningful work, no matter how small may just be an escape – one which those at Karni are taking advantage of.

Efforts & Appeals

As of 2010, it was estimated that about 1.8 million Ghanaians — about 5 per cent of the total population — were in some fashion disabled, with problems of sight, hearing and speaking in the lead, according to the Africa renewal website.

In 2006 however, Ghana’s law-making body (parliament) passed the National Disability Act, intended to ensure that people living with disabilities enjoy the same rights as their able-bodied counterparts.

The act offers a legal framework to protect the rights of physically and mentally disabled persons in all areas of life, from education, training and employment to physical access and health care.

It also was intended to promote the creation of an environment that will advance the economic well-being of disabled people and enable them to function better.

But the lack of political will by some of the leaders since the passage of the act, leaves much to be desired.

A renewed sense of political will is urgently required, despite the existence of international conventions, the proclamation of an annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities (on 3 December) and other like programmes.

While we await that to be done, people with disabilities still face discrimination and receive little support across much of their families, homes, communities and country.

The needs of the people of Karni are many. Here are a few – clothing, farming implements, crop seedlings, gardening tools, school uniforms. Footwear, classroom furniture, teaching and learning materials, irrigation systems (disability-friendly systems), medical outreach, eye-screening programs and an eye clinic.

These are but a few of the needs of people at Karni, where life is throwing the physically-challenged persons all sorts of lemons.

While the hundreds of physically-challenged persons here continue to strive for themselves and their large families, assistance from outside appears almost nonexistent.

For them, hope remains hope. But for their contact with the Macedonia Jerusalem Mission last year, an already bad condition could have worsened. The NGO is, however, calling for donations from well-meaning Ghanaian citizens and groups to be able to bless the lives of the scores of hard working physically-challenged persons here.

And OH! No matter the type of people we are, in our individual spaces and general life spheres, there are useful lessons to be learned from persons living with disabilities.

There’s no getting around it; having even the slightest form of disability is certainly a truly difficult ride in life, these people have to negotiate – but the life lessons without question makes it a near perfect bargain.

Read also Building Resilient Food System On Systemic Vulnerabilities

Anas exposes two staffs of Ridge Hospital for selling PPE meant for frontline health workers

Two staffs of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital popularly known as Ridge Hospital have been suspended from work after they were busted selling the hospital’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) illegally to other people.

This was revealed in a statement released by the management of the Ridge Hospital.

The statement indicated, “Thomas Osei is serving a two-week suspension without salary for the inappropriate and unauthorized sale of PPEs on the hospital premises.”

In a video released by TigerEye’s Anas, the two staffs identified as Mr. Thomas Osei and Mr. Divine Kumodzi were spotted in the video selling face shield, face mask, and protective gowns.

The statement by the hospital’s management added, “Mr Divine Kumordzi would refund all monies realized with regards to the unauthorized and inappropriate sale of face masks on the hospital premises. He is also serving a two weeks suspension without salary”.

The statement revealed that the punishment given to staff is in the provision of the Ghana health service Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures.

Management of the hospital warned all staffs to desist from such acts or face the same fate.

Ridge Hospital: Doctors leave towel in woman’s tummy for 9 months after C-section

Once again the Ridge hospital is in the news! This time around, a woman has narrated a chilling story of how a huge towel was left in her tummy for nine long months before it was eventually discovered and removed at a different hospital.

According to the woman, she was delivered of her baby through a caesarian section at the plush but controversial hospital in 2015 when the incident happened.

She told Captain Smart on Accra-based Angel FM that after the surgery, she had been vomiting frequently and it all looked very green as if she had eaten raw green grass.

She returned to the Ridge hospital not less than twice but she was told they could not do anything about her situation because it had been nine months after the operation.

Read also: Folks, last night I lost my wife at Ridge Hospital – Dr Emmanuel Kobina Kuto

Her situation continued to worsen until she went to another hospital she referred to as the Rock hospital where an X-ray scan detected that something was lying inside her tummy.

Doctors then conducted another surgery only to realise that during her caesarian section at the Ridge Hospital, a huge towel used during the operation was left inside her and her tummy was stitched over it.

Interestingly, after the corrective surgery at a different hospital, the very doctor who conducted the caesarian section on her at the Ridge hospital advised her to ignore the case because taking the matter up would cost her a lot of money.

Watch her and the said towel in the video below as she narrates the heart-breaking ordeal:

Read also Ridge Hospital Responds to Director of Institute of Languages’ Medical Negligence Allegation

Government has spent US$34m on COVID-19 testing – Deputy Health Minister

The Deputy Health Minister has disclosed that government has spent about $34.6 million on Covid-19 tests at a cost of US$100 per test.

Dr Bernard Okoe Boye told Parliament, that the high investment in testing is yielding positive results as is being seen in the low mortality rate.

“Ghana has done 346,990 so far with a positivity rate of 7.9 percent. For every one million of Ghana’s population, this comes to 11,000 tests on the average. The number of tests done per million of a country’s population gives an indication of government’s commitment towards fighting the pandemic.

Read also: Accra City Bees Project: British High Commission and BfdG organise training workshop for its grounds workers

“The higher the test per million per population, the more reliable the picture painted for that country. One PCR test costs an average $100 meaning the Akufo-Addo government has spent over $34.6 million on testing alone, not to mention the expenditure on expansion of testing capacity, he told Parliament.

Citing tests conducted in other countries to that of Ghana, the Deputy Minister who is also MP for Ledzokuku said the Akufo-Addo administration has done far better.

“Compare Ghana to the following countries in terms of tests conducted as at July 13, 2020 and you will appreciate he efforts and strong commitment shown by the Akufo-Addo government: UK is doing 195,000 test per million, Taiwan -3,306, Senegal – 5,700, Egypt – 1,300, Japan – 5,000, Ivory Coast – 3,172, Kenya – 5,000, Nigeria – 879, Niger – 275 and Angola – 304.”

Government’s commitment and preparedness to fight the virus, Dr Okoe Boye said is also evident in the care patients receive.

Read also: Government to phase out birth certificate as requirement for acquiring a Ghanaian passport

“All confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ghana are treated free of charge be they in ICU, high dependency unit, or under supportive treatment at designated centres. All confirmed case in mandatory quarantine are fed three times a day by the state,” he disclosed.

Meanwhile, Ghana’s 10 testing centres will resume full testing capacity after receiving more testing kits and medical supplies.

This would help the country’s testing centres conduct between 100,000 and 300,000 sample tests in the next three months and clear the backlog of samples across the country.

Government distributed 50,000 PCR kits and close to 30,000 nucleic acid extraction kits, N95 masks, examination gloves and isolation kits, which form the basis for PCR testing regime.

Additionally, government is expecting to take delivery of about 40,000 testing kits in few days’ time to help expand six more testing centres in the northern parts of the country.

Listen to the audio below

Read also: Impact of COVID-19 on Small-scale Farmers in Ghana

Ridge Hospital Responds to Director of Institute of Languages’ Medical Negligence Allegation

The authorities at the Ridge Hospital are investigating circumstances surrounding the death of the wife of the director of the Ghana Institute of Languages.

In a post on Facebook, Dr Emmanuel Kuto alleged that his wife, Kafui, died after surgery at the hospital because a doctor prescribed the wrong medication for her.

In response to the post, the Medical Director at the hospital, Dr. Emmanuel Srofenyoh, has told Joy News that preliminary investigations have begun to ascertain the exact course of death.

He added that a committee of enquiry will probably be set up to probe Mrs Kuto’s death.

“The Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Ridge practices an open-door policy and we encourage our clients to report any misgiving or seek clarity on any clinical procedure with the Customer Service or Public Relations Units for proper management response,” he added.

Also read: Folks, last night I lost my wife at Ridge Hospital – Dr Emmanuel Kobina Kuto

Dr Kuto chronicled the events that led to the demise of his wife after she got surgery and allegedly received the wrong medications.

He revealed how he overheard a doctor reprimanding his colleague over a phone call for prescribing wrong medications for her.

“From the conversation, it was clear that the other doctor had promptly admitted to prescribing the drug. Folks, I swear by my father’s grave that my wife’s doctor said something like this; “I can’t believe you have done this again. This is the second time. This woman’s case is similar to the other one but you have done it again,” he recounted.

This was after he asked the nurses what drugs the patient was given and denied giving those prescriptions for her condition.

Emmanuel described the poor state of his wife after a surgery on Monday, June 22 which led to her severe pain and a subsequent black out.

According to him, “As our doctor was scolding the other doctor, the nurses were laughing heartily. Even the doctor was scolding his colleague somehow jokingly”.

Following this occurrence, he was directed to buy a couple more prescriptions which he did without hesitation.

However, these were not enough to save her as died three hours later. This was unknown to him until the next morning when he rushed to the hospital following a call from his sister-in-law.

He has appealed to the authorities of the hospital to ensure that this doesn’t repeat itself.

Read also: Ridge Hospital: Doctors leave towel in woman’s tummy for 9 months after C-section

Folks, last night I lost my wife at Ridge Hospital – Dr Emmanuel Kobina Kuto

In a post sighted by myaimreport.com on Facebook narrates a terrible experience of a heartbroken husband. The Director of Ghana Institute of Languages (GIL), Dr Emmanuel Kobina Kuto,  recounts heartbreaking medical negligence at Ridge Hospital.

He starts, “Folks, last night I lost my wife at Ridge Hospital. My wife checked in at the hospital Sunday evening. She had been due for surgery Monday morning. We agreed that I would return to the hospital in the afternoon when she would have returned from the theater.

That’s how it happened. I returned to her. She narrated the experience to me. I stayed with her till 8 pm when the orderly came to ask me to leave.

When I returned the next morning, my wife had taken a turn for the worst. She was sweating profusely and was in severe pain. The change was really dramatic.

I asked her if the doctor had seen her. She said no but the nurse had given her medication early on. She asked me to take her to the washroom. By this time she was screaming in pain.

Read also: Ridge Hospital: Doctors leave towel in woman’s tummy for 9 months after C-section

I managed to sit her on the WC. But as she attempted to relieve herself she suddenly went limp and crumbled onto the floor. She was unconscious.

I rushed out to seek help. A couple of nurses came in to help. She regained consciousness but she was in a terrible shape. The next one hour was hell as there was no doctor immediately available.

After about an hour the doctor arrived. He examined my wife and asked the nurse what medication had been administered. The nurse mentioned something I don’t remember. The doctor asked if she was sure and she said yes.

The doctor then went through my wife’s folder for a few minutes. “But I didn’t prescribe that”, he [doctor] said. My heart missed a beat.

There was a back and forth between the doctor and the nurse, which attracted two other nurses.

One of the new entrants said yes, he the doctor didn’t prescribe it but another doctor did so later. The doctor said he was going to call him right now. He walked out the room followed by the nurses. I followed them into the lobby.

He picked the phone and called someone. From the conversation, it was clear that the other doctor had promptly admitted to prescribing the drug.

Folks, I swear by my father’s grave that my wife’s doctor said something like this.

“ I can’t believe you have done this again. This is the second time. This woman’s case is similar to the other one but you have done it again”.

Folks, at this point I started feeling very cold. What happened next is the reason I am writing this. But for it I would never share this on social media.

As our doctor was scolding the other doctor, the nurses were laughing heartily. Even the doctor was scolding his colleague somehow jokingly.

Yes, my wife lay dying and the nurses were laughing that a doctor that had apparently prescribed the wrong medication for her. I was not angry and I was not mad. I just felt cold. Very cold!

A lot happened subsequently as they tried to save her. They prescribed some drugs which I bought. Then they prescribed some more drugs which I bought. Then they prescribed more. Then they wanted a test done which we did. Earlier, my sister-in-law who had held the fort while I went to see the kids had also been made to buy drugs.

In the end I was left alone with my wife. At 8 pm the orderly came to ask me to leave.

Also read: Ridge Hospital Responds to Director of Institute of Languages’ Medical Negligence Allegation

I drove home filled with a huge feeling of emptiness. I could not sleep. I tossed around in bed the whole night. At around 4 am I fell asleep.

My sister-in-law was to take up the relay this morning. I was to go and teach my students and then return to replace her. We took turns taking care of my wife.

My sister-in-law called me at 6 am which is the visiting time at the hospital. I had overslept.

“Brother Imma, are you coming? The doctors want to see you immediately”.

“I am on my way”, I lied. I hurriedly jumped into a crumpled jeans and an old Lacoste. I did not bath. I did not brush my teeth. I don’t know how I drove to Ridge Hospital.

My wife died at 11 pm last night, three hours after I left her. A lady in the ward told me she collapsed and died. Just like that.

By the way, my sister-in-law told me that when she got to the ward this morning she overheard doctors and nurses arguing over “wrong medication”.

I am not angry. I am sad. Deeply sad. Indescribably sad.

Folks, let’s be clear. I have no evidence that the wrong medication killed my wife. I have requested for an autopsy.

I also appreciate the efforts made by some of the nurses to save the life of my wife. One particular nurse was very kind to me and I pray God’s blessings on her.

What I cannot accept, and why I am writing this, is that health workers find it funny that the wrong medication had apparently been administered to my wife. They were laughing. It was a joke. My wife’s life was a joke.

My wife heard the whole story unfold. How did she feel lying there listening? I kept thinking  “Is my wife’s life worth so little”?

Is that all she is worth? Can’t they see she is my wife? Can’t they see me standing there listening to them?

Now I have been thinking. I am a senior public servant, the head of a public tertiary institution. If this happened to me then I shudder to think of what can happen to an ordinary person in our country.

Folks, I am not courting sympathy. I have thought carefully before posting this.

Here is the thing:

Nobody, absolutely nobody deserves to experience this. It falls far below any idea of human decency. This should never happen again.

That is why I am calling out Ridge Hospital.

I am asking you a special favour. Please, help me call out Ridge Hospital.

It is me today. It could be you tomorrow.

Please, share my post again and again till it gets to the authorities of Ridge Hospital.

Hopefully they will sit up. Hopefully they will stop treating human life like statistics. Hopefully, they will understand that every patient is a person, a wife, a husband, a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, a son, a daughter, a cousin, a grandmother and a father that is dearly beloved by someone. Thank you.”

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