Scientists discover exact mechanism for how broccoli and crucifers fight cancers


Researchers fed a special cultivar of broccoli, a combination of wild and commercially available broccoli that contains high levels of glucoraphanin, to nineteen volunteers each week for three months. They compared the first group to two other groups eating the same diet, except one consumed commercially available broccoli and the third ate none of the crucifer. The team observed that those eating the glucoraphanin-rich vegetable showed signs of an improved metabolism.

The scientists determined that a compound commonly found in crucifers, known as sulforaphane, improved the chemical reactions inside mitochondria, the power source for our cellular machinery. The study found that glucoraphanin helped ‘retune’ metabolic processes in the cells that get disrupted as we age. Lead author, Dr. Richard Mithen commented, “We think this provides some evidence as to why people who eat diets rich in broccoli may keep in good health… mitochondria are really, really important, and when they start to go wrong it leads to many of the diseases of aging.”

The nutritionists performing the study recommend eating broccoli two to three times a week. Other health-promoting members of the cruciferous vegetable family include Brussels sprouts, kale and cauliflower. Dr. Mithen concluded “We think it is significant because it shows in humans a measurable effect on our metabolism, which is central to our overall health and could explain the diverse range of beneficial effects many observational dietary studies have shown previously.” It is important to note that while this study used a specially concentrated type of broccoli to produce the stated results, consumption of commercially available broccoli and crucifers have been shown to exhibit similar anti-cancer properties when eaten over a longer period of time

Source: Natural news

5 Proven Reasons You Should Be Eating More Dark Chocolate


Scientists have been investigating the mysteries of cocoa since at least 1200 B.C., and the jury’s still out on its exact health benefits. The good news is that more and more studies seem to suggest that dark chocolate, which is loaded with cocoa, need not be a guilty indulgence.

Here are five delicious reasons to chow down on the cocoa goodness:

1. Real Chocolate Isn’t Junk Food
There’s chocolate and then there’s chocolate. The former is a brown bar of sugary candy, the latter an antioxidant powerhouse.

The difference is what’s in each. Real chocolate is made mostly from cocoa, the mysterious substance responsible for most of the treat’s healthy benefits. Flavanols, one of cocoa’s key components, are antioxidants . Indulge in a chocolate treat, chocolate may contain added sugars, but if you’re eating dessert in moderation, you may as well enjoy some benefits, too.

To ensure you’re getting chocolate’s healthy perks, look for dark chocolates with high cocoa content. The more cocoa, the better. But be aware: the more cocoa, the more bitter, too.

Some experts swear by sprinkling pure cocoa powder on their morning oatmeal as it packs the most punch, but dark chocolate can still provide some of your daily dose. While there’s debate about what exactly constitutes “dark chocolate,” try to find bars with at least 70% cocoa.

But shop carefully — it’s easy to pick the wrong bar. A 2012 Australian review pointed out that flavanol content can vary depending on the manufacturing process, as well as the ripeness and variety of the parent cocoa beans. “A 70% cocoa containing chocolate bar from one company therefore might not contain the same amount of flavanols and flavanol composition as a 70% chocolate bar from another company,” the authors said.

2. Chocolate Feeds Your Body’s Good Bacteria
When scientists recently revealed how chocolate works in your body, the secret weapon was the body’s good bacteria. These bacteria feast on the chocolate, fermenting it into anti-inflammatory compounds that can help reduce cardiovascular disease.

3. Chocolate Is Associated With Lower Blood Pressure
Interest in the effect of cocoa on blood pressure began when it was discovered that the Kuna Indians, who live on a small island in Central America, seemed to maintain a low hypertension rate and low blood pressure, a 2012 review said. Their secret seemed to be the three to four cups of cocoa drinks they had every day.

Many studies have since linked the consumption of flavanols to lower blood pressure. In a review of 20 such studies, nine established a link between lower blood pressure and flavanol consumption. (Each of those studies lasted about two weeks; longer-duration studies did not show the same link for reasons that are still unclear.)

When all 20 trials were analyzed, the authors found that flavanol-rich chocolate was associated with a small but significant reduction of 2 mm to 3 mm Hg in blood pressure. “Even small reductions in blood pressure substantially reduce cardiovascular risk,” the authors of the review said. Still, more studies are needed to investigate the long-term effects of flavanols on blood pressure.

4. Chocolate Can Help Reduce That Iron Deficiency
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, iron deficiency is the leading national nutritional deficiency. While we wouldn’t recommend that you use any sugar-sweetened food as your primary source of nutrients, dark chocolate is a surprisingly rich source of iron.
One hundred grams of cooked spinach has 3.5 mg of iron. One hundred grams of dark chocolate made of 70-85% cocoa solids has more than three times that amount.

5. Chocolate May Ease Crankiness

Chocolate may be one of the most frequently craved foods. It is still unclear whether we enjoy it for its sweetness, its fattiness, its carbohydrates, its “optimal mouth feel,” or its psychoactive ingredients, according to a review published in October 2013.

Regardless, out of the eight studies included in the mood review, five showed that cocoa either eased bad moods or made good moods even better.
In a study released in May 2013, researchers gave 72 participants either a dark chocolate mix containing varying levels of polyphenols (antioxidants normally found in cocoa) or a placebo. They found that those taking a daily dose of the brew containing 500 mg of polyphenols (your average 40 g bar of dark chocolate has 400 mg to 800 mg of polyphenols, according to a Nestle study) showed improvements in self-reported calmness and contentedness after 30 days of drinking the brew.

Source: yahoo news


Gene Therapy May Boost Cochlear Implants


Australian researchers are trying a novel way to boost the power of cochlear implants: They used the technology to beam gene therapy into the ears of deaf animals and found the combination improved hearing.

The approach reported Wednesday isn’t ready for human testing, but it’s part of growing research into ways to let users of cochlear implants experience richer, more normal sound.

Normally, microscopic hair cells in a part of the inner ear called the cochlea detect vibrations and convert them to electrical impulses that the brain recognizes as sound. Hearing loss typically occurs as those hair cells are lost, whether from aging, exposure to loud noises or other factors.

Cochlear implants substitute for the missing hair cells, sending electrical impulses to directly activate auditory nerves in the brain. They’ve been implanted in more than 300,000 people. While highly successful, they don’t restore hearing to normal, missing out on musical tone, for instance.

The idea behind the project: Perhaps a closer connection between the implant and the auditory nerves would improve hearing. Those nerves’ bush-like endings can regrow if exposed to nerve-nourishing proteins called neurotrophins. Usually, the hair cells would provide those.

Researchers at Australia’s University of New South Wales figured out a new way to deliver one of those growth factors.

They injected a growth factor-producing gene into the ears of deafened guinea pigs, animals commonly used as a model for human hearing. Then they adapted an electrode from a cochlear implant to beam in a few stronger-than-normal electrical pulses.

That made the membranes of nearby cells temporarily permeable, so the gene could slip inside. Those cells began producing the growth factor, which in turn stimulated regrowth of the nerve fibers — closing some of the space between the nerves and the cochlear implant, the team reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The animals still needed a cochlear implant to detect sound — but those given the gene therapy had twice the improvement, they concluded.

Senior author Gary Housley estimated small studies in people could begin in two or three years.

“That’s a really clever way” of delivering the nerve booster, said Stanford University otolaryngology professor Stefan Heller, who wasn’t involved with the Australian work. “This is a promising approach.”

But Heller cautioned that it’s an early first step, and it’s not clear how long the extra improvement would last or if it really would spur richer sound. He said other groups are exploring such approaches as drug coatings for implants; Heller’s own research is aimed at regrowing hair cells.

Source: abc news

Managing Your Child’s Asthma at School


If your child has been diagnosed with asthma, you know the difficulty of managing your child’s asthma symptoms at school. Many children with asthma have symptoms at school. That’s why it’s important to get the school involved in managing your child’s asthma, so a responsible adult at the school knows when and how to administer asthma inhalers or other asthma treatment. Even if your child has mild asthma, working with the classroom teacher and other school officials is vital for managing your child’s condition and treating mild symptoms early on before they worsen.

With the prevalence of asthma increasing rapidly among children in the U.S., most schools have many students with asthma. Many classroom teachers — and certainly the school nurses — are very familiar with helping children with asthma. Still, it is important to take steps to ensure that your child gets adequate attention at school and that all the key people are familiar with what is needed in managing your child’s asthma and preventing asthma symptoms at school.

How Can I Prevent Asthma Problems for My Child at School?

The most important thing you can do to prevent asthma problems for your child at school is to talk to your child and, depending on how old he is, explain to him as much about asthma as he can understand. Ideally, your child should be able to keep track of when it’s time to take his medicine, how to use the asthma inhaler properly, how to use a peak flow meter, what the number on the peak flow meter means, and what to do if that number is too low.

You should also make sure that the school officials know all about managing your child’s asthma. They must know how severe the asthma is, what the what the triggers are, what asthma medications to use and how to properly give them, how to use the peak flow meter, and what to do in case of an asthma attack.

The specific steps for managing your child’s asthma at school should be written up in your child’s asthma action plan. The asthma action plan should be distributed to every school official who may care for your child. It’s important to have a conference with the child’s teachers and other school officials and explain the asthma action plan, including your child’s triggers, the severity of the asthma, and common symptoms and effective treatment of your child’s asthma.
Read Also Premature Birth Linked to Asthma in Childhood

In addition, you should look around your child’s classroom and other areas where he or she goes at the school to see if there are any known allergy or asthma triggers. If you identify possible asthma triggers (dust mites and dust are common triggers in a classroom), you should work with the teacher to reduce your child’s exposure to these triggers.

Source: Managing Your Child’s Asthma at School

Man sues doctors for mocking him while he was unconscious


So what do doctors chat about after you’ve gone under anesthesia? You may not want to know, according to a lawsuit picked up by Courthouse News Service. A colonoscopy patient in Virginia says he used his cellphone to record instructions given to him prior to his April 18, 2013, procedure, and accidentally left it on and recording. “DB” says doctors mocked him relentlessly. A sampling:

Dr. Tiffany Ingham is heard saying to the unconscious patient: “And really, after five minutes of talking to you in pre-op I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit.”

Ingham also allegedly called him a “big wimp” and a “retard,” joked about firing a gun up his rectum, made fun of his alma mater (Mary Washington College), and threatened to falsely note on his chart that he had hemorrhoids.

The medical team joked about a rash on the patient’s penis, speculating it might be syphilis. Then Ingham allegedly said, “It’s probably tuberculosis in the penis, so you’ll be all right.”

Doctors also strategized about how to avoid him after surgery.
The Fairfax County patient is suing for $1.35 million in damages. (More odd medical news: A Pennsylvania woman has been busted dealing heroin—from her hospital bed.)

Source: newser

Girl mauled by a raccoon leaves the hospital with an ear on arm


Going home: Charlotte Ponce, 12, Michigan was released from the hospital Monday after undergoing a seven-hour surgery to implant cartilage into her arm

The 12-year-old girl who was mauled by a raccoon as a baby is back at home after successfully undergoing surgery to create a new ear.

Charlotte Ponce of Spring Lake, Michigan was just three-months-old in 2002 when her young parents left her at home with the pet and she lost her right ear, nose and part of her lip in an attack.  Two years ago, Doctor Kongrit Chaiyasate repaired little Charlotte’s nose and now he’s focusing on giving her a new ear.


Revolutionary surgery: The lung cartilage was molded into the shape of an ear and inserted into Charlotte’s arm during the April 15 surgery


The raccoon pretty much ate the right side of her face, all the way back to the ear,’ Charlotte’s adoptive mom Sharon Ponce told ‘Now, all she wants is to wear two earrings.’ That dream of pierced ears came closer to reality on April 15, when she underwent a seven-hour surgery to embed lung cartilage, shaped into an ear lobe, into her arm where it will continue to grow until June.   That’s when Charlotte will go under the knife for hopefully the last time as Dr Chaiyaste attaches the cartilage to her ear.


One last surgery: Little Charlotte will return to the hospital in June for her surgery, which will hopefully be her last. Pictured above on Monday

But this last procedure will be the most complex yet, as it is claimed it has only been performed twice before.
Dr Chaiyasate admitted the procedure is not easy and he will only have one chance to get it right, so he has been practicing on a potato.

Dr Chaiyasate, of Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan,  ‘As plastic surgeons we need to think outside the box a little bit – what can we do to make a life long reconstruction for her. ‘I’ve been practicing carving potato last weekend using this as a template. It’s not easy.


He said he could not guarantee success, but would try his best.

Charlotte’s adopted mother Sharon Ponce said people from as far as Britain and Australia had contacted the family to tell them what an inspiration the girl has been.

She was just a newborn when her 18-year-old mother and 23-year-old father left her home alone with the pet.
The raccoon was thought to have escaped from its cage after a door was left open when food had been dropped in, and no one was there to save the baby when she was attacked.


Charlotte as a baby with her brother Marshall before she was attacked in late 2002

Her great-aunt Sharon and great-uncle Tim only found out about the attack with horror when they watched that night’s news bulletin.

They gained custody of Charlotte and her brother Marshall, who was then 15 months old, and they and their friends raised more than $10,000 to help pay for her trips in and out of hospital. Sharon had to quit her job at a daycare center to look after Charlotte after doctors said she would need full time care. Although ears have been made out of ribs before, the method of ‘growing’ the ear inside the forearm is extremely rare.
It has to be done because Charlotte’s ear was so badly damaged that the foundations of an ear structure no longer exist inside her head.

Charlotte previously had a prosthetic ear fitted but it was not an ideal solution and soon became infected and uncomfortable.
Yet despite the enormous damage, there is one miracle. Even before the extensive surgery which will grant her a new quality of life, Charlotte’s hearing has been largely unaffected.

Source: the daily mail

Naps Linked with Higher Risk of Death

sleeping_man_640 (1)

Middle-age and older adults who take daytime naps may be at increased risk of dying, a new study from England suggests.

In the study, people ages 40 to 79 who napped daily, for less than an hour, were 14 percent more likely to die over a 13-year period, compared to those who did not nap. Longer naps were linked with a higher risk: people whose daily naps lasted an hour or more were 32 percent more likely to die over the study period.

Many people turn to sleeping pills to help get some rest at night. But do these pills actually put you to sleep?
The findings held even after the researchers took into account many factors that could affect people’s risk of death, such as their age, gender, body mass index (BMI), whether they smoked, how much they exercised, and whether they had certain pre-existing medical conditions (such as diabetes, cancer or asthma)

In particular, naps were linked with an increased risk of dying from respiratory diseases. And the link between napping and risk of dying was highest among the younger people in the study, those between ages 40 and 65, who were nearly twice as likely to die during the study period if they napped for an hour or more, compared to those who did not nap.

The reason for the link is not known. It may not be napping per se that’s unhealthy, but rather, that those who tend to nap also have undiagnosed medical conditions that affect their risk of dying, the researchers said.

“Further studies are needed before any recommendations can be made,” the researchers, from the University of Cambridge, wrote in the May issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology. “Excessive daytime napping might be a useful marker of underlying health risks, particularly respiratory problems, especially among those 65 years of age or younger,” they said.

The study involved more than 16,000 people in England (where napping is not a cultural norm) who answered questions about their napping habits between 1998 and 2000, and were followed for 13 years.

Some studies have suggested that “power naps” of less than 30 minutes can be beneficial, but the new study could not specifically look at the effect of power naps, because it asked participants only whether their naps lasted more or less than an hour.

Sleep apnea, or frequent pauses in breathing during sleep, can make people sleepy during the day, and is also linked with an increased risk of dying over a given period. The new study could not directly take into account whether people had sleep apnea, but people who had a high BMI and took medications for high blood pressure were considered likely to have sleep apnea, the researchers said.

Future studies should more precisely measure sleep apnea, and should investigate whether daily naps are linked with physiological changes that might be harmful, the researches said.

Source: discovery news

A Top Hospital Opens Up to Chinese Herbs as Medicines

chinese herbs

Christina Lunka appeared nervous and excited as she sat in the Chinese herbal therapy center recently opened by the Cleveland Clinic.

The 49-year-old had been to many doctors seeking help for ongoing issues that included joint pain and digestive problems. Now the Kirtland, Ohio, resident was hoping to find relief through herbal remedies.

“Do you have something for inflammation?” Ms. Lunka asked herbalist Galina Roofener during a one-hour consultation.

“Absolutely,” responded Ms. Roofener. “This is for pain, for digestion, for inflammation, all of the above,” she said, handing Ms. Lunka a bottle with capsules of an herbal combination called Xiao Yao San, which translates as free and easy wanderer. The capsules include about eight different herbs, including licorice, mint leaf and white peony root.

“Please do not expect immediate results,” said Ms. Roofener. “The first effects, three weeks. The best therapeutic potential, three months. It will be slow, tedious work.”

The Cleveland Clinic, one of the country’s top hospitals, is a surprising venue for the dispensing of herbs, a practice that is well established in China and other Eastern countries but has yet to make inroads in the U.S. because of a lack of evidence proving their effectiveness. The herbal clinic, which opened in January, has one herbalist who sees patients on Thursdays. Patients must be referred by a doctor and will be monitored to ensure that there are no drug-herbal interactions or other complications. The herbal clinic is part of the hospital’s Center for Integrative Medicine, whose offerings also include acupunture, holistic psychotherapy and massage therapy.

“Western medicine does acute care phenomenally.… But we’re still struggling a bit with our chronic-care patients and this fills in that gap and can be used concurrently,” says Melissa Young, an integrative medicine physician at Cleveland Clinic.

While acupuncture programs have sprouted across the U.S., there are only a handful of herbal clinics. Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern University and NorthShore University HealthSystem, affiliated with the University of Chicago, both include herbal medicine among their offerings.

“I’m getting more and more physician referrals [for herbal treatments], which to me is a sign of greater acceptance,” says Leslie Mendoza Temple, medical director at NorthShore’s Integrative Medicine Program. “When I first started here we were pounding on doors to prove we’re not crazy and we’re legitimate and safe.” Referrals come from neurology, oncology, gastroenterology and rheumatology, among other departments, she says.

Jamie Starkey, lead acupuncturist at the Cleveland Clinic who got the herbal clinic started, says there is little scientific research outside Asia on using herbs as medicine. Ms. Starkey says she had to translate studies to convince the Integrative Medicine’s former medical director that an herbal clinic could be effective.

“The evidence base for these approaches using modern rigorous methods of randomized trials is quite thin,” says Josephine Briggs, director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health. NCCAM is funding research looking at fundamental biological mechanisms of some herbal products. But they are not currently funding any efficacy studies involving humans. Some research is looking at how herbs may affect drug metabolism.

There are thousands of herbs—primarily plant parts but also some animal and mineral products—that are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Herbs are usually used in combinations and can be taken as capsules, tinctures, powders or tea. Herbs can be toxic if taken in the wrong dose.

Quality and potential contamination are issues. At Cleveland Clinic, premade herbal formulas are bought and ordered through KPC Products, a subsidiary of Taiwan’s Kaiser Pharmaceutical Co. Custom-blends are made by Crane Herb Co., based in Massachusetts and California.

At the Cleveland Clinic’s herbal center, new patients are given a one-hour consultation that may include a battery of questions (How’s your sleep? Body temperature? Ringing in your ears? Headaches?), a physical examination of the tongue, and the traditional Chinese method for pulse-taking (three fingers on each wrist to check different pulses corresponding to various organ systems). They are asked to sign a waiver acknowledging that “herbal supplements are not a substitute for a medical diagnosis.”

Consultations are $100 and are not covered by insurance. Follow-ups are $60 and a one-month supply of herbal formulas costs on average about $100. On one day at the clinic last month patients had needs ranging from chronic pain to anxiety, digestive issues and multiple sclerosis.

Lynnette Fleshman, 36, of Euclid, Ohio, was a returning patient coming to the clinic for infertility issues. Her doctor, she says, was pushing her to go the in-vitro fertilization route. Ms. Fleshman, a program coordinator at Cleveland Clinic, was hoping to avoid IVF with the help of herbs.

Infertility, menstrual disorders, PMS and menopausal symptoms are commonly treated by Chinese herbs and can be very effective, Ms. Roofener says.

Read More: Wall street journal

Bionic eye allows Michigan man to see glimpses


A few people who have lost their sight due to a rare disorder are regaining some vision thanks to a high-tech procedure that involved the surgical implantation of a “bionic eye.”

A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision. Diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa as a teenager, Pontz has been almost completely blind for years. Now, thanks to an implant, he’s regained enough of his eyesight to catch small glimpses of his wife, grandson and cat.

“It’s awesome. It’s exciting — seeing something new every day,” Pontz said during a recent appointment at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. The 55-year-old former competitive weightlifter and factory worker is one of four people in the U.S. to receive an artificial retina since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration signed off on its use last year.

The facility in Ann Arbor has been the site of all four such surgeries since FDA approval. A fifth is scheduled for next month. No retinal prosthesis has been approved for use in Canada, according to the Foundation Fighting Blindness’s website.

Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited disease that causes slow but progressive vision loss due to a gradual loss of the light-sensitive retinal cells called rods and cones. Patients experience loss of side vision and night vision, then central vision, which can result in near blindness.

Not all of the 100,000 or so people in the U.S. with retinitis pigmentosa can benefit from the bionic eye. An estimated 10,000 have vision low enough, said Dr. Brian Mech, an executive with Second Sight Medical Products Inc., the Sylmar, Calif.-based company that makes the device. Of those, about 7,500 are eligible for the surgery.

The artificial implant in Pontz’s left eye is part of a system developed by Second Sight that includes a small video camera and transmitter housed in a pair of glasses.

Images from the camera are converted into a series of electrical pulses that are transmitted wirelessly to an array of electrodes on the surface of the retina. The pulses stimulate the retina’s remaining healthy cells, causing them to relay the signal to the optic nerve.

The visual information then moves to the brain, where it is translated into patterns of light that can be recognized and interpreted, allowing the patient to regain some visual function.

When wearing the glasses, which Pontz refers to as his “eyes,” he can identify and grab his cat and figure out that a flash of light is his grandson hightailing it to the kitchen.

‘What’s it worth to see again? It’s worth everything’

The visual improvement is sometimes startling for Pontz and his wife, Terri, who is just as amazed at her husband’s progress as he is. “I said something I never thought I’d say: ‘Stop staring at me while I’m eating,”‘ Terri Pontz said.

She drives her husband the nearly 200 miles from tiny Reed City, Mich., to Ann Arbor for check-ups and visits with occupational therapist Ashley Howson, who helps Roger Pontz reawaken his visual memory and learn techniques needed to make the most of his new vision.

At the recent visit, Howson handed Pontz white and black plates, instructed him to move them back and forth in front of light and dark backgrounds and asked that he determine their colour.

Back home, Terri Pontz helps her husband practice the techniques he learns in Ann Arbor.  For them, the long hours on the road and the homework assignments are a blessing. “What’s it worth to see again? It’s worth everything,” Terri Pontz said.

The artificial retina procedure has been performed several-dozen times over the past few years in Europe, and the expectation is that it will find similar success in the U.S., where the University of Michigan is one of 12 centres accepting consultations for patients.

Candidates for the retinal prosthesis must be 25 or older with end-stage retinitis pigmentosa that has progressed to the point of having “bare light” or no light perception in both eyes.

Dr. Thiran Jayasundera, one of two physicians who performed the 4.5-hour surgery on Roger Pontz, is scheduled to discuss his experiences with the retinal prosthesis process during a meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery on Friday in Boston. He calls it a “game-changer.”

Pontz agrees: “I can walk through the house with ease. If that’s all I get out of this, it’d be great.”

Source: CBC news

Zimbabwe: Malaria Still a Burden in Border Areas


Malaria burden remains high in border towns in Zimbabwe, especially in areas close to Mozambique, health experts have said. While the overall national statistics indicate a major decline from 5 000 deaths to 300 per year, border districts like Mudzi are still recording high cases.

Speaking during the launch of the Zimbabwean leg of the race against malaria (RAM) 2 campaign at Nyamapanda clinic last week, deputy minister of Health and Child Care, Paul Chimedza said the initiative was paying special attention to the worst affected areas.

“The communities that live in these areas are closely interlinked,” he said. Chimedza said the disease burden was weighing heavily on the battered health delivery service. He said there was need for more funding from partners.

Currently the Global Fund and a few other partners are contributing to malaria control programmes. The provincial medical director for Mashonaland East, Simukai Zizhou said 28 000 cases of malaria had been recorded in 2013 in Mudzi, accounting for over 20% of the population.

“At the moment areas like Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe, Mutoko and Mudzi top the list,” he said. Cross border movement was posing a challenge to programme interventions and RAM was initiated in Sadc to maximise efforts to control malaria.

Initiated in 2003, RAM includes countries like Angola, Zambia, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. RAM is a Sadc initiative to create awareness and mobilise resources for action against malaria and to strengthen malaria control infrastructure within the region.

The first RAM campaign was held in November 2003.Convoys of country malaria teams drove from Angola to Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania) through Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique and Malawi.

During the campaign, regional and local partners including the corporate world were instrumental in mobilising malaria commodities which were distributed to support activities for malaria prevention and control in the region.

RAM 2 campaign, which is a reverse of RAM 1, started from Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania on April 13 2014 and will end on April 25 2014 in Angola. Countries taking part in RAM 2 include Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Tanzania and Angola.

The participants of RAM 2 include individuals, institutions or organisations that share the need for a malaria-free Africa and seek to achieve parasite-free communities. These include Government departments, UN agencies, non-governmental organisations, the Corporate world, private sector, health professionals, and uniformed forces.

Source: All Africa