Nigeria’s leading environmental activist, Nnimmo Bassey was at Makoko, a Lagos fishing community and Nigeria’s largest informal settlement recently, raising the hopes of community members, old and young, for brighter days amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
|Nnimmo Bassey donates food to a Makoko resident|
Bassey, director of the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and a 2010 recipient of the Right Livelihoods Awards (aka the Alternative Nobel Price), engaged young people at the community office of the NGO, Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Orientation (CEE-HOPE). ‘This point in your life is when you begin to put up the building blocks of your entire life and career,’ he told the children. ‘The efforts you put into your education now, into ICT training just as you are currently involved, will determine what you become in future. The computer skills for instance is one that you will need for the rest of your life, so you must remain focused’, he added. He further encouraged them to look beyond their poor and marginalised community and fix their attention on greater future.
|A side view of participants at the event.|
Also, Bassey, a trained architect and writer, commissioned a locally fabricated handwash machine provided by CEE-HOPE for children training at the community centre and the community in general to help improve sanitation (especially handwashing) practice in light of the COVID-19 pandemic’s challenge. ‘For us to beat this global pandemic, constant handwashing is very critical and so you have to consciously imbibe the habit’, said Bassey.
The handwashing machine, made by Jos, Plateau State-based Bennie Agro Limited, is fabricated in such a way that only the leg is used to pump out water and liquid soap in the process thus minimising the possibility of hand contamination.
Nnimmo Bassey carries out a symbolic handwashing during the commissioning of the locally fabricated handwashing machine at CEE-HOPE office at Makoko, Lagos while the youth watch.
Nnimmo Bassey encouraging the children to remain focused on their education and determination to succeed in life while commissioning the giant handwash machine
CEE-HOPE’s executive director, Betty Abah, commended Bassey for what she described as leading activist’s consistently supportive presence. ‘We are extremely grateful for the support of Dr. Bassey over the years. This commissioning, amidst his busy schedules and visit for the Fishnet Alliance meeting, shows his commitment to seeing to the success of our work with young marginalised populations in Makoko and other places.’ That was his sixth visit to Makoko, Abah said. She added that the machine was a pilot project starting with Makoko, whose successful use would spur the group to provide for other marginalised communities where CEE-HOPE also works.
Titilope Ajimuda, a Makoko youth and the coordinator of the CEE-HOPE ICT and community youth engagement centre, spoke in similar veins. ‘His presence and talk with the children was very encouraging. He spoke on the need for personal hygiene and especially the need for us to face our education. It was a great privilege to listen to him’, she said.
Earlier, the chairman of Friends of the Earth International group, held a meeting with fishermen and women drawn from Makoko and other areas around Lagos under the umbrella of the Fishnet Alliance, a network of fishers engaged in and promoting sustainable fishing and protecting the interest of fisher folks, with members from across several African countries. Besides discussing with the members on pertinent issues and promising them support, Bassey also gave out several food items courtesy of Fishnet in collaboration with HOMEF. The distribution attracted fishermen, fish processors and traders who all left with food items as a palliative to help them cope with the impact of COVIDF-19 and the several challenges they face.
The palliative, according to Bassey, was crucial because fishermen are among those worst hit by the COVID-19 lockdown.
“The pandemic has ripped off the cover from healthcare delivery systems that had hitherto been hidden since citizens that could afford the bills could easily jet out of the country to nurse their headaches while the poor died on the doorsteps of health centres that are ill equipped to deliver needed services. With lockdown and other restrictions, the impact has been disproportionately felt by the poor, women and social classes with no support systems. One of such exposed and under-supported social group is that of artisanal fishers, fish processors and marketers. Routinely ignored in the scheme of things, the lockdown measures has thrown 6.5 million strong fishers into abject stress,” he said in his statement.
He explained that the food item was just a phase of the intervention the fishermen would be receiving.
“We are having conversation with them about how to assist some of them structurally, in terms of helping some of them have shipping gears because to teach a man to fish is a lot better than giving them food,” he said.
A Makoko community leader, Chief Akintimehin Claudius Adewale, said the high activities of sand mining (dredging) going on in the area and has severely impacted on the livelihoods of the community people. He called on the government to support fishers by rolling out policies that protect the aquatic environment, clean-up already polluted areas and guarantee the rights of the people to a decent livelihood.
|Bags of palliatives for Makoko fisherfolks donated by Fishnet in collaboration with HOMEF|
Another community leader, Chief Ayinde Albert (aka Baale Jeje), expressed gratitude for the palliative given to them. He said the gesture makes them proud of their fishing trade as it is their sole source of income which they use in the education of their children.
One of the about 100 recipients of the palliatives, Mrs Janet Kpenje, said the food stuff she had received would go a long way in her home.
Oche Onu, reporting from Lagos
HEALTH: What Every Male MUST Know About PROSTATE
I am here to speak with you on Prostate. The topic is misleading. Is prostate strictly for men? Yes, ONLY men have prostate and ONLY men over 40 years but the healthcare enlightenment is for everyone. There is no woman who does not know a man 40 years and above, father, uncle, brother, son, friend, neighbour, colleague…
Essentially what I will be doing today is health promotion. Responsible health promotion must provide three things:
- A plan of action.
Let me start with a background on prostate health.
Everyone has a pair of kidneys. The job of the kidney is to remove waste. It is the LAWMA (waste management company) of your body. Everyday your blood passes through the kidney several times to be filtered. As the blood is filtered, urine is formed and stored in a temporary storage tank called the urinary bladder.
If there were to be no urinary bladder, as a man walks on the road, urine will be dropping.
Now think of the plumbing work in your house. Think of the urinary bladder as the overhead storage tank. From the storage tank, a good plumber will run pipes to other parts of the house, including the kitchen. God in His wisdom ran pipes from our urinary bladder to the tip of the penis. The pipe is called the urethra. Just below the bladder and surrounding the urethra is a little organ called the prostate gland.
The prostate gland is the size of a walnut and weighs about 20grams. Its job is to make the seminal fluid which is stored in the seminal vesicle. During sexual intercourse, seminal fluid comes down the urethra and mixes with the sperms produced in the testicles to form the semen. So semen technically is not sperm. It is sperm + seminal fluid. The seminal fluid lubricates the sperm.
After age 40, for reasons that may be hormonal, the prostate gland begins to enlarge. From 20 grams it may grow to almost 100 grams. As it enlarges, it squeezes the urethra and the man begins to notice changes in the way he urinates.
If you have a son under 10, if he has a little mischief like we all did at that age, when he comes out to urinate, he can target the ceiling and the jet will hit target. Call his father to do same, wahala dey. His urine stream is weak, cannot travel a long distance and sometimes may come straight down on his legs. So he may need to stand in awkward position to urinate.
Not many men will be worried their urine stream cannot hit the ceiling. Toilets are on the floor and not on the ceiling. But other symptoms begin to show.
The man begins to notice that after urinating and repacking, urine still drops on his pants. This is the reason why after an older man urinates, he has to ring bell. A younger man simply delivers to the last drop and walks away. Just see an older man coming from the bathroom. Sometimes he may clutch the newspaper closely to hide the urine stains, particularly on plain colored trousers.
At this point you wait longer for the urine flow to start. There are 2 valves that must open for you to urinate – the internal and external sphincters. Both open but because of obstructions in the urethra, you wait longer for the flow to start.
You have this feeling immediately after urinating that there is still something left.
As all these things happen, the bladder begins to work harder to compensate for the obstruction in the urethra. The frequency of urination goes up. Urgency sets in. Sometimes you have to practically run into the toilet. Nocturia also becomes common. You wake up more than 2 times at night to urinate. Your wife begins to complain.
Men being men may not talk to anyone even at this point. Then the more serious complications start.
Stored urine gets infected and there may be burning sensation when urinating.
Stored urine forms crystals. Crystals come together to form stone either in the bladder or in the kidney. Stones may block the urethra.
Chronic urinary retention sets in. The bladder stores more and more urine. The size of the bladder is 40 – 60cl. A bottle of coke is 50cl. As the bladder stores more urine it can enlarge up to 300cl. An overfilled bladder may leak and this leads to wetting / urinary incontinence. Also the volume may put pressure on the kidney and may lead to kidney damage.
What may likely bring the man to hospital is acute urinary retention. He wakes up one day and he is not able to pass urine.
Everything I have described above is associated with prostate enlargement, technically called benign prostate hyperplasia.
There are other diseases of the prostate like:
- Prostatitis – inflammation of the prostate
- Prostate cancer – cancer of the prostate.
This discussion is on prostate enlargement.
I have bad news and good news.
The bad news is that everyman will have prostate enlargement if he lives long enough.
The good news is that there are life style changes that can help the man after 40 to maintain optimum prostate health.
Look at what you eat. 33% of all cancers, according to the US National Cancer Institute is related to what we eat.
Red meat everyday triples your chances of prostate disease. Milk everyday doubles your risk. Not taking fruits / vegetables daily quadruples your risk.
Tomatoes are very good for men. If that is the only thing your wife can present in the evening, eat it with joy. It has loads of lycopene. Lycopene is the most potent natural antioxidant.
Foods that are rich in zinc are also good for men. We recommend pumpkin seeds (ugbogulu).
Zinc is about the most essential element for male sexuality and fertility.
Men need more zinc than women. Every time a man ejaculates he loses 15mg of zinc. Zinc is also important for alcohol metabolism. Your liver needs zinc to metabolize alcohol.
As men begin to have urinary symptoms associated with prostate enlargement, it is important they look at alcohol consumption. More fluid in means more fluid out.
Drink less. Drink slowly.
Exercise helps build the muscle tone. Every man should exercise. Men over 40 should avoid high impact exercise like jogging. It puts pressure on the knees. Cycling is bad news for the prostate. We recommend brisk walking.
When we sit, two-third of our weight rests on the pelvic bones. Men who sit longer are more prone to prostate symptoms. Do not sit for long hours. Walk around as often as you can. Sit on comfortable chairs. We recommend a divided saddle chair if you must sit long hours.
Men should avoid tight underwear. It impacts circulation around the groin and heats it up a bit. While the physiological temperature is 37 degrees, the groin has an optimal temperature of about 33 degrees. Pant is a no – no for men. Wear boxers. Wear breathable clothing.
Avoid smoking. It affects blood vessels and impact circulation around the groin.
Regular sex is good for the prostate.
Celibates are more pronenn to prostate illness. While celibacy is a moral decision, it is not a biological adaptation. Your prostate gland is designed to empty its contents regularly.
Thought: when someone shared something of value with you and benefit from it. You have a moral obligation to share it with others because someone in your friends list might be saved.
WHY ORTOM GOV’T LEFT NO OFFICIAL VEHICLES FOR ALIA
Spokesperson to the former governor responds
Following the lamentation of the Benue State Governor, Rev. Father Hyacinth Alia that there was alleged massive looting of the Government House in Makurdi by the immediate past administration led by Samuel Ortom, noting that he was left with no single official car, the spokesperson to Ortom, Mr. Terver Akase said there is nothing wrong in what they former governor did.
Akase in a statement signed on Friday said Ortom did nothing wrong leaving the government house with official vehicles.
“In his latest outing, the governor has accused his predecessor of carrying out recruitment into the civil service without due process; handing to him an empty treasury and looting government vehicles, among several other unfounded accusations,” Akase said.
“The present administration may wish to be informed that it was the decision of the Benue State executive council that government officials, including the governor and his deputy, be given waivers to enable them to go with the official vehicles allocated to them.
“Governor Ortom, therefore, did nothing unlawful by leaving office with the official vehicles allocated to him.”
“It is a tradition that an outgoing governor leaves with vehicles given to him. Perhaps we should add that the Ortom administration offered to buy vehicles for the incoming government but the present governor declined, saying that he would prefer to buy vehicles for his administration after the inauguration,” he added
Alia also stated that he inherited an empty treasury and a whooping huge debt profile of N187.56 billion accompanied by accumulated months of unpaid salaries and entitlements of civil servants and pensioners in the state
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