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Frequently Asked Questions|
A. This is a very common problem among African babies during the weaning period. Although good hygiene is important it is also important to understand that weaning problems can cause ill health in your baby. The protein in cow’s milk (or formula) is more difficult for the baby to digest at such a young age. This means that your baby can actually develop protein malnutrition inspite of taking milk. The underlying reasons for this are covered in the book A HEALTHY YOU:Tame Africa’s Infant Malnutrition. Mother’s milk from a healthy mother is the best food nature intended for your baby. The protein is optimally digested and absorbed, in addition to other nutrients. Other benefits of breastfeeding include immune factors, which protect the baby especially during the first 6 months when the baby’s immune system is still weak.
A. This is a very common problem in secondary schools across Kenya. I had no idea until a friend advised me to watch certain religious telecasts, especially on Sundays. Many healing crusades are held which show many young people, some on the verge of dropping out of school due to many learning problems, including lack in attention, night mares, hearing voices, or even commands to go and do harm to a specific person. Most public boarding schools feed their students on a mainly maize diet. The chemical imbalance due to a deficiency in niacin which is common on a maize diet is discussed in detail in the book ‘The Heritage of Maize Is Killing Africans: The Kenyan Story’. The imbalance cause many problems, including difficulties appetite disorders. Some symptoms can be relieved by supplementing niacin in the diet. More complex problems should be discussed with your Health care Provider.
A. You have developed the dermatitis (skin rash) of pellagra, which can affect all the body’s coverings, including the genital mucosa. What you perceive as yeast may Infact be pellagra vaginitis; any yeast infection may be secondary. You need to liaise with your Health Professional in order for both conditions to be addressed concurrently. Apart from diversifying your diet, you may need to take some supplements. When pellagra is advanced, niacin supplementation alone is not adequate. The spectrum of nutrients that are needed in adressing the problem are discussed in the book ‘The Heritage Of Maize Is Killing Africans: The Kenyan Story’.
A. You raise a common problem among young people in Western Kenya. Infact, a national survey done recently in Kenya (‘Kenyans who will never get married’ Daily Nation 28th June, 2007) indicates that many young people in the region no longer wish to get married. Pellagra affects many systems in the body, including hormonal imbalances. In addition, pellagra can directly affect blood vessel tone, leading to sluggish blood flow and impotence among the affected. You need to take extra niacin in your diet. However, if your condition is longstanding, you should acquire a greater understanding of this problem.
A. Zinc can upset the B vitamins in the body, especially in maize eating communities. Vitamin B12 is a common deficiency in affected communities. This deficiency interferes with the ability of platelets to clump together, a necessary step in controlling such bleeding. You should give your grandfather a few doses of vitamin B12. Stop frequent use of zinc now that his appetite is better. You need to acquire a greater understanding of supplement use, which is discussed in the book, ‘The Heritage of Maize Is Killing Africans: The Kenyan Story’ If still in doubt, seek more advice from your Health Professional.
A. If you have enough milk,express it for his use. Your breast milk is considered adequate nutrition for the first six moths; this allows the maturity of the digestive system. After six month, your baby should be evaluated by a Doctor in order to rule out common conditions like anemia. In addition, get a greater understanding of weaning problems in the book ‘A HEALTHY YOU: Tame Africa’s Infant Malnutrition.’
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