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Women’s Health

Taliban Seize Women’s Ministry Building for Use by Religious Police

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KABUL, Afghanistan – The Taliban have converted the women’s ministry building into offices for the Religious Morality Police, which once fueled fears of their oppression of women and the brutal enforcement of Sharia law by the militant government two decades ago in Afghanistan.

The renovation of the building in Kabul, the country’s capital, indicated at least a symbolic slap in the face from a ministry that embodied the rise of women in Afghanistan after the Taliban was ousted in 2001.

A video posted by Reuters showed women employed by the ministry protesting in front of the building because the Taliban had denied them entry and told them to go home.

It remains unclear whether the Department of Women was abolished by the Taliban, who regained power after the collapse of the US-backed government last month. But when the Taliban announced their incumbent cabinet members for the new government earlier this month, there was no appointment to oversee women’s affairs.

And in another ominous sign of renewed gender discrimination among the Taliban, the Ministry of Education ordered male teachers back to work and said secondary school classes for boys would resume on Saturday. There was no talk of girls.

The Ministry of Women’s new resident, the Ministry of Inviting, Guiding, and Promoting Virtue and Preventing Vice, appears to be just a slightly renamed name for the notorious Taliban standards of conduct enforcer who made the group a global pariah in the 1990s.

The Ministry’s police officers have been known to beat or flog women who ventured outside their homes without full body covering and male escorts. They banned girls from school after elementary school and banned women from looking for work. Unmarried couples risked death by stoning for adultery.

While the Taliban leaders have recognized that Afghanistan has evolved after two decades of American-led occupation, they have also left women fearful of what the future may bring. No women have been appointed to positions of authority under the new Taliban government, and steps have been taken to separate men and women in public spaces.

Earlier this week, Minister of Higher Education Abdul Baqi Haqqani said women could continue to study in universities and postgraduate courses, but only in gender-segregated classrooms in appropriate Islamic clothing.

The building that formerly housed the Ministry of Women is in a former liberal district of Kabul that is full of cafes and a popular Turkish-run shopping mall with clothing stores, a counterfeit Apple store, and restaurants ranging from fast food chains to high profile Restaurants littered -end steak house.

Now a white Taliban flag is waving over the armored gate of the building complex, adorned with a sign for the ministry, who is its new resident, while Taliban security forces stand guard.

Understanding the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan

Map 1 of 6

Who are the Taliban? The Taliban emerged in 1994 amid the unrest following the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989. They used brutal public punishments, including flogging, amputation and mass executions, to enforce their rules. Here is more about their genesis and track record as rulers.

Who are the Taliban leaders? These are the top leaders of the Taliban, men who for years have been on the run, in hiding, in prison and dodged American drones. Little is known about them or how they plan to govern, including whether they will be as tolerant as they say they are. A spokesman told the Times the group wanted to forget about their past, but there would be some restrictions.

The walls surrounding the site are still adorned with murals and signs depicting the work of the Ministry of Women, but some have had women’s faces vandalized, a type of vandalism that has occurred elsewhere in Afghanistan since the Taliban regained power is to be observed.

A sign that reads “Supporting women who are victims of violence is our human duty” shows a woman with a black eye. Another is from the United States Agency for International Development, which has been a major resource for Afghanistan, and read, “Keep your city green and clean.”

Even critics of the American military’s long stay in Afghanistan have recognized the progress made by Afghan women over the past two decades. Under the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, women’s health, literacy rates and employment all rose. Assistance and shelter were given to abused women. Women entered the legislature and other positions of power.

A revealing barometer of growth was shown in the changing composition of the workforce. A World Bank study found that women made up 22 percent of the workforce in 2019, compared to 15 percent in 2009. A survey conducted two years ago by the Asia Foundation also showed growing public support for women in the workplace, with 76 percent of Afghans support women’s right to work outside the home.

The news of the Taliban’s conversion of the Ministry of Women came when the United Nations Security Council reassigned the organization’s six-month mission to Afghanistan. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which was established in the aftermath of the US invasion in 2002, is the primary tool for monitoring Taliban’s behavior following the chaotic US military withdrawal last month.

Stéphane Dujarric, the UN spokesman in New York, said he knew nothing about the development of the Ministry of Women and could not comment on it. Nevertheless, there have been “worrying developments in recent times, but we are continuing our dialogue and our advocacy for women’s rights, for girls’ rights, especially in the field of work and education”.

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Women’s Health

How To Use Your Phone To Stay Happy And Healthy

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The NHS has promised a digital revolution to transform patient care. The wider use of technology is at the heart of a ten-year plan to reduce disease by developing digital tools that help the public better manage disease.

However, a study published yesterday by the Organization for the Review of Care and Health Apps evaluating digital health tools like smartphone apps for healthcare found that older people often miss out on the benefits of technology.

Good Health looks at just a few of the smartphone apps that could improve the health of the elderly

It found that GPs recommend NHS-approved apps to more than twice as many people under 35 as people over 55 – although the majority of older people said they’d love to try NHS-approved health apps.

Patient Safety Learning, a charity that works for improved standards in health care, said doctors fail to educate older people about the wide range of NHS-supported health apps that could benefit their wellbeing.

Good Health looks at just a few of the smartphone apps that could improve the health of the elderly, while Dr. Trisha Macnair, an elderly care specialist from Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice in Farnham, Surrey, delivers her verdict. . .

Reminders for Coping with Dementia

My House Of Memories, free on Google Play on Android devices or AppStore on Apple devices

Dementia, which affects around 800,000 mostly elderly people in the UK, not only robs people of their memories, but often causes restlessness. My House Of Memories would like to help by saving images or sounds from the past that those affected find comforting.

This could simply be a picture of old currency from her childhood – like a ten shilling note – or a Singer sewing machine that brings back fond memories of a relative who made clothes for her.

Personalized pictures – such as pictures of favorite objects, loved ones or old school friends – can also be uploaded to the app.

Expert judgment: “From caring for people with dementia, we know that remembering beautiful and distant memories can help them deal with their illness. It allows them to feel engaged, which improves their mood and quality of life. So I’m sure this could be beneficial – although it will take a caregiver’s help to use it. ‘

How to Use Your Phone to Stay Happy and Healthy

Medicine sent to your door

Hey pharmacist, it’s free on Google Play or the AppStore

According to charity Age UK, around four million people over 65 in the UK take five or more prescription drugs – many of them every day.

For elderly patients, ensuring uninterrupted supply of these drugs is essential, even when many are home-bound.

The NHS-approved Hey Pharmacist app is designed to relieve headaches by allowing patients to order repeat prescriptions through the app at any pharmacy in England and have them delivered to their door.

After downloading the app and sending a prescription request, it is checked by the patient’s family doctor and delivered within a few days. The app can remind the patient to order another prescription when supplies are running low.

Expert judgment: “This is really useful. I work in elderly care and I’m constantly trying to convince patients to use his type of technology to make sure they don’t run out of medication.

“Those who are familiar with smartphone apps seem pretty easy to understand – but it can be more difficult for those in their late 70s.”

How to Use Your Phone to Stay Happy and Healthy

Take a home stress test

EXi, free of charge on Google Play or AppStore

General practitioners who want to assess an older person’s fitness often refer them to a six-minute walk test – how far they can go in that time. It is a measure of aerobic fitness and a crucial guide to overall wellbeing.

The EXi app enables patients to take the test in their own garden or while taking a walk on site instead of having to go to a clinic.

It also creates a 12-week exercise plan based on each patient’s own health information – such as weight, underlying health issues, and whether or not they smoke. The app gradually increases the level of training until the patient complies with the NHS recommended five 30-minute sessions per week at the end of three months of treatment.

Expert judgment: “This could be useful, but we know that most people find it difficult to motivate themselves to exercise unless there is someone around to do it. This is especially true for older people, for whom social interaction is just as important as physical exercise. “

How to Use Your Phone to Stay Happy and Healthy

App to deal with leaks

Squeezy, £ 2.99, Google Play or AppStore

AN estimates that seven million people in the UK – mostly women – have urinary incontinence. It tends to affect the elderly because the muscles that control bladder function get weaker with age.

Pelvic floor exercises are known to help fight the problem, but must be done regularly and properly to get any real benefit – something many patients struggle with. The Squeezy app is aimed at both men and women and offers patients a pelvic floor exercise plan developed by physiotherapists who specialize in women’s health.

Users are given clear instructions on how to perform pelvic floor exercises effectively – to improve bladder control – and a journal feature allows them to record improvements in their condition.

Expert judgment: “A really helpful app. Half the problem with pelvic floor exercises is that you’re never quite sure you’re tensing the right muscles, but with this app to guide you, the chances are much less. ‘

How to Use Your Phone to Stay Happy and Healthy

Manage your heart health

Activate the self-care app, free of charge on Google Play or in the AppStore

At least one million people in the UK have atrial fibrillation, which is when an abnormal heartbeat causes blood to build up in the heart’s pumping chambers – which increases the risk of a clot that could cause a stroke.

The average age of onset is around 75 years. Many of the diagnosed patients rely on the blood-thinning drug warfarin to reduce their risk of stroke. However, the drug must be carefully monitored as too much can lead to life-threatening internal bleeding.

This means having regular tests at a clinic – usually every four to six weeks – to measure the amount of the drug in the blood.

The NHS-approved Engage app allows patients to do this at home – without hospitalization – provided they have received a test kit from their GP.

The app saves readings and wirelessly shares them with the patient’s doctor so that he can remotely monitor drug levels.

Expert Verdict: “Most patients who take warfarin either need regular checkups or a county nurse calls every few weeks to get a blood sample, but the app could make life a lot easier.”

Keep track of daily pills

How to Use Your Phone to Stay Happy and Healthy

Pillboxie, £ 1.79, AppStore

Billed as an “easy way to remember your medication”, you can use this app to record every day which tablets you have to take and at what time. But what makes this so user-friendly is that there are visual – and not just text-based – reminders of taking medication.

For example, if a medication has to be taken at 7 a.m., a tablet appears in the picture of a pill box and remains there until the patient informs the app that they have taken the medication. Separately, the app can flash a list of ‘medication due today’ that the patient can tick off on the go.

Expert verdict: “Apps like this are a great idea and the visual element will likely make them more user-friendly. I know pharmacists sometimes have to call patients every day to remind them to take their medication. Using this app could prevent patients from accidentally missing doses. “

Sounds like nodding off

How to Use Your Phone to Stay Happy and Healthy

Pzizz, for free on Google Play or AppStore

Many older people have trouble sleeping. This may be due to a day nap, which reduces nighttime fatigue. The Pzizz app uses a complex mix of music, voice overs, and various background sound effects to create a “dream landscape” described by the creators as a “dream landscape” that promotes sleep.

Expert judgment: “Sleep problems are very common in older people and they can become afraid of them, which can make falling asleep even more difficult. This app could possibly help. ‘

Stay mobile to relieve pain

How to Use Your Phone to Stay Happy and Healthy

ESCAPE-Pain-App, free of charge on Google Play

In the case of chronic pain, it is important to stay mobile. The Escape Pain app is for people with pain who want to stay mobile at home instead of attending fitness classes. It includes videos with clear instructions on gentle exercise and allows users to track their progress and track pain.

Expert verdict: “We know that in diseases like osteoarthritis, which affects around eight million people in the UK, staying mobile is essential to control pain and maintain muscle strength.

“Apps like this can help patients find the right type and amount of exercise for them.”

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Women’s Health

Scientists Have Discovered A Surprising Relationship Between Estrogen and Exercise

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In recent years, the influence of hormones on exercise has become a major topic of conversation affecting sports, exercise, and especially female athletes. Ignoring hormones when it comes to female athletes and training means ignoring vital opportunities for increased intensity and rest as the body adapts to hormone production. In a 2016 pool interview, Olympic bronze medal swimmer Fu Yuanhui talked about how her period affected her performance at the Olympics, which was seldom talked about in women’s sport of this level. Now women athletes speak publicly about the effects of the menstrual cycle on performance, with scientific studies further showing how hormones can lead to different training outcomes.

Since a 1924 study in rats, scientists have known that female mammals are most physically active just before ovulation, which also coincides with the time they are sexually receptive. Researchers have since speculated that such a shift was due to estrogen, which acts as a driving factor in this behavior.

For Holly Ingraham, the Herzstein Endowed Professor of Physiology at the University of California, she wanted to investigate how estrogen affects genetic activity in the brain and what this means for exercise. Studies were conducted in healthy adult female mice, with some chemically blocking estrogen uptake while the researchers tracked how much all animals moved. It was immediately clear that those without estrogen became noticeably more sedentary than other women, suggesting that estrogen somehow affects physical activity.

The study suggests that the timing of exercise for women could be fine-tuned to account for hormonal changes. While the study needs to be confirmed in humans, the researchers have strong reason to believe that such results will be seen in women, which may help explain why inactivity is so common in postmenopausal women. As the New York Times suggests, “Raising estrogen levels in older women, for example, could theoretically encourage more exercise, although estrogen replacement therapy remains a complicated topic due to the increased risk of cancer and other health concerns.”

Paul Ansdel, Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at Northumbria University in England, who was not involved in the study but did a lot of research on menstruation and physical performance: “This study has a significant impact on human research, the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptives as well Investigates menopause. ”Ansdel added,“ We ​​know how important exercise is for promoting and maintaining good health in later life, ”adding,“ The challenge for us now is to understand the best ways to exercise during major hormonal change, menopause to stay active. ”

Dr. Ingraham hopes this research can now be used to better understand how we move and why, with the intent of making our older years healthier. With regard to training and one’s own cycle, several studies have shown that strength training in the follicular phase resulted in greater muscle strength gains compared to training in the luteal phase, while women are 3 to 6 times more likely to be injured by their ACL than men, with the Risk is highest in the days leading up to ovulation, when estrogen is high. Ultimately, keeping an eye on your cycle is important and can do wonders for your athletic performance, but understanding it is even more important. It is important not to judge the results of your training by your performance, as in some cases hormones play an important role.

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Women’s Health

FIGO 2021 World Congress Blog – Day Four

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Live from the Israel Forum: Urogynecology

The fourth day of the congress opened with a session on urogynecology, which was broadcast live from the Israel Forum of the FIGO 2021 World Congress. Dr. Shimon Ginath opened the session and prepared the framework for the discussion on the tailor-made optimal treatment of the prolapse of the apical compartment. Dr. Tal Fligelman took the stage first to explain vaginal procedures in surgery, followed by Dr. Jonia Alshiek, who checked the abdominal approach. The session ended with a short but very exciting panel discussion.

Keynote: Urgent need for trauma-sensitive care

This was followed by a keynote lecture by Dr. Monika Hauser on the subject of solidarity, empowerment, dignity – trauma-sensitive support for women and girls (not only) in war and crisis areas. “When treating women’s health issues, not only the medical or psychological aspects have to be taken into account, but also the societal and political context,” began Dr. Hauser gave her lecture. Her presentation focused on the need for trauma-sensitive support and care for survivors of violence and highlighted the need for stakeholders at all levels of policy-making and health care to play a role in supporting their rights and needs.

The role of health workers in responding to the climate crisis

We continued the day with a session called Putting Out the Fire! – Dealing with the risks of extreme heat to maternal and newborn health due to climate change. This session was initiated by Professor Sari Kovats who discussed the effects of extreme heat on maternal and newborn outcomes in Africa, focusing mainly on direct effects based on epidemiology. Dr. Seni Kouanda followed up with a lecture that examined how heat stress is experienced during pregnancy and after childbirth, and presented possible ways to address it.

Professor Matthew Chersich followed up with a presentation with practical advice on how clinical care can be adjusted to protect women and newborns during heat waves. Frances McConville presented key findings from the Lancet Planetary Health survey, Views of Health Professionals on Climate Change and Health: A Multinational Study, Focusing on Climate Change as a Human Health Issue.

The session ended with an exciting panel discussion with Dr. Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, Team Leader for Climate Change and Health at the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Franka Cadée, President of the International Midwifery Association and Dr. Jeanne Conry, FIGO President – elections. The conversation focused on the next steps and pathways for professional organizations that support health professionals in advocating for responses to climate change.

ART in resource-poor countries

Later, the FIGO Reproductive Medicine Track organized a session on assisted reproductive technology (ART) in resource-poor countries. Dr. Geeta Nargund started with a talk on natural and mild in vitro fertilization (IVF). She highlighted that these methods are not only effective, but also cheaper and provide better health outcomes for women. Dr. Roberto Epifanio Malpassi examined the inexpensive ART and examined in particular the trends of (in) fertility in the Latin American region in recent years.

Dr. In her presentation, Angélique Rwiyereka focused on a case study that detailed the institutionalization of infertility services in a public hospital in Rwanda and shared lessons from the success of the initiative. Dr. Gitau Mburu closed the session with an update on current WHO initiatives related to infertility.

COVID-19 and cancer

The day continued with a series of sessions including insightful presentations on COVID and cancer in a session compiled by the FIGO Gynecological Oncology Track. Professor Sean Kehoe opened the session with a talk on the impact of COVID-19 on cancer screening and care for women with gynecological cancers – with a special focus on cervical cancer.

Dr. Jalid Sehouli spoke about the impact of the pandemic on ovarian cancer and chemotherapy and underlined the challenges for patients, doctors and nurses. Dr. John Butler ended the session by making post-pandemic recommendations and reviewing clinical trials and surgical technique changes to identify key lessons learned from this crisis for cancer care.

Addressing the health challenges of women and girls in Africa and the Middle East

We ended the day with the Africa and Middle East regional evening, which was jointly organized by the African Federation for Obstetrics and Gynecology (AFOG) and the Société Africaine des Gynécologues et Obstétriciens (SAGO). With a focus on social engagement, HIV, maternal mortality, HPV, FGM and more, this evening covered a wide range of topics that affect the health of women and girls in the region. That evening included politically engaged musical numbers that highlighted key issues such as songs about cervical cancer and FGM.

It was an exciting and moving end to this world congress day. Recordings of the entire meeting will be available on demand on the virtual congress platform within 24 hours.

To learn more about the congress or to register, visit www.figo2021.org.

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