Category Archives: Health

CardioDiagnostics: Cloud-based Heart Monitoring Powered by Microsoft

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sankra

Ziad Sankari was 17 years old when his father died of a heart attack. Ever since, Ziad has dedicated his career to cardiac care and has founded in 2012 CardioDiagnostics: an award-winning medical technology innovation company specialized in the R&D of breakthrough cardiac monitoring technologies.

CardioDiagnostics uses FDA-approved wearable devices that are 24/7 GPS-enabled heart rate monitors allowing for heart monitoring centers to communicate diagnostic and preventive information to patients in the United States and in Lebanon. Ziad has already won several awards and was recognized last year by US President Barack Obama as one of the emerging young entrepreneurs from around the world.

CardioDiagnostics is constantly evolving and now uses the Microsoft Cloud to transmit the patient’s cardiac data to a Cloud that’s made available to physicians anywhere in the world. Check out this nice feature made by Microsoft for CardioDiagnostics.

Aerial View of the Costa Brava Landfill

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costa1

The Costa Brava landfill looks bad, it smells terrible and it’s located at the worst place possible. People living next to the landfill should have been evacuated prior to its opening and proper measures should have been taken to contain the smell, which is worse than you could ever imagine. Also, setting up a landfill next to an airport poses a potential hazard to aircraft operations as it attracts birds and collisions with birds at low altitudes are very dangerous.

Kalamenass flew over the Costa Brava dump site and shared an aerial view of this new environmental disaster. Based on what they said, the landfill is only 167 meters away from the airport while the distance required is 13 KM!

costa

So instead of finding a viable and sustainable solution to the garbage crisis, the authorities have decided to set up a landfill next to the sea in order to pollute it further, make more people’s lives a living hell and pose a real threat to aircraft operations.

How Badly Polluted is the Litani River?

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Polluted Litani River Photo Credits: Gettyimages/JosephEid

There are over 150 farms using Litani’s polluted water to irrigate crops even though the Litani is no longer suitable for swimming or irrigation. The high levels of pollution are not only affecting the farmers and nearby residents and businesses but all of us as the Litani extends from the West Bekaa Valley all the way down to the southern districts of Nabatieh and Tyre.

The government is still not taking this issue seriously and their $880 million dollars plan to clean up the river is a joke. Such an imminent matter cannot be just another point on the government’s agenda and direct actions need to be taken to stop making things worse.

Check out this LBCI report to see how bad the pollution is and remember that some of these fruits and vegetables are ending up on our plates or in our dishes.

Shameful “Anal Exams” Still Taking Place in Lebanon

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HRW

Human Rights Watch published an 82-pages long report on the forced anal examinations on men and transgender women accused of consensual same-sex conduct in which cases were reported in Lebanon in the past five years. The report was based on interviews with 32 men and transgender women who underwent forced anal examinations in Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Lebanon, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, and Zambia.

It’s quite shameful to see Lebanon being featured in this report as these “tests of shame” were banned in Lebanon back in 2012 and the Justice minister at the time, Shakib Qortbawi, issued a statement calling for an end to anal examinations on men accused of homosexual conduct. Even the head of the Lebanese Order of Physicians Dr. Sharaf Abu Sharaf issued a directive back then calling for an end of the procedure:

It is scientifically established that this procedure is not even qualified as an experimental procedure. It does not provide the needed result and is considered a grave violation against the people who undergo it, and it is done without their prior consent. It is a humiliating practice that violates their dignity, and it is torture according to the definition of CAT [Convention against Torture].

The reason why anal exams are still being used in Lebanon is due to some doctors, and prosecutors, who are not aware or not complying with the circulars that were issued in 2012. Of course, there are also police members who are still requesting such tests as recently as 2015 as reported by Dr. Sami Kawas, a forensic medicine specialist in Beirut.

The only way to end these tests is to inflict a severe punishment on those who are still conducting it. A warning is not enough as these tests violate article 30 of the Lebanese law on medical ethics, which prohibits doctors from engaging in harmful practices, as well as international standards against torture including the Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Lebanon has ratified.

Any doctor who performs an anal examination should be kicked out of the syndicate and forbidden to work again. Any police officer who requests such tests should be jailed.

Check out the full report [here].

shame anal

Help 56 Year Old Rozine Moughalian Raise Funds For Her Liver Transplant

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casemedrozine Rozline’s daughter Catherine Moughalian

This is a truly painful story. I wish I could do more than donate a bit of money and spread the message but I can’t. I think someone should try to reach out to Minister Bou Faour to handle this case and treat Rozine Moughalian for free before it’s too late.

Rozine’s daughter is trying to raise funds for her mom’s liver transplant before the end of month otherwise she won’t make it. Rozine lives in Bourj Hammoud and developed subacute liver failure in the past 3 months, which doctors were unable to diagnose and suspect possible drug or toxin exposure. The condition developed quite fast, and Rozine went from working three jobs two months ago to being hospitalized with a terminal condition today. She is currently in need of a liver transplant without delay (within the next two weeks).

You can donate [here].

Here’s the full story:

It is an extremely difficult process to find donors and secure funds in such a short period of time. So, due to bureaucratic procedures and time constraints, she can’t receive a liver transplant in Lebanon and it was recommended by doctors that she be transferred abroad for proper assessment and treatment. We are currently aiming for transferring her to Iran or India, these being the cheapest options. France was also an option earlier but it costs double what the surgery would cost in Iran or India.

Mom does not have the money for such a surgery, and she doesn’t have access to free quality healthcare. We need to raise at least 200,000 USD by the end of the month to be able to fund her surgery or it will be too late.

I find it absurd that my mom won’t get to live out the month because we can’t afford the money or a donor. She has the right to access free medical care, she has the right to get appointments with doctors without wasta, and the right to be admitted into the hospital at the expense of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) without having to wait a day in the ER while we make the “right calls to the right people.”

In a country where our basic rights are not available, or only available to a select few, sticking together is more of a basic need than duty. If you feel you can donate, any amount will bring us closer to the goal of keeping my mom alive.

I understand if you can’t donate, but please share this message with people who you think can help, either financially or by pointing us to people who have had a similar experience and can help with procedures and logistics.

I urge you to gather your resources as I am gathering mine. Thank you for reading this.

In solidarity,
Catherine Moughalian
If you have means of helping other than donations please contact me:
catherine.moughalian@gmail.com 961 3 098 817

[YouTube]

Full Hospitalization Coverage For Lebanese Above 64

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hos Photo Credits: Al-Akhbar

Lebanon’s Public Health Minister Wael Abu Faour announced that he will implement soon a new plan to provide full medical coverage after retirement in an attempt to “bridge the gap between the state and citizens” and to make sure that no Lebanese is deprived of health care.

The first thing that comes to mind is how much will this plan cost, but the minister is saying the state will actually reduce its cost in other areas by implementing it. It’s one of those “too good to be true” plans that we never thought would be implemented in Lebanon but Abu Faour is quite confident about it.

Just to give you an idea about the hospitalization coverage plans in Lebanon, people who retire at age 64 are no longer allowed to apply to the NSSF (as far as I know) and are either covered by their family or have to get insured somewhere else.

The details of Abu Faour’s 100% medical coverage plan should be announced today at the parliament. I think it’s a good initiative and I hope it will be properly implemented.

It’s Summer Season: Authorities Move Landfills To The Beach

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lf1

Where’s the best place to set up a new landfill? Right on the beach of course. The Costabrava landfill was approved by the Lebanese government 3-4 months ago and residents of the area are literally suffocating from the smells. In fact, anyone who’s driving from Beirut towards Khalde will notice the horrible smells on the way. At some point, it’s even worse than the Karantina landfill.

lf2

Residents of the area are already complaining and things will only get worse.

Here’s a report done back in April by GreenArea:
[YouTube]

And another more recent one by AJ+:

PS: Someone should tell AJ+ the first 2 pictures used are old and not from Costa Brava.

#Lebanon Ranked Second on Numbeo’s 2016 Pollution Index

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Numbeo’s Pollution Index is an estimation of the overall pollution in the city. “The biggest weight is given to air pollution, than to water pollution/accessibility, two main pollution factors. Small weight is given to other pollution types. The rankings are based on surveys from visitors of this website. Questions for this surveys are similar to many similar scientific and government surveys”.

Lebanon ranked second after Egypt. Jordan was the next Arab country in the 14th spot, followed by Bahrain (#16), Qatar (#18), Saudi Arabia (#30) and UAE (#52). Numbeo is a crowd-sourced global database of reported consumer prices, perceived crime rates, quality of health care, other statistics.

Pollution

A Report On The Beach Water Quality Along Lebanon’s Coast

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Tri Tripoli Beaches – Photo Credits: Souad Sbaiti

This is a follow-up on a post I wrote back in April. A sea water monitoring study was conducted by the National Center for Marine Sciences (I had no clue we had such a thing), and this is a summary of the results:

beaches (2)

As you can see, most of the beaches that are frequented by Lebanese during the summer are good. Most of the beaches North of Lebanon are clean and Tyr’s beaches are the best. The Jiye & Damour beaches are ok despite the garbage that was being dumped there underwater and Saida’s beach is good after the garbage mountain got removed.

Enjoy the summer!