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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet


Little Boy Lost for 6 Days in Harsh Kenyan Wilderness is Rescued: ‘An Amazing Moment’

Ayub is rescued by his uncle – credit Roan Carr-Hartley

Kenya’s vast Tsavo East National Park is no place for the solitary. It’s easy to get lost in the dense bush, a fact 4-year-old Ayub from the Asa community will remember for the rest of his life.

The boy faced a terrifying ordeal, lost for 6 days amid a territory 66% larger than Yellowstone, and populated by killers like elephants, buffalo, and rhinos.

But this story of survival had a happy ending thanks to the help of two Kenyan-British pilots: The Carr-Harleys—Roan and Taru.

“When I was flying around, I saw lots of hyenas, jackals, and it was pouring with rain,” Roan Carr-Hartley, a helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft pilot who works with his brother at Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, told CBS News about the rescue efforts.

“It’s such a harsh and unforgiving environment for a tiny boy, there’s nothing or no one there. And so you start worrying and fearing the worst, you feel so hopeless.”

Ayub went missing from his village during a storm. The community chief had phoned the Carr-Hartleys asking for help because he and some other villagers were already tracking the boy’s footprints.

They searched for days with no luck, until on the 6th, Roan got a call from the chief saying they had picked up fresh tracks about 15 kilometers north of their village, and shortly after arriving in the area, Roan spotted Ayub under his left wing, describing him as this “tiny guy in the middle of nowhere” who was weak and stumbling.

Coordinating with the searchers on the ground, it was Ayub’s uncle who got to him first, picking him up and swinging him in the air.

Roan explained that it’s tradition in Asa culture to chant songs of gratitude on a walk back to the village.

“When his mother saw him, she just burst into tears. She couldn’t believe it. She was totally in hysterics,” Roan said. “He also reunited with his dad and the rest of his family. It was an amazing moment. Doctors arrived, we administered first aid, replenished his electrolytes, and tested him for malaria.”

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While Roan and his brother Taru normally are looking for humans with malintent (poachers) and rescue four-legged members of the Tsavo East community (elephants), Ayub is not the first person they’ve rescued this year.

GNN reported on a Sheldrick Wildlife Trust release in May when the brothers piloted their helicopter to the rescue of a tanker truck driver who had been stranded on a flooded road section.

Dwarfed by the angry river, the tanker had flipped onto its side, and the driver, James Rufus Kinyua, had climbed out of the cab and was lying on the door. Slowly, the pilot lowered the helicopter closer and closer to the tanker where the driver sat crouched in the swirling winds from both the flooding and the rotors.

Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

MORE KENYA STORIES: Anti-Poaching Helicopter Attempts Daring Rescue Inches Above Swirling Floodwaters–WATCH

“I was told he had been there since 10 am, in extreme fear I am sure,” Taru Carr-Hartley told Nation Africa. “He was hanging half out of the window, lying on top of the truck, and I could see the windscreen was smashed and the whole cabin was filled with water.”

All in a day’s work for the Carr-Hartleys, born as the third generation of British-Kenyans who work in wildlife conservation and biology in the East African nation.

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Mocha brings high humidity, heat-related illnesses for coastal Odisha residents

The streets of Berhampur in southern Odisha wear a deserted look due to high heat. Photo: Hrusikesh Mohanty The streets of Berhampur in southern Odisha wear a deserted look due to high heat. Photo: Hrusikesh Mohanty

Cyclone Mocha formed on May 11, 2023 in the Bay of Bengal and is likely to move towards Bangladesh and Myanmar. Even though India may not be directly affected by the cyclonic storm, parts of Odisha and other coastal states are feeling the heightened effect of heat because of high humidity levels. 

Coastal area residents reported hot and uncomfortable weather for the last four to five days and many have been struck by heat-related illnesses as well. 

This is likely due to the heat index — which is what the temperature feels like to the human body when humidity is factored in along with the air temperature. This has important considerations for the human body’s comfort. 

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Chatrapur, the headquarter town of the coastal Ganjam district, is recording a maximum day temperature of around 38 degrees Celsius. This is 3-4°C less than the temperatures of the state’s western towns like Jharsuguda, Boudha, Sambalpur and Bolangir, that are facing temperatures of 40°C. 

However, Chatrapur’s relative humidity is pegged at 70 to 80 per cent due to Mocha, which is centred in the Bay of Bengal, about 1,500 kilometres from the Odisha town. The town residents reported hot and uncomfortable weather for the last four to five days. 

On May 10, at least 15 areas — mostly the towns in the western part of Odisha — recorded temperatures above 40°C. Jharsuguda recorded the highest 42.9°C.

While scorching summers are not uncommon in Ganjam and some other parts of Odisha’s coastal districts in May, what is different this time is the lack of thunder and rain. 

Usually, sultry mornings give way to an evening of thunderstorms, which gives respite from the heat, said environmentalist Sudhir Rout, who is also the director of Aryabhatta Foundation.

“This year, people of the coastal districts are reeling under discomfort with hot temperatures, showing us the real climate impact,” said Rout.

Uma Shankar Das, a senior scientist of India Meteorological Department’s Bhubaneswar centre, attributed the phenomenon to the increase in the heat index. 

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The heat index, also known as the apparent temperature, has important considerations for the human body’s comfort, said Sarat Sahu, a senior weather scientist.

Along with Odisha, parts of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and West Bengal are also facing sultry weather, as a lot of moisture is arriving with low-level winds from the Bay of Bengal.

Doctors said heat-related illnesses like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat rashes or prickly heat skin disease would spurt if the situation prevails. 

“Though the chances of heat stroke are very low due to the presence of moisture, heat cramps and heat exhaustion occur when the body gets depleted of sodium, potassium and water,” said Uma Shankar Mishra, a medicine specialist. 

A number of prickly heat cases were reported from the coastal belt of Odisha during summer, said dermatologist Mana Govind Srichandan. Heat rash is an itchy skin irritation caused by a blockage and inflammation of sweat caused due to heat and high humidity. 

“Several such cases were reported from Bhubaneswar, Puri and other coastal belts this year,” Srichandan said. 

Many cases of heat-related illness are being reported, but none of heat stroke, said Suchitra Das, superintendent for government-run MKCG Medical College and Hospital, Berhampur. “We have set up a separate ward for heat stroke patients, but not a single patient has been admitted,” she said. 

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People are careful not to catch a heat stroke as governments frequently issue warnings for it, said Mishra. But the residents are not forwarned of heat-related illnesses.

“If the IMD issues a heat index along with its daily bulletin, the people will be more cautious and take preventive measures,” he said.

Das said the IMD is working on issuing a heat index for the entire country from next summer. The IMD uses a formula from the United States federal agency National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to calculate the heat index in some cities experimentally at present. 

However, the heat index is yet to be validated for Indian conditions and uses the comfort levels of weather experienced by Americans in their regions.

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First of its Kind Brain Surgery on Baby Inside the Womb has Successfully Prevented Heart Failure


Brain surgery has been performed on a baby still inside the womb in order to fix potentially deadly damage to vessels and saved the infant from suffering heart failure or stroke after birth.

It was the first treated patient in a clinical trial that is underway at Boston Children’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, performed with oversight from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Fetuses with the rare pre-natal condition known as Vein of Galen malformation (VOGM) have arteries carrying high-pressure blood that are connected to one of the main veins deep at the base of the brain. In normal fetal development, they should link to smaller capillaries, thus slowing the flow and delivering oxygen to surrounding tissue.

The U.S. team used ultrasound to carry out the successful procedure for a woman who was 34 weeks pregnant.

The unnamed child was delivered two days later during a normal birth after her labor was induced, due to broken membrane. The child was kept in the neonatal intensive care unit for several weeks, but mother and baby are now together at home.

“In our first treated case, we were thrilled to see that the aggressive decline usually seen after birth simply did not appear,” said lead author Professor Darren Orbach of Boston Children’s Hospital.

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Repeated echocardiograms after birth displayed marked improvement in cardiac output. Scans showed normal heart and brain function.

“We are pleased to report that at six weeks, the infant is progressing remarkably well, on no medications, eating normally, gaining weight and is back home,” said Dr. Orbach in a statement.

“There are no signs of any negative effects on the brain.”

Experts described the method and outcome as “pioneering” in Stroke, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Stroke Association. The premature newborn did not require any cardiovascular support or surgery following the treatment. It had a normal neurological exam and showed no strokes, no fluid buildup, and no hemorrhage on brain MRI scans.

“This approach has the potential to mark a paradigm shift in managing Vein of Galen malformation where we repair the malformation prior to birth and head off the heart failure before it occurs, rather than trying to reverse it after birth.

“This may markedly reduce the risk of long-term brain damage, disability, or death among these infants.”

The high blood flow usually has an even more serious effect on the heart and brain after birth, putting enormous pressure on the newborn’s heart and lungs. This may lead to pulmonary hypertension, heart failure or other life-threatening conditions.

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It is estimated that VOGM, the most common congenital vascular brain malformation, occurs in as many as one in every 60,000 births. It’s most often detected on a pre-natal ultrasound scan (then diagnosed by MRI) during the late second or third trimester of pregnancy.

Current standard of care is treatment after birth with embolisation, a catheter-based procedure to close off the direct artery-to-vein connections and block excess blood flow to the brain and heart. However, embolisation itself is high risk and is not always successful at reversing heart failure. Additionally, severe brain damage may have already occurred at birth, which may lead to life-long cognitive disabilities and life-threatening conditions for the infant, or even to death.

Professor Gary Satou, a fetal cardiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who was not involved with the study, said the intervention may be “very impactful” in a specific group of patients.

“As always, a number of these fetal cases will need to be performed in order to establish a clear pattern of improvement in both neurologic and cardiovascular outcomes. Thus, the national clinical trial will be crucial in order to achieve adequate data and, hopefully, successful outcomes.”

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Prof. Colin Derdeyn, a neuro-interventional radiologist at the University of Iowa, who was not involved with the study, also cautiously welcomed the breakthrough.

“The key advance here is to intervene before the physiologic events of birth can cause life-threatening heart failure. There are caveats; one successful case is not enough experience for us to conclude that the risks of this procedure are worth the benefits.

“However, the positive hemodynamic changes that they observed in utero and after birth —reduction in flow, reduction in size of the draining vein, reversal of the abnormal reversed flow in the aorta—are really encouraging.

“These are some of the most exciting and surprising aspects of this case report. This is pioneering work being done in a very careful and responsible way.”

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