Category Archives: Health

Trash Right, Live Right

It was an evening after close of business. Home was calling and the roads were busy. He finished his wrap of sausage roll and out of the window of the car, the wrapper flew. 


Saturdays have a way of making us do some kind of sanitation – wholesome or partial. Homes are cleaned up, surroundings are tidied up and the resulting trash is packaged or heaped outside the gates for the authorities to pick up. 

In Lagos, the Lagos Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) is in charge of managing the trash from such sanitation exercise with trucks coming around almost every weekend to pick up trash and refuse but I am more interested today in the trash they gather on the roads and highways.

When you enter a City, the roads are the first things you notice – good & clean or bad & dirty or a mixture of both. The 1st day I stepped on the city of Owerri, I was marvelled. Clean roads from Orlu road through Wetheral and along Douglas. I trekked in admiration and wondered. I heard it was once the cleanest city but within the next 5 years after my 1st visit, the city had great moments of being gardened in huge dumps of refuse.

Douglas road was oozing to the heavens despite having one of the largest market in the City. Recently I heard the state government had to leave the mountain heap of refuse that took as much as a lane on each side of the road as a payback to the people. Seriously? Let’s not talk about Aba. We can say positive things about Enugu, Ilorin, Abeokuta and a few other cities.

That aside, nothing bothers me most than seeing a road commuter throw thrash through the car window on the road. On my way back from work few months ago, a plastic bottle flew out of a public bus into the road with so much velocity that it could crack the windscreen of another vehicle. We had to swerve to avoid the bottle. The bottle with other of its cousins will play along the road until someone picks them up. Who? The street sweeper from the waste management agency.

What kind of education do you have that gives you a pat on the back for throwing thrash on the road and expecting an “uneducated” person to pick it up and make the city clean for you to brag that “I live in a clean city”?

A testimony was shared in a big branch of a very big church in Lekki. The lady stopped on the bridge to throw thrash into the waters below. She noticed a man on the other side of the bridge crossing over to most probably rob them. They had to zoom off without polluting the waters. Everyone praised God but the water had the ultimate victory – saved by an unknown.

Cleanliness is next to godliness it is said but it is not restricted to how clean your clothes are or how tidy your living room,  kitchen or other room are. How do you affect your environment? Do you also fling plastic bottles, snack wrappers, papers off the vehicle? You would prefer to have your car tidy to causing nuisance on the same road you ply? Tomorrow, you would be the first to say the roads are untidy? 

They may be doing the dirty job of keeping the roads clean but I must commend the street sweepers and members of the waste management agency that ensure the roads are swept regularly. This post is for them. They endanger their lives, working on the roads and highways, picking up the products of your iresponsibility. Please respect them. Drive carefully when you see them in action. 

More importantly, live responsibly. Keep your trash in your car till you see a trashbin. God abhors dirtiness and irresponsibility. Check yourself and live right.

Trash right.

@AmosCP

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Lassa Fever: All You Need To Know

I got this publication in the office memo and it is worth sharing to save lives.

Lassa Fever

  1. Lassa fever is an acute viral infection caused by the Lassa virus.
  2. Everyone must take special care as Lassa fever is common to West Africa and it is an endemic disease in Nigeria.
  3. The United States Centers for Control and Prevention states that the viral disease was first discovered in 1969 when two missionary nurses died in a village in Nigeria.
  4. The agency states that the virus is named after the town in Nigeria where the first cases occurred.
  5. There is a recent outbreak in Nigeria over the past 7weeks, which has claimed 40 lives.
  6. 17 of the 36 states in Nigeria have been affected by this and a total of 397 cases have been reported, out of which 87 have been confirmed.
  7. The reservoir, or host, of Lassa virus is a rodent known as the multimammate rat of the genus Mastomys. It is not certain which species of Mastomys are associated with Lassa; however, at least two species carry the virus in some countries.
  8. It is also spread by direct contact with the blood, urine, faeces or other bodily secretions of a person with Lassa fever. In short, those who contract this virus must have touched or eaten something that had been touched by an infected rat
  9. Humans usually become infected with Lassa virus from exposure to urine or faeces of infected Mastomys rats. Lassa virus may also be spread between humans through direct contact with the blood, urine, faeces, or other bodily secretions of a person infected with Lassa fever.
  10. There is no scientific evidence supporting airborne spread between humans.
  11. Person-to-person transmission occurs in both community and health-care settings, where the virus may be spread by contaminated medical equipment, such as re-used needles.
  12. Sexual transmission of Lassa virus has been reported.
  13. Lassa fever occurs in all age groups and both sexes.
  14. Persons at greatest risk are those living in rural areas where Mastomys are usually found, especially in communities with poor sanitation or crowded living conditions.

Symptoms

  1. As in Ebola, the symptoms of Lassa fever occur one to three weeks after the patient comes into contact with the virus. Its general symptoms may include general malaise, weakness, and headache in mild cases but quickly adds that when untreated, the infection may progress to respiratory distress, bleeding in the gums, repeated vomiting, facial swelling, pain in the chest, back and abdomen as well as shock.
  2. Neurological problems such as hearing loss, tremours, and encephalitis are symptoms of severe cases and if left untreated, death may occur within two weeks after symptom onset due to multi-organ failure in an infected person.
  3. The most common complication of Lassa fever is deafness. Various degrees of deafness occur in approximately one-third of infections, and in many cases hearing loss is permanent. As far as is known, severity of the disease does not affect this complication: deafness may develop in mild as well as in severe cases.
  4. Death usually occurs within 14 days of onset in severe cases. The disease is worse in pregnant women and nursing mothers.

Prevention

  1. Preventing Lassa fever is first about knowing the source. The disease is spread by exposure to and eating of food contaminated with rat dropping or urine.
  2. Store food, cooking utensils and drinking water properly in rodent-proof containers.
  3. Keep homes clean and discourage rodent entry. Block all rat hideouts.
  4. Using rodent as food source is discouraged.
  5. Clean traps and dispose carcass neatly.
  6. “Soaking of Garri” as a meal should be discouraged for now.
  7. “Tasting of raw food” in the markets before purchases should be discouraged for now.
  8. Cook all foods thoroughly
  9. If you suspect that rat has eaten any food, discard it
  10. Hand washing with soap and running water regularly.
  11. Early treatment and proper fever management can improve survival chances. Report all suspected cases to appropriate Health Authorities.

I think the information above should help.

Do the needful.