HEALTH PROMOTION IN AFRICA

World Health Organisation

For the latest health information, visit the World Health Organisation ( WHO) website - Regional Office for Africa

Ojuma Health inAfrica

As a service we provide general health promotion information, education, advice and assistance to African populations and their local leaders and helpers who do not otherwise have access to such support.

Causes of Illness & Disease

CAUSES OF ILLNESS & DISEASE

SUPERSTITIONS
Superstitious beliefs are deeply rooted in African culture. Irrational fears and misunderstandings about the cause of illness persist. This failure to comprehend not only leads to lack of treatment and preventive behaviour but in itself represents a negative influence on mental health.

PHYSICAL & MENTAL ILLNESS
The degree to which people suffer with and recover from  a wide variety of physical and mental illnesses and disease is dependent on our genetic make-up at birth - and also how the environment, lifestyle,  food and other similar factors  impact on development and living.

Climate is also an important factor together with the prevalence of disease in certain areas.  Mental health may be affected by inherited factors - as well as negative life experiences.

Prevention


HEALTH EDUCATION
Medical professionals in Africa are trying to improve the health of their populations, but face immense problems  - some of which can be combated by  simply giving people the correct information, advice & support about how to deal with medical problems.- and importantly how to prevent them from happening.

OJUMA HEALTH INITIATIVES
Ojuma Health is committed to assisting with health education in Africa. Already we have mounted various initiatives in the field - including programmes to  inform and advise about the treatment of hypertension and diabetes. We want to do more and will look to continue developing these and other programmes.


United Kingdom

UNITED KINGDOM

HEALTH A to Z

In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service (NHS) publish a website - NHS Choices. It contains a wealth of information about health conditions including causes and treatment. The content on  Health A to Z  can be accessed by clicking the link below. 

We publish this link respectfully and cautiously - as it is appreciated that access to developed health services may be problematic in many areas of Africa.

Also please be aware of the dangers of misdiagnosis. Some symptoms may be common to both serious and minor illness - so don't panic unnecessarily! Use the information as a guide and if worried, seek whatever professional help is available.

Many conditions are avoidable by amending habits and behaviour.  Treatments are available for many illnesses and diseases. If left unrecognised and untreated they can become serious.  If you live in an area where health resources are scarce,  knowledge is an important first step seeking the improved provision of resources.

Family Planning & Contraception

NHS CHOICES

In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service (NHS) publish a website - NHS Choices. It contains a wealth of information on contraception and family planning. Services. By pointing you to this information, we caution that the services mentioned are those available
in the UK. However, we feel that  the Choices website is a source of much valuable  knowledge and hope that you will find the information helpful.

Of you have access to medical services, there is no substitute for professional medical opinion and appropriate treatment.

Hypertension

Hypertension or high blood pressure puts extra strain on your vital organs. There is much that can be done through long term medications and lifestyle changes to treat and prevent high blood pressure. Left untreated, it can lead to serious health problems

Diabetes

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high. You can reduce your risk of diabetes and also seek treatments so that the condition is controlled and managed through medication and lifestyle changes

Some information available on the link below refers to the UK, but nevertheless you can learn all the facts about the condition from this valuable information source. By adopting changes and seeking help you will be  taking control of your health.

SUPERSTITIONS

We live in a society, where myths and superstitious beliefs overshadow every aspect of our life - including everything about our health. These perceptions are very much embedded in our daily life in such a way that they control our thinking, even to the extent of making us not to have faith in the modern medicine. It is not surprising, in such society, that people take their loved ones from hospital to go and seek help from spiritual leaders or ‘juju’ makers.

Despite having been away for thirty years, I still can vividly recall as a child  how superstitions were embedded into life all around. Non-scientific reasons were expounded as the explanation for everything -including health.

The most astonishing for me is that each time I visit the village on holiday, I am met with the same old thinking even amongst some of my colleagues, who finished school with me. It is often difficult for us to find a common language of communication during most of these visits.

In the world of superstitious/myth belief, there is a cause for everything that happened, but there is no proof. It is based on assumptions or what someone said to someone or what happened to someone in the past. This is unlike the scientific way of thinking, where there is a cause for everything as well, but there is an evidence-based explanation to it.

My hope is, that by establishing this website, apart from creating
awareness and education about specific illness e.g. diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, women’s health, we will try to address this stigma, that is preventing many people in our society from accessing modern medical help or continuing their treatment once initiated.

Popular myths or superstitious beliefs have clear scientific explanations and valuable lives could be saved with their understanding and acceptance of facts.

As a team, we do hope that our readers, who are most likely to be young people with access to internet, will spread the message to their families and friends - often in  remote villages

By accessing links on this website you will be able to seek information to find what really causes men’s legs and abdomen to swell? (It is surely not “ALEKWU” that causes this due to their wives allegedly sleeping with another man). Why should wives be held responsible for the death of their husbands?

Why someone with tooth decay will blame their neighbour for allegedly poisoning his or her teeth? Why does someone, who develops a leg ulcer after returning home from taping palm wine, should blame his neighbour for putting charm on his route to his palm tree? What is “ugbeke” and Enclampsia? etc. and many more questions to answer.

And finally, we will try to address how to avoid being carried away by rumours that have led to people becoming more ill than being cured e.g. the Enugu state healing water affair, where people were led to believe that bathing in a very muddy, smelling water would cure all their illness or that bathing in a very salty water would prevent people from contracting Ebola.

We encourage that you to keep returning to this website t0 keep up to date with modern medicine.