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Genetic testing: Best to know or not to know?

Suppose, for a moment, that both your mother and grandfather had died of an inevitably fatal neurological disease, and someone offered you a test to see if you were likely to get it, too. If the test showed up positive, you'd live knowing that one day you'd probably die of it, too, possibly as young as your forties. Would you go ahead? Or would you rather not know?

It's a dilemma facing Emma East, a 24-year-old mother of three young children.

And as presymptomatic genetic testing becomes possible for more and more conditions, it's the kind of dilemma that growing numbers of others will also face.

It didn't surprise Emma's mother, nor Emma, when in February 2009 she was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND), from which she died nine months later. The disease had already killed Emma's grandfather.

Read more: Genetic testing: Best to know or not to know?

Discover the dangers, benefits of detoxing

A detox is a plan that requires you to follow a particular diet over a certain period of time in order to cleanse the body. It may also include herbal supplements or other methods, such as colonic irrigation, all of which aim to remove environmental and dietary toxins from the body. There are various detox diets from juice-only type regimens to those that simply stipulate consuming unprocessed foods, particularly organic foods and foods high in fibre and water, while eliminating all sugars, salt, caffeine and alcohol.

Toxins are agents that can potentially harm the body. External (exogenous) toxins are things such as pollution from cars, cigarette smoke, factories and foods; endogenous toxins are viral or bacterial infections and autogenous toxins result from normal cell activity in the body that produce compounds such as lactic acid and ammonia.

Detox proponents say periodic cleansing is needed to flush toxins from the body that if left to accumulate will lead to health problems such as headaches, sluggishness and chronic diseases.

Read more: Discover the dangers, benefits of detoxing

Ebola survivors tell their stories

FIVE out of nine survivors of the dreaded Ebola Virus Diseases, EVD, Thursday  recounted their ordeals when they met the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, and some members of the State’s Executive Council.

They include Dennis Akagha, husband of late Justina, a nurse at First Consultant Hospital, Dr Fadipe Akinniyi, Dr. Ibeawuchi Morris, Dr. Adaowa Igowoh and Kelechi Enemuo, wife of late Dr. Iyke Samuel Enemuo, who died of EVD in Port Harcourt.

Three of the survivors who are staff of First Consultant Hospital, contracted the virus from the index case, late Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian who brought in the disease into Nigeria on July 20, 2014.

Dr. Igowoh, who was the first to recount her ordeal, described yesterday as a glorious day in her life. She said, “it is a day of joy. I want to say that we are here today because of God. It was He that made us to survive. We are privileged to see this day and to be here with everybody, it is an honour. Thank you so much Governor Fashola, we can’t thank you for everything.

Read more: Ebola survivors tell their stories

Sweet corn fritters with chicken and seasonal salad

This is an easy-to-make breakfast or brunch.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken

310g (12 oz) can corn kernels, drained

1 small red capsicum, finely diced

1/2 bunch spinach, leaves shredded

2 tablespoons coconut or plain Gluten free flour, sifted

6 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup olive oil 

Salad 

80g (3 oz) mixed salad leaves

1 Lebanese cucumber, halved lengthways, deseeded, cut into matchsticks

2 carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks

250g (10 oz) cherry tomatoes, halved

1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Read more: Sweet corn fritters with chicken and seasonal salad

Ebola virus victim, Kadiatou, tells his story

He has every reason to thank God for His infinite mercies. Yes, we all do and for good reason too. His is special, being a victim of the dreaded ebola virus disease. Yes, that killer virus that has so far claimed 2,228 victims according to the World Health organization (WHO) report early in the week

Sulaiman Kemokai, from Kenema in Sierra Leone, spent 25 days in a ward. The 20-year-old man made a full recovery after contracting the ebola virus. He is just one of the handfuls of persons that have by divine providence survived the cold clutches of dead.

Although he is free from the curse of the disease, he is nevertheless not free from the stigma associated with it. The dread with which he is treated by his contemporaries and others who are scared that he could infect them with the disease leaves him traumatized and almost without hope of being fully re-integrated into the society. 

Despite still feeling stiffness in his joints, he claims he is gaining strength every day. Lucky to be alive: Sulaiman Kemokai, 20, has been released from an Ebola treatment centre after recovering. Gaining strength: Sulaiman, from Kenema, Sierra Leone, claims he is getting stronger every day.

Read more: Ebola virus victim, Kadiatou, tells his story

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