World blood donor day

World Blood Donor day takes place annually on 14 June to celebrate the birth of Austrian Biologist, physician and Scientist Karl Landsteiner who was born on 14 June in 1868. Karl Landsteiner was the first person to distinguish the main blood groups in 1900, having developed the modern system of classification of blood groups from his identification of the presence of agglutinins in the blood, and identified the Rhesus factor with Alexander S. Wiener in 1937. These discoveries enabled physicians to safely transfuse blood without endangering the patient’s life. He also discovered the polio virus in 1909 With Constantin Levaditi and Erwin Popper. Following his revolutionary discoveries He received the Aronson Prize in 1926 and In 1930, he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He was posthumously awarded the Lasker Award in 1946, and has been described as the father of transfusion medicine.

The aim of World Blood donor Day is to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gifts of blood which helps save millions of lives every year. The transfusion of blood can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. It also has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and perinatal care. Access to safe and sufficient blood and blood products can help reduce rates of death and disability due to severe bleeding during delivery and after childbirth. In many countries, there is not an adequate supply of safe blood, and blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety. An adequate supply can only be assured through regular donations by voluntary unpaid blood donors. The WHO’s goal is for all countries to obtain all their blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donors by 2020. It emphasizes thanking of blood donors who save lives every day through their blood donations and inspires more people all over the world to donate blood voluntarily and regularly with the slogan “Give freely, give often. Blood donation matters.” Many lives (including mine) have been saved thanks to blood transfusions.

Activities include special events, meetings, publication of relevant stories on media, scientific conferences, publication of articles on national, regional and international scientific journals, and other activities that would help in encouraging the title of this year’s World Blood Donor Day. The host country for World Blood Donor Day 2015 was China through its blood center in Shanghai, Shanghai Blood Centre, also the WHO Collaborating Center for Blood Transfusion Services. The focus of the WBDD 2014 campaign was “Safe blood for saving mothers”. The goal of the campaign was to increase awareness about why timely access to safe blood and blood products is essential for all countries, as part of a comprehensive approach to prevent maternal deaths. According to the World Health Organization, 800 women die every day from pregnancy and childbirth-related complications. Severe bleeding is the cause of 34% of maternal deaths in Africa, 31% in Asia and 21% in Latin America and the Caribbean. The global host for the WBDD 2014 event was Sri Lanka. Through its national blood transfusion service, Sri Lanka promotes voluntary unpaid donation to increase access to safe and sufficient blood and blood products.

The host country for World Blood Donor Day 2013 was France. Through its national blood service, the Etablissement Français du Sang (EFS), France has been promoting voluntary non-remunerated blood donation since the 1950s. The focus for the WBDD 2013 campaign – which marked the 10th anniversary of World Blood Donor Day – was blood donation as a gift that saves lives. The WHO encouraged all countries to highlight stories from people whose lives have been saved through blood donation, as a way of motivating regular blood donors to continue giving blood and people in good health who have never given blood, particularly young people, to begin doing so. The 2012 campaign focused on the idea that any person can become a hero by giving blood. Blood cannot yet be manufactured artificially, so voluntary blood donation remains vital for healthcare worldwide. Many anonymous blood donors save lives every day through their blood donations.

World Blood Donor Day is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO), along with World Health Day, World Tuberculosis Day, World Immunization Week, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Hepatitis Day, and World AIDS Day.

World brain tumour day

World Brain Tumour Day is celebrated annually on 8 June. World Brain tumour day is an international commemoration day to recognise and pay tribute to all brain tumour patients and their families and to educate the public concerning the effects and treatments of Brain tumours. The event was created in 2000 by the the Deutsche Hirntumorhilfe (German Brain Tumor Association) a non-profit organisation based in Leipzig which provides information and support to brain tumor patients. Since its founding in 1998 more than 500 members from fourteen nations have been registered. The association is supported by patients and their family members as well as health professionals and scientists. A key goal is to seek a cure for brain tumours.

A brain tumour occurs when abnormal cells form within the brain. There are two main types of tumour: malignant or cancerous tumors and benign tumours. Cancerous tumors can be divided into primary tumours that start within the brain, and secondary tumours that have spread from somewhere else, known as brain metastasis tumours. Brain tumours produce varying symptoms depending on the part of the brain involved These may include headaches, seizures, problem with vision, vomiting, and mental changes. The headache is normally worse in the morning and goes away with vomiting. More specific problems may include difficulty in walking, speaking, and with sensation. As the disease progresses unconsciousness may occur

The cause of most brain tumours is unknown. Uncommon risk factors include inherited neurofibromatosis, exposure to vinyl chloride, Epstein–Barr virus, and ionizing radiation. The evidence for mobile phones is not clear. The most common types of primary tumors in adults are meningiomas (usually benign), and astrocytomas such as glioblastomas. In children, the most common type is a malignant medulloblastoma. Diagnosis is usually by medical examination along with computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. This is then often confirmed by a biopsy. Based on the findings, the tumors are divided into different grades of severity.

Treatment may include some combination of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and Anticonvulsant medication which may be needed if seizures occur. Dexamethasone and furosemide may be used to decrease swelling around the tumour. Some tumours grow gradually, requiring only monitoring and possibly needing no further intervention. Treatments that use a person’s immune system are being studied. Outcome varies depending on the type of tumour and how far it has spread at diagnosis. Glioblastomas usually have poor outcomes while meningiomas usually have good outcomes. The average five-year survival rate for all brain cancer in the United States is 33%.

Secondary or metastatic brain tumours are more common than primary brain tumours, with about half of metastases coming from lung cancer. Primary brain tumors occur in around 250,000 people a year globally, making up less than 2% of cancers. In children younger than 15, brain tumors are second only to acute lymphoblastic leukemia as the most common form of cancer. In Australia the average lifetime economic cost of a case of brain cancer is $1.9 million, the greatest of any type of cancer.

The Deutsche Hirntumorhilfe supports science and research especially in the field of neuro-oncology. According to its motto “Knowledge Creates Future”, the association has a special interest in the advancement of scientific research. Apart from providing recent information about therapy standards and proceedings to brain tumor patients, the organisation supports neuro-oncological research projects and facilitates the international transfer of knowledge. The promotion of interdisciplinary cooperation of all the areas of expertise involved in the treatment of brain tumors is one of its major aims.

National carers week

National Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK and provide much-needed support to carers and draw attention to just how important caring is. There are 6.5 million people in the UK who are carers and Caring impacts on all aspects of life from relationships and health to finances and this work should not be underestimated, 

The campaign is supported by thousands of individuals and organisations who come together to provide support for carers, run activities and highlight the vital role carers play in our communities. This year Carers UK is joining forces with Age UK, Carers Trust, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Oxfam GB and Rethink Mental Illness.

During 2020 carers have found themselves facing even more difficult circumstances with people across the country continuing to face new challenges as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. As a result Many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support. Research released for Carers Week shows that 4.5 million additional people have started caring for older, disabled or seriously ill relatives or friends since the Covid-19 pandemic

The responsibility of providing care can also be very stressful at times and also affects unpaid carers. So the Government should do more to recognise and acknowledge these efforts and rebuild country’s care and support services and provide a better deal fo carers Therefore It is vitally important to recognise the contribution carers make to their families and local communities, workplaces and society and that they are given the support they need.

National Huntington’s disease awareness day

National Huntington’s diesease awareness day takes place annually on 6 June in the United States. Huntington’s disease (HD), also known as Huntington’s chorea, is an inherited disorder that results in the death of brain cells. The earliest symptoms are often subtle problems with mood or mental abilities. A general lack of coordination and an unsteady gait often follow. As the disease advances, uncoordinated, jerky body movements become more apparent. Physical abilities gradually worsen until coordinated movement becomes difficult and the person is unable to talk. Mental abilities generally decline into dementia. The specific symptoms vary somewhat between people. Symptoms usually begin between 30 and 50 years of age but can start at any age. The disease may develop earlier in life in each successive generation. About eight percent of cases start before the age of 20 years and typically present with symptoms more like Parkinson’s disease. 

People with HD often underestimate the degree of their problems. HD is typically inherited, although up to 10% of cases are due to a new mutation. The disease is caused by an autosomal dominant mutation in either of an individual’s two copies of a gene called huntingtin. This means a child of an affected person typically has a 50% chance of inheriting the disease The huntingtin gene provides the genetic information for a protein that is also called huntingtin. Expansion of CAG (cytosine-adenine-guanine) triplet repeats in the gene coding for the huntingtin protein results in an abnormal protein, which gradually damages cells in the brain through mechanisms that are not yet fully understood. Diagnosis is by genetic testing, which can be carried out at any time, regardless of whether or not symptoms are present. This fact raises several ethical debates: the age at which an individual is considered mature enough to choose testing; whether parents have the right to have their children tested; and managing confidentiality and disclosure of test results.

There is no cure for HD. Full-time care is required in the later stages of the disease. Treatments can relieve some symptoms and, in some, improve quality of life. The best evidence for treatment of the movement problems is with tetrabenazine. HD affects about 4 to 15 in 100,000 people of European descent. It is rare among Japanese, while the occurrence rate in Africa is unknown. The disease affects men and women equally. Complications such as pneumonia, heart disease, and physical injury from falls reduce life expectancy. Suicide is the cause of death in about 9% of cases. Death typically occurs 15–20 years from when the disease was first detected.

The disease was first noted in 1841 by American physician Charles Oscar Waters. The condition was described in further detail in 1872 by American physician George Huntington. The genetic basis was discovered in 1993 by an international collaborative effort led by the Hereditary Disease Foundation. Research and support organizations began forming in the late 1960s to increase public awareness, provide support for individuals and their families and promote research. Current research directions include determining the exact mechanism of the disease, improving animal models to aid with research, testing of medications to treat symptoms or slow the progression of the disease, and studying procedures such as stem cell therapy with the goal of repairing damage caused by the disease.

More International and National events happening on 6 June

Applesauce Cake Day

Drive-in Movie Day 

National Eyewear Day

Higher Education Day

National Yo-Yo Day

World digestive health day

World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) is celebrated annually on May 29. It was created by The World GAstroenterology Organisation in order to promote general public awareness of how to maintain digestive health, prevent digestive disorders and educate people concerning the therapy and treatments of diferent digestive disorders. So each year the World GAstroenterology Organisation use the day to focus upon the causes and treatments of different digestive disorders.

Past World Digestive Health themes have included: Health and Nutrition, Helicobacter pylori infection, Viral Hepatitis, Optimal Nutrition in Health and Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Enteric Infections: Prevention and Management – Clean Food, Clean Water, Clean Environment, Common GI Symptoms in the Community: Impact and Interpretation, LIVER CANCER, Gut Microbes, Heartburn and Diet and gut Health.

The World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) is an international federation of over 100 national GI societies and 4 regional associations of gastroenterology representing over 50,000 individual members. It was established in 2007 to raise financial support to develop and sustain the World Gastroenterology Organisation’s global training and education programs. These programs focus primarily on developing, low-resource countries and aim to meet the increasing demand for digestive disorder prevention and treatment worldwide..” The WGO is focused on “the improvement of standards in gastroenterology training and education on a global scale.”

The association was founded in 1935 and incorporated in 1958. The WGO was originally known as the Organisation Mondiale de Gastroenterologie (OMGE) and was renamed the World Gastroenterology Organisation in 2006. Its activities include educational initiatives such as Training Centers, Train the Trainers Workshops, public awareness campaigns such as World Digestive Health Day and Global Guidelines which cascade, providing viable solutions which are adaptable to varying resource levels around the world, as well as a quadrennial World Congress of Gastroenterology. The WGO Foundation was incorporated in 2007 and is dedicated to raising funds to support the ongoing WGO education initiatives and activities.In 2008, the WGO, together with Danone, launched a global campaign to improve digestive health, titled “Optimum Health and Nutrition.” The campaign is part of a three-year partnership between WGO and Danone to “help raise awareness of digestive disorders and the importance of maintaining good digestive health.”.

Georges Brohée (1887–1957), was a Belgian surgeon who promoted modern gastroenterology, and he is largely responsible for the origin of the WGO, in particular by founding the Belgian Society of Gastroenterology in 1928 and by organizing the first International Congress of Gastroenterology in Brussels in 1935. At first Developed nations were the initial focus of the organization, however today the WGO embraces a global approach with a special emphasis on developing regions. In May 1958 the first World Congress of Gastroenterology was held in Washington DC, where Georges Brohée’s continuing efforts culminated in the constitution of the “Organisation Mondiale de Gastro-entérologie” (OMGE) on May 29, 1958. Dr H.L. Bockus was the organisation’s first President. His vision was to enhance standards of education and training in gastroenterology.

More international and national events taking place on 29 May

  • Biscuit Day
  • Coq Au Vin Day
  • Learn About Composting Day
  • Paperclip Day 
  • World Digestive Health Day
  • International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers 
  • Escalator Day takes place annally on 29 May to commemorate the occasion when The Otis Elevator Company first registered the trade name “Escalator” on 29 May 1900

UN International day to end Obstetric Fistula

The United Nations International Day to End Obstetric Fistula takes place annually on 23 May. Obstetric fistula is a medical condition in which a hole develops in the birth canal as a result of childbirth. This can be between the vagina and rectum, ureter, or bladder. It can result in incontinence of urine or feces. Complications may include depression, infertility, social isolation, and poverty. Risk factors include obstructed labor, poor access to medical care, malnutrition, and teenage pregnancy.

The underlying mechanism is poor blood flow to the affected area for a prolonged period of time. Diagnosis is generally based on symptoms and may be supported by use of methylene blue. Obstetric fistulae are almost entirely preventable with appropriate use of cesarean section. Treatment is typically by surgery. If treated early, the use of a urinary catheter may help with healing, Counselling may also be useful.

The first United Nations International Day to End Obstetric Fistula took place on 23 May 2012 as part of efforts to end child marriage and early childbearing, which increases the risks of complications like Obstetric Fistula during pregnancy, especially among girls and women living in poverty who lack access to obstetric care and are often malnourished. An estimated 2 million women in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Arab region, and Latin America have the condition, with about 75,000 new cases developing a year whereas It occurs very rarely in the developed world.

World Meditation day

World Meditation day takes place on 21 May Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. Scholars have found meditation difficult to define, as practices vary both between traditions and within them.

Meditation has been practiced since 1500 BCE antiquity in numerous religious traditions, often as part of the path towards enlightenment and self realization. The earliest records of meditation (Dhyana), come from the Hindu traditions of Vedantism. Since the 19th century, Asian meditative techniques have spread to other cultures where they have also found application in non-spiritual contexts, such as business and health. Meditation may be used with the aim of reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and pain, and increasing peace, perception, self-concept, and well-being. Meditation may also have other possible health (psychological, neurological, and cardiovascular) benefits.

  • American Red Cross Founder’s Day 
  • National Memo Day
  • Strawberries and Cream Day
  • National Waitstaff Day
  • World Day for Cultural Diversity, for Dialogue and Development 
  • Sister Maria Hummel Day
  • Armed Forces Day
  • Culture Freedom Day
  • I Need a Patch for That Day
  • National Learn to Swim Day
  • Preakness Stakes
  • Rapture Party Day
  • World Whisky Day

World hypertension day

World Hypertension Day takes place annually on 17 May. It was created by The World Hypertension League (WHL), an umbrella to organizations of 85 national hypertension societies and leagues. The purpose of World Hypertension Day is to increase the awareness of hypertension and increase the amount of appropriate knowledge among hypertensive patients. The WHL launched its first WHD on May 14, 2005. Since 2006, the WHL has been dedicating May 17 of every year as WHD.

Hypertension (HTN or HT),is also known as high blood pressure (HBP), and is a long term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated. Short term high blood pressure does not usually cause symptoms however Long term high blood pressure is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, vision loss, and chronic kidney disease.

High blood pressure is classified as either primary (essential) high blood pressure or secondary high blood pressure. About 90–95% of cases are primary, defined as high blood pressure due to nonspecific lifestyle and genetic factors. Lifestyle factors that increase the risk include excess salt, excess body weight, smoking, and alcohol. The remaining 5–10% of cases are categorized as secondary high blood pressure, defined as high blood pressure due to an identifiable cause, such as chronic kidney disease, narrowing of the kidney arteries, an endocrine disorder, or the use of birth control pills.

Blood pressure is expressed by two measurements, the systolic and diastolic pressures, which are the maximum and minimum pressures, respectively. Normal blood pressure at rest is within the range of 100–140 millimeters mercury (mmHg) systolic and 60–90 mmHg diastolic. High blood pressure is present if the resting blood pressure is persistently at or above 140/90 mmHg for most adults. Different numbers apply to children. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring over a 24-hour period appears more accurate than office best blood pressure measurement.

Lifestyle changes and medications can lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of health complications. Lifestyle changes include weight loss, decreased salt intake, physical exercise, and a healthy diet. If lifestyle changes are not sufficient then blood pressure medications are used. Up to three medications can control blood pressure in 90% of people. The treatment of moderately high arterial blood pressure (defined as >160/100 mmHg) with medications is associated with an improved life expectancy. The effect of treatment of blood pressure between 140/90 mmHg and 160/100 mmHg is less clear, with some reviews finding benefit and others finding a lack of evidence for benefit. High blood pressure affects between 16 and 37% of the population globally. In 2010 hypertension was believed to have been a factor in 18% (9.4 million) deaths.

In 2005 The theme for World Hypertension Day was ‘Awareness of high blood pressure’. The 2006 theme was ‘Treat to goal’, with a focus on keeping blood pressure under control. The recommended blood pressures are less than 140/90 mmHg for the general population and for the hypertensive population without any other complications, and less than 130/80 mmHg for those with diabetes mellitus or chronic kidney disease. These are the cut-off values recommended by international and Canadian guidelines. The 2007 WHD theme was ‘Healthy diet, healthy blood pressure’. Through such specific themes, the WHL intends to raise awareness not only of hypertension, but also of factors contributing to an increase in the incidence of hypertension and on ways to prevent it. In an effort to empower the public, the theme for 2008 was ‘Measure your blood pressure…at home’. Recent reports confirm the ease, accuracy and safety of blood pressure measurements using home monitors. For the five-year period 2013-2018, the theme of WHD is ‘Know Your Numbers’ with the goal of increasing high blood pressure awareness in all populations around the world.

Lucy Wills LRCP

leading English hematologist and physician researcher Lucy Wills, LRCP was born May 10 1888 in Sutton Coldfield. Generations of the Wills family had been living in or near Birmingham, England, Her paternal great-grandfather, William Wills, had been a prosperous Birmingham attorney from a Nonconformist Unitarian family (see Church of the Messiah, Birmingham). One of his sons, Alfred Wills, followed him into the law and became notable both as a judge and a mountaineer. Another son, Lucy’s grandfather, bought an edge-tool business in Nechells, AW Wills & Son, which manufactured such implements as scythes and sickles. Lucy’s father continued to manage the business and the family was comfortably well off.

Wills’ father, William Leonard Wills (1858–1911), was a science graduate of Owens College (later part of the Victoria University of Manchester, now part of the University of Manchester). Her mother, Gertrude Annie Wills née Johnston (1855–1939), was the only daughter (with six brothers) of a well-known Birmingham doctor, Dr. James Johnston. The family had a strong interest in scientific matters. Lucy’s great-grandfather, William Wills, had been involved with the British Association for the Advancement of Science and wrote papers on meteorology and other scientific observations. Her father was particularly interested in botany, zoology, geology, and natural sciences generally, as well as in the developing science of photography. Her brother, Leonard Johnston Wills, carried this interest in geology and natural sciences into his own career with great success. Wills was brought up in the country near Birmingham, initially in Sutton Coldfield, and then from 1892 in Barnt Green to the south of the city. She went at first to a local school called Tanglewood, kept by a Miss Ashe, formerly a governess to the Chamberlain family of Birmingham.

At the time she was born English girls had few opportunities for education and entry into the professions until towards the end of the nineteenth century. Wills was able to attend Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Newnham College Cambridge, and the London School of Medicine for Women In September 1903 Lucy Wills went to the Cheltenham Ladies’ College, which had been founded in 1854 by Dorothea Beale. Wills’s elder sister Edith was in the same house, Glenlee. She passed the ‘Oxford Local Senior, Division I’ exam in 1905; the ‘University of London, Matriculation, Division II’ in 1906; and ‘Part I, Class III and Paley, exempt from Part II and additional subjects by matriculation (London), Newnham entrance’ in 1907.

In 1907, Wills began her studies at Newnham College, Cambridge, a women’s college. Wills was strongly influenced by the botanist Albert Charles Seward and by the paleobiologist Herbert Henry Thomas who worked on carboniferous paleobotany. Wills finished her course in 1911 and obtained a Class 2 in Part 1 of the Natural Sciences Tripos in 1910 and Class 2 in Part 2 (Botany) in 1911, however she was ineligible as a woman to receive a Cambridge degree.

Sadly in February 1911, Wills’s father tragically died at the age of 53 then In 1913, her elder sister Edith also died at the age of 26. In 1913 Wills and her mother traveled to Ceylon, now Sri Lanka. A friend from Newnham, Margaret (Margot) Hume, was lecturing in botany at the South African College, then part of the University of the Cape of Good Hope. She and Wills were both interested in Sigmund Freud’s theories. Upon the outbreak of World war One in August 1914, Gordon enlisted in the Transvaal Scottish Regiment. Wills spent some weeks doing voluntary nursing in a hospital in Cape Town, before she and Margot Hume returned to England, arriving in Plymouth in December. In1915, Wills enrolled at the London (Royal Free Hospital) School of Medicine for Women. Which had a number of students from India, including Jerusha Jhirad, who became the first Indian woman to qualify with a degree in obstetrics and gynecology in 1919.

Wills was awarded the oLicentiate of the Royal College of Physicians London in May 1920 (LRCP Lond 1920), and was also awarded the University of London degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery awarded in December 1920 (MB BS Lond), at age 32 becoming a legally qualified medical practitioner and decided to research and teach in the Department of Pregnant Pathology at the Royal Free. There she worked with Christine Pillman (who later married Ulysses Williams OBE),

Wills left for India in 1928 and began research work on macrocytic anemia in pregnancy. This was prevalent in a severe form among poorer women with dietary deficiencies, particularly those in the textile industry. Dr Margaret Balfour of the Indian Medical Service had asked her to join the Maternal Mortality Inquiry sponsored by the Indian Research Fund Association at the Haffkine Institute in Bombay, now Mumbai. In 1929, she moved her work to the Pasteur Institute of India in Coonoor (where Sir Robert McCarrison was Director of Nutrition Research). In early 1931 she was working at the Caste and Gosha Hospital in Madras, now the Government Kasturba Gandhi Hospital for Women and Children of Chennai. During the summers of 1930-32 she returned to England and continued her work in the pathology laboratories at the Royal Free.By 1933 she was back at the Royal Free full-time.

Between 1937 and 1938 she visited the Haffkine Institute Travelling by an Imperial Airways Short ‘C’ Class Empire flying boat Called the Calypso. Herjourney began at Southampton landing on water for refuelling at Marseilles, Bracciano near Rome, Brindisi, Athens, Alexandria, Tiberias, Habbaniyah to the west of Baghdad, Basra, Bahrain, Dubai, Gwadar and Karachi, with overnight stops at Rome, Alexandria, Basra and Sharjah (just outside Dubai). The five-day flight was the first Imperial Airways flight to go beyond Alexandria. In Bombay Wills was on dining terms with the governors and their wives at Government House – Sir Leslie Wilson in 1928 and Sir Frederick Sykes in 1929. In 1929 she visited Mysuru and met Sir Charles Todhunter, the Governor of Madras and secretary to the Maharaja of Mysuru. Here Wills observed a correlation between the dietary habits of different classes of Bombay women and the likelihood of their becoming anemic during pregnancy. Poor Muslim women were the ones with both the most deficient diets and the greatest susceptibility to anemia (pernicious anemia of pregnancy). However, it differed from true pernicious anemia, as the patients did not have achlorhydria, an inability to produce gastric acid and did not respond to the ‘pure’ liver extracts (vitamin B12) which had been shown to treat true pernicious anemia. It was named Mycrocytic Anaemia and was characterized by enlarged red blood cells which is life-threatening. She postulated another nutritional factor was responsible for this macrocytic anemia other than vitamin B12 deficiency. This was later discovered to be folate, of which the synthetic form is folic acid.

Wills investigated possible nutritional treatments for Anaemia by studying the effects of dietary manipulation on a macrocytic anemia in albino rats at the Nutritional Research Laboratories at the Pasteur Institute of India in Coonoor. Which involved Rats being fed the same diet as Bombay Muslim women. The rat anemia was prevented by the addition of yeast to synthetic diets which had no vitamin B. This work was later duplicated using rhesus monkeys. Back in Bombay, Wills conducted clinical trials on patients with macrocytic anemia and discovered that it could be both prevented and cured by yeast extracts, of which the cheapest source was Marmite. Wills returned to the Royal Free Hospital in London from 1938 until her retirement in 1947. During the Second World War she was a full-time pathologist in the Emergency Medical Service. Work in the pathology department was disrupted for a few days in July 1944 (and a number of people were killed) when the hospital suffered a direct hit from a V1 flying bomb. By the end of the war, she was in charge of pathology at the Royal Free Hospital and had established the first hematology department there. After her retirement, Wills traveled extensively, including to Jamaica, Fiji and South Africa, continuing her observations on nutrition and anemia. Until she sadly passed away in April 16 1964)

Lupus day

Lupus Day takes place annually on 10 May. Lupus is an Autoimmune disease which effects the body’s immune system and mistakenly attacks healthy tissue in many parts of the body. The purpose of Lupus Day is educate people concerning the symptoms, effects and Treatments for Lupus. Symptoms vary between people and may be mild to severe. Common symptoms include painful and swollen joints, fever, chest pain, hair loss, mouth ulcers, swollen lymph nodes, feeling tired, and a red rash which is most commonly on the face. Often there are periods of illness, called flares, and periods of remission during which there are few symptoms.

The cause of SLE is not clear. It is thought to involve genetics together with environmental factors. Among identical twins, if one is affected there is a 24% chance the other one will be as well.Female sex hormones, sunlight, smoking, vitamin D deficiency, and certain infections, are also believed to increase the risk. The mechanism involves an immune response by autoantibodies against a person’s own tissues. These are most commonly anti-nuclear antibodies and they result in inflammation.Diagnosis can be difficult and is based on a combination of symptoms and laboratory tests. There are a number of other kinds of lupus erythematosus including discoid lupus erythematosus, neonatal lupus, and subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus.

There is no cure for SLE. Treatments may include NSAIDs, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, hydroxychloroquine, and methotrexate. Alternative medicine has not been shown to affect the disease. Life expectancy is lower among people with SLE. SLE significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease with this being the most common cause of death. With modern treatment about 80% of those affected survive more than 15 years. Women with lupus have pregnancies that are higher risk but are mostly successful.

The Rate of SLE varies between countries from 20 to 70 per 100,000. Women of childbearing age are affected about nine times more often than men. While it most commonly begins between the ages of 15 and 45, a wide range of ages can be affected. Those of African, Caribbean, and Chinese descent are at higher risk than white people. Rates of disease in the developing world are unclear.Lupus is Latin for “wolf”: the disease was so-named in the 13th century as the rash was thought to appear like a wolf’s bite.

SLE is one of several diseases known as “the great imitator” because it often mimics or is mistaken for other illnesses. SLE is a classical item in differential diagnosis,because SLE symptoms vary widely and come and go unpredictably. Diagnosis can be difficult. Common initial and chronic complaints include fever, malaise, joint pains, muscle pains, and fatigue. However these symptoms are so often seen in association with other diseases, and may indicate other things. While SLE can occur in both males and females, it is found far more often in women, and the symptoms associated with each sex are different. Females tend to have a greater number of relapses, a low white blood cell count, more arthritis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, and psychiatric symptoms. Males tend to have more seizures, kidney disease, serositis (inflammation of tissues lining the lungs and heart), skin problems, and peripheral neuropathy.

As many as 70% of people with lupus have some skin symptoms. The three main categories of lesions are chronic cutaneous (discoid) lupus, subacute cutaneous lupus, and acute cutaneous lupus. People with discoid lupus may exhibit thick, red scaly patches on the skin. Similarly, subacute cutaneous lupus manifests as red, scaly patches of skin but with distinct edges. Acute cutaneous lupus manifests as a rash. Some have the classic malar rash (or butterfly rash) associated with the disease.This rash occurs in 30 to 60% of people with SLE. Hair loss, mouth and nasal ulcers, and lesions on the skin are other possible manifestations.