Category: Health

Red Cross puts menstruation on the curriculum

By

Menstrual-hygiene-day-Kenya

Menstruation matters. For menstrual hygiene day, we find out why understanding menstruation is so important by visiting a Kenyan school that has got pupils talking about the previously taboo subject.

Stood outside her classroom in the scorching midday sun, Betty Cherotich suddenly becomes very animated when I ask her about menstrual hygiene issues in her community.

“I used to hide my sanitary products from my husband,” she proclaims. “Even I didn’t know the full facts about menstruation.” More

Home from hospital: time for change

By
Raymond Attrell with Anna Holecz

Raymond Attrell with British Red Cross support worker Anna Holecz.

The day you get the OK to return home after being in hospital, should be a really good day. So why are some people afraid to go home?

You’ve recovered. You should be feeling better, positive and confident that you can cope with life at home – with whatever support you have arranged.

But a report has revealed that’s not always the case. Vulnerable patients, often frail or elderly, are being sent home from hospital too early – afraid and with little support.

More

Why you have to call 999 the moment you suspect a stroke

By

If you suspect stroke, call 999

We live in an era that values speed. These days you can have almost super-fast anything – from broadband to noodle soup.

It’s important to be speedy within the world of first aid too – especially when it comes to treating someone for stroke.

One stroke happens every three minutes and 27 seconds in the UK*. That’s about the same time it takes to microwave popcorn.

The good news is we can all very easily help someone having a stroke.

You just need to be able to spot it and call 999. Fast.

More

Older couple ‘tickled pink’ by Facebook

By

Tom and Jean Fussell learning to use their tablet with Red Cross volunteer Jo

In this day and age you can stay connected to your nearest and dearest with the touch of button. You can Skype your cousin in Canada and WhatsApp a picture of Meera the cat to your sister. You can even share your holiday snaps with friends on Instagram.

But only if you know how.

Tom and Jean Fussell did not. The couple from Radstock, both in their eighties, felt cut off from their loved ones dotted across the globe.

They had bought a tablet in the hope they could stay in touch. But they hadn’t learnt how to use it.

“It’s all new to us. We were brought up in a different era,” Jean said.

“When we went to school we had chalk and slate and a pen you had to dip in ink.”

But with a little help from a British Red Cross volunteer, that was about to change.

More

Letters from a crisis: local help and a premature baby

By

mother and young child

How do you begin to organise a refugee camp?

Gwen Wilson has seen it all. After retiring as a nurse, she worked in Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis. Now Gwen has swapped her life in Sheffield for a refugee camp in northern Greece.

Writing to you from Thessalonica, Gwen gives her impressions of life on the front line of Europe’s refugee crisis.         

More

Happy birthday Nishan: one family’s story of courage and strength in Nepal

By

Dolma holds Nishan next to a neighbour carrying hay on her head

Little Nishan is nearly ready to walk. “Then our lives will become even more hectic,” his mother Dolma says, with a smile.

Laughing together, Dolma and Nishan seem like any happy mother and baby. But standing with Dolma in the ruins of the family home, Nishan can’t know the danger he has been in during his short life.

This time last year, Dolma was only ten days away from giving birth.

More

The Kenyan village where children are teaching adults

By

Tebeswet-school.Sharon

When it comes to education, it’s usually the role of the parents to encourage and inspire their children to learn.

Not so for Magdalene Langat. The gregarious mother-of-three isn’t shy in admitting that it’s her children who are inspiring her to learn.

“I’m studying maths and Kiswahili,” said Magdalene, with a proud smile etched across her face.

“I wanted to enrol for adult education as I’ve seen how well my kids have been doing at school.”

More

Talking toilets over tea in Kenya

By

Kenya Clean Start Appeal

“We would get sick all the time, but we didn’t know what was making us sick.” Edna Mastamet is sat cradling her grandchild in her small mud house in western Kenya.

The 53-year-old shakes her head as she recounts how bad conditions used to be in her rural village.

“It was so dirty, people would just defecate anywhere they could,” she explained, pointing towards a nearby road that doubled up as a toilet.

“No one had toilets, there were a few makeshift structures, but nothing proper.”

More