Tag: health

African health care poses challenges to startups filling the gaps | Health

Lagos, Nigeria — Three months after she was born, Ayotunde Omitogun was diagnosed with an atrial septal defect (ASD), a birth defect that causes a hole in the heart. In 2013, 26 years later, she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension (PH) caused by the untreated defect.

In India where she went for surgery, doctors prescribed drugs to help manage her condition but because they were not available in Lagos where Omitogun lived, she had to rely on Nigerian patients travelling from India. Then COVID-19 happened. No one could travel.

“So I was on and off my drugs which made me fall sick,” Omitogun, now 36, told Al Jazeera. In search of an alternative, Ayotunde reached out to a brand she had come across on Twitter earlier this year, Famasi Africa.

Founded in 2020, it is a Nigeria-based health tech startup in Nigeria built to digitise doorstep delivery of medications and routine checkups. It is one of a new generation of startups seeking to help Africans overcome hurdles in healthcare on a continent where half of the 1.2 billion people cannot access quality health care.

The lag is mostly due to an underfunding of the sector.

This year, Nigeria allocated 1.58 trillion naira ($2 billion) to the sector, less than 10 percent of the overall budget. Like some of its neighbours, it falls short of a commitment by African leaders at the 2001 Abuja Declaration to allocate 15 percent of its budget to the health sector.

Consequently, government hospitals usually lack the necessary infrastructure to carry out critical surgeries. Patients are often left unattended due to frequent strikes by doctors and other medical personnel; nurses in Zimbabwe still earn only around $50 a month and Lome hospital administrators say there are now more Togolese doctors in France than there are in

BORN Ontario data breach left health data of millions exposed. What went wrong?

A massive cyberattack that left the health data of mothers, newborn babies and parents seeking fertility treatment exposed, could have been entirely prevented if more protective measures were put in place, according to Canadian security experts.

The Better Outcomes Registry & Network (BORN) on Monday revealed that 3.4 million people — mostly those seeking pregnancy care and newborns who were born in Ontario — had their personal health information compromised in May.

“This is appalling,” said Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s former information and privacy commissioner. “The personal health information that was copied was collected from a large network of mostly Ontario health-care facilities.

If BORN had de-identified the data by stripping personal details such as names, health care numbers and addresses, it would have provided the “strongest protection” in the event of a data breach, she said.

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“They didn’t say that they de-identified the data and that’s the very least they should have done,” Cavoukian added.

The health-care information that was stolen may have included data such as names, addresses, date of birth, health card number (with no version code), lab results from screening and diagnostic testing, pregnancy risk factors, type of birth and procedures and birth outcomes, BORN said in a statement posted Monday.

As of publication time, there was no searchable database or clear way for the public to definitively find out if their information was compromised.

Click to play video: 'Cyber security experts say ransomware data breach in health care sector is a lesson for everyone'

Cyber security experts say ransomware data breach in health care sector is a lesson for everyone

BORN, an agency funded by the province, is responsible for gathering data related to pregnancies and births within Ontario. On Monday, it said a cybersecurity breach on May 31, 2023, had led to the exposure of data concerning 1.4 million people seeking pregnancy care and 1.9 million infants born

Health advice: Epsom salts baths don’t cause kidney stones

Are epsom salts absorbed through the skin, and if so, is a cup of salts in the bath harmful? And can they cause kidney stones?

Dear Dr. Roach: In the winter, I enjoy an occasional soak in a hot bath, especially when my muscles ache after a hard day, and I often add a cup or more of Epsom salts. These seem to make the bath even more soothing and therapeutic, and I feel especially clean afterward.

Am I crazy, or is there something to this? I’m wondering about the chemistry. Are these salts absorbed through the skin, and if so, isn’t a cup of salt rather harmful? And can they cause kidney stones? I had one of those last year and wonder if this had anything to do with it.


Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) is used by many people as a soak and for purported health benefits. Many people feel that they make the bath especially relaxing. While magnesium is a critically important salt, we get the magnesium we need through food nearly all the time, while magnesium supplementation is necessary on occasion, such as in people taking certain diuretics.

However, although there may be some small absorption, magnesium is not at all well-absorbed through the skin, so there is neither harm nor benefit to soaking in Epsom salts. A cup is a commonly recommended amount of Epsom salt to add to a bath.

Sodium chloride (table salt) definitely increases the risk of kidney stones when taken by mouth, but magnesium does not. You can enjoy your Epsom salt bath without fear.

Dear Dr. Roach: At 63, I’m familiar with age-related loss of elasticity, most noticeably with my skin. I’ve assumed that it was occurring all throughout my body. I hadn’t really worried about having to urinate three

Data-Driven Advice for Health Care Workers Experiencing Contact Dermatitis

There is no definitive way to distinguish between dyshidrosis, allergic contact dermatitis (ACD), and irritant contact dermatitis (ICD) of the hands in health care workers. Matthew Zirwas, MD, leads research at Bexley Dermatology Research in Bexley, Ohio and has found a calling in generating tangible data and treatment solutions in contact dermatitis, pruitis, atopic dermatitis, and seborrheic dermatitis. He presented strategies to distinguish and treat the type of contact dermatitis on the hands of health care workers during the session “Contact Dermatitis Vs. Something Else” at Maui Derm NP+PA Fall 2023 in Asheville, North Carolina from September 27-30.1

Spotting Key Differences

“Patch testing is uncomfortable, inconvenient for the patient, and expensive if they have a high deductible plan, so I avoid it if I can,” Zirwas said. He explained that there are a few other telltale signs to diagnose either dyshidrosis, ACD, or ICD. Dyshidrosis tends to be strictly limited to the palms. Compared to ACD, ICD of the hands tends to be described by patients as less itchy and more dry/irritated/painful, more likely to spare the palms, less discreet, more seasonal, less severe, more variable, more responsive to symptomatic therapy, and more difficult to cure.

Research Conducted in the Height of the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic presented an opportunity to gather data on the impact of hospital-mandated gloves, types of soap, and types of hand sanitizer on the skin. One study assessed hand hygiene strategies on skin barrier function. Health care workers (n=60) were randomized at the start of a shift to sanitize their hands with water and soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, or disinfectant wipes over the span of 8 hours. Investigators found that skin barrier function was worsened by soap and water, not the sanitizer or wipes. Alcohol-based hand rub was better at reducing bacteria counts.2

Health P.E.I. keeping Montague hospital ER closed on weekends until February

The emergency department at Kings County Memorial Hospital in Montague will continue to be closed on weekends until at least February 2024, according to Health P.E.I.  

The health agency originally announced in June that the emergency department would be closed on weekends until at least early October 2023 

In a news release Tuesday morning, Health P.E.I. said the emergency department will be open only from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., due to a lack of doctors and other staff. 

“Recruitment for physicians, nurses and all necessary staff to maintain the emergency department seven days a week has been a priority for many months,” Corinne Rowswell, Chief Operating Officer for Health P.E.I., was quoted as saying in the news release.

Unfortunately, we have not yet recruited enough staff to this area to return to daily service.— Corinne Rowswell

“Unfortunately, we have not yet recruited enough staff to this area to return to daily service.”

Health P.E.I. said the weekday schedule was implemented in early July to help avoid last-minute and unplanned closures at the emergency department. 

Since July, Kings County Memorial Hospital has had no unplanned closures, Health P.E.I. said.

Three Rivers Mayor Debbie Johnston is pleading with the government to keep the ER open or find another alternative.
Three Rivers Mayor Debbie Johnston is pleading with the government to keep the ER open or find another alternative. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Three Rivers Mayor Debbie Johnston said it’s “extremely disappointing” the ER will remain closed on weekends. She is pleading with the province to keep it open, or offer other alternatives such as a walk-in clinic.

“So many people don’t have family doctors so if you go into the emergency room now on Monday, it’s packed… We’ve lost so many services out here, two doctors, now the reduction in the in the emergency hours, it’s just really going to affect everybody.”

Donna Singleton of Murray River said

Health Information Management Professional-Health Records- Part Time

1. Responsible for the timely and accurate coding and abstracting of patient related health information.
2. Achieve and maintain expected coding quality and productivity standards
3. Incorporate knowledge of CMG and HIG methodologies to correctly rank and assign diagnostic and intervention codes
4. Complete corrections as indicated on the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI) error listing.
5. Maintain up-to-date knowledge of standards and guidelines for classification systems and reporting requirements.
6. Participate in regular Data Quality Committee meetings and departmental quality assurance audits.

1. Graduate of an approved Health Records Technician Diploma.
2. Member of CHIMA in good standing.
3. Certification as a Health Information Management Professional (HIMP).
4. Proficiency in medical terminology.

5. Experience in ICD-10 coding/abstracting of Discharge Abstract Database (DAD); National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS).
6. Experience with MED 2020 (Winrecs) abstracting for CIHI.
7. Proven knowledge and use of CIHI Discharge Abstract Database (DAD); National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS), CIHI products, definitions and standards
8. Previous experience in Health Records Department

9. Thorough understanding of privacy legislation including the Personal Health Information Act, the Mental Health Act and the Public Hospitals’ Act.
10. Excellent typing skills and proficiency in a Microsoft environment.
11. Ability to work independently and interdependently as part of a team.
12. Excellent verbal and written communication skills and organizational skills.
13. Proficient with data analysis and interpretation.
14. Demonstrated ability to maintain successful working relationships; ability to meet and interact with people in a pleasant, professional, responsible and reassuring manner, both in person and on the telephone; tact, courtesy and alertness in public contacts.
15. Demonstrated behaviour consistent with the hospital’s mission statement and iCcare Way.

Note: Because of the changing nature of the work and work to be done, other responsibilities and duties may

Rantz: One health department’s anti-fentanyl campaign actually pushes drug use

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD) says its newest campaign warns kids about the dangers of fentanyl. But the campaign ends up encouraging kids to use fentanyl in a “safer” way. It’s dangerous and will only make the crisis worse.

The TPCHD campaign, announced Aug. 30, targets youth with awareness ads on multiple social media platforms, including Twitch, TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram. Though behavior health policy coordinator Elizabeth Allen told FOX 13 the campaign’s purpose is to crack down on fentanyl use, the ads actually employ a dangerous and deadly “harm reduction” strategy. While some messaging warns against use, the main goal is “offer(ing) important info, data, resources and tools to help youth to stay safer if they decide to use drugs.”

Harm reduction is a far-left strategy that offers tips on how to continue to use drugs, while mitigating some of the risk. It’s the strategy behind handing out clean needles and crack pipes. But should TPCHD teach children how to take fentanyl?

Public health department gives drug using tips to youth

TPCHD reports overdoses are the second leading cause of injury deaths amongst 15-to-24-year-old people.

Citing fentanyl, the department says more than 60 young people under 24 suffered fatal overdoses in Pierce County between 2020 and 2022. You’d think this would be enough to put funding solely into messaging steering youth away from fentanyl and other illicit drug abuse.

Instead, they’re telling youth to use fentanyl test strips, carry naloxone (a drug that can reverse opioid overdoses), and to avoid using alone. On the TPCHD website, youth are told fentanyl is dangerous, but not with a goal to stop using. It’s because, “Once you have the facts, you’ll know why you need to stay safer—and how to do it.”

The department waits until the very last sentence

Data breach exposed health info of 3 million Ontarians

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An Ontario agency that collects data on pregnancies and births in the province says a cybersecurity breach earlier this year resulted in a leak of personal health information of approximately 3.4 million people.

The Better Outcomes Registry and Network Ontario said Monday that the breach in May resulted in information leaked largely regarding approximately 1.4 million people seeking pregnancy care and 1.9 million newborns born in the province.

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The leak was the result of an international breach of file transfer software MOVEit, which the perinatal and child registry said it used to send information to authorized care and research partners.

“As a result of the incident, unauthorized parties were able to copy certain files from one of BORN’s servers,” BORN Ontario, which is funded by the Ministry of Health, wrote in a news release.

“Data in the copied files included personal health information collected from primarily Ontario fertility, pregnancy, and child health care providers.”

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Individuals are most likely to be affected by the privacy breach if they gave birth or had a child born between April 2010 to May 2023, received pregnancy care in Ontario between January 2012 and May 2023 or had in-vitro fertilization or egg banking between January 2013 and May 2023.

BORN Ontario said the compromised software is no longer in use and the breach has been reported to the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s office, which is reviewing it. There is no evidence to date that the copied data has been misused for fraud, it added.

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“We have engaged experts to monitor the dark web for any activity related to this incident,” it

Health Ministry issues recommendation for Moderna COVID vaccine – Israel Politics

Israelis of all medical conditions and ages 12 years and older conditions – but especially those with chronic illness, the elderly, those with weak immune systems (due to any condition) and pregnant women – should go to their health fund to get the new vaccine against substrains of the COVID-19 virus. This is the new recommendation of the Health Ministry. 

Although many Israelis are tired of being vaccinated, they should remember that they got previous COVID-19 shots many months and even a couple years ago, and they have lost much of their protective value. 

Its epidemiology department sent instructions to the four health funds about available and recommendations for the shots against substrains of the Omicron variant. The ministry said it constantly monitors morbidity trends and Corona variants. 

“As of this moment, there is a moderate increase in the number of hospitalized patients, most of whom have mild cases, but there is also a moderate increase in the number of patients in serious condition as well as a very moderate increase in mortality from the virus. Both in Israel and in the world, there are a number of variants that cause illness, with the dominant variants in Israel being sub-varieties of Omicron. The vaccines that will arrive in Israel are manufactured by the Moderna company and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Phases of vaccination

In the first phase, after the holiday of Sukkot, those 12 years old and older will be able to be vaccinated, while in the first phase people in the risk group for severe illness from the virus will be preferred, regardless of the type of vaccine or the number of doses given in the past. After that, when an additional supply of vaccines arrives, the populations that can be vaccinated will

Mental disorders and access to mental health care

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Overview of the study

Using data from the 2022 Mental Health and Access to Care Survey, this article provides updated prevalence estimates for some of the most common mental disorders, including mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders. These results are compared to those from the previous 2012 and 2002 Canadian Community Health Survey – Mental Health cycles. The 2022 survey was collected from March to July 2022. This article also describes some key aspects of mental health care services in Canada. The analysis is focused on who Canadians turn to for mental health care, the role of virtual care in mental health care, and the types of mental care where the unmet needs for care are the largest.

  • The percentage of Canadians aged 15 years and older who met the diagnostic criteria for a major depressive episode, bipolar disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder has increased in the past 10 years, whereas the prevalence of alcohol use disorders has decreased, and the prevalence of other substance use disorders (including cannabis) has remained stable.
  • Youth (ages 15-24), especially women, were most likely to have met diagnostic criteria for a mood or anxiety disorder based on their symptoms in the 12 months before the survey.
  • The prevalence of mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders was generally lower among South Asian, Chinese, Filipino, and Black people in Canada when compared to non-racialized, non-IndigenousNote  people, although there were some variations in the magnitude of the differences depending on the type of disorder.
  • About half of the people who met diagnostic criteria for a mood, anxiety, or substance use disorder talked to a health professional about their mental health in the 12 months before the survey.
  • Among those who met diagnostic criteria
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