Health

New Developments in Medicine for Haiti

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Whether it is to exchange ideas, to think, create or to innovate, Banj is Port-au-Prince’s unrivaled networking spot and workplace. With the work of several Haitian developers, Radiokam was one of the two first startups to join the Accelerator program in Banj, in May 2019. The server continues to modernize the technology sector in Haiti, particularly the world of medical imaging. Dr. Djinaud Prophète, project initiator along with Marc Alain Boucicault, Banj founder, officially launched Radiokam, a platform which will allow clinics to access quality interpretation of medical tests online. As a business-to-business platform, clinics and hospitals registered at Radiokam will send their exams that will be analyzed by certified radiologists. Haiti has an estimated 40 radiologists for 12 million people. This platform will help mostly for hospitals in remote areas that have no access to radiologists at all.

If you visit a hospital in Haiti, the first thing you see is people waiting outside. Many of those having traveled for miles on foot and some even had slept there the night before waiting for care. This might lead you to believe that there aren’t enough hospitals in Haiti, but the problem isn’t a lack of hospitals, instead it’s a lack of primary care as well as anything close to the needed public investment in health care. Radiokam is set to help change that.

“With Radiokam, doctors, radiologists, from anywhere will not need to travel for exams. And with these interpretations, the doctor will be able to provide care adapted to the situation of his patient,” said Doctor Prophet. This program is also “a solution that will make life easier for patients in remote areas, who are forced to come to the capital to have their radiography done,” according to Dr. Prophète.

How it works?

To join Radiokam, just go to its website [www.radiokam.com] and create an account as a doctor, hospital or radiologist and fill out the membership form. The service is available 24/7 to satisfy users. Being a “Business to Business” platform, clinics and hospitals registered at Radiokam will send their exams which will be analyzed by certified radiologists. Depending on the method chosen – express, fast, routine – the applicant will receive their results in less than 6 hours, between 6 and 24 hours or between 24 and 36 hours.

 

Services include

  • Interpretation Radiography
  • Mammography Interpretation
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Interpretation
  • Hysterosalpyngography (HSG) Interpretation
  • Interpretation Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Sonography Interpretation
  • Nuclear Medicine Interpretation

The next step for Radiokam: find one or more investors to support it. But the fact remains that it will need an ecosystem – with hospitals, customers satisfied with the service – that keeps it running.

Natural Beauty

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Our diet isn’t just about what we put into our mouth. We also eat with our eyes, referring to the idea that in the things we surround ourselves with heavily influence you. Anything that touches our skin goes into our blood stream within 30 seconds. We also “eat” with our noses, what we inhale can also have effects on us depending on the chemical that are added to things such as perfume to keep them smelling sweet. Research shows that our (ethnic women) beauty products are the dirtiest on the market. Stemming from just using what we had available to us, Caribbeans have looked to the earth for everything they need for many years, including beauty products.

According to the Environmental Work Group (EWG), many of the mainstream products that target Black women contain toxic and harmful ingredients. Health hazards linked to ingredients in those products include cancer, hormone disruption, and developmental and reproductive damage. For example, one study in the EWG report found that Black Americans had higher urinary concentrations of parabens, the hormone-disrupting chemicals commonly used as preservatives in personal care products, pharmaceuticals and foods.

With that being said, we have gathered a list of natural beauty product you can start using so your beauty regime can become less toxic for your body.

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A form of carbon that absorbs other substances on the surface it’s applied to, making it great for face masks and scrubs.

Great in skin and hair care as it’s easily absorbent and leaves the skin and hair feeling soft.

Super versatile, used in face and beard balms, hair waxes, candles, soap and more.

Technically Bentonite Clay is aged volcanic ash, and when mixed with water (for a stronger clean, use Apple Cider Vinegar) it becomes ‘charged’ which allows it to absorb toxins. Whilst food grade Bentonite Clay can be bought for detoxifying toxins, chemicals, heavy metals and other impurities from the body, we use it for the same purposes but on the skin in a face mask.

Although Cocoa Butter is solid at room temperature, it melts when in contact with the skin making it the perfect candidate for lotions, creams, balms and soap.

  • Castor Oil– Another oil rich in fatty acid, particularly Omega 5, perfect for keeping the skin moisturized. Also great in soap and massage oils
  • Coconut Oil– Rich in in fatty acids and with excellent healing properties, Coconut Oil has a multitude of uses including make-up removal, hair treatment, massage oil, moisturizer and soap.
  • Manuka Extract– Manuka oil has proven to be a protector against harmful microbes, which is great in any skincare products including soap.
  • Olive Oil (Organic) – Olive Oil is great for moisturizing and restoring skin and hair

The natural sugars and antioxidants in honey help to increase lather when used in  soap and works well when mixed with oil.

Shea Butter comes from a tree called Karite which is found in several African  countries; the butter is pressed from the seeds of the tree for use in soaps, creams and cosmetics. The vitamins and fatty acids found in Shea Butter make it a natural moisturizer and protector of the skin’s natural oils.

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If you know of any other natural remedies to add to a beauty regime, let us know. We’d love to hear how turning back to the earth benefited you.

November is Epilepsy Awareness Month

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Starting with diabetes, November is a very heavy month for awareness of detrimental diseases. We now, with the millions of other Americans effected, will put our focus on epilepsy. One in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy at some point during their lifetime. It is one of the least understood of all the neurological diseases, yet it is the fourth most common. Epilepsy may occur as a result of a genetic disorder or an acquired brain injury, such as a trauma or stroke. During a seizure, a person experiences abnormal behavior, symptoms, and sensations, sometimes including loss of consciousness. During this month, many organizations join together to provide information about research, prevention, treatment and resources to fight epilepsy.

Epilepsy, unfortunately, has a long history of misunderstanding and stigmatism. Evidence of individuals suffering epilepsy in ancient history attributed it to spiritual or demonic possession. In fact, Hippocrates, the great Roman medical practitioner, shunned the notion that it was a supernatural phenomenon and believed that it derived from the brain, had hereditary aspects, and that how it presented itself in childhood also determined how it affected the rest of the individual’s life. Unfortunately, Hippocrates wasn’t believed until well into the 17th century, when the notion that it wasn’t demonic or spiritual possession finally subsided. But, the stigma associated with it continues to this day. One of the goals of National Epilepsy Awareness Month is to separate the disease from its historical and false reputations. Many countries still believe that it’s a sign of spiritual possession and, until 1980, individuals suffering from epilepsy weren’t allowed to marry in the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC), Sometimes we can prevent epilepsy.

  • Prevent traumatic brain injuries

Brain injuries are a frequent cause of epilepsy. Make sure you are riding safely in cars, using seatbelts, and on bikes, using helmets. If injury does happen, because avoiding such things are sometimes impossible, taking good care of the injury may help reduce the possibility of flaring up the disease.

  • Lower the chances of stroke and heart disease

These include eating well, exercising, and not smoking. These health actions may prevent epilepsy later in life.

  • Get vaccinated

Immunizations also lower your chances of contracting the disease as well.

  • Wash your hand and prepare food safely

An infection called cysticercosis is the most common cause of epilepsy world-wide. It is caused by a parasite and it is prevented through good hygiene and food preparation practices. Health screening and early treatment for cysticercosis can prevent epilepsy.

  • Stay healthy during your pregnancy

Some problems during pregnancy and childbirth can lead to epilepsy. Follow a prenatal care plan with your health care provider, like your doctor or nurse, to keep you and your baby healthy.

Epilepsy is usually treated by medications and in some cases by surgery, devices, or dietary changes. Many organizations stand with you and will help in any way they can (financially, psychologically, etc.) as you fight to normalize the return of your seizure if you do happen to be diagnosed.

In line with the “spreading awareness” theme, comment any tips surrounding epilepsy that you may have received and would like to share.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

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November is National Diabetes Month, a time when communities across the country team up to bring attention to diabetes. This year’s focus is on the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In our Caribbean communities, it seems as though diabetes is rampant throughout our people. In every village, there is either someone in our immediate families or friends we know of who have the disease. That is why we believe joining the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIH) in spreading awareness will do our community some good.

We would like to note that there are two different types of the disease. Type 1, you are born with. Type 2, you are the cause of (based on how you treat yourself).  About 1:5 people who have diabetes are unaware that they even have the disease at all. It very important to catch diabetes early. Overtime, high blood glucose damages the blood vessels, which can damage the organs that these vessels supply. As one would assume, this can lead to a variety of health complications. That is why you don’t normally hear of people dying directly from diabetes, you hear they died from a failure of “x, y, z”. But, as you now see, that started because of their diabetes.

Not to sound like every Doctor you’ve ever visited but, being overweight and living a lifestyle with a lack of exercise is no good for you. Those two specific risk facts are the leading causes of type 2 diabetes. Like many things, family history of the disease makes you more susceptible to contracting it where other may not be. It is helpful, if the resources are present for you, to figure out what health issues many people in your specific blood line have consistently had, just so you are aware. Even if the resources aren’t available (you are not a part of a close family to be able to get the information, nobody really paid attention, etc.), you can take blood tests to get a panel screening of your entire DNA make up.

Just as murphy’s law states, “anything that can go wrong will go wrong”, if it is in your cards to attract this disease, you will. Life continues (on a healthier route), because now we are learning how to live with diabetes. Naturally, when people are faced with a problem that they are not sure how to solve yet, the solution seems so out of reach. In this scenario, that is not the case. Living a life with diabetes but outside of regular hospital trips is possible. You can live with this disease and never feel the negative side effects of it if you want. That “if you want” is an ode to moderation and being dedicated to seeing your health thrive. That’s eating a more balanced diet, only having your favorite treats once in a blue moon and trying out a new activity you make like to get your body moving. The best thing is that, as Caribbean people, many of us have already grown up reaching to the earth for our nutrients. We just have to relearn those habits.

October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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October means very different things to people depending on who you ask. Some are excited for the leaves and temperatures of the air changing, some love the spooky vibes that Halloween brings, but it is also a time of awareness for breast cancer. All month long, survivors and supporters wear pink to celebrate those who have been affected, remember those who did not win the battle and shed light on the disease as a whole. The information being shared is not to scare you, but to bring our little piece of awareness into your home so you or someone you love will not be so strongly shaken by breast cancer. Although we wear pink during October, the following information should be kept with you all year long!

Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. Though alarming to hear the words “you have breast cancer”, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, when detected at an early stage, the 5-year survival rate is 99%. Early detection includes doing monthly breast self-exams and scheduling regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.

Some early detection good habits include:

[vc_message message_box_color=”grey”]Paying attention to the symptoms and signs:

  • A change in how the breast or nipple feels
  • A change in the breast or nipple appearance
  • Any nipple discharge (clear or bloody)

[/vc_message][vc_message message_box_color=”grey”]Be sensitive to the sign of any breast pain:

As women, we become desensitized to discomfort because we brush off any weird aches and pains as our menstrual cycle just preparing our body for its arrival, but not this time. It is very important to be extra sensitive about pain in areas like the breast because it can be a sign of breast cancer and, if caught early, can save your life.[/vc_message][vc_message message_box_color=”grey”]Perform self-examinations:

Using the pads of your fingers, move around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Check both breasts each month feeling for any lump, thickening, or hardened knot. Notice any changes and get lumps evaluated by your healthcare provider.

Some lumps may just be breast cysts, which are still important to check because the different between a cyst and a cancer cell cannot be dedicated by the naked eye.[/vc_message][vc_message message_box_color=”grey”]Stay up-to-date with breast exams (as previously stated):

A mammogram is an x-ray that allows a qualified specialist to examine the breast tissue for any suspicious areas.

  • Women 40 and older should have mammograms every 1 or 2 years.
  • Women who are younger than 40 and have risk factors for breast cancer should ask their healthcare professional whether mammograms are advisable and how often to have them.
  • Women who have no symptoms and no known risks for breast cancer should have regularly scheduled mammograms to help detect potential breast cancer at the earliest possible time.

[/vc_message][vc_message message_box_color=”grey”]Instill healthy eating habits:

These acts will not completely prevent cancer, but it will help reduce your risks:

  1. Maintain healthy weight
  2. Stay physically active
  3. Eats your fruits and veggies
  4. Do not smoke
  5. Limit alcohol consumption

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Men are not to be excluded from this conversation. All people, whether male or female, are born with some breast cells and tissue. Even though males do not develop milk-producing breasts, a man’s breast cells and tissues can still develop cancer.

Breast cancer in men is usually detected as a hard lump underneath the nipple and areola. Men carry a higher mortality than women do, primarily because awareness among men is less and they are less likely to check for and assume a lump is breast cancer, which can cause a delay in seeking treatment.

May this information serve you more as you continue on your journeys. If you have found any helpful tips or article surrounding breast cancer, please leave us a comment with the information included.

Whether one lost their battle, are still fighting it or are in remission, today and always we commemorate those who have been affected by breast cancer.

Hair Hacks You’ll Love

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Whether we know it’s just time for a wash or a style we spent hours on didn’t come out right, in the land of hair, not every day is a beautiful day in paradise.

We struggle to fit our hair under turbans and hats or slick an afro puff up which, in some cases, end up doing more harm than good because of the conditions we are putting our hair through as the only thought on our minds is getting out the door looking decent.

We have found these two holy grail “hair hacks” perfect for bad hair days that will love your hair just as much as you’ll love your look and the convenience.

Beautifully Warm

Beautifully Warm is a family-run business, committed to promoting affordable and fashionable outerwear clothing and accessories.

Mission Statement: We believe that in today’s world all women can preserve the integrity of their hair and look good doing so, no matter the age. Our product can support your needs from day into night with either outerwear winter hats, summer hats and hair scarfs or bonnets for bedtime. We also have new lines of products and styles being designed to fit your desired style.

Their Story: One morning as we were getting ready for church, I watched my wife carefully detangle and style my daughter’s naturally curly hair; nothing different from any other early Sunday morning. As usual, my wife bribed 2-year-old Amelia with snacks and her favorite cartoon “Peppa Pig” to keep her still. Twenty minutes later my wife was finished styling Amelia’s hair; It was magnificent, in my opinion, and embodied the Nubian princess that she is.  As we walked out the door, the cold winters morning air welcomed us. I grabbed Amelia’s winter hat and put it on her head and of course the hairstyle was ruined…. again. Choosing between being warm or having neat hair wasn’t much of a consideration. The obvious choice was to keep my daughter protected from the harsh, cold air. That’s when it hit me, why should she have to choose between being warm or having nicely, neat styled hair? All she needed was a satin lined hat to keep her hair moisturized and frizz free. However, finding a hat like that for a toddler was nearly impossible and hence Beautifully Warm products was born!

Culture Cap

The cap gives you the ability to fit some or all of your hair through the stretchy band, giving the illusion of your hair effortlessly sticking out the back.

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Newow Headwear

Their Story: We started offering Luxury trendy African inspired fashion & accessories at affordable prices. All our garments are made with unique premium fabric. We have a commitment to ourselves that we’ll keep bringing elegant head wraps for our customers because in the end elegance is only beauty that never fades.

The nice thing about these wraps is that the base of it is built like a bonnet. Instead of struggling to find the perfect technique, you just throw the cap part over your head and tie the ends. As you can see from the video above, it gives the illusion of a turban made from a yard of fabric instead of how it actually is. The face that each turban is lined with satin fabric is a plus.

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Would you be interested in trying either one (or both) of the hair hacks listed? Do you know somebody who has?

Leave a comment with your thoughts, experiences, etc.

Express Yourself

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"Therapy isn’t for everyone. Find your path to peace. Maybe it is in creativity."

Watch a child, and more than likely no matter what they are doing, when a set of crayons or tubes of paint are lying around, they will make magic happen. Maybe not anything worth hanging on the fridge but still “magic” in their own right. We have a lot to learn from children. We say that because the arts are a form of healing and the most magical thing about it is the many forms it can be expressed in. If drawing and painting isn’t your cup of tea, then find another flavor. Dance, poetry, design and anything else that you deem as creativity are all forms of expression that can be used to heal. In doing so, most times without even noticing it in the moment, we heal the mind, body and soul just by tapping into the things we love. Pick up a pen and write, a brush and paint, thread your needle and sew, whatever it takes to express yourself.

The benefits of allowing oneself time to be creative can be surprising for some. We become better problem solvers, connect with our communities and ourselves, practice freedom and relieve ourselves of stress. All the things that make us shine as we move through this life. People, just like these very talented Caribbean artists we will highlight, have turned to the arts to heal whether from trauma, to gain clarity or whatever their driving force may have been. Nonetheless, they are now better and more whole, and we want you to feel the same.

NIKI LOPEZ Panamanian, Jamaican and Cuban decent

Lopez used art to survive the 14 challenging years she spent in a cult.  Her signature mask Healing from Within is the first work in which she dealt with mending these wounds.

She says, “This is about the work I’ve done from the inside. This is when I really started to shift my life.”.

NZINGAH ONIWOSAN Haitian decent

As a child, Oniwosan was physically and emotionally abused by her mother, who suffers from a mental illness, and was molested by a close family friend.

Despite being forbidden to dance by her religion growing up, today she dances passionately in celebration of her freedom from the emotional bondage in her adolescence.

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CHASTITY PASCOE Jamaican and Bahamian decent

Pascoe held on to trauma related to racism and misogyny constantly being present in the day-to-day lives of black people and women in America.

For her piece Together she lay on the floor and created a cast of her body, then duplicated it to look like two bodies sleeping far apart, covered with separate pieces of fabric.

She says, “This piece allows me to share trauma and be present to trauma”.

If you may feel the arts are your calling, explore it. You may open the doors to a brand new version of you just waiting to be introduced to the world.

Health is Wealth

Health is Wealth

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We all can agree that keeping the state of our overall health in check is vital to our survival. Many of us also agree–if we aren’t already–that we don’t want to be filling endless amounts of prescriptions at the pharmacy each month. Speaking of, have you ever noticed all the side effects that come with these pills? Trying to cure one thing seems like the leading cause to the next these days, doesn’t it? If you were told you could knock out many, if not practically all, of your medical concerns by turning to natural remedies from home, would you be interested in learning what those said remedies are? Well, today is your lucky day. Join us as we dive deep into remedies outside of the pharmacy that will have you feeling better so much quicker.

Health is Wealth
[vc_message message_box_style=”3d” style=”square” message_box_color=”grey” icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-handshake-o”]Meditation

The most well-known effect of meditation is stress relief but there is way more benefits of the action than you may realize:

  • Promotes emotional health
  • Enhances self-awareness
  • Fights addictions
  • Reduces age related memory loss
  • Lengthens attention span
  • Lowers blood pressure and risk of contracting common diseases

[/vc_message][vc_message message_box_style=”3d” style=”square” message_box_color=”grey” icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-handshake-o”]Tea Tree Oil

Better known as the skin whisperer being so popular treating acne because of:

  • Anti-inflammatory benefits (*it is thought to calm redness, swelling and inflammation)
  • Anti-viral
  • Antifungal (*can help cure athlete’s foot, contact dermatitis or head lice)

[/vc_message][vc_message message_box_style=”3d” style=”square” message_box_color=”grey” icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-handshake-o”]Turmeric & Ginger

One pot of curry a day truly could keep the doctors away. This combination:

  • Acts as an inflammation killer, which will also lead to the reduction of pain in the body
  • Decrease nausea
  • Support immune function

[/vc_message][vc_message message_box_style=”3d” style=”square” message_box_color=”grey” icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-handshake-o”]Black Cumin Seed Oil

This oil can be digested orally with a dropper (in pill form or rubbed directly on to the skin):

  • Allergies/Asthma (*if diffused properly)
  • Skin benefits – rashes/psoriasis
  • Digestion
  • Inhibit growth of cancer cells
  • Combat fungus

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[vc_message message_box_style=”3d” style=”square” message_box_color=”grey” icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-handshake-o”]Dark Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, cabbage, beetroot, watercress, romaine lettuce, and arugula.

  • Supports optimal gut health
  • Makes your skin glow
  • Supports bone health
  • Relieves stress
  • Supports healthy aging
  • Improves inflammation
  • Supports immune system

[/vc_message][vc_message message_box_style=”3d” style=”square” message_box_color=”grey” icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-handshake-o”]Magnesium 

The following health benefits have been associated with Magnesium:

  • Bone health
  • Diabetes
  • Heart health
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

[/vc_message][vc_message message_box_style=”3d” style=”square” message_box_color=”grey” icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-handshake-o”]Salmon

Not only does it taste great but it:

  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Repairs damaged tissues
  • Builds cognitive intelligence
  • Assists in proper thyroid function

[/vc_message][vc_message message_box_style=”3d” style=”square” message_box_color=”grey” icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-handshake-o”]Peppermint

We are talking about the leaf or the extracted oil (not traditional candy canes and breath mints):

  • Eases digestive upsets
  • Helps relieve headaches and migraines
  • Relieves clogged sinuses
  • Improves energy
  • Fights bacterial infections
  • Improves sleep (some peppermint tea before bed could be the answer to a wonderful night’s rest)

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Let us know if there are any other natural remedies that you or someone you know have taken and seen some serious results. If you know of any natural side effects (most likely due to your body detoxing) that has happened while experimenting with any of the remedies above, share that as well.

Disclaimer

Anything you have read is for educational purposes only. We are not Doctors and do not intend to override what you have been told is best for you. Consult with a professional before you try anything that may have interested you.

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