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Also called: poliomyelitis


Mother helping her son walk. Close-up of destroyed nerve cells in the spinal cord that cause muscle wasting and paralysis.

ABOUT Polio: It is a virus that may cause paralysis and is easily preventable by the polio vaccine.

Fast facts about Polio:

  • Preventable by vaccine
  • Treatment can help, but this condition can’t be cured
  • Requires a medical diagnosis
  • Lab tests or imaging always required
  • Polio is transmitted through contaminated water or food, or contact with an infected person.

Many people who are infected with the polio virus don’t become sick and have no symptoms. However, those who do become ill develop paralysis, which can sometimes be fatal 


You can have no symptoms, but people may experience:

Whole body: fatigue, feeling faint, fever, or wasting away

Muscular: muscle weakness, loss of muscle, or muscle quiver

Also, common: headache, nausea, or slow growth



Treatment varies

Treatment includes bed rest, pain relievers and portable ventilators.



  • Hygiene – Personal cleanliness that promotes health and well-being. For example, washing hands before eating.
  • Self-care –Bed rest – Reducing activity for a short period of time following injury or illness to promote healing.





Consult a doctor for medical advice if any of these symptoms occur.

Sources: Mayo Clinic and others


We all are related or know someone that has a heart disease. There is an interesting connection between personality types and heart disease. Empirical research done by Friedman & Rosenman as early as 1976 conducted a longitudinal study to test their hypothesis that Type A personality could predict incidents of heart disease.

A longitudinal study carrie out by Ragland and Brand in 1988 found that as pedicted by Friedman Type A men were more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease. The following article has more detailed information about these findings.

Please click on the following link to open the article: Heart disease and personality types


Looking back on Health Awareness days in June 2017  we have the following articles on substance abuse and the South African Drug trade.

It is unbelievable that so many kilograms of drug somehow find its way through our borders and the worst part is the effect it has on our daily lives.  According to the US State Department in their 2017 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report “South Africa is the largest market for illicit drugs…” ( see more in the article attached)

We also have some warning signs when there is substance abuse and mental health problems example depression. The most abused substance in South Africa is Alcohol.



SA slated as drug trade hub 

Crime & Courts | 10 March 2017, 1:07pm


Durban – South Africa is the largest market for illicit drugs in sub-Saharan Africa, with the trafficking and use of drugs on an upward trajectory.

This is according to the US State Department 2017 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report released earlier this month.

It reveals that trafficking and the use of illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine (tik), Methcathinone (cat) and Methaqualone (mandrax) appeared to increase in the country last year.

According to the report, South Africa is a trans-shipment point for cocaine and heroin, primarily to Europe.

Further, most drugs enter and exit the country via Gauteng’s OR Tambo International Airport or the Durban port, which are the busiest entry points in the country.

“South African authorities believe that only a fraction of the human couriers entering the country are apprehended.

“A portion (of drugs) is distributed for local consumption and the remainder is trafficked by land across international borders destined primarily for Europe,” the report says.

“Heroin, primarily of Afghan origin, typically arrives in ports in Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique from south-west Asia and is subsequently transported by land to South Africa, often transiting Zambia and Botswana,” it states.

Heroin not consumed within South Africa is apparently trafficked via air to Europe, along with a small percentage shipped to the US.

“Methamphetamine (known locally as “tik”), Methcathinone (“cat”), and Methaqualone are synthesised in South Africa from precursors imported primarily from India and China. Clandestine laboratories are largely concentrated in Gauteng,” the report reads.

Cannabis (dagga) is grown and used in the country and exported to Swaziland. “A combination of heroin, marijuana, and often dangerous adulterants known as ‘nyaope’ is commonly used in poorer communities.”

The report, however, commends the South African police for establishing a dedicated narcotics unit last year.

“The South African Narcotics Enforcement Bureau was incorporated within the SAPS Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation,” the report states.

Questions based on this report were sent on Tuesday to the national police spokesperson, Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo, and national Hawks spokesperson, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi but neither had responded by the time of publication.

However, a police source said the report painted an accurate picture.

“With OR Tambo and the Durban port being the busiest, the route between South America and Europe is easily accessible. There is always an opportunity for the transporting of drugs, but police have put measures in place to fight the drug trade,” he said.

Commenting on the findings, Sam Pillay, director of Anti-Drug Forum SA, felt that drug-trafficking could be clamped down on if there were effective policing measures put in place.

“We are aware of the problem because South Africa is an entry point for redistribution. There does not seem to be anything done about it. The airports and the ports need to be properly managed. It is important that we take note and work effectively on the matter,” he said, adding that another focal point should be the number of drug laboratories and raw materials used in the manufacturing of drugs.

“We should also look at why traffickers choose to use South Africa as a thoroughfare for the drug trade.

“Our policing is not effective and we are seen as a haven for this activity. Police are not enforcing tougher measures against dealers and traffickers,” Pillay said.

Patricia Gerber, director of Locked Up – an organisation that deals with drug mules imprisoned overseas – said she believed that if the government worked to bring back locals held in foreign jails, they could assist with vital information.

“With well over 1000 SA citizens in foreign prisons, one would think our government would make it a priority to investigate and protect its citizens from the people recruiting them.

“These people will be able to tell authorities who recruited them as well as reveal the names of the drug lords,” Gerber said.

The report states that a narcotics unit was also organised in the Tshwane Metropolitan Police Department. South Africa also accepted an expansion in US-sponsored law enforcement training last year to help increase the investigative capacity of its relevant agencies.

“These changes may be partially attributed to the installation of an effective acting commissioner at SAPS in October 2015, and are indicative of a better understanding of the negative impact illegal drugs have on the nation as a whole,” the report says.

“The reorganisation of SAPS and an increased focus on narcotics may help address ongoing challenges by facilitating increased networking and inter-agency co-operation between law enforcement agencies.

“South Africa co-operates with the United States on extradition matters and mutual legal assistance, including requests related to narcotics,” the report concludes.

Daily News


The Tragic Loss of a Child

Parents grief…

“Grief knits two hearts in closer bonds than happiness ever can; and common sufferings are far stronger links than common joys”

~Alphonse de Lamartine

In discussions about the different types of losses by death that may occur, we have made note of how difficult and trying most of them can be. Grief following sudden death, trauma, suicide or murder can be very hard to deal with due to the emotional overlay usually present.

But no matter how one loses a child, whether by prolonged illness or sudden death, the loss of a child is perhaps the most profound, the most overwhelming, the most inconsolable of losses to deal with.

There are many reasons for this:

  • It violates the natural order of things— your children are not supposed to die before you.
  • Your love for your child is unconditional and pure— perhaps the most profound of attachments you will ever have.
  • It evokes rage at the injustice of it all— it’s not fair for an innocent to lose his potential and fail to see his dreams fulfilled.

You as a parent are responsible for the well-being of your children. No matter how random the accident was, you will probably feel like you let your baby down. You may feel responsible for the death, even if that blame is not justified. A woman may blame a miscarriage or stillbirth on something she did during pregnancy.

The uncertain causes of a SIDS death bring a special kind of guilty hell for parents who think there was something they could have done to prevent the death. Guilt is almost always present in the death of a child. We are so very sorry for the loss of your child and wish you strength to make it through.

It is very common for bereaved parents to have a strong need to blame someone for the death of their child, and/or to find the cause. You must take care, however, to avoid unfairly blaming other family members or your spouse.

Accusations you make during the shock and anger of your child’s death can cause irreparable damage to your family or marriage. Hold your tongue now so you’ll have no regrets later.

Following the loss of your child, you may find that some of your friends avoid you. The death will make them very uncomfortable. It may force them to contemplate the mortality of their own kids (It could happen to them).

Friends and acquaintances just don’t know what to say or how to help you. If only they knew that all you wanted was for them to listen! Sadly, emotional and social support is often withdrawn when you need it the most.

If they do show up later in your mourning, it will be to encourage you to get over the loss. Why? Grief due to losing a child is so painful that they just want it to go away. If only it were that easy!

It has been said that a major tragedy will either bind a couple together, or tear them apart. It’s true. If your marriage or relationship was conflicted or on shaky ground before this tragedy happens, it may be difficult to save it.

In lashing out at the injustice of the loss, you may well blame your partner for the death, which can be devastating. People also grieve in different ways, so try not to misunderstand motives, reactions and feelings that may be different from yours.

Marriage counselling may help you two see what is happening to you, and perhaps help save the marriage. Hopefully, after the initial shock has worn off, you will reach for each other for support at this most difficult time.

Try to share your feelings with your mate, and talk about it often. Although you certainly wouldn’t have chosen this way, tragedy has the potential of creating an even stronger love bond between you two, born of necessity.



According to WHO, one person commits suicide in the world every 40 seconds; and one attempts it every three seconds.  Out of all patients diagnosed with depression, 15% die by suicide.  Use these tips to help these people:

Pay attention:  When the person is willing to speak, listen to him/her and do not rush to offer counsel – just listen to the disheartened, as it may help overcome depression.

Take certain alarm signs seriously.  Notes or conversations referring to death, changes in the diet or sleeping habits, alcohol or drug intake, returning loaned items… are signs of alarm.

Understand the person’s mood.  Individuals contemplating suicide are extremely unhappy and desperate; they see themselves as helpless and hate themselves. It is necessary to comprehend this attitude in order to help.

Help the person to find the positive aspects of him/herself.  Talk of the positive sides of life, and the desirable features they possess.

Stay close to the person and always be available.  Loneliness is one of the main enemies to someone contemplating suicide.  Maintain constant contact with him or her.

Remove objects that may lead to suicide.  Put aside guns and weapons, poisonous substances, ropes, drugs…

Speak directly about suicide.  Do not be afraid to talk about suicide, thoughts, impulses, and attempts whenever the affected person mentions it.  Without sermonizing, suggest hopeful attitudes as alternatives to suicide.



The Optima Psychiatric Hospital, a healing centre, situated in the Bloemfontein suburb, Hospitaalpark, accommodating 81 patients and is operated by a company consisting of nine partners, all Psychiatrists.

Contact Details

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Phone: 051 502 1800
Fax: 051 502 1810
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