WHO priorities 2019

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced a number of issues that will demand its attention during the course of this year. Many will not come as a surprise to readers but others might.


Air-pollution and climate change.

9/10 people breath in polluted air every day and air-pollution Is considered by WHO as the greatest environmental risk to health. Encouraging world leaders to take the climate change issue seriously when self-interest is also an issue continues to be a challenge.


Non-communicable diseases.

These are responsible for over 70% of all deaths worldwide and include illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Over 85% of these premature deaths are in the low to middle income countries and the rise of these diseases has been driven by five major risk factors. These are tobacco, sedentary lifestyle, alcohol, diet and pollution. All of which have been highlighted on this blog and we will continue to do so.


Global flu pandemic.

Every year the world faces a flu pandemic. We don’t know when or where it will hit but we know that it will hit hard somewhere in the world. Flu vaccines are constantly being developed to protect people from seasonal flu because there are many different strains, and combinations of flu strains and research is an ongoing need.


Fragile and vulnerable settings.

Many of the poorest countries in the world will suffer drought, famine, conflict, and population displacement. They have weak health services which leave them without access to basic care. WHO continue to be active in these areas.


Antimicrobial resistance.

The overuse of antibiotics in both people and animals – especially those used for food production, is creating drug resistance within the population. Taken to its extreme, the inability to prevent infections could seriously compromise surgery as well as procedures such as chemotherapy.


Ebola and other threats.

Ebola continues to be a threat and 2018 saw two separate outbreaks. WHO has designated 2019 as a “year of action on preparing this for health emergencies“.


Weak primary healthcare.

Primary healthcare is usually the first point of contact people have with the health care system and ideally should provide comprehensive affordable community-based care throughout life.


Many countries do not have such adequate primary healthcare facilities and WHO will work with partners to strengthen primary healthcare in such countries during 2019.


Vaccine hesitancy.

Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease and it currently prevents between 2m and 3m deaths a year. However, measles has seen a 30% increase in cases globally due to vaccine hesitancy which, if such attitudes develop, could see the return of diseases that were long thought to be under control.


These 8 issues will keep a very busy and important organisation occupied in 2019 directing and coordinating health work where it is most needed on an international stage.

Mayfair, we care.



Some 21st Century phobias.

As the famous saying goes, there's nothing to fear but fear itself. However, while this may have applied many decades ago, it is quite a different case in the modern age.

People now have all sorts of fears and phobias that range from the weird to outright crazy. The following are some of the common 21st-century fears:  


This is the fear of being without your smartphone or being unable to use it for reasons such as low battery or poor signal strength. Most people today spend most of their awake time looking at their phones scrolling through posts on social media and replying to texts. While phones are a great invention, they have created a world where people cannot imagine life without mobile phones.  


This is the fear of forgetting a password. Given the hundreds of passwords we're forced to remember, a growing number of people are feeling phobic about forgetting an important password.

Luckily, they have made it considerably easy to remember passwords and recover them when lost. But still, there's always the chance that you lose one forever.   


This is the fear of Facebook. Facebook is the largest and one of the oldest social media platforms with over 2 billion worldwide monthly users. However, there are a small fraction of people who are afraid of Facebook and will never risk opening an account or even opening the website.   


This is the irrational fear of texting. According to a study by Experian, the average 18 - 24-year-old smartphone owner sends more than 2,000 texts and receives about 1,800 texts. Looking at these statistics, it's clear why texting can become so overwhelming for some people to the point that they fear it.


This is the fear of joining the slowest line. We've all been there; you go to the store, banking hall, or DMV and find a bunch of queues leading up to the service you seek. They may look the same but deep down you know one of them will be the slowest one. Some people really fear that.   


This is the fear of opinions. In our modern world of social media, it's easy for people to share their opinions about various aspects about your life especially if you are one of those people who share everything about their lives on social media. Some of the opinions expressed may not be too kind, and some people are afraid of such opinions.   


This is the fear of travel, particularly in the modern means of travel such as autonomous vehicles. The fear of riding in modern vehicles is called amaxophobia or Ochophobia. A lot of people are also afraid of flying especially with recent reports of modern Boeing airplanes taking a nosedive recently. This fear of flying is called pteromerhanophobia or aerophobia.   

There are many more fears people keep coming up with, but if you want to live a happy life, you can't let such fears weigh you down or prevent you from having fun.

So tell us, what weird fear do you have?

Remember. Mayfair, we care.

Workplace bullying and its influence on morale

Often, when we think, read or talk about bullying, a teenager or an elementary school child is involved. Many people think of bullying in the lines of "give me your lunch money" or “do my homework" statements.

Unfortunately, there is another prevalent form of bullying which is on the rise and few people are willing to talk about it – bullying in the workplace.   

There is no legal definition of workplace bullying but the many people confuse it with other common vices such as harassment, micro-management or discrimination.

However, bullying can be described as repetitive unfair treatment of an individual by his/her boss, employer, colleague or a group of colleagues at the workplace. Workplace bullying affects the victim and the organization in unimaginable ways. But before we delve into the effects or workplace bullying, we first need to understand the forms in which it manifests;    

What is workplace bullying?  

Bullying can be as basic being isolated from team duties, copied emails or withdrawing information that would otherwise be helpful in performing one's duties.

It could also be physical whereby, an employee is pushed, grabbed or hit by someone at the workplace. Hurling insults, making derogatory comments, 'whispering' behind the victim's back as well as issuing threats such as "I can get yout fired" are other common forms of bullying.

Sometimes corporate bullies intertwine their actions with discrimination in the case where gender, sexual orientation or race is involved. For instance, in a 2015 report by YouGov, Asians and other minority races were more likely to experience some form of bullying disguised as discrimination.

The report also revealed that women were more likely to be victimised than men, but female co-workers and bosses were reportedly biased towards fellow women.    

Effects of corporate bullying on the victim 

Bullying has a lot of negative effects on both the victim and the organisation - the most common effect being on company and team morale. The victim will feel less interested and motivated to go to work and over time, their self-esteem will be deeply wounded.

Often, victims end up being retrenched due to under-performance or stagnation, which is an indirect result of declining morale.    In extreme cases, victims could develop mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. This in return could lead to suicidal thoughts or hospitalisation and an inability to work.      

Effects on the organisation?  

The organisation may not be affected by bullying in the short term but eventually, repeated cases of bullying take their toll colleagues which in turn will creep through the entire organization.

First, colleagues may feel threatened. This affects their morale and productivity.

Second, an organisation's turnover rate is likely to rise as employees take the decision to move away from a toxic working environment. 

Lastly, if a victim decides to take legal action against the bullies, an organisation's image and reputation could suffer immensely. If such cases attract the public interest, people may boycott the organization's products and services. In addition, it may be difficult to attract and retain good talent in future.      

What can be done about workplace bullying? 

There are no notable policies or laws governing how to tackle workplace bullying. This, however, does not mean that bullies should get away with their actions. To resolve this issue, both the victim and the organisation need to take action. 

First, the victim should keep record of all instances of bullying. These will serve as evidence, if they decide to take legal action, either through a lawyer or their trade union.

Second, the victim should discuss their plight with the human resource personnel to establish whether there are policies that touch on their situation. If HR lacks a suitable solution, industrial courts can resolve such issues but at a cost.

Lastly, if their mental or physical health is affected, it is advisable to seek medical attention and counselling.   

The organisation's management, on the other hand, can take measures such as educating all employees, from the top down, about corporate bullying and its consequences. In addition, every organisation should put in place policies that deal with bullying effectively.      

In a nutshell, corporate bullies don't disappear after senior school.

They proceed to colleges and universities and some will become bosses. The fact that people are not willing to talk about bullying at the workplace doesn't change the reality. There is an imminent need to tackle the issue, not just at a personal or organizational level but on a legal or national scale. If people can deal with harassment and discrimination, then there is room to deal with workplace bullying.      

Remember Mayfair, we care.


https://www.forbes.com/sites/pragyaagarwaleurope/2018/07/29/workplace-bullying-here-is-why-we-need-to-talk-about-bullying-in-the-work-place/#6c39fed23259  https://www.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/2013/07/On-line-Catalogue216953.pdf


Are protein supplements all that they seem to be?


Protein is big business, in fact protein powders and amino acid supplements are worth billions of dollars worldwide, and this figure increases year on year.


But are the affects all positive? We take a look.


Myth no. 1

The more protein you eat, the more muscle you will build.

This is the widely held belief that additional protein will build additional muscle – either through meat or supplements. Professor Thomas Sanders of Kings College London says, “this simply isn’t true, there are some quite nice trials which now shows that giving people extra protein doesn’t actually increase muscle mass, what builds up muscle is exercise and load-bearing and the body has ways of conserving its existing protein to do that“.


Myth no. 2

Protein supplements are a great way to meet your protein needs.

We get protein in our normal diet. It is found in meat, fish, eggs and dairy food, as well as vegetables such as legumes, grains, nuts and seeds. Many people consume double the amount of recommended intake of protein every day, and when you rely on supplements for protein you may miss out on all the other nutrients that natural foods contain such as iron, zinc, calcium and omega 3 fatty acids.


Snacking on protein food during the course of the day is a good way to spread out your protein intake. Snacks such as vegetables fruit or a handful of nuts to graze on are good options to a protein supplement.


Myth no. 3

There is no harm in protein powder.

 This largely depends on how much protein powder you’re taking. Up to 2 to 3 g/ kilo of body weight per day doesn’t appear to carry any health risks, but you should be more careful if considering protein intake that go beyond this acceptable level.


Any surplus amino acids you are taking get broken down and excreted, while any protein your body doesn’t need is usually stored as fat. This can lead to weight gain over time.


Other potential risks of excessive protein include constipation, dehydration, calcium loss and kidney damage. Additionally, several large observational studies have linked high-protein diets with an increased incidence of cancer, heart disease and other diseases.



In conclusion, experts on their urging caution claiming that protein powders and supplements are relatively new trend and we really don’t know the long-term effects.


With this in mind, research would appear to be a wise course of action as well as consultation with your doctor if you have any doubt.


Remember Mayfair, we care.