World Malaria Day

This short article is from “THT” in honor of World Malaria Day
 

WHAT IS MALARIA?
It is a febrile illness caused by the parasite called Plasmodium present in the saliva of an infected female anopheles mosquito.
  • There are 5 identified species, namely, Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, P.knowlesi and P. malariae.
  •  In Nigeria, 98% of all cases is due to P. falciparum.
  •   This is responsible for the severe form of malaria that leads to death.
WHO CAN GET MALARIA?
Everybody and Anybody!!!
But more serious in
  • children,
  • pregnant women and
  • visitors who do not live in endemic areas.
HOW IS MALARIA TRANSMITTED?
Malaria can be transmitted through various means like:
  • the bites of infected female anopheles mosquito;
  •  blood transfusion and organ transplantation;
  •  mother to child transmission, etc
 
DO YOU HAVE MALARIA?
If you have 
  •  fever (hotness of the body), chills (feeling cold) and rigors (shaking of the body)
  •  headaches, 
  •  nausea and vomiting and diarrhoea
  • joint weakness or tiredness
HOW DO YOU TREAT MALARIA?
Simple, uncomplicated malaria can be treated at home
This would involve
  1. Control of fever with antipyretics like Paracetamol, tepid bath and
  2. Use of drugs called antimalarials.
The age specific pre-packed Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) which consists of an Artemisinin derivative, like Artesunate, and another effective antimalarial drug like Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine, Lumefantrine, Amodiaquine Chloroquine and Mefloquine may be used.
ACT THERAPY
1st dose —— 0 hour
2nd dose ——- 8 hours after
3rd – 6thdoses —— at 12 hours interval.
NOTE: MULTIVITAMINS AFFECT THE EFFICACY OF ACTs.
SEVERE MALARIA
When a patient has, in addition to the symptoms of malaria,
  1. generalized weakness or inability to sit, stand or walk without support
  2.  impaired consciousness (confusion, drowsiness or coma);
  3.  difficulty in breathing or fast deep breaths; 
  4.  multiple convulsions (>2 in 24hrs); 
  5. pallor; 
  6. jaundice (yellow discoloration of the eyes); 
  7. haemoglobinuria (coca-cola colored urine) and reduced urinary output
Then this is a medical emergency requiring in-patient care and should be treated as such!!!
Take patient to the nearest health facility!!!
 
PREVENTION
The use of drugs to prevent malaria is advised in people with
  •  Sickle cell anemia,
  • non-immune visitors and
  • Pregnant women.
 
HIV and malaria
HIV does not increase the likelihood or severity of malaria except in pregnancy.
CONTROL OF MALARIA
  • Use Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) and clothing as these repel mosquitoes, kill those which alight on them, protect those sleeping under them and nearby in the same room, reduce vector infectivity and reduce death by up to 20%.
  • Spraying insecticides in the home
  • Covering potholes and depressions around the house.
  • Draining all stagnant water.
  • Covering all water containers around the house
  •  Cutting all water-holding plants
  • Screening windows and doors with nets
  • Using coils and sprays.
  • Using insect repellents

The new or not so new menace on the block: Cardiac Arrest!

Cardiac Arrest..cardiac arrest..cardiac arrest…

With sad news of people slumping and dying without visible ‘symptoms’ flying around; Old and young alike, people seemingly strong and agile just passing on ‘suddenly’ without prior illness or ailment; cause of death: CARDIAC ARREST!

This brings a few questions to mind:
What is Cardiac Arrest?
What are the causative factors?
Is it preventable? What can one do to escape the clutches of this menace?
What are the signs to watch out for?..besides the heart stopping that is..
So many questions begging answers.

Agreeably, this is just one of the numerous deadly ailments that causes death, but let’s just spare some moment to check this out.

Cardiac arrest, also known as cardiopulmonary arrest or circulatory arrest, is the abrupt cessation of normal circulation of the blood due to failure of the heart to contract effectively during systole.
Medical jargons!!!

Simply put, Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating! That made sense? Maybe it doesn’t but that is the hard fact. Some people may be fit as a fiddle one minute and the next they are gone!

In fact, dropping dead from a Cardiac Arrest is all too often the first symptom a person experiences that alerts them to the fact that they have a heart “condition.”

When a person suffers a Cardiac Arrest, the most common result is Death.

More medical jargons..

Ventricular fibrillation, the primary cause of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, occurs when the heart’s pumping centers, the ventricles, begin to beat too fast — up to 350 beats per minute. Actually, they’re not really even beating anymore. They’re quivering and totally out of control.
If ventricular fibrillation is not stopped within a few minutes, death results. In fact, if as little as about 4 minutes go by without treatment, serious, long-term organ damage begins.
The only way to stop ventricular fibrillation is by applying an electrical shock to the heart using a defibrillator, such as the Philips OnSite Defibrillator.
Basically, your heart is a pump powered by electrical signals. If those signals become disturbed, the ventricles may begin to vibrate or flutter in an irregular manner. This is called “fibrillation.” As a result, the ventricles are not able to pump the blood through the blood vessels. When the heart stops pumping, blood no longer flows through your body. When oxygen-rich blood stops nourishing your brain, you lose consciousness. If “de-fibrillation” does not occur immediately, you die. 

If ventricular fibrillation is not stopped within a few minutes, death results. In fact, if as little as about 4 minutes go by without treatment, serious, long-term organ damage begins.
The only way to stop ventricular fibrillation is by applying an electrical shock to the heart using a defibrillator.

(A defribillator is An apparatus used to control heart fibrillation by application of an electric current to the chest wall or heart)

Basically, your heart is a pump powered by electrical signals. If those signals become disturbed, the ventricles may begin to vibrate or flutter in an irregular manner. This is called “fibrillation.” As a result, the ventricles are not able to pump the blood through the blood vessels. When the heart stops pumping, blood no longer flows through your body. When oxygen-rich blood stops nourishing your brain, you lose consciousness. If “de-fibrillation” does not occur immediately, you die.
In fact, for every minute that passes without your heart receiving an electrical shock from a defibrillator, your chances for survival decline by 10%. After 10 minutes, your chances for survival are less than 1%.
Note that while it is possible for one to experience a Sudden Cardiac Arrest without any underlying heart disease, this is highly unusual and pretty much confined to people engaged in recreational drug use or to those who suffer a severe trauma. And by severe trauma, we mean like maybe your kid out playing soccer or baseball or basketball or tennis (get the picture?) takes a hit in the chest.
Usually a Sudden Cardiac Arrest occurs in an individual with some form of previous heart disease, such as previous heart attack (resulting in heart damage), coronary artery disease or artheroschlerosis. (Culled from www.dontdropdead.com)

How do I prevent it?

You have probably heard all these before:
  • Eat ‘heart-healthy’
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Exercise..exercise..exercise..regularly
  • Control your blood pressure
  • Lose weight if you are overweight
  • Quit smoking if you are a smoker
  • Manage stress effectively
  • Relieve depression
  • Avoid or control diabetes
  • Know your family’s medical history
If your diet is high in saturated fats and oils, you’re a Sudden Cardiac Arrest waiting to happen. A diet rich in those fats and oils increase the chances of developing coronary heart disease, and obesity all contributing factors to a myriad of heart-health concerns.

Exercise is really very amazing. Not only can it help prevent heart disease, it can also improve the quality of life for those already suffering from heart disease. It can help you lose weight. It can give you more energy. It can help you sleep better at night. It can lower your blood pressure; and amazingly, it’s free. 

Having high blood pressure and making no attempt to reduce it is like begging for a Cardiac Arrest. If you have high blood pressure (i.e., hypertension) you should be working with your doctor to devise a plan to lower it. This may include changes to your diet, lifestyle, exercise routine or even medications.

Lose weight. This is arguably easier said than done, but if you can think it, then you can do it.
Take control of your diet, limit your fat intake and exercise more.

The average smoker dies nearly 7 years before a non-smoker. If that’s not enough to make you quit smoking (or not start), then how about this:  Smoking is a major cause of coronary artery disease, Sudden Cardiac Arrest, and Sudden Cardiac Death. 
Save the money you would normally spend on tobacco, and you may be able to go on a much needed vacation to relieve stress!
Everybody lives and tries to cope with stress. But when stress causes us to overeat or smoke or cut down on exercise, the result is always catastrophic. Stress can cause blood pressure to rise and chronic stress can cause that elevated blood pressure to become permanent.

Like heart disease, diabetes is known as a “silent killer.” Diabetics are more likely to develop heart-related diseases. If you don’t already have diabetes, work to ensure that your lifestyle doesn’t invite it. If you already have diabetes, work with your doctor to reduce your exposure to the onset of heart disease.

Finally, know your family’s health history as much as you can trace it. If heart disease runs in your family, then no matter how well you care for yourself, you are more likely to develop some form of heart disease than is a person whose family has no such history. Armed with this knowledge, you can take aggressive steps to avoid a lifestyle that invites heart disease. You may not be able to prevent it, but you should be able to delay it or reduce its seriousness.

There, that’s it.
Your health is in your own hands, be responsible, live resposibly, and take proactive actions to forestall this menace.

Additional resources from ‘dontdropdead.com’

A short Story to kickstart the weekend -Chaotic Bliss

CHAOTIC BLISS
By Olaleye Abiola

Ada tenderly patted her bump for reassurance for the umpteenth time.

“Let the poor guy rest, darling”, Dave her husband said as his eyes caught the gesture.

They were on their way to the clinic as Ada could not sleep all night with complaints of body ache and general restlessness; she was only 37weeks along. Dave had to call the office to reschedule all appointments so he could accompany his wife to the hospital.

A little over 4 years ago, they met during the ‘camp fire night’ at Owerri.They belonged to different platoons but fate in the person of Tope, Ada’s mischievous platoon leader had thrown them together. She would later find out Tope was Ada’s buddy from Lautech.

“Hello angel, can I join you?” She had just taken part in her Platoon’s amateurish attempt to inject a bit of nollywood into the activities of the night and was trying to catch her breath after the rigorous dancing exercise.

Not that he needed permission anyway as he dropped on the log beside her before she could open her mouth to decline as she was in no mood for his or any guy’s antics for that matter. He wasted no time in chatting her up and putting her at ease, she soon cracked up under his adept skills showing he was not a novice in the game.

A year later, he came to Lagos to take up an appointment with one of the leading ICT companies at Ikeja. He reestablished contact with her and a couple of visits and dates later, they were totally hooked onto each other.

Fast forwarded to the present.

Dave took a break from humming to the Lionel Richie music wafting from the CD player and took a moment to gaze at his wife swiftly, tenderly patting her huge tummy with his left hand while keeping the right one on the steering wheel.

They had only been married for two years.

In that brief moment memories of their memorable honeymoon in Accra flashed across his mind.

“I took the best decision of my life, I have been blessed immensely”, he mused to himself.

So lost was he in his reverie that he did not hear Ada shout “watch out” a split moment before the damfo rammed into their car from the left side.

Sounds of screeching and screaming blended with the pungent odour of clutches and tyres grazing the tarmac.

“Jeez, what just happened here?” Instantly, bystanders waiting some moments back to board vehicles to their various destinations were already gathered round the two vehicles in the usual Lagos fashion.

“Ada, you’re okay? “
“Please talk to me, angel…angel…”
Ada was numb with shock, holding to her tummy and side, blood trickled from a small cut on her temple where bits of the side mirror the ‘damfo’ shattered had hit.

The damfo driver who was at fault was forgotten in an instant, thoughts of how to get her to the nearest hospital was uppermost in his mind.

“Madam, you dey okay so?”
“Oga, make we help you carry iyabeji?”

“Please get out of here..gerrout..move this junk out of my way, need to get to the hospital fast”

“Oga, sorry o”
“These damfo drivers always drive too dangerously”

A couple of minutes later, they were on Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, straight into the Eko hospital he drove.
Thank goodness the hospital was on his HMO list.

Ada still wasn’t talking. As Dave carried her, holding her close – sniffing the scent of the hair cream she hurriedly applied to her hair earlier in the morning – on the short walk to the OPD, he felt moistness on his palms, spreading steadily across their bodies’ contact area.
As he gently transferred her to the wheel chair with the aid of a nurse, he saw her trouser had turned crimson.

Her ‘water’ or amniotic sac had broken!

By now, Ann was moaning gently.

“Emergency…”

“Dave, my tummy…my back..my legs”

Her cut tended to, she was swiftly transferred to the maternity ward;  a quick check by the hippy doctor they met some minutes earlier established labour has started in earnest.

“Thank goodness, I heeded the instinct to throw in the baby’s bag in the booth”

The long but short wait began. Nothing else mattered than the deep agonizing shards of pain, starting from the base of Ada’s tummy, to her spines spreading through every nerve.

“Angel, breath through it please, you can do it…together, we can do it…think..very soon our boy would be in our arms…we are together in this…I’m here for you baby” Dave babbled on trying to mask his fear, reassuring himself more than Ada, he’s a man after all.

Through the pacing, screaming when the waves of pain peaked & scratching, he stood firm, holding her trembling body.

“I can’t bear this anymore, epi..epidu…epidural…” she screamed in pain.

“The Doctor said you are just 4cm dilated, let me get the matron to check again…hold on darling, be back in a jiffy”

An eternity later, he practically dragged the matron in.

She had to bear the pain..again..she could not even decide which was more painful -the waves of contraction or the matron invading her private domain, again trying to check how far dilated she was.

Thankfully, the burly matron decided she was ready to be moved to the delivery room.

“Remember to breath deeply, conserve your energy for the real action”..from the matron.
“Now push only when I instruct you to”
“Ready?”

“Not good enough, now, ready, with all your strenght, push hard like your life depends on it”
“Angel, you can do it..yes..you can”
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm…..grrrrrrrrrrrr….
“Oh Goooooooooooooddddddddddddddddd….

“yes, yes, yes, there is the head, yes, push the shoulders out…

Out popped the baby.

A wave of calmness and accomplishment pervaded Ada’s whole being, like a wave of fresh, cool air after hours in the scorching sun.

‘Thank you Lord..my baby..”

“Now, the afterbirth, madam…your baby is being cleaned up and will be handed to you in a moment”

More pushing and heaving, the placenta came out.

“Your baby, madam, congratulations”

“Dave..Dave…come see our baby boy, isnt he the most beautiful baby in the world? And what in the world are you doing in that green gown?”

Dave collapsed beside her out of exhaustion and blissful relief.

TGIF.

Salon Vibes

Yes, I was at the salon yesterday to..you know..in readiness for the new week.

And what is so spectacular about that, you may want to ask, abeg, let me land first. So where was I? Okay, I was at the salon and as I was sitting and trying to arrange myself and legs to prevent passersby from seeing..you know…while enduring the head pushing and pulling that normally accompany such ‘endeavors’ without wincing, I could not but listen to the conversation between the ‘manageress‘ and her friend that came visiting.
They apparently just lost somebody dear to them, a woman in her early forties. While any death (human or animals) at all is sad, be it of the elderly or youth -we all have people to whom we are very dear, people to whom we are everything- this was especially painful to them because the kids are still young and she has ‘suffered’, etc
According to them, she stuck with the husband through thick and thin, when they lived in ‘face me I face you‘, not being able to afford 3 triangular abi square meals, etc. Even then, claims of the husband harsh treatment of the wife were rife and then the husband’s breakthrough came and they were liberated from suffering and joined the big league or high flyers.

To compensate the wife for her patience and endurance, the husband built and ‘handed’ her a ‘duplex’ which was greatly celebrated few months (I think I heard 2 mths) before her demise…and took a new wife! And then the wife’s ailment started eventually culminating in her death sometimes last week.

Cause of death (medical): Cancer of…(didnt get that)
Cause of death (spiritual):   ‘Ofa Aye’  (how do I translate this?..ok, death caused by ‘wicked forces’)

Of course the proponents of the second cause pointed to one source..(I leave you to fill in the gap)
While not disputing the fact that wickedness in the high places truly exist, we must be careful not to attribute every bad occurences to ‘them’. Steadfast prayers do work (I can attest to that) but giving Chloroquin to treat an ailment that requires antibiotics might not bring out the desired effect. While I do not have the full facts and as the discussants later moved out of hearing range, maybe if proper medical attention was combined with prayers, maybe, she would still be alive. I don’t want to delve into the issue of second wives and beastly husbands, etc.

May her soul RIP and may her kids be divinely taken care of.

To the living, appreciate life and make the most of it.

(By this time, I was almost done, thankfully and couldn’t wait to get out of the place)

This entry was posted in Random.

Salon Vibes

Yes, I was at the salon yesterday to..you know..in readiness for the new week.

Nothing spectacular about that, you might want to add, abeg make I land.

So as I was sitting down and trying to properly arrange myself in order not to show people around a glimpse of the ‘inner haven’ while also trying hard to endure the head pulling and pushing without wincing; I could not but listen to the conversation between the ‘manageress’ and her friend who came visiting.

They apparently just lost someone dear to them, a woman in her early forties. While death is always painful..be it of a loved one or animal, the aged or youth, it is always very painful. We all have people to whom we are the world, people to whom we are everything.

This particular death was very painful because according to them, the kids were still young and she had ‘suffered’ (together with the husband). Before the husband’s ‘breakthrough’ came, they lived in ‘face me I face you’ apartments, sometimes finding it difficult to afford 3 triangular or square meals, etc coupled with claims of the husband’s harsh treatment of the woman even in their squalor.

Finally, the silver lining appeared and they said goodbye to suffering. In no time, the husband built and handed over a duplex to the wife in compensation for her patience and endurance and…took a new wife!
And then the first wife’s ailment started culminating in her demise sometimes last week.

Cause of death (medical): Cancer of ..(didn’t get that)
Cause of death (spiritual)  ‘Ofa Aye’ ..(how do I translate this? Ok, death caused by spiritual wickedness)

Though I do not have the full facts as the discussants have moved out of hearing range, the proponents of the second cause however pointed to one source..(I leave you to fill in the gap)
While not disputing the fact that spiritual wickedness truly do exist, fervent prayer / divine intervention do go a long way in helping combat that. However, there are instances where giving chloroquin to treat acute infection rather than antibiotics may not achieve the desired effects. Maybe divine cum excellent medical intervention would have saved her, maybe..I don’t want to delve into the issue of second wives or the husband’s bestiality.

May her soul RIP.
May her kids be ‘divinely’ taken care of.

And to the living, appreciate life and health, make the most of it.

(By this time, I was almost done, thankfully and getting ready to get out of the place)

This entry was posted in Random.

Thank God It’s Sunday?

Just came up with a parallel one to tgif..lol

Seriously, does anyone ever feel this way? Have you ever, in all honesty, said thank God it’s Sunday?

I for one (always) dread Sundays. Now do not get me wrong, Sunday is holy and we keep it free to serve and worship and relax in preparation for Monday.
But…if you ever have to get up 3.30am, Monday to Friday, doing chores, getting kids ready, doing the school run, facing work, etc etc..then you would understand my drift.

Well I suppose we can still say thank God for Sunday as it represent the last ‘resting’ day of the week, and ain’t we supposed to be refreshed after the activities of saturday?

One special blessing of this particular Sunday though..its Easter Sunday and we get to add Monday to our ‘weekend’..

So thank God it’s Sunday. (And thank God for the gift of life)

Enjoy your day, folks.

Happy Easter, and welcome (to my blog)

In the Spirit of Easter

I had thought hard of what would be my introductory message to debut this page and what better idea than to write about Love!

While not trying to be overly religious, today being Easter Sunday when the Lord Jesus Christ arose from the dead, broke free and made a mockery of the evil forces, triumphing over them some 2000+ years ago brings to mind the essence of it all.

Why would anyone want to go through so much pain for some people you do not know, some yet unborn..already preempting them knowing the human nature – strong yet so weak.

Why would anyone stand the torture and anguish of nails being driven, hammered into his / her flesh, tearing through tendons and ligaments..(I can almost hear the sound of the hammer accompanied by screams in my mind) just for some strangers -some unworthy and unfriendly!

Why would anyone bear the burden of several millions of unique specie ever created; hanging on a tree, suspended in space by nails harshly driven through the palms and feet for 3 days, nothing to eat or drink (now, that would be the least of my worries in the same situation)

Deep and unfathomable as that is, the underlying message is of a love so great, un-explainable so much it transcends all human / inhuman understanding; so pure, transcending race or age or color;
It is of mercy so great, of grace so undeserved.

And it is a reminder of the service we owe Him, to spread the message and the love.

Happy Easter, everyone.

PS.
I am a thirty-something year old woman (or lady, if you please) with a mission, to make an impact in my generation, starting with my space.

Many would go..oh..another one just jumped on the blogging bandwagon, oh well…however, please follow up and see how much steam I have got (within) in the coming days -if only to throw it all back in my face.

Thank you all, and I love you.