From the works of A-known-e-mass

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Greetings good people. Its been a while since we last communicated and in case you missed me, then so did I you. Let me first begin by welcoming back my brain, it has been away on a long fruitful working holiday. The good thing is that my brain decided to go on holiday at or about the same time as the assignments in my office. I have therefore in the recent past had the opportunity to both be work free and in most cases brain free.

This recent period has however been a great learning experience. I have learnt a few things (imagine just how many more things I could have learnt if my brain had stayed with me the whole period rather than only paying a few ‘official visits’). It has also been a good period to interact and build bonds. I shall share a few things that I’ve learnt here but would also encourage those of you who may have been undergoing similar experiences to share them too. Sharing in this case need not be with someone else as among the things that I’ve learnt is that there are those who are perfectly capable of sharing only with themselves.

The first thing that I learnt is that when you are cruising or floating through life ‘brain free’, then you are in very good company. Good here means that you will encounter very many other adherents of this ‘brain free’ lifestyle. I was actually surprised to learn that there is a very big community of ‘brain freers’. Due to the rather frequent incidences of their brains being AWOL (away with official leave), this community has developed the unique ability to think with other parts of their bodies. There are those who have shifted their thinking processes to the stomach, others to their fists, a big number has preferred their mouths while yet a bigger group has opted to use that part of the body that is described as being above the knees but below the waist.

I also learnt that there is a group that have miraculously been able to redirect their thought processes to their wallets and purses. There are unconfirmed rumours that this ability is more likely to vest on people whose ancestry can be traced to the vicinity of some mountain. There were also rumours that there are those who are successfully thinking using their hearts while a very, and I mean very, small group is said to be using their souls. Those familiar with the ‘brain free’ community will know that rumours are in very high supply. Demand has however consistently outstripped this supply and more rumours are thus highly encouraged and sought.

The second thing that I learnt was that being idle is very hard work. You can imagine waking up and going to your usual place of work only to realise that the only relevant work you have for the day is logging in to your computer and shutting it. Now imagine that for more than seven hours, you have to not only appear to be busy but you also have to appear like you are busy doing something useful. Now further imagine that you have to do this while your brain is AWOL and while the office is full of both busy people and a people who are members of the ‘brain free’ community (if you can imagine all this then please note that you are idle).

Anyway, I have developed what I now recognise as critical skills for any employee or at least for any employee who though idle, need to appear to be working. These are skills that will see you promoted faster than you could have ever imagined. However, since my brain has since made a comeback and since I happen to be from the vicinity of a certain mountain, I shall not share these skills free of charge. Any interested persons are advised to ona mimi kando.


In the past few days, Kenyan have been left to wonder on what some terms mean, terms that we have all along thought as obvious and straight forward. These are terms that have been brought about by the abortion debate. We try here to give a few definitions of the terms ‘Health’ and ‘Health/Medical Practioner’, we however hope that those of us with more knowledge or information along this line will share with the rest of us.


The definition according to the World Health Organization, the specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with human health on an international level is as follows

‘Health is a state of complete physical and social well being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The enjoyment of the highest attainable standards of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition. The health of all peoples is fundamental to the attainment of peace and security and is dependent upon the fullest cooperation of individuals and States.

The achievement of any State in the promotion and protection of health is of value to all’.

Health professional

We could not find the definitions of a health professional both from the WHO website or from the Kenyan Ministry of Health (site was down) or the current Kenyan constitution (this is however not to say that these bodies/documents do not have the definition, indeed we’d be glad if anyone with these information could share it with us here).  What we did find however, is that there are various organisations or associations which govern various professions in the Healthcare industry such as the The Kenya Medical Practitioners & Dentists Board which was established through an act of Parliament ‘to consolidate and amend the law to make provision for the registration of Medical practitioners and Dentists’.

However, we did come across the following definitions from various internet sources:

A Health Professional is defined as any person who has completed a course of study in a field of health, such as a registered nurse, physical therapist, or physician. The person is usually licensed by a government agency or certified by a professional organization. professional – a person who helps in identifying or preventing or treating illness or disability

A health care provider or health professional is an organization or person who delivers proper health care in a systematic way professionally to any individual in need of health care services.

HPC  which is a regulator that was set up in the UK to keep a register of health professionals, recognises 15 health professions who according to them, ‘meet our standards for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health’. These are Arts therapists, biomedical scientists, chiropodists / podiatrists, clinical scientists, dietitians, hearing aid dispensers, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, paramedics, physiotherapists, practitioner psychologists, prosthetists / orthotists, radiographers, speech and language therapists.

We have heard some suggest that watchmen in hospitals, mortuary attendants etc also qualify as health professionals. What do you think? (Please feel free to comment even where you feeling that hair stylists and matatu drivers are sufficiently involved in the business of healthcare provision to be considered Health professionals).

A few questions to our medical caregivers and caretakers;

  • Why does caregiver and caretaker mean the same thing?
  • Why is it that doctors call what they do practice?
  • Why isn’t there a special name for the tops of your feet?
  • Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?
  • Why do doctors leave the room when you change? They’re going to see you naked anyway.
  • Do dentists go to other dentists or do they just do it themselves?
  • If a baby’s leg pops out at 11:59PM but his head doesn’t come out until 12:01, which day was he born on?
  • If a doctor suddenly had a heart attack while doing surgery, would the other doctors work on the doctor or the patient?
  • If laughter is the best medicine, who’s the idiot who said they ‘died laughing’?
  • If a guy that was about to die in the electric chair had a heart attack should they save him?
  • Why is it considered necessary to nail down the lid of a coffin?
  • If an ambulance is on its way to save someone, and it runs someone over, does it stop to help them?
  • Do you yawn in your sleep?
  • Do you wake up or open your eyes first?
  • When a pregnant lady has twins, is there 1 or 2 umbilical cords?
  • How old are you before it can be said you died of old age?
  • Do Roman paramedics refer to IV’s as “4’s”?
  • How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered? And finally,
  • If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

Kindly Post your answers below

The abortion issue has become one of the most discussed and contentious issues in the Constitutional debate. Though both sides of the debate- pro and anti abortion-  agree that there is a problem, there seems to be confusion as to a) what the problem is and b) what the solution is.

The pro- abortionist claim that there are too many women dying each day due to ‘unsafe’ abortions and that women need to have a choice about their bodies and health. The Pro-lifers counter that since life begins at conception, there are two lives at stake here both of which need protection and that legalising abortions will not necessarily make them ‘safe’ as it will neither increase the number of registered medical practitioners nor make the conditions any safer.

Both sides have used figures on the mortality rates and the number of abortions performed in Kenya per year to defend their position. What is strange however is the fact that no one seems to know where most of the quoted figures come from. Since most abortions are said to occur on so called ‘back street’ clinics and even at home, it would be interesting to know where these figures are sourced. Below are three different reports from various sources, have a look and have you say…

According to a report by Merlin which is a body that  has been operational in Kenya since 1998 and indicates that it currently works in three Provinces (Rift Valley, North Eastern and Nyanza) supporting the Ministry of health to strengthen its own capacity as well as respond to the needs of the community, the projected number of women with abortion complications admitted to public hospitals in Kenya is 20,893 per annum. An estimated 182 of these women die annually. The annual incidence of incomplete abortion and other abortion-related complications per 1000 women aged 15 to 49 years is projected to be 3.

According to the Federation of Women lawyers -Kenya (FIDA Kenya) in ‘A SHADOW REPORT TO THE 5TH AND 6TH COMBINED REPORT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA, ON THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN (CEDAW)’ and quoting research done by various organizations, 300,000 women die each year due to unsafe abortions. The report does not indicate the number if any of women who die as a result of ‘safe’ abortion’. It is also not clear whether the 300,000 figure is a Kenyan number or a global number, some people have however quoted it as a Kenyan figure.

According to an article published in PubMed Central by Fred Mbugua, a study of abortion in Kenya conducted jointly by the Ministry of Health, the Kenya Medical Association, and two non-governmental organisations, and which covered only 60 public hospitals, it was estimated that up to 800 unsafe abortions are performed every day in Kenya, leading to an average of 2600 deaths each year.

Will anyone with the real numbers please stand up!

The Placenta Party

Posted: March 8, 2010 by aknownemass in Politics
Tags: , , , ,

Since Kenyans appear to have found a brand new use for the Placenta, we have done some research and here below is an article from the Hip-Chick-Pregnancy Guide on some other uses of the placenta.

Rituals and Uses of the Placenta After Birth

The placenta serves to nourish our babies before they are born, as well as forming a barrier to filter out substances that can be harmful to the unborn child. For the medical establishment, the placenta‘s job is done once birth has begun, and the organ that provided life for the child in the womb is to be discarded. However, for many cultures and some modern women, there are rituals surrounding the placenta that should be observed. These rituals vary, and can include consumption of all or part of the placenta, ceremonial burial of the organ, naming of the placenta, hanging it in a tree for consumption by scavengers, and making a print of the placenta as a reminder of its function.

Eating the Placenta

There is some anecdotal evidence that consumption of the placenta, either cooked, dried, or as part of a broth, can help prevent or ameliorate post partum depression. A number of cultures, including natives in Papua New Guinea and women in Vietnam and China prepare and consume the placenta, as do some animals, lending credence to this theory. Chemicals in the placenta may have the ability to repair some of the hormonal imbalances that occur due to childbirth, but they are probably not a complete remedy for all the effects that are referred to as PPD.

Burying the Placenta

Placenta burial is common among even more cultures. In a number of places, such as Kenya, Malaysia, and Nigeria, the placenta is considered the baby’s twin, or thought to have its own spirit, and is buried with the appropriate rites. In Mexico, Nepal, and New Zealand, the placenta is honored as the companion or friend of the baby, and is placed in the earth reverently, but is not thought to have a spirit of its own. Specific burial rites vary by culture, and in some, the placenta will be placed high up, such as in a tree, instead of being buried in the ground. In modern Western culture, placenta burial is usually highly personal. It may be based of off the rituals of other cultures, or on the perception of those rituals, but will probably be altered depending on the individual’s preference. It can be planted at the base of a tree or bush, for instance. Some mothers choose to get a special plant for each placenta they bury. Generally, if any time needs to elapse between the birth and the burial of the placenta, it is frozen until the time comes. Since the placenta is very nourishing, it will help the plant above it grow as it decomposes, returning to the earth. It may also be placed in its own container and buried with a marker.

Other Uses of the Placenta

Some people choose not to keep the placenta itself, or to engage in other rituals in addition to the burial or consumption of it. Making prints of the placenta, using either the blood that covers it or ink and paint, are not uncommon. Art done with a related substance – the amniotic membrane – has also been made. These are ways to have a keepsake of the pregnancy that reminds us of our connection with the earth. The placenta can be disposed of, buried, or consumed (provided no paint or ink was used) afterward, as the mother chooses.

From Bignew

A couple hooked to the internet in South Korea raised an online child but let their own baby daughter starve to death, a media report said.

The couple in South Korea was hooked to an online game where they were raising a virtual daughter. They used to spend upto 12 hours a night at internet cafes, leaving their three-month-old daughter alone at their apartment in Suwon, South Korea, Daily Mail reported Friday.

The online game allows users interact with others in the virtual world and nurture an extra avatar after they reach a certain level.

The couple – Kim Yoo-chul, 41 and his wife Choi Mi-sun, 25 – has been arrested.

‘They called in last September to report that they found their daughter dead after coming back home in the morning.

‘They had spent 12 hours, all night at a PC bang (a Korean internet cafe),’ Daily Mail quoted Detective Chung Jin-Won as saying.

The couple has been charged with child abuse and neglect after officials noticed that the child was severely dehydrated.

They confessed to feeding rotten powdered milk to the child and often spanked her.

It can happen to anyone -be the Judge-

(adapted from

Experts are still debating whether brainwashing is real or just figment of our imagination.

By Jean Lawrence
WebMD Feature

Reviewed By Michael Smith

If you follow the trial of Lee Boyd Malvo, the younger of the alleged Beltway snipers, you will hear of a sociable young man “brainwashed” into hiding in a specially outfitted car trunk and murdering people. In the Elizabeth Smart case, a typical suburban youngster was so “brainwashed” by her captor, the story goes, that she had chances to escape and didn’t. Patty Hearst went from carefree socialite to bank robber.

Is brainwashing real? Could it happen to you?

“In the behavioral sciences, brainwashing is an extremely — repeat extremely — controversial subject,” Ron Enroth, PhD, a professor of sociology at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif., and author of nine books on cults, tells WebMD. “It is impossible to prove scientifically that someone was ‘forced’ by someone else to do something. I am in the minority of scholars on this, but I believe something is going on in these cases. The person’s capacity to make decisions has been impaired.”

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does cite “thought reform” as a contributing factor to the type of dissociate disorder applied to cult members.

Thought reform, or the more scientifically accepted “coercive persuasion,” is defined as the systematic application of psychological and social influence techniques in an organized way, within a managed environment — with the end result of making someone do something that is not in his or her best interests.

Brainwashing Need Not End in Murder

The term brainwashing goes back to the 1950s days of drip-drip-drip torture and thought control by which the Chinese were said to turn Korean War POW’s into communists. An extreme form was found in the movie The Manchurian Candidate, in which an individual was “washed” so clean that he could be “reprogrammed” to respond to a code word.

Now, methods of persuasion are arraigned on a continuum, going from education to advertising to propaganda, to indoctrination, to coercive persuasion, or brainwashing. We are all subject to some form of persuasion everyday. When does it become brainwashing?

“Patty Hearst, Elizabeth Smart, these are just the tip of the iceberg,” Joseph Flaherty, MD, head of the department of psychiatry of the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago, tells WebMD, citing other manifestations of brainwashing, such as:

  • Domestic violence victims, who stay despite being told to leave and knowing they should leave.
  • Hostages, who often bond with their captors as in the case of the four Swedish bank tellers that were held in the vault for six days in 1973, came to know their captors, and even resisted rescue, resulting in the term the “Stockholm Syndrome.” Some experts says it only takes three days for such a bond to form.
  • Cult members, who substitute a new set of beliefs for their long-held values of God and family and sometimes even change their names to signal their new identities.

Could You Be Brainwashed?

“You don’t have to be kidnapped to possibly be brainwashed,” Flaherty says. Although he concedes there are no good studies on this, he lists some things that could make you vulnerable to brainwashing, including:

  • Being on the passive, unforceful side, being a “go along to get along person”
  • Being prone to “spacing out” and dissociating from time to time
  • Having weak family ties or combative relations with family
  • Having a history of abuse
  • Being a substance user or abuser
  • Responding poorly to stress
  • Not having sufficient money to resist the suggestions of others
  • Either being uneducated or not taking full advantage of the education you got
  • Not having smart, opinionated peers to evaluate things with you
  • Being in a transition state, between marriages or between high school and college

How Brainwashers Get Over on You

Lee Malvo was cut off from his mother and was traveling around with an older individual with his own agenda. Cult members usually are taken from their familiar haunts. “The first thing that happens is that the individual is isolated,” Flaherty says. “The captor gets rid of family and friends.” The domestic abuser may move the family away from sympathetic family members or pick fights with friends who might help the victim.

“I know of one case, Enroth says, “in which cult members were so influenced by the cult leader that they prayed everyday to be given cancer if they ever thought of leaving the cult.”

Usually time elapses in which some positive reinforcement is given and nothing bad happens. This gives hope. “In the case of the domestic abuser,” Flaherty says, “he usually apologizes and says it won’t happen again.”

The brainwasher also exerts his or her power to enforce trivial rules, such as report every penny you spend or you can’t use the bathroom in daylight hours. In extreme cases, food, sleep, and bathroom privileges are removed. Violent threats are interspersed with occasional indulgences.

Overall, the perpetrator is showing omnipotence. At the same time, the brainwashing subject is undermined and degraded. Soon after, the subject’s own ideas are so doubted, the brainwasher’s ideas are substituted.

“The hallmarks are fear, guilt, and intimidation,” concludes Enroth. “This results in a parent calling me and saying this is no longer my daughter or no longer my son. This is a totally different person.”

Can Brainwashed Victims Recover?

Even when a person gets turned around, over time, the situation can be reversed, Flaherty assures.

After the person is “released” and placed in a different environment, he or she may face:

  • Posttraumatic stress disorder, including panic attacks or trouble sleeping
  • Depression
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Substance abuse
  • Reliving of the experience
  • A feeling of terrible emptiness — what now?
  • The appearance of different personalities or a tendency to present different “faces” to different people.
  • Lack of confidence in making good decisions
  • Aversion to intimate, trusting relationships

“The important thing is to seek help from someone experienced with brainwashing,” Flaherty says. There is more to it than stealing someone back and screaming in their face until they change their mind back.

“I believe in cognitive therapy,” he says. “Be realistic, see where you are now, see what you are looking at.”

Not everyone can be brainwashed. “Some people,” Enroth says, “question everything.” That is the guy or gal who, when asked to help murder some people, will see that it’s a bad idea and completely unjustifiable, no matter what anyone says.

Star Lawrence is a medical journalist based in the Phoenix area.

Published Dec. 15, 2003

A nurse’s prayer

Posted: February 16, 2010 by aknownemass in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

They are simply the -BEST-

adapted from

Dear Lord,

Please give me strength,
to face the day ahead.Dear Lord,
Please give me courage,
as I approach each hurting bed.

Dear Lord,

Please give me wisdom
with every word I speak.

Dear Lord,

Please give me patience,
as I comfort the sick and weak.

Dear Lord,

Please give me assurance,
as the day slips into night.
That I have done the best I can,
that I have done what is right.

A Nurse’s PrayerGive to my heart, Lord…
compassion and understanding.
Give to my hands,
skill and tenderness.
Give to my ears
the ability to listen.
Give to my lips
words of comfort.
Give to me, Lord…
strength for this selfless service
and enable me to give hope
to those I am called to serve.
Author unknown

With all the talk about Obama’s Health Care plan in the news lately, I’m still surprised that the nobody in the media talks about the actual plan – they just talk about the endless fighting that’s going on between politicians over the plan. So to inform the public, I’d thought I’d summarize the actual plan that’s being debated about, and the arguments for and against then plan.

First, why have heath care reform?

  • Everybody agrees our health care system is broken.
  • The U.S. has a complicated health care system of insurance, doctors, and patients. If you go to the doctor in America, you have to pay the doctor, the insurance company, and fight about who pays who and how much.
  • American has the most expensive health care system in the world, yet ranks 37 in the world in health care performance and 72 in world in overall level of national health. (World Health Organization, 2000)
  • Health care costs are rising three times the rate of wages, so people are unable to keep up with the cost of keeping healthy.
  • The U.S. does not have universal health care, so people who cannot afford insurance cannot go to a doctor because they can’t afford it.
  • The health insurance industry needs serious reform. Health insurance is a business in the U.S., so companies will raise prices on people who are expensive to insure and kick people off health insurance rolls if they become to expensive too keep healthy.

Obama’s Health Care Plan Summarized

  • Cover all Americans with health insurance by requiring employers to provide health insurance to their employees. Mandating all children have health insurance.
  • Allow workers to keep their employer-provided health insurance if they lose their job (or in between jobs).
  • Outlaw the practice of insurance companies rejecting people because of pre-existing health conditions. And make insurance premiums the same for everybody regardless of health status.
  • Provide a one-stop marketplace, called National Health Insurance Exchange, for customers to compare and shop for insurance plans.
  • Have a government run “public” health insurance option to provide low-cost, affordable health insurance for everybody, spur competition.
  • Read the full plan here:

Arguments in favor of Obama’s Health Care Plan

  • 46 millions of Americans, or 18% of the population under 65, are currently without health insurance and can not afford to see a doctor. The plan will insure almost all Americans.
  • Health care costs will rise if we do nothing, putting health insurance out of reach for more and more Americans. The plan will bring down health care costs.
  • Health care needs reform. This is the closest we’ve ever been to reforming health care in America.

Argument opposing Obama’s Health Care Plan

  • It’s expensive. No one knows the true cost of a government-run health care plan. The costs will add to the deficit.
  • Paying for the plan will include a tax increase on wealthy Americans (making anywhere from $350k-$1m + a year). Wealthy Americans will have to pay more taxes.
  • Having a government-run health care plan can be a precursor to government taking over the entire health care system – limiting consumer choice in health care.


  • Won’t add a dime to the deficit and is paid for upfront.
  • Requires additional cuts if savings are not realized.
  • Implements a number of delivery system reforms that begin to rein in health care costs and align incentives for hospitals, physicians, and others to improve quality.
  • Creates an independent commission of doctors and medical experts to identify waste, fraud and abuse in the health care system.
  • Orders immediate medical malpractice reform projects that could help doctors focus on putting their patients first, not on practicing defensive medicine.
  • Requires large employers to cover their employees and individuals who can afford it to buy insurance so everyone shares in the responsibility of reform.



Wananchi are set to benefit from a new scheme that makes it easier and cheaper to see a doctor.

This will reduce the number of people turning to quacks and herbalists. It will also mean fewer people detained or turned away from hospitals for failing to pay bills.

Affordable outpatient services will now be possible for more people through membership of the National Hospital Insurance Fund. The fund, which has only been paying in-patient bills for its members, recently rolled out an outpatient cover pilot project. This will initially be tested in Nairobi and Mumias to ensure it caters for urban and rural communities adequately. If the six-month pilot project runs successfully, all Kenyans will be able to join the scheme.

Medical Services Minister Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o, who officiated at the scheme’s rollout ceremony in Mumias town, said a national social insurance scheme was being developed to benefit patients at all levels.

Patients wait for treatment at a health facility. New NHIF health insurance scheme for outpatients will enable many to access healthcare.

With more than 400 accredited hospitals across the country including Government, faith-based and private hospitals, NHIF is the most widely available medical cover in the country. If its outpatient scheme were rolled out successfully, it would significantly alter the outpatient insurance landscape.

The successful roll out of the outpatient product will result in a major reawakening of the medical insurance business in Kenya, which has for long given low income people a wide berth.

Indeed, some medical insurance companies even decline to offer individual medical covers, opting exclusively for corporate business.

My Kenyan Brothers & Sisters ‘kati’ ya US na sisi nani munoma……..?

It isn’t anything funny

Posted: February 3, 2010 by aknownemass in Humour, Medical News
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Humoral immunity is a type of immunity which is conferred through the release of antibodies which are used to target cells for destruction by the body when these cells are viewed as potentially dangerous. This type of immunity is a complement to cellular immunity, in which cells release toxins to kill unwanted invaders, or attack the invaders directly to kill them. Together, humoral and cellular immunity are designed to defend the body against a wide variety of threats which could compromise it.

Thought you should know.