by Neddy Makonza | NUST, ZW

Have you ever had a sore throat? If the answer is YES, what did you do about it? Did you see a doctor or you just took some lemons or warm water? Strep throat or commonly known as sore throat is caused by group A streptococci bacteria and less commonly by other microbes.

It usually occurs in children and young adults. The infection can recede without treatment. This however has consequences as the years go by as it will lead to development of serious heart diseases. If strep throat is not treated it progresses to rheumatic fever (RF) then to rheumatic heart diseases (RHD) and finally infective endocarditis (IE). These heart diseases have a high mortality especially if discovered late.

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Treating strep throat with antibiotics can prevent rheumatic fever. Moreover, regular antibiotics (usually monthly injections) can pre- vent patients with rheumatic fever from contracting further strep infections and causing progression of valve damage. The global burden of disease caused by rheumatic fever and RHD currently falls disproportionately on children and young adults living in low-income countries like Zimbabwe and is responsible for about 233,000 deaths annually. Symptoms to watch out for risk of getting rheumatic heart disease are:

• A sore throat accompanied by tender, swollen lymph glands (nodes)

• A sore throat without cold symptoms, such as a runny nose

• A red rash that starts at the head and neck, then expands to the trunk and extremities

• Difficulty swallowing anything, including saliva

• Thick or bloody discharge from the nose

• A bright red tongue with bumps all over it, known as strawberry tongue

Acute rheumatic fever primarily affects the heart, joints and central nervous system. The major importance of acute rheumatic fever is its ability to cause fibrosis of heart valves, leading to crippling valvular heart disease, heart failure and death.

At least 15.6 million people are estimated to be currently affected by RHD with a significant number requiring repeated hospitalization. The end stage treatment is open heart surgery which is unaffordable and also unavailable in our country. Overcrowding, poor housing conditions, undernutrition and lack of access to healthcare play a role in the persistence of this disease in developing countries. The decline of rheumatic fever in developed countries is believed to be the result of improved living conditions and availability of antibiotics for treatment of group A streptococcal infection. Rheumatic heart disease and infective endocarditis are diseases that can be pre- vented if the initial causes are eradicated at the time of infection. So let us join together and have rheumatic heart disease free generation by treating sore throats.



“to gain muscle you
need to supply your
body with a suitable
amount of calories..”

by Lance Chigodo – Great Zimbabwe University

Most of the people believe loading extraordinary weighs in workouts and sweating your guts out in the gym is the real challenge and the right track to obtain “super duper” muscle gains or a cute bikini sexy body for summer but the real deal is way beyond that. It is so unbelievable and yet so true that one can get good results with less training or lose that pot- belly with less training. The secret is fighting the real battle which is right under our nose, in the kitchen.

During my experience in the different gyms I have been in most people train hard but they do not give a damn about nutrition. The time one spends in the working can possibly go down the drain when nutrition is ignored. I do not behold the best gains nor do I look very fabulously ripped but after noting that about 80 % of gains are in the kitchen I changed my attitude towards monitoring my nutrition. As a body builder to gain muscle you need to supply your body with a suit- able amount of calories.

The amount of calories you supply your body with should more than the amount of calories you use when working out. Portion sizes at meal time should be well controlled aiming to get 40-60 grams of protein and 40 to 50 grams of carbohydrates depending with your body size. This is meant to avoid fat storage pro- cesses in the body and dietary fats should be as low as possible despite healthy fats such as olive oil, fatty fish and nuts. The main trick here is to gain clean mass and get rid of dirty useless weight. Clean weight also enhances your performance at the gym or in your sporting discipline.

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The essentials in obtaining the body of your dream is adding essential protein supplying foods to your grocery, fruit/vegetables to supply you with vitamins to recover the dam- ages done to the body during training and water should be your best friend. “to gain muscle you need to supply your body with a suitable amount of calories..” Diet control may seem too boring or ex- pensive but it happens to be the real battle to consider fighting. Suitable diet can be obtained without using expensive supplements or protein shakes but adding more healthy food to your menu. An increase of egg whites, white meat, low fat milk, beans/ legumes, lean red meat, brown rice, whole wheat bread, nuts, bananas, apples, oranges and sugar free fruit juice could help you gain enormous gains with- out killing yourself with so much hard , exercises and heavy weights. With a protein to fat ratio of 60:1, egg whites are unquestionably one of the purest forms of protein in the world.

This magnificent muscle-building food also possesses an extremely high biological value. White meats such as chicken and turkey breasts should be a staple in every bodybuilder’s diet. Aside from providing an excellent source of high quality protein, they are also extremely low in saturated and transfats. Fish has an added advantage of essential fatty acids such as omega-3 to help support the muscle-building process. If you are serious about building muscle, you cannot ignore the power of beans and legumes. When people typically think of bodybuilding foods, they immediately refer to various lean meats, but what they do not realize is that the bean is a delicious and highly nutritious source of protein and fiber.

Lean ground beef and cuts of red meat are excellent mass building food sources rich in protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins. Red meats have a high calorie per serving ratio, making it an excellent choice for hard gainers looking to pack on some serious size. You also need a good source of slow-burning carbohydrates to fuel and sustain your muscles. Slow-acting carbohydrates found in foods such as oatmeal and sweet potatoes make the best pre-workout snack. When it comes to muscle builders, the first thing to come to mind is meat but water is essential to everyone. 70% of a human body is water and muscle, tissue cells and ligaments all contain water and most importantly, your life force – blood – is made up substantially of water.



By Senamiso Moyo | Wits University, RSA

We’ve all done it before, not everyone but most of us have, “chill” the entire semester then open certain parts of your textbook for the first time a few days before the exam and do just about enough to pass, maybe even pass well. Repeat this for a few years and you’ll be deemed ready to work in the desired profession. This to me is the first element of a flawed tertiary education system. Tertiary education is expensive, like a lot of things in life people want to see value for money and many would argue that the degree certificate and the opportunities it presents to a graduate are of great value for the thousands of dollars invested by parents and sponsors. The idea is simple, in a perfect world lecturers are meant to prepare thoroughly for each lecture they will deliver and students are meant to attend, sit attentively, take notes and study the material well in advance.

The reality is however this, lecturers regurgitate notes they prepared years ago, then basically proceed to read them out in lectures. Whether the students have understood is not his or her problem, he’ll probably say, “this is university, I expect you to be more attentive”. Well, the second reality is that a lot of the students actually don’t attend lectures and those that do are either day dreaming or outright sleeping, leaving only a few who actually pay attention and take notes. Most of us fall into the day dreaming category, walking into the lecture room only to count down the minutes until we are released. We then let the work pile up, enjoying life before studying frantically two weeks before exams, again not everyone but most. Now I ask, are the thousands of dollars being paid to colleges justified if this is how the system truly functions? Passing can be a talent, you may not attend class, be good at your work or understand it better than the next guy, but if you are blessed with certain qualities such as for example writing fast and a good memory, you’ll pass most of the time.

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Think of the number of times your hand has gone numb in the middle of a sentence in an exam or instances where you have remembered something 5 minutes after the invigilator has said stop, not because you haven’t studied or worked as hard as the other person, but because you lack the qualities required to be good at an exam. When the results come out, you’ll be judged to be inferior to the guy who can’t communicate with others or think imaginatively, but what was able to regurgitate the textbook faster than you. Exams are basically a test to see how much stuff you can learn and then how quickly you can write it down, does this justify the thousands being paid? Many of you will accept the above points as true but will doubt that there is a better way than the “Read in two weeks and regurgitate in two hours” system.

The current system is probably the easiest and most convenient, but it is flawed in that we are obliged to sit alone at desks every year end to prepare for a world where we need to work with other people. The bottom line is that you can’t test a bunch of individuals, with different backgrounds, characteristics and qualities with the same means. It is thus the easiest but not the most effective way of educating youths. A better system would be one where lecturers are attentive to the needs of each individual, (YES every single one of them), they are not paid to simply read out notes that are a couple of years old. The students assessed by task completion with all resources available to them, which encourages more interaction than lectures. Then they will truly be value for money invested in tertiary education.



by Farai Kwesha| @fatsoRai

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It was 4:45pm, and Tatenda might as well have been the only one in the waiting room. The only other person was his father, and as far as Tatenda was concerned, that was as good as no one at all. His father appeared more nervous than he was – he would clasp then unclasp his hands, pace up and down the room, and at ten second intervals check his watch. Tatenda thought he was being overly theatrical, but it amused him and as a consequence also put him at ease. He shook his head as his eyes followed his father across the room. Save for the sound of his father’s heavy breaths, the room was silent.

The silence was quickly broken by the sound of a screeching door being opened, and a young woman walking into the room, evidently dejected. Her eyes glistened – the looming threat of tears apparent, prompting her to walk the rest of the way out face-down. Tatenda gulped loudly as he stared on, and suddenly he was uneasy again. Following behind the young woman, a man walked in and told him his audition was up. Not fully aware how, Tatenda mustered up enough courage to rise from his seat follow the man to the audition room.

This was the day he had been preparing since he was 5 when his parents had invested in a grand piano. His father always told him that as a toddler, Tatenda was always drawn to the piano and would reach out his tiny arms for the keys and start jabbing at them. He remembered this in vivid detail, and his first piano teacher – a grumpy old German woman from his prep school who cracked the whip on him every time he missed a note. He remembered how miserable she made him.

Over the years, his love for piano had only grown stronger, only surpassed by his parents’ love for his piano playing. He was a prodigy. He played at high school showcases, in church, and at family events to rave reviews from those who had the honour of watching him perform. During his high school talent show in his senior year, a recruiter from Juliard had asked him to audition for a scholarship in their music programme, much to his parents’ elation.

And now, here he was. The only thing standing between him and a future in his craft was the door to the audition room. He grasped the door knob tightly, looked at his father’s anxious countenance, then at the door knob again, and finally the floor. “Was this what he really wanted? Did he want to spend the rest of his life playing piano?” All these were complex questions his mind cavorted on with no definitive answer, but the one that followed was a much more determined question. Was playing the piano his dream or his parents’? He began to think deeply. To find the answer to this question he had to reach far beyond the limits of his mind, but he couldn’t. Tatenda looked at his father’s eager face once more, and suddenly it hit him.

He loved piano, he always had, but along the way that love had been tainted by his parents. Although with noble intentions, they had adulterated his love for piano because now he only played as a filial duty – he did it for them.

After this epiphany, Tatenda slowly began to release his hand from the door knob and stepped away from the door. He looked at his father intently and said, “I have to do this for me” and walked out of the room.


NATIONAL University of Science and Technology’s (Nust) former dean of the Communication and Information Science faculty, Lawton Hikwa, has died. He was 50.

Nust spokesperson, Felix Moyo said Hikwa died of a blocked respiratory system at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo yesterday morning.

Dr. Lawton Hikwa
Dr. Lawton Hikwa: Served as the Faculty Dean for Communication and Information Science.

He is said to have complained of chest pains on Saturday evening and was rushed to hospital by his wife.

“As an institution, we have lost a vibrant academic, who contributed immensely to development of tertiary education through his skills and we are saddened by sudden loss,” Moyo said.

He added that Hikwa had just completed his last term as the academic dean in the Faculty of Information Science and Communication.

Hikwa was a lecturer in the Library and Information Science department.

Before joining Nust as a part time lecturer in 1994, Hikwa worked for various organisations including the Rural Libraries Association and the Bulawayo Polytechnic, among others. He served in various selecting committees at Nust and he was the chairperson of the institution’s library committee. He served as part of the senior management in the last years of his deanship.

Burial arrangements will be announced in due course.

Mourners are gathered at Number 6 Ivegill Road in Morningside, Bulawayo. He is survived by wife Didekile and three daughters.

Story Source: Newsday


Nust lecturer Hikwa dies