For the second time this season, the Vodafone Healthline team were in Kumasi to the rescue of a modern-day Elisha, ensuring that his twin brother Elijah Afan is not left alone to propagate the gospel of Christ.

What seems to be an opportunity for little boy Elisha to quench his thirst one hot afternoon after school, unfortunately, turned out to be a poisonous substance and an end to his ability to eat food or drink water with his mouth for a while now. But thank goodness for Vodafone Healthline, Elisha no longer needs a tube to feed and can use his mouth again.

Narrating what happened to Elisha, his father, Kobla Afan, stated that someone had caustic soda in a brewing yard and was absent when the children got there, and unfortunately Elisha drank some of the liquid thinking it was water.

Unfortunately, after two months in a hospital based in Sunyani, they were told it was beyond the control of that hospital so he should be taken to Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).

Things got worse before being taken to KATH because Elisha could not eat anything due to the ulcers in his stomach. All his food had to be grinded into paste and injected into his body through a tube.

The financial resources to continue with the treatment was not forthcoming as no help came from anyone, the father indicated that the situation got him traumatised because the boy was deforming, and he could do nothing about it.

“He brought me utmost joy when he was born; but now, I weep whenever I set eyes on him due to his condition. We have searched far and near for funds to help treat him but to no avail,” his mother said.

“When I heard that Vodafone had offered to help me by giving him the needed medical care, I was so excited,” the father said.

Myth Busters

In the myth-buster segment, the topic: ‘Coke and salt resolve runny stomach,’ was discussed. In a very peculiar situation, Dr Folson and Frema Asiedu (the host) admitted to having tried such a solution in the past and it worked for them

However, Dr. Yalley was emphatic that there is nothing in pharmacology to explain that salt and coke solution could resolve runny stomach.

Nonetheless, Dr Aba Folson was also of the view that most times, when people get diarrhoea, it’s as a result of a small viral infection or reaction, and whatever the situation may be, there is some excess release of salt and water, which the salt intake in the solution with coke could replenish. But most importantly a lot of diarrhoea are self-limiting, meaning it ends by itself, and so it may be as a result of that, and not because of the coke-salt concoction.

In conclusion, both doctors were clear that the combination of coke and salt does not resolve the running stomach, but in the absence of Oral Rehydrated Salt (ORS), one can fall on such an option or just normal water and salt to rehydrate the body.

Food & Nutrition

Dr Ayisi Addo, Nutritionist, touching on the topic: ‘Nutrition for optimal body weight’, explained that it deals with the food and the energy that one gets from the consumed food, and how the body deals with whatever is eaten as well as the impacts on health and disease.

She stated that nutrition is very important for everyone because it is a key determinant of health, and everyone wants to be healthy. Emphasising that it is the source of energy for active life and promotes well-being – both physically and mentally.

“Almost 80 per cent of cases of diabetes, hypertension, and others can all be prevented through healthy diets, physical activities, and a healthy lifestyle. Also, 40 per cent of all cases of cancer can also be prevented through similar ways,” she said.

Delving into the recent craze for all sorts of body shapes on social media among the youth – flat tummy, huge buttocks, big breast, among others, she indicated that the body weight must go with a certain height and should be associated with good dieting and body maintenance.

In body mass index (BMI) classification, any height multiplied by weight below 18 per cent is underweight, between 18 and 25 is normal, 25 to 30 is overweight, and 30 and above enter into obesity I, II, III depending on the BMI.

She cautioned against going beyond expected BMI, indicating it weakens the immune system and one becomes prone to several diseases. “Too fat and too light people have their immune system compromised,” she said.

She recommended having good rest, regular exercise, and good healthy dieting.

This week in medicine

Dr Yalley touched on 3D technology and its application in medicine, including speeding up surgical procedure during an orthodontic procedure (teeth placement deformities).

The 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, was first developed in 1980s, and involves taking a digital model or blueprint of a subject and printing in successive layers of appropriate material to create an identical version.

Oftentimes, medical imaging techniques such as X-Rays, CT-Scans, MRIs, and Ultrasound are used to produce the needed blueprints which is subsequently fed into a 3D printer for the organ to be produced.

Given the high demand for organ transplants, coupled with the limited organ donors, bioprinting is a potential technology that could solve this crisis of organ shortage by the fabrication of fully functional organs.

Indeed, organ bioprinting is a far-fetched goal, but it can be used as a transplanting tissue. Thanks to 3D, healthcare delivery has improved.