8 HEALTH Monday, January 8 2018 | NEW ERA MoHSS prepared for cholera spread containment WINDHOEK The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) is fully prepared for any possible spread of the cholera outbreak from neighbouring Zambia, the Interim Health Permanent Secretary, David Uirab, has said. Recent media reports stated that 42 people had died from cholera in Zambia while 2,000 cases have been reported there since October 2017. Uirab spoke to Nampa telephonically here on Friday, about the health ministry’s preparedness for the possible spread of the waterborne disease to Namibia, especially from people travelling through the Zambezi and Kavango East regions. “We are very prepared for any possible outbreak in Namibia as we have sent our staff in different regions to educate and inform citizens about the disease even though the epicentre of the outbreak is not close to the borders,” Uirab said. According to him, the MoHSS Overwhelmed… The Opuwo State Hospital is so overcrowded that patients are now sleeping on the Photo: Nampa informed the regional directors and alerted citizens in Kunene, Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshana and Oshikoto regions through the hepatitis E virus outbreak campaign, since the causes of both diseases are similar. However, he added that the Zambezi and Kavango East bor- monitor the movement of peoples coming into Namibia from the holidays in Zambia. Uirab further said the MoHSS communicated with stakeholders such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Zambian Ministry of Health on the nature of the outbreak. “The ministry [was] informed well in advance, is under control and understands the level of the outbreak as well as how big a threat it is to Namibia,” he added. All regional medical stores should it occur in Namibia, according to Uirab. He informs the public not to panic as the ministry continues to keep all eyes on the outbreak and will keep the nation informed. a bacterial disease usually spread through contaminated water, which causes severe diarrhoea and dehydration. – Nampa Scientists uncover why sauna bathing is good for your health Monday, 8 January 2018 Centre Tal Street 07:00-16:00 United House Centre 08:30-16:00 Wernhil Park (House and Home) 09:00:15:30 Auas Valley 09:00-15:30 Swakopmund Town (Ferdinand Stich Str 4) 13:00-18:00 Tuesday, 9 January 2018 Centre Tal Street 07:00-16:00 United House Centre 08:30-16:00 Old Mutual Life 09:00-14:30 Maerua Mall (Checkers) 09:00-15:30 Walvis Bay Town (Behind Welwitschia Medi-park) 13:00-18:00 Wednesday, 10 January 2018 Centre Tal Street 07:00-16:00 United House Centre 08:30-16:00 Rehoboth Town (St Mary’s Hospital) 13:00-17:30 Namibia Media Holding 09:00-14:30 Pick ‘n Pay (Walvis Bay) 10:00-15:00 Thursday, 11 January 2018 Centre Tal Street 07:00-18:00 United House Centre 08:30-16:00 Windhoek Police Force 10:00-15:00 Windhoek Consulting Engineers 09:00-14:30 Friday, 12 January 2018 Centre Tal Street 07:00-16:00 United House Centre 08:30-16:00 Pointbreak 09:00-14:30 Namib Mills (caravan) 09:00-14:30 Saturday, 13 January 2018 The Grove Mall (Checkers) 09:00-14:30 Sponsored by: Over the past couple of years, scientists at the University of Eastern Finland have shown that sauna bathing is associated with ing an experimental setting this time, the research group now investigated the physiological mechanisms through which the heat exposure of sauna may influence a person’s health. Their latest study with 100 test subjects shows that taking a sauna bath of 30 minutes reduces blood pressure and increases vascular compliance, while also increasing heart rate similarly to medium-intensity exercise. Previously, the research from a population-based study indicating that regular sauna bathing is associated with a reduced risk of coronary diseases and sudden cardiac death, hypertension and Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Frequent sauna bathing has also been associated with a reduced risk of respiratory diseases and lower CRP levels. The experimental study carried out in the Sauna and Cardiovascular Health project provides new insight into changes that take place in the human body during and after having a sauna. The study analysed the effects of a 30-minute sauna bath in 100 test subjects. In particular, the objective was to analyse the role of vascular compliance and reduced blood pressure in the bathing. Vascular compliance was measured from the carotid and femoral artery before sauna, immediately after sauna, and after 30 minutes of recovery. These vascular compliance measurements carried out in the experimental study constitute a new assessment method in a sauna setting. Immediately after 30 minutes of sauna bathing, test subjects’ mean systolic blood pressure reduced from 137 mmHg to 130 mmHg, and their diastolic blood pressure from 82 mmHg to 75 mmHg. Furthermore, their systolic blood pressure remained lower even after 30 minutes of sauna bathing. Test subjects’ mean carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, which is an indicator of vascular compliance, was 9.8 m/s before sauna, decreasing to 8.6 m/s immediately after. During sauna bathing, test subjects’ heart rate increased similarly to medium-intensity exercise, and their body temperature rose by approximately the physiological mechanisms which have been observed at the population level and are caused by the heat exposure of sauna, may develop. sauna bathing on the human body were published in the Journal of Human Hypertension, and the femoral pulse wave velocity measurements were published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. The study was funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, Tekes, and it was carried out by Professor Jari Laukkanen’s research group at the University of Eastern Finland. The project partners were Harvia Ltd, Velha Ltd, Pihlajalinna, Fintravel Ltd and the Finnish Sauna Culture Association. The test subjects were 100 clients of the Pihlajalinna health care service provider. Their background information was collected by extensive surveys and interviews, and their physical health was measured by a clinical exercise test. The study was carried out in experimental saunas provided by the sauna stove and sauna heater manufacturer Harvia Ltd. The experimental sauna setting was a careful simulation of the way people in Finland take a sauna in their own homes. Research indicates that regular physical exercise and a healthy lifestyle promote cardiac health and prevent disease, but not all of the risk and protective factors are yet known. The on cardiac health observed in the population-based study can, according to this experimental study, be explained by the fact that sauna bathing reduces blood pressure and increases vascular compliance. However, further research data from experimental settings relating to the physiological mechanisms of sauna bathing that promote cardiac health is still needed. – Science
NEW ERA Minimum wage hikes not enough to boost broader US salaries Page 10 US tax law pushes Deutsche into loss for 2017 Page 11 INSIDE BUSINESS This news is your business Global markets extend 2018 rally with fresh records NEW YORK The 2018 global equity rally continued apace Friday, with Asian and European markets posting healthy gains and Wall Street powering to fresh records once again. blue-chip index moved higher still, picking up momentum throughout up nearly one percent. The rise came despite a disappointing US jobs report. The US added just 148,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department reported, far below expectations, although unem- low of 4.1 percent. But investors, who opened 2018 in a fever pitch to buy equities, were unfazed by the lackluster data, much as they have also overlooked any concerns about US-North Korea tensions or domestic political controversies. “Whatever the news, the reaction thus far continues to be more of what we have been seeing,” said Adam Sarhan, founder of 50 Park Investments. “Investors are buying, dismissing all negative news, whether economic or geopolitical and they are just buying stocks.” All main European markets were higher at the close, with standout Frankfurt clocking up a gain of just under 1.2 percent despite a share price plunge for heavyweight Deutsche Bank after a profitwarning. Paris followed not far behind with a 1.1 percent rise. London hit a new intra-day record a new closing high, buoyed by the weak pound, which lifts the share prices of multi-national companies. In Asia on Friday, Tokyo stocks following its more than three percent jump Thursday, while Sydney added dealers buoyed by news that North Korea had accepted the South’s offer of talks next week, further easing geopolitical tensions in the region. chalk up a ninth-straight gain. Equity optimism has been fuelled by US tax cuts, healthy corporate Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader, said in a note that data from the manufacturing and services sectors “suggests economic strength across the globe remains robust”. He noted that an index of world factory activity was at its highest level in seven years. While oil prices inched down, they remain elevated after recent rises to around three-year highs thanks to Middle East tensions. Crude futures have also been boosted this week on keen US demand as the nation’s stockpiles fall on the back of a severe cold snap. – Nampa/AFP Bitcoin: Big in Japan TOKYO Known as “Miss Bitcoin” on Japanese social media, Mai Fujimoto says she invests all of her savings in the virtual currency that has proved a huge hit in Japan. “I convert all my disposable income into crypto-currency,” the doing this for nearly a year now. I convert all my savings into cryptocurrency instead of putting them in a bank.” She is not alone in her enthusiasm. Bitcoin is recognised as legal tender in the world’s third-biggest economy and nearly one third of global bitcoin transactions in December were denominated in yen, according to specialised website jpbitcoin.com. This has led to many analysts speculating that the famous Mrs Watanabe – shorthand for Japanese individual foreign exchange investors – is behind the recent volatile frenzy that pushed the price of bitcoin up to nearly ,000 before dropping back. But why Japan? Firstly, unlike regional rivals China and South Korea, whose regulators have clamped down hard on the crypto-currency, Japan has welcomed it with open arms. In April, Japan passed a law recognising bitcoin and other virtual currencies as legal tender – while also stressing the need for transpar- And there is little doubt that Japan’s global weight grew after China closed down bitcoin trading platforms last year. Some well-known Japanese businesses have started accepting made waves when it said it would pay part of its employees’ salaries in the currency if they wish. “The involvement of big companies, the sense of security derived from government approval and media exposure really brought in a whole new group of people to the market,” said Koji Higashi, a well-known commentator on the crypto-business in Japan. Another factor contributing to a bitcoin boom in Japan: ultra-low battling central bank that has left investors scratching their heads for While Japanese are generally considered risk-averse investors, they are also well-versed in the complexities of market trading, especially in foreign exchange. A lot of ordinary Japanese people are trading “high levels” of money on the foreign exchange markets, said Yuzo Kano, founder and chief executive of bitFlyer, Japan’s main bitcoin trading platform. A lot of these stay-at-home FX day traders – the mythical Mrs Watanabe – are now turning their hand to bitcoin, noted analysts from Deutsche Bank in a recent report. Analyst Higashi, on the other hand, thinks that the blanket domestic and international media coverage of the rise of bitcoin has prompted many Japanese to join the party. “’Everyone else is doing it now and I heard they are making a lot of money. I have to get on it now.’ That’s a very Japanese way of thinking,” he told AFP. “To be honest, I am not sure if people are buying into bitcoin based on rational decision-making. It feels more of a short-term irrational mania to me,” he added. Whatever the reason, “Miss Bitcoin” has been a convert since 2012. “At the time, I was working with children and creating an online time, I learned how expensive it is to send money abroad,” Fujimoto recalled. “So, I was really impressed when I heard that I don’t have to go through banks if I use bitcoin payment,” added the businesswoman. for 1,200 yen () in 2012. On But the crypto-currency mania has not been all plain sailing in Japan. In 2014, Tokyo-based exchange ruptcy, with French CEO Mark Karpeles saying it had lost nearly half a billion dollars’ worth of the digital currency in a possible theft. And another factor may end up cooling the enthusiasm of in- from bitcoin trading are considered as “miscellaneous income” and subject to a higher tax rate of 55 percent. “Now, a lot of traders are struggling to calculate the amount to be taxed and I think there will be a lot of tax evasion scandals in the near future,” said Higashi. – Nampa/AFP WE WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU Participate in our surveys and stand a chance to WIN a weekend away for two at any NWR Resort worth N$ 5000. Visit www.nepc.com.na to participate.