Health

Cancer Society in need of new office after hurricane
Cancer Society in need of new office after hurricane

January 18, 2017

THE Cancer Society of Grand Bahama is in need of a new office space or building in order to continue the important role it plays in the fight against the disease and helping sufferers in Grand Bahama...

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Be good to yourself

January 17, 2017

New year, new you -- well as far as your diet and exercise are concerned. Maybe you made a resolution or two to improve socially and mentally, but the physical should not be left out. You should be taking care of your biggest organ -- your skin -- and you should be hydrating and moisturizing it from top to bottom to ensure it functions at peak performance and looks healthy.
Hydration is important for skin to appear more plump and resilient, meaning you will have a healthier glow and your skin will be less prone to wrinkles as a result.
"Well-hydrated skin means the slow down of the aging process," says Natila Saunders Skin Solutions Day Spa & Salon owner and esthetician. "We get our skin to be hydrated by first drinking lots of water and also using products that are rich in shea butters and hyaluronic acid which naturally exists in the skin to basically hold water into the skin [if the skin has inadequate water supply, it doesn't look as healthy and vibrant], but due to internal and external factors, sometimes that supply is depleted, so you can apply topical hyaluronic acid."
This is where Saunders and her team come in. At Skin Solutions they promise that you will come into your peaceful awakening when you surrender yourself to them to put your body, mind, and soul into perfect harmonious balance.
I'm up for it, or is it I'll lie down for it? Whatever. New year, new me, and I'm focused on ensuring that my largest organ is the best it can be, which is why I recently opted for a from the top of my head to the tip of my toes moisturizing session at Skin Solutions, where I was cleansed, buffed and polished to a high shine finish with their holiday glow facial, heavenly meltdown body polish and massage, and buttered rum manicure and pedicure.
Sounds decadent? It certainly was! And at the end of it all, my skin not only felt soft as a baby's bottom, but looked fantastic as well; and the gentle scents that wafted of my skin was pure deliciousness.
Skin Solutions' relaxing glow facial was a combination of gentle cleansing, enzyme, facial massage, steam vapor, and extractions. Specially designed for dehydrated and tired skin, with this treatment I was immersed in a bath of freshness, which left my face radiant and hydrated thanks to my therapist Kristen Strachan.
While I usually have a facial at least once a month, I opted for a body polish (scrub), as it's been awhile since I'd had one. Kristen handed me off to Ingrid Harding for a 60-minute heavenly body polish and massage. Ingrid first inquired how much pressure I liked, because she would me good and slough away all those dead cells. I opted for medium pressure and Ingrid went to work.
She first dry-brushed my skin to stimulate the body's circulation and lymphatic systems and open the pores to allow all of the goodness of the treatment to sink in. Ingrid then proceeded to bathe my skin in a hot butter with whole milk to soften and moisturize the skin, before she proceeded with the scrub to buff away all my dead skin cells, which I washed away in a warm shower before she completed the final phase of the treatment, a warm chocolate massage oil massage that left me in both a physical and sensory bliss.
By the way, scrubs can either be sugar or salt-based, with the goal of the treatment to slough away dead skin cells to reveal a healthier, glowing complexion. A scrub gives a resilient look after the day-to-day exposure to the elements having built up on the skin giving a dull, ashy appearance. It's exfoliating the skin basically, but instead of exfoliating the face, which is normally what people do when they get a facial, a scrub is a full body exfoliation.
Her job complete, Ingrid did the handoff to Natasha Harding for my monthly manicure/pedicure. Because I was into the whole hydration-top-to-bottom treatments, the buttered rum mani/pedi was a must-have treat.
Both the manicure and pedicure began with a butter brulee whole milk soak, followed by feet and legs and hands that were smoothed and exfoliated with fine grain sweet cream salt scrub which made my feet and hands soft to the touch, and finished with a hot chocolate truffle serum that Natasha assured me was loaded with nourishing vitamins and extracts. A final massage with a minty shea butter left my feet and hands feeling fresh and invigorated.
After a day of hydrating treatments, I literally did not want to leave the spa.
"It's a full service spa and skin care is our primary business, so everything that we've selected -- whether it's for a manicure and pedicure -- it's aimed to beautify your skin. We've carefully selected our products," said Saunders. "We have natural products that we use on the skin, all of which are rich in hydrating products, so most of our products, especially in the body treatments and manis and pedis are all shea butter-based, and shea butter is a moisturizing ingredient which deeply penetrates into the skin to plump up fine lines and wrinkles."
The esthetician said everyone should seek to have hydrated skin as their goal, because hydrated skin functions properly.
"If your skin is dehydrated it's going to have lots of fine lines and wrinkles, and your complexion is going to appear dull," she said.
While proper moisture and hydration is crucial year-round, Saunders said it's even more critical in winter months and as such people should avoid extreme temperatures, including extremely hot water and cold water when showering.
"We like to go to places like New York, even Orlando -- places where temperatures dip dramatically, and usually after a trip, one would notice their skin texture is different, so it's important to go the extra mile and 'butter up' to ensure the skin is still functioning properly. If it's too hot, the skin is going to be dehydrated because you're going to be sweating profusely; and if it's too cold your skin will get dehydrated. So anything that is extreme variation in temperature you have to be careful. You want to moisturize your skin at all times to hydrate your skin."
With the sun the number one aging factor, Saunders said excessive exposure to the sun dehydrates the skin as well, and that you should wear a sunscreen that is rich in moisturizing ingredients. On the flip side the esthetician says you want to be careful, and that you have to know your skin type.
"Knowing your skin type is very important -- it's crucial actually, because if you go out there and want to avoid being dehydrated, and put on products ... for example a person who is acne prone may apply a product that is oil-based and that could trigger acne. So you want to know the skin that you're in. Consult a professional and know the skin you're in."
According to Saunders hydrating treatments should be indulged in at least once a month. And she said people should not look at them as an indulgence, but rather a necessity.
"Everything is a cycle, so every 28 days the skin renews itself, so in some cases with people with oily skin, the cells actually build up on the skin and don't shed evenly, so it's important they do some type of professional treatment to exfoliate or accelerate the cell turnover rate so that the skin doesn't appear dull. And if the skin is dry, usually the cell turnover rate for dry skin is rapid, but then it still looks flaky, so moisture is definitely important.
The belief that people with oily skin don't need to moisturize, Saunders said is not true.
"Oil is different from water, and a lot of people with oily skin tend to make that mistake. They go and dry out all the water from their skin, and the skin is still oily, but deprived of water, so it still looks unhealthy. You can have oily skin, but dehydrated skin, so there's a difference," she said.
Moisturizing is important to hydrate the skin and prevent moisture from escaping the skin. However, in addition to using moisturizers, you should also help your body to keep your skin moisturized by drinking enough water through the day.

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Hearing loss in school-aged children

January 17, 2017

Based on United States studies (helpkidshear.org) about 14.9 percent of all school-aged children between the ages of six and 19 have some significant degree of hearing loss in one or both ears.
Children with even slight hearing loss have much more difficulty than children who have normal hearing in learning to read, and they often suffer from delays in speech, vocabulary, grammar, word order, native expressions and other forms of oral communication. At least 37 percent of school-aged children who have slight hearing loss will fail at least one grade level; 83 of every 1,000 school-aged children have an educationally significant hearing loss, and 10 of every 1,000 have permanent sensorineural hearing loss.
Hearing loss is something that cannot be seen. And here in The Bahamas, just like in other countries around the world, many school-aged children return to school every year with some degree of hearing loss, ranging from slight to profound. Unfortunately, because it cannot be seen, and because, to many adults, the child just does not seem to be paying attention, the hearing loss usually goes undetected by both parents and teachers.
A child with hearing loss is unable to learn language incidentally, the way children with normal hearing do. Therefore, even very mild hearing loss can cause significant difficulties in the child's language development, communication skills, academic achievement and social integration. Again, studies have shown that even children with mild to moderate hearing loss, miss as much as 50 percent of all classroom discussions.
The ability to hear well is a critical foundation to all aspects of language, communication and learning. And if hearing loss in a child is not identified and managed at an early stage, it can create difficulties for the child that follows him/her straight into adulthood. Additionally, the earlier hearing loss in a child occurs, the more serious the effects on his/her overall development, resulting in delays that become even more exasperated once he/she enters the academic environment.
When hearing loss in a school-aged child is not identified and managed, it normally affects the child in four major areas:
o It causes a delay in the child's receptive and expressive communication skills, resulting in speech and language delays.
o The child often suffers from learning delays and deficits that result in poor or reduced academic performance and achievement.
o The child's self-esteem begins to suffer, as he/she struggles with communication difficulties which in turn often leads to him/her withdrawing socially and emotionally from family and peers, and may also lead to behavior problems.
o It normally limits the child's future vocational studies and career choices.

Signs and symptoms of hearing loss
Although the signs and symptoms of hearing loss may vary from child to child, some of the most common signs of hearing loss in children include:
o Speech delay;
o Unclear speech;
o Not following directions;
o Not paying attention;
o Not responding when spoken to;
o Struggling academically in language-based classes -- spelling, dictation, and foreign language;
o Saying "Huh?" or "What?" often;
o Turning TV volume louder;
o Socially withdrawing or playing alone;
o Exhibiting behavior problems.

Screening and diagnosis
A hearing screening is a quick, easy, non-painful way to tell if a child is suffering from a hearing loss. It is done using special headphones and a piece of equipment called an audiometer. The headphones are placed on the child so that each ear is tested separately to get frequency specific information for each side. The child will then hear a series of very soft tones at various speech frequencies that he/she will respond to usually by raising his/her hand on the side he/she hears the beep on. Children who do not pass the hearing screening will need to be referred to an audiologist as soon as possible for a complete diagnostic hearing evaluation.

When to screen
To ensure your school-aged child is hearing well, he/she should have the first hearing screening before entering school. However, because changes in hearing can occur at any time throughout a child's school years, it is recommended that all children have their hearing screened at various intervals during their school years. This determines if any changes have taken place with the child's hearing since the last screening, or if hearing is still within the normal range. All students should have their hearing screened in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first, second, third, fifth, seventh and 10th grades.
Additionally, the following students should also have their hearing screened:
o All incoming new students;
o All transfer students;
o Any student referred by a parent or teacher;
o Any self-referred student;
o All students in special education programs who have never had their hearing screened, including those in alternative programs.

Treatment and intervention
Treatment for a hearing loss may vary, depending on the type of hearing loss the child has. Some types of hearing loss can be treated with medication or surgery. Other types may need to be treated with hearing technology, such as hearing aids or cochlear implants. Still others may need a combination of both medical treatment and hearing technology. In some cases, the child may need to be placed in a special class or attend a special school, and both the child and the family may also need to learn another form of communication, like sign language.
Since early identification is critical to both the child's academic success and future success in adulthood, the sooner the problem of hearing loss can be identified and an intervention plan implemented, the better. A good treatment plan will include closely monitoring the hearing impaired child throughout his/her academic years, ensuring there are follow-ups, collaborating with the child's classroom teachers and making any necessary changes and adjustments to the child's management plan.
Even a very mild hearing loss in children can wreak havoc on the child's future success. It can leave a child with significant speech, language, learning, intellectual, social and emotional delays, and may also result in behavior problems. If you have any concerns regarding your child's hearing seek immediate help.

o For further information on any hearing-related disorder, please contact Dr. Deborah Nubirth, doctor of audiology, at 356-2276 or 677-6627 in New Providence at Comprehensive Family Medical Clinic, Poinciana Drive or 351-7902 in Grand Bahama; or email dnubirth@yahoo.com.

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Foot pain and exercise

January 17, 2017

Beginning a new exercise program is very rewarding, but can also have some setbacks. Foot pain is one of the most common setbacks to any exercise program. A survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association found foot problems are a major deterrent to exercise, contributing to our alarming rates of overweight and obesity. In the study as much as 72 percent of persons surveyed admitted they did not exercise because foot pain prevented them from doing so. The feet were listed as the number one body part to experience pain.
Foot pain can put a serious kink in your new exercise routine and contribute to negative health consequences. It is important for all Bahamians to know that foot pain is not normal and they should seek the care of a podiatrist immediately if foot pain arises especially after starting an exercise program. Oftentimes this can be the body adjusting to the new exercise routine and use of muscles and joints that has previously been sedentary.
There are many other causes of foot pain. Wearing shoes that don't fit properly is one of the most common reasons why people (especially women) get foot pain. Other common causes of foot pain may include heel pain, foot deformities such as bunions and hammertoes, arthritis, trauma, ligament strain, tendinitis, stress fracture or other injuries.
Any pain in the foot or ankle of a walker or runner is an indication that it is time to stop, rest and evaluate the situation. Foot problems or pain that comes on shortly after starting an exercise program can be minor sign or a sign of a more serious foot condition. One must reevaluate all aspects of the exercise routine -- speed, distance and equipment including shoes. It is generally best to wait until all foot pains are gone before restarting your exercise. If foot pains persist in spite of resting, you should see your podiatrist for an evaluation.
It is critical that people pay attention to their feet and that they seek treatment for any foot problems. We recommend that before starting an exercise program, see your primary care physician for a complete physical exam and your podiatrist to have a foot check up. Wearing well-fitting, good quality footwear can support the foot during exercise, and minimize any chance of injury. Stretching before and after exercising along with warming up and cooling down can also help to prevent injury. Foot exercises will increase flexibility and also prevent injury.
Adult and childhood obesity is a major concern for all Bahamians, with more than 80 percent of us being overweight or obese. Exercise is a major strategy to help combat this epidemic. If adults and children have foot pain, they will not exercise regularly. Proper foot health and pain-free feet play a vital role in keeping everyone healthy and exercising consistently. Foot health is a good step toward overall health. Visiting a podiatrist to evaluate and fix the cause of any foot pain is critically important. The take-home message here is, that foot pain is not normal, and if you are having foot pain, pause your workout and consult your podiatrist.

o For more information email foothealth242@gmail.com or visit www.apma.org. To see a podiatrist visit Bahamas Foot Centre on Rosetta Street, telephone 325-2996 or Bahamas Surgical Associates Centre, Albury Lane, telephone 394-5820, or Lucayan Medical Centre on East Sunrise Highway, Freeport Grand Bahama, telephone 373-7400.

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I am who I am

January 17, 2017

My friend, let me commence here today by asking you a couple of straightforward questions which I obviously want you to answer with complete candor. Number one: Do you really know who you are? And number two: Are you actually being you or are you trying to be someone else, perhaps what others expect you to be? Now they're two extremely important questions for everyone in my reading audience to answer here today.
Now just in case you're not fully aware of it, I'll answer the first question because unfortunately countless -- thousands, perhaps millions don't really know who and what they are. You my friend as I have relayed to you on many occasions in these articles over the years are an awesome, talented, unique and special child of God -- that's who you really are which should make you feel real good about yourself. Regarding question number two, well you'll obviously have to answer that one.
Unfortunately, there are a whole lot of people who are not being who they are, perhaps because they have been incorrectly programmed to believe that they should not try to strive to reach the top. This is sad, as so many are keeping themselves back from really progressing in life due to the wrong mental conditioning in their young formative years. This is so often societal conditioning that dictates to people from the ghetto for example, that they should stay in the ghetto. What utter rubbish!
Yes my friend, once you know who you really are and how talented you are then you'll be free, completely free to be all that you can be, all that God created you to be, which incidentally is an outstanding success and world citizen. Yes indeed, today's the day to stand up and shout I am who I am, and I'm extremely proud of me and what I've accomplished.

o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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Wendy's Brings Holiday Cheer to the Children at PMH
Wendy's Brings Holiday Cheer to the Children at PMH

January 13, 2017

Wendy's Brings Holiday Cheer to the Children at Princes Margaret Hospital...

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Ministry of Health National Immunization Protocol

January 12, 2017

The Ministry of Health wishes to advise the general public that through an article in the daily Tribune dated 4th January 2017 entitled “From a picture of health to death’s door for baby Aidan” an infant experienced what appeared to have been a severe illness after receipt of routine immunizations...

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Bungled vaccinations and an infant's fight for life
Bungled vaccinations and an infant's fight for life

January 04, 2017

When she took her healthy infant son for his routine vaccinations in Nassau last July, Elizabeth Dupuch Carron could not have imagined the horror that was to unfold which almost cost him his life...

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The Year of Conquering Negative Thinking

January 03, 2017

Here’s a New Year’s challenge for the mind: Make this the year that you quiet all those negative thoughts swirling around your brain.

All humans have a tendency to be a bit more like Eeyore than Tigger, to ruminate more on bad experiences than positive ones. It’s an evolutionary adaptation that helps us avoid danger and react quickly in a crisis.

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Unmotivated to exercise? Dopamine could be to blame

January 03, 2017

Perhaps you have told yourself many times that, as of next week, you will start exercising more. Perhaps next month. Maybe even next year. For many of us, however, sticking to a disciplined program of physical exercise is one of the hardest New Year's resolutions. New research offers clues as to why finding the motivation to exercise can be so difficult.

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The dreaded flu and cold season

January 02, 2017

It's that time of year again -- everywhere you go you seem to be bombarded with people coughing, sneezing, and blowing their noses. These are symptoms that indicate that the dreaded cold and flu season is once again upon us, and many Bahamians will succumb to the illness at least once during the period.
Dr. Lynwood Brown told The Nassau Guardian in an earlier interview that you should not be quick to self-diagnose, because you could have a flu, which is more severe than a cold and should not be taken lightly, or a simple cold, which can be irritating, but isn't debilitating.
"The cold is a common name for acute nasopharyngitis, a syndrome episode caused by the coryza virus that affects the upper respiratory tract namely the nose, throat and pharynx," said Dr. Brown. "The flu [influenza] on the other hand is also caused by a virus -- of which there are many strains. And you know that you have a cold versus a flu by the symptomatic episode that you experience for the duration of the illness; with a cold you will have a scratchy throat which can cause a cough, drainage of the sinuses, sneezing, congestion and in general you feel irritable. A flu on the other hand is associated with similar symptoms but they tend to be more severe. You will have the scratchy, itchy throat, runny nose, sneezing, but you will also experience malaise -- an aching of the joints or all over the body, fatigue, a fever, a mandatory symptom that must be present to accurately diagnose if what you have is a flu versus the common cold and in general you will just feel really bad."
Unlike a common cold, the flu is more serious and can lead to death if untreated in susceptible individuals, including young children; the elderly; and people with compromised immune systems such as those with diabetes, anyone taking steroids and those who are afflicted with cancer or who are HIV-infected. According to Dr. Brown, it is especially necessary for these persons to be careful during the cold and flu season and to get treated if they fall ill so that they don't develop complications.
During the season, to lessen your chances of contracting or spreading the cold or flu, the family doctor says you should practice proper hygiene. Washing your hands regularly and ensuring that your environment is clean and sanitized are encouraged. If you work in an office building or use public facilities often, he says it is a good idea to travel with a pocket-size alcohol-based hand sanitizer so that you can wash your hands as often as you need to. When using public restrooms, after washing your hands use a hand towel to turn off the taps and open the door as well.
Practicing proper hygiene, he said, not only helps you get over your illness more quickly, but also helps in not spreading the virus as well.
Whether diagnosed with a cold or flu, Dr. Brown also advises that you stay home and rest.
"Remaining away from other people will lessen the likelihood that you spread the virus, and resting will allow your body time to kick start the immune system."
He encouraged drinking orange juice, water and other liquids to speed recovery along. The liquids replace fluids and vitamins lost through secretion by sweating while ill. Eating more nutritiously, he said, also helps in improving the immune system and overall health.
While the temperature outside may feel a little nippy at this time of year, Dr. Brown said that it is a misconception that the weather makes you ill.
"While the cold weather does play a role in the prevalence of viruses, it is not the cause directly. The truth is that the cooler weather at this time of year promotes viruses to thrive better and live longer, compared to the summer months when it is hot and the heat naturally decontaminates the atmosphere better. There are always viruses about and you can get sick at any time from one, but it is this season that they are so prevalent."
The medical practitioner also dispelled the myth that you are no longer infected or contagious as soon as you feel better. According to the doctor, whether you have a cold or flu, it takes 10 days after showing symptoms of illness that you are no longer infectious and 14 days until you are no longer infected.
Because the cold and flu are viruses, they will not respond to antibiotics, which many persons feel are the answer to everything.
"The antibiotics can only help if you develop a secondary bacterial infection due to your immune system being weakened from fighting the flu or cold," said Dr. Brown.
According to the doctor, the proper treatment for cold and flu infections is basically the same, although he says treatment is personally suited to each patient, depending on his or her susceptibility and symptoms.
"The treatment for a cold or flu is to basically treat the symptoms and let the body do the rest, so if you have a cough, we give you something to suppress it, and if you have a runny nose, we give you something for that. This gives you relief from the symptoms while the body can eliminate the virus through its natural defenses."
This flu season, the doctor urges people to be careful and to understand their health. When you hear the first cough or feel the first sneeze, he said to visit your doctor to make sure that it is truly a cold or flu and not some other respiratory illness like rhinitis or pneumonia.
According to the family physician, whether it is a serious illness or not, if you feel sick, do not hesitate to call your doctor and be in as little contact with others as possible. He advised against letting a flu go untreated, especially if it appears to last for a longer period and is more severe than usual. If your flu is prolonged and unchecked, there are several complications that can occur, like contracting a viral pneumonia which is probably the leading cause of death in infected patients and is characterized by progressive cough and difficulty breathing. The pneumonia can progress to acute respiratory distress syndrome that is life-threatening and requires ventilation in an intensive care unit.
The doctor also advised that all persons be extra careful during the flu season. He also advised that everyone should get a flu shot, especially the elderly, young children and anyone with heart conditions.

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CIBC FirstCaribbean supports Crisis Centre

January 02, 2017

The Bahamas Crisis Centre recently received a financial boost from CIBC FirstCaribbean. The bank presented the non-profit organization with a check to assist with holiday programs and to help defray the cost of client needs and services.
The Crisis Centre, the nation's longest standing non-profit organization dedicated to assisting families and individuals in personal crisis, provides an array of services to combat domestic and gender-based violence and other forms of abuse. The organization provides free professional counselling services, a 24-hour crisis hotline, conflict resolution and safe relationship workshops for students along with many other sexual and domestic violence and wellness education programs.
"The Bahamas Crisis Centre fills such a profound need in Bahamian society," said CIBC FirstCaribbean Marketing Manager Maya Nottage. "Our company is committed to making a positive impact in our community. Through this donation, we hope to help improve the lives of those who are most vulnerable among us."

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Preparing your feet to survive the holidays

January 02, 2017

Christmas may be past, and all the shopping has been done, but you still have to protect your feet, because we're still doing lots of walking, and even sometimes running. In addition, it is time for lots of standing, while cooking, attending parties, church and even Junkanoo. Most people, especially women will be wearing new shoes during these activities and all these reasons can add up to painful feet for the holidays.
A recent survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) showed that painful feet are a common occurrence during the holiday madness. The most common way women soothe their aching feet is by moisturizing them. The women surveyed also admitted that stretching and massaging their feet were also on the list of favorite foot fixers. Here are a few more ways to keep your feet healthy and merry this holiday season.
Exercise your toes: Toe cramping is common due to long hours of standing and walking, often in tight shoes. Avoid toe cramping by stretching your toes upwards, pointing and curling them for five seconds in each direction, then repeat 10 times. You can do this several times a day and you won't even break a sweat -- but your toes will get good relief.
Massage your feet: Women like it because it works. Massaging releases tension, increases circulation and rejuvenates the feet after a long day on your feet. Get out the lotion and rub those tired toes -- better yet, get a spouse, child or friend to do it while you relax on the couch. You can also use a footbath or tub to massage the feet. Fill the tub with warm water and your favorite fragrant moisturizing soap and let the jets massage your feet. Remember, persons with diabetes should not soak or use hot water on their feet.
Elevate your legs: Long hours of standing, walking and even sitting can cause the feet to swell, especially at the end of the day. Reduce swelling by elevating the legs when sitting or lying down. Be sure to lift the legs above the level of your heart.
Rotate your ankles: Because of swelling and long hours of standing and walking, the ankles can get tired and achy and even swell. Relax your feet by rotating your ankles, turn your ankles up toward your head, down toward the floor then right and left, slowly, five to 10 times. This loosens up the ankle joints and increases blood flow to the area. It is very relaxing and works wonders on tired feet.
Wear smart shoes: For the most part during your holiday activities like shopping, cooking, etc., wear sensible, comfortable shoes and avoid high heels. Save the high heels for actual dress-up events. If you know you will be on your feet all day, wear comfortable shoes, sneakers or sandals with good arch support and a padded sole. When purchasing shoes, do so in the afternoon and be sure to try them on and walk about in the store in them to be sure they fit properly. Do not wear shoes that don't fit, they will cause blisters and other injury to the feet. For persons who already have problems with their feet for example heel pain or plantar fasciitis or even an injury to their feet, it is vital to follow the podiatrist's instructions and continue to wear the prescribed footwear or continue your therapy or exercises during the holiday. It will prevent relapse and return of pain and other symptoms after the holiday.
Prevent injury: It is important to not overdo it to prevent any injury to your feet while rushing to complete all the holiday activities. Pay particular attention to footwear and walking surfaces. Drinking alcohol and taking other mind-altering substances also increases your risk of injury. Continue your exercise routine during the holiday season as much as you can. Be sure to stretch before and after exercising. Wear new sports shoes cautiously, gradually increasing the wear time each day until you adjust to them. Do not walk barefoot to prevent puncture wounds to the feet.
If you follow these tips and suggestions you can prevent injury and ensure that your feet are also merry during the holiday season.

However foot pain and injuries like fractures, ankle sprains, blisters, ingrown toe nails, etc., are common foot complaints during and after the holiday. If you do get an injury or develop foot pain, see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

o For more information email foothealth242@gmail.com or visit www.apma.org. To see a podiatrist visit Bahamas Foot Centre on Rosetta Street, telephone 325-2996 or Bahamas Surgical Associates Centre, Albury Lane, telephone 394-5820, or Lucayan Medical Centre on East Sunrise Highway, Freeport Grand Bahama, telephone 373-7400.

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Spend or save

January 02, 2017

As most will know, the whole economy of the United States of America and indeed most countries around the world is built on consumerism -- that is having businesses who employ people and pay taxes to government, offering products and services to the citizens, which they hopefully buy in large quantities. So in theory they keep people fully employed whilst it also keeps the government coffers full with which they can supply various services to its citizens. Of course the businesses who provide the products and services do an excellent job of marketing their products and services, and of course in offering all sorts of helpful payment plans to entice the public to part with their money and thus buy, buy, buy.
Now this works to a certain degree, however, a whole lot of people get into a whole lot of trouble and financial difficulties when they just buy, buy, buy as they spend, spend, spend their hard earned cash, so often ending up either dead broke or horribly in debt. Now believe me, I don't wish to be a killjoy here today. However my friend, whilst it's nice to be able to purchase a whole lot of products and services which make one's life more enjoyable, we also need to be both prudent and financially responsible as we save a part of our earnings every payday, thus not spending all of our hard earned money frivolously.
Yes indeed, when you get your hard earned cash for the efforts of your toil, you need to use sensible, financial planning so that you don't keep on spending until you don't have anything left and/or are up to your neck in debt, as far too many unfortunately are. As the teachings of Buddha advocates, we need to have balance in our lives at all times.

o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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Stay vigilant as Zika case total rises to 25
Stay vigilant as Zika case total rises to 25

December 29, 2016

HEALTH officials yesterday urged residents to remain vigilant against environmental factors that breed mosquitoes despite the "lull" in local transmission of the Zika virus...

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What Top Executives in The Bahamas Want for Christmas Might Surpise You
What Top Executives in The Bahamas Want for Christmas Might Surpise You

December 22, 2016

Ask a busy executive what she wants for Christmas and you might expect to hear words like “one more day off” or a “vacation unplugged...”

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The clinical laboratory scientist fixer

December 20, 2016

From Zimbabwe's first diagnosed case of HIV/AIDS in 1985, up to 1997, the country's health situation became increasingly dire. At the disease's peak between 2000 and 2003, according to health statistics, 29 percent of the population was infected. Since then Zimbabwe has made significant strides in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and a Bahamian has been in the middle of it. Shanette Nixon, a consultant for the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), has worked extensively, training scientists in the evaluation and testing of HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe.
Through her work with APHL, Nixon, a clinical laboratory scientist goes into countries, builds its local testing capacity, by training a local to take over the program and build on it. When she feels comfortable they can lead the project, she moves on.
In February 2015 she was posted to Zimbabwe where she singlehandedly started the external quality assessment program, where she worked to ensure that 100 HIV testing sites were giving 100 percent correct results to patients. The number of sites giving accurate results significantly increased under Nixon.
Working in collaboration with Zimbabwe's Ministry of Health and National Microbiology Reference Laboratory, APHL -- the only PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief) laboratory partner in the country -- adopted a comprehensive approach to improving testing quality, one that leads to better diagnosis and treatment. The association is developing external quality assurance systems to verify test results. Already half of Zimbabwe's 1,848 testing sites are using this method successfully to ensure the quality of laboratory services.
"Many folks say that point-of-care testing eliminates the barriers to HIV treatment in one step. The quick results are a huge advantage and the tests can be highly accurate -- but only if properly trained people perform the tests. That's why, when I'm training a scientist, I keep in mind that I'm affecting one person who can affect millions. Once the ministry gives us the go-ahead to train scientists in the remaining provinces, everyone will have full access, no matter where they are," said Nixon.
Zimbabwe is striving to achieve the United Nations' 90/90/90 goal -- 90 percent of people living with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) to know their status; 90 percent of people diagnosed HIV positive to be on sustained antiretroviral treatment (ART); and 90 percent of those on ART to have an undetectable viral load.
HIV prevalence in Zimbabwe has been reduced to 16 percent (2015 estimate) -- 1.6 million people.
By 2012, the percentage of Zimbabweans living with HIV who knew their status was estimated to be 66 percent; of those, ART coverage was at 55 percent, according to Nixon. She said viral load test availability was extremely low in 2015, but the 2016 figures are expected to increase dramatically, due to the newly established viral-load testing program. Developed with APHL's support, six provincial super-laboratories now have the infrastructure, equipment, personnel and supply chain support to perform routine viral load testing.
Nixon said a problem across the African continent was that patients were getting incorrect results. She said the same is true for a lot of developing countries as well; this is where she comes in, training the workers to perform accurate testing.
APHL has proved critical in the establishment of quality point-of-care testing, which has meant quicker and more reliable test results. The work was implemented primarily by Nixon, assisted by Goodridge Mguni, APHL's external quality assurance manager for Zimbabwe. Together, they built capacity at the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory to produce dried tube specimen panels that can be preserved for up to a year without refrigeration, for health testing sites to ensure quality assurance and control.
"A lot of the workers who do the testing, some of them may not be highly skilled laboratory personnel according to the countries we are in, and some of them may not be lab people at all, so that's how my work has impacted Zimbabweans, by giving accurate results," she said.
Nixon said creating institutional memory and standardizing testing practices at the labs is important. She said an easy way with people helps motivate them to keep up the techniques they're being taught, and she has seen how eager they are to ensure success.
Given the country's warm climate, she said the panels could be key to achieving universal access to quality HIV testing in Zimbabwe, but that they require new training for rapid diagnostic HIV testers, who already shoulder many tasks; this is why she and Mguni worked hard to train as many people as possible.
Nixon's work in Africa did not begin with her 2015 Zimbabwe posting. She actually started her work on the African continent in 2009 as a research laboratory manager with Emery University, before taking on another position in 2010 with Duke University.
Her first posting to Zambia was an unpaid position.
"I had left my job in the United States and had moved home and was unable to find employment. I put my CV back out on the international market, and it literally was a situation where a colleague was like, we have a position, but it's an unpaid position for you to get your feet wet in the international market, and so I took it. When I first moved to Africa, I was just working on a stipend to be able to live. That was like the door opening for me to get into the international research laboratory world of which there is a very small group of us, and pretty much everyone knows everyone. From there I went to Tanzania [2010 to 2014], where I was in charge of U.S. critical trials for HIV studies sponsored by the National Institute of Health, and from there I went on to becoming a consultant with APHL, who I'm currently working with."
As a consultant, Nixon supports the ministry of health in various countries and provides them with technical assistance and expertise. She helps them with strengthening laboratory systems throughout their country.
"I go in and assess the laboratories and make recommendations based on what I've seen, and in specific, a lot of my work has been with regards to reducing the burden of HIV/AIDS in these countries through whatever programs I see that would assist in ensuring that quality laboratory services are delivered to the public, and especially with regards to HIV, because that's where a lot of the funding is being driven from... it's from HIV donors -- Bill and Melinda Gates, the Clinton Foundation, and in specific to funds that I'm subcontracted, or paid through is the PEPFAR funds."
With her work in Zimbabwe concluded, Nixon will spend the Christmas holidays at home, but has already been contacted by the ministry of health from a South American country to assist them with validations for laboratory information systems, which she said would probably be her next assignment.
On average, Nixon's assignments last anywhere from three months to a year.
The clinical laboratory scientist says her work gives her a sense that this is what life is meant to be when she sees her knowledge and skill set bringing out success in others.
"For me, that's the thrilling part about why I do what I do, and just knowing that the knowledge and skills that I'm sharing in the case of Africa affects millions actually, and in smaller developing countries it will affect hundreds of thousands, that in itself is self-rewarding, and I get a lot of self-gratification from it."

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KFC Nassau continues its annual fight against hunger, raising over 45,000 in Add Hope campaign

December 20, 2016

In its ninth year, KFC's Add Hope campaign proved the power of helping those in need, more than ever before. The KFC Add Hope campaign raised over $45,000 toward hunger alleviation efforts of Hands for Hunger; the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger; and a number of neighborhood hunger relief agencies on New Providence.
Each year, KFC Nassau joins thousands of KFC restaurants around the globe to bring awareness and action to this global crisis, leveraging the power and impact of local hunger relief organizations, such as Hands for Hunger, to assist in providing much-needed resources to Bahamians in need. This year, as in years past, the campaign succeeded through the generous support of the brand's customers, employees and the Bahamian community.
KFC Nassau's annual philanthropic campaign ran October 4-20.
"We are grateful for the collective efforts and generous support of our customers, team members and the local community in this year's campaign," said Eldira Backford, ambassador for KFC Nassau's Add Hope campaign. "This donation will make a tangible impact by providing assistance to those affected by food insecurity right in time for the holiday season. For every $1 received, Hands for Hunger is able to help provide one meal to people facing hunger, which speaks volumes to the number of Bahamians that will receive nutritious meals when they need it the most."
This year the KFC Add Hope campaign made an even greater impact in helping those facing hunger. The program also provided food relief to eight local hunger relief agencies in New Providence -- The Ranfurly Homes for Children, Pat's Senior Citizen Home, The Nazareth Center, Good Samaritan Senior Citizens' Home, Unity House, Great Commission Ministries, the Mother Pratt Foundation and Elizabeth Estates Children's Home.
"The KFC Add Hope campaign could not achieve its goal of helping to eliminate hunger without the partnerships of organizations and agencies that assist the people that live through this epidemic every day. With partnerships we look forward to the Add Hope campaign having a long-term impact in the local community," said Backford.

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Hearing aid use and care

December 20, 2016

A hearing aid is a small electronic device that is constantly exposed to ear oils, hair care products, wax, sweat, moisture and frequent handling. To ensure your hearing aid functions optimally throughout its five to six year life expectancy, it is necessary to provide simple daily care, as well as have the hearing aid checked periodically by your audiologist or hearing care professional. Outlined below are tips for successful hearing aid use and care.

Maintenance checks
Listening checks: Before wearing, check the hearing aid daily to ensure it sounds clear and not weak or scratchy.
Battery check: Check battery strength daily. A battery tester can be used to help with this. Hearing aid batteries should last about five days to two weeks. The life of the battery will depend on the size of the battery and the severity of the hearing loss. The smaller the battery, the shorter the battery life. Likewise, the more severe the hearing loss, the shorter the lifespan of the battery. Still, no matter the battery size or the degree of hearing loss, a full-strength battery allows the hearing aid to function at peak performance.
o Always keep spare batteries with you.
o Store unused batteries in a cool, dry place.
o Keep batteries out of reach of children and pets.
o Discard used batteries properly.
o Do not mix used and unused batteries together.

Cleaning check
o Use a soft dry cloth to wipe the hearing aid each day.
o Earmolds, tips and domes should be brushed daily with a soft unused toothbrush to get rid of wax, dirt and grime.
o After cleaning/brushing be sure tips and domes are securely in place.
o A custom earmold can be removed periodically from the hearing aid and cleaned with mild soap and warm water. Be sure the earmold is thoroughly rinsed and dried before reattaching it to the hearing aid.

Minimize moisture
o Do not get the hearing aid wet.
o Remove hearing aids at night and place them in a storage container or special hearing aid dryer (purchased separately). The dryer will help stop moisture from building up on the inside of the hearing aids and lengthen the life of the hearing aids.
o Remove the hearing aid when taking a bath or going swimming.
o Wash face and comb hair before putting the hearing aid on.
o Do not store the hearing aid in the bathroom or kitchen.
o Open the battery door and/or remove the batteries from the hearing aids before placing them in the drying unit or the storage container.
o Chargeable hearing aids should be placed in the charger with the batteries in the hearing aid.

Prevent feedback
Feedback occurs when amplified sound coming out of the earmold reenters the microphone, causing the hearing aid to make a whistling sound. To prevent feedback, always ensure:
o The hearing aids are properly inserted in your ear.
o The earmolds are not too small.
o The earmolds are not damaged or do not need to be replaced.
o There is not too much earwax in your ear canal.
o The hearing aids are working properly.

Regular checks and servicing
To guarantee your hearing aids are always functioning at peak performance, regular visits to your audiologist or hearing care provider are necessary. Use a calendar, along with the guide below, to assist you in this area.
o Have hearing aid tubes, tips and/or domes replaced every three months.
o Have hearing aids professionally checked and cleaned every six months.
o Have your audiologist test your hearing annually and have any necessary adjustments to hearing aids made at that time.

o For further information on any hearing-related disorder, please contact Dr. Deborah Nubirth, doctor of audiology, at 356-2276 or 677-6627 in New Providence at Comprehensive Family Medical Clinic, Poinciana Drive or 351-7902 in Grand Bahama; or email dnubirth@yahoo.com.

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