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How do I avoid being bold

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How do I avoid balding?

Sun Doc All my uncles are bald, and I’m afraid that I will end up just like them. Is there any way I can avoid going down the same road? Felix

Dear Felix

By age 50, half of all men have some hair loss. Male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia occurs due to male sex hormones called androgens and also due to genetics, especially if the men on the mother’s side of the family have it. Hair has a growth cycle, and when the cycle ends, the hair falls off, and new hair starts to grow from the hair follicle.

Androgens have many functions in the body, and one of them is regulating hair growth. With male pattern baldness, the hair follicle shrinks, and produces hair that is shorter and finer/thinner, and eventually, no more hair grows. The thinning and balding may be on the sides or on the top of the head, and it may be limited to a particular area or spread to include the whole head.

There is no way to effectively prevent male pattern baldness, though you may be able to delay it a bit by managing stress. Stress usually increases the levels of the androgen hormones that contribute to baldness. Once it starts to happen, the best thing is to just accept it. If you have a skillful barber, he can come up with creative hairstyles to make your hair look thicker and fuller, and to hide the hair loss. Some medications like minoxidil cream can slow down hair loss and stimulate the growth of new hair.

Finasteride tablets, which block the androgen hormones, also slow down the hair loss. Both of these medications should be prescribed by and monitored by a doctor, because they can have severe side effects. It takes between three months to one year for the effects of the medications to be seen. Hair transplants can also be done, transferring hair from the areas with active growth and planting it in the areas with hair loss. This however, comes with the risk of scarring and infection at the site. To avoid these risks, some men opt to use wigs or weaves to cover up the hair loss. Good luck. SUN DOCTOR THIS WEEK: Dr Spasoje Radovanovic, Derma Plus Clinic Send your medical questions to sun@guardiansun.co.bw or ngoma@guardiansun.co.bw for absolutely free expert advice.

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BATTLE FOR MMADIKOLO

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University of Botswana students are bracing themselves for the Student Representative Council (SRC) elections. Contenders are fighting tooth and nail to appease the electorate. Three camps are in contention to fill the 13 council positions.

Umbrella for Democratic Change’s (UDC) Moono-wa-Baithuti has the onerous task of defending all the 13 seats which they hauled at the last elections of 2018. “As Moono wa Baithuti, we have lots of achievements. We are on the verge of getting the student bar open, so we need to go back and fix what we started,” said UDC’s Tumelo Legase who is vying for the position of Vice President.

He said they have advocated for student empowerment policies and are also proposing a third arm of student representation. “We have the SRC and the Judiciary, what we need is the student Parliament so that we have a large number of leaders who can independently attend to problems across the university.” The dark horse in this race is the University of Botswana’s Alliance for Progressive (AP) which will take another leap of faith despite their loss in the previous election.

They are rejuvenated and redefined. Candidate for Vice President Karabo Bokwe said central to their mandate is making the welfare of the student community a priority. “We want to help eradicate school policies that border on oppression, and through new polices call for initiatives that come with enterprenuership benefits to students.”

AP candidate for Information and Publicity, a first year Criminal Justice student Gracious Selelo said they are more united than other parties even at national level. “We don’t have internal squabbles within our party, we are more focused and can deliver our mandate easily,” she noted.

However the ruling party’s BDP GS-26 will come with all guns blazing after an embarrassing defeat in the previous elections. Preparations have been made and the GS-26 is looking to take the elections by storm.

According to their Presidential Candidate Boniface Seane, they come with the message of hope that addresses the current status quo at the University.“The university is not functioning so we drew three policies that embrace inclusiveness. We want to lead collectively with the students, through the student body meetings which the previous SRCs have failed to do. “We will consult with the students with no discrimination.”

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Healthcare system to improve

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The Health ministry has developed a seven-point programme to guide the country in improving the healthcare system, says Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Alfred Rabashemi Madigele.

“The seven priority areas will serve as a roadmap and a guardian angel towards improving the overall healthcare system and increasing access to health care while fighting the burden of disease that confronts us,” said Madigele at Masa Square Hotel on Tuesday.

The focal areas include decentralisation; Universal Health Coverage, Tertiary Care, Strategic leveraging on the Private sector; Supply Chain; Research as well as Staff welfare and accountability.
Point-one of the seven priority areas according to Dr Madigele is about empowering the District Health Management Teams (DHMTs) and transforming them into fully fledged Regional Health Authorities.

“In this case, they will be rationalised from 27 to 18 and have the authority to hire A and B Scales, promote up to C1 and manage micro procurement,” he said. Point two is about improving the quality of healthcare services. “The main causes of mortality and their risk factors in Botswana are Primary Health Care issues,” Dr Madigele said.

He added that “Our efforts for the attainment of Universal Health Coverage should thus focus on: Prevention; Comprehensive screening; Early treatment; and Surveillance at the community.”
This he said, would require revamped grassroots efforts in which adequate numbers of community health workers through partnerships with the non-governmental sector will be deployed as necessary.

According to Dr Madigele, the top five causes of death in Botswana in 2017 were HIV/AIDS, Ischemic heart disease, stroke, lower respiratory infections and Diabetes. He said compared to 2007, NCDs among these had increased in burden by an average of 34%. The top five risk factors related to these causes of mortality were unsafe sex; poor diet; high blood pressure; alcohol abuse and tobacco use.

Improving the quality of care, Madigele said will also include the safety and security of patients; attitudes of staff as experienced by patients; time taken in queues either before seeing a health worker or receiving medication and the availability of drugs.

Meanwhile, the health minister revealed that the commissioning of Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital (SKMTH) is ongoing with the facility scheduled for opening on April 24th. “This will be a phased approach commencing with some services including paediatric oncology, internal medicine, rheumatology and endocrinology, diagnostic radiology, laboratory services and pharmacy”.

A phased commissioning of SKMTH will reduce overdependence on South Africa for referrals, reduce costs and also institutionalise provision of super specialist services within Botswana.

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