Category Archives: Health

#EndPolio: Vaccinate Your Children To Keep #Lebanon Safe

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Polio

Polio is a highly infectious disease that affects children under 5 years of age. The disease was only found in 3 countries (Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan) at the beginning of 2014 but it somehow reached Syria which prompted the Ministry of Public Health of Lebanon, along with the UNICEF, to launch national polio immunization campaigns.

We haven’t had any Polio case affecting a Lebanese child yet it is very important that all children be vaccinated as there’s no cure for Polio once a child is infected. The first immunization campaign ends tomorrow and there’s another one from November 8 till November 22 so make sure you vaccinate your children if you haven’t done so yet.

You can check out more updates [Here].

[YouTube]

Where Lebanon Stands From The Ebola Outbreak

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ebola map

The Modeling of Biological and Socio-Technical Systems at Northeastern University in Boston published a list showing the countries in which Ebola is most likely to show up. The scientists used Ebola disease spread patterns and airline traffic data to come up with this table but keep in mind that this is the risk of a single imported case, not the risk of an outbreak.

Even though Lebanon is on that list, the risk is less than 25% but it wouldn’t hurt to take all the necessary precautions. On another note, I hope this map will help some Lebanese understand that a tiny part of Africa is affected by Ebola because our ignorance of Africa is proving to be more dangerous than Ebola.

Check out more info [here] and [here].

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Lebanese Detroit Doctor Pleads Guilty To Cancer Treatment Fraud

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Almost a year after his arrest, Dr. Farid Fata has pled guilty to 16 counts including health care fraud, conspiracy to receive kickbacks and money laundering. He admitted to administering anti-cancer drugs that were medically unnecessary and filing claims to Medicare he knew to be fraudulent. All in all, Fata’s oncology centers submitted about $109 million in Medicare claims for chemotherapy and other cancer treatments between August 2007 and July 2013.

What a horrible human being!

You can read the full complaint [Here].

Dfouni’s Super Quinoa Salad

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If you like Quinoa, you should definitely try the one Super Dfouni makes. I’ve been having it almost every day for the past 2 months. It contains grilled Halloumi, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, olives, parsley, cranberries and almond. It’s home-made, fresh, delicious, filling and costs only 12,000 LL.

Here are other Quinoa salads I recommend:
Captain Cook’s AC/DC Quinoa Salad which is huge and filling.
Lord Of The Wings’ All Natural Quinoa salad.
Zaatar W Zeit’s Quinoa Tabbouleh.

PS: Super Dfouni is a supermarket located in Achrafieh on the Charles Malek Avenue, facing SO restaurant (Phone number: 01/330999).

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Lebanon vs Worldwide Obesity Levels: 15.9% Of Boys Under 20 Years Are Obese

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According to a new study by the Lancet, the world is getting fatter and the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased in children and adolescents in developing countries to 12.9% in 2013 for boys and 13.4% in girls. Here are some of the numbers related to Lebanon and the Arab countries that I’ve collected from the study.

Obese Boys < 20 years
Lebanon – 15.9%
Bahrain – 9.3%
Iraq – 8.2%
Kuwait – 16.7%
Jordan – 8.0%
Palestine – 11.9%
Qatar – 18.8%
Saudi Arabia – 9.4%
Syria – 13.9%
UAE – 12.2%

Obese Men >= 20 years
Lebanon – 26.3%
Bahrain – 31%
Iraq – 25.7%
Kuwait – 43.4%
Jordan – 27.5%
Palestine – 29.8%
Qatar – 44.0%
Saudi Arabia – 30%
Syria – 24.2%
UAE – 27.1%

Obese Girls < 20 years
Lebanon – 12.5%
Bahrain – 10.7%
Iraq – 8.2%
Kuwait – 23.3%
Jordan – 8%
Palestine – 12.5%
Qatar – 15.5%
Saudi Arabia – 14.8%
Syria – 15.4%
UAE – 12.6 %

Obese Women >= 20 years
Lebanon – 29.3%
Bahrain – 24.9%
Iraq – 37.5%
Kuwait – 58.6%
Jordan – 45.6%
Palestine – 42.4 %
Qatar – 54.7%
Saudi Arabia – 44.4%
Syria – 39.9%
UAE – 33.2%

The number of obese boys and girls in Lebanon is quite high and alarming. You can download the full report [Here] (sign up required).

Online Fundraising Campaign To Help Simon Is Finished! Total Amount Needed For The Surgery Was Collected.

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This is great news to kick off the day! Simon’s family has been raising money online to cover the expenses of his surgery and they’ve received a huge support from all the Lebanese and collected all the money needed and more a couple of weeks before the campaign’s end date.

All the best of luck to you Simon and I hope you will defeat Leukemia and get back to your normal life!

Many thanks to everyone who has helped by either donating or spreading the story.

Healthy Ministry Confirms First MERS case detected in Lebanon + What You Need To Know about MERS

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Lebanese Health Minister Wael Abu Faour confirmed yesterday that a Lebanese was diagnosed with the coronavirus and that he was given the proper treatment and left the hospital. The MERS virus has killed over 120 people in Saudi Arabia and cases were reported in Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Oman, Tunisia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Britain. Minister Abu Faour ordered to “activate scanners detect cases of MERS among travelers arriving at the Rafik Hariri International Airport” as a preventive measures.

Of course we should be worried about having a MERS case detected in Lebanon, but we shouldn’t panic as the virus is only transmissible between people who are in close contact and does not appear to spread easily among people in public settings.

Here’s some useful information on MERS taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US:

Q: What is MERS?
A: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness. MERS is caused by a coronavirus called “Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus” (MERS-CoV).

Q: What is MERS-CoV?
A: MERS-CoV is a beta coronavirus. It was first reported in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. MERS-CoV used to be called “novel coronavirus,” or “nCoV”. It is different from other coronaviruses that have been found in people before.

Q: Is MERS-CoV the same as the SARS virus?
A: No. MERS-CoV is not the same coronavirus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. However, like the SARS virus, MERS-CoV is most similar to coronaviruses found in bats. CDC is still learning about MERS.

Q: What are the symptoms of MERS?
A: Most people who got infected with MERS-CoV developed severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. 30% of them died. Some people were reported as having a mild respiratory illness.

Q: Does MERS-CoV spread from person to person?
A: MERS-CoV has been shown to spread between people who are in close contact.[1] Transmission from infected patients to healthcare personnel has also been observed. Clusters of cases in several countries are being investigated.

Q: What is the source of MERS-CoV?
A: We don’t know for certain where the virus came from. However, it likely came from an animal source. In addition to humans, MERS-CoV has been found in camels in Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and a bat in Saudi Arabia. Camels in a few other countries have also tested positive for antibodies to MERS-CoV, indicating they were previously infected with MERS-CoV or a closely related virus. However, we don’t know whether camels are the source of the virus. More information is needed to identify the possible role that camels, bats, and other animals may play in the transmission of MERS-CoV.

Q: Am I at risk for MERS-CoV Infection in the United States?
A: You are not considered to be at risk for MERS-CoV infection if you have not had close contact, such as caring for or living with someone who is being evaluated for MERS-CoV infection.

Q: What if I recently traveled to countries in the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries and got sick?
A: If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after traveling from countries in the Arabian Peninsula or neighboring countries[2], you should see your healthcare provider and mention your recent travel.

Q: How can I help protect myself?
A: CDC advises that people follow these tips to help prevent respiratory illnesses:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw the tissue in the trash.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact, such as kissing, sharing cups, or sharing eating utensils, with sick people.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs.

Q: What are the treatments?
A: There are no specific treatments recommended for illnesses caused by MERS-CoV. Medical care is supportive and to help relieve symptoms.

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.