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What is Psoriasis?

DR BOIMA
HEALTH ISSUES

Often times we hear people complaining of some rash that cannot go away, despite many visits to the hospital. One such kind of rash can be psoriasis.

Psoriasis (pronounced so–raya-sis) is a chronic or long-standing skin condition. It is one of the autoimmune diseases meaning it occurs as a result of the person’s body attacking itself. What happens normally is that the body sheds off the outer layers of dead skin and grows the new skin underneath in a matter of days (we do not see or feel this process happening). In psoriasis, one’s immune system sends faulty signals that tell the body to take weeks rather than days to grow the new skin. As a result, the skin cells pile up on the surface of the skin, causing patches of white scaly rash to develop.

Where is psoriasis usually seen?

Psoriasis patches can appear anywhere on the skin but they are mostly seen on the knees, elbows, lower back, scalp and nails. Nails can have pits, crumble or even fall off. The skin patches vary in size; sometimes appearing as isolated small patches or joining together to cover a large area.

How do I recognise psoriasis?

The commonest type of psoriasis is recognised as raised, reddish patches on the skin called plaques which may have a silvery –white shiny coating (see picture). However psoriasis can occur in other different types like pustular, guttate etc. but it’s not all that important to know which type you have. It is all for the doctor to know and to manage appropriately. Some people can even get more than one type, or the type changing from one form to the other.

Is psoriasis painful?

What you see and feel depends on the type of psoriasis you have. But psoriasis patches are not supposed to be painful. They can itch, and a lot of scratching can cause the patches to thicken even more.

Is psoriasis infective?

Psoriasis may look contagious, but it is not! One cannot get psoriasis from touching someone who has it, in swimming pools or from having sex. To get psoriasis, a person must be genetically predisposed or simply put inherit the genes that cause it.

Who gets psoriasis?

Psoriasis is quite common especially in white people and the youth. In the United States, it is reported that about 7.5 million people live with psoriasis. People who get psoriasis usually have one or more family member who has psoriasis. But not everyone who has a family member with psoriasis will get it though! Many people say that their psoriasis began after they experienced certain triggers like stress, bad sunburn, throat infection etc. but these are people who inherited the “right genes “of this condition.

What to expect at the doctor’s room if I think I have psoriasis?

The doctor will have a chat with you and establish your medical and family history. S/he will also examine your skin, nails, and scalp to see if the rash is suggestive of psoriasis. Sometimes a skin biopsy will need to be taken and sent to the lab to confirm the doctor’s suspicions or rule out other skin conditions like cancers.

Does psoriasis have treatment?

Psoriasis is a chronic or long-lasting disease of the immune system as such it cannot be cured. This means that people will have psoriasis for life. However, it can be managed or treated successfully. Thanks to on-going research, there are many treatment options for psoriasis out there that can reduce the symptoms or see sufferers living with a completely clear skin. With the right treatment, sufferers have an improved quality of life in general.

If you think you might be suffering from psoriasis or have a rash that is troublesome, please go see your doctor and get the ball rolling. Kim Kardashian is one such celebrity who lives with psoriasis.
For comments or questions please mail agboima@yahoo.com

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Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

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Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020
Samson

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

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‘RO, ‘RO ‘RO YOUR ‘BOT

23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site www.willrobotstakemyjob.com    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

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