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Skinny people at elevated risk of heart diseases

People assume that if you are skinny, you are healthy- people only get diabetes if they’re overweight or obese. Right? Well, no. No matter how thin you are, you can still get heart diseases.

Many recent studies show that cardiovascular diseases are also experienced by individuals who are underweight; they are more at risk than people of a normal body mass index value. Cardiovascular diseases are influenced by a lot of factors other than excessive weight.
A person is classified as underweight if his or her Body Mass Index BMI value is less than 18.5. a lack of weight can be caused by malnutrition, infection or genetics.

Keep in mind that overweight and obesity are not the only conditions that can cause cardiovascular disease, which is in fact generally caused by an unhealthy lifestyle characterised by smoking, a lack of physical activity, or a high intake of fat or salt, which gives rise to high blood pressure and fat deposition around the veins and heart. Skinny people are at risk. Many recent studies show that underweight people also suffer from cardiovascular diseases, and that they are at a greater risk than those with a normal BMI value.

A study from Bali shows that underweight people are 3.6 times more likely to experience coronary heart disease than those of normal weight. If the coronary artery is affected, underweight individuals are at greater risk of an early death than those who are either of normal weight or overweight. Research shows that women with coronary artery disease are twice as likely as their healthy counterparts to die early. It also shows that for overweight individuals who are not in the process of gaining weight, the risk of death related to the coronary artery drops by 64 per cent.

Meanwhile, underweight people who are still losing weight are at an increased risk of death. Causes that may lead to cardiovascular diseases in people who are underweight are congenital heart disease, which is indicated by a low heart function due to disorder of the valve’s wall and the heart’s arteries. Based on research, people with congenital heart disease and low body weight are 12 times more at risk of cardiovascular disease.

There is a tendency of no physical activity with people who are underweight. Physical activity is one way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. A lack of physical activity, on the other hand, can cause fat deposition in the blood that can lead to cardiovascular diseases. Further, it was noted that it is easy to have low body fat and having unhealthy eating habits, and underweight people tend to not worry about consuming fast food and failing to strike a balance. Even though it may not immediately show in their body, they may still have an elevated blood sugar level. So, low body fat with unhealthy eating habit has been proved to be one of the causes of cardiovascular disease in underweight people.

Furthermore, research underlined that a condition known as central obesity is not uncommon in people with low body weight. Compared evenly distributed fat, people who have fat around the abdomen are more at risk of cardiovascular disease than those with regular obesity. It was indicated that lack of haemoglobin serum is also one of the conditions that cause heart disease. This condition is higher in people who are underweight.

Research in Ethiopia showed that the haemoglobin level can significantly affect heart failure and that a normal level of its serum reduced the risk of heart failure by 23 per cent. Body weight is not the only cause of cardiovascular diseases. Overall body health, along with your diet and physical activity, are things one needs to pay attention to in order to maintain a healthy heart and blood vessels, regardless of whether you are underweight, normal or overweight.

Meanwhile, according to World Health Organization WHO, the world today has more obese than underweight people. A staggering 1.9 billion adults around the world are currently carrying excess weight as the obesity epidemic continues to spread. In addition, 340 million children of school age and 41 million children below the age of five years are also overweight and obese, and this was said by Dr Leanne Riley, team leader for surveillance of non-communicable diseases at the WHO.

‘’Sadly, the figures are even worse in the UAE, with the prevalence of overweight and obese schoolchildren in the UAE being roughly double the global prevalence. One in every three school-age children is obese or overweight, and 17 per cent of schoolchildren are known to be obese’’ Dr Riley said. According to experts, there are more people in the world today carrying excess weight than underweight people, and this has happened for the first time in human history.

Not only are nearly two billion adults carrying excess weight but 650 million of them are obese, and the prevalence of obesity has tripled in the last four decades. ‘’Obesity is spreading like wildfire across the world, and the Gulf region has proved to be particularly susceptible. By implementing a comprehensive obesity prevention and management plan, combating obesity stigma, making healthy food available and providing safe spaces to exercise, we can stop the epidemic from spiralling out of control’’ said Dr Ian Caterson, President of the World Obesity Federation.

The WHO has already set targets of a zero increase in the proportion of overweight children internationally by 2025, and of halting the rise in prevalence of diabetes and obesity among adolescents and adults by the same period. To that end, experts commended the UAE’s implementation of a 50 per cent tax on sugary drinks, a move which is seen as the first step towards combating the scourge of excess weight and unhealthy eating.

‘’We know that multi-sector engagement is key to achieving our goal, and we have a number of initiatives aimed at improving nutritional standards, enhancing the urban environment and even measuring the impact of the taxon sugary drinks’’ Dr Farida Al Hosani, Director of Communicable Diseases at the Abu Dhabi Department of Health said.

For his part, Dr Doug Betcher, Head of Non-Communicable Diseases at the World Health Organization, stressed that the environment itself should support the fight against obesity. ‘’The environment cannot be obesogenic in a way that promotes sedentary lifestyles and the consumption of high-calorie diets. We must also encourage more childhood activity and effective weight management in primary health acre settings’’ he said.

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Botswana economic recovery depends on successful vaccine rollout – BoB

5th May 2021

Bank of Botswana (BoB) has indicated that the rebounding of domestic economy will depended on successful vaccine roll-out which could help business activity to return to its post pandemic days.

Projections by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggest a rebound in economic growth for Botswana in 2021.

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Inside the UB-BDF fighter Jet tragedy report

5th May 2021

Despite being hailed and still regarded as a hero who saved many lives through his decision to crash the BF5 fighter Jet around the national stadium on the eve of the 2018 BDF day, the deceased Pilot, Major Clifford Manyuni’s actions were treated as a letdown within the army, especially by his master-Commander of the Air Arm, Major General Innocent Phatshwane.

Manyuni’s master says he was utterly disappointed with his Pilot’s failure to perform “simple basics.”

Manyuni was regarded as a hero through social media for his ‘colourful exploits’, but Phatshwane who recently retired as the Air Arm Commander, revealed to WeekendPost in an exclusive interview that while he appreciated Batswana’s outpouring of emotions and love towards his departed Pilot, he strongly felt let down by the Pilot “because there was nothing wrong with that Fighter Jet and Manyuni did not report any problem either.”

The deceased Pilot, Manyuni was known within the army to be an upwardly mobile aviator and in particular an air power proponent.

“I was hurt and very disappointed because nobody knows why he decided to crash a well-functioning aircraft,” stated Phatshwane – a veteran pilot with over 40 years of experience under the Air Arm unit.

Phatshwane went on to express shock at Manyuni’s flagrant disregard for the rules of the game, “they were in a formation if you recall well and the guiding principle in that set-up is that if you have any problem, you immediately report to the formation team leader and signal a break-away from the formation.

Manyuni disregarded all these basic rules, not even to report to anybody-team members or even the barracks,” revealed Phatshwane when engaged on the much-publicised 2018 incident that took the life of a Rakops-born Pilot of BDF Class 27 of 2003/2004.

Phatshwane quickly dismisses the suggestion that perhaps the Fighter Jet could have been faulty, “the reasons why I am saying I was disappointed is that the aircraft was also in good condition and well-functioning. It was in our best interest to know what could have caused the accident and we launched a wholesale post-accident investigation which revealed that everything in the structure was working perfectly well,” he stated.

Phatshwane continued: “we thoroughly assessed the condition of the engine of the aircraft as well as the safety measures-especially the ejection seat which is the Pilot’s best safety companion under any life-threatening situation. All were perfectly functional.”

In aircrafts, an ejection seat or ejector seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft in an emergency. The seat is propelled out of the aircraft by an explosive charge or rocket motor, carrying the pilot with it.”

Manyuni knew about all these safety measures and had checked their functionality prior to using the Aircraft as is routine practice, according to Phatshwane. Could Manyuni have been going through emotional distress of some sort? Phatshwane says while he may never really know about that, what he can say is that there are laid out procedures in aviation guiding instances of emotional instability which Manyuni also knew about.

“We don’t allow or condone emotionally or physically unfit Pilots to take charge of an aircraft. If a Pilot feels unfit, he reports and requests to be excused. We will subsequently shift the task to another Pilot. We do this because we know the risks of leaving an unfit pilot to fly an aircraft,” says Phatshwane.

Despite having happened a day before the BDF day, Phatshwane says the BDF day mishap did not really affect the BDF day preparations, although it emotionally distracted Manyuni’s flying formation squad a bit, having seen him break away from the formation to the stone-hearted ground. The team soldiered on and immediately reported back to base for advice and way forward, according to Phatshwane.

Sharing the details of the ordeal and his Pilots’ experiences, Phatshwane said: “they (pilots) were in distress, who wouldn’t? They were especially hurt by the deceased‘s lack of communication. I immediately called a chaplain to attend to their emotional needs.

He came and offered them counselling. But soldiers don’t cry, they immediately accepted that a warrior has been called, wiped off their tears and instantly reported back for duty. I am sure you saw them performing miracles the following day at the BDF day as arranged.”

Despite the matter having attracted wide publicity, the BDF kept the crash details a distance away from the public, a move that Phatshwane felt was not in the best interest of the army and public.

“The incident attracted overwhelming public attention. Not only that, there were some misconceptions attached to the incident and I thought it was upon the BDF to come out and address those for the benefit of the public and army’s reputation,” he said.

One disturbing narrative linked to the incident was that Manyuni heroically wrestled the ‘faulty’ aircraft away from the endangered public to die alone, a narrative which Phatshwane disputes as just people’s imaginations. “Like I said the Aircraft was functioning perfectly,” he responded.

A close family member has hinted that the traumatised Manyuni family, at the time of their son’s tragedy, strongly accused the BDF ‘of killing their son’. Phatshwane admits to this development, emphasising that “Manyuni’s mother was visibly and understandably in inconsolable pain when she uttered those words”.

Phatshwane was the one who had to travel to Rakops through the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) aircraft to deliver the sad news to the family but says he found the family already in the know, through social media. At the time of his death, Manyuni was survived by both parents, two brothers, a sister, fiancée and one child. He was buried in Rakops in an emotionally-charged burial. Like his remains, the BDF fighter jets have been permanently rested.

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Uphill battle in Khama’s quest to charge Hubona

5th May 2021

A matter in which former President Lt Gen Ian Khama had brought before Broadhurst Police Station in Gaborone, requesting the State to charge Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) lead investigator, Jako Hubona and others with perjury has been committed to Headquarters because it involves “elders.” 

Broadhurst Police Station Commander, Obusitswe Lokae, told this publication this week that the case in its nature is high profile so the matter has been allocated to his Officer Commanding No.3 District who then reported to the Divisional Commander who then sort to commit it to Police Headquarters.

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