The greatest gift anyone can receive is the gift of friendship.

There is a phrase that goes, “We don’t choose our family.” The good news is that we chose our friends and they chose us. And these friends eventually become our family. In some sense, family does not necessarily consist of those with whom we share a blood link or are biologically connected.

Friends bring happiness into our life and have a significant impact on our mental health. Everyone needs someone they can confide in freely and unreservedly, someone they can laugh with for no particular reason; everyone needs a friend.

Friendship is characterized by persistent affection, regard, closeness, and trust. It is voluntary for individuals to develop friendships with one another. It is characteristically egalitarian. In contrast to parent-child relationships, for example, each participant in a friendship possess the same degree of power or authority. It is marked by companionship and doing things together

It is well known that healthy human development and adjustment throughout life are greatly aided by friendships. Friendships exist at virtually all stages of life, although their manifestations vary significantly with age. Definitely, making friends is easier when we are younger. It becomes more difficult as we mature and come to understand who we are, and this time we are looking for people with comparable interests and lives. More like, tell me who your friend is and I’ll tell you who you are.

Everyone needs someone they can confide in freely and unreservedly, someone they can laugh with for no particular reason; everyone needs a friend.

There are three different kinds of friends. TD Jakes describes the 3Cs quite well, and it is essential that you understand the distinction between them.

Constituents; They are the ones who support your cause! Constituents are essential for the advancement of your goal. And if you share their values, they will gladly walk with you, collaborate with you, and solve problems with you. However, they will not last forever.

Comrades: They will battle beside you against a common foe. These are not for what you support; rather, they are against what you are against. They are crucial for defending you from invisible obstacles and watching your back. But do not be deceived by their presence; they will only remain with you until the triumph is achieved. These friends are like a framework. They are very near to you and enter your life for a specific reason; when that reason has been fulfilled, the scaffolding is removed. This is okay and don’t be worried. Whatever you were battling always remains intact, but they must depart because they must continue to fight other fights.

Confidants; These are the most precious humans. Every person must have at least one throughout their lifetime. These individuals are scarce and difficult to find. They are so extraordinarily exceptional that regardless of whether you exhibit weakness or strength, they treat you with an anticipation of excellence! You will have very few of them, which is acceptable. You are an exception if you have two or three of these in your lifetime. For this degree of reciprocation, time and energy are at a minimum, thus you only get a few of them.

Constituents support what you support; Comrades oppose what you oppose; and Confidants are those individuals in your life who are genuinely on your side. The only actual risk associated with Constituents and Comrades is their misclassification. When you regard either of them as “Confidants,” you may experience heartbreak when they abandon you for a better cause. This is one reason why many individuals do not allow intimate proximity. In the moment, it can be difficult to distinguish between a Constituent, a Comrade, and a Confidant because they appear so similar. Constituents and Comrades are expected to leave after their roles are fulfilled, and this is OK.

The love of confidants is unconditional. They celebrate you. Whether you are up or down, whether you are right or wrong. They are committed to the long haul. If you get yourself into a problem, they will join you in it. You can feel safe opening up and sharing anything with them. You can trust them so much that you can be yourself around them just as you would be on your own. You will never reach your full potential in life until you find your Confidant. Though they may not always agree with you, they will always have your back and strive to help you become the best possible version of yourself. Through the cooperation of Constituents and Comrades, numerous positive possibilities exist. However, the beauty of the Confidant is that this someone is for you!

Constituents support what you support; Comrades oppose what you oppose; and Confidants are those individuals in your life who are genuinely on your side.

Everyone needs a mental health day when they lose a friend. For some, probably the majority, these individuals are more qualified to be family members than their blood relations, if you know what I mean. My friends keep me sane, whilst my family drives me practically insane — is anyone else in the same boat? I don’t know where I would be without my friends, which is why I value each of you, whether you are comrades, constituents, or confidants. In addition, I owe my confidants everything and will be eternally thankful.

As you usually observe Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, you must also observe International Friends Day on July 30. Add this date to your calendar and make an effort to recognize these beautiful people who decided to be in your life regardless, not because of…

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

References

TD Jakes– the three C’s

Healthcare in underdeveloped nations

In certain impoverished nations, unless you pay at the reception, you cannot see a medical professional–even if you are bleeding, there is nothing they can do other than give you a cloth to wrap and stop the bleeding and that’s if someone is kind enough. This means that you must pay out of pocket for healthcare services each time you see the doctor. In these countries, unemployment is very high, sanitation is very poor, and people are highly susceptible to illness not once or twice, but constantly, with no access to healthcare.  As a result of having to pay for these services out of their own pockets, the lack of financial security increases families’ financial strain.

“Without health care, how can children reach their full potential? And without a healthy, productive population, how can societies realize their aspirations?” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “Universal health coverage can help level the playing field for children today, in turn helping them break intergenerational cycles of poverty and poor health tomorrow.”

The most primary and infectious causes of death in developing nations are malaria, AIDS, and tuberculosis. In fact, these diseases can be prevented in the same manner as in industrialized nations. Tuberculosis? implying that both adults and children lack access to immunization. Immunization, seriously? Everyone should be vaccinated against these deadly diseases, which have claimed countless lives before our great-grandparents were born. In the 1700s, tuberculosis was not only referred to as the white plague due to the sufferers’ pallor, but also as the “Captain of all these men of death.” Now that it is possible to contain the disease, why not do so in every region of the world and not only in wealthy nations? 

If an outbreak occurs, it can affect people in both underdeveloped and developed countries. For example, Ebola emerged in 1976 in the DRC and South Sudan. After a period of few to no occurrences, an outbreak resurfaced between March 2014 and June 2016. This was the largest Ebola outbreak ever reported, with over 28,000 cases. This occurred not just in West Africa, but also in East Africa, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. If these regions of Africa had proper healthcare, the disease may have been efficiently contained. National and international authorities collaborated to help terminate this outbreak by building prevention programs and messages, as well as implementing policies with care. Personnel from the CDC were dispatched to West Africa to aid in response activities, including surveillance, contact tracing, data management, laboratory testing, and health education. In addition, the CDC team assisted with logistics, staffing, communication, analytics, and management.

During the height of the response, the CDC trained 24,655 West African healthcare professionals in infection prevention and control methods. In addition, by the end of 2015, 24 laboratories in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone were equipped to do Ebola virus testing. If all these strategies were done not only during pandemics, we would be able to avert a great number of outbreaks. These nations and others would be able to contain an outbreak before it spreads internationally. However, we wait until a pandemic threatens our minds before implementing laboratories and educating more healthcare staff in developing nations. Why not do this in the absence of a potentially deadly disease? Why not be prepared for anything that could affect us in both developed and poor countries?

We’re not ready for the next epidemic, Bill Gates remarked during the ebola outbreak. Obviously, Covid happened, and what appeared to be a simple sentence made so much sense. He went on to explain that we require a response system with the capacity to mobilize tens of thousands of healthcare staff. During his TED talk, he mentioned that in order to combat an epidemic, we need robust health systems in developing nations– where mothers can safely give birth there, and children can receive all of their vaccinations there. However, this is also where the outbreak will appear first.

“Past experiences taught us that designing a robust health financing mechanism that protects each individual vulnerable person from financial hardship, as well as developing health care facilities and a workforce including doctors to provide necessary health services wherever people live, are critically important in achieving ‘health for all,’” said Mr. Katsunobu Kato, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan. 

What are we waiting for to improve healthcare in developing nations? In other words, what affects individuals in developing nations is likely to impact developed nations. Why not collaborate to create not only a better national healthcare system but also a universal healthcare system? Universal health means that everyone has access to and is covered by a well-organized and well-funded health system that provides quality and comprehensive health care and protects individuals from financial ruin if they utilize these services.

Guaranteeing the right to health means eliminating all kinds of barriers to accessing services…

Dr. Carrissa F. Etienne– Director of the Pan American Health Organization

Some Key actions for Universal Health are:

  1. Expanding equitable access,- Initiating and gradually extending primary care models and comprehensive service delivery that are centered on people’s needs. Assuring the prudent utilization of medications and health technology.
  2. Increasing stewardship and governance by teaching and empowering people and communities about their health-related rights and duties and encouraging them to participate in the development of health-related policies.
  3. Increasing and enhancing finance through eliminating payments at the point of service entry, identifying sustainable means of increasing health financing, and financially protecting individuals. These are only a few examples; the list is far longer.

The enhancement of health care in developing nations will have a substantial effect on the mental health of an infinite number of individuals. Healthcare is a human right!

References

World Bank and WHO: Half the world lacks access to essential health services, 100 million still pushed into extreme poverty because of health expenses. (n.d.). World Bank; http://www.worldbank.org. Retrieved June 7, 2022, from https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2017/12/13/world-bank-who-half-world-lacks-access-to-essential-health-services-100-million-still-pushed-into-extreme-poverty-because-of-health-expenses

CDC. (2022, January 14). World TB Day History. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; http://www.cdc.gov. https://www.cdc.gov/tb/worldtbday/history.htm

Fact sheet about malaria. (2022, April 6). Malaria; http://www.who.int. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/malaria

2014-2016 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa | History | Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease) | CDC. (2019, March 8). 2014-2016 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa | History | Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease) | CDC; http://www.cdc.gov. https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/history/2014-2016-outbreak/index.html#:~:text=The%20patient%20recovered.,hospitals%20in%20the%20United%20States.

Universal health coverage (UHC). (2021, April 1). Universal Health Coverage (UHC); http://www.who.int. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/universal-health-coverage-(uhc)

Gates, B. (n.d.). Bill Gates: The next outbreak? We’re not ready | TED Talk. Bill Gates: The next Outbreak? We’re Not Ready | TED Talk; http://www.ted.com. Retrieved June 7, 2022, from https://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates_the_next_outbreak_we_re_not_ready

Quote of the day

We can alter the manner in which we reject others. Be honest and forthright about boundaries– do not apologize; you did nothing wrong; you are simply informing them that it is not working, which is perfectly fine. While this may sound harsh, it is preferable relatively to ghosting.

DMK

Quote of the day

Many people develop their own way of looking at the world, values, and beliefs when they are away from home for a period of time, such as while attending college. We create our own cultures that are distinct from that in which we grew up, and these cultures may or may not be in agreement with what our parents know or have taught us. And that’s okay, what we were taught still remains close to our hearts.

DMK

What happens if Abortion rights are revoked?

Sometimes I wonder if the United States is regressing rather than progressing. The patriarchy was sitting somewhere one day, whether at a political conference, golfing, campaigning for office, or even swearing-in– you name it! And suddenly, one of them had an inch to poke the matriarchy. We are striving for equal wages, and now you are threatening to withdraw our abortion rights. Seriously, welcome to the poker game. We women are inherently multi-taskers: we shall battle for both and much more.

Fetal rights and the protection of women’s health are two of the justifications stated by opponents of abortion restrictions. For starters, if you cared about fetal rights, how about addressing this country’s appalling rate of infant mortality? In 2005, the infant mortality rate in the United States was 6.9 deaths per 1000 births. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States ranks 30th in the world. The infant mortality rate in the United States is greater than in most other industrialized countries, and it appears to be worsening.” “There should be support programs for children once they are born,” says Kathryn Kolbert, a reproductive rights attorney.

Just to be clear, induced abortion is actually safer than childbirth, so if the rationale is to preserve women’s health, that’s simply not true. Among wealthy countries, the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate. The maternal mortality rate for 2020 was 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births, a significant increase from the previous year.

One study assessed the death rates related with infants born and legal induced abortions in the United States from 1998 to 2005. Pregnancy-related mortality was 8.8 deaths per 100,000 live births among mothers who delivered live neonates. The induced abortion mortality rate was 0.6 deaths per 100,000 abortions. Prenatal complications were more likely during childbirth than during abortion in recent comparative research in the United States. A live birth has a 14-fold greater risk of death for women than an abortion-related death, according to the study. The findings, while not surprising, experts say, contradict several state regulations that claim abortions are high-risk operations.

According to Dr. Bryna Harwood, an ob-gyn at the University of Illinois in Chicago, an induced abortion, like any other medical procedure, requires informed permission from the woman. That is, women recognize and accept the dangers associated with their various options. What complicates situations, according to Harwood, is when the government intervenes and mandates doctors to provide information that isn’t always accurate or medically sound — typically exaggerating the risk of abortion.

Instead of fussing about outlawing abortion, how about focusing on lowering both the neonatal and maternity death rate? According to several studies, some factors contributing to the increase in maternal mortality rates include a shortage of maternity caregivers, particularly midwives, and a lack of access to full postpartum assistance. While other high-income countries offer paid leave to new moms, the United States does not. Maternity leave enables new mothers in adjusting to the physical and emotional demands of motherhood while also providing families with financial stability. Except for the United States, other developed countries require at least 14 weeks of paid leave. In addition, several countries offer more than a year of maternity leave.

Unlike the United States, in other developed nations, postpartum home visits are guaranteed. Postpartum care helps mothers and newborns recover physically and emotionally. Midwife or nurse home visits boost mental health, breastfeeding, and health care expenses.   Home visits allow healthcare professionals to address mental health concerns as well as analyze socioeconomic determinants of health, such as food, shelter, and financial security.

There are more pressing matters to address than poking the matriarchy with their reproductive freedom. If you truly cared about women’s health, as you claim, those must be some of your aims, or else this is just about controlling women. This is about confining women– by the time you want to outlaw the safest women’s reproductive procedure. Because if we don’t have a choice over whether, when, and with whom we have children, women will be unable to function as equal members of society.

In terms of mental health, overturning Roe v. Wade will exacerbate and destroy the lives of many girls and women. With all the psychological and economic strain that comes with having children, the mental battle will feel like a war zone where you’re sure you’re doomed. Many individuals believe that getting an abortion is mostly motivated by a desire not to have children. Most individuals are simply not prepared to care for children– by the time they are trying to care for themselves, having another human to care for is daunting, so it is postponed until they are ready psychologically and financially. This alone protects not just the people in the current circumstances, but also future generations and the society as a whole. Poverty is already one of the primary causes of death and mental illness. According to research, poverty claims the lives of 1.5 million people each year, with more than half of them being children under the age of five — that is 4000 deaths each day. Do we truly want more humans to be born in poverty?

In the United States, more than 11.5 million children live in poverty. When a child grows up in poverty, he or she may not have the opportunity to go to school, receive adequate nourishment, or receive complete healthcare.

What kind of society will we be living in? Homelessness is already one of the most serious issues in the United States. Look at all these concerns that you are already aware of, and your primary goal is to make them worse– how lovely politicians? Everything is interconnected and interdependent; therefore, putting your ego aside, you will recognize that prohibiting abortion will be the worst decision ever implemented.

Whatever a person’s race, ethnicity, gender identity, or whoever one loves, everyone deserves the freedom of choice when to become parents and the support they need to build a family and bring up their children in an environment that promotes dignity and safety for everyone.

There are more pressing matters to address than poking the matriarchy with their reproductive freedom.

References

Raymond, Elizabeth G. MD, MPH; Grimes, David A. MD The Comparative Safety of Legal Induced Abortion and Childbirth in the United States, Obstetrics & Gynecology: February 2012 – Volume 119 – Issue 2 Part 1 – p 215-219
doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31823fe923

Maternal Mortality Rates in the United States, 2020. (2022, February 23). Maternal Mortality Rates in the United States, 2020; http://www.cdc.gov. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/maternal-mortality/2020/maternal-mortality-rates-2020.htm

Infant Mortality:How Does The US Compare? (n.d.). Infant Mortality:How Does The US Compare?; http://www.nptinternal.org. Retrieved May 25, 2022, from https://www.nptinternal.org/productions/chcv2/infant-mortality/howuscompare.html

Maternal Mortality Maternity Care US Compared 10 Other Countries | Commonwealth Fund. (2020, November 18). Maternal Mortality Maternity Care US Compared 10 Other Countries | Commonwealth Fund; http://www.commonwealthfund.org. https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2020/nov/maternal-mortality-maternity-care-us-compared-10-countries

Red Nose Day 2018 : Charity Navigator. (2018, May 21). Charity Navigator; http://www.charitynavigator.org. https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=6330&c_src=WPAIDSEARCH&gclid=CjwKCAjwp7eUBhBeEiwAZbHwkbFrD3itOnol5mbiwZx0JmGvZrW9jxKFqKVQyYhLRkAgG7_zfemhYBoCvQkQAvD_BwE

Poverty Facts and Stats — Global Issues. (2013, January 7). Poverty Facts and Stats — Global Issues; http://www.globalissues.org. https://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats#:~:text=It%20claims%20the%20lives%20of,number%20of%20deaths%20from%20tuberculosis.