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September 2021 Newsletter: Dementia – Written By Dr. Jerry J. Masarira, Naturopath D. CBIS.

Dementia is one of the most prevalent brain problems of the 21century. There are many brain disorders that are named dementia when there are not. This year 2021 there are over 50 million in the world living with dementia. This number is projected to double every 20 years. The risk of getting dementia increases as one gets older. 

             What is dementia? Etymologically, the term dementia, is Latin derived, when “de” (is to depart) and “mens” (means, mind). This is when the mind is departing from its normal functions. 

              This is not a disease but a neurological and psychiatric syndrome that covers a broad spectrum of diseases and conditions. 

Dementia has symptoms that indicate a decline in mental ability. The symptoms must be longer that six months and not have been present since birth. Dementia or senility are not caused by aging as such, but by some brain diseases. There is a gradual loss of cognitive abilities.  

                 For one to be classified as having dementia, must have two of the following five core mental functions significantly affected: 

  1. Communication and language. 
    1. Visual perception. 
    1. Reasoning and judgement. 
    1.  Ability to focus and pay attention. 
    1. Memory.  

The myths about dementia that need to be understood are as follows: 

     1. Demetia is a natural part of aging. 

     2. That only old people get dementia.  

     3. That Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are the same. (Dementia is a broad, umbrella term covering various types of diseases and conditions. Alzheimer’s disease is A TYPE, of Dementia) 

     4. That people with Dementia do not know what they want and do not understand what is going on around them. 

     5. That memory loss is equivalent to Dementia. 

     6. Or, if there is no memory loss there is no Dementia. 

     7. A person diagnosed with Dementia is mentally incompetent. (Not necessarily) 

     8. Dementia causes aggression and violence. 

     9. People with Dementia become like children. 

In 1901 a 50 year old woman was the first identified case of Alzheimer’s disease. It was named after her treating physician, the German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer. He made a public report of her condition in 1906 after his patient passed.  

             There are different classes of Dementia: 

  1. Cortical and subcortical Dementia.  

     (cortical is when the brain’s gray matter, cortex, is affected) 

     (Subcortical affects the brain’s white matter, or beneath the cortex) 

    2. Primary and secondary Dementia. 

       (Seconday means dementia is the result of another illness, disease, trauma or injury)  

        (Example of primary cause is, Alzheimers) 

The purpose of identifying secondary and primary causes is important for treatment and prognosis. 

    3. Reversible and Irreversible Dementia. 

       (Reversible, responds to treatments’ and irreversible does not respond to treatment and is progressive) 

       We have a website for you to communicate for consultations and also training you as a medical missionary. There are other services you may find useful. On the website We recorded over 100 audio weekly lessons and old monthly news-letters you might have missed from the past. Feel free to read and listen. Pass the website link to as many people as you want across the globe. 

If you have any questions, please contact me at: 

[email protected] 

Dr. Jerry J. Masarira, Naturopath D. CBIS.

Enpro Consultant and Certified Brain Injury Specialist.

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA.

Alt. [email protected]

Jerry J. Masarira

[email protected]

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Systemic sclerosis more common among Black children than previously thought – News-Medical.Net

An immune disease that can damage vital organs – and is supposedly rare in young people – is more common than previously thought among Black children, a study suggests.

Fresh insights into the disorder – which causes scar tissue to form on skin and internal organs – suggest that Black children are more likely to be affected than young people of other ethnicities.

Findings from the study could lead to improved and earlier diagnosis of the disease, the team says.

The condition – called systemic sclerosis – causes the body’s immune system to attack connective tissues under the skin and around internal organs including the heart, lungs and kidneys.

The presumed rarity of the disease in children – which can be fatal when internal organs are affected – may be because most previous studies have mainly involved White patients, the team says.

Previous research has shown that Black people – especially women – are more likely to be affected by the disease than White people. Black people also tend to develop it at a younger age, but until now the extent to which children are affected was largely unknown, as most research has only involved adults.

A team from the University of Edinburgh worked with researchers at Zimbabwe’s Asthma Allergy and Immunology Clinic to study the disease in people aged between one and 94. Teams from the University of Zimbabwe and the country’s National University of Science and Technology were also involved.

They analysed records of more than 4000 patients referred to the specialist clinic between 2013 and 2018. Of these, 240 patients with symptoms of systemic sclerosis tested positive for specific immune proteins – known as autoantibodies – which mistakenly attack a person’s own tissues and organs.

Researchers found that one in five of these patients were less than 16 years old, of whom more than 90 per cent were Black. The average age of children with autoantibodies was less than eight years old.

The analysis also revealed that Black patients produce a different autoantibody to those seen in White patients. This suggests that current diagnosis criteria – which are based on markers identified in White people – underestimate the rate of the disease in Black people, the team says.

In light of their findings, researchers recommend that diagnostic criteria for the disease be extended to include symptoms seen in children and specific markers associated with Black people.

The study is published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology. An open access version of the paper is available here:

It was funded by the OAK Foundation and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) through the NIHR Global Health Unit Tackling Infections to Benefit Africa (TIBA) at the University of Edinburgh.

Professor Francisca Mutapi, of the School of Biological Sciences, who led the Edinburgh team, said: “Our study is the first to report high numbers of systemic sclerosis cases in Black children. This emphasises the need to address racial biases in our diagnostic tools to ensure that people of all ethnicities receive effective diagnosis and treatment. These findings adds to growing evidence that a lack of research involving women and people of colour is one of the key reasons why they often experience worse health outcomes.”

Journal reference:

Sibanda, E.N., et al. (2021) Systemic Sclerosis in Zimbabwe: Autoantibody Biomarkers, Clinical, and Laboratory Correlates. Frontiers in Immunology.

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BCC accused of diverting health workers pay – NewsDay

BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has been accused of diverting funds earmarked for community health workers who trained under the Global Fund in 2010.

Some of the affected health workers told Southern Eye that they last got paid in 2019.

“We work under harsh conditions where we are not given personal protective equipment and uniforms,” one of the community health workers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

The health workers allegedly signed contracts with the BCC stating that they would be paid $4 000 per month. Copies of the contracts were withheld from them on the pretext that council was waiting for the signature of the Bulawayo director of health services.

They said this made it more difficult to claim their dues.

“We are also being told that the Global Fund has ceased paying us and that we are now under the United Development Fund.  This is making it difficult to identify our employer. The council is not willing to pay us and those that received their incentives only got US$85,” another health worker said.

The disgruntled community health workers said they reported the issue at Mhlahlandlela government offices, but because they did not have documentary proof of their contracts, they did not get any joy.

A council official in the finance department dismissed the allegations as false.

“What is being said is not true. If there are any queries, the community health workers should report them at Tower Block in the health department,” she said.

The aggrieved health workers said efforts to engage the Global Fund had hit a snag.

BCC director of health services Edwin Sibanda said the names of the concerned community health workers should be sent to Harare to enable them to get the outstanding payments. He referred further questions to BCC human resources manager Makhosi Tshalebwa who declined to comment and referred Southern Eye to the public relations department.

BCC spokesperson Nesisa Mpofu on Tuesday asked for questions to be sent to another council official, Bongiwe Ngwenya through email.

However, by yesterday, council had not responded to the questions.

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Influenza outbreak sparks fears of COVID-19 in Byo – NewsDay

BULAWAYO has been hit by a wave of influenza, which residents suspect was COVID-19-related following a spike in confirmed cases.

Residents raised concerns over the influenza outbreak on different social media platforms, noting that the symptoms were similar to those exhibited by people suffering from COVID-19, including fever accompanied by severe headaches.

Health authorities in the city urged people not to panic, but confirmed that the city was battling a flu bug.

Bulawayo provincial medical director Maphios Siamuchembu said: “There is no outbreak. This wave of flu came sometime in 2020 with COVID-19 and we are aware of this flu. The same measures of COVID-19 apply to reduce the spread of flu.”

Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights co-ordinator Khumbulani Maphosa said there was need for health authorities to demystify the current flu bug.

“The current flu bug has been a cause for concern in Bulawayo especially if you consider that we are currently facing threats of a new COVID-19 variant, Omicron. This is now scaring a lot of people. Many people now think that it is COVID-19 affecting them,” he said.

“The symptoms that people say they are experiencing from this flu are almost related to COVID-19 symptoms. It is now giving people a scare as there is no official communication to explain what is happening by the responsible public health authorities.”

Maphosa said information should be disseminated to assist the public on prevention measures.

“What we can do as an organisation is to urge the responsible authorities to reach out and communicate with the people, and share information with them, especially how they can differentiate the new variant from this flu,” he said.

“Information must be disseminated on what people must do. This is important because we are at a time when schools and churches are open and we have very long bank queues. We really urge government and the responsible authorities to try and urgently communicate with the people.”

Maphosa said communication should be in vernacular languages, instead of only English.

“The communication should not be too technical in the sense that it ends up using too much medical jargon which will not be understood by ordinary citizens. At the same time, we are urging residents to be responsible,” he said.

“We urge family members suffering from this flu to be very careful so that they do not transmit it to others. Any kind of flu can be transmitted from one person to another because we are the vehicle of the flu.”

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