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Re: News: Study focuses on khat chewing in Yemeni culture

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  • Robert Karl Stonjek
    Video of the girl in question explaining her actions can be found here:
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 23, 2013
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      A Little Girl's Moment Of Courage Captured On Camera Is The Reason We Need To Look After Each Other

      Terrified and fearful for her future, 11-year-old Nada al-Ahdal fled her family in her hometown in Yemen to stay with her uncle nearby. Why? Well, her incredibly gut-wrenching description of her experience— and that of millions of girls across the world —is too powerful for me to try to put into words.

      Look into her eyes and let her explain to you herself. At 1:38, she asks a question that the whole of humanity needs to answer.

      Thankfully, Nada escaped her forced marriage. In a message sent to NOW, Nada addressed every mother and father seeking to marry off their daughters: "I am a child and I want to realize my dreams. My aunt was forced to get married so she burned herself to death, and I saw pictures of her with burns. Let me realize my dream. I want to go to school, become a star, and help other children. I am not thinking about marriage, I don’t want to now. I want to say to fathers and mother, 'let us realize our dreams, do not kill them.'"
       

       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Friday, March 09, 2012 12:27 AM
      Subject: [evol-psych] News: Study focuses on khat chewing in Yemeni culture


      Study focuses on khat chewing in Yemeni culture

      March 7th, 2012 in Addiction

      A new study conducted by Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) researchers shows that a majority of medical students in Yemen believe that chewing the plant khat is harmful to one's health but they would not advise their patients to quit.

      The study, which is published online in the journal Substance Abuse, was done by BUSM class of 2013 students Paul Yi, John Kim and Khalil Hussein. Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, professor of medicine and epidemiology at BUSM and a physician specializing in addiction medicine at Boston Medical Center (BMC), is the paper's senior author.

      Khat use is prevalent in Yemen as well as in parts of Africa and the Middle East. According to a 2008 study published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, approximately 90 percent of men and 73 percent of women in Yemen chew khat daily. The plant's active ingredient is cathinone, an amphetamine-like alkaloid with addictive properties that produces a pleasurable stimulant effect. Research has shown that khat usage plays a role in the development of cardiovascular, oral, hepatic, neurobehavioral and psychiatric illness.

      To investigate the knowledge and attitudes about khat among medical students in Yemen, the researchers traveled to Yemen and conducted a survey of 62 students. A sub-group of those students then participated in a discussion-based seminar and a follow-up survey. While they demonstrated knowledge about the health effects of chewing khat and believed that it was unacceptable for health professionals to chew it, they did not believe that it is the health providers' role to ask about khat chewing habits, nor advise patients to stop chewing it.

      In the paper, the researchers referenced a study published in 2011 by BMC Public Health (Biomed Central) that showed the majority of medical students in more than 48 countries agree that health professionals serve as role models and that they should advise patients to quit smoking cigarettes. "While these results are consistent with our results regarding the students' views of health professionals as role models, they are not consistent with the Yemeni students' attitudes about advising patients to quit chewing khat," said the authors.

      Khat historically has played a major role in Yemeni culture and society, which may explain the Yemeni medical students' conflicting beliefs. The authors conclude that it may be important for Yemeni public health officials to make official statements about the potential harmful effects of chewing khat in order to encourage health professionals to get involved with their patients' chewing habits.

      Provided by Boston University Medical Center

      "Study focuses on khat chewing in Yemeni culture." March 7th, 2012. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-03-focuses-khat-yemeni-culture.html

      Posted by
      Robert Karl Stonjek

    • Don Zimmerman
      ... A new study conducted by Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) researchers shows that a majority of medical students in Yemen believe that chewing
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 23, 2013
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        --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Karl Stonjek" wrote >

        A new study conducted by Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) researchers shows that a majority of medical students in Yemen believe that chewing the plant khat is harmful to one's health but they would not advise their patients to quit.


        DWZ:
        In the middle of the last century, most doctors in the USA were well aware of the fact that smoking causes cancer. Nevertheless, a great many of those doctors were reluctant to advise their patients to stop smoking. That was especially true in tobacco-growing regions of the South. The social forces under which physicians operate in the USA apparently are not unlike those in Yemen.

        I can remember the days when there were heated arguments about whether the association between tobacco and cancer was a causal relationship or just a statistical correlation. It is interesting how opinion in both the medical establishment and among the public at large gradually shifted over the years. The whole process was as lawful and regular as the melting of a block of ice or the cooling of a liter of water under specified conditions of pressure and temperature. If plotted on a graph, the percentages of opinions on the issue probably would reveal a rather smooth curve.

        Think of the controversial issues of today on which views will change tomorrow and exhibit a similar degree of regularity as the educational and communication process unfolds.

        Donald W. Zimmerman
        Vancouver, BC, Canada
        dwzimm@...
        http://www3.telus.net/public/a7a82899
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