Pathology in PNG

Pathology laboratory opens in Port Moresby

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Fighting Cervice Cancer in PNG

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PNG's MRI Scanner

Public health system in PNG gets first MRI scanner

Friday, February 26, 2016

Health Benefits of Being a Regular Blood Donor

Health Benefits of Being a Regular Blood Donor - 
Did you know that blood donation not only saves lives but can improve your health too? Roll up your sleeves and donate blood today. Those who donate:
Get a Mini Physical - Every blood donor gets a mini-physical prior to donation which includes checking your haemoglobin level, blood glucose levels, weight and blood pressure. Your blood will also be tested for infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis, and syphilis. Please note: this should not be used as a replacement for regular medical care however it will give you a good indication of your general health such as finding out if you have been exposed to an infectious disease.
Have Better Blood Flow - Repeated blood donations may help your blood to flow better, possibly helping to limit damage to the lining of your blood vessels, which should result in fewer arterial blockages which can decrease your risk of having a stroke. Phillip DeChristopher, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Loyola University Health System blood bank, told TIME: “What is clear is that blood donors seem to not be hospitalized so often, and if they are, they have shorter lengths of stay and are less likely to get heart attacks, strokes, and cancers.”
Live Longer – According to a study: Those who volunteer for altruistic reasons, i.e. to help others rather than themselves, live longer than those who volunteer for more self-centered reasons.
Balances Iron Levels in Your Blood – For each unit of blood donated, you lose about one-quarter of a gram of iron, which is one of the best ways to avoid the health risks associated with iron overload. Your body has a limited capacity to excrete iron, so it can easily build up in and damage organs like your liver, heart, and pancreas; many adult men and postmenopausal women are at risk for health problems associated with excess iron.
Burns Calories - People burn approximately 650 calories per donation of one pint (470 ml) of blood, according to the University of California, San Diego.
Reduces The Risk of Cancer - The Miller-Keystone Blood Center says that a consistency of blood donations is associated with lower risks of cancers including liver, lung, colon, and throat cancers due to the reduction in oxidative stress when iron is released from the bloodstream.
Preserves Cardiovascular Health – Blood viscosity is known to be a unifying factor for the risk of cardiovascular disease, says the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. How thick and sticky your blood is and how much friction your blood creates through the blood vessels can determine how much damage is done to the cells lining your arteries. You can reduce your blood viscosity by donating blood on a regular basis, which eliminates the iron that may possibly oxidize in your blood. An increase in oxidative stress can be damaging to your cardiovascular system. According to a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association, Blood donation also reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Source: POMGH

The Health Benefits of Regular Blood Donation

Want to save a life and reap the health benefits? Donate blood today.
Blood Donations Saves Lives -
Blood is vital for life and for many people, blood donors are their lifeline. Currently, it is thought that only 1 in 30 people give blood, but 1 in 3 people will need blood in their lifetime. Every week, the Port Moresby General Hospital needs approximately 400 bags of clean blood to assist those in need. To collect that many donations the blood bank team will screen approximately 800 volunteers each week as not everyone who volunteers will be able to donate due to health reasons. Blood can only be stored for a limited amount of time before use which Is why there is a constant need for regular blood supply. Regular blood donations by a sufficient number of healthy people are needed to ensure that safe blood will always be available. Modern processing techniques mean that your single blood donation when separated into its components (red cells, plasma and platelets), can help at least three different patients by making vital products which treat many conditions. This means your decision to donate can save a life, or even several.
Want to become a regular blood donor?
Blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person - the gift of life. The Port Moresby General Hospital Blood Bank is now open 7 days. Walk on in between 9am and 3pm any day.
Who Does Donate Blood Help?
- Women with complications of pregnancy, such as ectopic pregnancies and hemorrhage before, during or after childbirth;
- Children with severe anemia often resulting from malaria or malnutrition;
- People with severe trauma following accidents
- Surgical and cancer patients.
- Transfusions for people with conditions such as thalassaemia and sickle cell disease.
- Blood is used to make products such as clotting factors for people with haemophilia.
Want to Know if You are Eligible to Donate Blood?
Most people are able to give blood if they:
- Are fit, healthy and not suffering from a cold, flu or other illness at the time of donation or in the previous 7 days
- Are aged between 16-70 years
- Weigh at least 50kgs
- Drink at least 3 glasses of water/juice in the 3 hours before donating blood and in the 24 hours before donating, especially in warm weather.
- Eat something in the 3 hours before donating.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Testing and Treatment of deficiency in Magnesium

Testing and Treatment -
If you suspect you may be deficient in magnesium, see your doctor for a check up at your local health clinic. Your doctor may require you to have further testing and ask you a few questions about your diet and lifestyle. Treatment may include supplementation, diet and lifestyle changes, and medication if there is an underlying cause for a deficiency. It is important only to take supplements and medications as recommended by your doctor.
Foods That Contain Magnesium -
Some good sources of Magnesium are:
- Nuts (especially almonds, brazil nuts) and seeds (especially sunflower and pumpkin).
- Wholegrain cereals, wholegrain bread
- Vegetables: Dark leafy greens (spinach, Swiss chard), broccoli, potatoes
- Legumes: Lentils, soybeans, black beans, kidney beans and chickpeas.
- Fish (especially mackerel, salmon, halibut, and tuna)
- Meat (pork, lamb and chicken)
- Fruit (bananas, avocados, grapefruit, strawberries and figs.
- Tofu
- Dark Chocolate
- Low-fat yogurt
Cooking Vegetables to Retain their Health Benefits:
Getting three to five servings of vegetables every day is recommended to manage weight, protect against heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer. The way in which vegetables are cooked such as boiling or soaking can cause them to lose some of their nutrients while eating vegetables in their raw state ensures there is no loss. If you like to cook, your vegetables aim for fresh (not canned or frozen) when possible. If you like to cook your vegetables lightly steaming is the recommended method of cooking as it does not lead to as much nutrient loss.
Tip: Making a few small changes to your diet and lifestyle can improve your health and wellbeing and ensure you are not putting yourself at risk for magnesium deficiency. If you have a poor diet or regularly consume alcohol, it is advisable to see your doctor for a health check up.
Remember: It is important only to take supplements and medications as recommended by your doctor.

Source: POMGH Health Tips

Who is at Risk for Magnesium Deficiency?

The below groups are at a higher risk for magnesium deficiency:
Poor Diets: Such as those consume a high intake of processed foods (baked or packaged): The more processed foods you eat in your diet, the more likely you are deficient in magnesium and other vital nutrients. Replace these foods with a healthy alternative such as fruit, nuts, seeds and vegetables.
Stress or Illness: Both physical and emotional stress can be a cause of magnesium deficiency including those recovering from surgery or burns or those with liver disease, diabetes, and hormone imbalance. These conditions not only increase the body’s need for magnesium but also may reduce stomach acid levels, which reduces the body’s ability to break down foods and supplements into an absorbable form.
Drinking Caffeinated Beverages: If you drink caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and soft drinks regularly, your risk for magnesium deficiency is increased. Caffeine stimulates the kidneys and intestines and causes your body to eliminate magnesium.
Heavy Alcohol Use: People who drink heavily tend to have poor diets and may not get the foods they need to meet their magnesium requirements. Alcohol also negatively affects digestion and the use and storage of nutrients.
Medication Use: Do you take regular medications or medications or diuretics? The effects of certain drugs have been shown to reduce magnesium levels in the body.
Older Adults: Older adults are more vulnerable to lower levels of magnesium in the body as the natural process of aging reduces stomach acid levels and is associated with reduced absorption of magnesium. Older adults are also more likely to take medications.
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency - 
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency may include: 
- Fatigue or sleep problems
- Poor nail growth
- Stomach upsets such as nausea and vomiting
- Irregular heartbeat
- Irritability, agitation, anxiety or confusion
- Muscle spasms, weakness or twitches
- Seizures 
- Personality changes
- Restless leg syndrome
Remember: It is important to ensure you are getting enough magnesium in your daily diet before signs of deficiency occur. If you are experiencing any of the above signs and symptoms, see your doctor for a health evaluation.
Tip: Eat a healthy well-balanced diet and limit alcohol, soft drinks and processed foods and replace with healthier alternatives.
Testing and Treatment -

Human Body needs Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral that is required for more than 300 metabolic and enzymatic reactions in the body some of which include the synthesis of fat, protein and nucleic acids, activating B vitamins, energy production, nerve transmission, bone health, neurological and cardiac activity as well as the secretion of insulin. Magnesium plays a vital role in the contraction and relaxation of muscles, regulating blood flow and blood pressure. Magnesium is also required for optimal mental health and hormone balance.
It is important to ensure you are meeting the daily requirements of magnesium needed by your body and not putting yourself at risk for deficiency. If you think you may be lacking magnesium in your diet, see your doctor at your local urban health clinic for a health checkup. Those who are deficient in magnesium often have high levels of stress, eat lots of processed foods or drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages regularly. Simple dietary and lifestyle changes may restore healthy levels of magnesium in your body and put you on the road to better health.
What are the Health Benefits of Magnesium?
Extensive research is continuing into magnesium's health benefits. However researchers believe maintaining adequate levels is beneficial in treating and managing high blood pressure and cholesterol as well as the management of migraines, asthma, anxiety, restless leg syndrome and urinary incontinence.
Magnesium also plays an important role in the sleep cycle especially for those suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. Magnesium also assists in bowel health as it promotes bowel movements (only take as recommended or it may cause diarrhea). For women, taking a magnesium supplement may be useful in the treatment of PMS (premenstrual syndrome), fluid retention, irritability, mood swings and cramps. Magnesium is essential for the health, strength, and firmness of bones and getting enough in your daily diet reduces your risk for osteoporosis.
Magnesium and Calcium -
New wisdom is emerging is that magnesium is actually the key to the body's proper assimilation and use of calcium as well as vitamin D. Dr. Dean ( British Medical Journal) says, "If we consume too much calcium without sufficient magnesium, the excess calcium is not utilized correctly and may actually become toxic, causing painful conditions such as some forms of arthritis, kidney stones, osteoporosis and calcification of the arteries leading to heart attack and cardiovascular disease. The effectiveness and benefits of calcium with respect to bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis are enormously impaired in the absence of adequate levels of magnesium in the body."
We will be posting more useful information over the next few days so please check back soon.

Source: POMGH

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Port Moresby General Hospital leading the way

What is proving to be success after success for Port Moresby General Hospital is translating into further performance improvements in all aspects of their operations.
Today, Monday 15th February, the PMGH CEO, Mr. Grant R. Muddle and the PMGH Financial Controller personally delivered the 2015 Financial Reports to the Auditor General’s Office.
Mr Gordon Kega, Acting Deputy Auditor General for Provincial and Local Level Governments and Ms Maggie Kuli, Acting Assistant Auditor General were both on hand to take delivery of the reports.
The Auditor General’s Office confirmed that PMGH was the first hospital in the country to deliver their 2015 financial report. The news became even a little sweeter when it was also commented, “PMGH was the first Government institution to provide its 2015 financial report to the Audit General’s Office.”
The PMGH CEO Mr. Grant R. Muddle made the following comments, “A hospital is not just about our medical professionals while they are exceptionally important, there is numerous other people at PMGH that get very little recognition. However, their contribution is equally important in ensuring PMGH is heading towards our “Better Heath” objectives. I would like to congratulate the PMGH Finance Team being lead by the Financial Control Mr. Gavera Bitu. His team are implementing new systems and streamlining all areas of our financial process. The value of correct, factual and timely financial reports is essential to ensure PMGH is on budget, investing correctly in new technology, and where additional cost savings can be made so funds can be directed by to our “Better Health” goals. The finance team, this month for the first time, will roll out an entirely online payroll system, with the connection of the biometrics in the coming weeks to further improve staff monitoring, wage processes and reporting overall. Our complete team at PMGH are exceptional motivated to succeed, and the finance department is no exception to this. They have an important role to play, and to be honest, they are setting the standard for delivery not only for the other hospitals across the country but the other Government departments. I am exceptionally proud of their performance and progress.”

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Diagnosis of Fluid Retention : Health Advice

By Port Moresby General Hospital
To diagnose fluid retention, your doctor may take a thorough medical history, perform an exam including further testing such as blood, urine, liver function, kidney function, and a heart function tests. The cause for fluid retention must be found before treatment can begin. Your doctor may check whether the skin over the swollen area indents when pressed as well ask ask you questions about recent weight gain, tightness of clothes or jewellery, and other symptoms.
Keep a Symptom Diary: Make a note of when fluid retention started, where on the body did you notice you are retaining fluid, are you experiencing any other symptoms, have you noticed anything worsens your fluid retention, have you recently changed your diet, what medications are you on? Are you having any trouble sleeping or trouble with physical activity?
Treatment of Fluid Retention?
If your fluid retention I caused by an underlying cause your doctor will determine the right treatment for you which may require medication. If you doctor has ruled out the possibility that the fluid retention could be caused by an underlying health condition you doctor may suggest making a few diet and lifestyle changes or advise you to take a specific supplement based on your needs. Always discuss any supplement use with your doctor as they may interfere with the effectiveness of some medications. The following suggestions may help reduce swelling and relieve symptoms: (these suggestions are not recommended without understanding the underlying cause).
Treatment for the Underlying Medical Condition: Your doctor will determine if the cause for fluid retention Is from an underlying disease or condition and provide treatment if necessary.
Diuretics: Ask your doctor about diuretics, which help get rid of extra fluid from the body by increasing urination.
Diet: Eat a well-balanced diet and avoid processed foods when possible. Try including several small meals rather than large meals. Dietary adjustments may be necessary if malnutrition is the cause.
Reduce Salt Intake: Don’t add salt to your meals or snacks. Check food labels for added salt in packaged foods.
Drink Plenty of Water: It may sound contradictory, but a well-hydrated body is less likely to retain fluid. Do not reduce the amount of water or other fluids you drink without consulting your doctor first.
Avoid Dehydrating Drinks: Such as tea, coffee and alcohol.
Elevate Your Legs: Lie down with your legs higher than your head, when possible.
Exercise Regularly: Exercising is very beneficial when trying to rid yourself of fluid retention.
Lifestyle Changes: If you have been diagnosed with liver disease avoidance of alcohol may be suggested.
Changes in Medications or Dosage: If your medications are causing symptoms of fluid retention. Only on a doctor’s advice.
Wear Compression Stockings: To help improve blood flow.
Avoid Standing for Long Periods: Try to move around to promote blood flow.
Lose Weight: If you are overweight or obese. Weight loss should be done gradually.
Menstrual Cycle: Take a supplement if fluid retention is caused by pre-menstrual symptoms such as calcium and magnesium. (ask your doctor if this is right for you as it may interfere with certain medications).
Tip: Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, it is important for you to follow the treatment plan exactly as your doctor advises to reduce the risk of further health complications.
Remember: If you have noticed any changes in your body, it is always a good idea to have this checked by a doctor to ensure it is not a symptom of something more serious. Keep a symptom diary be sure to note any new symptoms or a change in symptoms bring this with you to your doctors appointment.

Fluid Retention in the Body : Health Advice

By Port Moresby General Hospital 

Welcome to another health update from the Port Moresby General Hospital this week we are focussing on fluid retention in the body. What causes it? Why is it important to talk to your doctor if you if you are experiencing this symptom?
What is Fluid Retention? 
Fluid retention also known as water retention or oedema refers to an excessive build up of fluid in the body. While common causes of fluid retention are from diets high in sodium, hot weather, certain medications or hormone changes due to a woman’s menstrual cycle, it can be a symptom of a serious underlying health issue such as diseases of the heart, liver and kidney.
Most commonly, fluid retention is evident by the swelling of the hands, feet, legs ankles and abdomen however it can occur in other body parts. There are two categories for fluid retention: generalized oedema (when swelling occurs throughout the body) and localized oedema (when particular parts of the body are affected).
It is important to note that fluid can be retained throughout the day based on your hydration levels, activity levels and the foods you have consumed (you will retain more fluid if you have consumed processed foods as these contain high amounts of sodium which is one of the main causes for retaining fluid). Stick to unprocessed foods when possible and make sure you are drinking enough water for your daily needs. A well-hydrated body is less likely to retain fluid.
What Causes Fluid Retention?
Some of the common causes of fluid retention include:
Gravity: Standing for long periods of time allows fluid to pool in the tissues of the lower leg.
Hot Weather: A common cause of fluid retention. 
Burns: Including sunburn.
Menstrual Cycle: A common cause of fluid retention and is caused by hormonal changes.
Pregnancy: Also due to hormone changes. 
Dietary Deficiency: Such as insufficient protein or vitamin B1 (thiamine) in the diet.
Medications: Such as blood pressure medications, corticosteroids, anti-inflammatory medications, diabetes medications, and the contraceptive pill. Talk to your doctor about this potential side effect. 
Chronic Venous Insufficiency: Weakened valves in the veins of the legs fail to efficiently return blood to the heart which causes fluid to collect in the legs which can potentially cause varicose veins.
Diseases: Of the heart, liver, kidneys and thyroid.
Allergic Reaction: The body tends to swell in response to particular allergens. In some cases, the reaction is severe (anaphylaxis) and requires urgent medical attention. 
Physical Activity: A common complaint from those who are new to exercise. 
Hypertension: High blood pressure can cause fluid retention
Cancer: Especially kidney, liver or ovarian cancers.
Symptoms of Fluid Retention?
Symptoms of fluid retention may vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition which is why it is always important to be evaluated by your doctor. Those who are affected by fluid retention may experience the following symptoms:
- Swelling of affected body parts (Feet, ankles, hands and abdomen are most commonly affected) The affected body parts may ache or feel heavy.
- Joints may feel stiff
- Unexplained weight fluctuations or weight gain.
- When pressed, the skin may hold the indent for a few seconds.
- Feeling that clothes, shoes, rings, or watches are too tight.
Tip: As fluid retention can be symptomatic of serious medical conditions such as heart, kidney or liver disease it is important to discuss this symptom with your doctor to rule out any serious or underlying cause.