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SILENT KILLER

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Specialist in Lupus and other rare diseases Dr. Micah Karibo describes the condition as a silent killer the world over.

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system, instead of serving its normal protective function, forms antibodies that attack healthy tissues and organs. There are several types of Lupus. Discoid Lupus affects the skin, causing a rash and lesions, usually across the face and upper part of the body. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is usually more severe than Discoid and can attack any body organ or system, such as joints, kidneys, brain, heart and lungs.

The doctor says that symptoms and diagnosis occur most often when women are in their childbearing years, between the ages of 15 and 44. “Symptoms of Lupus will occur before age 18 in 15 percent of the people who are later diagnosed with the disease,” he explains. Relatives of people with Lupus have an approximately 5-13 percent chances of developing Lupus. However, only about 5 percent of children will develop Lupus if their mother has it.

According to Dr. Karibo, currently there is no cure for Lupus, but there certainly is effective treatment. For most people with Lupus, proper treatment can minimise symptoms, reduce inflammation and pain, and stop the development of serious organ damage. Lupus raises chances of heart disease and stroke. Karibo says this is probably due to the long-term inflammation that comes with Lupus. Some Lupus medicines, such as steroids, may also increase the risk. In addition, Lupus causes inflammation of the heart or the sac that surrounds it. This can cause sharp pain in the chest.

Lupus also may inflame the outside lining of the lungs. Pain often gets worse with deep breaths. Kidneys too, may suffer inflamation, causing permanent damage. This can lead to swelling in the legs and high blood pressure. “Sometimes Lupus can lead to kidney failure and require dialysis,” he says, confirming that it is risky to fall pregnant when you have Lupus.

In Botswana, a movement on Facebook called Lupus Association of Botswana is doing a great job raising awareness about the disease. Although there are no statistics on patients, several Batswana are sharing their experiences. However, internet site cureresearch.com says that in Botswana 8,437 are currently managing Lupus. South Africa had the largest of 228,778, followed by Tanzania at 185,658.

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BMC secures beef market in Seychelles

Dikarabo Ramadubu

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Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) will soon start to sell its beef to the Island of Seychelles. Not only will they sell frozen raw meat, but will also send corned beef for trial in the Island.

All this is thanks to last week’s visit by President Mokgweetsi Masisi who included in his delegation executive management of the BMC, led by Chief Executive Officer, Dr Akolang Tombale.
The agreement signed between BMC and two leading Seychelles companies, will see BMC exporting at least 48 tonnes of raw beef to the island possibly from October. The names of the two companies that BMC signed an agreement with are Seychelles Trading Company which is a quasi-government organisation, and Rosebelle Company which is privately owned.

Although both have agreed to trade with each other, BMC cannot start immediately, as they have to wait for the green light from Seychelles companies who still have to apply for import permits in accordance with the law of their republic.

Speaking to The Midweek Sun, Tombale expressed gratitude that they managed to get good business in Seychelles through the assistance of President Masisi. “We are ready to export any time from now. As you know Seychelles is an island surrounded by mountains and cannot produce much if not anything. “They therefore depend much on imports even from as far as Brazil and Europe. Their economy is driven by tourism and they do not differ much with the European market in terms of the demand for beef as most tourists come from Europe and United States.”

Dr. Tombale said they agreed with the two companies that since “we are not sure about the logistics we will start by selling 24tonnes to each company per month, meaning we will be supplying the Island with a total of 48 tonnes per month. The idea is to start small and grow bigger as the people get used to our beef.” BMC has also negotiated to sell small stock meat to Seychelles and successfully negotiated for local chicken farmers to start selling their range chicken to Seychelles as well.

According to Tombale, he negotiated the deal after being approached by local chicken farmers amongst them Kgosi Mosadi Seboko of Balete, who requested that “we should try to find a market for chicken farmers as we go around the world searching for the beef market.” Tombale revealed that for a start both range chickens and small stock will not be supplied in tonnes or large quantities as they will be sold on a trial basis.

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G-west community reunion-walk a resounding success

Keletso Thobega

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Multitudes turned up for the Mosengwaketsi community walk and braai session this past Saturday in Gaborone West. The walk was held in the morning and was preceded by football games and a braai session that went on until late in the evening.

According to the event director Tshenolo Palai, the aim of the community day event was to revive community spirit and address crime and social ills. “The Mosengwaketsi community reunion will be held not only to create a platform to build unity but also address the social ill of passion killings,” he said.

Palai said that they had also invited health stakeholders for a wellness segment because they had realised that there are many health related conditions that affect the quality of people’s lives hence they had joined forces with religious organisations, the business community, neighbourhood outreach policing and other stakeholders in the area to encourage a culture of unity and create dialogue between all the parties.

He noted that they had wanted to create a relaxed environment conducive for different people to engage and strengthen their networks. He said they were also concerned with the high rate of crimes of passion in Botswana and also wanted to create a platform for both men and women to open up on issues that affect them because most people tend to be more relaxed in a social setting.

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