Governor Suntai can’t function as normal person – US Doctor tells family


Governor Suntai can’t function as normal person – US Doctor tells family

Neurological doctors treating Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State in the United States have told his family and the state government footing his medical bills the governor cannot return to normal state of mental health that would enable him to function as a governor.
Mr. Suntai first received treatment at the famous John Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, before moving to a rehabilitation center in upstate New York, both of which have reportedly given up on the chances of full recovery of Mr. Suntai. In October 2012, he survived an aircrash near Yola Airport and was flown to Germany for treatment for brain injuries.
A medical source told SaharaReporters that when Mr. Suntai was brought in from Germany, he had swelling in his brain and had lost significant control of his ability to recognize people or speak coherently. The source also described the governor as drooling like a baby.
After several months of treatment in the US the doctors have now told Mr. Suntai’s family and the deputy governor of Taraba State who came visiting two weeks ago that Mr. Suntai be sent home to manage his condition as there is nothing more that can be done to heal him.
The State government has spent close to $3.5 million on Mr. Suntai’s treatment in the US alone.
At a meeting with his Deputy two weeks ago, Mr. Suntai was seen in photographs laughing out loud, but our medical sources said he repeats anything told to him several times until he is told to stop.
A clip of Mr. Suntai meeting with his deputy was shown on the Nigerian Television Authority network, with the sound curiously muted.
Mr. Suntai’s wife and a few political office holders, including the Commissioner of Information, Emmanuel Bello, are reportedly manipulating the media by claiming that Suntai has fully recovered and is on his way to resuming power as governor. He has been seen in photos that appear to be stage-managed for brief moments to show the ailing governor as though fully healed, but nobody has heard him speak or answer any questions.
Mr. Suntai, a trained pilot, was personally flying the aircraft in which he was injured.
Source: Sahara Reporters

Odedina Taofeek


Bottled Water May Be Unsafe For Consumption


Bottled Water May Be Unsafe For Consumption
JUNE 10, 2013

Tap water is a rarity in Nigeria, forget whatever promises the Minister for Water Resources may have made about making potable water available by whichever magic year.

Again, simply look away whenever expensive vehicles bearing the logo of a so-called water corporation drives by, because it is obvious that the authorities do everything with taxpayers’ funds except fulfilling one of the reasons for which people pay tax — provision of potable water.

Since the government has failed woefully to provide drinkable water to the people midway into the second decade of the 21st century, Nigerians are faced with two dismal options: sink private boreholes — with the attendant environmental implications; or rely on water supplies whose sources are dubious.

If any industry thrives in Nigeria despite the gloomy outlook of the economy, it is water-bottling firms. No wonder they are not thinking of relocating to neighbouring countries despite the moribund performance of another government agency, the Power Holding Corporation of Nigeria.

And with all sorts of water available in all forms — bottled or packed in mini cellophane bags — water consumers have never felt torn between choices.

Physicians agree that certain categories of people are more vulnerable to getting sick from contaminants in drinking water. These include people undergoing chemotherapy, those living with HIV/AIDS or patients who have received organ transplantation.

They also say pregnant women, the elderly and children may also be at greater risk. They therefore urge this group of people to seek physician’s advice about whether they should take additional precautions, such as boiling their water or drinking bottled water

People choose bottled water for a variety of reasons, including aesthetics, health concerns, or as a substitute for other beverages. But then, how far can you entrust the state of your health to daily or regular consumption of bottled- or, worse still, ‘pure,’ water?

A nutritionist, Dr. Kemi Elumoye, argues that bottled water is not just expensive, she also considers money spent on buying it wasteful. Worse, she says, “contrary to popular belief, the average bottled water is not any healthier for consumption than tap or deep well water.”

Indeed, the World Health Organisation’s Guidelines for drinking-water quality state that substances like lead, arsenic and fluoride may be more readily controlled in bottled water than in tap water. Yet, the guidelines also state that some substances are more difficult to manage in bottled water than in tap water.

This is because, as the WHO notes, bottled water is stored for longer periods and at higher temperatures than tap water, allowing some microorganisms to grow to higher levels. The global health body therefore cautions that because bottled water is not sterile, infants, pregnant women and immuno-compromised individuals may be vulnerable to water contaminants.

Elumoye says of utmost importance is the source of the water. “I challenge bottled water consumers to examine closely the labels on the water bottle if they would ever see where the water they drink comes from. What this translates to, in essence, is that bottled water companies also drill boreholes from which they source the water, and then take the water through certain processes that may be inimical to health when used regularly.”

She also notes that in a country like Nigeria where regulations are sometimes observed in the breach, bottled water may not be safe enough for consumption, as the bottles may leak certain chemicals into the water, especially after the water may have been exposed to the elements, like when left in the sun all day in the course of displaying them on the shelf.

As for mothers who feed their babies with bottled water or use it to mix infant formula, Elumoye warns that the probable high mineral content of some bottled water “makes them unsuitable for feeding babies and young children.”

Talking about the process of bottled water manufacture, the International Bottled Water Association discloses that each bottle of water passes through processing such as reverse osmosis, deionisation, activated carbon filtration and other approved treatment procedures.

In tearing down the façade of healthiness of bottled water processing, an industrial chemist, Mr. Tunde George, says through reverse osmosis, water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane, which filters out a select number of contaminants, depending on the size of the contaminants.

He notes that if the contaminants are larger in size than water molecules, they will be filtered out, but if they are smaller in size, they will remain in the drinking water.

Elumoye argues that reverse osmosis de-mineralises water. She says, “Most mineral particles such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, magnesium, and iron are larger than water molecules; they are therefore removed by the semi-permeable membrane of the reverse osmosis system.

“By so doing, the naturally occurring minerals in water would have been removed, leaving the water tasteless. This also makes the water acidic (often well below 7.0 pH); and when taken regularly, it can make it impossible for the consumer to maintain a healthy pH balance in the blood, which should be slightly alkaline.”

Again, medical researchers warn that drinking (such) acidic water (and other acidic beverages) will often cause a leaking of essential minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, from the body, especially from the bones and teeth, as the body tries to neutralise the acidity.

George explains that during deonisation, the mineral ions (salts) in water are removed. “These mineral ions include sodium, calcium, iron, copper, chloride, and bromide. Deionised water is created by taking conventional water and exposing it to electrically charged resins that attract and bind to the salts, removing them from the water. Because most of the impurities in water are mineral salts, deionised water is mostly pure, but it does still contain numerous bacteria and viruses, which have no charge and therefore are not attracted to the electrified resins.”

Elumoye says many of the mineral salts taken out during deionisation are essential nutrients that the body needs.

As for activated carbon filtration of water, scientists at North Carolina State University say though the process is good for removing organic compounds that make water taste and smell bad, the downside is that it does not filter out heavy metals, fluoride, bacteria or microorganisms that may be in the water.

The researchers also warn that if the carbon filter is not replaced often enough, bacteria can build up on the surface of the carbon and fill the entire surface. “When water is poured through the saturated filter, it will not filter effectively and some of the bacteria can contaminate the water,” the scientists say. This is not your idea of potable water, is it?

In sum, Elumoye advises people to boil their water and filter it if they think it is not pure enough.

“And after boiling, you may just pour it into a large container where everybody can have access to it, rather than bottling it. Again, unused water must be discarded by the following day and a new one boiled for use. That way, you are sure of what you are drinking,’ Elumoye counsels.

[By: Solaade Ayo-Aderele Via Punch]

Odedina Taofeek

3.4m HIV positive Nigerians


3.4m HIV positive Nigerians
June 9, 2013

The recent disclosure by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) that 3.4 million Nigerians are living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) has underscored the need to strengthen the fight against the pandemic. The agency’s Director-General, Prof. John Idoko, who stated this at a recent Senate public hearing on a bill to prohibit discrimination against persons living with HIV/AIDS, also explained that with this figure, Nigeria had the second largest global HIV burden.

The NACA DG noted that while the national prevalence had stabilized at about four percent, 13 states of the federation still carry higher burden of the debilitating health condition. Having stated, also, that the country is behind target in several important indicators, he explained that only one out of every three people in need of HIV drugs is currently receiving treatment. Only 18 percent of HIV positive women, he added, received prophylaxis against mother-to-child transmission of the disease, while more than 40 percent of HIV-positive persons do not know their status.

While declaring open the public hearing, the Senate President, David Mark, represented by the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Abdul Ningi, called for an end to stigmatization and discrimination against persons living with HIV. He stressed that citizens should be educated more about the virus. Ningi also lamented that many HIV-positive people were afraid to go for tests or access necessary treatment because of negative societal behaviour. Also, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, observed that the HIV pandemic poses a big challenge to health and development across the world. He noted that “in the countries that are worst affected, including Nigeria, the impact of HIV/AIDS has eroded decades of developmental goals and gains, stultifying economies and destabilizing societies.”

It is good that NACA has disclosed the scope of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the country. The news that Nigeria is behind target in several important indicators, and has the second highest HIV burden in the world, is sad. Let NACA and its sister agencies at state and local government levels evolve strategies to curb the spread of the virus, especially as it affects mother-to-child transmission. Every effort should be geared towards mitigating the impact of the disease and its prevention among the vulnerable groups.  Political leaders should be part of the effort to step up the fight against AIDS. Development partners and aids agencies should ensure that all monies budgeted for the disease are judiciously utilised for the benefit of the target group. Diversion of AIDS funds to other uses in developing countries has been fingered as one of the major causes of the continued spread of the virus in sub-Saharan African countries, including Nigeria. All hands must be on deck to check such fund leakages so that the fight against HIV can be given the seriousness it deserves. Currently, 1.5 million people living with HIV in Nigeria require anti-retroviral (ARVs) drugs using the new World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. But, only 30 percent of people living with HIV who need the drugs have access to it, while less that 30 percent of pregnant women have access to Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) services.

Current global statistics show that HIV is the leading cause of death and disease among women of reproductive age (15-49 years). And, in sub-Saharan African countries, 60 percent of the people living with HIV are female while women make up 50 percent of the global epidemic. In Nigeria, prevalence among young women aged 15-24 years is estimated to be three times higher than among men of the same age.

These worrisome statistics call for critical interventions that recognise not only the scope of the problem, but the gender disparity in the nation’s HIV burden.

Odedina Taofeek

30 Things Every Woman Should Have By 30 Posted by Odedina Taofeek


If you are a woman close to your thirties, this is our list of 30 things you should have:

1. An education – This is the best investment you could ever make in your life. Continue learning because as long as you keep learning, you keep growing.

2. A vocation: In addition to your education, become a professional in your career or area of specialisation. Get trained and get the necessary qualifications.

3. A savings account in your own name (and enough money in it) – One of the wisest investments you can make is starting a savings account early. Apportion at least 10% of your earnings to this account and watch it grow.

4. A sense of humor, style and purpose – Humor is very attractive and will get you through some tough patches. A sense of style lets you stand out from your peers and having purpose ensures you pursue your goals with focus.

5. The wisdom to fall in love with your eyes open – Know what you want out of your love relationships and avoid being carried away with the ‘feeling’ of love.

6. The perfect suit to wear for a job interview – As you move higher in life, there’s sure to be numerous job interviews. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so make sure your suit gives the very best first impression.

7. A set of matching luggage – You may need to go on vacation sometime.  Do it in style with your set of matching luggage.

8. A matching set of lacy bikini – Who knows? You may need to relax at the beach when you go off on that vacation or go for a swim anytime soon. Make sure your bikini is just perfect for the occasion.

9. A recipe for a meal you are almost perfect at – Even if it’s something basic, make sure you are almost perfect at preparing one complete meal.

10. A first love (and several other loves) – The magic of first love is as painful when it’s over, but the best part of it is that after you cry your eyes out, you let go and become wiser. And when you love again, you will know how to keep it. This time, longer.

11. A broken heart (and the knowledge that you can survive it) – A broken heart means that you tried…at least. Only time (and girlfriends) can heal your broken heart. You can survive it….and love again.

12. One friend that makes you laugh….and one you can always run to– What can we do without close friends? Make friends for life and be a friend yourself.

13. A childhood you are grateful for (though not perfect) – None of us chose our childhood, but we can be grateful for all it taught us (perfect or not).

14. A plan for the future you are looking forward to – Without a plan for your future, how do you know when you get there? Sit down with yourself and write where you see yourself in 3, 5, 10 years and make a plan to get there.

15. A good skin care routine – Glowing skin is the dream of every woman. But it does not just happen. Get a good skin care regimen that is best for your skin type and watch your skin glow.

16. A good hairdresser – A woman’s hair is her crowning glory. Get a hairdresser who understands your hair and can help you maintain it in the best possible way.

17. A tailor who can make drop dead outfits – The way you dress is the way you will be addressed. Get a tailor who knows what style really is.

18. A spiritual foundation and faith in God – Maintaining a relationship with God is the best foundation for life. He is your creator and redeemer, so get closer to Him each passing day.

19. A drop dead gorgeous photo of yourself – to remind you that you are beautiful.

20. A best friend – If you fall down, your best friend will pick you up. If you need a hand or a shoulder to cry on, your best friend will be there.

21. A dream – it all starts with a dream. Dream! Let your imagination run wild while you fill up a blank sheet of paper with everything you want to be, do or have. This will keep you going even in the tough times.

22. The phone number of someone who will drop everything and come when you call.

23. A perfectly fitted bra – Wearing the right sized bra is comfortable, helps your posture and aids the lymph flow inside your breasts.  Also, since your breasts will spend most of their time in a bra, should they not be comfortable?

24. A pair of jeans that fit just right – Most ladies will wear a pair of jeans at least once a week. Jeans can also be worn for informal and semi-formal events. Having one that fits just right would make you stand out from the crowd.

25. A handbag you can never get tired of – Handbags are one of those accessories a lady can’t do without. A nice, reasonably sized leather handbag will always do the trick.

26. An average proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel – No matter who you are or what you do, you need to be computer savvy. Start with basic Microsoft Word and Excel, but don’t stop there.

27. Confidence – You are a woman. You are important. Carry yourself as one.

28. Humility – Modesty and an unassuming nature are not signs of weakness. Only a very strong and confident person can be humble. Refuse to get puffed up but remain humble.

29. The guts to say No without feeling guilty – People will always need you to do things for them. Do as much as you can but never choke yourself just to please people. Sometimes you just need to say No.

30. A competitive streak: A desire to be the best and to stand out from the crowd. Make yourself more productive so that you remain relevant.

Odedina Taofeek

Top 10 Poisonous Foods We Love To Eat


Everyday we chow down on food produced from plants that carry deadly poisons. Most of the time we don’t need to be concerned with this as the mass production of fruit and vegetables ensures that we are usually safe, but from time to time people accidentally kill themselves by unwittingly eating the wrong part of a plant. In order to ensure that this never happens to you, I have put together a list of the most commonly seen poisons that we come in to contact with in our kitchens.

We have all heard of toadstools – and know that they are poisonous, but what many people don’t know is that a toadstool is actually a mushroom, not a separate type of plant. Toadstool is slang for “poisonous mushroom”. While there are some useful signs that a mushroom is poisonous, they are not consistent and all mushrooms of unknown origin should be considered dangerous to eat. Some of the things you can look for to try to determine whether a mushroom is poisonous are: it should have a flat cap with no bumps, it should have pink or black gills (poisonous mushrooms often have white gills), and the gills should stay attached to the cap (not the stalk) if you pull it off. But remember, while this is generally true of many types of mushroom, it is not always true.

Ogun University Teaching Hospital workers issue 3-day ultimatum to Government over N2bn debt Post on NEWS WATCH by Odedina Taofeek


The hospital workers will hold a congress on April 29.

The Joint Health Sector Unions of Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, Ogun State, have issued a three-day ultimatum to the government to off-set N2 billion salary debts it owed the workers.
The body comprises the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Senior Staff Association (SSA) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU).

They gave the ultimatum on Wednesday in Sagamu at a news conference.

According to the Chairman of the health workers union, Abiodun Ojabello, the debts include March 2011 salary deductions and the 17 months Consolidated Tertiary Institution Salary Scale (CONTISS) arrears.
The other debts are 13 months Consolidated Health Salary Scale (CONHESS) arrears and the Contributory Pension Scheme.

He blamed government’s insensitivity to the dilapidated state of the teaching hospital in spite of the 21-day ultimatum and another seven-day earlier given.
The body observed that the failure of government to constitute a hospital board also hindered the smooth running of the institution.

They listed other agitation to include action on shortage of staff, lack of modern infrastructure and equipment, erratic electricity supply, 2011 and 2012 promotion of workers.

Chairmen of the various unions in their various submissions, said there was need for government to come to their aid urgently.

They said the hospital was strategically located on two major federal high ways and warned against impending epidemic, if the government failed to quickly intervene in the matter.

“The Ogun State Government owes the university workers an outstanding debt of over N2 billion which we believe is long overdue and we are asking for our legitimate entitlement,’’ he said.

Mr. Ojabello threatened that if government refused to listen to their grievances, the unions would abide by the outcome of the congress at the expiration of the ultimatum on April 29.

The Chairman of NANNM, Funmilayo Sholarin, said that the 248 nurses in the hospital were not enough to take care of about 1,000 patients that needed medical attention on a daily basis.

The NASU Chairman, Emmanuel Akinleye, said the crisis, which had been on since 2009, had persisted due to the inability of government to dialogue.

Mr. Akinleye added that the management used generator for not less than 18 hours daily, thus spending millions of naira on diesel monthly.

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