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On rains and recent upsurge in malaria

Written by Adetola Ojo


One of the many disadvantages of the rainy season is the upsurge in Malaria. It is like a time of the year when dead mosquitoes arise to take revenge on the humans that killed them.

I did not feel the need to write this article until the disease caught up with me and three other members of my family at the same time last week. As they say, you won’t understand it, until it gets to you.
Malaria in Nigeria, according to the Nigerian Ministry of Health (MoH), is responsible for 60 percent of outpatient visits to health facilities; 30 percent of childhood deaths; 25 percent of deaths in children under one year; and 11 percent of maternal deaths. The disease is directly contributing to poverty, low productivity, and reduced school attendance in Nigeria.
For a country with a population of about 120 million, result show that Nigeria loses about 880,801 million naira per annum representing about 12 percent of our Gross Domestic Product. Hence, the malaria burden in Nigeria is enormous and has a devastating impact on economic growth.
The presence of malaria in an area requires a combination of high human population density, high mosquito population density and high rates of transmission from humans to mosquitoes and from mosquitoes to human, hence the major reason why malaria parasites are en-masse in Nigeria.
By now we should know the symptoms of malaria but for the sake of this article, they include headache, fever, shivering, joint pain, vomiting, hemolytic anemia, jaundice, hemoglobin in the urine, retinal damage, and convulsions.
How can we prevent malaria?
Methods used to prevent malaria include medications, mosquito elimination and the prevention of bites.
Here’s where mosquito nets come to play. Mosquito nets create a protective barrier against malaria-carrying mosquitoes that bite at night., they help keep mosquitoes away from people and significantly reduce infection rates and transmission of malaria. Nets are often treated with an insecticide designed to kill the mosquito before it has time to find a way past the net. Insecticide-treated nets are estimated to be twice as effective as untreated nets and offer greater than 70% protection compared with no net but when purchasing a mosquito net, you should still ask for the treated one as some are not treated.
Anti-malaria drugs have been known to work effectively in malaria prevention, so go to the doctor for medications even if you are well and feeling healthy, complete your dosage so as not to give malaria a chance. When temporarily visiting malaria-endemic areas, it is advised to begin taking anti-malaria medication prescribed by your doctor one to two weeks before arriving.
Before you to go to sleep, apply insecticides in your home, do not be in the room when the insecticide is still strong and close your doors and windows early in the evening to prevent mosquitoes from coming in. Remember to fumigate your house at least once in a year. In the home, cover over areas of stagnant, still water, such as water tanks that are ideal breeding grounds for the parasite and mosquito.
Every pregnant woman should take the prevention of malaria seriously as it is the major cause of stillbirths so when feeling any sign of malaria, go to the doctor immediately for treatment and avoid areas where malaria and mosquitoes are present if you are at higher risk; and remember, flu and malaria have almost the same symptoms so don’t confuse the symptoms with the flu and neglect the doctor’s visitation.
The prevention of diseases should be a major focus of any country seeking development. A friend in the United Kingdom was diagnosed with malaria and had to be quarantined for a week, she was in a confined space and visitors had to wear masks before coming in to see her, which goes to highlight how important the disease is been treated in the UK. This attitude towards the disease attracted new figures from Public Health England (PHE) on World Malaria Day showing an overall decrease of 18% in malaria infections in the UK.
This attitude towards malaria and other diseases prevention should be adopted in Nigeria as they impose great burden on the society with adverse effects on the physical, mental and social well being of the people as well as on the economic development of the nation. The rainy season is good but we all have to work around the disadvantages it brings with it like malaria.
Adetola Ojo

National Emergency Management Agency, Abuja.


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N27BN SCAM: EFCC rearrests jailed police pension boss, slams fresh criminal charges on him •As NLC demands retrial

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arrested a former deputy director of the Police Pension Office, Mr John Yakubu Yusuf, who was jailed by an Abuja High Court on Monday.

Commission’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed his arrest.

It was gathered that Yusuf was picked up by the operatives of the commission from his Abuja home last night and had since been detained at the commission’s facility in Abuja.

It was also learnt that a fresh criminal charge had been preferred against him and already filed at the registry of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Uwujaren confirmed the filing of the fresh suit and when asked when the convict would be having another day in court, he said “soon.”

It could not be confirmed if he was still being detained as of press time as Uwujaren said he was out of town and could not establish whether he was on administrative bail or still in detention.

A source in the commission said he might be going to court straight from the commission’s custody, signaling the possibility of his detention before appearing in court.

When Uwujaren was asked if charging the convict again would not amount to double jeopardy, he stated that, “wait until you see the new charge before anyone would decide whether it is the same thing with the first one which formed the basis of his conviction.”

The commission had condemned the judgment of Justice Abubakar Talba which gave Yusuf an option of N750,000 after pleading to an amended 3-count charge of theft of N27 billion police pension fund.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) demanded on Tuesday, that the convicted pension thief must be retried! saying that the judgment lacked moral values and had not demonstrated that laws and judicial institutions were capable of protecting the interest of ordinary people as well as safeguard national interests.

In a statement released by the NLC in Abuja, on on Tuesday and signed by a Deputy President of the NLC, Comrade Kiri Mohammed, who is currently acting as the NLC President, the congress said that such judgment portended danger for democracy anywhere in the world.

If the judgment is allowed to stay, Comrade Mohammed said it would be a direct encouragement for corruption and corrupt officials who would not mind deepening their stealing zeal knowing that the punishment they would face would be soft and harmless.

“We are startled at the judgment by an Abuja High court on Monday which convicted a man who already admitted stealing N23 billion out of over N40billion found to have been stolen from the coffers of the Nigeria Police Pension Fund between January 2008 and June 2011 to just two years in prison with an option of fine in the sum of N750,000.

“That Justice Abubakar Talba could only convict such a high profile thief who has enriched himself with money reserved for people who have served this country honestly and have retired into abject poverty and penury to a scandalous two years imprisonment with an option of fine in the ridiculous sum of N750, 000, shows clearly that the Nigerian judiciary is being compromised and obviously encouraging corruption in a country that has lost most of her earnings to a few individuals who have used their public offices to corruptly enrich themselves,” he said.

Tunde Oyesina And Soji Eze Fagbemi-Abuja

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Abuja court sentences police pension boss to 2yrs in prison for embezzling N23bn

Corruption has eaten deep into the system that the Judiciary is now affected.
An Abuja High Court has sentenced a former head of the Police Pension Board, Yakubu Yusuf, to two years in prison.
He pleaded guilty to the embezzlement of N23.3 billion and is to forfeit property valued at N325 million.
He was given an option of N250 thousand to avoid the jail sentence.
Whereas, if one steal a goat, you get jailed for 6 years or more.
Is the Nigerian Government and her Judiciary system aiding and abating corruption in this country.
Is there an end in the far or near future to end corruption.
What is Nigeria turning into?

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It is one of the basic requirements for healthy living for a man to exercise adequate and timely protection toward the environment he lives in and what he eats; failure to observe this may result to unwanted diseases such as Lassa fever.

Lassa fever is an extremely fatal, viral hemorrhagic illness named after the Lassa town (in the Yedseram River Valley) in Borno State where it was originated in the year 1969. It then spread through West African countries in viremic travellers.

The virus enters through the bloodstream of the human body, lymph vessels, respiratory tract, and/or digestive tract and can be transmitted to human beings following contamination of broken skin or with the urine droppings of rats that live around homes in rural areas off endemic countries.

Its symptoms are nausea, bloody vomit, bloody diarrhoea, stomach ache, constipation, hearing deficit, seizures, swallowing difficulty, cough, chest pain, and meningitis, among others. Usually about 10 days, patients who will survive begin to defervesce 2 to 3 weeks after onset of disease but patients who have greatest risk of dying usually develop shock, agitation and sometimes grand mal seizures.

This kind of disease usually occurs more in the dry season than in the rainy season and it becomes dangerous when the fever is delayed and the symptoms are ignored, hence, the need for immediate check-up and treatment when any of these symptoms are noticed. It is also advised to keep your environments clean this season especially as the heat wave has started to resurface.

As of 16th of January, 2013, a case of this dreadful disease, Lassa fever, causing 3 deaths, was confirmed in Benue state. Acting on this, the Federal Ministry of Health has donated 4,500 doses of both Ribavirin and Virazole tablets including intravenous drugs to the Benue State government to control the spread of Lassa fever in the state. The warning given by the National Emergency Management Agency in 2012 against possible outbreak of diseases such as cholera, Lassa fever, measles and other skin diseases as a result of the recent flooding that ravaged most states of the federation, readily comes to mind also; with the Agency’s constant awareness of Lassa fever on its social media platforms, but it is really up to everyone to decide whether or not Lassa fever should continually be a threat or not.

Lassa virus affects approximately 100,000 to 300,000 people in West Africa so we need to be more vigilant and precautious when it comes to the surroundings; loitering of the environment, even if it’s not close to your home, should stop; the mindset of “It’s not mine, it’s yours, so why should I care?” should be thrown away, we should help each other fight this disease. Keep rodents out of homes and food supplies so that they do not leave dropping in the food; maintain personal hygiene, cover your food properly, trap the rats/rodents and keep the home clean. The advantage of sterilizing equipments cannot be over-emphasized in this case and most importantly, for everyone, especially doctors, when in contact with an infected person, wear gloves, masks, laboratory coats, and goggles. Besides, cleanliness is next to Godliness.

Ojo Adetola

National Emergency Management Agency, Abuja

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US school massacre victims identified

• Pope saddened by ‘senseless’ attack

The head teacher at Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Dawn Hochsprung, is listed among the dead, along with adults Rachel DaVino, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Russo, Mary Sherlach and Victoria Soto.

Eight boys and 12 girls were killed – all but four of them were aged six.

The youngest, Noah Pozner, celebrated his birthday only last month.

A woman who worked at the school was the only person to be shot and survive.

President Barack Obama was expected to visit Newtown yesterday to meet families and speak at an interfaith vigil at the town’s high school.

After the attack, he urged “meaningful action” against gun crime in the US.

“As a country we have been through this too many times,” he said in an emotional White House address.

Lt Paul Vance of Connecticut state police said on Saturday that the gunman had forced his way into the school, contradicting earlier reports that he had been let in voluntarily.

Lt Vance said investigators had gathered “good evidence” in the search for a motive, without elaborating.

The gunman killed his mother at their home before driving to the school in her car and opening fire. Reports say the guns used in the attacks were registered to her.

There are conflicting reports about whether she had worked at the school in the past.

The killings took place in two rooms within a single section of the school, police have said. The shooting lasted just a few minutes.

Meanwhile, Pope Benedict XVI told pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter’s Square yesterday that he is praying for the families of the 20 children and six adults who were killed during a shooting rampage at a U.S. school.

Speaking in English, Benedict said he was “deeply saddened by Friday’s senseless violence in Newtown, Connecticut.”

“I assure the families of the victims, especially those who lost a child, of my closeness in prayer,” the pope said in his first public comments on the massacre by a lone gunman. “May the God of consolation touch their hearts and ease their pain.”

On Saturday, the Vatican said that Benedict was promptly informed about the shootings and that he sent a condolence message to the diocese involved to convey “heartfelt grief” over “the shocking event.”

In that message, the pontiff prayed that God “sustain the entire community with spiritual strength which triumphs over violence by the power of forgiveness, hope and reconciling love.”

As they heard the shots, teachers in other parts of the building tried to protect children by locking doors and ushering them into closets.

Library clerk Maryann Jacob described telling 18 children to crawl into a storage room, before barricading the door with a filing cabinet.

Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner H Wayne Carver said the gunman shot all the victims at the school with a semiautomatic rifle, at least some of them from close range.

Asked how many shots were fired, he replied: “I’m lucky if I can tell you how many I found.”

The suspected gunman’s father, Peter Lanza, said his family was “struggling to make sense of what has transpired”.

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Gunmen abduct Nkiru Sylvanus, demand N100m ransom

‘A Cry For Help’ actress, Nkiru Sylvanus, who is also the Senior Special Adviser to the Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha on Public Affairs, was on Saturday night abducted by gunmen.

The Nollywood actress was kidnapped by armed men numbering about eight at a location in Owerri, Imo State capital.

It was gathered that the kidnappers were already asking for N100 million as ransom for the actress to regain her freedom.

According to a source, Nkiru has been in Owerri for the past five weeks where she was working on two projects – a documentary on Okorocha, to highlight his achievements in the last one year and a movie on reincarnation being shot by actor cum producer, Obi Okoli.

“This incident took place in Owerri on Saturday. In the past couple of weeks, Nkiru has been a regular face on the streets of the state capital which may have prompted the plot to abduct her. She is in fact working on two projects at the moment. One is a documentary while the other is a movie she is playing a sub-lead role in. Because of these jobs, she has been around, working. Of course, she is a popular person, which is why her presence on these locations would not go unnoticed,” a source told our correspondent.

The story of the kidnap of the actress, which jolted Owerri residents, is also making the government of Imo State restless, considering the efforts the governor has made in the recent past to stem cases of kidnapping in his domain.

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Girllivinglife's Blog

Have you ever felt so much pain in your heart that you feel your throat closing and even tears would defy you?
This is the Christmas season, my favorite time of the year and I would have never guessed in a long time that my love would be lost at this time of the year, it just ruins everything.
Its all so blurry, I can’t remember exactly what it is I did or said but I wish I never ventured into this relationship in this first place (if wishes were horses right?)
Right now as I write this, a movie just came to mind “Cinderella” with Brandy Norwood playing the role of cinderella and Whitney Houston the role of her fairy godmother. One of the songs in the movie goes thus “the sweetest sound I’ve never heard are still inside my head, the kindest words I’ll ever know are waiting…

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‘We won’t cover corruption in oil industry’


President Goodluck Jonathan has said his administration has no reason and intention to cover up any ascertained misdeeds uncovered by various fact finding groups in the extractive industries, especially in the oil and gas industry.

In his address at the Board Retreat for members of the National Stakeholders’ Working Group of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State yesterday, Jonathan said his commitment to transparency and accountability especially in extractive industries, was why his administration initiated and submitted itself to public scrutiny through several fact-finding panels and objective criticisms.

The president whose address was delivered by Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, said his administration’s goal was to use any lesson from the scrutiny to reform the system to serve the interest of the country.

“To give more practical expression to our commitment in this regard, I have given necessary directives towards open and unrestricted support to NEITI to carry out its statutory functions. I see the regular conducts of NEITI audits and prompt implementation of its recommendations as the gateway to accelerate the much needed reforms not just in the oil and gas sector but also in the general conduct of government business.”

While appealing to all to support the Federal Government efforts to pursue the reforms to logical conclusion, Jonathan said government was resolute in building better systems and procedure that would strengthen the capacity of relevant government agencies and halt mismanagement, inefficiency and lack of transparency in the extractive sector, stressing that such would not be compromised. The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mrs Zainab Ahmed said the body was delighted that the Federal Government had assembled a rare breed of professionals in various fields in the extractive sector to take the NEITI and EITI implementation in Nigeria to a enviable level. “I am pleased to announce that NEITI has almost concluded comprehensive audit activities of the oil and gas industry from the 2009 to 2011, the reports of the two audits would be examined by the board here in Uyo. It is our hope that the NEITI will publish these reports on or before the end of the years.”

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Jonathan vows to keep Nigeria one

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has said that Nigeria will remain a single entity, noting that his government would not succumb to the pressure of overseeing the disintegration of the country.

The president made this remark at the emir’s palace in Hadejia, Jigawa State, when he paid the emir a courtesy visit on the first day of his two- day working visit to the state.

According to him, “those clamouring for the division of the country are myopic because it will not be.”

He further said that he was ready to use everything within his power to make Nigeria one country.

The president also vowed to transform the country through his government’s reform programmes.

He stated that, “we are out to transform and develop Nigeria by all means based on the transformation agenda,” adding that, “we shall stabilise power, uplift the status of our road networks to global standard.”

He also commended the state governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, for the security measures adopted to make the state peaceful.

Meanwhile, President Jonathan has stated that government would only succeed when there’s cordial relationship between the three arms of government.

He said this in Dutse while commissioning the multibillion naira state secretariat.

He, however, noted that when the legislature is easily manipulated by the executive, it would not only become irresponsible to the electorate, but would make government to lose focus and finish its term without adding value to people’s lives.

Adamu Amadu, Dutse

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Truck Driver, Ph.D

PEOPLE shocked that doctorate degree holders are applying for jobs as truck drivers may not appreciate the extent of the unemployment situation.

Statistics are unreliable, but revelations that six Ph.D holders and 704 others with Master’s degree applied to Dangote Group as truck drivers raise questions about our education and our uses of the educated.

“All these things are verifiable, and they all graduated from reputable institutions which is satisfactory; and our plan is to eventually make them self dependent,” Aliko Dangote said at a mentoring session of the World Bank Youth Forum.

Debates over if a Ph.D holder should apply for a truck driver’s position, miss the point. Such debates are at the perplexing level of encountering a national challenge that has been on for many years.

Thirteen thousand applied though Dangote had only 100 openings. How would you compare that to the 39,000 applications that a federal broadcasting agency received 10 years ago when it advertised eight positions? The problem has been lingering, and growing with the thousands who graduate from higher institutions annually.

High unemployment rates have devastating impacts including the fact that families that invested their fortune in education, in the hope that the educated would rescue other family members, are stuck with their unemployed young ones.

It is a long frustrating process that leaves generations of Nigerians wasting. When university graduates, especially higher degree holders, apply for jobs ordinarily meant for those who are not so educated, we should worry too about increasing unemployment rates among the uneducated.

The attraction for most of the applicants could be the generous conditions of the employment. Apart from their salaries, and trip allowances, Dangote said the truck becomes completely theirs on clocking 300,000km, about 140 trips between Kano and Lagos.

Many would not like to miss the opportunity of owning their own business after serving Dangote. Few jobs offer that type of incentive today. Our Ph.D truck drivers could be budding entrepreneurs, who missed their calling. Dangote is providing something different, more than a job.

The eminent danger is that next year, more people, some from the dwindling universities, could leave their teaching positions for the Dangote offer. We are in the final stages of misapplication of our resources, particularly those who have completed high levels of education and should at least be teaching.

Jobs are so scarce that some make a living from scams that promise jobs. The incident in Abuja where thousands of unemployed graduates protested at the Ministry of Interior because officials denied them access to submit application forms is instructive: the ministry was not recruiting.

Governments’ policies are important to reverse this trend which is a ticking bomb.

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