NATIONAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION

NAHEDO is an NGO formed by a multidisciplinary team of professionals comprising medical specialists in psychiatry, medicine, gynecology, pediatrics, dermatology, pharmacy, nutrition, nursing, psychology, social work, VCT counselors, environmental scientist and other experts who have years of experience in prevention and care for HIV infected and affected. NAHEDO is registered by the NGO Co-ordination Board, to operate in Nyanza, Eastern, Western and Nairobi Provinces

Latest News

Depression
Over 350 million people around the world have depression, according to a report issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) on World Mental Health Day (10 October)...
post-traumatic stress disorder
Depression and post-traumatic stress disorder are commonly associated with sexual assault, but a new study from The University of Texas at Austin shows that female victims suffer from a wide spectrum of debilitating effects that may often go unnoticed or undiagnosed...
Limit your breast cancer risks
“Breast cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death among women after lung cancer. In 2011, it is estimated that more than 230,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 39,000 women ...

Latest News

 

Over 350 million people around the world have depression, according to a report issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) on World Mental Health Day (10 October).

Depression is a mental disorder that undermines people's ability to function well. However, the stigma associated with the disorder stops millions of people from seeking medical help. Another problem with stigma is that a considerable number of those with depression fail to acknowledge that they are ill.

WHO calls for an end to the stigmatization of depression.

We all have occasional fluctuations in mood; depression is completely different. Depression forces the individual into a feeling of sadness that persists for long periods, at least two weeks, according to WHO. It interferes with our ability to function properly at home, school or work.

Fortunately, depression is a treatable illness. Treatments today include medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. Depressed people and those close to them need to become actively involved in addressing the disorder.

Before reaching out for support, it is vital that the depressed person recognizes their disorder. Prompt treatment is best, i.e. the earlier treatment starts, the more effective it tends to be.

Dr Shekhar Saxena, Director of the Department for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, USA, said: "We have some highly effective treatments for depression. Unfortunately, fewer than half of the people who have depression receive the care they need. In fact in many countries this is less than 10%. This is why WHO is supporting countries in fighting stigma as a key activity to increasing access to treatment."


A combination of obstacles stop people from seeking help for depression, such as a lack of proper understanding of the condition and cultural attitudes.

 

Depression is common everywhereIt is a myth that depression is something that predominantly affects Western societies. Researchers from the University of Queensland, who claim to have made the most comprehensive study of depression and anxiety, concluded that depression and anxiety exist in every society in the world today.

According to WHO, depression rates are similar throughout all regions of the world. A recent WHO study found that approximately 5% of people over the last 12 months had depression.

Depression is caused by a combination of biological, psychological and social factors. Physical health has been shown to be linked to depression risk - people with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, psoriasis, and a number of other illnesses and conditions have a much higher risk of developing depression than other "healthy" individuals. Up to 20% of women develop post-partum depression (post-natal depression) after giving birth. Spouses of people who had a heart attack have a much higher chance of developing depression.

Unpleasant or extreme circumstances may also raise depression risk, such as unemployment, disasters, wars, and losing loved ones. In extreme cases, depression can drive a person to commit suicide, or attempt to do so. Nearly one million people commit suicide annually worldwide; many of them were suffering from depression when they ended their lives

 


Depression and post-traumatic stress disorder are commonly associated with sexual assault, but a new study from The University of Texas at Austin shows that female victims suffer from a wide spectrum of debilitating effects that may often go unnoticed or undiagnosed.

 

Researchers Carin Perilloux, now a visiting assistant professor at Union College in New York, and David Buss, a professor of psychology at The University of Texas at Austin, found significant negative consequences of rape and attempted sexual assault in 13 domains of psychological and social functioning, including self-esteem, social reputation, sexual desire and self-perceived mate value.

The study, to be published in a forthcoming issue of the Archives of Sexual Behavior, will lend important insight into psychological and social ramifications, and possibly interventions, for rape and sexual assault victims.

"These findings document that victims of sexual assault, and even victims of attempted sexual assault, suffer psychological and social costs more far ranging than previously suspected," says Perilloux, who earned her Ph.D. at The University of Texas at Austin in 2011.

As part of the study, the researchers conducted a survey with 140 women who had experienced rape or attempted sexual assault. On a scale of negative three to positive three, with zero representing no change, they evaluated the severity of damage they experienced after their rapes or assaults. The respondents also provided subjective descriptions of the impact of their experiences in relation to each of the psychological and social domains that were studied.

Though all victims of rape and attempted sexual assault reported negative effects in every domain, rape victims reported significantly more negative outcomes than victims of attempted rape in 11 domains.

Across the board, the most negatively affected domains were self-esteem, sexual reputation, (i.e. being labeled as promiscuous), frequency of sex, desire to have sex, and self-perceived mate value or desirability.

Though the sobering data cannot be taken lightly, hope could be found in some respondents' self-described feelings of optimism.

"Women often show exceptional resilience," Perilloux says. "With support and assistance, many rape victims may be able to regain normalcy in some of the domains of their lives affected by the victimization."

 

Limit your breast cancer risks

“Breast cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death among women after lung cancer. In 2011, it is estimated that more than 230,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 39,000 women will die from it” according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The National Cancer Institute estimated that in 2012 that along with the women totals, there were 2190 males diagnosed and 410 males that died from this disease.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is important to know what men and women can do to reduce their risk of breast cancer.

1. Maintain a healthy weight. “The more fat tissue, the more estrogen to fuel breast cancer growth.”

2. Make exercise a priority. “One study found that women who did as little as 75 to 150 minutes of brisk walking each week had an 18% lower risk of breast cancer.” It is better to exercise 30 to 60 minutes daily instead of cramming all of that time into one day.

3. Limit your alcohol intake. “Follow the American Cancer Society’s recommendation of no more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men. A single drink amounts to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1½ ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (hard liquor).”

4. “Avoid or limit hormone replacement therapy.”

5. Don’t smoke. If you do already, quit now.