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Why firstborn children are more intelligent than their siblings

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The results of the assessments showed that first-born children typically outperformed their younger siblings, even as early as age one.

According to a study recently published in the Journal of Human Resources, first born children tend to be more intelligent than their younger siblings. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh believe this is a result of the first-born child receiving more mental stimulation from parents during early developmental stages of life.

In the study, data from the US Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth on nearly 5,000 children was collected. The children were monitored from pre-birth until they turned 14, and they were assessed every two years.

These assessments ranged in categories, from reading to vocabulary to matching letters. Information concerning environmental factors, such as family background and economic conditions was also collected.

The results of the assessments showed that first-born children typically outperformed their younger siblings, even as early as age one. Though the younger children were receiving the same emotional support as their oldest sibling, researchers found that parents gave their first-born children more support with tasks that develop thinking skills, including reading with the child, crafting and playing musical instruments.

See Also: Six pro-gay cartoon programmes banned by Govt of Kenya

It was also recorded that mothers took higher risks during pregnancies with their second and third children—such as increased smoking. These findings help explain the “birth order effect,” a phenomenon in which the first-born child makes more money and gets a higher education than his or her younger siblings.

Describing the study’s results, Ana Nuevo-Chiquero of the University of Edinburgh School of Economics said that “broad shifts in parental behavior are a plausible explanation for the observed birth order differences in education and labor market outcomes.” (Source: USAtoday.com)

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Business Today is the leading independent online business website in Kenya. Started in 2012 by a veteran business journalist, it has a huge following both in Kenya and abroad. It covers various business and related issues. Email editor at: [email protected]

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Nutrition

Foods that you eat less but still satisfy

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Eating foods high in fibre is healthy but always remember to increase your fluid intake too. High fibre packed foods tend to be low in calories too as it is basically plant based.

Many at times when I attend to clients who want to lose weight, lower their blood sugar levels (diabetic) and lower their risk of heart diseases; I advise them to include fibre rich foods in their meals. I also prepare for them personalised meal plans that include fibre rich foods. The clients see remarkable changes in their health immediately.

You don’t have to do away with other foods in order to have a fibre rich diet; with the help of a Nutritionist you will learn how to incorporate fiber rich foods into your daily life.

To help you understand more about fibre, there are two types, soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre dissolves in water and they can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. While insoluble fibre does not dissolve in water and they promote movement in the digestive system.  Both types are important for digestion and overall health.

Facts about fibre rich foods.

  • The more natural and unprocessed the food, the higher it is in fibre.
  • Good sources of fibre include whole grains, wheat cereals, barley, oatmeal, beans, nuts, vegetables and fruits.
  • There is no fibre in meat, dairy, or sugar. Refined or “white” foods, such as white bread, white rice, and pastries, have had all or most of their fibre removed.
  • An easy way to add more fibre to your diet is to start your day with a whole grain cereal, such as Fibre-One or All-Bran, or by adding unprocessed wheat bran to your favourite cereal.

How fibre can help you lose weight?

Since fibre stays in the stomach longer than other foods, you will keep you full much longer, helping you eat less. Eating plenty of fibre can also move fat through your digestive system at a faster rate so that less of it can be absorbed. And when you fill up on high-fibre foods, you’ll also have more energy for exercising.

SEE ALSO: Effective ways of burning extra fat

Here are tips for you to have a fibre rich diet.

  1. Start your day with high fiber and high protein breakfast.
  2. Replace refined carbohydrates with whole grain carbohydrates.
  3. Add various fruits to your breakfast. Try adding fresh blue berries, raspberries, strawberries or blackberries to your Weetabix morning cereal.
  4. You can add healthy seeds such as flaxseeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and sunflower seeds to your cereals, salads, juices and smoothies.
  5. Consume beans or legumes two to three times a week.
  6. Eat whole fruits instead of juicing your fruits.
  7. Snack on raw vegetables sometimes.
  8. Increase your fluid intake. Fiber works well when it absorbs water.

Good Nutrition is the cornerstone of good health and a high fiber diet is essential for good health. Simple healthy diet changes can increase the amount of fiber in your diet.

Always remember, control your portion intake and drink plenty of water.

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Entertainment

Hunt for new comedians moves to Nairobi

Successful contestants will join those chosen from Mombasa, Nakuru and Kisumu for the knock out stages in the coming weeks

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Maisha Magic 'Ultimate Comic' contestant, Nuru Bakari aka 'Mama Supu' during the show's auditions held at Reef Hotel in Mombasa

Judges Tony Njuguna, Jalang’o and radio host Massawe Japanni are currently on the look-out for fresh new talented stand-up comedians at the Kenya National Theatre (KNT) in Nairobi.

The past three weeks have seen close to 300 hopeful contestants present themselves to the judges to prove that they have what it takes to be the ultimate comic. The contestants, who will be selected in the last round of auditions today (Friday) and tomorrow, will join those chosen from Mombasa, Nakuru and Kisumu for the knock out stages in the coming weeks.

“We are happy with the success we have witnessed so far in the three towns where we have already carried out auditions. We have seen good talent and selected some finalists from each of the regions for the next phase of the competition. The Ultimate Comic show gives comedians an opportunity to showcase their talent even as we give them a platform to build their skills and capacity. At Maisha Magic, we are committed to producing shows that allow us to contribute towards growing our local people and industries,” said Maisha Magic East Head of Channel, Margaret Mathore.

Comedians in Nairobi between the ages of 18 – 50 can take part in the auditions which are being held at the Kenya National theatre between 8am – 6pm.

ALSO SEE: Battles begin in the search for ‘The Ultimate Comic’

Following the auditions, 36 successful comedians from across the country who will be shortlisted will then proceed to the knock out stages and live shows before the grand finale scheduled for March 2018. The Ultimate Comic winner will walk away with a TV contract, one million shillings and a car.

The new comedy reality show Ultimate Comic will start airing exclusively on Maisha Magic East on DStv channel 158 and GOtv channel 4 from November 4, 2017 and consequently every Saturday from 8.30pm.

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Entertainment

Free wedding, holiday up for grabs on Maisha Magic

One lucky couple will also get the wedding of their dreams as Maisha Magic East will once again reward one lucky viewer with an all-expense paid wedding and honeymoon

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Maisha Magic East Channels Head Margaret Gathore joins Gotv General Manager Simon Kariithi in cutting a symbolic wedding cake. Credit: Courtesy

Maisha Magic East’s reality wedding show, Our Perfect Wedding has returned for its second season.
Since October 5, viewers have been viewing  their favourite reality show giving them a chance to walk with couples and experience that drama, excitement and emotional journey that comes with planning a wedding.

One lucky couple will also get the wedding of their dreams as Maisha Magic East will once again reward one lucky viewer with an all-expense paid wedding and honeymoon. During the second season of OPW 26 lucky DStv and GOtv viewers will also win a holiday for two just by watching the show and answering some simple questions.

Speaking during the launch, Maisha Magic East Head of Channel Margaret Mathore said MME remains committed to promoting local content in Kenya. “Weddings are a large part of the Kenyan culture and African culture as a whole. Our Perfect wedding is the only reality drama series that revolves around the whole wedding process that we all love! As you all know, wedding planning comes with its dose of drama as well as entertainment and inspiration. This is what we want to showcase to our audiences,” said Margaret Mathore, Head of Channel Maisha Magic East.

GOtv Kenya General Manager Simon Kariithi reiterated the company’s commitment towards supporting the local industry in Kenya, in return spurring economic growth.

ALSO SEE: Maisha Magic East launches three local music shows on

“MultiChoice is rooted in countries where our customers live and we are very proud of the contribution we are making in our local communities. We have done this through our DStv platforms, that has delivered content that people across the continent for the past 22 years, and GOtv for 6 years. We also strive to offer our viewers the best local content through having Maisha Magic Channels exclusively on both our DStv and GOtv platforms. We realize that our audiences are thirsty for good quality shows and as the entertainment industry grows, we take the opportunity to serve audiences with more of what they want,” said Mr Kariithi.

Season 2 of Our Perfect Wedding promises to give viewers a lot of entertainment coupled with drama that goes into planning “the perfect” wedding. The second season will feature 26 couples instead of 14 couples as was featured in the first season.

The show  airs on on both DStv (158) and GOtv (4) on Maisha Magic East (DStv Channel 158 and GOtv Channel 4) from the 5th of October and consequently every Thursday at 20.00 (EAT).

 

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Health

Meet a woman who uses an artificial heart

Rose Wahu refuses to allow her heart ailment to kill her goals and has studied up to the university, graduating with a Bachelors degree in Applied Biology from Kenya Methodist University

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As she walks, there is something that goes…Tic.toc.tic. This is not the ticking of a watch or clock, it is the faint, barely discernible ticking of Ruth Wahu Ngwaro’s artificial heart valve that gave her a new lease of life, allowing her to lead as normal a life as her precarious heart condition can allow.

Wahu, the second born in a family of three girls, was born in 1989 at the Guru Nanak Hospital in Nairobi. She has three half brothers. In spite of her eventful life, Wahu has little recollection of her life before the age of 11 much of which she has heard about from her mother.

Wahu recalls: “My mum says I was born normal although I had low birth weight. I always had difficulties in breastfeeding due to shortness of breath.”

Wahu fell ill with fever and diarrhea and was transferred from one hospital after another. She finally landed at Guru Nanak Hospital, her place of birth where she was treated and discharged after two weeks.

The cause of Wahu’s continuous shortness of breath was shockingly revealed to her frustrated mother by a nurse who rhetorically asked her: “Kwani hukuambiiwa mtoto wako ako na ugonjwa wa moyo (Were you not informed that your children has a heart ailment?).

The devastating news had initially been relayed to the girl’s father but he could not find a way of telling her mother. Following the disclosure, she was taken to Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital where she was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Catheterisation

“Mum told me that the doctors gave a bleak prognosis about my condition. I was destined to meet my maker any time thereafter,” says Wahu.

However, to the surprise of all concerned, Wahu improved after staying for one week in the ICU and another week in a ward. She was discharged placed under the care of a pediatric cardiologist, Dr H. Aseso.

It was during regular follow-up visits to Dr Aseso’s clinic, now at Kenyatta National Hospital, that four-year-old Wahu was selected through the Heart to Heart Foundation to go to the University of Maryland Medical Hospital in America for specialised treatment.

Catheterisation, which entails the insertion of a catheter into a chamber or vessel of the heart, was conducted to further diagnose her condition and any interventional measures needed. It was here that it was discovered that Wahu had two holes in the heart and one in the mitral valve (the valve that controls blood flow in the heart). Two major open heart surgeries were required to save her life.

Upon returning home in March 1993, she was placed under the care of cardiologist, Dr Betty Gikonyo, the founder of the Heart to Heart Foundation in Kenya and, now the Director of Karen Hospital.

ALSO SEE: How to choose fats that improve your health

“Dr Gikonyo has been so helpful to me.  Four months after my return, my dad died but from then on, Dr Gikonyo waived consultation fees and promised my mum, a house wife then, a job at the Heart to Heart Foundation where she was employed to provide psychosocial support to sick children and their parents for she had a testimony ,” says Wahu.

The visit to Maryland did not completely sort out Wahu’s condition as she would later learn that the hole in the mitral valve had not been repaired. She was ever fragile and had a slow growth rate as a result.

“In 2001, when I was 11 years, I started experiencing pain on the left side of my chest. Investigations revealed that I had a growth in the aortic valve. One valve had a hole, the other had a growth,” says Wahu.

“My mother was given month off to go and raise Ksh 650,000 needed for the hospital bill and air ticket to urgently repair  my mitral valve and my aortic valve,” she adds. Sadly, only half of the required amount was raised.

Crucial operation

But as life would have it, lady luck smiled on her when in the process of fundraising, officials of a charity, Children Heart Link, happened to be in Kenya. They offered to pay for her operation at the Nairobi Hospital. “I had been meeting these people during their yearly visits to Kenya and when they discovered that I had been on the list of those awaiting surgery, they offered to underwrite the costs of the operation that was eventually done by Dr John Kariuki of Nairobi Hospital,” she says.

Her updated medical report was provided to Dr Kariuki by Dr Naomi Gachara. But Wahu says she was very ready for the operation because now, for the first time in her life, it would be life changing.

“The chest pains had remained in spite of the drugs. I was happy that finally, the pains would be gone and I would be able to do normal activities like other children,” says Wahu, adding that her focus was on the post-operation image.

During the crucial operation, Wahu’s fragile mitral valve was replaced with an artificial one, which announces its presence by a discernible tic-toc-tic sound.

When she woke up in the ICU, she found machines blinking and beeping. She was struggling even to open her eyes because she felt dizzy and uncomfortable.

“You have pipes in the mouth, nostrils and on the torso. When I recovered, I discovered that I have two depressions near my stomach. I was told they were cut to put a pacemaker to help the heart in its function after the operation,” says Wahu.

She was at the ICU for four to five days on painkillers throughout. “When the power of the pain killers would subside, ile nduru utapiga, nurse anakuja mbio (Your screams alone would the nurse comes in a hurry),” says Wahu.

Then there were the chest exercises conducted by physiotherapists. “They would place a pillow on one’s chest and ask you to cough. This is to dislodge some mucus discharge,” she says.

Wahu says patients who have undergone surgery should be kept in seclusion to protect them from post-surgery infections. “When patients come out of a major operation, everyone is excited to see him or her. It is easy for them to pick infections,” she notes.

After the operation, Wahu was able to play with children her age although some of them still considered her to be fragile.

Though Wahu’s education was affected by prolonged ill health, she managed to successfully attend various schools. She sat for her KCPE exam at Gateway Primary school in Githunguri in 2004 and later KCSE at StephJoy in 2009.

Determined to make a difference in society, Wahu enrolled at the Kenya Methodist University and pursued a degree in Applied Biology with a major in Microbiology. “I studied Microbiology because it is research-oriented and I wanted to make a difference in the field of research,” she says. Wahu did internship for three months at the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) in 2014.

Youth advocate

After graduating, she felt the need to start an organisation that would bring together people who had undergone or were waiting to undergo heart surgery and shared the idea with her pediatric cardiologist Dr Naomi Gachara whom she had been frequently seeing on her follow ups clinics.

“I had developed such a wonderful mother-daughter relationship with her. She could offer me support whenever I was in need,” says Wahu, adding that Dr Gachara connected her with Jackie Mbugua, who was also her patient. “I contacted a colleague of my mother during her stint at Heart to Heart Foundation, Mr Samuel Keter Sang, also a heart patient.”

READ: 10 ways to control high blood pressure without medication

Through the trio’s efforts, the Kenya Mended Hearts Patients Association (KMPHA) was birthed and registered in May 2017. She is also a youth advocate lobbying for people living with Non-communicable diseases together with National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK).

Wahu is currently seeing Dr Bernard M. Gitura, an adult cardiologist at Kenyatta National Hospital. “For a cardiac patient, you must always consult your cardiologist; you can’t just buy drugs over the counter because you don’t know how they will interact with the prescribed medicine you are on,” says Wahu, who continuously thanks God and well-wishers for her life.

Dr Gitura started seeing Wahu three years ago when her heart started misbehaving because of another  medical condition. “I started seeing Wahu three years ago. When I saw her, she was almost going into heart failure. Her heart had fast, irregular beats,” says Gitura.

Rose-Wahu-300x199 Meet a woman who uses an artificial heart

Kenya News Agency reporter Esther Mbuthia (right) listens to the tic ticking sound of Ruth Wahu Ngwaro’s heart at the Department of Information headquarters at Uchumi House, Nairobi during the interview. She had three holes in the heart and has an artificial Mistral Valve. Credit: KNA

Gitura, who is also the President of the Kenya Cardiac Society, says: “The medical condition she presented then needed the attention of a cardiologist for adults and we were able to assist her by changing her medication,” says Gitura, adding that Wahu is currently in stable condition.

“Personally, I’m on anticoagulants – blood thinners – because I have an artificial valve,” says Wahu. “My mitral valve was taken out and the one I have is an artificial one. You can even hear it tic ticking like a watch,” she says as she moves her chest near this writer’s ears.

She says that when she does something strenuous like running, it will only beat faster like for that of a normal hearted person. “I’ve participated in the Kenya Cardiac’s Societies’ walks on World Heart Day and I also did the same on Friday, September 29,” she says.

READ: What to do when you can’t pay cash owed to a friend

Wahu laments that medicines for heart illnesses are quite expensive and are not covered by insurance companies. Even the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) does not take care of the medicines.

“Every cardiac patient is unique and so the medications are all patient-specific. There are some patients who are not on medication after surgery while other patients whose conditions are too severe for even an open heart operation to be performed on them will depend on drugs for the rest of their lives,” says Wahu.

KMHPA has about 145 members who include heart patients and guardians of children with heart complications, and is an affiliate member of the Kenya Cardiac Society (KCS).

Their mission is to advocate, educate and create awareness while giving hope to the patients, their families, friends and supporters. The co-founders and members are all supportive of one another. They can be reached through mobile number 0731010734 or email address: [email protected].

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