The ninth episode of the Vodafone Healthline Series explored the origin of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
Medical Practitioners admitted that even though researchers have linked HIV to the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) in primates, they have not established if it was transferred through sexual intercourse.
“Somewhere in Congo, apes were used for food, so that is where scientists have drawn the causal link. If you killed a monkey with the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus and came into contact with its body fluids, you would put yourself at risk. I cannot speak about the sex part, but HIV is a mutated form of SIV,” Dr Kweku Yalley explained.
The episode also featured the story of Akosua Sarfoa, a girl with deformed hands and legs in Kwaman, a town in the Ashanti Region.
Akosua initially went through surgery to fix her deformed legs. However, her family was too cash-strapped to pay for surgery to fix her hands. Therefore, Vodafone’s help came in handy for Akosua, her mother, and grandmother. They expressed their appreciation, saying, “When Vodafone came and said they wanted to help restore my child’s ailing hands, I was very happy.”
A clinician, Dr Innocent Adzamli, also shed more light on rheumatic heart diseases during the show. He explained that those diseases are usually caused by rheumatic fever, which can consequently damage valves in the heart.
He explained that symptoms of rheumatic heart disease include fever, high body temperature, among others.
“You will have pains, and it may be followed by fever and, usually, high body temperature. You may also experience swellings around your legs, hands, and toes.”