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Seasonal blues

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It is again that time of the season when people indulge themselves. While it is natural to merry during festivities it is absolutely necessary to do so with caution. As we move around town rejoicing in ‘’Rice and Stew Very Plenty’’ (R.S.V.P) it would be good to take action or remain inactive to preserve our health!

1. Binge drinking aka Heavy episodic drinking

Binge drinking, is consumption of alcoholic beverages with an intention of becoming intoxicated by heavy consumption in a single session. Binge drinking is not just about the number of drinks you have – it’s about drinking with the specific intention of ‘getting drunk’.

It is a style of drinking that overlaps somewhat with social drinking since it is often done in groups. The degree of intoxication, however, varies between and within various cultures that engage in this practice. A binge on alcohol may however occur over hours, last up to several days, or in the event of extended abuse, even weeks. Due to the long-term effects of alcohol misuse, binge drinking is considered to be a major public health issue. Binge drinking is associated with a profound social harm, economic costs as well as increased disease burden.

It is more common among young persons who either are under peer influence or motivate their peers to drink. Binge drinking during adolescence is associated with traffic accidents and other types of accidents, violent behavior as well as suicide. The more often a child or adolescent binge drinks and the younger they are the more likely that they will develop an alcohol use disorder including alcoholism.

A large number of adolescents who binge-drink also consume other psychotropic substances. In this environment Binge drinking is especially common during festivities. People who binge drink: don’t necessarily drink every day, may not know their own limits, may not mean to drink a lot and might feel peer pressured to drink large amounts

Why binge drinking is bad for you

Binge drinking, even one night a week, can have some pretty nasty consequences. Short-term effects include: hangovers (bad ones), nausea while drinking and the next day, shakes, vomiting, memory loss, injury, anti social behaviours (eg violence and rape). Other potential risks include: problems with self-esteem, feeling regretful all the time, getting involved with unsafe activities, having unprotected sex with attendant risks.

Alcohol is also a major cause of injury and death among young people. When you’re drunk, you’re more likely to put yourself in risky situations, such as getting into a car with a driver who’s been drinking, or ending up in a physical fight. Long-term effects include: problems at school, at work and with relationships, risk of emotional and mental health problems developing, such as depression and anxiety, physical and psychological dependence on alcohol, significant damage to the brain and liver, risk of cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colon, rectum and breasts, possible increased risk of neurological disorders or heart problems and sexual problems (especially male impotency).

Alcohol affects brain development quite significantly especially during adolescence when the brain is still developing. The main lobes that are involved in decision making and complex thought processes are undergoing their final development phase during adolescence and binge drinking can negatively stunt the growth of these parts. Binge drinking has been associated with high odds of divorce and spousal abuse.

Advice

Please seek the help of a Psychiatrist as soon as possible.

2. Food poisoning

Food poisoning, also called foodborne illness, is illness caused by eating contaminated food. Infectious organisms — including bacteria, viruses and parasites — or their toxins are the most common causes of food poisoning. Infectious organisms or their toxins can contaminate food at any point of processing or production. Contamination can also occur at home if food is incorrectly handled or cooked. The same food can affect people differently. Some may feel unwell after just a few bites. Others can eat a lot and have no reaction at all. Food poisoning is not application of ‘’juju’’ to meals!

What causes food poisoning?

Most food poisoning can be traced to one of the following three major causes; Bacteria, Viruses and Parasites How does food become contaminated? Pathogens can be found on almost all of the food that humans eat. However, heat from cooking usually kills pathogens on food before it reaches our plate. Foods eaten raw are common sources of food poisoning because they don’t go through the cooking process. Occasionally, food will come in contact with the organisms in fecal matter. This most commonly happens when a person preparing food doesn’t wash their hands before cooking. Any type of food or drink can be contaminated.

The symptoms

Most types of food poisoning cause one or more of the following: Nausea (the urge to vomit), vomiting, watery or bloody diarrhea, Abdominal pain and cramps, fever. Kidney failure may result in some cases. Manifestations are within hours after eating the contaminated food, or they may begin days or even weeks later depending on the toxin involved.

What’s bad to eat during food poisoning?

To prevent the stomach from getting more upset, try to avoid the following; the suspected contaminant, dairy products; especially milk and cheeses, fatty food, highly seasoned foods, food with high sugar content, spicy foods, fried foods.

What’s good?

Lots of water/fluids (especially ORS) plus any other meal as tolerated. Please visit the hospital as soon as symptom starts.

Prevention

Ensure good hygiene habits This is wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

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Perspectives

Group lauds Army board of inquiry over report

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A pressure group of middle belt extraction, the Middle Belt Conscience Guard (MBCG) has commended the report recently released by the army board of enquiry set up to look into the allegation by Gen. TY Danjuma’s of soldiers collusion with armed militia in Taraba State.

The group said the report of the panel which exonerated the army is in tandem with the widely held position of many other groups who carried out independent assessment of the situation.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, national coordinator of MBCG, Prince Raymond Enero said to this end, Gen. TY Danjuma (rtd) should immediately re-secure his reputation by a remorseful retraction of the statements, with an apology to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Nigerian Army and the good people of Nigeria over his unjustifiable utterances.

According to him it is clear that the cause of the vilification of the Nigerian Army and the attempt to taint its reputation by some stakeholders in Taraba state stemmed from the refusal of the Commanding Officer 93 Battalion, Lt. Col. Gambari to be dragged into the complex political and ethnic mix in the state by some powerful politicians, in apparent abuse and violation of his professional duties or code of ethical conduct.

He said, “it is our firm conviction that all stakeholders in Taraba State should be cautioned against making inflammatory statements, which have the potency to undermine, jeopardize or scuttle the efforts at peace and security to bring the communal clashes to a halt, with the intervention of the Army.”

Enero said the The Probe Panel was manned by credible serving and retired Army officers; representatives of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and scores of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

He said further, “the Probe Panel did a wonderful and commendable job, as evidenced by its detailed findings, recommendations and the verdict extricating the Nigerian Army of any complicity, whether in whole or in part on any of the allegations raised by Gen. Danjuma or cohorts.

“The Panel’s report eloquently and articulately opined that there was no collusion with armed bandits by the Nigerian Army or any of its units operating in Taraba state, within the period covered by the allegations, as claimed by Gen. Danjuma (rtd). This is in tandem with the widely held position of many other groups who carried out independent assessment of the situation.”

Recall that the 10-Man Special Military Probe Panel constituted by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai was inaugurated on April 9, 2018, specifically to investigate and establish the veracity or otherwise of the allegations by the elder statesman against the Nigerian Army

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Perspectives

Olori Omobolawa: Remembering a Selfless Icon

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In a time like this, one would appreciate the reality of Bob Marley’s saying that: “Live for yourself and you will live in vain; live for others, and you will live again.” Sometimes last year December (13th Dec.2017) the world lost one of her rare gems in an unfortunate tragedy.

Birds refused to leave their nests, displaying muteness in unison and sorrow. The rivers of Osun charged at onlookers uncommonly and everyone close could see the river beds pouring out sands in grief. It was the day Olori Omobolawa Margaret Akinyemi departed this pain-filled world to the world of bliss.

Olori Omobolawa was a Rotarian, a selfless icon whose adventures in serving humanity were of great impacts on the lives of countless masses – women, children, aged and youths. Her contribution to the success of Osun Ambulance Agency cannot be over emphasis, she was accommodating to strangers and kind to kits and kin; with a generosity that competed with soothing breeze.

Her short sojourn on planet earth was purposeful and fixed on putting smiles on faces of the downtrodden and the depressed. Indeed, she exemplified the maxim that life is all about contribution not acquisition; that life is all about fulfilment not attainment.

In recognition of her noble sacrifices to make lives better for others, Rotary Club of Osogbo GRA which she was the president before her demise has decided to organize its Annual Medical Outreach in honour of the late selfless icon .

The medical outreach took place on Friday 18 May 2018 at the Alayegun Palace Ode-Omu, HRM Oba Lamidi Oke Ladowe 1 Osun State. The sole aim is to promote medical services and increase access to health for people whose happiness and well-being was the cardinal call of the late Olori Omobolawa.

The activities embedded in the medical outreach include checking of BP, eye tests and provision of free eye glasses, mental health counselling, and ear tests among others. Happily, the natives and residents of Ode-Omu have continued to troop out en masse as they know the unique saying that health is wealth. They cannot quantify their elation and appreciation.

As days go by, our memories continue to swing with thoughts about the loss of Olori Omobolawa – a priceless jewel. At times our hearts become filled with sorrow and our eyes, laden with tears. But we find solace in the fact she has indeed left indelible paths in the memories of many and remarkable feats that will continue to shine in the sands of time.

The honour by Rotary Club of Osogbo GRA today – a community she served whole-heartedly is one of the numerous manifestations that she was one of a kind. It clearly depicts that goodness outlives us all and we cannot but agree that: Olori Omobolawa lives on!

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Perspectives

APC: What goes round comes round

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About this same time three years ago, the shoes were on the other feet. The party in power then, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was often on the end of some highly sustained brutal and often acidic attacks from then opposition party – the All Progressives Congress (APC). APC’s attacks, which were often borderline outright propaganda, pointed to the many flaws they saw in the PDP.

It coined some of the insolent phrases of the time when APC dubbed the President Goodluck Jonathan a kindergarten president and his PDP government “clueless”.

In retrospect, let me quickly cite some of the examples of the attacks reeled out by the APC. For instance when the idea of postponing the 2015 general elections was being considered, the then APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Lai Mohammed fired: “The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is calling for the postponement of the general elections because it is not prepared for it”.

He went on to add that the government had four years to prepare for the elections and that the date of the election was given about a year earlier. Speaking as a guest on a Lagos-based television station, Mohammed questioned what the Federal Government had done to help in the distribution of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and ensuring that every registered Nigerian got his PVC to enable him participate in the elections.

Incidentally, although there are yet to be calls for a postponement of the February 2019 polls, the same PVC which the APC saw as a big issue then is still very much an issue now, three years down the line, with millions of Nigerians yet to receive theirs. Now fast forward to the present day and with the shoes on the other feet.

APC is the party in power and subsequently is the one open to the barbs being thrown at them by the party they bad-mouthed in 2015, the PDP And just like the APC did to them back in the day, the PDP is using every opportunity to blast the government in power.

Although, sadly in my view the PDP is not as good at getting their message across like the APC was then, it still appears that they are doing enough to lambast the ruling party with an official of the party urging them to be “constructive in their criticism to remain relevant”.

The National Vice-Chairman (South- South) of the APC, Hilliard Eta, who said this in January, was reacting to the PDP’s criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari’s New Year Day message to Nigerians.

The PDP had in their statement described the President’s speech as “depressing, annoying” and lacking in substance. Etta, however, expressed displeasure that the opposition PDP had so far failed to play the role of a constructive critic of government but had instead reduced itself to an attack dog of every government’s pronouncement.

The verbal jostling between the two is clearly heating up the closer we get to next year’s elections. Only a few weeks ago, the PDP even went as far taking their “fight” to the international stage when they wrote the United Nations to warn of the “threat to democracy” under the present dispensation.

In a petition to the UN against President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus, told the world body that the Nigerian President has a predetermined plan to use federal agencies like the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the army and the Police to ‘truncate’ Nigeria’s democracy.

The PDP, in the letter, dated April 30, 2018, accused Buhari of violating the Nigerian constitution and persecuting members of the opposition, as well as attacking journalists and “well-meaning” Nigerians who hold different opinions from Buhari’s party, the APC. The British, German, French, Chinese, the U.S, and the Russian embassies in Nigeria, as well as the European Union secretariat in Abuja, were copied in the letter.

The PDP also said the Federal Government was behind the spate of violent killings between herdsmen and farmers in different parts of the country. Of course this brought an immediate response from the APC, which through the Presidency, said the letter written by Secondus, accusing Buhari of several allegations, confirmed the opposition party “as a bad loser, desperate for another chance after they were kicked out for failing the nation and its people.”

The statement, which was signed by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, said in the letter “which is no less preposterous and comical, the opposition accused the Nigerian government of ‘destroying Nigeria’s democracy.’”

Very strong words from both parties as they raise the stakes in their quest to achieve their goals in 2019 – which for APC is to retain the keys to Aso Rock, while for PDP it is for them to reclaim the keys to the same office they lost in 2015.

But like I’ve pointed out in some of my previous write ups, while the two parties are jostling to capture the votes of the electorate next February, the very same electorate they are wooing have not really benefited from either party. For the average man in the country his situation now is even scarier than when PDP was in power.

In the current media war, neither party has come out to say concretely what they will do to improve the lot of the average Nigerian. Gloom that has been the fate of the so-called “common man” over the years – they get fed up of the government in power, it goes and replaced by another one; and yet by the time the new government leaves they are still living in abject poverty.

APC road to power on the back of their “change” mantra but I’m not sure there are many Nigerians who expected the change to be like this. Millions are still unemployed, infrastructure is poor, power supply has only marginally improved, while the citizens are yet to benefit from the economy the government claimed has improved.

The bottom line is that unless a miracle happens, the honest truth is that under the current crop of politicians, be it APC or PDP or whichever other party gets the keys to Aso Rock, nothing much will change for the citizens.

At the end of the day it is ‘they’ first and the rest of us second. If not, why is it that despite the hue and cry over the huge salaries and allowances being earned by the National Assembly members they have not deemed it fit to say they will reduce it in order to free up funds for the citizens?

They won’t do it because they know that at the end of the day we will still troop out in our millions to vote for them next year.

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