Medical Corner

image-thumb.pngWe have accepted the suggestion from a BU family member to facilitate discussion on medical matters which is a topic area that should interest us all. Based on exchanges with and between BU family members posted over time, many of you work in the medical field or possess information on various medical issues acquired based on personal circumstance or otherwise. Medical Corner seeks to encourage ANYONE to submit views on medical experiences, new developments in the industry or any related matter which readers feel can serve to educate the BU family.

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341 thoughts on “Medical Corner

  1. Not sure if there is merit in the message. At least it is good for a laugh.


    Smelling Farts Could Work Wonders For Your Health, Says Science

    By: Jason Nawara 05.03.16 •  4 Comments




    It turns out you were doing your friend a favor when you cupped your hand to your butt, farted, then swiped it into their face. Same with all those times you crop dusted (the act of farting and walking at the same time thus spreading the scent over an expansive area) an unsuspecting crowd at the supermarket. According to a study, the smell of farts, or hydrogen sulfide, can have some incredible health benefits.

    The study emanating from Devon, England, states that not only does farting help the farter live longer, but the smell of the farts can quell dementia. In addition to helping people remember your farting around them when they were younger, smelling farts could help with heart disease, diabetes, and even arthritis. The stinkier the better. The scientists say the risk of  cancer, heart attacks, and strokes can be reduced by simply farting.

    This is thanks to the ecosystem in our bowels. When you fart, you’re helping yourself out:

    “When cells become stressed by disease, they draw in enzymes to generate minute quantities of hydrogen sulfide.

    This keeps the mitochondria ticking over and allows cells to live. If this doesn’t happen, the cells die and lose the ability to regulate survival and control inflammation.

    Researcher Dr. Mark Wood gives the key quote for you to repeat to anyone in the vicinity of your gas passing (if they have a problem with it ((they shouldn’t if they keep up on their #Science)):

    “Although hydrogen sulfide is well known as a pungent, foul-smelling gas in rotten eggs and flatulence, it is naturally produced in the body and could in fact be a healthcare hero with significant implications for future therapies for a variety of diseases.”

    This stuff should be bottled.

  2. “Government may be turning to offshore medical schools on the island to remedy the problem of providing internships for the large number of medical students graduating from the University of the West Indies (UWI).

    Minister of Health John Boyce has disclosed that talks would be held tomorrow with the Barbados Medical Council and other key organizations on the possible training of interns at medical schools.”

  3. RE Government may be turning to offshore medical schools on the island to remedy the problem of providing internships for the large number of medical students graduating from the University of the West Indies (UWI).
    Minister of Health John Boyce has disclosed that talks would be held tomorrow with the Barbados Medical Council and other key organizations on the possible training of interns at medical schools.
    “One of the challenges recently confronting the Ministry of Health is an increasing demand that outstrips the placements for new interns.
    “We’ve had unfortunately to leave interns out over the last couple of years out of the persons who have graduated with their MBBS [Bachelors in medicine or surgery], and this is an unfortunate circumstance, which I know as a Government and I believe as a Minister we must correct.
    “It is our aim to work with these stakeholders, come Monday morning, and try to correct this situation.

    However, he was hopeful that a solution was in sight, revealing that Barbados had been approached by at least five offshore medical schools seeking to locate and develop training for undergraduates in the field of medicine over the last five years.
    Boyce assured that any action taken would be in the best interest of the students and the country.
    “Any system developed must be based on collaboration with the Ministry of Education, respect for our national laws and allow both nationals and non- nationals alike the opportunity to fulfill their internships”.



    • @GP

      Let us see how the Minister Boyce and PS Springer are advised by the Council and other technocrats tomorrow.

  5. So what Georgie is saying is that government should put a cap per year on the number of students pursuing to become a doctor. What ever way you go, someone will not be happy.

  6. Whatever you think, there is a standard doctor to patient ratio through out the Caribbean. This was established to allow the doctors the opportunity to complete their training.
    This policy was not implemented recently but years ago.

    The Universities do not inform the new candidates that there is a possibility that not all successful graduates will secure a job, in the weat indies and beyond. It is just a matter of making money with no cincern for them.

  7. NO KEVIN. I DID NOT SAY THAT that government should put a cap per year on the number of students pursuing to become a doctor…BUT IF GOVERNMENT ALLOWS THE UWI TO ADMIT 40 BAJANS THEY OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO OFFER AN INTERN SPOT FOR EACH OF THE GRADUATES












  8. @ GP
    Boss, as long as someone from overseas …with an accent makes a suggestion …our ministers run to the Press to announce some shiite ‘initiative’ or the other.
    Just recently he was looking to build a brand new hospital…..
    Why would Boyce not first meet with local medical leaders BEFORE shooting off his big-ass mouth?

    Steupsss… supposedly he HAD to give a speech somewhere and had nothing else to say…especially about baloney….
    Bushie knew he was useless when government sat back and allowed King and company to sell Banks Holdings. Beer is the one thing that Boyce knows …and he messed up there… and it is his big brother that understands medicine….

    • There is an obvious reason. We live in a time where it is about retail politics and winning elections.

      On Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 3:04 AM, Barbados Underground wrote:


  9. Actually Boyce failed his brewing exams.
    Ask him who gave the vacation job at Banks
    Ask him who proposed that Banks give him the scholarship to St Augustine
    Ask him if he did not prohibit this same man the use of the Banks van that that man used for years before Boyce came back from Trinidad to do all sorts of good for many poor people.
    When Banks fired him not a single rose in the attempt to ask for his retention.

  10. @ GP

    Continuing on with how to possibly set up a Seminar corner like that seen using the plugin

    Again how that part of the BU site would be administered would be for BU Management to decide.

    I does not even have to be a BU subdomain but an affiliate site.

    I dont know but the thing that BU would have to consider is if it can detract from the BU reputational currency if something goes wacky.

    Of course it will mean that we cant cuss the invitees or the ignoramuses that pose ingrunt questions but it is a thing of patience and decorum

    As I was saying there earlier all you have to do is purchase, get a Geek set up and then Point the Go Pro Camera, make sure that it is plugged in and turn it on

    When you are finished turn it off,

    you are not expected to be a Stephen Speilberg so how it looks in sequences is not going to be held against you by most people lololol

    Go to Best Buy and get their Geek service set up the camera for you

    Sit down with your powerpoints or notes and talk through each sheet and start them short 5 minutes on 5 minute items

  11. What is scary David?
    How many babies are born every day? Steupsss…
    Brass bowls expect to live forever?
    ..if it is not heart attack or stroke it will be cancer or some other shiite.

    The point is that this life is a TEMPORARY, FLEETING, opportunity… at finding the keys to real success….
    In this modern age of information and knowledge, if after age 35 or so, (anything else is gravy) ….anyone is as clueless as most of us ADMITTEDLY are, why do we want hang around taking up valuable resources? …Recycle and give someone else a chance do!!! 🙂

    Bushie pities all those who seek to hold on to this shiite life – as if it is some prize, …when it is merely a TESTING, difficult, fleeting opportunity for real life…. set in a cauldron of sorrow, pain and suffering … especially with the damn DLP and the blasted BLP…
    …and now the hidden “Solutions”…

    Let the people die in peace do….

  12. Looking at the video, I’m struck by the number of fat schoolgirls. In my day, nearly everybody was THIN, at least until they hit their thirties.

    We have a generation of pigs to deal with. Imagine the number of heart attacks and strokes in 2050.

  13. Sugar Dangers for Diabetes

    Health-Conscious Reader,

    If cutting down on sugar wasn’t one of your 2017 resolutions, let me convince you to put it on your list. It’s never too late to recognize that the sweet stuff isn’t sweet at all.

    Sickeningly sweet

    Diabetes and obesity are dreadful conditions in themselves. But as they so often open the door to so many additional health threats, they’re also warm-up acts for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, immune system breakdown, neurodegenerative disease, and cancer.

    The danger’s not just in the ubiquitous, snowy-white, granulated and powdered stuff we put in coffee, tea, baked goods, breakfast cereal, jellies, jams, marinades, sauces, and condiments like ketchup (which is essentially tomato syrup)…it’s an endless list.

    It’s also every syrup, except maple—corn syrup, brown rice syrup, fruit syrup, etc. Maple is an exception because absent tampering, it’s a natural substance with some nutrient content. But even maple must be used sparingly, and only if it’s Grade B and organic. (Sorry, New Englanders, Canadians, and burger lovers.)

    Don’t be fooled by fruit juice

    Even all those friendly, seemingly healthy fruit and veggie drinks are devils in disguise. Yes, whole fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet. Their skin, seeds, and flesh are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fiber, and a zillion other nutrients.

    But if you squeeze out the juice and toss the rest, all you get is a great-tasting drink that’s loaded with sugar. Yes, it’s “naturally occurring” sugar. But it’s just as dangerous as refined sugar. Boil that juice down and you’ve got…syrup.

    UK researchers found that people who had a daily glass of juice had significantly higher aortic blood pressure than a control group—a condition that can increase the risk of heart attack or angina, and is associated with cardiovascular disease risk and cognitive impairment.

    Is there an acceptable amount of daily sugar? WHO says what?

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognizes the role sugar plays in disease incidence worldwide.

    Their recommendation?

    Consume no more than six teaspoons of sugar, in any form, daily.

    But wait. A single 8-ounce cup of fresh orange juice puts us over the limit, with the equivalent of seven teaspoons of sugar. Add to that all the other omnipresent sugars we consume as we drink and dine from day to night, and there’s nothing but trouble ahead.

    Big Food and Big Agri pile on

    High-fructose corn syrup (HFC), a mix of of modified chemical components of sugar, was delivered from Big Food labs to our dining tables in the 1970s.

    In 1999, annual sales had reached more than 150 pounds of HFC per person.

    Funny thing…obesity and diabetes skyrocketed right along with HFC sales.

    So why did HFC become such a common part of the American diet?

    Because a combination of tariffs on imported sugar and subsidies for US corn producers makes HFC cheaper, and guess what—more profitable—than every other form of sugar.

    What about “sugar-free,” “no added sugar,” and sugar substitutes?

    Guess who makes aspartame, the disease-causing sugar substitute found in more than 9,000 foods and other products, like toothpaste and makeup?

    Our Big Pharma / Big Food nemesis, Monsanto, maker and relentless marketer of deadly pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified crops, which it coerces our corn farmers to use, along with other “innovations” that wreak havoc.

    Do not consume anything that contains aspartame, which is sold as NutraSweet, Spoonful, Equal, and other trade names.

    It’s technically a neurotoxin, linked to (so far):
    Cardiovascular disease
    Alzheimer’s disease
    Vision loss
    Parkinson’s disease
    Multiple sclerosis
    And while you’re at it, you’ll want to avoid all of these FDA-approved sweeteners:
    Acesulfame Potassium (Acesulfame K)
    How to escape the sugar jungle

    The shelves are piled high with sugars.

    Your most important escape route is to escape the shelves. Eat only local, fresh, and organic—multiple daily doses of fruits and veggies give you all the natural sugars your body needs. And, of course, you get all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients that get stripped away between the natural source and the shelves.

    When you must resort to “store-bought,” read the labels. Stay away from any ingredient that ends with “-ose”—fructose, glucose, sucrose. Stay away from any ingredients labeled “modified” and any that say “preservative.”

    Count the carbs. If the carbs are high, that’s a sure sign of sugar. (If you subtract “dietary fiber” from “total carbohydrates”, you’ll have a good idea of the simple carbohydrates.) Find a different provider of what you want—there might be an enlightened producer who gets the carb count right.

    Take your honey out to eat. Pure, raw, organic honey isn’t just delicious. It’s one of nature’s most versatile and potent health givers—so rich in macronutrients, micronutrients, enzymes, probiotics, and prebiotics that we haven’t even figured out exactly how they all work.

    We do know it was used by our forebears as both a sweetener and a medicinal ingredient for centuries. There are 8,000-year-old cave paintings in Spain that prove it.

    That means today, our bodies are far readier to work with honey than with the chemical shocks delivered by non-natural sweeteners.

    Still…moderation, my friends. A little goes a long way.

    Stick with Stevia, a plant originally grown in Brazil and Paraguay, where it’s been used as a sweetener for centuries. The Stevia extract we can buy is 200–300 times sweeter than white table sugar. Like honey, a little goes a long way, which is how you should use it—in moderation.

    By the way, some weight loss programs recommend Stevia because it has no calories, but it’s not the way to lose weight. There’s emerging science that your pancreas’ insulin reaction is triggered by the taste of sweetness, not just spiking blood sugar. Repeatedly triggering that false alarm is one possible road to reduced insulin sensitivity, which is the step before Type II diabetes.

    Megabucks and misery are at stake

    The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that diabetes and obesity alone cost the US economy a billion dollars a day.

    A billion dollars.

    A day.

    Banishing sugar from our diets is not just about protecting our personal health, and not just about helping millions of our fellow Americans banish the heartbreak and misery of devilish diseases, caused by devilish, unnatural interventions.

    If just those two preventable diseases—diabetes and obesity—cost the US $365 billion a year, without counting the costs of heart disease, cancer, and other heavy hitters, I see it as almost my patriotic and community duty to fight back.

    So let’s start with ourselves

    Let’s not kid ourselves that banishing sugar and toxic sugar wannabes and imposters will be easy. It’s everywhere, in various disguises, often barely recognizable.

    Just remember that when you eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies—an essential part of every diet—you get all the natural sugar you need, and loads of essential other nutrients.

    So, start with baby steps. Maybe go for some fruit instead of dessert after dinner. Instead of sugar, or worse, fake sugar in your morning tea or coffee, add just a drop or two of honey or grade B organic maple syrup.

    Be vigilant, be committed, be careful, and the term “sugar-free” can someday apply to a healthier you.

  14. David

    Thanks for the pharmacogenetic link as it shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that ones melanin content cannot be used as the sole arbiter of ones genetic construct.

  15. The huge numbers that continue to participate in the cancer awareness walks in Barbados has nothing to do with the kindness of Bajans per se but the fact that cancer suffering is so prevalent. Everyone has been touched by thethe cancer scourge.

  16. David

    Too true…..prostate diagnosis takes about a year……which is why I would love to see our medical system catering to this area with greater urgency.

    What is UWI research doing in this area?

  17. Vincent
    Why should prostate diagnosis take a year?
    It does not take a year for a doctor to do a rectal exam.
    It should not take that long to get the results for the PSA TEST from any of the medical labs in Bim.
    BU has uploaded detailed ppts on prostate disease – perhaps before you joined.
    Perhaps David will put up the links here.
    What research should UWI do here?

    Many men over 80 have prostate cancer in a very low grade form. They are more likely to die from exposure to a sexy chick.

    Before Sabin & Salk and the discovery of vaccines many died from the then common child hood illnesses.

    If you survived these, the older you get the more likely you will get cancer

  18. @ Georgie Porgie who wrote “It does not take a year for a doctor to do a rectal exam.

    It should not take that long to get the results for the PSA TEST from any of the medical labs in Bim.

    Maybe it takes Vincent a year to muster the courage to go to the Doctor. lol

    I read your ppts on this blog. There are still here for reference.

  19. GP&Hants

    The following true scenario in Bim:

    1) Cancer society does PSA&Rectal examination March 2017……PSA at 9.7….rectal nothing
    2)Sent to QEH for a camera into your whatsits…..earliest date June 2017 to see Emtage.
    3)Sunday prior to QEH appointment on the monday in June told it was rescheduled for Sept. 2017
    4)Doctor seen not Emtage for 2 minutes in Sept 2017……… camera scheduled for November 2017
    5)Doctor schedules next appointment for Feb 2017.

    Tell me how the above makes sense.

  20. It does not Vincent.
    It ought not to be so
    I bet if you go straight to Emtage office it wont take so long though

    • We all know the QEH is clogged. The turnaround in private practice for PSA results is 48 hours and of course the rectal is immediate.

  21. GP

    Yes I know what an individual can do who knows Gerry, my father had it and we paid Gerry for an op tout de suite…..that is not my point.

    My point is that the above scenario which is replicated many times at the QEH should not be so and my question is what is being done about it.

  22. David

    The NSRL 2% was supposedly for the QEH, its now 10% with the MoF bragging about $50M coming in which has been debunked already…….where are we going…..check the obits with youngsters in their 40s and 50s going through the eddoes……..its worse than gun deaths or vehicular deaths.

  23. Vincent
    re My point is that the above scenario which is replicated many times at the QEH should not be so and my question is what is being done about it.

    I agree with you
    It seems that we are back peddling
    it was nothing like this 40 year ago
    this is not about funding either– this is about poor management or/and greed/graft

  24. Caribbean Medical Schools

    The Caribbean islands are also home to a number of for-profit medical schools that largely teach American and Canadian students. Some of those campuses have also sustained damage and evacuated their students.

    Ross University School of Medicine, which is located in storm-ravaged Dominica and owned by the U.S.-based for-profit education company Adtalem Global Education (formerly DeVry), reported Tuesday that it had completed evacuating all of its students who were on Dominica at the time Hurricane Maria hit. The university’s dean and chancellor, William F. Owen Jr., said in a message that Ross is working on a plan to resume its basic science program — which comprises the first two preclinical years of medical education — in an alternative location, to be determined (clinical training occurs at U.S. hospitals and has not been disrupted).

    Owen said in a message on Ross’s website Wednesday that “in considering new potential sites of instruction, we are focused on identifying a location that will be conducive to intensive medical study; meet the rigorous academic expectations of our accreditors; support continued access to federal student loans; and nicely balance study and recreation.”

    “We expect to communicate a decision soon from our list of options for a locale. There will be no classes for the next two weeks, so recuperate, refuel and bond with your loved ones,” Owen told students.

    Another Adtalem-owned medical school, the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, in St. Maarten, announced after Hurricane Irma hit the island that it would hold its fall semester classes at a location in the United Kingdom. The medical school initially announced plans to start classes at the U.K. location Sept. 29 — today — but in a statement Thursday Adtalem said the school is still “finalizing details” for the temporary relocation.

    “AUC is working to secure all regulatory approvals to do so, and working to finalize an agreement with University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to utilize UCLan’s teaching facilities and student support services. We are so pleased to partner with UCLan in this effort and we greatly appreciate their hospitality and assistance. While these final arrangements and approvals are still pending, AUC students have begun arriving in Preston to prepare for the planned start of classes,” the statement said.

    Another Caribbean medical school, All Saints University, in Dominica, said in a message on its website that “evacuation of students is on course’ and that lectures for students from Dominica would resume Oct. 2 at the university’s other campus in in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.




  25. For years, she struggled to control her high cholesterol. Then she took a genetic test. She credits it with saving her life.
    Personal Genetic Testing Is Here. Do We Need It?
    People are using a growing stream of genetic data to help them make better health decisions. But some findings may be overblown or irrelevant.–bpM-wosl1kiHvQEp7COk1TZjm934z0Y-w8t-3TNV4IRJKyDcLLBrS1aDCz195YtXr7kFOw6XJMr73zfF0yGZIS9PhZYgj7IphO1gGHDjEc-RyA

  26. The idiocy of this world.


    Controversy over a cupcake? Google Maps pulls cupcake calorie counter after backlash


    Cupcakes are for sale at Creme Si Bon, a bakery that specializes in French macarons and other baked delights that is owned by Jenny and Sam Ng, in San Ramon, Calif. on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)

    Cupcakes are for sale at Creme Si Bon, a bakery that specializes in French macarons and other baked delights that is owned by Jenny and Sam Ng, in San Ramon, Calif. on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)

    By MARISA KENDALL | | Bay Area News Group

    PUBLISHED: October 17, 2017 at 1:32 pm | UPDATED: October 17, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    You can call it the Great Cupcake Controversy of 2017.

    In what is probably the only example ever of tiny, frosted cakes sparking mass outrage, strong negative feedback has prompted Google to remove a cupcake calorie counter from its iOS Maps app, the company confirmed Tuesday.

    Google recently added the cutesy — and possibly half-baked — feature as an experiment. With the new feature, users saw a pink cupcake icon that automatically showed them how many calories they would burn if they walked to their destination. The app also translated that calorie count into mini cupcakes, telling walkers how many of the tiny treats they would burn if they walked from point A to point B.

    But complaints soon started raining down like sprinkles.

    Critics accused the cartoon cupcake counter of being patronizing, promoting body-shaming, and possibly triggering unhealthy behavior in people who have struggled with eating disorders or over-exercise, BBC reports. There’s no way to turn the feature off, critics pointed out.

    “Do they realize how extremely triggering something like this is for ppl who have had eating disorders? Not to mention just generally shamey,” a user named Taylor Lorenz tweeted. She added: “Also it looks like there’s no way to turn this feature off what the hell.”

    16 Oct

    Taylor Lorenz


    Replying to @TaylorLorenz

    Also it looks like there’s no way to turn this feature off what the hell


    Taylor Lorenz


    Do they realize how extremely triggering something like this is for ppl who have had eating disorders? Not to mention just generally shamey

    8:07 PM – Oct 16, 2017

    Twitter Ads info and privacy

    Users also pointed out that Google Maps doesn’t take a user’s personal health information into account, so its cupcake calorie counter likely isn’t accurate.

    Others slammed the cupcake counter as being just plain useless.

    “Okay, Google let me tell you something. No one who eats cupcakes ever eats almost 1 mini cupcake!” wrote a Twitter user who goes by Arch S.

    View image on Twitter

    View image on Twitter


    Arch S @archanasn

    Okay, .@google let me tell you something.. No one who eats cupcakes ever eats almost 1 mini cupcake!

    11:23 AM – Oct 17, 2017

    Twitter Ads info and privacy

    And then there were those who didn’t see what the big deal was, even asking for help explaining cupcake-gate.

    “Can someone explain why googles Cupcake counter was offensive? Honestly I don’t understand,” wrote a Twitter user who goes by the name “Bring Your Own Demon.”


    Bring Your Own Demon @infosecxual

    Can someone explain why googles Cupcake counter was offensive? Honestly I don’t understand

    10:22 AM – Oct 17, 2017

    Twitter Ads info and privacy

    Whatever the reason, Google confirmed to this news organization Tuesday that it is removing the calorie counter, citing “strong user feedback.” The cupcake counter should have been removed by Monday evening, the company confirmed. If users are still seeing the feature, they should restart the app.

    It’s spectacularly bad timing on Google’s part. It turns out that Wednesday is National Chocolate Cupcake Day (not to be confused with regular National Cupcake Day, which is Dec. 15) — which would have been a prime opportunity for gimmicks galore to show off Google’s cupcake calorie counter. But the Google cupcakes weren’t chocolate anyway. They were pink — whatever flavor that is.

  27. if you look at your product packaging you will often find listed one or two of the intermediates pictured above………citrate, alpha ketoglutarate, succinate, fumarate, malate oxaloactate.

    these are used as preservatives presumably because they are Krebs cycle intermediates
    but in the Krebs cycle in the process of generating energy these compounds as you can see from the arrows are rapidly converted to each other

    in other slides you will see that some of these intermediates are used in making other compounds

    could it be possible that the body finds these intermediates when consumed in probable excess as toxic?

  28. in slide 2 you can see the importance of glucose pictured as the red ball
    all the lines departing from the red ball are important metabolic pathways.such as the PPP which is used to make ribose for RNA, OR DEOXYRIBOSE FOR DNA
    the big line is the glycolytic pathway found in all living organisms……….note that glycolysis is linked to the Krebs cycle– the major pathway for generating energy

  29. Watch for free the 1hr 20min documentary ‘Secret Ingredients’ detailing case history’s of men, women and children whose debilitating chronic illness symptoms disappeared after switching to a diet in which GM foods and crops treated with glyphosate based herbicides like Roundup were removed from their diet. Free viewing lasts only until May 22nd at 2 pm. You are required to leave a name and email address to see the video.

  30. The 5G War – Technology Versus Humanity
    Dr. Mercola

    Exposure to electromagnetic field (EMF) and radiofrequency (RF) radiation is an ever-growing health risk in the modern world. The Cellular Phone Task Force website(1) has a long list of governments and organizations that have issued warnings or banned wireless technologies of various kinds and under various circumstances, starting in 1993.

    A long list of organizations representing doctors and scientists are also among them, including an appeal for protection from nonionizing EMF exposure by more than 230 international EMF scientists to the United Nations in 2015, which notes that:(2)
    “Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines.”


    While heart disease, dementia and infertility overshadow the risk of brain cancer, the possibility of cancer still remains, and may be a far more significant concern for young children who are growing up surrounded by wireless technologies than we realize.

    The fact is, we won’t know for sure whether in utero and early cellphone use will increase brain cancer rates until a decade or two from now when today’s youths have grown up. Mounting research suggests cellphone radiation certainly influences your risk, and there are a number of compelling anecdotal reports that are hard to ignore.
    In her article,(61) Davis mentions Robert C. Kane, a senior telecom engineer “had willingly served as a guinea pig for Motorola and other companies developing new wireless technologies in the 1980s.”

    He developed a type of malignant brain cancer the National Toxicology Program later confirmed was a side effect of cellphone radiation exposure (see video above). The NTPs results were published in 2018. Before his death in 2002, Kane published the book,“Cellphone Radiation — Russian Roulette”,(62) in which he stated that:(63)
    “Never in human history has there been such a practice as we now encounter with the marketing and distributing of products hostile to the human biological system by an industry with foreknowledge of those effects.”

    FCC Is a Captured Agency That Cannot Be Trusted

    Davis also highlights another crucial problem, namely the fact that the FCC has been captured by the telecom industry, which in turn has perfected the disinformation strategies employed by the tobacco industry before it. She writes:(64)

    “… [I]n 2015 a Harvard expose tracked the revolving door between the FCC and the telecom industry and concluded that the FCC is a captured agency and that ‘Consumer safety, health, and privacy, along with consumer wallets, have all been overlooked, sacrificed, or raided due to unchecked industry influence.’”

  31. Cannabis Extract Fights ‘Incurable Form’ of Leukemia

    After undergoing a protracted series of unsuccessful conventional treatments over the course of 34 months – including a bone marrow transplant, aggressive chemotherapy and radiation therapy — the girl’s case was pronounced ‘incurable,’ with the patient’s hematologist/oncologist stating that she “suffers from terminal malignant disease,” expecting her condition to progress rapidly towards death.

    Because the family received no other suggestions for treatment beyond palliative care, they decided to do research on their own, stumbling on a paper published in Nature Reviews: Cancer in 2003 titled, “Cannibinoids: Potential Anti-Cancer Agents,” which encouraged them to administer oral cannabinoid extracts to the patient. According to the case report:

    The family found promise in a product, made by Rick Simpson who had treated several cancers with hemp oil, an extract from the cannabis plant. Rick worked with the family to help them prepare the extract.*

    With Rick Simpson’s assistance, the family used cannabis oil extract for the next 78 days, with regular monitoring of the blast cell count, the primary indicator of the malignant progression of the disease process.

    The figure below shows the successful suppression of the blast cells using cannabis extract.

    (Click on link below to see graph of blast cell suppression after administering cannabis extract)

    Clearly, the cannabis extract was effective at inhibiting the uncontrolled proliferation of the girl’s leukemia, without the highly toxic side effects of conventional treatment.

    Sadly, however, on day 78, the 14-year old passed away as a consequence of bleeding associated with bowel perforation, and ultimately the lasting adverse effects of the original 34 months of aggressive treatment she had underwent previous to cannabis.

  32. From the web site Activist Post:

    Telecom Construction Expert Offers Opinion on YouTube Video of Dead Bees Under 5G Cell Towers

    Earlier this week, Activist Post reported about the viral YouTube video that shows dead bees under what was reported to be 5G small cells installed in California.

    A Telecom Industry Construction Expert has weighed in and provided information that is equally if not more depressing:

    Tyler Vanover
    Industry construction expert here. Those towers are not 5g they are 4g. All modern 4g sites are outfitted with 5g capabilities. Not specifically to operate at 5g frequencies, but at the lower band using 4g radios to communicate with the future 5g infrastructure which will be much smaller antennas, every several hundred meters in every direction on every public street. This bee killing phenomenon has been talked about for years inside the industry. All tower climbers can attest to bees getting “drunk” on rf signal coming from the towers, which act as a lure. Heavily concentrated 4g activity like the site featured in this video, can aggregate alot of frequency, and since its so low to the ground, it becomes quite dangerous for low flying insects. Blame California city regulations for these “hidden” low height cell structures. We build them up high and away from people for a reason.

    From ResearchGate:

    The exponential increase of mobile telephony has led to a pronounced increase in electromagnetic fields in the environment that may affect pollinator communities and threaten pollination as a key ecosystem service. Previous studies conducted on model species under laboratory conditions have shown negative effects of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) on reproductive success, development, and navigation of insects.</em>

    See embedded video of the dead bees collecting around the base of cell phone towers at the link below

    Continued at:

  33. From Newsvoice(DOT)se

    To bee, or not to bee, that is the five “G” question – Olle Johansson

    The collective evidence we can draw from the current scientific status regarding adverse health and biological effects of artificial electromagnetic field exposures, such as from cell phones, antennas/base stations, TV and radio towers, babyalarms, smart meters, powerlines, and WiFi routers, points to that we may be jeopardizing more than our own health and behaviour. Bacteria, plants, birds, frogs, and pollinating insects, may all be targeted, and it is obvious we must proceed with the highest caution before immersing the citizens and our wildlife in more and more artificial electromagnetic fields. We may, as a matter of fact, already be gravely endangering our current as well as coming generations. To not act today, may prove a disaster tomorrow, and such lack of action may again result in the classical “late lessons from early warnings”, or – even worse – “too late lessons from early warnings”.

    By Olle Johansson, former head of The Experimental Dermatology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, and former adjunct professor of The Royal Institute of Technology, also Stockholm, Sweden, now retired and leading The Institute of Common Sense for Common Sense, Utö/Stockholm, Sweden.


    Besides the brain and heart cancer risks, cell phone and WiFi signals may also affect the blood-brain barrier to open and let toxic molecules into the brain, hurt and kill neurons in the hippocampus (one of the brain centres for memory), down- or up-regulate essential proteins in the brain engaged in the it’s metabolism, stress response and neuroprotection. Exposed sperms have been seen with more head defects, decreased sperm count, lowered motility, decreased viability, and other malfunctions as well as DNA damage, and severe effects on fertility have been found. Wireless signals can increase oxidative stress in cells and lead to increase of proinflammatory cytokines and lower capacity to repair genotoxic DNA single- and double-strand breaks. Cognitive impairments in learning and memory have also been shown. Results from the OECD’s PISA performance surveys in reading and mathematics show decreasing results in countries that have invested most in introducing computers, tablets and cell phones in school. Multitasking, too many hours in front of a screen, less time for social contacts and physical activities with risk for neck and back aches, overweight, sleep problems, and information technology (IT) addiction are some of the known risks and side-effects of IT. They stand in marked contrast to the often claimed, but largely unproven possible benefits (the OECD actually says frequent use of computers in schools is more likely to be associated with lower results!).

    And the implications of the most recent findings – by Taheri et al from 2017 – of bacteria exposed to mobile phone and WiFi radiation turning resistant to antibiotics are chilling, to say the least, and may easily explain the on-going huge and highly frightening development into more and more antibiotics-resistant microorganisms around the world. The latter has very recently summoned the G20 countries – in 2017 – to discuss the fact that each year more than 25,000 Europeans die prematurely due to antibiotic resistance. By the year 2050 it has been calculated to be about 10,000,000 humans world-wide, and neither of these two estimations have taken into account the Taheri et al findings, thus, the 10,000,000 can easily instead become 7,600,000,000…not then counting all livestock dying for the same reason.

    About the author:

    Olle Johansson PhD is a global authority in the field of EMF radiation and health effects. He originally coined the term ”screen dermatitis” which became recognized as the functional impairment known as electrohypersensitivity. Survey studies show that somewhere between 230,000-290,000 Swedish men and women—out of a population of 10,000,000—report a variety of symtoms when in contact with electromagnetic field sources. In 2000, the diagnosis of electrosensitivity was officially recognized by the Swedish government as a disability which may interfere with daily functioning and qualifies for both medical care and the provision of an electrosmog-free working environment.

    He is a past associate professor at the Karolinska Institute, Department of Neuroscience, and head of The Experimental Dermatology Unit as well as a guest and adjunct professor in basic and clinical neuroscience at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. He has published more than 600 original articles, reviews, book chapters and conference reports within the fields of basic and applied neuroscience, dermatology, epidemiology, and biophysiology.

    A complete bio with a list of publications can be seen here:


  34. In this TED talk An American clinical psychiatrist, Dr. Daniel Amen, explains how many different psychiatric problems, including depression, ADHD, violent or criminal behaviour etc. can be traced to a physical injury which caused trauma to the brains of patients, perhaps many years previously. Usually the incident that caused the brain injury might have been caused by a head-jarring accident that was considered relatively minor at the time. However, brain scans of psychiatric patients do show years after the original incident areas where brain activity is abnormal or lacking entirely and this can be traced back to a physical head injury suffered many years previously.

    The idea of using brain scans to tailor rehabilitative treatments for psychiatric patients to restore injured brains is relatively new, but he says that in his experience it has proven much more effective in producing long term beneficial results at a lower cost compared to the more traditional approaches of psychiatric medicine which does not use brain imaging in day to day practice but tends to use medications (some with severe side effects) to treat symptoms rather than the underlying causes that produces the symptoms.

    The Most Important Lessons from 83,000 Scans

  35. Highwire – This Mom Broke Monsanto

    “These ugly emails reveal the utter contempt that Monsanto has for public health and for consumers, including mothers who only want to protect their kids’ health.”

  36. GMO mosquito experiment goes horribly wrong: Insects adapt and overcome, transforming into super “mutant” mosquitoes that could cause mass death across South America

    (Natural News) Remember the two-year experiment to release genetically modified mosquitoes into the wild to eradicate all the mosquitoes? For years, we were all lectured by scientists and GMO pushers who insisted that genetically modifying male mosquitoes to be infertile would cause the termination of nearly all offspring as females mated with the GMO males. The result, we were told, would be a mass die-off of the mosquito population at large, saving human lives by avoiding the catastrophic effects of mosquito-borne disease.

    Science would save us, in other words. And if we didn’t believe the hype, we were labeled “anti-science.”

    At first, the experiment seemed to work. For the initial 18 months of the experiment carried out in Brazil — in which 450,000 genetically modified male mosquitoes were released into the wild — mosquito populations plummeted. But then something happened.

    As published in the journal Nature, in a study entitled, “Transgenic Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes Transfer Genes into a Natural Population,” the very same modified genes we were told would never be passed to “in the wild” mosquito populations has, in fact, done exactly that.

    Powered by these new genes (and combined with some behavioral adaptation explained below), the mosquito population surged back. Even worse, now the wild populations of mosquitoes in Brazil have these “mutant” genes which were combined from Cuba and Mexican mosquito populations, meaning these new gene-enhanced mosquitoes are now a kind of “super mutant” insect that may be resistant to all sorts of insecticides.


    In 2012, we published a warning about the risks associated with self-replicating science experiments that are released into the wild. In one article, we wrote, “The human race is gravely threatened by out-of-control science that has already begun to reveal alarming unintended consequences across our planet.” We also wrote:

    Humanity has reached a tipping point of developing technology so profound that it can destroy the human race; yet this rise of “science” has in no way been matched by a rise in consciousness or ethics. Today, science operates with total disregard for the future of life on Earth, and it scoffs at the idea of balancing scientific “progress” with caution, ethics or reasonable safeguards (my emphasis /GM). Unbridled experiments like GMOs have unleashed self-replicating genetic pollution that now threatens the integrity of food crops around the world, potentially threatening the global food supply.

    As the following S.O.S. graphic shows — originally published in 2012 — GMO mosquitoes are “self-replicating pollution.” The mad scientists have released weaponized genes into the wild, and now the genetic makeup of mosquitoes in South America can never be pulled back from the brink.

  37. Who or what is
    Natural News (formerly NewsTarget, which is now a separate sister site) is a conspiracy theory and fake news website.The website sells various dietary supplements, promotes alternative medicine, tendentious nutrition and health claims, fake news,and espouses various conspiracy theories.These conspiracy theories include chemophobic claims about the purported dangers of “chemtrails”,fluoridated drinking water,anti-perspirants, laundry detergent, monosodium glutamate, aspartame), and alleged health problems caused by allegedly “toxic” ingredients in vaccines,including the now-discredited link to autism.It has also spread conspiracy theories about the Zika virus allegedly being spread by genetically modified mosquitoes and purported adverse effects of genetically modified crops, as well as the farming practices associated with and foods derived from them.

  38. Have you heard on air recently the (fairly obviously) scripted interview/advertisement on local radio from Barbados Light and Power extolling their efforts to make sure BL&P is 5G compatible and ready for the roll out of the much anticipated 5G “internet of things”? That is, the much anticipated (by tech heads and big business interests) internet upgrade whereby just about everything you own from your refrigerator down to your shoe laces (including, at some point, your own AI directed brain via an implanted chip) will eventually have its own IP address and be connected directly to the internet.

    For BL&P this means switching businesses and households onto WiFi enabled smart meters to help manage their diesel generators and the local electricity grid. These smart meters which will use WiFi for sending and receiving data to BL&P throughout the day will, they claim, provide for more efficient power generation and distribution as more “green” sources of variable power output come on stream, e.g. solar farms, housetop solar panels, windmills etc.

    It is noteworthy that insurance companies have already declined to provide liability coverage to manufacturers of even the present generation of WiFi enabled products in case lawsuits determine that their WiFi equipment has damaged the users’ health.

    Lloyd’s of London Insurance Won’t Cover Smartphones – WiFi – Smart Meters – Cell Phone Towers By Excluding ALL Wireless Radiation Hazards at:

    Recently, Scientific American magazine has published an article explaining that there are even more inherent dangers to human health in this new 5G WiFi technology that are being overlooked by its promoters in their eagerness to make a profit by providing another supposed technological solution to our present list of societal and economic problems. Yes, you will be delighted with 5G when you find you can download an entire movie to your cell phone in 3 seconds flat – too bad the true costs and dangers will not be so readily apparent until it is too late to do anything about it.

    We Have No Reason to Believe 5G Is Safe
    The technology is coming, but contrary to what some people say, there could be health risks

    By Joel M. Moskowitz on October 17, 2019

    The telecommunications industry and their experts have accused many scientists who have researched the effects of cell phone radiation of “fear mongering” over the advent of wireless technology’s 5G. Since much of our research is publicly-funded, we believe it is our ethical responsibility to inform the public about what the peer-reviewed scientific literature tells us about the health risks from wireless radiation.

    The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced through a press release that the commission will soon reaffirm the radio frequency radiation (RFR) exposure limits that the FCC adopted in the late 1990s. These limits are based upon a behavioral change in rats exposed to microwave radiation and were designed to protect us from short-term heating risks due to RFR exposure.

    Yet, since the FCC adopted these limits based largely on research from the 1980s, the preponderance of peer-reviewed research, more than 500 studies, have found harmful biologic or health effects from exposure to RFR at intensities too low to cause significant heating.

    Citing this large body of research, more than 240 scientists who have published peer-reviewed research on the biologic and health effects of nonionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF) signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal, which calls for stronger exposure limits. The appeal makes the following assertions:

    “Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life.”

    The scientists who signed this appeal arguably constitute the majority of experts on the effects of nonionizing radiation. They have published more than 2,000 papers and letters on EMF in professional journals.

    Continued here:

  39. After reading the post directly above about BL&P’s drive to roll out “smart” electricity meters (i.e. WiFi enabled) to ensure sure Barbados is “ready for 5G”, some might find this documentary relevant to understanding why the spread of WiFi and cellular technology along with the supposed “upgrade” to 5G threatens human, animal and plant health and well being.

    Resonance: Beings of Frequency

    Resonance takes a deeper look at how humanity is reacting to the most profound environmental change the planet has ever seen. Two billion years ago life first appeared on earth, a planet bathed in a natural electromagnetic frequency. As life slowly evolved from simple to complex organisms, it did so surrounded by this frequency, forming a harmonic relationship with it, a relationship that science is just beginning to comprehend. New research is showing that exposure to this frequency is vital to human beings. It controls our mental and physical health, it synchronizes our circadian rhythms, it aids our immune system, and it improves our overall sense of well-being. Not only are we surrounded by natural frequencies, our bodies are suffused with them. Our cells communicate using electromagnetic frequencies. Our brain emits a constant stream of frequencies and our DNA delivers instructions using frequency waves. Without them, we could not exist.

  40. It has been in the news that in the very heart of modern day high-tech, i.e. Silicon Valley, California, many CEOs and execs in the high tech industries send their own children to schools where cell phones and tablet/computer screens are banned from the classrooms and the teachers are allowed to use only “old fashioned” teaching/learning tools like pencils, crayons and paper, physical books (my goodness, no ebooks downloaded onto a tablet?), and chalkboards instead of big screen TVs.

    Reportedly when hiring nannies to look after their children, the nannies are requested to sign contracts stipulating they agree not to use their own electronic devices in the presence of their young charges. Seems somewhat strange that we are in a computer revolution in most schools as we are told teaching children how to use cell phones, tablets and computers from an ever younger age is absolutely necessary to give them the skills to survive in the wonderful, interconnected 5G world of tomorrow, yet these silicon valley execs who earn a living flogging high tech to the world are holding their own children back and depriving them of this ever so necessary learning experience. One has to wonder what they know that our own educators don’t..

    Children are tech addicts – and schools are the pushers
    When Silicon Valley bosses send their children to screen-free schools, why do we believe the claims of the ‘ed tech’ industry?

    I’m wary of sounding sanctimonious, and corroding much-needed solidarity between busy parents with different views on screen use. But when I see an infant jabbing and swiping, I can’t help experiencing what the writer James Bridle calls in a disturbing recent essay a “Luddite twinge”; and the research suggests I should trust it.

    Earlier this month the children’s commissioner for England warned that children starting secondary school were facing a social media “cliff edge” as they entered an online world of cyber-bullying and pornography. According to Public Health England, extended screen use correlates to emotional distress, anxiety and depression in children. The American College of Paediatricians associates it with sleep problems, obesity, increased aggression and low self-esteem.

    And not only is screen technology harmful to children per se, there’s little evidence that it helps them to learn. A 2015 OECD report found that the impact of computers on pupil performance was “mixed, at best”, and in most cases computers were “hurting learning”. The journal Frontiers in Psychology identifies “an absence of research supporting the enthusiastic claims that iPads will ‘revolutionise education’”. Researchers at Durham University found that “technology-based interventions tend to produce just slightly lower levels of improvement” compared with other approaches. Even for the head of the e-Learning Foundation, proving technology improves results remains the “holy grail”.

    Education technology is often justified on the grounds that it boosts disadvantaged children, yet research shows it widens rather than bridges socioeconomic divides. The One Laptop per Child programme, which distributed 25m low-cost computers with learning software to children in the developing world, failed to improve language or maths results.


  41. We learn language firstly by listening even from within the womb, then by speaking. Reading and writing comes much, much later, years later.

    But if parent’s and children are SILENTLY engrossed in swiping, what do fetuses and infants HEAR, what do toddlers HEAR, how can toddlers learn to SPEAK if they only infrequently HEAR human speech?

    It seems as though we humans are willing to give up speech. My question is:

    if we give up speech, which human societies have spent tens of thousands of years developing, what to we plan to replace it with?

    Even here on BU some are advocating that females be silent in the church.

    I think that we have forgotten that it is not for nothing that languages are referred to as “mother tongues”

    If women become silent, who will ensure that human speech survives?

    Is it important that human speech survives?

  42. Opposition To GMOs Is Neither Unscientific Nor Immoral
    by Charles Eisenstein
    May 10, 2018

    In a recent opinion piece – Avoiding GMOs Isn’t Just Anti-science, It’s Immoral – Purdue University president Mitch Daniels offers an impassioned plea that we embrace GMOs in agriculture. Daniels’ argument runs as follows: The health and ecological safety of GMOs is unquestionable “settled science.” Therefore, it is immoral to deny developing countries the agricultural technology they need to boost food production and feed their growing populations. It seems an open-and-shut case: the self-indulgent anti-GMO fad among rich consumers threatens the less fortunate with starvation. As Daniels says, it is immoral for them to “inflict their superstitions on the poor and hungry”.

    But let’s look at some of the assumptions that this argument takes for granted: (1) That GMOs are indeed safe, and (2) that GMOs and industrial agriculture in general allow higher yields than more traditional forms of agriculture.

    The ecological and health safety of GMOs is more controversial scientifically than Daniels’ piece asserts. The problem is that it is hard to know which science – and which scientists – to trust. In the United States, most university agronomy departments receive massive funding from agritech companies who, according to Scientific American, “have given themselves veto power over the work of independent researchers.” Since GMOs are proprietary, those companies can and do restrict who can perform research on their products. When a study does document harm, it and its authors are subjected to intense scrutiny, career-ending attacks, and even lawsuits. Imagine yourself as a graduate student at, say, Purdue University. How welcome do you think a research proposal on the health hazards of GMOs would be?

    Nonetheless, there is a large and growing body of research that casts serious doubt on GMO safety, mostly published in Europe and Russia where support for GMOs is weaker. For a methodical and comprehensive overview of the topic see GMO Myths and Truths, which with hundreds of citations of peer-reviewed articles cannot be easily dismissed as “superstition.”

    Continued with hyperlinks at:

  43. Uh oh, breaking news looks like it should add to the worries of the the psychopathic executives at Bayer (Monsanto’s new owner) and for Bayer’s shareholders. The company faces a growing mountain of lawsuits claiming serious human health damages have been caused by Monsanto’s glyphosate based Roundup herbicide. Already the first of these lawsuits have been settled in favour of the plaintiffs who have received large awards for damages. Now more evidence has surfaced from recent studies that glyphosate and Roundup will disrupt an animal’s gut biome. Imbalances in gut bacteria have been linked to various non communicable diseases including cancer.

    Glyphosate and Roundup Proven to Disrupt Gut Microbiome by Inhibiting Shikimate Pathway

    Humans and animals do not have the shikimate pathway, so industry and regulators have claimed that glyphosate is nontoxic to humans.[1] However, some strains of gut bacteria do have the shikimate pathway, leading to much debate about whether Roundup and glyphosate could affect the gut microbiome (bacterial populations). Imbalances in gut bacteria have been found to be linked with many diseases, including cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and depression.

    As many species of gut bacteria do have the shikimate pathway, scientists have hypothesised that glyphosate herbicides could inhibit the EPSPS enzyme of the shikimate pathway in these organisms, leading to imbalance in the microbiome, with potentially negative health consequences. Some have proposed that if glyphosate herbicides do disrupt the gut microbiome, EPSPS inhibition will be the primary mechanism through which this occurs.

    However, proof that glyphosate herbicides can inhibit the EPSPS enzyme and the shikimate pathway in gut bacteria has been lacking. But a new study has proven beyond doubt that this does indeed happen.

    The study in rats by an international team of scientists based in London, France, Italy, and the Netherlands, led by Dr Michael Antoniou of King’s College London and posted on the pre-peer-review site BioRxiv, has found that Roundup herbicide and its active ingredient glyphosate cause a dramatic increase in the levels of two substances, shikimic acid and 3-dehydroshikimic acid, in the gut, which are a direct indication that the EPSPS enzyme of the shikimic acid pathway has been severely inhibited.

    In addition, the researchers found that both Roundup and glyphosate affected the microbiome at all dose levels tested, causing shifts in bacterial populations.

    Levels tested were previously assumed to have no adverse effect.

  44. QEH protecting ‘wider public’
    A CASE OF doing what is best for the majority under unprecedented circumstances.
    This is the position management of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in the face of criticism over the state facility’s surgical provisions for COVID-19 patients.
    Speaking on behalf of 11 other surgeons on Monday, General Surgeon Dr Maurice Waldron, raised concerns that the QEH operating theatres were not retrofitted with negative room pressure, which would contain viruses within that confined space.
    Additionally, he expressed concern that the operating theatre at the Enmore Isolation Facility, though equipped with the requisite system, did not have the ancillary support structure on hand for speedy response in case of complications.
    Yesterday, on Starcom’s Down to Brass Tacks, Dr Corey Forde, head of the Infection Prevention and Control/ Infectious Diseases Programmes at QEH, made it clear that while better solutions were actively being sought for COVID-19 patients who may require surgery, conducting such procedures at the QEH could not be chanced at this moment.
    He explained that expediency and financial limitations were key watch words during the planning phase for the mitigation of the impact on the coronavirus on the health sector; therefore, tough decisions had to be made for the protection of the wider public.
    Assess risk
    “The decisions that are made, have to be made on a risk stratification profile. For the QEH hospital within the context of this profile, Barbados does not have this widespread infection of COVID-19. So the average Barbadian, unlike New York or Italy, walking off the street and into a hospital setting will not have COVID-19. So, when decisions are made, persons must assess the risk of bringing a known COVID-19 case into a facility to staff and patients. This comes down to the infrastructure of this hospital, which has been in existence for many years, to deal with a highly infectious disease,” said Forde, who was joined by Intern Coordinator for the QEH’s medical students, Dr Clyde Cave.
    Forde said the problem was not unique to Barbados, as he has been in touch with some of his counterparts in the region and in South America, and they have all complained of similar challenges.
    “We have seen internationally, the kind of catastrophe from the failure to take
    certain steps and we have to protect every single Barbadian. We have seen examples internationally of persons bringing one COVID-19 surgical patient in and it infected the entire facility . . . I don’t think we should ever say that if a person is COVID-19 positive that they should not be afforded care, but hard decisions have to be made and the decision is that we have to take this outside of the hospital,” he stressed.
    However, the infectious disease expert noted that should the country experience wider spread of the virus, there could be a rethink of the decision.
    However, Forde’s position was not satisfactory to Waldron, who was also a guest on the programme and insisted that the QEH should retrofit one of its nine operating theatres for COVID-19 patients. He argued that doctors who interchangeably work with COVID-19 patients at the isolation facility and then resume duties at the QEH, pose an equally high risk of causing an outbreak at the state’s premier health facility. (CLM)

    Source: Nation newspaper

  45. Testing, Testing, Testing. Are we getting the true picture about Corona virus from the de Santos lab? Rather than reporting the number of tests executed, should we not be counting people tested? In micro-biology, two test may be required for one person, furthermore false positive may require another test. Hence we see 4700 (tests) dwindling to about 2500.

  46. FDA Issues Recall Alert for Metformin ER Products

    June 01, 2020 02:21 pm News Staff – On May 28, the FDA announced( that it had asked five pharmaceutical firms to voluntarily recall products containing extended-release formulations of metformin hydrochloride, a drug frequently prescribed to patients with type 2 diabetes to manage blood glucose levels.

    [metformin bottle]

    The recall stems from a recent series of tests that revealed unacceptably high levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine, a probable human carcinogen, in several lots of metformin extended-release products.

    “Now that we have identified some metformin products that do not meet our standards, we’re taking action, “said Patrizia Cavazzoni, M.D., acting director of the agency’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a press release.(“As we have been doing since this impurity was first identified, we will communicate as new scientific information becomes available and will take further action, if appropriate.”

    Companies Notified

    FDA officials said in a May 29 conference call that the firms that have been contacted are

    • Actavis Pharma Inc.,
    • Amneal Pharmaceuticals, LLC,
    • Apotex Corp.,
    • Lupin Pharma and
    • Marksans Pharma Ltd.

    Of those five, the only recall notice listed on the FDA’s Recalls, Market Withdrawals & Safety Alerts page( at the time of the conference call was for all lots of metformin 500-mg tablets marketed by Apotex, a Canadian firm headquartered in Toronto. During the call, FDA officials said the agency would post additional recall notices as they are published.

    Apotex said in a company announcement( that the FDA had found elevated NDMA levels in one lot of its metformin ER, USP 500-mg tablets, which prompted the voluntary recall. Apotex noted that the firm stopped selling that particular product in the United States in February 2019 and that it has not received any reports of adverse events related to the product to date.

    Amneal has since issued its own press release( announcing voluntary withdrawal of all lots of its metformin ER 500- and 750-mg tablets. It also stated that no reports of adverse events had been received.

    Additional Direction

    The FDA is recommending that clinicians continue to prescribe metformin when clinically appropriate. In addition, the agency recommends that patients continue taking metformin products even after recalls occur until they can consult with their physician to receive a replacement prescription or different treatment option.

    All manufacturers of metformin-containing ER products are being asked to evaluate the risk of excessive NDMA in their products and to test each batch before releasing it into the U.S. market. If testing shows NDMA above the acceptable intake limit, the manufacturer should inform the agency and halt release of the batch.

    It should be noted that the recall does not apply to immediate-release metformin products.

    According to the FDA, several other firms that manufacture extended-release metformin formulations have not had their products recalled. The agency is currently evaluating whether the announced recalls will create shortages in metformin ER products and will work with manufacturers to prevent or reduce the impact of any shortages.

    Metformin is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States and is often the first oral medication prescribed for people newly diagnosed with diabetes.( According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 78 million prescriptions for metformin( were written in 2017, with extended-release versions of the drug accounting for about one-quarter of those prescriptions.(

    Related AAFP News Coverage
    Keep Type 2 Diabetes at Bay
    Evidence Shows Early Prediabetes Intervention Works


    More From AAFP
    Patient Care: Clinical Practice Guidelines: Diabetes

    Additional Resource
    MedlinePlus: Metformin(

  47. An excellent update.

    One reason a person might want the medications bought in the US is that some of the newer drugs may not be on the local ‘prescription formulary’. You either use what is available locally or reach out to other sources for the newer medications.

    As example Abilify (antipsychotic) and Anastrazole (a cancer medication) were not available in one of the islands and had to be bought here.

  48. @Theo G

    I understand the reasoning but I don’t understand how someone can prescribe medication for someone living in another country. Also, it’s not a cake walk to ship personal medication to other countries by courier. A few years ago, a relative flew to Bim and forgot some medication, I had to jump through hoops to get it sent via Fedex.

    Canada safety recall for metformin is attached

  49. Hi Sarge.
    Two very good points, but the ‘game’ is different from what you are playing.

    The patient sees a local professional and a they give him/her prescription. The physician in the US rewrites the prescription given in the Caribbean,

    (2) The medication is transported by someone who is travelling by plane to the Caribbean.

  50. Bostic wants nursing school
    AN APPEAL IS being made for Barbados to establish a nursing school.
    Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic made the call yesterday during the launch of the new auxiliary nursing programme at the Barbados Community College (BCC).
    “As we launch this nursing programme, I strongly believe that nursing is too important and too huge an undertaking for it to be just under some other department in this institution. I would love to see the day when there is a Barbados Community College Nursing School and then we could really do some good work in this country. [We] would also be able to facilitate some of our sister territories that do not have the capacity to train. I hope this is the direction the college goes.”
    His statement was followed by loud applause and cheers.
    Bostic added that health care was one of the most critical industries in Barbados and enough was not being done to address the challenges the sector was experiencing.
    “The task of providing health care in this country is an enormous one and the expanse of the systems and the facilities that are required to deliver this health care are very huge and demanding, in terms of being able to provide for those institutions.
    “The human resources component of this enormous task is perhaps the most critical and this is one of the areas that over the years we have not paid sufficient attention to. As a result, we find ourselves with shortages of human resources in nursing. Not only in terms of quantity but qualitatively, (in terms of) specialty areas, we find ourselves lagging behind. I feel it is important to us to be able to address this issue and ensure that we have a sustainable and an appropriately trained workforce to provide the comprehensive health care services.”
    The minister added there was a need for more auxiliary nurses as Barbados had an ageing population.
    “Barbados is an ageing society and this will continue for a long time to come. Do we have enough resources in place to adequately provide for what is our reality? Not yet, I don’t think so.
    “Nursing auxiliaries can play a very significant role in this country not only in elderly care but community care . . . . It is imperative that going forward, we try to build up some sort of capacity that would allow us to be able to look after our elderly in their own homes and communities.”
    Huge task
    He added that caring for the elderly was such a huge task that Government had to partner with private elderly care facilities to properly service the health care needs of that demographic, noting that in spite of this there was still a great demand for more elderly caregivers.
    Professor Velma Newton, chairman of the BCC, said it was her dream, along with others on the board of management, to see such an institution set up.
    “We do believe it is time there is a special facility for nursing,” she said. “That it would be moved from the department division it is currently a part of because there is a major shortage here in Barbados and other countries in the region as well. If we can get the resources together to set up a nursing school, I think it would be a good thing for Barbados and the region.”
    The new auxiliary programme, which started last week with its first cohort of 35 students, is a six-month certificate course that entails training in basic nursing procedures such as taking vital signs, administering medication at the advice of a doctor, and caring for incapacitated patients.
    The launch ceremony was held at the Howell’s Road, St Michael institution.
    The programme is a joint initiative between the college and Sagicor Life Inc. (SB)

    Source: Nation Newspaper

  51. Another test for prostate cancer detection
    BARBADIAN MEN have another route to early detection of prostate cancer through a new experimental test called Prostate Circulating Antigen (PCA).
    The Barbados Cancer Society, where the test is being conducted along with the familiar Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), is targeting about 500 men with half of that number in the first instance.
    “Right now, we only have about 119 and they are coming in around about 20 to 25 twice a week. So it will take us a few weeks to get through the [process],” said president of the Barbados Cancer Society, Dr Dorothy Cooke-Johnson, during a press briefing yesterday at the Society’s headquarters at Henry’s Lane, Collymore Rock, St Michael.
    She said the PSA can be confirmed in about a few weeks from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, but the PCA might take a month after they are sent to Yale University in the United States. The two results will be compared and evaluations made.
    Blood sample
    The PCA is based on the collection of a blood sample – similar to the PSA – where from this small amount it is possible to detect a “novel, and very specific circulating gene signature, composed of fragments of DNA associated with the presence of prostate cancer or ‘pre-cancer’ … referred to as a ‘biomarkers’ ”.
    It was explained that the biomarkers can lead to earlier and more specific diagnosis “even when the tumor is minute and can also indicate through the DNA fragment characteristics, the degree of aggressiveness of the future tumor”.
    Cooke-Johnson said Barbados is one of the few countries to offer the test and is free to Barbadian men.
    Participants in the programme gave a thumbs up to the procedure.
    “I am very positive about the whole programme. All men who deal with prostate know that is something we have to face. If somebody offers the opportunity for early diagnosis I think you should take part, especially if it is a research programme,” said one of the attendees.
    Another participant said he was very positive about the project and said it offered another option to the digital exam on which he was not keen.
    The Society was alerted to the procedure through its first vicepresident Professor R. David Rosen, who contacted Professor Irvin Modlin, of Yale University. He was invited to Barbados which has become one of the few handpicked organisations worldwide investigating the test. (JS)

  52. Kidney disease warning for Bajans

    by TONY BEST

    AS THE UNITED STATES’ best known infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, warned Americans they may soon have to “hunker down” in the face of a second wave of COVID-19 in the fall and winter seasons, a top transplant surgeon is urging Bajans to beware the highly infectious virus and its potentially deadly complications.
    Dr Velma Scantlebury, a Barbadian and the world’s first black female transplant surgeon, said people in her birthplace should remember some key things about the coronavirus and its dangers to people everywhere, especially the elderly and those with underlying conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
    Key organs
    At the top of the list is that COVID-19, the disease which has led to the global pandemic, can affect key organs such as the heart, lung, liver and kidneys. “It can cause lasting kidney damage,” the award-winning surgeon told the DAILY NATION. “And Barbadians, like people everywhere, should get tested and be careful.”
    Next, COVID-19 is not like the flu, explained the surgeon who grew up in Goodland in St Michael and came to the US from Barbados as a teenager.
    It is a novel virus that can cause severe complications which can end in death, added Dr Scantlebury, who attended Columbia University in New York and was selected by a top transplant surgeon in the US to be trained in that field.
    Third, young Bajans, as in the case of youthful Americans, Canadians, Europeans, Asians and others, can “end up with severe consequences” if they become infected with the virus.
    Kidney damage
    “You should get checked (medically) for kidney damage,” said Dr Scantlebury. “If you have underlying kidney disease – high blood pressure or diabetes – and your kidney function is okay – not great but not a problem – it can certainly worsen your underlying kidney issue and it becomes important to follow it up if you have a COVID infection. “You should ensure that you get your kidney function monitored. You should have someone check the protein in your urine and check your creatinine to make sure it is not higher.
    “Patients can resolve most of their injuries but if they have an underlying injury to their kidneys despite having what appears to be a normal creatinine, they can still end up with a worsening kidney function.”
    The Barbadian gave her birthplace good marks for its management of the virus when the outbreak occurred several months ago.
    Barbados was able to keep a lid on the spread of the virus, which has taken almost a million lives globally – more than 198 000 of them in the US – since March. She agreed with the decision to reopen schools, saying it would have been difficult to keep the thousands of students out of the classrooms.
    “Barbados has done a good job controlling the spread of the virus,” said Dr Scantlebury, who has chronicled her rise to the highest rungs of the medical ladder in the US in her well written 240page autobiography, Beyond Every Wall, Becoming the First Black Female Transplant Surgeon.
    “The Government was right to shut down the country when it did. That helped to curb any spread of the virus.
    Barbados managed the situation very well and I am sure it will continue to do so in the months and years ahead,” she said.
    “It is very difficult to keep young children in schools from interacting with each other, but it is important to ensure that they wear their masks and that social distancing and contact tracing are carried out.
    “As a surgeon, I have grown accustomed to wearing masks all day and I am sure people in Barbados would get accustomed to it because it protects you.”
    Like Rihanna, the Grammy- award winning music icon whose roots are in Barbados and who praised her mother for her success in business, especially her concepts of beauty, Dr Scantlebury also paid tribute to her mother, Kathleen Scantlebury, for the guidance and commitment to education which the surgeon traced to Barbados and Christian beliefs. “My mother made sure we were always at school,” she wrote in her autobiography. “Excellence was demanded. As part of a new generation (in Barbados) we had better options for further education.”
    “The opportunities for advancement, for accumulating wealth, for snaring the future she knew we all deserved were all tied to excellence in educational pursuits.”

  53. Ethical side of medicine
    By Gercine Carter
    Throughout a 55-year career, Sir Errol Walrond promoted the practice of high ethical standards in the medical profession, while serving as a clinician, surgeon, educator, and as administrator and policy driver for surgical and medical education throughout the West Indies.
    For over 20 years, his knowledge and wisdom about the many ethical issues that undoubtedly arise in the practice of medicine have been informing his contribution as main discussant at the case conferences he was instrumental in convening for this very purpose.
    Today, at 84, the Professor Emeritus of Surgery and former dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of the West Indies (UWI), retains a storehouse of information collected in these monthly conferences in which he continues to participate. He has now chronicled those cases, the ethical issues and the discussion surrounding them in his latest book, A Question Of Ethics: Case Conferences In Everyday Ethical And Legal Issues.
    In a review of the just-released 339-page book, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and African- American Studies at Yale University, Dr Ezra Griffith, wrote: “All caregivers must understand the familiarity with the professional ethics that undergird our work [and] is a foundation that supports high quality in our caregiving. It is also the best sign that we believe in the inherent dignity of our patients.”
    Explaining his motivation for writing the book, Sir Errol harked back to 30 years ago when he was dean of the Faculty of Medicine at UWI, Cave Hill, and was moved to organise his first case conference for clinicians.
    Did not like behaviour
    “I kept getting people saying to me, mainly people from outside the profession – friends, sometimes patients – that they did not like the behaviour of the young doctors who were coming out, and that they did not seem to have the ethical principles of the older doctors.
    “I felt it was a general problem with how people were seeing the ethics of the profession . . . . I think that meant generally that people were getting more information about their conditions and they were beginning to question the ethics about how some of their illnesses were being handled,” he told the Sunday Sun in an interview. “I thought that we needed to look at the question more generally. I organised a conference which brought together some of the professionals and it came to us that while they were teaching the technical business of looking after patients, we were not teaching how they deal when they met a problem that was not technical.”
    Those case conferences have continued for the last 20 years, with the latest held as recently as last week. Sir Errol records complex cases presented by many clinicians over the years, discusses the associated ethical issues and gives insight into the challenges for both doctor and patient,
    Continued on next page.
    Sir Errol writes about ethics and legal issues facing medical practitioners as well as suggestions offered for possible courses of action. In the placid setting of a shaded patio overlooking the lush gardens of his St James home, as he thumbed through the pages of the book, Sir Errol said it discussed “some very thorny issues”.
    “There are situations where care is futile and sometimes it is the patient, sometimes it is the family, sometimes it is the doctors who are pushing for every minute of life when they know that they are not going to succeed. Those are complex situations.
    One thing I learnt in listening over the years and seeing the advances in medicine over the years is that sometimes what appears futile now is an advance in care in a few years’ time. So you need to have a mental framework of how you are going to handle it and what will be the limits, and those limits have to be individualised.”
    Rules of conduct
    Referring to the section “Professional Conduct And Risk”, aimed at the doctors and medical students, Sir Errol said: “There are a number of things in there where I would want the public and the profession to understand what are the rules of conduct. For instance, there is a proper way of doing a consultation or getting a second opinion . . . . The fact that doctors and sometimes nurses are sometimes ill themselves and they are still working – who bells that cat? Who is going to say you are too ill to work?
    “That is very important and it includes the areas where the practitioner may get into trouble in terms of medical malpractice and negligence, and they need to understand what are the parameters.”
    He related a story about a doctor in a London hospital where he was working as a medical student.
    “This is a case that I always tell them [participants in case conferences] about, that illustrates when you think you are doing good but you are doing it without consent, how you are liable for battery.”
    Acute appendicitis
    He outlined how a male patient was brought into the hospital for an operation for acute appendicitis and said during the operation the anaesthetist drew the surgeon’s attention to a large lump on the patient’s head which was making it very difficult for the anaesthesia to be administered. Identifying the lump as a lipoma, the doctor removed it after having performed the appendectomy for which the patient had originally been admitted to hospital.
    However, soon after the patient’s discharge, the hospital received a suit from the patient’s lawyer claiming substantial damages for loss of income. Only then did the doctor discover the patient worked in a circus as a two-headed man.
    The collection of cases also highlights issues such as whether an unborn child has rights; weighs decisions related to religious beliefs against life-saving medical decisions; explores the legal role of alternative practitioners in medical practice; the doctor’s role in cases of child abuse; and matters of patient consent and confidentiality. Sir Errol also gives the public access to medical insights which would not ordinarily be available to them.
    This is his second book on ethical issues, following the first, Ethical Practice In Everyday Health Care,
    released in 2005.
    Sir Errol qualified as a doctor in 1960, became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Britain in 1964 and was the founding president of the Caribbean College of Surgeons, which seeks to set standards for surgeons in the practice of surgery and surgical education. He retired from UWI as a professor in 2001 and was honoured with the title of Professor Emeritus in 2001. He retired from the practice of medicine completely in 2015.
    “Everything I did, I tried to make it a teaching moment and sometimes that teaching moment was the patients,” he said.

  54. Another hospital definitely not needed
    THE RECENT MENTION of “bed-blocking” at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) by elderly incapacitated patients has led to the media highlighting a view that “Another hospital is way overdue” (DAILY NATION, Tuesday, November 3) Nothing could be further from the truth.
    Barbados has a larger proportion of elderly citizens than most CARICOM countries. There are several reasons for this: 1. the largely physically active lifestyle before Independence promoted longevity, 2. we probably have a healthier gene pool, for historical reasons linked to the slave trade, and 3. continuing emigration of younger people to North America.
    Unfortunately, the epidemiological transition, with a largely inactive lifestyle since Independence, has produced an epidemic of chronic diseases, which greatly increase the morbidity of the elderly – a high prevalence of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and their consequences such as strokes and amputations, and hence significant disability and dependence.
    But this does not mean that hugely expensive tertiary care beds in a second or expanded hospital are needed. Our beds to population ratio is as good as most Western countries. Incapacitated elderly-forcare do not need intensive and costly tertiary care. As the Prime Minister has pointed out, the QEH beds cost five times as much as Geriatric Hospital beds. What is needed is a multifaceted approach, with several key programmes, to prevent the “bed-blocking” the minister commented on, which has in fact been going on for decades and fluctuates with fluctuations in staffing, operation of equipment such as X-ray and lab services, morale and other causes of variable efficiency of overall care.
    The first need to deal with the current problem is adequate residential accommodation – the Geriatric Hospital, infirmary and elderly care-home beds. The latter is a programme of private care that has been operating for some years. Infirmary beds were seriously reduced with the demolition of the Christ Church Infirmary at Oistins and, more recently, closure of that in St Lucy. The Geriatric Hospital has accommodated more than 500 patients for much of the past. Is it being efficiently utilised today, to accommodate those described as “left” at the QEH and said to be “blocking beds”?
    Day-care centres
    The medium-term solution is the provision of day-care centres. I have written and spoken repeatedly – in conferences, columns and in the Senate – for 40 years about the obvious benefits of such facilities. The example of the St Barnabas Church Day Care Centre is a role model that can easily be followed both by many of our churches which have church halls and similar outbuildings, and by government and the private sector.
    Such a centre not only maintains activity into old age for a longer period, delaying dependence, but solves the problem of day care for many elderly subjects and families.
    The long-term solutions, of course, include both the broad public health and educational approaches advocated by the Chronic Non-Communicable Disease Commission led by Sir Trevor Hassell, and the expansion of the support health care services of rehabilitation therapy (occupational therapy and physical therapy), which help to delay invalidity, accelerate recovery from illness and hospitalisation, and help the disabled to function in their own homes.
    We certainly do not need another hospital or a new hospital in order to improve our health services and the care of the elderly. In fact, some 14 years ago the then Minister of Health commissioned an extensive study by the leading hospital consulting team, Capita, Norman and Dawbarn. The better of their two options proposed, that of a complete rehab and improvement job and a state-of-the-art new multi-storey wing to the north, was estimated to cost just under $600 million. They also suggested a new hospital, with fewer beds, at an estimated cost of just under $900 million – 50 per cent more.
    I am relieved that this Government is not being misled into proposing a new hospital, as we do simply do not need one and would not be able to afford it anyway.
    What we do need, as shown in the study of health care human resources commissioned by the Faculty of Medical Sciences in 2007, are increases in several categories of health professionals. Our problems are all soluble by an evidence-based, multifaceted approach and improved efficiency at all levels – not by more bricks and mortar.
    Professor Emeritus Sir Henry Fraser is a professor of medicine and clinical pharmacology.
    What is needed is a multifaceted approach, with several key programmes, to prevent
    the ‘bed-blocking’ the minister commented on, which has in fact been going on for decades . . .


  55. Mobilise against diabetes
    The diabetes epidemic is not an overnight problem, but part of a wider failure at the national level to tackle preventable diseases
    BARBADOS IS TAKEN up with the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and rightly so, given the health and economic threat it poses. There is, however, another major disease which is impacting a significant number of individuals and by extension their relatives and the nation.
    The devastation diabetes is causing should have a similar kind of national coordinated effort to that which is being placed on containing the coronavirus pandemic and which was done in the fight against HIV/AIDS. It requires a united effort across the public and private sectors, ranging from funding studies at the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre to placing more emphasis on healthy lifestyles in the workplace.
    Diabetes is inflicting significant financial and medical stress on our health system and national budget and threatens the livelihoods of too many people in a nation whose majority black population appears genetically predisposed to the disease.
    More than 425 million people worldwide live with diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation study of 2017, with many going undetected. One in every five Barbadians is believed to be affected by the disease, which is a major cause of death.
    The non-communicable disease specialists have for some years been raising the alarm about the spread of diabetes and there has been some positive response to their appeals for Barbadians to change their lifestyles. The importance of early detection of diabetes so it can be managed through diet, exercise and medication cannot be overemphasised.
    There is an evident increase in physical activity and a greater consciousness of trying to eat the right foods.
    Unfortunately, we are a copycat society and have adopted North American fast food culture by eating and drinking too much of the wrong things. This lifestyle is killing too many Barbadians quickly and quietly.
    The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is consistently full of diabetic cases while surgical wards deal with a high percentage of diabetes-related causes.
    Barbados has gained notoriety for the number of amputations carried out because of diabetes-related problems.
    Healthy foods
    The diabetes epidemic is not an overnight problem, but part of a wider failure at the national level to tackle preventable diseases which exposes the vulnerability of many Barbadians, not only to the COVID-19 virus but a wide range of other health issues. There are too many people predisposed to heart and kidney diseases, strokes, circulation problems and even sexual dysfunction.
    The society faces some pervasive inequalities as a result of the severe economic fallout created by COVID-19 which has put 40 000 people out of work.
    Making healthy foods affordable must be a national priority in the effort to control diabetes. The “No-sugar November” initiative trending online is a welcome effort which should be expanded.
    The country needs a clearly enunciated long-term strategy to reduce the prevalence of diabetes.

  56. BAMP warns against dengue delay
    Bajans ‘waiting too late to get checks’
    TOO MANY PEOPLE are waiting too late to go to the doctor to check if they have dengue fever.
    This is according to president of the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP), Dr Lynda Williams, who said while some deem having a fever as symptomatic of COVID-19, that might not be the case.
    “Once we feel someone is coming down with dengue fever, we treat and act and encourage people to present. What has been happening is that I find people have been presenting late and have been symptomatic for days. I don’t know if that is because they are afraid they have something else, but people have been presenting quite late and with advanced stages of dehydration,” she told the DAILY NATION.
    Williams urged anyone feeling lethargic; experiencing pain behind the eyes, headaches, back and joint aches; and/or a rash or generalised itching all over the body, to consult their medical practitioner, particularly if they also had a fever.
    Always vigilant
    “We are always vigilant for dengue. It is an unusual time to be having a dengue outbreak of this magnitude at this time of year, but we are always watchful for the signs of dengue.
    “Of course, people presenting with fever must be interviewed before they even come in the office to find out if there were any respiratory symptoms or other symptoms, so we can differentiate between dengue and possible COVID,” she said.
    Williams, who was recently named as part of Government’s new COVID-19 communications team, said while she could not speak to the number of confirmed dengue cases as that data was collected at the Ministry of Health, there had been more deaths than usual related to the virus.
    Suspect cases
    “When we have suspect cases of dengue, we report them. [The ministry] also does . . . surveillance where they look at certain sites to see how many dengue cases are presenting and see whether there is a rise in cases or not. That’s how we know we are having an increased outbreak,” she said.
    When contacted, Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George said he did not have the statistics to hand, but would be in a better position later this week to provide them.
    Describing dengue as an endemic disease, the BAMP president said it was always around and could flare up at certain times.
    “The thing with dengue is it can develop a very low platelet count and people can develop haemorrhagic fever where they start to bleed suddenly. If you think you have dengue, even if you remain well hydrated, you should still get checked by your doctor to make sure that you’re not having a low platelet count,” Williams said.
    “We encourage everybody who is not feeling well, if you’re having fever, call your doctor’s office. If you’re not having fever, still call and find out and go and be seen and diagnosed. Self-diagnosis and treatment is not always beneficial, so we want to encourage people if they’re not feeling well to be checked,” she said.
    During a media conference at Ilaro Court last December 28, Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic said the authorities were taking dengue as seriously as COVID-19.
    Mosquito breeding sites
    “We have contracted about 40 additional persons to assist the Environmental Unit to locate mosquito breeding sites. We have spent a considerable amount of money in terms of purchasing both hand-held foggers as well as truck-mounted foggers and we are awaiting the arrival of the foggers.
    “As soon as those machines are here, then we are going to be able to employ four fogging teams – two in the northern half of the country and two in the southern,” he added.
    Over the weekend, Chief Environmental Health Officer Francina Bascombe confirmed that from this week, the Vector Control Unit would restart its fogging programme. (RA)

    Source: Nation

  57. A case of a misdiagnosis by QEH?

    Malcolm’s blessing in hour of need
    AFTER MORE THAN TWO DECADES of “a marriage made in heaven”, 55-yearold pharmacist Malcolm O’Neale is facing the darkest days of his life.
    In 2000, he took the hand of Thirza in marriage and she bore him three children. His wife, who is of Montserratian descent, came to Barbados after the Soufriere volcano erupted in Montserrat in 1995. After qualifying as a pharmacist, she took time out to homeschool their children before entering the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology to study draftsmanship in 2019.
    On completion of her studies there she returned to the civil s ervice to continue her work as a pharmacist.
    It was while there that she started to experience severe abdominal pain and “nothing was staying down”.
    Thirza underwent a CT scan and it showed a mass in the area of the colon and lesions on the liver.
    The couple knew that they were dealing with a medical emergency and she was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where she was admitted.
    ‘Not malignant’
    Thirza was discharged one week later in the first week of April last year with medication and “the assurance that the lesions were not malignant”. However, the pain persisted.
    Malcolm said his wife became a QEH outpatient for several weeks thereafter, but there was no change in her condition.
    The couple then decided to see a private medical specialist who, after several tests, decided to do a colonoscopy.
    “This was now into November and my wife was enduring severe pain all of this time,” Malcolm told the DAILY NATION.
    He added that the costs of the various scans were astronomical and the emotional and financial stresses were taking a toll on them. Though he had health insurance, it was taking too long to get the money and he was out of pocket in a “big way”.
    But worse was to follow. By the end of November the news on her diagnosis was devastating.
    “The doctor told us that based on the results of the biopsy it was cancer.”
    They were then referred to a surgeon who the specialist said would handle the situation from there.
    But the words of the surgeon were even more horrifying.
    “I am sorry, but there is nothing I can do for you because it’s Stage 4 cancer. What you were told is not accurate because not only is it the late stage, but the lesions are not localised on the liver, instead they have spread there,” Malcolm said the surgeon told them.
    He said they were further told that it was inoperable and that because the cancer had spread to the liver, “it would appear to be terminal”.
    Malcolm said his world appeared to be crumbling around him.
    The surgeon’s findings, along with those of the QEH, were then sent to an oncologist in January this year with a recommendation of chemotherapy. However, because of Thirza’s weakened state it was not practical to administer it.
    “You know what is hurtful? My wife had four blood transfusions, costs for two of which were sponsored by my church, but none of those could bring her to the level where she could start chemo,” he lamented.
    Desperate for a solution, Malcolm tried alternative medicine [natural products] which he believed might prolong her life.
    With mounting financial pressures and the insurance money only covering, in some instances, 80 per cent of the costs and in others, he was told that they were not covered, he was in a “deep financial bind”.
    It was then that a friend introduced him to the “blessing circle”.
    He had several reservations about joining because he had heard of many scams that left scores of people counting their losses.
    But his options were all but dried up and his back was against the wall.
    The administrators of the circle told him that it would give him cash in hand so that when his 47-year-old wife needed it, she would have it.
    Her situation had deteriorated to the point where she could barely use her legs and Malcolm had to be lifting her around. This resulted in him developing venous insufficiency – a condition which occurs when the leg veins don’t allow blood to flow back up to one’s heart.
    Malcolm joined the circle. He waited for eight weeks as the administrators told him he was “blessed out” with the money he so desperately needed.
    “One of the first things I did was to buy her a wheelchair. Without that money I would not have been able to do anything more financially for her.”
    Both his wife and his mother-in-law have also joined the circle to shore up the funds so that she could have the best of care.
    Thirza is now being looked after by a nurse “all because of the blessing circle”.
    But Malcolm said he continues to wrestle with thoughts of despair as he confessed his eternal love for Thirza and their three children.
    Today, he has placed the situation “with my dear wife” in God’s hands and has thanked the blessing circle for coming to his assistance in his hour of need.

    Source: Nation


    Dementia symptoms increased due to lockdown
    A Sun, 03/14/2021 – 5:40am
    By: Cara L. Jean-Baptiste

    Speaking during a recent virtual lecture hosted by the Federal High School Alumni, Lennox Rochester, Occupational Therapist, highlighted that since the lockdown, a number of people have reported increases in their dementia symptoms due to the reduced stimulation and not being able to go out, and believed that this was something that needed to be addressed.

    He went on to speak on ways in which persons could reduce their risks of getting dementia and noted that while more research was needed to prove that these steps did indeed significantly reduce a person’s risk of getting dementia, they were still beneficial.

    “There is no sure way to prevent dementia, but there are steps that you can take that might help,” he said.

    “Keep your mind active. Doing activities such as reading, solving puzzles, playing word games, memory training, might delay the onset of dementia and decrease its effects. Be physically and socially active; we might have a problem there because due to the pandemic, we are being urged to be less socially active.”

    Rochester noted that it was important to make sure you were getting enough vitamins and taking care of and managing any cardiovascular diseases.

    Additionally, he noted that it was important to get quality sleep as the body tended to repair itself during that time.

    He went on to stress that dementia was a normal part of ageing and could occur in normal people, whether or not they had a family history of the disease.

    “Research shows us that the lack of exercise increases the risk of dementia, and while no special diet is shown to reduce dementia, research indicates a great incidence of dementia in persons who eat unhealthy diets compared to those who eat healthy,” he added.

    Source: BarbadosAdvocate

  59. Spike in NCDs
    QEH battling bed space with wave of patients, says Cave
    HAVING SUCCESSFULLY CONTROLLED the spread of COVID-19 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), the facility now has a new challenge on its hands.
    It is now battling a sharp rise in people requiring hospitalisation as a result of non-communicable diseases (NCD).
    This concern was raised by Director of Medical Services at the QEH, Dr Clyde Cave, who said yesterday, on World Health Day, that the situation was at such worrying proportions that bed space had become a serious struggle and had resulted in setbacks in plans to tackle the mounting backlog of elective and non-emergency procedures.
    “It is now a slow process for us to get everything going in terms of the backlog. The main factor that we are facing right now is the availability of patient beds in the hospital. This is an occurrence similar to what we saw last year right after that lockdown. A lot of vulnerable patients stayed away from their usual source of medical care and, as a result, they started to get sicker,” Cave said, while not disclosing whether the QEH had reached its maximum capacity of 519 in-patient beds.
    “We are now seeing that wave of patients again.
    So, at the moment, it is not the COVID-19 disease that we are being overwhelmed with but rather it is normal health cases that have been made worse by the lack or perceived lack of access to the usual preventative medical care,” he added.
    This development is one which Cave chalks up to a consequence of last February’s one-month lockdown.
    He explained that during the lockdown, with much of the national health focus on vaccinations and testing for COVID-19, there was a perceived lack of access to the normal channels of preventative care and, consequently, there has been a spike in complications from NCDs. He revealed that the majority of patients have presented with complications from hypertension and diabetes.
    ‘Main culprits’
    “Hypertension and diabetes are predominantly the main culprits, but other things have also popped up. It may have been a case where they may have just not taken their medication for a while, so we are starting to see breakdowns. This goes for persons who have not taken their cardiac medication or who should have been monitored for a change of their blood pressure medication and now things have gotten out of control,” said Cave.
    He added: “We are also seeing more cases of diabetics who had a scratch on their foot that was not monitored and have now developed an ulcer. These types of things we would have normally taken for granted before because everybody had easy access to early care. But once that was postponed, the cases are getting more serious.”
    However, the senior paediatrician is confident that the upsurge in NCD complications will be brought under control soon. Saying it was a good sign that the country was managing the COVID-19 situation well, Cave added that this would allow for a quicker refocus of the hospital’s efforts. He said the hospital being free of the virus in recent weeks was a good sign the facility could ramp up the return of more of its services.
    “The QEH is a microcosm of the country and the COVID-19 cases that appeared among the staff was a reflection of what was in the community. These were not infections that were picked up from patients. So the kudos must go to the public and the public health strategist and everybody that implemented the community measures because in controlling the community, we have also protected the hospital,” he said.

    Source: Nation

  60. Only four QEH ambulances up
    Mechanical issues and accidents have reduced the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s (QEH) ambulance service’s fleet from ten to four vehicles.
    However, consultant and head of the Emergency Ambulance Service (EAS), Dr David Byer said that with two new vehicles expected to arrive later this year, they will be in a better position to respond to the 15 000 calls received annually.
    He was responding to a query from this newspaper after ambulances were seen parked at Nassco’s River Road, St Michael workshop. He explained that their mechanical maintenance programme was carried out by the QEH’s mechanics and Nassco.
    “Our Emergency Ambulance Service has a total of ten registered ambulances in its fleet. Of these vehicles, two are not functional due to exhaustive mechanical issues, two more have been written off following motor vehicle accidents, and another two are currently undergoing short-term mechanical repairs and are expected to return to service within one to three weeks. As such, there are currently only four vehicles in active service.
    “Unfortunately, this means that there are occasions when we do not always
    have an adequate complement of ambulances to deal with the public demand. In such instances, these services are outsourced to private providers who assist us with covering the shortfall,” Byer said.
    Despite this, he said they had the manpower which allowed for four to six crews to be on duty at any time, and that each ambulance was “more than wellequipped” to deal with both traumatic and nontraumatic incidents.
    Byer said the EAS received about 1 250 calls a month, equating to around 15 000 a year. Sixty-nine per cent are emergencies or urgent calls. Of the remainder, 30 per cent are considered less urgent calls and one per cent non-urgent.
    “Over the past several years the call volume has remained about the same. However, with the advent of COVID-19 last year, the EAS quickly had to institute additional precautionary measures based on the COVID-19 guidelines to ensure the safety of both staff and our patients.”
    He added that although emergency medical technicians were not dispatched during the active phase of Hurricane Elsa last week, they still took calls and provided medical advice.
    “Once the all-clear was given, all calls received
    were responded to in order of the most urgent to the least serious. As usual, post a national shutdown, the teams were significantly busier but preparation is always key in these instances. As such, we were well-positioned to manage the onslaught of calls and requests for assistance,” said Bryan.

    Source: Nation

  61. Move on pesticide can disposal

    The Ministry of Agriculture is rolling out a pesticide container management scheme to create more awareness about the importance of proper pesticide container disposal.
    Speaking on Wednesday during the launch of the programme held at River Plantation in St Philip, Minister of Agriculture Indar Weir said too many farmers were incorrectly disposing of the containers, which not only harmed the environment but posed a serious threat to people.
    “. . . This is a serious cause for concern,” he said. “For not only is the practice a danger to our environment, but it poses a direct risk to persons who may use the container, unaware of its original contents.
    “Farmers, you have the responsibility to eliminate any health hazard on your farm, by ensuring that areas under cultivation or where animals are being kept are always well maintained.”
    Weir added that the ministry was also planning to start a purchase control programme on the chemicals, as the general public having readily access to them was another area of concern.
    “Our intention is to also do a management programme on the sale of pesticides, given the fact that anybody can walk in a hardware store, feed shop or a farm shop and purchase pesticides. Because of the dangers, especially in glyphosate for example, where it was reported in the news in the United States that a company had to pay out large sums of money in a lawsuit because they were sued by a user [who said] he had suffered from cancer as a result of using that product.
    “So we are definitely going to be restricting the sale of pesticides to the general public and then there would be a protocol in place for farmers to have access to them.”
    Although he did not say when the programme would take effect, Weir said that people would soon have to seek some form of authorisation from his ministry or from the Environmental Protection Department.
    Parliamentary representative for St Philip North, Dr Sonia Browne, said it was important that this scheme be implemented as the public needed to be educated about the risk of sickness and even infertility that some pesticides could cause.
    Regional pesticides management project coordinator at the Food and Agriculture Organisation Guy Mathurin said pesticide containers were often reused for other purposes and in some cases all the residue of the original contents was not completely removed.
    He advised farmers and other users to adopt a triple rinse method to properly clean the containers. ( SB)

    Source: Nation

  62. Prepare the Body to Fight, Fight, Fight!

    Posted on by DavidOne comment Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    The SARs-CoV-2 virus has moved from epidemic (outbreak in Wuhan, China) to pandemic (spread across several countries) to possible endemic (in simple explanation, the virus will constantly exist like the common flu). Some on BU have been advocating priority must be given by public health officials in through reminders to the public – see Dr. Doughlin’s excellent video –

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  63. Giving immune system a needed boost

    I AM ECSTATIC when readers engage my interest about topics which are herbal. Last week, I received many calls about the use of pine needles for building the immune system. Those readers were truly fascinated with what they had read about pine needles as a tea.
    I also received a call from a reader in Miami, Florida who inquired about pine needles as a tea to boost the immune system. Although, I will share what I know about silent doctor pine needles, I still must inform you that we have reliable immune builders in the Caribbean.
    We can use many healing herbs including green leafy vegetables, fruit especially Bajan cherries, grapefruit and limes. It is also good to use ginger, garlic, nuts, spices, turmeric, tamarinds, black seed oil and any combinations recommended by health care providers.
    We can blend these listed items into smoothies or boosters. We can use more vegetable salads with our meals and coconut oil as a dressing. It is imperative that we ensure that our immune systems are in good working order.
    The Creator had a reason for ensuring that our bodies are equipped with such a system. All I can say is “to God be the glory”. In 2 Timothy 1:7 we read, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
    Let us turn our attention to silent doctor pine needle to be respectful to those readers who made the enquiry. The tea can be used to treat respiratory challenges including sore throat, coughs ad asthma. It will also boost the immune system, improve eye health, improve blood circulation and prevent dandruff and hair loss.
    The web page https:// familyhealthadvocacy. com/10-unbelievablethings- you-never-knewabout- pine-needle-tea/ states that, “Pine needle tea was often used by indigenous cultures for treating respiratory problems. The encyclopedia of American Indian Contributions to the World records how the native Americans used white pine for its expectorant and decongestant qualities.”
    The webpage further states, “Drinking a cup or two of pine needle tea per day will help fuel your body with antioxidants, which are highly important for the
    functioning of your body and blood. Pine needles possesses a slew of antioxidants, in the form of vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as a host of flavonoids.”
    Finally, we have to be very aware of the foods we consume in these times. We now have to ensure that we truly include immune-boosting and energy-giving foods in our diet. As we browse the web, I implore you to include research about immune boosting food, teas, drinks, salads and desserts in your newfound quest for healthy alternatives.

    Annette Maynard-Watson, a teacher and herbal educator, may be contacted via

    Source: Nation

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