Category: Health

UN draws flak after naming Mugabe goodwill ambassador

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AFP) – The United Nations faced criticism Friday after naming Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe  a “goodwill ambassador” to promote health causes, despite the country’s dire health crisis under his rule. The UN World Health Organization (WHO) asked Mugabe to serve in the role to help tackle non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart attacks, strokes and asthma across Africa. Mugabe, 93, was in Uruguay for the announcement by WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who said he […]

Pollution killed nine million people in 2015: report

by Mariëtte Le Roux Agence France-Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Pollution claimed the lives of nine million people in 2015, one in every six deaths that year, according to a report published on Friday. Almost all the deaths, 92 percent, happened in low- and middle-income countries, it said, with air pollution the main culprit, felling 6.5 million people. Almost half of the total toll came from just two countries — India and China — researchers […]

Scientists may have found a cause of dyslexia

by Mariëtte Le Roux Agence France-Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — A duo of French scientists said Wednesday they may have found a physiological, and seemingly treatable, cause for dyslexia hidden in tiny light-receptor cells in the human eye. In people with the reading disability, the cells were arranged in matching patterns in both eyes, which may be to blame for confusing the brain by producing “mirror” images, the co-authors wrote in the journal Proceedings of […]

Emma the robot masseuse gets to work in Singapore

 SINGAPORE, Singapore (AFP) — A robot masseuse named Emma is offering Singaporeans high-tech back rubs with a gigantic metal arm and warm silicone tips which its creators say perfectly mimic the human touch. The robot, the brainchild of local startup AiTreat, began work at a clinic in the city-state this week and performs “tui na,” a type of massage practised in traditional Chinese medicine. Emma, which stands for Expert Manipulative Massage Automation, consists of a white metal arm […]

Happier marriages linked to healthier hearts: study

PARIS, France (AFP) — Men whose marriages grow stronger over the years have healthier cholesterol and blood pressure than peers whose unions fall apart, said a study Tuesday that hinted at unexpected health perks of relationship counselling. Researchers got more than 600 men in Britain to rate the “quality” of their marriage at two points in time — when their child was three, and then again aged nine. The men could describe their union as […]

INFOGRAPHICS: World Mental Health Week

Mental health. This is one of the more pressing issues in the workplace today. Majority of our adult life is spent in our work, with many even going beyond the mandatory eight hours a day of work. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), our experience in the workplace is one of the factors that determine our overall well-being.  That’s why employers and managers are asked to promote mental health in their respective workplaces, and […]

Child obesity grows tenfold since 1975: study

by Mariëtte Le Roux Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — The world had 10 times as many obese children and teenagers last year than in 1975, but underweight kids still outnumbered them, a study said Wednesday. Warning of a “double burden” of malnutrition, researchers said the rate of increase in obesity far outstripped the decline in under-nutrition. “If post-2000 trends continue, child and adolescent obesity is expected to surpass moderate and severe underweight by […]

Orthorexia: When ‘healthy eating’ ends up making you sick

by Clara WRIGHT Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — People, it seems, have never been so afraid of their food -– and, say some experts, an obsession with healthy eating may paradoxically be endangering lives. Twenty-nine-year-old Frenchwoman Sabrina Debusquat recounts how, over 18 months, she became a vegetarian, then a vegan — eschewing eggs, dairy products and even honey -– before becoming a “raw foodist” who avoided all cooked foods, and ultimately decided to […]

Japanese reporter died after 159 hours of overtime

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Japan’s public broadcaster has vowed to reform its working practices as it revealed that a young reporter died of heart failure after logging 159 hours of overtime in a month. NHK reporter Miwa Sado, 31, who had been covering political news in Tokyo, was found dead in her bed in July 2013, reportedly clutching her mobile phone. A year later, Japanese authorities said her death was linked to excessive overtime. She […]

Bee-harming pesticides in 75 percent of honey worldwide: study

by Kerry Sheridan Agence France Presse MIAMI, United States (AFP) — Traces of pesticides that act as nerve agents on bees have been found in 75 percent of honey worldwide, raising concern about the survival of these crucial crop pollinators, researchers said Thursday. Human health is not likely at risk from the concentrations detected in a global sampling of 198 types of honey, which were below what the European Union authorizes for human consumption, said […]

Skipping breakfast may double risk of hard arteries: study

by Kerry Sheridan Agence France Presse MIAMI, United States (AFP) — People who skip breakfast or eat poorly to start the day are twice as likely to develop hardened arteries, which can lead to deadly heart disease, researchers said Monday. The study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology uncovered signs of damage to the arteries long before symptoms or disease developed. Researchers said their findings could offer an important tool in the […]

Panic in Madagascar as plague spreads

by Tsiresena Manjakahery Agence France Presse ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar (AFP) — Crowds of fearful residents flock to their local pharmacies before dawn, desperate to buy masks and antibiotics to stave off a plague outbreak sweeping Madagascar. In just the past few days, the highly infectious disease has wreaked havoc in the poor Indian Ocean island nation, claiming six lives in the capital city Antananarivo and causing widespread panic. Like many of his neighbours, 50-year-old Johannes Herinjatovo […]