Get To Know What The ‘Global Hand washing Day 2019’ Entails

handwashOctober 15 is marked as the Global Handwashing Day, a day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), over 1.5 million children under the age of five die each year as a result of diarrhoea. It is the second most common cause of child deaths worldwide. Handwashing with soap at critical times (including before eating or preparing food and after using the toilet) can reduce this risk by more than 40 per cent.
Today, as the world celebrated Global Handwashing Day, here is all you need to know about the day.

History Of Global Handwashing Day 2019
Back in 2008, Global Handwashing Day was initiated by the Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP) at the annual World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. October 15, was officially appointed by the UN General Assembly as the day when the world will mark Global Handwashing Day. The motto was to reduce childhood mortality rates and related respiratory and diarrhoeal diseases by introducing simple behavioral changes, such as handwashing with soap.

Theme For Global Handwashing Day 2019
Since 2008, Global Handwashing Day is celebrated with a specific theme. The first theme for Global Handwashing Day was ‘School Children’ and this year it is “Clean Hands for All”.

Why Handwashing Is Necessary
Handwashing with soap has been cited as one of the most cost-effective interventions to prevent deadly diseases. UNICEF states that many studies have shown that handwashing in institutions such as primary schools and daycare centers reduce the incidence of diarrhoea by an average of 30 per cent. UNICEF further states that handwashing with soap by birth attendants and mothers significantly increased newborn survival rates by up to 44 per cent.

Handwashing – Make It A Daily Routine And Save Lives
• Handwashing should be practised as a daily habit and routine. Experts recommend washing hands with soap after using a washroom, before and after cooking and eating and petting an animal.
• Keep a hand sanitiser handy with you to make sure you never have unclean hands.
• Start a conversation around it – discuss handwashing with your children and teach them the importance. The more people become aware about the practice, more lives can be saved.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

ocaOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. Join in the cause to help women in need today

Why are screening mammograms important?

When breast cancer is found early, most women will get better and get back to their normal lives.

This is because breast cancer treatment works best when the cancer is still small and has not spread outside the breast to other parts of the body. #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth

Get an eye test

2018-01-16-PHOTO-00000095Visiting the optician at least once every 2 years is vital as your vision can change significantly in between check-ups. If you’re a contact lens wearer, it’s a good idea to have an eye test yearly so you’re wearing lenses with the most accurate prescription and avoid unnecessary strain or discomfort.

Eye tests can also detect symptoms of a range of health conditions, not limited to your eyes. When you visit an optician for an eye test, the optometrist or ophthalmologist that carries out the examination has been trained to recognise any problems such as cataracts or glaucoma. They’ll also check for symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, an effect of developing diabetes.

Maintaining a Healthy Pregnancy

pregmnatOne of the most important things to keep in mind during your pregnancy is your health. You are now living for two, which means that your lifestyle choices are more important now than ever. This is a great motivator to start healthy habits, and take time just for yourself. A healthy lifestyle encompasses more than a good diet and activity – you need to monitor sleep patterns, emotions, and most importantly, the environment you’re giving your baby in which to develop. A happy mom makes for a healthy baby.

Maintain a regular sleep and rest cycle

Your body is working extra hard to provide for your baby. The digestive system is feeding two people, the nervous system is taking in extrasensory information to keep your body in-check with the environment, and your muscular and skeletal systems are adapting to the shift in movement and body shape. The change in body function is very similar to lifting weights, except you’re doing it all day! Therefore, it’s crucial to give yourself plenty of breaks throughout the day, and to create a nighttime environment that encourages deep sleep. Stay away from electronics an hour or so before bed, and allow yourself to relax in the evenings so you get the most out of your sleep cycle.

Choose your healthy diet

A healthy diet really depends on your body chemistry, and what stage of pregnancy you’re in. As a general rule of thumb, stick to eating ample portions of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plenty of proteins from fresh meat, nuts, and legumes, as well as your healthy fats from natural oils and dairy. Pregnancy cravings will likely occur sporadically, so don’t limit yourself too much. If you maintain a diet of mostly natural, whole foods, with a mix of treats and comfort foods, you will feel great both physically and mentally. Ask your doctor for a recommended meal plan, but feel free to accommodate it to your needs. You’ll know what’s best based on the signals your body gives you.

Deal with fatigue, pain, and mood swings through activity

Many women become frustrated because they cannot do some of the things they used to do before pregnancy. Physical restriction can leave you feeling tired, sore, and grumpy. While resting is essential to your body’s daily recovery, don’t feel like you can’t maintain an active lifestyle. Fatigue can be caused by boredom, so make an effort to keep up your hobbies (those that are not physically strenuous, of course). Muscle pain and weakness can often be cured by taking a short walk, or going through a sequence of restorative stretches. Mood swings are also attributed to mental frustration as well as hormones. Put that negative energy towards something productive, like a simple hand craft or diving into a new book. Mental activity alleviates these symptoms as effectively as physical activity.

Take your recommended vitamins

Your doctor will prescribe or at least recommend some multivitamins specialized for women’s health and pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins include supplementation of your daily requirements for folic acid (prevents birth defects), calcium (for your bone density and your baby’s skeletal development), and iron (for thyroid health and fetal growth). Depending on how much omega-3, vitamins and electrolytes you typically absorb through food, your doctor may advise for additional supplements. There are plenty of options to choose from and buy the right vitamins for your body and budget. For your vitamins to be most effective, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, and have substantial fiber intake in your regular diet.

Aside from these four elements of your health, just treat yourself to the little things. A happy and contented mental disposition will do wonders for your physical health. While pregnancy can be stressful, it can be managed as long as you remember that you come


_DSC0648Many people don’t know what blood type they have. You may think it isn’t important because hospitals check your blood type before surgeries anyway, right? In most cases, they do, but there are several other reasons that you should know for yourself.

First, it’s good to understand the basics about blood types. There are four blood groups: A, B, AB, and O. These indicate the presence or absence of antigens and antibodies in your blood. Blood type is also based off of the Rh factor, a protein on red blood cells, which makes your blood type negative or positive. For instance, if you are Rh-positive and group A blood, you are A-positive.

So why do you need to know what your blood type is? Find out below!

Medical Emergencies – Doctors need to know what blood type you have in order to prevent the risk of giving you an incompatible blood type during surgery or for another medical need. Getting an incompatible blood type can cause your blood cells to clump, which can be life-threatening. In almost all cases, hospitals will run a blood test first. In the case of an emergency, a blood transfusion of the universal donor blood type, O-negative, may be done. However, for some circumstances, the exact blood type may be needed for transfusion. It’s always good to be able to tell them what your blood type is, even if they will test it to be sure.

Pregnancy – In pregnant women, it is important to know whether their blood is positive or negative. If a pregnant woman and her baby do not have the same Rh blood type (positive or negative), Rh-incompatibility may occur. Rh-incompatibility can make the pregnant woman’s body respond as if it were allergic to the baby. This is called hemolytic disease or hemolytic anemia, and it can be very serious for the baby. An injection of a particular blood product can prevent this from happening.

Donating – There is a constant need for blood donations. Sometimes certain blood types will be called out to the public to donate if possible due to an emergency or low supply. It’s important to know your blood type so you can donate for that particular need! People with type O-negative are universal blood donors, meaning they can give blood to any blood type. Whether you’re O-negative or another blood type, each is needed. Also, having a blood test done is the first step to becoming a bone marrow donor, which could save someone’s life as well.

Predicting Disease Risks – Not all of the results are conclusive, but studies have shown that some blood types have slightly higher risks of certain diseases. Type AB, A, and B have increased risks for blood clots. Studies have shown that these blood types were 40% more at risk of having deep-vein thrombosis, blood clots in the lower legs that can be dangerous. Type AB, A, and B also have increased risks for heart disease. Type A has an increased risk of stomach cancer, but also, a higher rate of fertility. Type AB and B have higher risk for pancreatic cancer and type O has the lowest stroke risk. The results of some of these studies are preliminary, and of course there are more risk factors like high blood pressure, weight, diet, and so on. Regardless, it’s good to be in the know, and it gives you an incentive to control the other risk factors.

Improving Your Diet and Workout – Some believe eating a diet based on your blood type could make you healthier. There’s actually a diet called the Blood Type Diet. It is based on the claim that foods you eat react with your blood type. For example, type O blood is suggested to have a high-protein diet with lean meats and light on grains. Type A is encouraged to eat meat-free and focus on fruits, vegetables, and beans. Studies have not been conducted to confirm whether or not this diet has had a huge impact on one’s health, but there are many people who believe it does, particularly with weight loss and energy boosting!

If you have had your blood tested or drawn, your blood type will be on file with your physician. Otherwise, have a blood test done at Labtest Diagnostics! Call us at 314-LAB-TEST or visit our website at Find out what your blood type is; it’s important for your health and well-being!

How to control food poisoning

foodFood poisoning is majorly caused by improper and unhygienic handling of food which can breed and spread harmful bacteria leading to stomacha ches, diarrhoea and vomiting.

Fausta Akech, a nutritionist at Healthy U, says honey has both antifungal and antibacterial properties that can be effective for treating indigestion and other food poisoning symptoms. Honey as a natural remedy can be taken in its pure form or added to tea.
Ginger, due to its powerful therapeutic and preventive effects is able to treat a number of digestive problems, including food poisoning. “A cup of ginger tea can stop heartburn, nausea and other symptoms associated with food poisoning,” she says.

“The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties in lemon gives much relief from abdominal pain and nausea. The acid in lemons helps kill bacteria that cause food poisoning,” Akech says.
Add a pinch of sugar to one teaspoon of lemon juice and drink two to three times a day. You can also drink warm water mixed with lemon juice and this will act as a cleanser for your digestive system.

Garlic is very effective in fighting food poisoning due to its strong antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. It also relieves symptoms such as diarrhoea and abdominal pain.
Eat one fresh garlic clove or swallow it with water and if you can tolerate the smell, drink garlic juice to treat the digestive problem.

By Beatrice Nakibuuka

Risks of self-medication practices

kibuSelf-medication is defined as the selection and use of medicines by individuals (or a member of the individuals’ family) to treat self-recognized or self-diagnosed conditions or symptoms. Several benefits have been linked to appropriate self-medication, among them: increased access to medication and relief for the patient, the active role of the patient in his or her own health care, better use of physicians and pharmacists skills and reduced (or at least optimized) burden of governments due to health expenditure linked to the treatment of minor health conditions However, self-medication is far from being a completely safe practice, in particular in the case of non-responsible self-medication. Potential risks of self-medication practices include: incorrect self-diagnosis, delays in seeking medical advice when needed, infrequent but severe adverse reactions, dangerous drug interactions, incorrect manner of administration, incorrect dosage, incorrect choice of therapy, masking of a severe disease and risk of dependence and abuse.

New Virus discovered in Uganda

iiiResearchers from the Uganda Virus Research Institute have discovered a new virus among patients that had previously reported to hospital with signs of fever, but never got any improvement even after intense treatment to manage the fever.

Because it is a new strain of virus, it has been named after the village where these patients hail from.

Kaleebu said, the researchers after failing to match the virus with any known virus named it Adumi virus. Adumi is a sub county in Arua town bordering Congo and a home to over 36,000 people according to statistics from Uganda Bureau Of Standard.

The Director Uganda Virus Research Institute Prof. Pontiano Kaleebu intimated that the virus was found in a female patient who had spent months with fever but never cured even after treatment.

“The virus was identified in a patient in Arua, she had on and off fevers that never responded to anti malarial drugs.”

The researchers have however not yet identified portable diseases that this virus Adumi could be causing.

“We are excited because we are about to know the diseases caused by this Adumi virus at least so far we know it brings fever because the patient had fever,” Kaleebu said.

He however notes that in partnership with Glasgow University, a team will be flagged off to Arua to further understand this Adumi virus.

“The team leaves next month, but it’s crucial that the country invests in technology if we are to go head on with global researchers on discovering such viruses,” he said

In the meantime, the institute has embarked on patenting the Adumi virus because it could be one of the countries break through on research.

“We are working with ministry of technology to cover issues of patent rights; this could help the institute reap a lot ,” he said.

In the past, Uganda lost rights to new of its primary virus discovery the Zika virus after scientists instead invested more in finding the cure and treatment than reaping from it

World Antibiotics awareness week

wanntiMisuse of antibiotics puts us all at risk

Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them speeds up antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistant infections are more complex and harder to treat. They can affect anyone, of any age, in any country.

Think twice. Seek advice

Antibiotics aren’t always the answer. Always seek the advice of a healthcare professional before taking antibiotics.

Our time with antibiotics is running out

Antibiotics are in danger of losing their effectiveness due to misuse and overuse, and in many cases they aren’t even needed.

Misuse of antibiotics puts us all at risk

Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them speeds up antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistant infections are more complex and harder to treat. They can affect anyone, of any age, in any country.

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Our time with antibiotics is running out. Always seek the advice of a healthcare professional before taking antibiotics.

7 secrets to kidney health

kidneyYou can do a number of things to keep your kidneys functioning properly and keep them as healthy as possible at every stage of life.

  1. Hydrate, but don’t overdo it. “Contrary to popular belief, no studies have proven over-hydration as an effective practice in enhancing kidney function,” So, while it’s always a good idea to drink enough water, drinking more than the typical four to six glasses a day probably won’t help your kidneys do their job any better.
  2. Eat healthy foods. Your kidneys can tolerate a wide range of dietary habits, but most kidney problems arise out of other medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. Because of this, we suggest you follow healthy, moderate eating habits to control weight and blood pressure. Preventing diabetes and high blood pressure will help keep kidneys in good condition.
  3. Exercise regularly. If you’re healthy, getting your exercise is a good idea because, like healthy eating habits, regular physical activity can stave off weight gain and high blood pressure. But do be mindful of how much exercise you do, especially if you’re not conditioned.“Overexerting yourself when you’re not fit and healthy can put a strain on your kidneys, especially if you exercise so much that you cause excessive breakdown of muscle tissue.
  4. Use caution with supplements and herbal remedies. Excessive amounts of certain vitamin supplements and some herbal extracts may be harmful to your kidneys. Talk to your doctor about any vitamins and herbs you plan to take.
  5. Quit smoking. Smoking can damage blood vessels, which decreases the flow of blood in the kidneys. When the kidneys don’t have adequate blood flow, they can’t function at optimal levels. Smoking also increases the risk of high blood pressure as well as the risk of kidney cancer.
  6. Don’t overdo it when taking over-the-counter medications. “Common non-prescription pills like ibuprofen and naproxen (NSAID’s) can cause kidney damage if taken too regularly over a prolonged period. If you have healthy kidneys and use these medicines for occasional pain, they probably don’t pose a risk. But if you take them for chronic pain or arthritis, you should talk to your doctor about monitoring your kidney function or finding alternative ways to control your pain.
  7. If you’re at risk, get regular kidney function screening. “If you have either diabetes or high blood pressure, your physician should screen for kidney dysfunction as part of routine care for those conditions.

The big kidney health takeaway

Often, your kidneys simply become affected by other medical conditions. The most important thing you can do to keep your kidneys safe is to take care of your body to reduce your chances of developing diseases that put a strain on your kidneys.

“Eat healthily, exercise regularly and control your weight. These healthy practices are not new and definitely not specific to kidney health. Healthy kidneys like a healthy body.”