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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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Fighting vulture poisoning in KAZA region.

3rd February 2023
As a response to avert vulture poisoning currently going on in Botswana and KAZA region, Birdlife Botswana has collaborated with three other partners (BirdWatch Zambia, BirdLife International & Birdlife Zimbabwe) to tackle wildlife poisoning which by extension negatively affect vulture populations.

The Director of Birdlife Botswana, Motshereganyi Virat Kootshositse has revealed in an interview that the project which is funded by European Union’s main goal is to reduce poisoning related vultures’ death and consequently other wildlife species death within the KAZA region.

He highlighted that Chobe district in Botswana has been selected as a pilot site as it has experienced rampant incidents of vulture poisoning for the past few months. In August this year at least 50 endangered white backed vultures were reported dead at Chobe National Park, Botswana after feeding on a buffalo carcass laced with poison.  In November this year again 43 white backed vultures were found dead and two alive after feeding on a zebra suspected to have poisoned.  Other selected pilots’ sites are Kafue in Zambia and Hwange in Zimbabwe.

Kootshositse further explained they have established a national and regional Wildlife Poisoning Committee. He added that as for the national committee they have engaged various departments such as Crop Productions, Agro Chemicals, Department of Veterinary Services, Department of Wildlife and National Parks and other NGOs such as Raptors Botswana to come together and find a long-lasting solution to address wildlife poisoning in Botswana. ‘Let’s have a strategy or a plan together to tackle wildlife poisoning,’ he stated

He also decried that there is gap in the availability of data about vulture poisoning or wildlife in general. ‘If we have a central point for data, it will help in terms of reporting and advocacy’, he stated

He added that the regional committee comprises of law enforcement officers such as BDF and Botswana police, village leadership such as Village Development Committee and Kgosi. ‘We need to join hand together and protect the wildlife we have as this will increase our profile for conservation and this alone enhances our visitation and boost our local economy,’ he noted

Kootshositse noted that Birdlife together with DWNP also addressed series of meeting in some villages in the Chobe region recently. The purpose of kgotla meetings was to raise awareness on the conservation and protection of vultures in Chobe West communities.

‘After realizing that vulture poisoning in the Chobe areas become frequent, we realise that we need to do something about it.  ‘We did a public awareness by addressing several kgotla meetings in some villages in the Chobe west,’ he stated

He noted that next year they are going to have another round of consultations around the Chobe areas and the approach is to engage the community into planning process. ‘Residents should be part of the plan of actions and we are working with farmers committee in the areas to address vulture poisoning in the area, ‘he added

He added that they have found out that some common reasons for poisoning wildlife are farmers targeting predators such as lions in retaliation to killing of their livestock. Another common incident cross border poaching in the Chobe area as poachers will kills an elephant and poison its carcass targeting vultures because of their aerial circling alerting authorities about poaching activities.

Kootshositse noted that in the last cases it was disheartening the incidents occurred three months apart. He added that for the first time they found that some of the body parts of some vultures were missing. He added harvesting of body parts of vultures is not a common practice in Botswana, although it is used in some parts of Africa. ‘We suspect that someone took advantage of the availability of carcasses and started harvesting their body parts,’

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Giant in the making: Everton Mlalazi

3rd February 2023

The music industry is at a point where artists are jostling for space because there are so many aspirants trying to get their big break, thus creating stiff competition.

In the music business it’s about talent and positioning. You need to be at the right place at the right time with the right people around you to propel you forward.
Against all odds, Everton Mlalazi has managed to takeover the gospel scene effortlessly.
To him, it’s more than just a breakthrough to stardom, but a passion as well as mission directly appointed by the Lord.

Within a short space of 2 years after having decided to persue a solo career, Mlalazi has already made it into international music scene, with his music receiving considerable play on several gospel television and radio stations in Botswana including other regional stations like Trace Africa, One Gospel, Metro FM in South Africa, Hope FM in Kenya and literally all broadcast stations in Zimbabwe.

It doesn’t only stop there, as the musician has already been nominated 2 times and 2 awards which are Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) best Male artists 2022, StarFM listerners Choice Award, Best Newcomer 2021 and ZIMA Best Contemporary Gospel 2022, MLA awards Best Male artist & Best Gospel Artist 2022.

Everton’s inspiration stems from his ultimate passion and desire to lead people into Godly ways and it seems it’s only getting started.
The man is a gospel artist to put on your radar.

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African countries call on WHO to increase funding

2nd February 2023

Minister of Health Dr Edwin Dikoloti says Africa member states call on World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure equitable resource allocation for 2024-2025. Dr Dikoloti was speaking this week at the WHO Executive Board Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said countries agreed that there is need to address the budget and funding imbalances by increasing the programme budget share of countries and regions to 75% for the next year.

“The proposed budget for 2024-2025 marks an important milestone as it is the first in Programme Budget in which country offices will be allocated more than half of the total budget for the biennium. We highly welcome this approach which will enable the organization to deliver on its mandate while fulfilling the expectations for transparency, efficiency and accountability.”

The Botswana Health Minister commended member states on the extension of the General Programme of Work (GPD 13) and the Secretariat work to monitor the progress towards the triple billion targets, and the health-related SDGs.

“We welcome the Director’s general proposed five priorities which have crystalized into the “five Ps” that are aligned with the GPW 13 extension. Impact can only be achieved through close coordination with, and support to national health authorities. As such, the strengthening of country offices is instrumental, with particular focus on strengthening national health systems and on promoting more equitable access to health services.”

According to Dr Dikoloti, the majority of countries with UHC index that is below the global median are in the WHO Africa region. “For that, we call on the WHO to enhance capacity at the regional and national levels in order to accelerate progress. Currently, the regional office needs both technical and financial support in order to effectively address and support country needs.”

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