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The headache you should never ignore!

DR BOIMA
HEALTH ISSUES

Headache is without doubt the commonest symptom that anyone has ever had. It is not a diagnosis on its own, but a sign that something is wrong in the body (illness). Though most people do find relief in taking more fluids, resting, or taking basic painkillers, there are certain signs that should not be brushed off as ‘just any other headache’.

The following are some of the red flags that should never be ignored when one gets a headache, and these should be a reason to go see a Doctor as soon as possible.

The worst headache of your life – Dangerous headaches are usually the ‘first and worst'. They may occur suddenly, and are very progressive. They hardly get better on painkillers and almost always signal that there is something serious going on inside the skull or in/around the brain. Causes include;

Disorders of vessels in the brain e.g. subarachnoid hemorrhage

Raised intracranial pressure (from brain swelling, bleeds, tumors etc.)

Intracranial infections e.g. meningitis

Space-occupying intracranial lesions (clots, tumors)

‘Thunderclap’ headache – a thunderclap headache is a headache that is severe and starts suddenly! Some people liken it to a feeling of ‘being suddenly hit by a hammer at the back of your head’. It may start during exertion or sex. It takes seconds to minutes to reach maximum intensity. It is indicative of a sudden bleed in the brain e.g. subarachnoid hemorrhage which can be life-threatening.

New-onset headache in a HIV-positive /unknown status patient – Headaches affect at least half of HIV-positive people, according to a new University of Mississippi research. For those with unknown HIV status, new onset headaches may be the first symptom to show that a person has severe immunosuppression. Headaches in patients with HIV infection should always be assessed as they may indicate life-threatening illnesses such as opportunistic infections (meningitis) or cancers.

New headache after age >50 – new headaches starting in an adult over the age of 50 years may indicate giant cell arteritis. Giant cell arteritis is a condition in which medium arteries in the head and neck become inflamed. It is sometimes called temporal arteritis because the arteries around the temples are usually affected. Symptoms of giant cell arteritis include;

aching and soreness around the temples

jaw pain while chewing

scalp tenderness (especially when combing hair)

vision deterioration or loss

Giant cell arteritis needs urgent medical attention and treatment with high dose steroids. Without prompt treatment it can lead to permanent visual loss.

Headache after head injury- A headache is not unusual immediately following a blow to the head. These headaches may come and go but resolve within days or weeks. As long as the headaches are getting better, they are not likely to represent a serious problem.

An ongoing headache that is getting worse after a head injury or a fall (especially if one had lost consciousness during the injury) should be re-assessed by a doctor. These may be caused by swelling or bleeding within or around the brain. The bleeding may be rapid or slow thus symptoms may develop within minutes, hours, or occasionally weeks after the injury.

Associated neurological symptoms –headaches associated with focal neurological symptoms or signs need medical attention. These may be due to migraines or indicate pathology in or around the brain. The signs may include impaired level of consciousness, drowsiness, and weakness on one side/part of the body, new onset seizures, fainting, or papilloedema (optic disk swelling).

The neurological symptoms produced by the migraine aura are the most characteristic and recognizable. Migraine usually starts on one side of the face or head, throbbing in nature and may be associated with nausea/vomiting and inability to tolerate light and noise.

Associated systemic symptoms – Headaches associated with fever, rash, photophobia (inability to tolerate light) or neck stiffness are suggestive of intracranial infection i.e. meningitis or encephalitis or systemic infection. Persistent vomiting with headaches may point towards mass in the CNS or severe migraines.

For comments or questions email agboima@yahoo.com

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WeekendLife

200,000 Members of International Church Hold Virtual Prayer Service for Covid-19

22nd September 2020
200,000

After its initial outbreak with a cluster of pneumonia cases at a seafood, poultry and live wildlife market in Wuhan City, China, Covid-19 has spread rapidly across the globe. The virus has hammered economies worldwide and brought devastation to many.

On 16 September Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a church with thousands of members in various countries, held a global online prayer service to pray for the victims of the coronavirus and their families, healthcare workers, government officials and for the complete eradication of and cure for Covid-19.

The virtual prayer service was live-streamed to the entire congregation with more than 200,000 members in countries all over the world participating, including the USA, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

In keeping with social distancing, health protocols and protecting its members from possible exposure to the coronavirus, Shincheonji arranged the virtual gathering for members to pray together in safety and set an example for others.

Prayers were mainly for the healing of those infected with the virus, for overworked healthcare workers who are struggling to fight Covid-19, and for people in economic distress in the wake of the pandemic. The overwhelming online participation from its members worldwide showed the desire and urgency to end this virus and for healing and restoration in communities.

The Chairman of Shincheonji Church Mr Manhee Lee suggested this online virtual gathering and said that all believers will continue to pray at the church’s worship services until the complete eradication of the coronavirus.

At least 1,700 of the church’s South Korean-based congregation have donated their blood plasma for research around an effective treatment. Convalescent plasma has also showed promise as therapy for Covid-19 and is believed to have reduced the severity of symptoms in critical patients.

“In order to defeat Covid-19, we need to embrace, love, and unite,” as global citizens, the church said. “We wanted to do all we can as believers by praying for the people working to prevent the spread of the virus and healthcare workers who are working at the frontlines of this battle against Covid-19 and we believe that God will answer our earnest prayers.”

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WeekendLife

AFRIMMA nominates Vee Mampeezy

22nd September 2020
Vee-Mampeezy

The annual prestigious music awards, African Muzik Magazine Awards and Music Festival (AFRIMMA), has resumed this year. But this time around with a virtual version of it.

The awards that celebrate the originality of African music has unveiled their seventh edition. The awards seek to promote the African talent by bringing together on the same stage African legendary artists to celebrate African culture.

The event was established by the International Committee of AFRIMMA, in collaboration with African Union to reward and celebrate musical works, talents and creativity around the African continent while promoting the African cultural heritage amongst African countries.

However after the Covid-19 global pandemic, the event will not be hosted on a live global stage, but it will be hosted virtually and nominees are expected to deliver their performances virtually. The AFRIMMA Virtual Awards 2020 is set to be the first of its kind in the African music world with performances coming from different artists around the world and audience catching the performances, speeches and award presentations on multiple streaming devices.

Amongst the many who are nominated by the AFRIMMAs is local sensation Vee Mampeezy who has been nominated in the category for Best Male Southern African alongside music giants, Black Coffee- South Africa, Slap Dee – Zambia, Cassper Nyovest- South Africa, Master KG- South Africa, Jah Prayzah – Zimbabwe, Vee Mampeezy – Botswana, Shyn – Madagascar, Tshego- South Africa, Tha Dogg – Namibia and Yanga Chief – South Africa.

Mampeezy has established with WeekendLife that prior to that, he had received an email from AFRIMMA confirming his nomination. They wished for him to perform which he said he will confirm the performance first with his manager, but as for now he is not sure if he will be performing.

“We have accepted the nomination. It is such an honour to be nominated alongside music giants like Black Coffee. I am very excited, others I am not as excited to be nominated alongside them because I have been nominated before with them. I do not mean to say they are not great, they are great in their respective right,” he said.

“We should be excited as a country that Botswana has been nominated as well. Before anything else, the fact that we are there as nominees makes us winners. It is such an honour to be recognised more so that Botswana is a small country with a very small population.”

Famous and most decorated artists the likes of Diamond Platnumz, Mr Flavour, Harmonize, Davido and Jah Prayzah are also amongst the nominees. However, South African based artist affectionately known as Master KG has been nominated six times for Video of the year, Best Male Southern Africa, Artist of the year, Best Collaboration as well as song of the year.

Master KG’s song ‘Jerusalem’ has been making waves internationally, and it was used mostly during the pandemic to shake off the Covid-19 anxiety. The song was nominated after South African Music Awards (SAMA) failed to nominate the young talented artist.

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WeekendLife

Miss Earth Botswana catwalks to save the environment

22nd September 2020
MISS EARTH

Miss Earth Botswana is an annual local environmental-themed beauty pageant competition promoting environmental awarenessconservation and social responsibility. The reigning Queen dedicated her year to promoting specific projects and often addressing issues concerning the environment.

The Queen does this through school tours, tree planting activities, street campaigns, coastal clean ups, speaking engagements, shopping mall tours, media guesting, environmental fairs, storytelling programs to children, eco-fashion shows, and other environmental activities.

Even though this auspicious year has been faulted by the COVID-19 crisis, Miss Earth Botswana 2020 Seneo Perry has seen this as a chance to fix her crown, and get dirty in conserving the environment. This is highly impressive as it expresses how dedicated she is not only in wearing the crown, but putting in some work to create a better greener world.

Perry is a Botswana based environmentalist, equipped with a degree in Entrepreneurial Business Leadership from Sheffield Hallam University (BAC) and a top 5 finalist in Miss Earth Botswana 2019. As an eco-warrior at heart, she has dedicated her time and energy towards educating and empowering the next generation on the importance of preservation and careful management of the environment and natural resources (a clean and safe environment.)

Miss Earth Botswana will be hosting SOS Children for a film documentary dubbed “Into the Okavango” on Saturday 19th September, in Tlokweng. This initiative is influenced by National Vision 2036 Pillar of National Values which is our identity, our unique natural and cultural resources, tolerance of diversity as well as national values constitute a value preposition that makes Botswana a place to live, work and do business.

In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife, Perry’s Manager, Shimah Keakopa, said the purpose of this event is to encourage the children to open up their minds a bit more to think outside the box as they are about to choose their career paths and what more they can offer to their country as upcoming young leaders.

“This event is held under the theme ‘‘Botswana will have healthy ecosystems that support the economy, livelihoods and our cultural heritage as well as enhance resilience to climate change’’. We strive to help young children grow up knowing their purpose in life and what they actually do in achieving their ambitions.”

For her part, the queen said since 2013, conservation topics have always attracted her interests towards achieving a clean and safe environment for the benefit of humanity. She said “Botswana relies heavily on the tourism industry as it contributes 7 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Our tourism industry has been characterized as more of a fauna and flora type, which is the great attraction to local and international tourists.”

“Therefore it is imperative that we conserve and continuously engage in environmental issues, to preserve our untouchable pristine wilderness. Furthermore people who live closest to natural resources generally absorb the greatest cost associated with conservation,” she said.

Perry told WeekendLife that a lot still needs to be done to ensure everybody is of one mind in an effort dedicated towards environmental conservation, which not only benefits the flora and fauna but the economy as well through activities such as agriculture and tourism.

“In Botswana, there still not enough policies (some outdated) and public awareness towards environmental conservation, especially the collective effort that should exist between government, private sector and Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

Whereas members of the general public do not have adequate access to the information on the importance of environmental conservation and this results in them being unaware of the best practices and standards in environmental conservation,” she said.

When she is not impressing at beauty pageants, Perry is a Managing Director of “Restoring the Prime Colour of the Earth” a charitable organization established in 2019 with the objective to educate both young and old people the importance of keeping a clean and safe environment and to restore the breath-taking landmarks in Botswana.

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