By David Njagi
The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tournament taking place in South Africa has in the view of sociologists presented an opportunity through which Kenyans can fortify the family and society institutions.
Media reports indicate that incidents of frenzied reactions are already manifest in parts of the country, as football fans celebrate and demand better performance from the teams featuring in the tournament. This, warns sports psychologists, could lead to high levels of anxiety and stress.
Studies conducted by American psychologist, Albert Ellis, indicate that lack of control over a situation could lead to heightened levels of anxiety, a situation that could interfere with the body’s chemical balance.
In most instances, says Dr. Ellis, this could have one complain of being stressed or experiencing sporadic health conditions such as stomach pains and headaches.
However, Dr. William Mwatu, the medical and regulatory affairs director at the GSK East Africa Office, says causes of pain in the body are varied, although those associated with tissue damage and injury are more common than those arising from internal body imbalances.
According to Dr. Mwatu, pain management is emerging as an important area of medical practice, due to the growing incidences of complications arising out of abuse of prescription drugs, but is hopeful that with increased awareness, Kenyans can understand how to relieve pain in a healthy and safe way.
He for instance insists on the use of paracetamol based therapy to manage pain due to its superior safety profile, compared to some analgesics that reportedly cause ulcers and internal bleeding.
“One of the reasons that makes paracetamol safe is that it does not interfere with a body enzyme that influences the production of acid in the stomach compared to other pain killers that release chemical agents which induce gastric bleeding,” says Dr. Mwatu. “It is also safe for use by people who are asthmatic.”