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PREECLAMPSIA – The Anguillian Newspaper – The Weekly Independent Paper of Anguilla

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Preeclampsia is a serious medical condition that can occur about midway through pregnancy (after 20 weeks), or soon after a baby is delivered. It is one complication of pregnancy that must be managed by experienced and qualified health professionals if more serious complications are to be prevented.

What is preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia is a serious blood pressure condition that develops during pregnancy. Individuals with preeclampsia often have high blood pressure (hypertension) and high levels of protein in their urine (proteinuria). Preeclampsia typically develops after the 20th week of pregnancy. It can also affect other organs in the body and be dangerous for both the pregnant woman and her developing fetus (unborn baby).
The exact cause of preeclampsia involves several factors. Experts believe it begins in the placenta (afterbirth) — the organ that nourishes the fetus throughout pregnancy. Early in a pregnancy, new blood vessels develop and evolve to supply oxygen and nutrients to the placenta.
In women with preeclampsia, these blood vessels do not seem to develop or work properly. Problems with how well blood circulates in the placenta may lead to the irregular regulation of blood pressure in the mother.

Who gets preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia may be more common in first-time mothers. Experts are not entirely sure why some people develop preeclampsia. Some factors that may put a woman at a higher risk of developing preeclampsia are:
• History of high blood pressure, kidney disease or diabetes.
• Family history of preeclampsia.
• Autoimmune conditions like lupus and antiphospholipid syndrome.
• Obesity.
• Being 40 years old or more.
• It is more than 10 years since your last pregnancy.
• expecting multiple babies (twins or triplets).

What are some symptoms and signs of preeclampsia?
Early signs of preeclampsia include having high blood pressure (hypertension) and protein in your urine (proteinuria).
It is unlikely that the pregnant woman will notice these signs, but they should be picked up during routine prenatal/antenatal visits. In some cases, further symptoms can develop, including:
• severe headache
• vision problems, such as blurring or flashing
• vomiting
• sudden swelling of the face, hands, or feet
• Shortness of breath, caused by fluid in the lungs
• Pain in the upper abdomen (belly), usually under the ribs on the right side
Weight gain and swelling (oedema) are typical during healthy pregnancies. However, sudden weight gain or a sudden appearance of oedema in the second half of pregnancy — particularly in your face and hands — may be a sign of preeclampsia.
If you are pregnant and notice any symptoms of preeclampsia, seek medical advice immediately by calling your healthcare provider or going to the emergency room at the hospital.
Although many cases of preeclampsia are mild, the condition can lead to serious complications for both mother and baby if it is not monitored and treated.
The earlier preeclampsia is diagnosed and monitored, the better the outlook for mother and baby.
It is particularly important that all pregnant women share all of their pregnancy symptoms with their midwife/obstetrician or healthcare provider. It should be noted that some women with preeclampsia do not have any symptoms, so it is important that all pregnant women see their midwife or doctor for regular blood pressure checks and other tests.
Treating preeclampsia
If you are diagnosed with preeclampsia, you should be referred for an assessment by a specialist obstetrician.
In most cases you will be admitted to hospital. While in hospital, you will be monitored closely to determine how severe the condition is and whether a hospital stay is needed.
A number of medications will be used in the treatment of this serious disorder.

The only way to cure preeclampsia is to deliver the baby, so you will usually be monitored regularly until it is possible for your baby to be delivered. This will normally be at around 37 to 38 weeks of pregnancy, but it may be earlier in more severe cases.

Complications
Although most cases of preeclampsia do not develop serious complications and improve soon after the baby is delivered, there is a risk of serious complications that can affect both the mother and her baby.
There is a risk that the mother will develop fits called “eclampsia”. These fits can be life threatening for the mother and baby, but they are rare.
Other complications of severe preeclampsia include:
• Fetal growth restriction. Preeclampsia affects the arteries carrying blood to the placenta. This can lead to slow growth known as fetal growth restriction.
• Preterm birth. Preeclampsia may lead to an unplanned preterm birth — delivery before 37 weeks. Also, planned preterm birth is a primary treatment for preeclampsia. A baby born prematurely has increased risk of breathing and feeding difficulties, vision or hearing problems, developmental delays, and cerebral palsy. Treatments before preterm delivery may decrease some risks.
• Placental abruption. Preeclampsia increases your risk of placental abruption. With this condition, the placenta separates from the inner wall of the uterus before delivery. Severe abruption can cause heavy bleeding, which can be life-threatening for both the mother and baby.
• HELLP syndrome. HELLP stands for haemolysis (the destruction of red blood cells), elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count. This severe form of preeclampsia affects several organ systems. HELLP syndrome is life-threatening to the mother and baby, and it may cause lifelong health problems for the mother.
• Other organ damage. Preeclampsia may result in damage to the kidneys, liver, lung, heart, or eyes, and may cause a stroke or other brain injury. The amount of injury to other organs depends on how severe the preeclampsia is.
• Cardiovascular disease. Having preeclampsia may increase your risk of future heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease.

Prevention

Medication
The best clinical evidence for prevention of preeclampsia is the use of low-dose aspirin. Your obstetrician may recommend taking an 81-milligram aspirin tablet daily after 12 weeks of pregnancy if you have one high-risk factor for preeclampsia or more than one moderate-risk factor.

It is important that you talk with your provider before taking any medications, vitamins, or supplements to make sure it is safe for you.
All women are advised to see their gynaecologist before having a planned pregnancy, especially if they had preeclampsia before. They should try to be as healthy as possible prior to becoming pregnant, and in conjunction with their healthcare provider try to manage any disorder that might increase their risk of developing preeclampsia.

Conclusion
Preeclampsia is a serious disorder associated with pregnancy. A woman can help protect herself by learning the symptoms of preeclampsia, and by seeing her obstetrician/doctor for regular prenatal care. Diagnosing preeclampsia early may lower the chances of long-term problems for both mother and baby.

Ask Your Doctor is a health education column and is not a substitute for medical advice from your physician. The reader should consult his or her physician for specific information concerning specific medical conditions. While all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that all information presented is accurate, as research and development in the medical field are ongoing, it is possible that new findings may supersede some data presented. Always talk to your doctor for professional medical advice.

Dr Brett Hodge is an Obstetrician/Gynaecologist and Family Doctor. Dr Hodge has a medical practice in The Johnson Building in The Valley (Tel: 264 4975828).



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History & culture of the eastern Caribbean islands

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The Eastern Caribbean is a region that includes a number of small island nations and territories in the Caribbean Sea. These islands have a rich history and culture that have been shaped by a variety of influences, including African, Caribbean, European, and indigenous peoples.

The first inhabitants of the Eastern Caribbean were indigenous peoples who migrated to the region thousands of years ago. These people included the Arawaks, Caribs, and Tainos, who were skilled farmers, fishermen, and craftsmen.

The first European explorers to reach the Eastern Caribbean were the Spanish, who arrived in the region in the late 15th century. The Spanish claimed the islands for their own and began to establish settlements, plantations, and mines. However, they were soon challenged by the English, French, and Dutch, who also wanted to control the region.

The Eastern Caribbean became a battleground for these European powers, who fought over control of the islands for more than two centuries. The islands were eventually divided among the European powers, with the English, French, and Dutch each controlling a number of islands.

During this period, the islands became a melting pot of cultures, with African slaves brought to the region to work on the plantations, and Europeans, Africans, and indigenous peoples mixing and intermingling. This led to the development of a unique culture and identity for the Eastern Caribbean, which is still evident today.

Today, the Eastern Caribbean is a diverse and vibrant region with a rich history and culture. The islands are known for their beautiful beaches, stunning natural scenery, and vibrant music and dance traditions. The region also has a thriving tourism industry, with many visitors coming to the islands to experience the unique culture and beauty of the Eastern Caribbean.

In addition to its rich history and culture, the Eastern Caribbean is also known for its natural beauty. The islands are home to a variety of landscapes, including white sandy beaches, lush rainforests, and mountains. The region is also home to a number of protected areas and national parks, which are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including many species that are found nowhere else in the world.

The Eastern Caribbean is also an important economic region, with many of the islands relying on tourism as a major source of income. The region is also known for its production of spices, particularly nutmeg, which is one of the main exports of the region. In addition, the islands are home to a number of small-scale industries, including fishing, agriculture, and manufacturing.

The Eastern Caribbean is also a popular destination for sailors, with many of the islands offering excellent sailing conditions and a number of marinas and yacht clubs. The region is also home to a number of major sailing events, including the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers and the Caribbean 600 race.

Overall, the Eastern Caribbean is a fascinating and diverse region with a rich history, culture, and natural beauty. The islands offer a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy, from relaxing on beautiful beaches to exploring the region’s vibrant culture and history.

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SDA Church Hosts Sunday Evening Concert with US Gospel Music Professional – The Anguillian Newspaper – The Weekly Independent Paper of Anguilla

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Orlan Johnson, Zina Johnson and Edmond Charles greeted
by Dwayniqua Proctor on arrival
Mr. Marcus Smith
Mr. Vernon Rogers

A team of gospel musicians arrived on the island this week from Washington, DC, to conduct a special concert at the Mount Fortune Seventh-day Adventist Church on Sunday evening, 24th July. The concert, dubbed “The Return”, is organized by a committee led by SDA’s Choir Director, Marcia Hodge.
The visiting team of musicians includes: Zina Johnson, the Choir Director and Psalmist; Edmond Charles, the Organist; and Marcus Smith, the Pianist. All three gospel music enthusiasts were meticulously chosen for the occasion by an ardent music leader of the church, Vernon Elrado “Rado” Rogers, a well known Anguillian who resides in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Rogers commented on his selection of the visiting musicians and expectations for Sunday evening’s event:

“The local churches Director, Marcia Hodge approached me some time ago,” he said, “asking me to assist her in organising a special musical event for the church. She wanted this to be a concert with a higher level of performance created by gospel music professionals. I sing with the Baltimore Community Choir, and I am privileged to know skilful performers in the gospel music area. So I set about selecting the best individuals with whom I am familiar.

“I think these three individuals, Zina, Edmond and Marcus, are ideal performers/ministers for what we intend to present to the public on Sunday night,” Rado remarked. “People sometimes forget that gospel music is a sermon – it is not a show. We are going to prove that on Sunday evening.

“We expect a great turnout for “The Return”, when we will reveal that gospel music is a force to reckon with, as long as it is presented with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We intend to impact the audience with a rich gospel-oriented musical experience.

The concert, “The Return”, will take place on Sunday evening at 5:00 at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Mount Fortune. A love offering will be collected.



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REVENUE-GENERATION THROUGH TAXATION – The Anguillian Newspaper – The Weekly Independent Paper of Anguilla

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As the world contemplates the issue of a global recession that could have deep and lasting impacts on how we survive – even within the Caribbean region – it is imperative that we in Anguilla become very proactive. By that, we should be considering how we can take measures to cut the overall cost of running our country – Anguilla.
It seems as though government after government has ignored the need to engage in austerity measures to reduce public expenditure and creatively expand the economy. Instead, they take the easy way out and allow the ‘status quo’ to continue.

As each successive government finds it more and more challenging to manage the cost associated with running the country, the government of the day appears to seek comfort in the ‘status quo’ approach – generating new revenue through taxation.
Notably, there are significant problems that naturally lend themselves to this approach: it increases the cost of living for the people and residents of Anguilla; it makes Anguilla seem unattractive to visitors in terms of the cost to visit; and it discourages people from wanting to do business in Anguilla – all of which have a negative economic impact on the island.
In effect, the ‘status quo’ of revenue-generation primarily through taxation displaces some of our people, especially our young people who find it more and more unbearable to live in Anguilla. In order to survive or have a decent standard of living for themselves, their families and future families, they ‘throw their hands up in the air’ and migrate to the UK or to the US. When they migrate to other lands, we in Anguilla lose generations of working-class people who are not contributing to the social security scheme in Anguilla or to the economy and overall development of this country. When that happens, the country dies – its youth move away with no real prospects of ever returning home to live.
Looking at this problem wholistically, it is important that we create and actively seek out economic opportunities that attract our young people who have migrated out of Anguilla to return home, and that we retain our youth in this country within the workforce.
Whereas, the population in most of the region has grown substantially over the years, the population in Anguilla has grown very little. There was a time when Anguilla’s population outnumbered that of the BVI, of St Maarten, and of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Instead of growing, Anguilla today is experiencing an exodus of human capital, especially among our young people who are leaving Anguilla in search of better living opportunities elsewhere.

The ‘status quo’ of revenue-generation primarily through taxation makes Anguilla less attractive as a destination choice for visitors on limited budgets. Anguilla will probably always be a niche destination for high-end vacationers who tend to purchase all-inclusive vacation packages resulting in major spending profits going off island to the hotel property owners and investors.
The ‘status quo’ of revenue-generation primarily through taxation also forces would-be investors to not come to Anguilla to do business, but instead, to choose other jurisdictions that are just as appealing as Anguilla, but where the labour is cheaper, the water is cheaper and the electricity is cheaper. While Anguilla has ‘a very pretty expensive offering’ – sun, sea, and sand – it would still be ignored for other places with ‘many very pretty affordable offerings’ – sun, sea, sand, good-paying jobs, readily available goods, easy access to essential services, and affordable living, etc.
So, when we talk about austerity and finding creative ways of cutting cost in Anguilla, it is imperative that we act on it, because to not do so is having all kinds of negative impacts on our country – impacts on the population, on inward and foreign investment, on people’s quality of life and on the overall cost of living.
There have been so many missed opportunities for the governments of Anguilla to abandon the ‘status quo’ draconian mentality of entitlement, turn Anguilla around and steady her on an upward and forward trajectory.
There have been opportunities to move some of the public service workforce into the private sector workforce. There have been opportunities to address issues of redundancy, efficiency and productivity within the public service and government statutory bodies. There have been opportunities for government to reduce the size of its ground transportation fleets and cut back on its electricity and telephone usage – especially during off-peak hours.
Post Hurricane Irma Anguilla received large amounts of money from the UK Government in relief assistance and, with it, the government of the day moved with great haste to construct a number of needed buildings across the island. However, the extravagant size of those buildings comes with an increased consumption of everything needed to keep them operating. This too, adds to the cost of running the country putting more burden on a declining population.
Unless past governments, this government, and future governments, lose ‘the status quo’ and realise the need to streamline the cost of running Anguilla, it is unlikely that the cost of living in Anguilla will improve significantly. It is unlikely that the economy of Anguilla will realise much growth. It is unlikely that we will be able to attract many people to stay in Anguilla and keep its operations going year-round. It is unlikely that investors will consider Anguilla to be an appealing destination in which to invest.
The recent introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in addition to the Interim Stabilisation Tax, and all these knock-on effects, have also added to the cost of living and doing business in Anguilla. As a result, the residents, local businesses, local and foreign investors, as well as potential investors, are all suffering. The ‘status quo’ of entitlement and revenue-generation through taxation is taking Anguilla nowhere – quickly!



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