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World Food Day: Is A #ZeroHunger World Possible By 2030?

October 16 is "World Food Day" and this year, whilst over 800 million people languish in some level of hunger, the big question on the mind of experts is "if a Zero Hunger world is possibly achievable by 2030?" The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations believes very strongly that the feat is achievable but our actions today and moving forwards will just have to determine our future in regards to food security; thus the theme of this all important day this year- "OUR ACTIONS ARE OUR FUTURE"!

Global Hunger Index statistics reveal that the African continent is worse hit by the global hunger crisis, with a large portion of the continent said to be affected by serious hunger - as depicted in the map below. Whilst basic hunger has been defined in some quarters as "a condition in which a person or group of persons is/are unable to eat sufficient food to meet basic nutritional needs", we do know that, the inability to afford whatever you fancy as food, whenever you feel like it or even get satisfying quantity when you want it, is another form of hunger. According to The Hunger Project, "hunger, poverty and food prices are inextricably linked" and if you have ever lived in the third world, you will realise how ridiculous food prices get compared to the inflow of income; thus the level of serious hunger/ food insecurity noted after several surveys. Can we really achieve a "Zero Huger World by 2030"?
๐Ÿ‘€: globalhungerindex.org

Though the Global Hunger Index is said to be on a decline, which is a good sign, a significant number of the world's population still live in some form of hunger with innocent children being the most vulnerable. Malnutrition related diseases are the consequence of this sad fact. If people are still reported to die from conditions like:Protein Energy Malnutrition and Kwashiokor (extreme carbohydrate lack) around some parts of the world in this 21st Century, then we have a serious issue on our hands because every single death is one-too-many. All you need do is empathise by assuming it was a member of your family lost and you will understand better.

Though the hunger crisis always seems to outshine the appreciation of good food on such a day, today still remains World Food Day 2018 and we must appreciate the fact that, there is a wide range of great and healthy food that can be made available to people for them to choose whatever they fancy, whenever they want it. For me personally, fruits and vegetables with some wonderful piece of animal protein to go with it, are fast becoming my favourite  when it comes to a combination of food choices.  That is not to say, I do not enjoy a lovely African dish of traditional oil based or pumpkin and vegetable soup with something to swallow and numerous forms of animal protein to spice up the meal. What is your favourite?

With regards to the "Zero Hunger" question, the best we can do for now is remain optimistic and continue to make concerted efforts to see how are positive actions today, can lead to a food secure future.

 For up to date information on global efforts towards food security and more on the magnitude and effects of the food shortage/hunger problem, visit the references below. Thank you for your time. Do well to remained healthy until we see you for our next article. Also do well to drop a feedback in the comment section below. Your opinion means the world to us.

REFERENCES:
WHO|World Food Day

FAO|World Food Day

GHI|Global Hunger Index 2018

*The Hunger Project|Hunger

Simulating Childbirth to Train Medical Students with HoloLens Technology



Medical training technology company CAE Healthcare has given birth to the latest example of how augmented reality can help to build practical operating room skills for doctors and nurses. The company's newest product is called LucinaAR, which harnesses the power of the Microsoft HoloLens.

CAE's Lucina physiological simulator system consists of life-sized models, or manikins, of a mother and fetus, with movable joints and expanding uterus. With the new LucinaAR app, students can now view various stages of pregnancy projected onto the mother manikin through the HoloLens.

Image by CAE Healthcare/YouTube
For additional interactivity, students can use the HoloLens to elevate the 3D models above the physical model and walk around it. While it's designed to work with the physical simulator, LucinaAR also allows students to practice with just the HoloLens.

"The students nowadays, they come to the classroom with different expectations," said Dr. Robert Amyot, president of CAE Healthcare, in a video demonstrating the software. "They're expecting an interactive environment, something that's engaging."

In its current version, LucinaAR gives students a visual simulation of birth in a shoulder dystocia scenario, an uncommon pregnancy that presents a higher level of difficulty for delivery. With the HoloLens and the manikins, students can practice techniques for completing the process and view what's happening to the patient internally. CAE is also planning to expand the options on the LucinaAR app to include normal delivery and other emergency scenarios.


Augmented reality is quickly becoming a favourite within the healthcare industry for medical training, with the Microsoft HoloLens increasingly being the go-to device. Part of the reason for its popularity is the fact that the technology gives medical professionals real-time, three-dimensional views of the anatomy in ways that help them to better understand exactly what's happening in the context of a real patient as opposed to two-dimensional diagrams or mere training videos.

"This is the future of healthcare education," said Amyot. "Really, beyond the [spectacular] experience, there's an educational purpose that we're fulfilling that no other means or media has fulfilled up to now."

Reference

Next-Gen AR Glasses Open Possibilities of Medical Future



Virtual reality (VR) glasses tend to get the lion’s share of media coverage, while Augmented Reality (AR) glasses keep racking up wins in enterprise markets. Both have important health and medical applications. VR glasses have been found to help patients manage pain with little or no medication. AR glasses deliver information for healthcare professionals and can give vision-impaired users access to support services. AR a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. Still, after publicity surrounding the initial false start by Google and Samsung AR Glass, many people are not aware of the AR glasses market.




One of the leaders in the segment is Epson. The company recently announced a new model of their popular Moverio Smart Glasses. The BT-53 model lets users plug them into any device that uses a standard HDMI output, or that can use a USB-C connector as a display output. The glasses rely on a pair of transparent OLED panels: tiny displays fabricated on a silicon substrates. They have 1280 by 720 pixel resolution (which qualifies as “HD”) and create a virtual image that is the equivalent of an 80-inch screen viewed from 16 feet away. The two images mean that they can produce stereoscopic 3D images. They are designed to fit over most prescription glasses, and are ANSI Z87.1 compliant for use as safety glasses. They also have a 5 MP camera, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, and ambient light sensor that can gather useful data about the wearer’s location and activities.

By eliminating the separate controller box, the glasses now act as standard displays which eliminates connectivity issues. This greatly simplifies configuration issues and will make it easier to develop new applications. Here are a few applications of AR and VR in healthcare that have big potential.

Vein Visualization

Nearly half of IV injections miss the vein on the first try. AccuVein is a handheld device that aims to improve accuracy by scanning a patient’s vein network and illuminating it. Studies of the device have shown an improvement in the first stick success rate by 3.5 times.

3D Medical Imaging

Healthcare providers are constantly evaluating 2D images to diagnose illnesses, assess the effectiveness of treatments, and better understand a patient’s overall condition. EchoPixel generates 3D, interactive visualizations of that data and allows physicians to interact with them in a more realistic, contextualized way.

Immersive Training

Augmented and virtual reality have huge potential in the field of education, particularly at the intersection of education and healthcare. Medical Realities uses VR to help med students practice surgery. The company's goal is to train a generation of surgeons to have vastly superior skills than those of the generation that came before. The key is to give them more practical experience training on a wider variety of procedures by allowing them to practice virtually.
On the patient side of things, Medical Realities can also be used to help patients learn more about their upcoming procedures, with the intention of reducing stress and anxiety.

AR Needle Guidance

InnerOptic's Magic Loupe uses electromagnetic and ultrasound technology combined with AR glasses to help practitioners guide needles towards their intended location within the body. The tool aims to improve accuracy by restoring the healthcare professional's hand-eye coordination during procedures that are currently done using primarily ultrasound.

VR Gaming as Treatment

Although gaming is not the only industry that can benefit from AR, games can certainly play a role in medical applications. Vivid Vision is a virtual reality gaming system that trains and improves eye conditions like amblyopia and strabismus — all while the patient plays.

References

This Amazing Wearable Breast Pump Technology is changing the Breast Feeding game.


With groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommending that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months or longer, it’s no wonder the rates of breastfed babies have risen dramatically in the last 16 years. Statistics shows that in 2002, 37.9% of babies were breastfed for at least six months and 71.9% were breastfed for some time.  The latest available statistics, representing babies born, indicate that 57.6% are breastfed for six months and 83.2% at least for some time. Not all mothers are able to breastfeed their babies all the time, and so have to pump milk for storage to be used later. This is especially true for working mothers;


Pumping breast milk can be inconvenient, as most systems require a bulky system with lots of parts. The situation is improving, however, as companies are developing pumping systems that a woman can wear under her clothing. There are popular devices like the Willow Wearable Breast Pump shown above, a device that fits inside a woman’s bra while it collects milk in one-time-use bags. Chiaro Technology is the company that founded the Elvie Trainer, which is a mobile kegel exercise feedback device.


The same company recently announced the Elvie Pump. Described as “the world’s first silent wearable breast pump,” the Evie Pump is currently available on a waitlist status only. Designed to be worn inside a standard nursing bra, the Elvie Pump has five parts for easy assembly and cleaning. An associated iOS or Android app monitors milk volume in real-time, tracks pumping history for each breast and can control the pump remotely, although the app isn’t required to use the pump.



While the percentage of infants ever breastfed has increased ahead of the Health Promotion’s Healthy People 2020 Objectives, only about 25% of babies are breastfed exclusively for their first six months. Considering the busy lives of average mothers, systems to make pumping more comfortable and convenient could help to increase these percentages.

References


Minister For Suicide Prevention Appointed In The United Kingdom:Here's Why

A  Minister for Suicide prevention was appointed in the United Kingdom earlier  this week and the first question that comes to mind is "WHY"?  Was it necessary to separate such a portfolio from the general Health portfolio ran by the current Health Secretary?

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 5821 suicide cases were registered in the UK in 2017; an average rate of 10 deaths for every 100,000 persons in the Kingdom. Though suicide rates are said to be falling in the United Kingdom when expert reviewed statistics are considered from as far back as the 1980's, no fewer than 4500 cases on the average are still reported to be recorded annually and the British Prime Minister supported with her team of Advisers have made this bold statement to say, enough is enough. Before her appointment as Minister for Suicide Prevention, Jacqueline Doyle-Price was a Member of Parliament and was appointed as Junior Minister in the Department of Health on the 14th of June, 2017. Not sure how she plans to reduce the numbers further but this focus will certainly create some undivided attention for Mental Health in the Country and that's a good thing for sure.
Jacqueline Doyle-Price - New UK Minister For Suicide Prevention. ๐Ÿ‘€: beta.parliarment.uk

Should this all important move be replicated by other countries? On the global front this infographics by the World Health Organisation gives an insight into the magnitude of the problem.


Instead of a "Commissioner of Enjoyment" and what not, would a "Minister for Suicide Prevention" and a National Suicide Prevention Strategy  be recommended for every Country instead? Kindly respond in the comments section below. For more information of the global action towards "Suicide Prevention", refer to the References below.

REFERENCES:
BBC NEWS|World Mental Health Day:PM Appoints Suicide Prevention Minister

ONS|Suicide In The UK:2017 Registrations

WHO|Suicide Prevention

World Mental Health Day 2018: What About "Young People & Mental Health In A Changing World"?

This year, the theme for "World Mental Health Day 2018" is "Young People And Mental Health In A Changing World" and the big question is "what about it"?

The world has changed a lot in the last 10 to 20 years, compared to what it used to be and whether our older generation choose to accept the fact or not, more than ever before, people are at greater risk of tilting into the dark side mentally and young people are at the heart of it all. "During our time this and that would be the case and all of these...... would be seen as insanity", the older ones in their late 50's and above would say. Sorry the world is changing and all of whatever...... is no longer seen as insanity yet, new generation young brains have to accept and assimilate these new happenings as normal. War situations in various parts of the world now seem to be normal trend; diminishing economic circumstances in many parts of the third world now seem like normal trend; sexual orientations of all kinds are beginning to emerge and the vulnerable young ones are even getting more confused by the day. How about the incidence of moderate to severe depression and mid-life crisis amongst older youth? Etc.

Such a theme for a focus of discussion was obviously long over due. World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics indicate that mental illnesses can start from as early as 14 years of age but many a time go unnoticed until much later. Suicide has been identified as the leading cause of death amongst "15 to 29 year olds" worldwide and if you have really been in one of them fixated moods, then you will realise that, when support tends to be required the most, there really is no one to talk to. This year, as a Health related Blogging platform we are joining WHO to say,"Hello Youngster -  WE ARE IN IT TOGETHER - IF YOU HAVE NO ONE ELSE TO TALK TO - TALK TO US".

You can always send a message via our "CONTACT FORM" located towards the bottom right hand corner on the home page or any other page of this Blog and be sure to receive an email response in less than 24 to 48 hours. Otherwise you can drop a comment in the comment section of this article and someone will certainly get through to you. We have helped quite a few people and are happy to talk with and support much more people. Young people are the leaders of tomorrow and our minds must be guarded preciously, if we hope to have a sane world tomorrow to come. For more details and information about "World Mental Health Day 2018" click on the References below.

REFERENCES:
WHO|World Mental Health Day 2018

World Federation For Mental Health|World Mental Health Day 2018

October 10th: World Mental Health Day With Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative In Focus

October 10th is "World Mental Health Day" 2018 and we are starting this year's Campaign by putting "The Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative" (MANI.) in focus. The Nigerian Non Governmental Organisation/ Mental Health Awareness Focus Group is in their own way defying stereotypes in regards to Mental Health Awareness on the African Continent, so there was no better group to ask for progress feedback as regards Mental Health Awareness in the most populous Nation in Africa. This is the Nigerian story by MANI!

Persons with mental illness usually have to struggle with two major problems, how to cope with their symptoms and improve their health; and how to cope with society’s misconceptions about mental illness which is a major cause of stigmatization. Stigmatization deprives people living with a mental illness their full measure of human dignity, effective & appropriate care, and participation in wider society. 
         In Nigeria, there have been several misconceptions and myths about mental illness, chief of which is that preternatural/supernatural forces (witches, evil spirits and even God) cause mental illness. These beliefs have influenced the attitude of Nigerians towards the mentally ill. 
      Historically, people with mental illnesses were burnt, hanged, mutilated, abandoned and restrained with chains, all in the bid to save their souls, or bring redemption to their families and curb the iniquities causing mental illness within the families. These beliefs shape attitudes and have been shown to have a huge impact on the acceptance of the mentally ill amongst Nigerians.

         These labels and myths about the behavior of the mentally ill have aggravated stereotypes and provoked further prejudices on people with mental illness due to poor knowledge. 

          There are no known causes of mental illnesses but there are factors that can increase the risk of the development of a mental illness. These include:
  • Genetic factors: some people have an increased genetic predisposition to mental illnesses 
  • Family history: history of mental illness in a relative increases its incidence
  • Environmental factors: war, natural disasters, unstable and violent environment
  • Social causes such as alcohol use, substance use, stress, etc.                    
All these objectionable views and beliefs on causes of mental illness by Nigerians, further complicates the preference for type of care. A supernatural view of the cause of mental illness will imply that unorthodox (traditional) means of treatment supersedes the orthodox means.
           The impact of the stigmatizing attitude and poor knowledge of mental illness among Nigerians have shown to be a major hurdle to improving mental health in Nigeria. 
        Conversely, evidence from social media outreaches and trainings embarked on by MANI has shown that changing the perception of Nigerians to mental illness through proper education results in improved health seeking behavior for mental health challenged and reduced stigma within the country.                  
            Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI), has taken up the role of creating mental health awareness through anti-stigma campaigns and mental health advocacy. MANI's campaigns revolve around challenging inbred notions about mental health issues, through stories (live, recorded and written) especially from those with lived experience and our efforts are being recognised all around the world. 

           MANI also works to increase awareness of mental health issues by providing simplified and easy to read resources both offline and via social media on Stigma-Zer0 (our YouTube channel) and The MANI Blog on our website (see below). 
           MANI encourages early help seeking and also serves to connect young people to appropriate mental health services/professionals. MANI has a team of in-house counsellors and psychologists who provide free counselling sessions and also help run the Suicide hotline. MANI also embarks on physical outreaches to Mental institutions and prisons across the country; training sessions for students of secondary and tertiary institutions & their teachers and parents. They also offer Employee Assistance programs to corporate organizations. 

          MANI in line with the World Health Organization’s focus for this year’s World Mental Health Day theme “Young People and Mental Health - in a changing world” is focused on educating young people about mental health, reduction of stigma, and creating a comfortable environment for open conversations about mental health issues throughout the month of October, 2018 in Africa’s first and largest Mental Health Virtual Conference. 

          The Virtual Conference spans across the most active social media (WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram) platforms and boasts of speakers from all walks of life talking about the realities of mental health and its effects in their professional spaces and its effects on Nigeria as a whole. 
           There would also be physical outreaches, a walk to mark the event and seminars in collaboration with the Department of Psychiatry (CMUL, LUTH), Association of Resident Doctors (FNPH, Yaba) and a couple of Secondary Schools in Lagos. 

            We at MANI are working towards having a stigma-free Nigeria where mental health is important as our physical health and anyone with a mental health challenge can seek help freely and promptly without fear of stigmatization. 

For more information about us and what we do; 
Please call: +234 805 149 3163
Suicide Hotlines: 0809 111 6264, 0809 119 6264
You can also send us a message on social media (Twitter, IG, Facebook): @mentallyawareng

YouTube: StigmaZer0

Google's Deep Mind AI Diagnoses Eye Disease


The promise of Big Data is that it will be able to learn quickly from huge data sets and find correlations that might escape the notice of a human analyst. If applied to medical applications, this could lead to faster and more accurate diagnoses, which in turn could result in earlier treatments that could have better outcomes at a lower cost. One of the largest sources of big data sets in medicine is from digital imaging. The benefit of these imaging systems is that they give doctors a lot more information to consider; the downside is that there is a lot more information to consider and it is easier to miss something.


DeepMind is the artificial intelligence spinoff of Alphabet (the parent company of Google), and they have an entire division devoted to health applications. In a recent paper published in Nature Medicine, researchers describe their progress in processing eye images rapidly to identify potential disease for referral to physicians. In partnership with Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, UK, they have been developing a system that reads images from optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans. This technology creates a 3D image of the back of the eye, but this is complex information that can be difficult to interpret accurately. A backlog of images can mean that diagnosis and treatment can be delayed for patients, which can result in vision loss that could have been prevented.

The system uses two separate neural networks to analyze the scanned information. The first looks for indications of disease and damage, breaking its findings down into different categories. The second neural network then develops potential diagnoses based on this information. Rather than just present a “black box” result, however, this second system rates the confidence level of its judgment, giving clinicians valuable insight into how the decisions were made. And unlike human analysis, the entire process takes just seconds.


If a diagnosis indicates disease or damage, the results are flagged and referred to human physicians. This facilitates triage procedures so that patients with the most urgent needs are seen sooner. The system can identify 50 different eye diseases and conditions and tests show that it is just as accurate as the best eye doctors in the world. The initial results are still preliminary, but the company hopes to test it through rigorous clinical trials. The ultimate goal is to make the system available at no cost to 30 hospitals in the UK’s National Health System. The refined dataset used to train the AI system is also being made available to other researchers for non-commercial studies.

Top 5 Health apps for Android


Getting healthy is something that is on everyone’s mind at some point. Better health can lead to lower hospital bills, feeling better, and doing more things. Thankfully, there are a ton of applications on smartphones and tablets that can assist you in living better, eating better, and exercising more frequently. Most of the useful ones are either exercise apps, calorie counters, activity tracking apps, or some combination of all three. Let’s take a look at the best health apps for Android! We put a bit of a focus on eating healthy with this one. We have more health style app lists linked up just below and throughout the article.

Lifesum



Lifesum is an app that combines diet and exercise. It doesn't force you to keep hardcore details of every single meal. Instead, it offers basic guidelines to follow. The app asks for things like weight, height, gender, and your fitness goals. The app gives each person personalized recommendations from that info. It also includes niche things like micro tracking for those on specialized diets. The food and exercise tracking is free for everybody along with some social features. Everything else requires a subscription. Lifesum requires subscriptions paid up front for three, six, or 12 months at a time. It's one of the great health apps.

MyFitnessPal 



MyFitnessPal is one of the most popular health apps. It does a really good job with keeping your diet in check. It has a large database of food items. That way you can keep track of everything you eat. Calorie counting is its most useful function. Additionally, it has the capacity to integrate with a ton of other fitness and health apps. There is also a selection of exercises to perform, a community to engage with, and stats about your progress. The free version does basic calorie counting stuff. You need the subscription for the rest.

Runtastic 



Runtastic is one of the most popular health apps. It is routinely on the forefront of new technology of stuff like Android Wear. Additionally, it includes stats, graphs, exercise tracking, and more. It even has a shoe tracker. That way you know when to buy new shoes. The subscription is also relatively inexpensive compared to many of its competitors. It also has integration with Google Fit and MyFitnessPal. That makes a really good trio of health apps. Couch to 5K by RunDouble is another excellent app for runners, especially beginners.

Google Fit

Google Fit is Google’s best health and fitness apps. In its beginnings originated as a complement for Android package, allowing us to monitor our physical activity.



However, as expected, the passage of time has become a platform of its own. It allows us to analyze our exercise activities. Finally, guide us, what we need to improve. Apart, a plus point is the number of compatible devices, among which are Xiaomi Mi Band or Samsung.

Waterbalance



You need something especially, which maintain your water balance in practicing sport. This unique application is responsible for intake enough water, sending reminders at regular intervals throughout the day so that you always stay hydrated.

This Brilliant Facial Recognition App Analyzes Genetic Disorders


The escalating potential for artificial intelligence (AI) to the world of diagnostic tools is a heady stuff. Precisely because the oceans of data from galaxies of sensors can be so deep and the algorithms so convoluted, replicated studies and other means of clinical validation are critically important to prove that the conclusions are accurate. If, for example, we rely on AI to protect our water supplies or to predict clinical outcomes and go further to make critical funding or development decisions based on those systems, our confidence has to be airtight (or at least have faith that it will do at least as well as a human).

You know how some people will observe that an individual has “that look”? Patients who have the same condition often seem to share some common visual characteristics. Face2Gene is an AI system that takes this observation a bit further. It employs deep learning and computer vision to construct syndrome-specific, computational-based classifiers called “syndrome gestalts” based on phenotypic traits. According to Face2Gene, it uses real-world phenotype data with millions of data points for “unique health insights and genomics discoveries.” The company’s disclaimer states that “Face2Gene is a search and reference tool provided for informational purposes and not intended to replace the clinician’s judgment or experience, nor should it be used to diagnose or treat medical conditions.” The free service is only available to healthcare professionals. Doctors who upload patient photos and data to the Face2Gene community are assured that the photos are de-identified in the HIPAA-compliant security system. Only the uploading physician, for example, would be able to view the actual photo, but de-identified binary information from the photos goes into the pool.

To the extent that the phenotypic gestalts are valid, Face2Gene’s technology sounds like an exciting opportunity to advance genetics knowledge. Given its role as a “reference tool”, healthcare professionals should be cautious about relying on the results too heavily