“Man with the golden arm” saves millions of babies

“Man with the golden arm” saves millions of babies

Any person who saves the life of a fellow human being may rightfully be called a hero. By that measure, James Harrison, an 81-year-old resident of Australia, should be counted among history’s greatest heroes.

“The Man with the Golden Arm” has helped save the lives of 2.4 million babies by donating his blood 1,100 times, reports Livescience.com. He made his final donation in 2018 after giving blood for more than six decades.

Harrison’s unique blood type enabled him to save unborn babies who risked developing “Rh incompatibility” with their mothers, a condition in which the mother’s immune system destroy’s her fetus’s red blood cells. Harrison’s blood contains a rare antibody which can treat Rh incompatibility: Doctors extracted the antibody from Harrison’s blood samples and used it to manufacture the medication Rh immunoglobulin, which can prevent Rh incompatibility.

Without the medication, Rh incompatibility can lead to “a situation where a lot of these babies would have a significant amount of their red cells broken down while they were in the womb,” explained Dr. Saima Aftab, who directs the Fetal Care Center at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami. Untreated Rh incompatibility can cause fetal jaundice, brain damage, or even stillbirth, Aftab said. Aftab considers the treatment for Rh incompatibility “one of the biggest life-saving discoveries of the last century.”

The antibody used to make Rh immunoglobulin, however, remains relatively rare. The Australian Red Cross estimates that only 200 blood donors contribute antibodies to the country’s Rh immunoglobulin supply. Thankfully, one of those donors was The Man with the Golden Arm. Harrison contributed blood to every batch of Rh immunoglobulin Australia has ever produced, according to CNN.

Doctors believe Harrison developed the unique antibody when he received a large blood transfusion as a teenager. Subsequently, “his immune system revved up a high concentration of antibodies,” explained Aftab.

Harrison stopped donating blood last year because Australia does not accept donations from individuals over 80. The Australian Red Cross also urged him to stop giving blood in order to safeguard his health. After 60 years on the job, Harrison has surely earned the right to retire.

 

India has saved thousands of lives by increasing Sanitation Coverage from 40 to 90% in the last four years

India has saved thousands of lives by increasing Sanitation Coverage from 40 to 90% in the last four years

Over the last four years, the Indian government has made it their goal to provide sanitation for the entire nation. In those four years, thousands of lives have been saved.

Over the course of these four years, the Indian government improved public access to toilets and hygiene facilities. With this improvement, these facilities have increased India’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan sanitation coverage from 40% to 90% and is set to achieve total coverage by October 2019.

This initiative has already prevented 300,000 children dying from diarrhea and protein- energy malnutrition.

Before Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the initiative back in October 2014, unsafe sanitation caused an estimate of 200 million cases of dangerous gastrointestinal problems each year.

As the numbers dissipated, the government has been celebrating their significant victory over the public health crisis.

“The credit for saving these lives goes to every Indian who was a part of this campaign,” Prime Minister said in a translated statement. “Saving the lives of the poor children is surely a great humanitarian act and the world bodies are recognizing it.”

“A clean India would be the best tribute India could pay to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birthday in 2019.”

Local psychiatrist Satya Chandragiri running for Salem-Keizer School Board

Local psychiatrist Satya Chandragiri running for Salem-Keizer School Board

On Tuesday, local psychiatrist Dr. Satya Chandragiri announced on Facebook Live that he will be running for the Salem-Keizer School Board, Zone 4.

As a father of two Salem-Keizer school graduates and a highly involved member of the community for over 15 years, Chandragiri says he is ready to step in and make a difference.

“I’m running for the school board because I’m not happy with the status quo,” said Satya in a statement. “I believe every child can grow and develop to their full human potential, become a contributing, responsible citizen and member of our community and tackle the problems of tomorrow that we cannot even see. Future generations can do better than what we have done. We need bold leadership to ensure our schools can make this dream happen for our kids and generations to come.”

Dr. Satya’s professional focus as a psychiatrist is mental illness, addiction and other serious challenges that afflict both adults and children. He hopes to bring a similar focus to his campaign, which is centered around child-first policies that address mental health, safety and welfare as well as teacher burnout.

Voters in the Salem-Keizer School District will be selecting three out of seven board members this May.  Dr. Satya plans to file for office on the first day possible, February 11th.  Zone 4 is currently represented by Jim Green who is retiring this year, according to the Salem Reporter.

Dr. Satya’s campaign website is https://satyafororegon.com.

Representative Rick Lewis Helps Oregonians Hear Again

Representative Rick Lewis Helps Oregonians Hear Again

Representative Rick Lewis, R-Silverton, has proposed legislation that will change the number of hearing aids Oregon Health Plan (OHP) grants.  Patients who were granted only one hearing aid, every five years, will now have the hope and ability to hear in both ears.

Hearing aids have been inaccessible to low-income patients outside of their Medicare plan, sometimes costing them thousands of dollars. Those with hearing issues find themselves left only able to partially improve their hearing.  Under the OHP plan, members were only granted one single hearing aid. Having only one hearing aid prevents the ability to hear from multiple directions.

“When people lose hearing in one ear, they typically lose it in both,” said Lewis. “If they have one hearing aid most sound comes from one direction.”

Because of Lewis’ prompting, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) began to review their budget and policies.  The agency discovered that the federal government permits states to make administrative changes to the OHP hearing aid grants. OHP also found that providing a full set of hearing aids would be reasonably because of advances in hearing aid technology.

“The fact that it doesn’t cost additional money to make this happen is really important.”, Rep. Lewis stated.

The proposed legislation will help countless children in Oregon as well as adults. Oregonians who can’t hear may finally hear in both ears for the first time all thanks to Rep. Lewis.

No gender differences in views on abortion, study finds

No gender differences in views on abortion, study finds

A recent study from Pew Research reveals men and women share similar views on abortion. According to the polling agency, the findings suggest that abortion is not a “women’s rights issue,” as pro-abortion activists often claim. Rather, men remain just as likely or unlikely to oppose abortion as women.

The study considered data from the United States as well as 33 European nations. Out of 34 countries surveyed, 27 did not display a gender gap in citizens’ support for abortion. Overall support for abortion did not affect the gap. For instance, 77% of German men think abortion “should be legal in all or most cases,” compared with 76% of German women. Meanwhile, 45% of both men and women favor legal abortion in Greece.

While men and women share similar views about abortion in most nations, in some countries–Moldova, Georgia, Romania, Norway, and Portugal–women oppose abortion in significantly greater numbers than men. For example, while 65% of Portuguese men favor legal infanticide, only 57% of Portuguese women favor the practice.

The study’s authors suggest that women remain more pro-life than men in those countries because of their comparatively higher rates of religious participation. “[A]ttitudes toward abortion may be tied more closely to religion than gender,” the study concludes.

An Old hospital turns into a Homeless Shelter

An Old hospital turns into a Homeless Shelter

Homelessness is no different in other places. There’s simply no places to go. Montreal is changing that. Since January 15 those experiencing homelessness are able to go to the former Royal Victoria Hospital — a site closed off since 2015.

The former hospital became a shelter. Patient rooms in the hospital have been converted into 80-bedrooms which are open to those sleeping in the cold.

The shelter was launched because other homeless shelters faced limited capacity and the struggle to accommodate those sleeping in the below-freezing temperatures.

Unlike the majority of city shelters in Montreal, people will have the option of bringing their pets to this shelter.

Although the shelter will only stay open until April 15, provincial legislators are working  with city officials to secure more long-term solutions and permanent housing.

One organization, Old Brewery Mission is also working with city officials to end the homeless dilemma. The organization will also help run the shelter. In the meantime, they continue to lobby the city to create more space.

“All the beds are occupied. And people still come to our doors,” Matthew Pearce, president and CEO of the Old Brewery Mission, told Mother Nature Network. “We’ve been accommodating them — so we don’t turn people away in the cold — on the floor in our cafeteria, for example.”

“This is not dignified… this is not the proper way to host people in an organization that seeks to move people out of homelessness and back into society. It’s not an expression of respect for the individual or a sense that they have a place in society  — to tell them they have to go and sleep on the floor.”

Accommodating not only people, but their pets are also another task Old Brewery Mission is working on.

“None of the existing main resources for homelessness are equipped in such a way as to allow pets to come in,” Pearce explains. “These are people who, because of that, are left without an option. At least in the winter, let’s give them an option.”

Overall progress is being made in helping people off the streets.

“We’ve been able to move forward quickly on creating this emergency unit for homeless people,” Montreal mayor Valerie Plante told CBC. “of course, this is for this winter, but what is a positive sign is knowing that our administration wants to find a solution in the long term.”

“No one should be outside right now. Everyone deserves a roof,” she added.

“We’re making some good progress toward eliminating homelessness in Montreal. But the reality is right now, we do need a temporary facility over the course of winter because we don’t want to leave anybody on the streets,” Sam Watts, CEO of the Welcome Hall Mission said.