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Nairobi News : December 16th 2013
16 Monday, Dec 16 - Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013 nairobinews.co.ke Kisingu Mulia Nutrition JOY IN THE JOURNEY The day I dealt with stigma first-hand Overcome. Mwikali has gone for counselling and now realises that it is not only the public that looks down on the infected, but also the patients themselves Onions help prevent heart disease. File, NairobiNews EAT THESE VEGGIES AND YOU WILL LIVE LONGER 1. Cayenne pepper More commonly known as chilli pepper, cayenne pepper increases blood circulation to peripheral tissues, ensuring that nutrients are delivered to needy areas. Capsicum — the potent ingredient in cayenne pepper — supports blood flow and is unequalled in its ability to boost circulation and increase heart action. Cayenne is used medicinally for its stimulant and antiseptic actions, as well as its digestive properties. Internally, capsicum reduces cholesterol and triglycerides (moving fats) and helps keep the blood flowing smoothly through veins and arteries. Cayenne pepper warms the body by dilating small capillaries and increasing circulation to the skin. Sprinkling it on your food helps prevent a big spike in blood sugar after a meal, according to a University of Tasmania study. When used regularly, Cayenne reaches every part of the body, improving the circulatory system and promoting elasticity of arteries, veins, and capillaries. It can help reduce the symptoms of asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and can help prevent arteriosclerosis, colon cancer, blood clot formation, heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism, obesity, and diabetic complications like nerve damage and heart disease. “If you master only one herb in your life, master cayenne pepper. It is more powerful than any other known herb in science today,” said Dr Richard Schulze, a medical herbalist. 2. Onions Onions contain dozens of compounds that protect us from cancer, high blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease and asthma. Onions may reduce high blood pressure if consumed regularly, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Utah. The flavonoid (water solu- ble antioxidant) quercetin in onions has been shown to prevent LDL (bad) cholesterol from oxidising and damaging artery walls. Most health professionals recommend eating raw onions for maximum benefit, but cooking makes them more versatile and doesn’t reduce their potency. In fact, quercetin can withstand the heat of cooking. Regular consumption of onions has, like garlic, been shown to lower high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, prevent atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, and reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. These beneficial effects are likely due to onion’s sulfur compounds, quercetin, chromium and vitamin B6, which help prevent heart disease by lowering high homocysteine levels, another significant risk factor for heart attack and stroke. 3.Sweet potatoes Researchers say eating sweet potatoes can add years to your life. Sweet potatoes are relatively low in calories and have no fat. They are rich in beta-carotene, having five times the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin A in one sweet potato, as well as loaded with potassium. These nutrients help to protect against heart attack and stroke. The potassium helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body cells, as well as normal heart function and blood pressure. Choose sweet potatoes that have deep orange colour, the deep- Mwikali: The gentleman was trying his best to look unperturbed but the lady only looked up when we approached the stairs as one of the nurses led us to another waiting area” healthyyou The red ribbon symbolic of the fight against HIV/Aids. People living with the virus are often discriminataed against. File, NairobiNews T here were more than 50 people in the waiting area but trust me, I have no recollection of anyone’s face. Everyone was either looking straight on or had bowed their heads. No eye contact whatsoever, I think the fear of meeting someone who knew us was common. The room could have easily been a library. No one was chatting with the other. Even the politics of the day that makes complete strangers bond in public transport was lacking. The younger people were busy on their cell phones, I guess on Facebook as a form of distraction. All the seats near the door were taken, maybe for a quick exit. Some women had their heads covered in scarves and the men had caps. I giggled when I imagined that it would be so much easier if I added a buibui to my wardrobe. Real definition My giggles did not elicit any reaction. Now I was beginning to understand the real definition of stigma. It was so sad that we could suffer like caged animals in a setting that was supposed to give us a sense of belonging. Surely, everyone knows that this government hospital is exclusively for the ‘programme’ (that is the code name I use with my siblings) and in my opinion, this is where we should have felt at ease. I had another thought coming. Among the names called out together with mine were two. A middle-aged man, probably a driver, and a lady who appeared to be either a housewife or small trader. The gentleman was trying his best to look unperturbed but the lady only looked up What is stigma? It refers to prejudice, negative attitudes, abuse and maltreatment directed at people living with HIV and Aids. The consequences of stigma and discrimination are wide-ranging: being shunned by family, peers and the wider community, poor treatment in health care and education settings, an erosion of rights, psychological damage, and a negative effect on the success of HIV testing and treatment. when we approached the stairs as one of the nurses led us to another waiting area. What I found annoying was that I had to answer the same questions I did when I was downstairs. How long have you been in the programme? Where were you tested? Picking up the n jgs (anti-retroviral mediuu cation), I think my impatience was starting to show. Why couldn’t they just hand out some forms so that we could fill in the information instead of making us repeat it at every step? Pick njugus My irritation must have been obvious be- cause she explained that the first visit takes time. I excused myself to call the office but called my girlfriend instead, to complain. This was worse than military recruitment. I was calmer after venting and so I sat down and answered all the questions. When it came to giving the name of my next of kin, I It is expressed around the world in a variety of ways, including: ostracism, rejection, and avoidance of people with Aids (PWAs), discrimination, compulsory HIV testing without prior consent or protection of confidentiality. Other forms are violence against persons who are perceived to have Aids or to be infected with HIV and quarantine of persons with HIV. was like... wait a minute... Why? The receptionist explained it was strictly for communication purposes... like if I was late in picking up the njugus. Whatever. I continued psycho-analysing my fellow programmers. I wondered how old the driver was. Was he married? Why wasn’t he accompanied by his wife? Did she know where he was? He was always one step ahead, and was asked to usher me into the cubicle as he left. I had made a friend but as soon as he was done, he vanished into thin air. I could tell it was not going to be easy to make any friends around here. The lady was as quiet and never looked up. I could feel her pain. Or was it shame, or being placed in a situation which she had no control over? Mwikali was diagnosed with HIV 10 years ago. A recent drop in her immunity forces her to start ARV therapy at the same time that she loses her job and medical cover. This is her story.
December 13th 2013
December 18th 2013