The Truth about FAT

Vegetables

Salad and fat free yoghurt…YUCK!

The BBC program, The truth about fat, aired on the 2nd of April. It  was very enlightening (not because I was on it lol!) but because there was soooo much to LEARN.

Highlights for me was the use of the MRI equipment to show the amount and distribution of fat on the presenter’s body…..now THAT was an eye opener!

Every thing about fat, from it’s effect on our tongue and brain to its effect on our mood, the easy way to burn fat even when you are not exercising, why we get fat even when we are not eating fat, the role of Omega three and so on…..were all explored.

I was one of the ‘guinea pigs’ who had to go without fat for the duration of the program. I can tell you it wasn’t easy! I hadn’t realised that so few food had no fat in them.image

At a point I was reduced to eating salad and fat free yoghurt…..yuck!! See picture above.

Dr Saleyha Ahsan was brilliant as the presenter. Kudos to her and the team at the BBC.

Next step is to put all that learning into action.

If you missed the program, not to worry. It will be repeated on Sunday 5th April at 15.55 on BBC One.

Beautiful Aswanley. Site of some of the scenes

Beautiful Aswanley, site of some of the scenes

Get your children to watch it as well. Many adults feel it’s too late for them to change their lifestyle habits (personally I don’t think it’s ever too late) but your children can start now to make the right choices.

Watch out for my article ‘Help, I am OBESE (and not sexy)’ which I was approached to write for the Slim with Ease global launch.

 

~ Adaeze Ifezulike, UK Sexual Health Professional of the year 2015 Finalist

If you watched the program, what were the highlights for you??

What will you begin to do NOW??

Register for the Afrocaribbean Health events 2015 here to learn more about keeping healthy

 

Did you fall down the steps all by yourself or did you have some help?

domestic abuse, sexual wellbeing networkShe came with her husband. He was the epitome of attentiveness, supporting her as she limped along, quick to perform her every wish.
She was covered in bruises.

I asked her how she came about her bruises.
‘Oh I fell down the steps.’
Really! I thought a bit skeptically.
As I listened to her story and observed the husband’s attentiveness, I was already plotting.
I must do all I can to get this man out of the room.

I wanted to ask her woman-to woman if she fell down the steps all by herself or had some help.
I marvelled that I have become a sceptic.
I now see domestic abuse everywhere.
But who wouldnt??

Here are some Domestic violence statistics for you from the Domestic violence Statistics website:
Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.

We need to do more as a society to STOP Domestic Violence. No woman/man desrves to be sent to an early grave due to domestic violence.

Victims please speak up. The silence is a major factor that keeps the abuse going.
And when these victims speak, society must be ready to believe them, support them and protect them.

~Adaeze Ifezulike


Amazon review of ‘Understanding Contraception: a guide for black ladies’

”I Enjoyed reading this book very much, found it humorous, with the right amount of factual information and the examples given made it real and easy to understand various issues. The illustrations complimented the text, overall an educational book that is easy to read and understand”

Get your copy here.

Register for the 2015 Afrocaribbean Health Events here

ABC of the ‘3 parent baby’ technology.

3 parent baby, sexual wellbeing, The world reacted with horror when the news of the ‘3 parent baby’ was approved in UK Parliament last week making the UK the very first country to authorise this.

It is understandable that there would be such a reaction. People distrust science when it comes to reproduction. It was the same reaction with In vitro fertilization (IVF) yet today so many families have benefited from it. The success of IVF now means that many couples who otherwise would be childless can now enjoy the bliss of having their own babies.

Now science has moved on to ‘3 parent baby.’

However I want to explain the so called ‘3 parent baby’ in a way non-medical people can understand. This is not science playing God at all.

But first some terminologies:3 parent baby, sexual wellbeing network

Mitochondrial diseases: The mitochondrion is the”power house” of the cell. It produces the energy required by our cells to function effectively. It also helps the body detoxify waste products amongst many other functions.

It is because the Mitochondria are such an important part of our cells that when they malfunction, it causes a whole range of diseases known as Mitochondrial Disorders.

Some disorders related to malfunction of the Mitochondria include Blindness, Autism, Diabetes, Myopathy (muscle problems), Bipolar disorder, Dementia, Epilepsy, Stroke, Parkinson’s disease and many others.

Many of these diseases are passed on from mother to her child because the child gets its mitochondria from the mother. So if the mum passes on defective mitochondria, the child will then be affected by these mitochondrial diseases.

So how does the 3 parent baby work??

Mitochondrial donation means that those with defective Mitochondria can get a good one from donors.

The baby still has the entire DNA from its own father.

It still has the entire DNA from its own mother.

However the defective Mitochondria from the biological mum are replaced with functioning Mitochondria from a donor. This donor Mitochondria make up only about 0.1% of the total DNA in the baby.

I have simplified the process to help readers understand. Details about the procedure can be read in medical articles such as here.

So, do these donated mitochondria mean that the child has 3 parents??

If you got a kidney from a donor, does that make the donor one of your parents??

So we can see that the term ‘3 parent baby’ does not really mean what it says and is simply creating fear and mistrust in the public.

However this is a new technology and long term studies will be needed to ensure that it is safe just like studies are needed and are ongoing concerning IVF babies and many other scientific breakthroughs. We just do not know for now how safe Mitochondrial donation is even though the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has suggested that the technique is “not unsafe.”

You can read why one scientist opposes mitochondrial donation here.

But for now it looks like a major breakthrough which hopefully might  alleviate and even eliminate mitochondrial diseases and the suffering and anguish of families affected by them.


Dr Adaeze Ifezulike is a Family Physician/GP based in Aberdeen. She is a Finalist at the UK Sexual Health Awards 2015 and for her book ‘Understanding Contraception: A guide for black ladies’ she has been nominated ‘Author of the Year’ at the Women4Africa Awards.

Afrocaribbean Health Events -2015 Dates

Afrocaribbean Health, HIV, Fountain of love church, Health friendly
Its here again!!
The popular afrocaribbean health events will hold in Aberdeen on the following dates in 2015:

25th April 2015 RCCG Fountain of Love, 31 Palmerston road, AB11 5QP.
23rd May 2015 Garthdee
20th June 2015 Cove

Venues will be communicated shortly.

Please save the dates and be a part of these healthy lifestyle events.

Overall feedback on our most recent event in October 2014 was very positive with 82% of attendees rating the presentations as ‘exceeding’ their expectations and 90% rating the Screenings (HIV, Hepatitis B and C, Blood pressure, blood sugar and other tests) offered as ‘very useful’.

Please contact afrocaribbeanhealth@gmail.com with any enquiries or if you would like to be involved with the events.
Twitter: @afrocaribhealth

A must-watch film for young women (and men!)

BBC Murdered by my boyfriend, sexual wellbeing networkI had an incredible relaxing Christmas period and I hope you did too.
A major feature of my holiday was just sitting back with family to catch up on family favourites like the very Scottish ‘Brave‘ and the lovely ‘Frozen‘.
I even managed to watch the Christmas edition of East Enders :-), caught a bit of the Queen’s Christmas speech and watched Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special. 
I must say I enjoyed ‘Gone Girl‘ though mystery and murder are not usually my thing.
I could feel the stress of hospital work oozing out of me and all my systems melting into relaxation as we ate and lounged about with friends and family.
But there was one film that had me sitting upright.
Its the BBC true life story ‘Murdered by my boyfriend‘.
If you are a woman between the ages of 13 and 50, I would strongly recommend that you watch this film.
All mothers of teenage children should sit down with their kids and watch this.
If you are not yet in a relationship or just entering one, this is the must-watch film before you commit.
If you are a man reading this, please watch this film.
I dont want to give away much: you really need to click below and start watching now.
Please leave your comments below. We learn from each other.
Here’s to a beautiful New year!
If you need more information on domestic violence please visit this site for help.

Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem

Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await us in our avenues.

Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.

We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?

Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.

It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.

Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.

We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.

We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Peace.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.

On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth’s tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We, Angels and Mortal’s, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.”

By Maya Angelou.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A PEACEFUL, PROSPEROUS AND JOY-FILLED NEW YEAR from the Sexual Wellbeing Network.

Maya Angelou was a Poet and Award Winning Author who died in 2014.

A note for teenage girls.

Teenagers, youth, sex education, teenage mothers, education.

Please share with every young girl you know.

Lets give our girls back their youth.
Young girls should enjoy their teenage years without being ladled with ‘adult matters.’

I am often saddened when a teenager walks into my consulting room requesting an abortion or suffering from depression as a result of boy/girl/relationship traumas.

Lets encourage our girls to aspire to more in life.
Motivate them to get a good education.
Inspire them to aim for more and not settle for a life of regrets and ‘I wish I had listened.’

Please click the share button and make a difference. Thanks.

Afrocaribbean Health and Wellness Team: Improving health in the black community.

Afrocaribbean Health, HIV, Fountain of love church, Health friendly

The Parliamentary Ethnicity and Health report of 2007 shows that Black and minority ethnic (BME) groups generally have worse health than the overall population. For instance, it reports that there is up to 7 times higher rates of new diagnosis of psychosis among Black Caribbean people than among the White British. Health Survey for England 2004 reports a prevalence of Hypertension of more than 38% in Black Carribean males compared to the general population prevalence of 31%.The prevalence of doctor-diagnosed Diabetes amongst Africans and Caribbean men above 55 years combined is 15% compared to the general population prevalence of 4.3%.HIV prevalence for black Africans in the UK is 37 per 1000 population, compared to 1.5 per 1000 of the rest of the population and people from African communities are more likely to test and be diagnosed later than other groups. These are a few instances of the dismal health statistics available about the afrocaribbean ethnic group.

Why is this the case?

There are many reasons given for this picture. These include distrust and unfamiliarity with the way the health sector works, language barriers, stress related to poverty, immigration issues, unemployment, poor housing amongst other factors. Poverty may mean that many eat unhealthy but cheap food which then adversely affects their health. Stigma from society and media can limit access to health services.

What can be done?

The Afrocaribbean Health and Wellness Team (AHWT) has taken the bull by the horn to try and address these areas of health inequality. This unique group is made up of health professionals, members of the voluntary sector and other people with the following objectives:

  • To raise awareness of health related issues affecting the Afro-Caribbean communities in Scotland.

  • To empower Afro-Caribbeans to make informed choices about their health.

  • To inform Afro- Caribbeans about health support services and agencies available in the community.

To be able to bridge the health inequality, we found it necessary to liaise with Faith group leaders as worship is an integral aspect of the afrocaribbean community. It is the belief of the AHWT that for health interventions to make an impact within any group, strategies must align to the beliefs and practices of that group.AIDS and Mobility Europe recommends that policy, prevention, treatment and care for migrants should include ”targeted, culturally appropriate services and communication with migrant communities.”

 

What we did:

We carried out a health survey at the Fountain of Love church, Aberdeen to ascertain what health issues the members of the Faith group wanted to learn more about. A total of 212 people participated in the survey 59% of whom were females. 88% were members of the church, the rest had been visiting on the day of the survey. 58% of those who participated in the survey were in the 30-40 years age range.

Based on the result of the survey, a health event took place on the 25th of October at the Fountain of Love church hall. Health professionals were invited from within and outside the Afrocaribbean community to educate and inform attendees on different health topics. Topics covered included Mental Health, Cardiovascular Health, Sexual Health, Men’s Health, Getting to know your NHS and Weight Management. Speakers on the day were Dr Matthew Jack, Dr Winifred Eboh, Dr Petrus Elofuke, Dr Adaeze Ifezulike, Dr Fumen Gamba and Mr Katai Kasengele. Good interactive participation was helped by small group workshops on the various topics which were anchored by the speakers and others including Dr Jenny Bryden, Mrs Tabeth Timba-Emmanuel, Mrs Ubong Usua, Mrs Lolade Ogunrinboye and Mrs Yetunde Odebiyi.

 

More than 40 people opted for confidential testing for blood borne viruses like HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C while a further 60 had their blood sugar, Blood pressure, Fat content and Body Mass Index (BMI) measured. The testing booths were manned by Public health staff from the NHS (Penny Gillies and Helen Corrigan) and Roselie Emmanuel.

 The Atmosphere:

Sexual wellbeing network, Adaeze Ifezulike, Roselie Emmanuel, Chris Gbenle, Dupe Omotosho, Katai Kasengele, Jenny Bryden, Ubong Usua,It was fantastic as people felt at home unlike they would in a hospital environment. Their questions were answered. Food was provided by the church and visible participation by church leaders headed by Pastor Dr Chris Gbenle helped to foster trust and engagement with attendees.

The event ended with a ”HEALTH FRIENDLY’ Certificate issued to the church.

Evaluation of event:

Participants were asked to anonymously evaluate the event with a series of questions, some of which are included here:

How could the event be improved? Some answers included ”I would want to hear more about stress management, high blood pressure and mental health”, ”Create more awareness of the programme” and ”Do such programs at least every two months.”

What did you  like best about the event? ”The workshops and the screening”, ”The package was excellent” and ”All the sessions.”

What have you gained as a result of attending this event?

”A lot, I now know my weight, BMI and sugar blood test,” ”Information on weight management,” ”That its not only when you are not feeling well that you should seek advice” and ”Intensive education and awareness about HIV and other illnesses.”

What might you do differently as a result of this event?

”Change my eating and drinking habits”, ”Watch my weight,” ”Monitor my health,” ”Change diet, become more active and less lonely” and ”Eat better.”

90% of the evaluation forms handed back rated the organisation of the event as Excellent or Good.

Members of the Afrocaribbean Health and Wellness team include Dr Winifred Eboh, Dr Matthew Jack, Mrs Ubong Usua, Mrs Lolade Ogunrinboye, Mrs Tabeth Timba-Emmanuel, Mr Katai Kasengele and Dr Adaeze Ifezulike.

If you would like to know more about the afrocaribbean health events and how your organisation can achieve ‘HEALTH FRIENDLY’ status, please contact Dr Adaeze Ifezulike on info@sexualwellbeingnetwork.com