The News – 6 Oct 2014

Overview

  • In East Africa, ritual magic, witchcraft and superstition play a large part in the everyday life of many people. One of the darkest elements of the cultural practice includes the lucrative trade of body parts of people with albinism who are outcast and believed to be cursed.
  • A 36-year-old Swedish woman has become the world’s first to give birth after receiving a womb transplant, medical journal The Lancet says.
  • Mental Health Week is a national event, held in October to coincide with World Mental Health Day (10 October). It’s an opportunity to promote awareness about mental health and wellbeing, and equip people with the right information.


Stories discussed
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 6th October 2014. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-04/struggle-to-protect-east-africans-living-with-albinism/5790348

In East Africa, ritual magic, witchcraft and superstition play a large part in the everyday life of many people.

One of the darkest elements of the cultural practice includes the lucrative trade of body parts of people with albinism who are outcast and believed to be cursed.

They are killed for their body parts which are believed to posses magical properties including the cure for HIV and cancer.

Some people also leave newborn babies with albinism in the bush to die.

Kenya’s first politician with albinism, Isaac Mwaura, is petitioning for a new law to protect people with albinism.

He wants a refuge centre to cater for people who have been targeted or attacked.

“It’s a confluence of capitalistic greed and superstition finding expression amongst an ignorant people who are eking out a living within a cash economy,” Mr Mwaura said.

“But it’s totally unacceptable because people with albinism are human beings like any other and they need to be respected. They need to be given opportunity like any other.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-04/woman-has-baby-after-womb-transplant-in-sweden/5790726

A 36-year-old Swedish woman has become the world’s first to give birth after receiving a womb transplant, medical journal The Lancet says.

The achievement is being hailed as a breakthrough for infertile women.

The baby boy was born prematurely last month weighing 1.775 kilos.

The mother had a Caesarean section at 31 weeks after she developed pre-eclampsia – a disorder characterised by high blood pressure and large amounts of protein in the urine.

Professor Mats Brannstrom from the University of Gothenburg who led the research, said mother and baby were doing well.

The mother was one of nine women who received transplants in an experimental study.

She had a genetic condition that meant she was born without a womb but her ovaries were intact.

Post-menopausal friend donated her womb

The replacement organ came from a 61-year-old woman, a family friend who had been through menopause seven years earlier.

The organ was transplanted in an operation last year.

The recipient had in-vitro fertilisation, in which eggs were harvested from her ovaries and fertilised, and then cryogenically preserved.

A year after the transplant, a single early-stage embryo was inserted into the transplanted womb. A pregnancy test three weeks later was positive.

Professor Brannstrom said the breakthrough was the result of years of research.

The researchers said it offered hope to thousands of women who are unable to have children because they lost a uterus to cancer or were born without one.

http://mhw.waamh.org.au

Mental Health Week is a national event, held in October to coincide with World Mental Health Day (10 October). It’s an opportunity to promote awareness about mental health and wellbeing, and equip people with the right information. In 2014, Mental Health Week in Western Australia, will run from October 4 – 10 with the theme ‘Make a Move Towards Better Mental Health’.

Mental Health Week / Day / Month is celebrated all around Australia, with each state adopting their own theme and holding their own events each year.

WA Association Mental Health [WAAMH] is proudly part of Australia’s mental health promotion group which plan awareness campaigns around World Mental Health Day.

For more info on events, check out:

http://mhw.waamh.org.au

http://www.abc.net.au/mentalas/

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