Category Archives: Health

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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[YouTube]

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

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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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[YouTube]

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:

[YouTube]

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]