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Julian Omidi on the Condition of Children in Sierra Leone

Julian Omidi discusses the plight of children in Sierra Leone. Julian Omidi illuminates the state of these children’s lives and what one nonprofit is doing to help these children.

While exploitation of children occurs in many developing countries, one of the most noticeable places where child exploitation occurs is in the country of Sierra Leone. According to Afrol news, approximately three-quarters of children in Sierra Leone are involved with work with the majority of young boys in the country working in mines and many young girls caught up in the sex trade.

Statistics put the proportion of children ages 5 to 14 participating in work (including working for family business and on family farms) at 71.6%. As a result of so many of the nation’s children being employed in one way or another attendance at schools is limited, resulting in decreased levels of education across the nation. While attendance in primary school education is legally required by Sierra Leone for 6 years, with an additional 3 years of secondary school required, attendance rates for primary school average at about 63% between boys and girls, and secondary school attendance is 31% for males and 35% for females.

This is why the work of the Raining Season is so important. The Raining Season was formed after the struggles endured by Erica Stone to adopt a suffering child from Sierra Leone. Stone spent 3 years attempting to find and adopt a young child she had seen on a website dedicated to finding homes for orphaned children. In 2008 Stone along with her husband formed the Raining Season to help “protect the family unit, in order to help control the number of children abandoned.”

For this reason my brother Michael Omidi and I are proud to provide our support to the Raining Season organization. In a country with more than 70% of its citizens living below the poverty line, the Raining Season is fighting an uphill battle, but one that we know with our support, and yours as well, it is a battle that we can win.

Please join the Omidi Brothers in our support of this amazing organization and assist children in Sierra Leone achieve an education, a safe place to sleep, food in their mouths, and the opportunity for a better life today.

Sources:

“Afrol News – Child Labour Affects 72% of Sierra Leone’s Children.” AfrolNews.com. AfrolNews, 09 Feb. 2005. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. <http://www.afrol.com/articles/15568&gt;.

“At a Glance: Sierra Leone.” UNICEF.com. UNICEF, n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. <http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/sierraleone_statistics.html&gt;.

“Education in Sierra Leone.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Nov. 2012. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Sierra_Leone&gt;.Image

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Omidi Brothers’ Julian Omidi on New ADHD Findings

In this article, philanthropist Julian Omidi discusses the recent study concerning children with ADHD, and their lives as adults. Julian Omidi is cofounder of No More Poverty with his brother, Dr. Michael Omidi, MD.

An article recently posted on Reuters and ABC.com reported that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) tend to fare worse as adults than their non-ADHD peers. In the longest research study ever performed on ADHD, it was determined that ADHD adults have higher incidents of arrest, divorce and drug abuse, tended to earn lower salaries and were less likely to have earned higher degrees[1].

The study began on 300 boys in the late 1970’s.  Half of the boys were diagnosed as being “hyperactive,” and had been given medications which were discontinued by the parents prior to being selected for the study.  The other half did not have any recorded behavioral problems.  After 33 years of following all of the participants, the results were surprising. 36% of the ADHD participants had been to prison at least once, compared to 11% of the non-ADHD group. The average salary was $40,000 less than the non-ADHD group, and 16% of the ADHD group had been diagnosed with a personality disorder, whereas none of the non-ADHD group had[2].

The study does have its detractors, however. The ADHD subjects were chosen before they reached their teens, while the non-ADHD group was selected at the age of 18, and only after they had been proven to never have been subject to behavioral problems. According to Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News chief health and medical editor, the selection process of the non-ADHD group would have eliminated adolescents with low IQ, learning disabilities, victims of abuse or any kind of social personality disorder. This pool doesn’t form an accurate comparison between children with and without ADHD, and might make the results seem more alarming than they would have had the entire selection process taken place at the same age.

Although opinions may differ with regard to the accuracy of the study, it is still believed that children who exhibit symptoms of ADHD should receive treatment; either behavioral or medical, in order to curb risky behavioral impulses and help them to remain engaged in school. Another study, the results of which were released October 15, asked children with ADHD who were taking medications how those medications made them feel.  Many of the subjects reported that their medications helped them feel better and make healthy decisions.  This study was the first of its kind to actually ask kids about their experiences with behavioral medications. The study received its funding from the medical charity Welcome Trust[3].

It is estimated that between 5 and 10 percent of children and adolescents suffer from ADHD.


[1] Joelving, Frederik: Kids With ADHD Have Dimmer Prospects as Adults: Study Says October 15, 2012 reuters.com http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/15/usa-adhd-idUSL1E8LFMOW20121015

[2] Salahi, Lara: Discontinued Treatment of ADHD Could Impact Emotional, Social Well Being, Study Finds October 16, 2012 ABCnews.go.com http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/boys-suffer-negative-effects-adhd-left-untreated/story?id=17483707#.UH8jUq5c6E4

[3] Kelland, Kate; Reuters: Children With ADHD Say Stimulant Drugs Help Them October 15, 2012 washingtonpost.com http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/children-with-adhd-say-stimulant-drugs-help-them/2012/10/15/df95543c-16cd-11e2-8792-cf5305eddf60_story.html

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Julian Omidi Discusses Tuberculosis and Poverty

Omidi Brothers Michael and Julian Omidi work through their not-for-profit agency No More Poverty to combat poverty related issues. A common illness among the impoverished, Julian Omidi discusses tuberculosis and how the “sunshine vitamin” may aid in patient recovery from TB.

The impoverished are not only more susceptible to the spread of tuberculosis but also to fatality as a result of contracting of the bacterial infection. Most active cases of tuberculosis occur in developing countries. When left untreated TB can kill as many as half of its victims resulting in an annual death rate from the disease of over 2 million people.

In 2010 tuberculosis was contracted by almost 9 million individuals and resulted in almost 1 1/2 million deaths, with 95% of these cases reported in “low and middle-income countries.” This is partly due to the lack of access and affordability of antibiotics that treat the illness. Now there is evidence that suggests when coupled with antibiotics, vitamin D can help to treat tuberculosis quicker and decrease the period during which the infection may spread to others.

An article published by CBS News cited a study that was performed by researchers at Queen Mary at the University of London. Heliotherapy (essentially prescribed sunbathing) used to be used to treat tuberculosis before the advent and implementation of antibiotic treatment and it somewhat worked, which led the researchers to explore this treatment when coupled with antibiotics.

Hopefully the use of Vitamin D will help those in impoverished countries reduce the amount of time that they are infectious and help to reduce the amount of inflammation and damage caused by that inflammation to the lungs. An added benefit may be that patients won’t have to be on antibiotics for as long, thus reducing costs, but this remains to be seen.

Tuberculosis is just one of many health and well-being issues faced by those suffering from poverty. The impoverished need your help to receive not only treatments and antibiotics but simple necessities like clean drinking water, shelter, and food. Please join my brother Michael Omidi and I in the fight against poverty by visiting No More Poverty today.

Sources:

Castillo, Michelle. “”Sunshine” Vitamin May Aid in Treatment of Tuberculosis.”CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 04 Sept. 2012. Web. 04 Sept. 2012. <http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57505548-10391704/sunshine-vitamin-may-aid-in-treatment-of-tuberculosis/&gt;.

http://www.medicineinneed.org/diseases-of-poverty-tuberculosis.html

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