Category Archives: Health

What Can Arguileh (Hookah) Do To Your Health?

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Earlier in November, Lebanese scientists have joined with a host of officials and researchers in the region in declaring nargileh smoking a “global epidemic”. [Source]

I think we all agree that smoking is bad but the problem lies elsewhere in Lebanon. There are way too many Shisha cafes and the Arguile is cheap and accessible to everyone (No Age Restriction). Added to that, there’s no control on the cleanliness of the Arguile and its pipes and Hookah deliveries are allowed. What I believe should be done is restricting the number of Shisha cafes, or at least banning new Shisha lounges from opening, increasing the price of an Arguile drastically (200%) and fining restaurants who offer them to minors.

Support Movember Lebanon

1395863_10151663406271707_1898417278_n Thank you Hady!

Here are some of the pictures I got in support of the Movember Lebanon Campaign. If you want to have your picture featured on this post, just send it to najib@blogbaladi.com or go to MovemberLB’s Facebook Page and submit it there.

Movember is an annual, month-long event (November) involving the growing of mustaches to raise awareness on men-related health issues, such as prostate cancer.

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ComFu Team

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ComFu Team

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Thank you Rachid

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Adel Karam Supporting Movember Lebanon – via MovemberLB

Lebanese Doctor Gabriel Ghorayeb elected as the best surgeon in France

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Dr. Ghorayeb distinguished himself from other cardiac surgeons by avoiding the artificial hypnosis when carrying out a heart surgery.

Dr. Gabriel Ghorayeb, brother of journalist Said Ghorayeb, is a surgeon in France. He treated hearts of millions from various nationalities. He is elected as the best surgeon among 200 surgeons in France, according to a report submitted by Capital magazine published in October 2013. [MTV]

The Davis-Beirut Reaction

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The Davis-Beirut is a new chemical reaction discovered by Mark Kurth from the University of California and Makhluf Haddadin from the American University of Beirut. The Davis City Council “congratulated and thanked the scientists by way of a proclamation (approved 5-0), acknowledging “with gratitude the honor and recognition bestowed on the entire Davis community”. [Source]

Here’s more info on the new chemical reaction found for those interested:

The Davis-Beirut Reaction converts a 2-nitrobenzylamine to a 2H-indazole by simple treatment with aqueous base in an alcoholic solvent. While simple to effect, the mechanism by which the reaction proceeds is intriguing and makes the new ring by a nitrogen-nitrogen bond-forming process.

The resulting 2H-indazoles have considerable potential in medicinal applications, and, because of this, our research has the support of the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Tara K. Telford Fund for Cystic Fibrosis Research at UC Davis and American University of Beirut Royalty Funds.

Current efforts with the Davis-Beirut reaction are focused on development of myeloperoxidase inhibitors with implications for people with cystic fibrosis. [Source]

And this is LBC’s report:

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Elie, who’s a Med student, also [wrote] about this.

Lebanese Detroit Doctor Gave Chemo to Patients Without Cancer

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Dr. Fata is due in court Tuesday and his bond has been set at $170,000. If convicted, he might face up to 20 years in jail. Having said that, I don’t think 20 years will be enough to repair the damage he’s done in the past two years.

I mean seriously! What the hell was going through this guy’s mind to do that?

Here are few excerpts from Medscape.com (Thanks Nicole)

“This oncologist and other employees also reported that Dr. Fata ordered intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) for patients whose antibody levels did not warrant the therapy. One nurse practitioner (NP) told federal agents that she pulled the charts for 40 patients scheduled for IVIG therapy and saw that 38 had neither low antibody levels nor a recurrent infection, which is another indication for the treatment. The NP consulted 2 other employees about the issue, and the 3 of them canceled the IVIG therapy for the 38 patients.

Dr. Fata’s employees had internally challenged other practices they considered unethical, such as fabricating cancer diagnoses in patient records to justify insurance claims for chemotherapy and positron emission tomography (PET) scans, according to interviews conducted by federal agents. Some employees quit over these issues. The employed oncologist, who had considered quitting, described working with Dr. Fata as “living with this hell.”

Dr. Fata has not yet had his day in court to refute these charges. “He vehemently denies all the allegations,” said Christopher Andreoff, the physician’s attorney, in an interview with Medscape Medical News.

Dr. Fata ordered chemotherapy for all patients with advanced cancer who would not benefit from it, according to the employed oncologist interviewed by federal agents. “No other physician would do this and would let the patients die in peace,” the complaint quotes the oncologist as saying. In April 2012, the American Society of Clinical Oncology said that administering chemotherapy to patients with advanced cancer who would not benefit from it is 1 of 5 practices that oncologists must abandon.”

“The current and former employees paint a picture of a physician who was obsessed with administering chemotherapy, no matter the circumstances. “A male patient fell down and hit his head when he came to MHO,” the complaint alleged. “Dr. Fata directed [an NP] that he must receive his chemotherapy before he could be taken to the emergency room.” Dr. Fata’s order was carried out. The man eventually died from the head injury.” [Medscape.com]

And from MyFoxDetroit

A Detroit-area doctor has been charged with bilking the government of tens of millions of dollars by deliberately misdiagnosing patients with cancer and illegally billing Medicare for the treatment.

Dr. Farid Fata will remain behind bars until at least Tuesday as a third federal judge considers whether or not to grant him bail. He was arrested last week on charges he ripped off Medicare for millions of dollars by giving chemotherapy to patients who didn’t need it and diagnosing cancer when the illness wasn’t apparent, MyFoxDetroit.com reported.

Fata owns Michigan Hematology Oncology, which has offices in Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills, Lapeer, Sterling Heights, Troy and Oak Park. The government says the clinics billed $35 million to Medicare over two years.

Fata earned about $24.3 million in drug infusion billings directly to Medicare, “more than any hematologist/oncologist in the state of Michigan during that time period,” FBI agent Brian Fairweather wrote in the criminal complaint.

A magistrate judge had said Fata could be released from jail under strict conditions, but prosecutors appealed. They fear Fata will flee to his native Lebanon if released from jail, claiming he has access to millions of dollars to finance a flight. [Fox News]

R.I.P Law 174?

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I passed by Gemmayzeh and Mar Mikhail yesterday and most people were outside the pubs smoking. You could see large crowds at some point in Mar Mikhail almost blocking the road. I even spotted some people smoking inside but the doors and windows were open, so I guess that makes it legal.

I don’t want to sound too pessimistic but I’ve seen violations everywhere I went lately, specially in the arguileh places that don’t give a damn about Law 174 anymore. Even though the Facebook Group Law 174 – No Smoking Lebanon is doing a great job reporting the businesses breaking the law, and even created a hot line (1735) to report violations, there’s no point in all that if there’s no one to enforce the law.

The pictures are taken from the funeral procession that was organized by the Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI) and the Tobacco Control Citizen Watch, with the support of the Union of Syndicates of Lebanese Professionals, in the name of the 3500 annual victims of tobacco in Lebanon and to point out the negligence in the implementation of Law 174.

The funeral procession was organized by the Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI) and the Tobacco Control Citizen Watch, with the support of the Union of Syndicates of Lebanese Professionals. These organizations and the Tobacco Control Research Group at the American University of Beirut warn the ministers of Tourism, Interior, Health, and Economy that they will escalate their actions if those ministers continue to neglect protecting the Lebanese from the top cause of death in the country. In addition, they urge citizens to be vocal in demanding their rights to a healthy environment, and to call 1735 to report violations. [Link]

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Help Peter Dagher

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Over the past 25 years, only 54 patients have been diagnosed worldwide with Plazmacytoid Dendretic Cells Leukemia. Peter Dagher is one of them unfortunately. He is in need of money to perform a bone marrow transplant but more importantly needs to find a match.

For this purpose, the Peter Dagher Foundation was set up not just to raise awareness and collect money but also and this is really important to create an extensive and accurate bone marrow registry for any person of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean ethnicity with the help of BE THE MATCH (National Bank for the bone marrow) and the American University of Beirut.

Let’s hope and pray that Peter wins his battle against cancer.

Click [Here] to read more and donate if you wish to.

Meet Peter Dagher
Peter is 21 years old with a bright future ahead of him, filled with opportunities to help change the world for the better, If he can win his battle with Plazmacytoid Dendretic Cells Leukemia.

The Battle of a Lifetime
After five months of medical tests, Peter has been diagnosed at the American University Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon with a very rare type of leukemia called Plazmacytoid Dendretic Cells Leukemia.

The Quest For a Cure
Peter is in dire need of a bone marrow transplant that will likely occur in France or the United States. The cost the surgery could run over $400,000 and is far too difficult to afford for most families. If the surgery is not performed due to lack of financial resources, inaction could lead to a deadly outcome for Peter and other leukemia patients.

One Wig Stand: Make The Cut Campaign

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I got to know Loryne Atoui and her NGO OneWigStand from TEDxBeirut but then I met Loryne on two occasions, one of which was during the shooting of Min el Ekhir where she was presenting her idea.

We had a long wait ahead of us so she talked me through her initiative and I absolutely loved what she’s doing. As you all know, “hair loss comes as a result of cancer treatments and can be devastating to a woman’s self-esteem as well as emotionally distressing as they feel others will realize they are sick. Many patients report feeling insecure about their appearance during this time and isolate themselves from others as a result of this”. [Link]

The campaign will be running across Lebanon until June 2013 and the target is 400 pony tails. If you wish to help or donate, you can check out more details [Here].

From my part, I convinced my fiancée to make the cut and she gladly agreed to do so towards the end of June.

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Fattest countries in the Arab world: Kuwait tops the list, Lebanon in 8th position

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A graphic was posted recently on the DailyMail showing the average body mass index values for adults around the globe.

Kuwait is officially now the fattest country in the world, followed by the United States of America, Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina and Mexico.

I sorted out the top 10 Arab countries from the lists to see where Lebanon stands and we turned out in 8th spot, which isn’t that bad.

Fattest Arab Countries sorted by Average BMI
1- Kuwait 29.5
2- Egypt 28.4
3- UAE 28.0
4- Bahrain 27.4
5- Saudi Arabia 27.3
6- Jordan 27.2
7- Qatar 26.8
8- Lebanon 26.0
9- Syria 25.8
10- Iraq 25.0

PS: Adults who have an average body weight of between 18.5 and 24.9 are generally considered to have the ideal body weight for their height.

via 248am.com