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Why Over One Billion People May Become Deaf – WHO



Why Over One Billion People May Become Deaf - WHO

Over one billion people, including Nigerians and other nationals across the globe, aged 12 to 35, risk losing their hearing due to prolonged and excessive exposure to loud music and other high volume recreational noise, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned.

WHO gave the warning in a new international safety advice on Wednesday to tackle the rising threat of hearing loss.

The new international standard for safe listening at venues and events was launched ahead of World Hearing Day, marked on March 3.

Over 1.5 billion people globally live with hearing loss, and according to recent estimates this number could rise to over 2.5 billion by 2030. WHO estimated that 50 per cent of hearing loss could be prevented through public health measures.

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According to the UN health agency, many common causes of hearing loss can be prevented, including over-exposure to high volume sounds.

“Millions of teenagers and young people are at risk of hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices and exposure to damaging sound levels at venues such as nightclubs, bars, concerts and sporting events,” Bente Mikkelsen, WHO director for the Department for Noncommunicable Diseases, said.

“The risk is intensified as most audio devices, venues and events do not provide safe listening options and contribute to the risk of hearing loss,” she added.

The new WHO standard aims to better safeguard young people as they enjoy their leisure activities.

The global standard for safe listening at venues and events, highlights six recommendations for implementation to ensure that venues and events limit the risk of hearing loss to their patrons, while still preserving high-quality sound and an enjoyable listening experience.

The new standard was developed under WHO’s Make Listening Safe initiative, launched in 2015, and seeks to improve listening practices especially among young people.

WHO alerted that hearing loss due to loud sounds is permanent, underlining that exposure to loud sounds causes temporary hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing sound interference in the ears), and prolonged or repeated exposure can lead to permanent hearing damage, resulting in irreversible hearing loss.

READ ALSO: WHO Certified Nigeria To Produce Vaccines – NAFDAC DG

Calling for the new global standard to be supported, WHO encouraged governments to develop and enforce legislation for safe listening and raise awareness of the risks of hearing loss.

The UN agency also advised that behaviour change can be motivated by civil society organisations, parents, teachers, and physicians, who can educate young people to practise safe listening habits.

“Governments, civil society and private sector entities such as manufacturers of personal audio devices, sound systems, and video gaming equipment as well as owners and managers of entertainment venues and events have an important role to play in advocating for the new global standard,” Ren Minghui, WHO assistant director-general, said.

He added, “We must work together to promote safe listening practices, especially among young people.”



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Mental Health

Anger Management (2)



Anger Management (2)

By Akindotun Merino

Here are five common myths about anger:

Anger is a bad emotion.
There is no such thing as a good or bad emotion; they are instinctual reactions and we don’t make conscious decisions for them to come. In fact, some anger reactions are appropriate, such as the anger against discrimination, injustice, and abuse. What can be judged as positive or negative/ healthy or unhealthy is how we react to anger.

Anger needs to be ‘unleashed’ for it to go away.
It’s true that anger needs to be expressed in order for symptoms to be relieved. However, expressing anger in verbally or physically aggressive ways are not the only way to ‘unleash’ anger. Nor is anger an excuse for a person to be aggressive. The expression of anger can be tempered by rationality and forethought. Venting anger does not necessarily result in the anger disappearing, although venting can relieve the symptoms. At times, processing personal experiences, seeing concrete change and genuine forgiveness are needed for anger to go away.

Ignoring anger will make it go away.
Generally, all kinds of emotions do not disappear when ignored. The anger just gets temporarily shelved, and will likely find other ways of getting expressed. It can get projected to another person, transformed into a physical symptom, or built up for a bigger future blow-up. Some of our behaviors may even be unconscious ways of expressing anger. While there are situations when it’s inadvisable to express your anger immediately, the very least you can do is acknowledge that it exists.

You can’t control your anger.
This myth is related to the second one. As discussed earlier, the fight and flight instinct can make anger an overwhelming emotion. However, this instinct does not mean that you’re but a slave to your impulses. Awareness of anger dynamics and a conscious effort to rise above your anger can help you regain control of your reactions.

If I don’t get angry, people will think I am a pushover.
It’s true that a person can lose credibility if he makes rules and then ignores violations. However, anger is not the only way a person can show that there are consequences to violations. In fact, the most effective way of instilling discipline in others is to have a calm, non-emotional approach to dealing with rule-breakers. Calm and rationality can communicate strength too.

READ  ALSO: Anger Management (1)

Finally, understanding the Fight or Flight is vital to our understanding of anger. This theory formulated by Walter Cannon, describes how people react to perceived threat. Basically, when faced with something that can harm us, we either aggress (fight) or withdraw (flight). It is believed that this reaction is an ingrained instinct geared towards survival.

The fight or flight instinct is manifested in bodily ways. When faced with a threat, our body releases the hormones adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol. These chemicals are designed to take us to a state of alertness and action. They result in increased energy, heart rate, slowed digestion, and above normal strength.

Understanding the fight or flight instinct can help us understand the dynamics of our anger response. The following are some of the implications of the fight and flight theory on anger management:

First, the theory underscores how anger is but a natural response. There is no morality to anger. Anger is a result of perceived harm to self, whether physical or emotional.

Second, this theory reminds us of the need to stay in control. When we are angry, our rational self gets overridden by a basic survival instinct. There’s a need to act immediately. This instinct can then result in aggressiveness, over-reactivity, and hypervigilance, which are all contrary to rational and deliberate response. Conscious effort towards self-awareness and control is needed so that this instinct does not overpower us.

Dr. Akindotun Merino is a Professor of Psychology, CEO of Jars Group and Mental Health Commissioner in California. Feel free to share your successes and challenges:

Prof. Akindotun Merino
Instagram: @drakinmerino: Twitter: @drakindotun


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Mental Health

Anger Management (1)



Anger Management (1)

Akindotun Merino
Anger can be an incredibly damaging force, costing people their jobs, personal relationships, and even their lives when it gets out of hand. However, since everyone experiences anger, it is important to have constructive approaches to manage it effectively.

Anger is a natural emotion that usually stems from perceived threat or loss. It’s a pervasive emotion; it affects our body, thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Anger is often described in terms of its intensity, frequency, duration, threshold, and expression.

Anger typically follows a predictable pattern: a cycle. Understanding the cycle of anger can help us understand our own anger reactions, and those of others. It can also help us in considering the most appropriate response. The five phases of the anger cycle: trigger, escalation, crisis, recovery, and depression.

1. The Trigger Phase
The trigger phase happens when we perceive a threat or loss, and our body prepares to respond. In this phase, there is a subtle change from an individual’s normal/ adaptive state into his stressed state. Anger triggers differ from person to person, and can come from both the environment or from our thought processes.

2. The Escalation Phase
In the escalation phase, there is the progressive appearance of the anger response. In this phase, our body prepares for a crisis after perceiving the trigger. This preparation is mostly physical, and is manifested through symptoms like rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and raised blood pressure. Once the escalation phase is reached there is less chance of calming down, as this is the phase where the body prepares for fight or flight (to be discussed later).

3. The Crisis Phase
As previously mentioned, the escalation phase is progressive, and it is in the crisis phase that the anger reaction reaches its peak. In the crisis phase our body is on full alert, prepared to take action in response to the trigger. During this phase, logic and rationality may be limited, if not impaired because the anger instinct takes over. In extreme cases, the crisis phase means that a person may be a serious danger to himself or to other people.

READ ALSO: JARS Mental Health Group To Hold Trauma Awareness Walk

4. The Recovery Phase
The recovery phase happens when the anger has been spent, or at least controlled, and there is now a steady return to a person’s normal/ adaptive state. In this stage, reasoning and awareness of one’s self returns. If the right intervention is applied, the return to normalcy progresses smoothly. However, an inappropriate intervention can re-ignite the anger and serve as a new trigger.

5. The Depression Phase
The depression phase marks a return to a person’s normal/ adaptive ways. Physically, this stage marks below normal vital signs, such as heart rate, so that the body can recover equilibrium. A person’s full use of his faculties return at this point, and the new awareness helps a person assess what just occurred. Consequently, this stage may be marked by embarrassment, guilt, regret, and or depression.

After the depression phase is a return to a normal or adaptive phase. A new trigger, however, can start the entire cycle all over again.
We will continue our discussion in the next article.

Dr. Akindotun Merino is a Professor of Psychology, CEO of Jars Group and Mental Health Commissioner in California. Feel free to share your successes and challenges:
Prof. Akindotun Merino
Instagram: @drakinmerino: Twitter: @drakindotun


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Over 70% Of Nigeria’s Drugs Fake – Agency



Over 70% Of Nigeria's Drugs Fake - Agency

Over 70 per cent of medical drugs being dispensed in Nigeria are substandard, the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency has warned.

According to the agency, the majority of Nigerians do not have access to health services.

It made this known on its website ahead of the Primary Healthcare Summit tagged: ‘Re-imaging Primary Health Care in Nigeria’.

The agency noted that the country was faced with a number of healthcare challenges.

READ ALSO: First Man With Transplanted Pig’s Heart Dies Two Months After Surgery

It stated: “The majority of Nigerians do not have access to health services; 20 per cent of all maternal deaths globally occur in Nigeria; infant mortality occurs at a rate of 19 deaths per 1,000 births; children under five are dying at a rate of 128 per 1,000; over 70 per cent of medical drugs dispensed in Nigeria are substandard.

“The weaknesses of the PHC system led to the under-utilisation of the PHC, resulting in significant burden within the health sector, with patients over-lying on tertiary and secondary health care services.

“Exorbitant health expenditures to access care place huge financial burdens on households and drive poverty.”

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