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AIDS doesn’t isolate, but people do



It is a terminal disease. No vaccine, no medicine but could be avoided when everyone gets proper education. Each of us will be safe from the virus and thus refrain from stigmatizing the victims. This will offer a better chance of victory in the fight against HIV/AIDS. This article by SIMON MKINA, explains further.

“Uwii…ooh my God…why have you taken his life so early, even before he starts assisting us his parents. We placed all our future on him and we had spent every cent we could afford towards his education but today he is no more… God, why have you done this, you surely could have taken us first before taking my child…” Such were the bitter words of the maternal parent of Basingi Brown, a young man who died at the tender age of 22 years.

Basingi, affectionately known as Double B died of diseases accompanying AIDS – tuberculosis and continuous diarrhea that attacked him persistently. The youth had just completed his first degree at the university and was awaiting results of his application to pursue a second degree course at a university outside the country.

His father, mother, brothers and sisters, friends and relatives wept bitterly during and after the death although some were shedding hypocritical tears because they stigmatized him when he became sick.

Stigmatization of the young man followed his bold decision to announce through the mass media that he was infected with the virus that causes AIDS. After making the announcement many of his relatives avoided him even those who depended on him for some possible assistance, accusing him to have humiliated and disgraced the family in the eyes of the surrounding community by such an action.

Double B saw no valid reason for not doing so for he thought he could no longer keep secret of the disease that troubled him after the doctors confirmed that he was infected with the virus. He took the decision believing that he would be in a better position to offer his contribution towards the fight against the pandemic announced by the government to be a national catastrophe.

Before announcing his condition, Double B explained to his parents and other close relatives that he was confident they would give him the necessary assistance taking into account his current health situation. “I came to tell you about my health situation… I think it best to tell the society about my plight that I am infected with the HIV virus and I don’t have any good reason to hide the truth that my blood if infected,” he sadly told his relatives.

“I ask you to give me moral and material support. I know you have educated me by depriving yourselves until I obtained a degree from the university.…”  While narrating his ordeal he suddenly broke into painful tears but his parents stopped him by telling him that- “all along we knew you are infected with the virus but we did not worry because that was not the end of life and it is good that you have come to a wise conclusion to openly tell society of your condition with the bigger aim of helping others,” they assured him.

After obtaining such courageous assurance from his parents he thought at last there was no obstacle in his responsibility to provide HIV/AIDS education to society. But it did not happen as he expected for after announcing his condition to the mass media, friends, some relatives and neighbors who were earlier so close to him started to avoid him saying he was wrong in humiliating and disgracing his parents by going open.

Wherever he went people who knew him pointed at him avoiding his company. Those who previously visited him frequently stopped their visits and even those who sat with him at the table to eat avoided him giving many excuses. His closest friends who at some occasions were used to a mutual exchange of clothes never turned up to collect what belonged to them notwithstanding how expensive they were.

These negative attitudes from his close friends, relatives and acquaintances greatly saddened him to the extent of regretting his decision to tell society about his condition. He became perpetually unhappy, started losing weight and finally was attacked by ailments like diarrhea and later tuberculosis. 

It is through stigmatization, the condition of Double B continued to deteriorate every day and was hospitalized for examination and treatment. When he was admitted into hospital the stigmatization process continued unabated for only a few relatives visited him. He died six days after admission into hospital.

It is true that Double B would not have died so soon had his relatives, friends and acquaintances not stigmatized him with such cruelty and openly because of his ailing condition.  It is quite clear that HIV/AIDS infection is not the end of living if such idea is implanted within the minds of a wider society and supported by highway adverts and the mass media.

It is also true that AIDS, like all other diseases, kills if not properly managed. And the fact that there is no vaccination for AIDS, but as the war against its eradication is on it is improper to employ messages like AIDS kills, AIDS is death and similar such jingles amid the great campaign to contain the epidemic.


Death frightens. Who is ready to follow death on his own volition…particularly death from AIDS?

It is through this ignorance that many people still think the virus is propagated through touching, eating together or sharing a seat in a bus or train. Still, the fear that contracting the virus is definite death is full in the minds of the greater section of society. Who will agree to be near a person who might be dead tomorrow?

Who is ready to rub shoulders with a person he is quite sure will die the next day notwithstanding the open truth that all human beings are expecting death? They are very few!

Scaring adverts from the mass media–and even institutions given the responsibility to combat the epidemic directly, as well as absence of proper education fills heads of AIDS infected victims who consequently become insensitive to making declarations of their HIV status.  Infected persons thus get the idea that declaring oneself means seeking a license to scare your friends, to be avoided by relatives, a situation that is regrettably painful and which robs one’s freedom to live happily.

Statistics of the World Health Organization shows that out of every 10 persons with the HIV virus in African countries south of the Sahara, Tanzania being among them, four are being stigmatized by relatives, friends and neighbors. The statistics indicate that Tanzania which has 2 million infected persons has 90,000 sick ones who face the stigmatization process from their relatives when disabled in bed or when having the symptoms of the disease.

Apart from urging people not to indulge in acts that invite infections, Tanzania Government officials have also often stressed that being infected is not a death sentence.

Former Tanzania Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye once said if a person is infected and finds out early through the medical personnel, he can live longer if he follows the rules of living with hope and society should refrain from stigmatizing this person.  

If the community that surrounded Double B had been educated on the ways the virus infects persons, it would not have stigmatized and hastened his death. The death of that young man has robbed the community chances of benefiting from him, first from his university education and also from his contribution in assisting society to combat HIV/AIDS which can also infect them. AIDS does not discriminate but people do.

If and when everyone refrains from stigmatizing HIV infected patients, Tanzania will have built a beautiful beach of people educated to destroy the epidemic.  The country will be an example to youths and the whole society where everyone wears a cloak of intelligence and righteous conduct instead of having uneducated heads that stigmatize compatriots.

A person who is infected with the virus and similarly the uninfected, all have equal rights to stay alive and being infected must never be seen as a certificate for death but to happiness as usual. Society should maintain the usual peace and love without stigmatization. 

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Watumishi wa afya 200 kupatiwa mafunzo ya utoaji dawa ya usingizi kuokoa maisha wajawazito



Kufuatia upungufu wa wataalamu wa dawa za usingizi (anaesthesia), serikali itatoa mafunzo ya dawa za usingizi kwa watumishi wa afya 200 katika vituo vya afya vya upasuaji wa dharura kwa akina mama wajawazito.

Hatua hiyo inakuja ikiwa imepita miezi 6 baada ya Chuo Kikuu cha Afya na Sayansi Shirikishi Muhimbili (MUHAS) kutangaza kuanza kutoa shahada ya dawa ya usingizi (Bsc. Anaesthesia Nursing).

Katika taarifa iliyotolewa na Kitengo cha Mawasiliano serikalini cha Wizara ya Afya, Maendeleo ya Jamii, Jinsia, Wazee na Watoto, inaeleza kuwa mafunzo hayo yatatolewa sambamba na uboreshaji wa huduma ya upasuaji wa dharura kwa wajawazito ili kuokoa maisha ya wanawake na watoto ambao hufariki kwa kosa huduma muhimu za uzazi kwenye vituo vya afya.

“Mkakati wa kuhakikisha huduma za afya kwa akina mama wajawazito zinakuwa salama na uhakika kwa kuandaa rasilimali watu, miundombinu ya majengo na vifaa vitakavyowezesha huduma hizi ikiwemo upasuaji wa dharura kwa akina mama wajawazito wakati wa kujifungua,” imeeleza taarifa hiyo.

Kwa mujibu wa takwimu za Wizara ya Afya, vifo 556 vitokanavyo na uzazi kwa kila viumbe hai 100,000 huripotiwa kila mwaka katika maeneo mbalimbali nchini. Maana yake ni kwamba watoto na wajawazito hufariki hasa wakati wa mama akijifungua.

Aidha, serikali itaboresha vituo vya afya 288 vya serikali vilivyopo nchini ili kuviwezesha kutoa huduma ya dharura ya upasuaji kwa wajawazito ambapo waaguzi katika vituo hivyo watapatiwa mafunzo ya dawa za usingizi ili kuokoa maisha ya akina mama na watoto wachanga.

Utekelezaji wa mafunzo hayo ni matokeo ya ushirikiano wa Wizara ya Afya na Mfuko wa Pamoja wa Afya ambapo zaidi ya sh1,079 bilioni zimepatikana kufakisha mafunzo hayo ya dawa ya usingizi kwa wauguzi na matabibu waliopo kwenye vtuo vya afya nchini.

“Fedha hizo zitasomesha watumishi wapatao 200, kati ya watumishi hao 100 watapata mafunzo yao katika Hospitali ya Taifa Muhimbili na MOI, watumishi 50 watafanya mafunzo katika hospitali ya KCMC, na 50 watafanya mafunzo hayo kwenye hospitali ya Bugando,” imefafanua taarifa ya wizara.

Lengo la serikali ni kuhakikisha ifikapo 2019 na kabla ya 2020 vituo vyote vya afya vinavyomilikiwa na serikali vinakuwa na watumishi maalum wa kutoa huduma ya dawa ya usingizi kwaajili ya wapasuaji wasiopungua wawili kwa kila kituo.

Mafunzo hayo ya mwaka mmoja ni mpito wakati serikali ikiendelea kukamilisha taratibu za kurasimisha utoaji wa shahada ya kwanza ya kutoa dawa ya usingizi katika Chuo cha MUHAS katka mwaka huu wa 2018/2019.

Hali halisi ya huduma ya dawa za usingizi nchini
Takwimu za wizara ya Afya zinaonyesha kuwa kuna upungufu mkubwa wa madaktari wenye utaalamu wa kutoa dawa ya usingizi hasa wakati wa huduma ya upasuaji ambapo kwa sasa waliopo ni asilimia 1.2 tu ya mahitaji yote.

Ili kuweza kukidhi mahitaji yote ya huduma hiyo wanahitajika madaktari 2000, lakini waliopo sasa ni madaktari 30 pekee.

Kufuatia changamoto hiyo Januari 31, mwaka huu wadau mbalimbali wa afya na elimu walikutana na kujadili namna ya kuondoa changamoto hiyo na kupendekeza mtaala utakaotumika kufundishia kozi ya Aesthesia kabla ya kuupeleka kwa Tume ya Vyuo Vikuu Nchini (TCU).

” Ni kweli kumekuwepo kwa changamoto hiyo ya watalaamu wa dawa hizo lakini sasa mpango huu ukikamilika maana yake tutaongeza idadi ya madaktari kamili maana hawa waliopo wengi ni wale ambao wamesoma kozi kwa mwaka mmoja au miwili.

” Mafunzo yakianza kutolewa hapa chuoni Muhimbili wataweza kuchukua wanafunzi 200, Bugando 50 na KCMC 50 jambo ambalo litaongeza idadi kubwa ya watalaamu ili kuweza kufikia lengo letu la kuwa na wataalamu 2000 nchi nzima,” alinukuliwa Katibu Mkuu wa Wizara ya Afya, Jinsia, Wazee na Watoto, Dk Mpoki Ulisubisya.

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Vyakula hivi vitakulinda dhidi ya athari za kiafya za uchafuzi wa hewa



Tunaishi katika ulimwengu unaokabiliwa na athari kubwa za mabadiliko ya hali ya hewa. Moja ya athari hizo ni kuongezeka kwa joto na kupungua kwa mvua katika maeneo mbalimbali. Athari hizi zinagusa moja kwa moja afya ya binadamu.

Ripoti ya mabadiliko ya hali ya hewa ya mwaka 2017 imeonesha kuwa kuongezeka kwa joto kunaathiri afya ya binadamu kwa kiasi kikubwa. Ripoti hiyo inatoka kundi la vyuo mbalimbali na mashirika tofauti ya Umoja wa Mataifa inasema watu wengi wanaathirika na joto pamoja na mlo hafifu sambamba na kusambaa kwa magonjwa.

Moja ya kisababishi cha mabadiliko ya hali ya hewa ni uchafuzi wa anga. Uchafuzi wa anga ni kuchanganyika kwa hewa asili katika anga na vitu kama vile moshi, majivu, gesi za kemikali katika hali na kiwango ambacho huathiri sifa ya hewa na kusababisha madhara kwa binadamu na viumbe vingine.

Baadhi ya vitu na vitendo huathiri vibaya anga letu. Baadhi ya vitu hivyo ni kama gesi na moshi unaotoka kwenye viwanda, moshi kutoka kwenye magari, marashi, dawa ya kuuwa wadudu shambani na kadhalika.

Lakini umewahi kujiuliza kuwa aina ya chakula unachokula kinaweza kukusaidia kukabiliana na athari za kiafya zinazotokana na uchafuzi wa hewa?

Wanasayansi katika utafiti wao uliotolewa hivi karibuni, wanaeleza ulaji wa chakula cha Mediterania ( Mediterranean diet) chenye matunda mengi, mbogamboga, nafaka isiyokobolewa, samaki, maharage jamii ya soya, mafuta ya mizeituni na mayai yanaweza kuwalinda watu dhidi ya athari za afya zinazotokana na uchafuzi wa hewa.

Wanasayansi hao kutoka Shule kuu ya Udaktari ya NYU ya Marekani, walichambua data za watu takribani 550,000 wenye wastani wa umri wa miaka 62 kwa miaka zaidi ya 17 ambapo waliwapanga watu hao kwenye makundi kulingana na ulaji wao unaoendana na chakula cha Mediterania na kulinganisha na muda waliokaa kwenye hewa iliyochafuliwa.

Walibaini kuwa watu ambao walizingatia kula vyakula vilivyotajwa hapo juu walikuwa na uwezekano mkubwa wa kuepuka magonjwa na vifo vinavyotokana na uchafuzi wa hali ya hewa. Magonjwa hayo ni yale ya mfumo wa upumuaji, moyo na kansa.

                                   Vyakula  jamii ya Mediterania

Vyakula hivyo jamii ya Mediterania vina uwezo mkubwa wa kukabiliana na vimelea vya maambukizi ya magonjwa kwa mtu ambaye atazingatia kwa usahihi kutumia katika maisha yake.

Uchafuzi wa hewa unasababisha athari mbaya za kiafya kupitia hewa ukaa na mlo wa Mediterania una virutubisho muhimu kupambana na vimelea vya magonjwa,” anasema Mwandishi Mtafiti wa utafiti huo, Chris Lim wa Chuo cha NYU.

Lim anasema vyakula vya aina nyingine vinaweza kusaidia kukabiliana na athari hiyo. “Nilipoangalia kila mchanganyiko wa chakula cha Mediterania, kina matunda, mbogamboga na mafuta yanayoweza kupambana na athari za hewa chafu,” anasema.

Utafiti kuhusu ulaji kama unaweza kuzuia athari za kiafya za uchafuzi wa hewa bado haujahakikiwa na kukubalika kisayansi. Lakini utafiti huo sio wa kwanza kutafuta uhusiano wa mlo na athari za kiafya za uchafuzi wa hali ya hewa.

Wakala wa Uhifadhi wa Mazingira wa Marekani (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)) unatafiti kama mlo unaweza kumlinda mtu dhidi ya athari za uchafuzi wa mazingira. Pia wanatafiti ili kujiridhisha kama virutubisho hivyo vinaweza kutumika badala ya dawa za kitabibu na kwa kiasi gani mtu anatakiwa apate virutubisho hivyo kumhakikishia usalama dhidi ya uchafuzi huo.

Hata hivyo, bado watu wanashauriwa kutumia zaidi matunda na mbogamboga kwenye milo yao ya kila siku ili kupata faida mbalimbali za kiafya.

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Ulaji mbaya wa chakula watajwa kusababisha kansa ya matiti kwa wanawake



Thamani ya maisha haiko kwenye muonekano wa mtu na vitu vinavyomzunguka bali kwenye chakula anachokula kila siku ili kuwa na afya njema. Lakini umewahi kujiuliza, chakula kinawezaje kupunguza uwezekano wa kufa kutokana na magonjwa ikiwemo kansa?

Utafiti mpya uliofanyika huko Marekani umebaini kuwa kwa sehemu mlo kamili unaweza kupunguza hatari ya kufa kwa kansa.

Mtafiti Dk. Rowan Chlebowski wa Kituo cha Taifa cha Uuguzi cha City of Hope na wenzake walichambua takwimu za wanawake 48,000 waliosajiliwa katika mpango wa Afya ya Mwanamke unaoratibiwa katika vituo 40 nchini Marekani.

Awali wanawake wote walipata vipimo na hakuna aliyegundulika kuwa na kansa ya matiti lakini 20,000 kati yao walishauriwa kubadilisha mlo na kupunguza ulaji wa mafuta kwa asilimia 20 katika milo yao ya kila siku.

Pia waliambiwa wale zaidi matunda, mbogamboga na nafaka zisizokobolewa. Wanawake wengine hawakupewa maelekezo yoyote ya kuzingatia mlo kamili lakini walifundishwa kuhusu lishe nzuri na mlo wenye afya.

Baada ya miaka nane ya kuwafuatilia wanawake hao, watafiti hao waliangalia idadi ya kansa ambazo wanawake hao walitibiwa na zile ambazo zilisababisha vifo. Walibaini kuwa wanawake ambao walitumia kiasi kidogo cha mafuta walikuwa na hatari ndogo ya kufa kwa kansa ya matiti kwa asilimia 22, ukilinganisha na wanawake wengine.

Pia wanawake hao walipunguza kwa asilimia 24 hatari ya kufa kwa kansa zingine ikiwemo kwa 38%  magonjwa ya moyo ikilinganishwa na wanawake wa kundi ambalo walipata elimu ya mlo.

“Tunachokiona ni matokeo halisi,” anasema Dk. Chlebowski. Tafiti za awali ziliangalia madhara kabla ya uchunguzi wa kansa, lakini utafiti huu ulichambua kwa kiasi gani mlo unaweza kumuathiri mtu baada ya uchunguzi.

“Tulichobaini ni kuwa ushauri wa mlo baada ya uchunguzi wa kansa ya matiti ulikuwa muhimu kuliko kabla ya uchunguzi.”

                        Ulaji wa matunda na mboga unasaidia kupunguza hatari ya kupata kansa

Hata hivyo, utafiti huo ulibaini kuwa wanawake ambao wanazingatia kutumia kiasi kidogo cha mafuta katika maisha yao wana nafasi kubwa ya kuepuka kansa ya matiti.

Kutokana na idadi ya watu walioshirikishwa kwenye utafiti huo, Dkt. Chlebowski anasema wazo la kuhusisha mlo katika programu ya matibabu lilikuwa ni muhimu ili kupata matokeo chanya katika kukabiliana na kansa ya matiti kwa wanawake.

Watafiti hao wanaendelea na uchunguzi ili kufahamu kama ulaji wa chakula unaweza kuwa sehemu ya matibabu ya kansa ya matiti. “Inahamasisha kwasababu tunajaribu kuziba pengo kati ya mtindo wa maisha na mchakato wa kibaiolojia uliopo nyuma ya ugonjwa huo.”


Kansa ya matiti

Saratani ya matiti ni ugonjwa ambao huwapata wanawake na unatokana na athari za chembe ndogo ama seli kwenye matiti na matokeo yake ni kwamba hubadili mfumo wa kawaida wa kukua na kuongezeka.

Mabadiliko haya huanza polepole na yanaweza yakachukua muda mrefu hadi mtu kuweza kujua kama ana matatizo hayo. Ikiwa katika hatua hizo za mwanzo kwa kawaida huwa hakuna maumivu jambo hilo ni moja ya mambo ambayo huchangia baadhi ya wagonjwa kubaini tatizo hilo wakati tayari limekomaa.

Ni kutokana na sababu hizo, wanawake hutakiwa kuchunguza afya zao mara kwa mara kwasababu ugonjwa huweza kutibiwa kirahisi iwapo utabainika mapema.

Miongoni mwa dalili za saratani ya matiti ni uvimbe kwenye matiti ama makwapani. Titi kubadilika kiumbo, titi kutoa majimaji yaliyochanganyika na damu ama chuchu kuingia ndani.

Zipo aina mbalimbali za tiba na mojawapo ni upasuaji. Upasuaji huu kwa kawaida hufanywa katika hatua za mwanzo. Njia nyingine ni tiba ya mionzi au kupewa dawa. Jambo la kukumbukwa ni kwamba ugonjwa huu unaweza kusababisha kifo iwapo hautabainika mapema na kupatiwa tiba mwafaka.

Njia ambayo mtu aweza kujilinda asiathirike na saratani hii ya matiti ni kujichunguza mara kwa mara ili kubaini mapema na kupatiwa dawa.

Mwanamke anapaswa kuchunguzwa mara moja kwa mwaka ili kuona kama ameathirika na ugonjwa huo au la.

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Muhimu Kusoma

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