- Written by Peace Loise Mbae
A group of former Facebook employees has about-turned on their approach to social media with the launch of a rehabilitation campaign for technology and social media addicts, following last month’s classification by the World Health Organisation of gaming addiction as a mental health condition.
Research by Nottingham Trent University shows that across the general population, people are now checking their phones an average of 85 times a day.
But former Facebook investor and adviser Roger McNamee and former Google design ethicist Tristan Harris have now launched the Centre for Human Technology running a campaign Truth about Tech in an effort to help rehabilitate the rising numbers of technology addicts.
The campaign aims at pressuring technology companies by speaking up against products designed to get people hooked, working with engineers to make products that have less potential to inflict harm on users while sensitizing people about dangers of technology.
It’s a problem that is already attracting medical attention. In the UK, Capio Nightingale Hospital in London was among the first to establish a clinic for tech addicted kids in 2010, with South Korea later establishing the Jump Up Internet Rescue School as the first camp of its kind in the country dedicated to dealing with technology addiction.
The first Internet addiction rehabilitation centre to open in the US was at Bradford Regional Medical Center in 2013.
These centres focus on handling kids with short attention spans, inability to multi task, and in extreme cases, anxiety and depression caused by an obsession with smartphones and video games, with consultants Common Sense Media reporting that 59 per cent of teenagers and 27 per cent of adults are now addicted to their phones.
“Digital devices have transformed people’s lives. Everything has been changed including ordinary human interaction, parent-child relationships, and even our ability to focus on things we should do,” said James Steyer, founder and chief executive of Common Sense. “And particularly for young people who are growing up as digital natives. It has public health concerns.”
According to a study from Korea University, teens who are addicted to their phones actually show chemical imbalance in the brain. The study surveyed 19 adolescents aged 15 years old, made up of nine boys and 10 girls who had been diagnosed with smartphone or internet addiction.
“The participants' brains were examined using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), which is a technique that allows researchers to evaluate levels of various chemicals in the brain. 12 out of 19 had a form of chemical imbalance,” read the report.
In Kenya, a report by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) in 2017 found that 99 per cent of all online activity is on mobile and 90 per cent of Kenyan now own phones and are showing a growing appetite for technology, with internet users and gaming on the rise.
The biggest drive behind the growth in gaming has been the deployment of high-speed internet infrastructure, which allows gamers to watch and compete with each other across the country and over continental borders, with the social gaming market expected to rise by 22 per cent by 2021, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).
The rapid growth in video games has spawned widespread global debate, with the World Health Organization last month classifying gaming addiction as a mental health condition.
The newly published WHO guide gives an explanation of the gaming disorder disease, and its signs and symptoms, and is already being used by doctors to track and diagnose the condition.
The WHO said abnormal gaming behavior can be observed over a period of 12 months with symptoms including lack of control over gaming, with intense, long and frequent durations, increased priority to gaming, and continuous playing while disregarding any negative consequences.
Dr Manoj Kumar Sharma has been running counseling sessions for internet and gaming addicts in Bangalore’s National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in India since 2014, seeing close to 25 patients weekly.
“I find that people between the ages of 14 and 35 are most prone to internet and gaming addiction. The harmful effects of too much Internet shows up in teens with falling grades and deteriorating relationships with parents. Surprisingly, parents I have dealt with have a hard time recognizing addiction therefore fail to seek help,” she said.
I have seen extreme cases of addiction of teens who spend 12 hours on weekends and seven weeks on schooldays playing online games, and others who have engaged in high risk sexual behavior online.”
In treating technology addiction, there is no detoxification, however rehabilitation process focuses on dealing with emotional bonds patients have with gaming, internet and other technologies. Also, other disorders the patient might suffer from can be treated at this stage with medication, as patients take the time to learn about the disorder, addiction management, and ways to maintain a normal use of technology.
With people consuming an average of nine hours per day of technology, according to a research by Common Sense, addiction could see a rise in more rehabilitation centres. Psychologist Jean Twenge says heavy users of digital media are 56 per cent unhappy and 27 per cent depressed, from a study he conducted.
- Written by Peace Loise Mbae
Cervical Cancer Awareness Walk 2018 will be held on Saturday 27 with the aim of raising awareness of early screening to curb the alarming cervical cancer cases in Kenya. In Kenya eight women die daily from cervical cancer because it is diagnosed in its late stages according to the Ministry of Health.
The Kenyan Network of Cancer Organizations reports that 70-80 per cent of cancer cases are diagnosed in late stages.
The 10 Kilometre walk organized by Lady Hope Wellness Institute and Mombasa-Bound Buses will start from 7- 1 P.M. in marking cervical cancer prevention month.
“We wish to touch the lives of the vulnerable in the community by uplifting poor cancer affected persons in our programme to access continuous specialized treatment and thereafter empower them economically to start life afresh after their treatment. Various partners feel the pain of the cancer patients and wish to take the Walk with/ for them to alleviate their suffering in their own small ways,” read the press release.
Mombasa-Bound Buses (Mbb) company says they understand the emotional and physical pain long distant cervical cancer patients undergo as they travel by public means even at late stages of the disease mostly characterized by heavy bleeding.
“By taking little steps towards cancer fight, they will be ensuring that no cervical cancer patient chooses to await their fate in the comfort of their homes rather than take the long distant Buses to Kenyatta National Hospital for specialized treatment,” read the press release.
The walk is also seeking donations through Mpesa Paybill account: Business Number: 480329
Account number: LADY HOPE WELLNESS INSTITUTE
Donations can also be made directly to LADY HOPE WELLNESS INSTITUTE through cheque, direct bank deposits to National Bank of Kenya Westlands branch, Account no. 01281041141300 (Pay bill no. 625625), M-pesa on 0728919199 or through the Parish Priest Fr. Gideon Muchira. (Church located along Peponi Road, heading to ISK School).
Free transport will be provided from Nairobi town to the Venue, courtesy of various Mombasa bus companies. Departure time is strictly 7am from Accra rd. Free transport will also be provided after the Charity Walk.
For more information call Walk Co-ordinator: Mrs. Elizabeth Samoei ( 0723929746)
or Delvan (MBB Group) on 0705808848
- Written by Peace Loise Mbae
Kenya has been selected as one of the 10 pilot countries for the Tokyo Joint Universal Health Coverage Initiative in the 10 pilot Countries.
This is a collaboration between the Government of Japan, JICA, World Bank, WHO and Unicef to accelerate countries progress towards UHC while at the same time enhancing pandemic preparedness in the pilot countries.
His Excellency Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan has also pledged to contribute $2.9 billion dollars to programs combating infectious diseases and treating young children in developing countries that are pursuing universal health coverage.
The revelations were made during the Universal Health Coverage Summit in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday in the presence of the Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Health, Dr. Cleopa Mailu who is leading the Kenyan delegation.
Speaking the during the side event on Role of Global Health Partnership to achieve Universal health Coverage, Dr. Mailu revealed that the Government of Kenya is committed to implementing health system reforms to accelerate movement towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as a means of realizing the “Right to Health” as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya.
“The health system reforms target improvements in availability of health infrastructure, training, health information management and equitable health financing systems, among others,” he noted.
Kenya is running the 7th largest Global Fund portfolio globally. The CS said the Ministry of Health (MoH) has prioritized the fight against Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and Malaria, which is built around partnerships, sustainable financing, joint programming focusing on outcomes and equitable coverage.
“With the support of GF and other partners, the MoH continues to provide leadership, setting and regulating standards, mobilizing resources and building capacities of different actors to assure affordable quality health care,” he said.
The Government of Kenya has provided counterpart funding since 2015 to the Fund by providing $ 25,242,718 during the financial year 2015/2016, 27million USD in 2016/2017 $ 27,184,466 in 2017/2018.
“It has also committed to provide 30 million USD in 2018/2019, 33million USD in 2019/2020, and 35 million USD in 2020/2021 to support HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria interventions in Kenya,” Dr. Mailu said.
- Written by Peace Loise Mbae
The World Health Organisation Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus this morning held talks with Health Cabinet Secretary for Health Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Cleopa Mailu at Afya House where they discussed the progress made by the country in Universal Health Coverage.
The CS briefed the Director-General on the Governments Health agenda including the implementation of Primary Health Care programme as a catalyst to the attainment of Universal Health Coverage. (UHC)
He said that the Government’s approach towards UHC is centered on three critical drivers which focus on expanding coverage, increasing access to services and developing sustainable financing models for health.
The DG was accompanied by the WHO country Representative Dr. Rudi Eggers. Also present were the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Health, Julius Korir, Director of Medical Services, Dr. Jackson Kioko and Secretary of Administration Francis Musyimi.
Dr. Mailu informed the DG that a strong political commitment over the past five years had seen an increase in domestic financing towards health sector reforms and enhanced provision of affordable and equitable access to essential health services for the entire population.
The CS noted that success had been recorded in health care services adding that “moving from the MDG to the SDG era, we have witnessed tremendous improvements in our health indicators like fertility rate, Contraceptive prevalence, Maternal Mortality ratio, Infant mortality rate, and Under-five mortality rate among others.”
The CS attributed the significant improvement recorded in healthcare service delivery to efforts at both the national and county government level.
In terms of healthcare financing and social health protection, Dr. Mailu highlighted strides made including the elimination of user fees at the primary healthcare level thereby increasing access to essential services, the free maternity programme, Health Insurance Subsidies Programme for the vulnerable and expansion of the benefit Packages for all NHIF members. Other initiatives taken by the Government include investment in Medical Equipment Leasing Programme (MES) to increase access to specialised health services across the country. Plans are underway to scale up the programme and establish 10 new referral hospitals.
The Director-General hailed the Government for prioritizing Universal Health Care and assured of his WHO’s support in Kenya’s efforts in this area. The Director-General underscored the critical role of primary health care in the delivery of UHC.
- Written by Peace Loise Mbae
Children safety while driving should be given priority, with adults with seatbelts most times children are left held by their parents which is a serious safety concern. Here are several shops to buy or hire car seats for children;
This website offers a range of car safety range of products for children ensuring both parents and children are secure while travelling.
Baby mama offers practical, adaptable and easily installed seats for all ages, in compliance with Kenyan and European norms.
Baby Mama is the leading online store in East and Central Africa offering a wide range of baby and pregnant-mothers products from the world known brands. We offer the newest and mom-trusted products at an affordable cost.
Ruchir Holdings Ltd
Mayfair Suites, 5th Floor,
P.O BOX 1017-00606 Nairobi, Kenya
Call or Whatsapp: 0725 983434
Price of car seat range from 7,000- 35,000. You can also hire.
BABY AND KIDZ http://babynkids.co.ke/
Baby and kidz is an online shop that offers various kids products including car seats.
“We believe that childhood is a celebration. This celebration means shopping, shopping and more shopping,” says the company.
Call or email us: 7am - 5pm monday-friday. 9am-2pm saturdays.
Car seat prices range from Sh 7,000-30,000
SMART BABY KENYA http://babynkids.co.ke/
This is also an online store that stocks various family and children products.
The company says it is dedicated to offer quality and excellent customer care experience.
Smart Baby Kenya
P.O. Box 70212
Tel: 0721-379-718 or 0705-462-736
Price of car seats Sh19,000