Archive | May 19, 2017

Muslims Launch the World’s First Islamic Sign Language Book*

Muslims Launch the World’s First Islamic Sign Language Book*

Did you know nine out of ten deaf children are born to hearing parents? Well, meet Zakariyya, a 19-year-old deaf teenager who was also born to hearing parents. For many children like Zakariyya, although he grew up in a loving and supportive home his communication and language barriers have affected his ability to enjoy a normal life.

Zakariyya attended primary specifically catering for his needs who supported him with much of his language development. However at his first secondary school, like with many other deaf and hard of hearing children, had very low self-esteem and confidence. Zakariyya was often a sadly a victim of bullying and it was unfortunate that his peers would tease him, run away with his hearing aid or simply wind him up knowing that he could not verbally respond and react.

Zakariyya also had additional learning needs, which his first secondary school could not fully cater for. Though he had a chance to integrate in mainstream school with his hearing peers, his parents made a conscious decision to send him to a specialist deaf boarding college to meet his tailored learning needs.

However, although now he was settled, interacting with fellow deaf peers and his learning needs were now being catered for at the boarding school, Zakariyya unfortunately severely lacked many of his core social skills. Like many others, he would be taken and brought home in a special school bus arranged specifically for students with special needs.

This is the case for many deaf children and adults, as they have grown up only experiencing limited interactions beyond their own communities. Thus many tend to grow up feeling isolated, neglected, and frustrated with limitations on many aspects of their everyday lives and in fact eventually suffer from depression, anxiety and other similar conditions.

Alhamdulillah it was fortunate that Zakariyya, through his local council disability service was paired with a family link supporter named Aminul Hoque who was trained in BSL (British Sign Language). Aminul was responsible for delivering stimulating play and social activities such as football and bowling, as well as introducing new ‘first time’ life experiences to Zakariyya, like travelling by train, going shopping and eating in public restaurants. His parents were so happy with the impact this had on their son: 

“We are grateful for such encounters, which have enormously contributed to the progressive development of Zakariyya’s routines, behavior and positive interactions at home and school.”

However many children across London and the U.K. don’t have access to such services due to Government funding cuts. Four in ten parents (38%) said their disabled children ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ have the opportunity to socialise with non-disabled children. (Source: Scope & Mumsnet)

Aminul continued to mentor Zakariyya and maintain relations with his family, as Zakariyyah and his sister Suraiyah were chosen to feature in a ‘deaf-friendly’ special campaign video by Amin & Yasmin.

ABOUT AMIN and YASMIN

Amin and Yasmin themselves are also brother and sister, whom many years ago both embarked on the pursuit of learning British Sign Language (BSL). During their journey and interactions with members of the deaf community and their families, they realized the growing concern and limited access globally for deaf friendly Islamic educational resources.

They have launched an incredible campaign to raise funds for the World’s first Islamic Sign Language Book series in BSL along with a digital app and other educational resources.

They want to empower Deaf Muslims and improve family bonds through fun, interactive ‘deaf-friendly’ resources and bridge the communication and social skills gap between communities.

YOU are invited to support this awesome campaign by following this link;

  • Contribute & Donate – Sponsor part of the campaign even if just one book, with a generous donation today!
  • Gift a book to child, sibling, parent, cousin or nephew/niece.
  • Share – Please spread the word about this unique project through your personal social media and in conversations with family, friends and colleagues.

Source*

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The Healing Power of Fasting*

Ramadhan a Beacon of Light in Jerusalem*

Slow Ramadhan Foods: Health Benefits of Yoghurt

Muslim Schoolboy Rejects £5mn from American Investors for Money-Saving Website*

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New Licenses Awarded to Muslim Radio Stations*

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Hospital-acquired Anaemia on the Increase*

Hospital-acquired Anaemia on the Increase*

One in three patients hospitalized for medical problems experienced a drop in their red blood cell count due to the hospitalization — a concept called hospital-acquired anaemia, new research showed.

Moreover, the worse the hospital-acquired anaemia — or the more blood lost — the higher the risk of death or readmission, even after adjusting for other important factors, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers reported in a study involving 11,000 patients cared for in six hospitals.

“This study shines a spotlight on a very common but underappreciated risk of hospitalization, hospital-acquired anaemia, which has traditionally been viewed as an incidental change in the red blood count of no significance. However, our results showed that hospital-acquired anaemia was associated with worse clinical outcomes after leaving the hospital so it needs to be taken more seriously,” said senior author Dr. Ethan Halm, Director of UT Southwestern’s Center for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research and Chief of the William T. and Gay F. Solomon Division of General Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern.

Dr. Halm, Professor of Internal Medicine and Clinical Sciences, holds the Walter Family Distinguished Chair in Internal Medicine in Honor of Albert D. Roberts, M.D.

Hospital-acquired anaemia is defined as having a normal blood count on admission but developing aanemia during the course of hospitalization. The most severe form of hospital-acquired anaemia was independently associated with a 39% increase in the odds of being readmitted or dying within 30 days after hospital discharge compared with not developing hospital-acquired anaemia. The most severe form was defined as a hematocrit of 27% or less at the time of discharge, occurring in 1.4% of all hospitalizations in the study, which appears in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

“This is the first study of post-discharge adverse outcomes of hospital-acquired anaemia among a diverse group of patients who were hospitalized for different reasons,” said lead author Dr. Anil Makam, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Clinical Sciences and a member of the Center for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research.

Other studies have examined post-discharge outcomes in patients hospitalized for heart attacks.

While the study does not establish preventability, it points to several directly associated risk factors of developing hospital-acquired anaemia.

“Our findings suggest that reducing blood loss during major surgeries and reducing unnecessary testing during hospital stays may lower a patient’s risk of developing severe hospital-acquired anemia, and potentially improve their recovery,” said Dr. Makam.

In the current study, researchers found that the two strongest potentially modifiable predictors of developing moderate or severe hospital-acquired anaemia are length of hospital stay and patients undergoing major surgery. In the future, researchers hope to examine other patient-centered outcomes that may be related to hospital-acquired anemia, such as fatigue, functional impairment, and the trajectory of post-hospital recovery.

Source*

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20-months old Dies in Hospital, as NHS Forced to Repeatedly Delay his Operation*

Hospitals across England Declare ‘black alert’ as NHS Crisis Worsens*

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Stop E.U. from Hijacking Africa’s Clean Energy Future*

Stop E.U. from Hijacking Africa’s Clean Energy Future*

By Mohamed Adow

The vision for an African-led clean energy revolution is in danger of being thrown off course because of attempts by the European Commission (EC) and France to hijack the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative.

French environment minister Ségolène Royal has been accused of undermining African leadership of a flagship clean energy programme (Pic: Flickr/COP Paris)

The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) was one of the greatest achievements to emerge from the COP 21 climate summit in Paris in 2015 and, as an African and climate activist, my proudest moment. It made headlines around the world. Attracting pledges totalling $10 billion of public support from the G7, E.U., Netherlands and Sweden, the scheme has ushered an exciting dawn of African leadership on climate change to see the continent harness it’s huge clean energy potential.

However, that vision is now in tatters after attempts by the EC to control and divert Africa’s renewable energy initiative to its own ends. It is imposing itself on the AREI Board and the initiative’s Independent Delivery Unit (IDU) and, together with France, forced through undue approval of a host of 19 energy projects, bypassing the AREI’s transparent procedures. 

The EC is recycling its old financing commitments to meet its new financial obligations and has co-opted what was previously an African-led process to adopt and legitimise this double counting to the detriment of Africans.

The EC claims that the 19 projects correspond to €4.8bn of new investments and 1.8 GW of new generation capacity. However, this appears to include projects that are already in the making, most of them already approved by the financiers and a whole lot of the financing being new loans. It is also notable that despite EU making big claims, they are only minor contributors in most of the projects, with the total stated EU contribution being a mere modest €300m. It seems clear that ‘approving’ the projects in the AREI Board in reality has no impact on whether or not the projects happen – it seems rather an attempt at rubber stamping to get the ‘African’ blessing, and public relations exercise for some parties.

Approving’ projects without carefully assessing them against the AREI criteria flouts the core principles of the initiative. Furthermore, the implication of existing, rather than new projects, being pushed through the AREI Board means that there will be less new and additional power provided to Africa’s people, thereby undermining AREI’s goal of ‘’10 gigawatts of new and additional energy’’ and leaving people who need it in darkness.

After dragging its feet on international climate diplomacy in recent years, the E.U. now seems to be using its former colonies in Africa to cover up its low carbon failures and greenwash its credentials on climate change.

With the help of some African heads of state, the E.U. and France pushed through the “AREI Approval’’ of the 19 energy projects, claiming the AREI screening process was not required. Such strong arm tactics by the E.U. and France discredit the Africa-led values underpinning the AREI and go against the bottom-up, globally diversified, principles enshrined in the Paris Agreement.  One would have thought the French would be keen to protect those. It’s also understood that EC and France pushed hard to place their technical experts inside the Independent Delivery Unit to directly influence the core activities of the initiative.

Questions also arise as to why the former and incoming chairs of the African Union are championing the interests of France and the E.U. over the concerns the African countries they are appointed to represent. If other African countries have just lost the opportunity (God forbid!) for billions in genuinely new and additional finance and projects that would deliver the 10GW of clean energy, we need to ask what have these leaders gained?

The appointment of both the European Commission and France to the board would furthermore displace a member from the global south, which flies in the face of the principle that there be both a developed and developing country on the board. The contradiction of the EC displacing a southern partner such as China on the board, just as they are supporting “trilateral’’ cooperation with China and Africa, is unlikely to go unnoticed by the Chinese, and undermines potential for South-South cooperation on climate change that would benefit Africa.

In the face of these events, the head of the AREI Independent Delivery Unit, the brilliant Dr. Youba Sokona, who has been at the core of conceiving, developing and leading the initiative, has felt forced to declare his resignation. Sokona, from Mali, is a leading figure with more than 40 years of experience in global energy, climate change and sustainable development. A vice-chair of the IPCC, among other high profile posts, he is the perfect person to pioneer this work.  The fact that he declared he cannot continue under current conditions shows the scale of the crisis.

African politics has historically been tainted with accusations of corruption. The last thing it needs is its flagship energy initiative of the future to be mired in scandal and outside interference. To avoid this, it is crucial that transparent processes are followed and good governance is upheld.  Instead, what we’ve seen with this current debacle is the opposite.

It is vital that the E.U. attempts to control and divert Africa’s renewable energy initiative to its own ends are opposed. It is now up to African countries to rescue it, and ensure its original vision and integrity are restored, and make it possible for Dr Sokona to resume his leadership.

Africa’s future requires it to build transparent and accountable institutions capable of addressing the needs of its people. Developed countries should be assisting this, while meeting their own obligations, particularly when genuinely African-led and African-owned initiatives arise such as AREI.

Each of the African heads of state who endorsed AREI must now fulfil their obligation to protect and advance AREI, with citizens in developed and developing countries doing the same. Strong, bold action is needed to save the initiative, revert the sad recent course of events, and regain the African-led spirit to enable AREI to achieve its goal of bringing clean and renewable energy to all Africans.

Source*

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