So I am to write about the nuances of living with HIV as a woman in Nigeria. My first thought was ‘ do you have time’? The issues leading up to and concerning the HIV + Nigerian women are many and multi-dimensional but they all point to one thing: culture. I will look at it from different angles, peppering it with true-life stories as we go along.
People I have told about my illness always ask the same question initially: How did you get it? My answer is always I do not know. I was not particularly cautious about not sharing blades or clippers, etc., so it could have been contracted through those means. But if truth were to be told, I was not particularly careful about my sexual dalliances either. And this is my first ‘port of call’ on this topic: Prevention.
She made the wrong choice…whether because she knew no better or was simply nonchalant…and she was paying the ultimate price for that wrong decision!
A young lady had been rushed into the hospital in shock from massive haemorrhage following an attempt to deliver “normally” at a traditional birth attendant’s place. Ironically, she was a known patient of this hospital who had defaulted care after being counselled on the need to have an elective (planned) Caesarean section (CS) in view of the fact that she had already had two (2) previous CSs.
A quick assessment showed that she had suffered a Uterine rupture (her womb had torn open inside her) and the baby was already dead in her, but she still needed a surgery to have any chance of surviving and she was going to need lots of blood. She was quickly resuscitated and moved to the theatre where fortunately the surgeons were able to put together the uterus…but she had lost so much blood that her platelets (the important blood constituent that help to stop bleeding by promoting clotting) had been used up (a feared complication referred to as Disseminated Intravascular Coagulopathy – DIC). She was going to need urgent transfusions with Platelet concentrates (a blood product) or freshly donated whole blood ( cos platelets don’t survive/last long once the blood is removed from the human circulation). Unfortunately, none of these were available in the hospital’s blood bank, only a few units of old stored blood which would do her no good! Her husband and relatives were informed to do their utmost to get her fresh whole blood, unfortunately their own blood groups were not a match for hers. They set off into town at that late hour of the night to look for blood or donors.
Surgery was over, and there she lay in the recovery room bleeding out slowly from every puncture and incision site. There was nothing else the Doctors could do but wait and hope for blood to come. She died 3 hours later…with no sight of blood!
YOU COULD HAVE SAVED HER IF YOU DONATED BLOOD VOLUNTARILY TO THE HOSPITAL’S BLOOD BANK…THEY WOULD HAVE A STOCK OF FRESH BLOOD WAITING IF WE ALL DID!
Our nation’s healthcare facilities suffer a recurrent scarcity of blood and blood products which frequently translates into untimely deaths for many folks in dire need of blood.
Voluntary blood donation is a safe and healthy practice that would ensure that the blood banks of our hospitals have a constant supply of blood for patients.
The National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), with offices in every state capital around the country, is saddled with the task of collecting blood from voluntary donors and distributing same to health facilities according to demand.
You can donate blood as often as thrice a year with no untoward consequences. Your red blood cells have a lifespan of about 90 days and are totally replaced by your body in that time so whether you donate it or not, it’s used up and refreshed regularly.
Pls make voluntary blood donation a regular practice…the life saved may just be that of someone dear to you!
The recent demise, following a suspected suicide, of popular movie star Robin Williams and subsequent revelation of the fact that he had been battling chronic depression and alcoholism for years has renewed interest in this subject. Continue reading DEPRESSION→
Once again, #Ebola is in the news!
Ebola is an illness that cause death in up to 9 out of every 10 persons infected.
It is caused by a tiny particle called a virus. Some viruses cause mild illnesses (like common cold). Others like Ebola virus cause very severe illness and quite often, death. Continue reading EBOLA→
The mere mention of HIV or AIDS is enough to evoke terror in any audience. It is difficult to believe that just 32 years ago, no one knew this illness existed. Now, AIDS is a global catastrophe that virtually everybody is aware of. Continue reading HIV/AIDS→
The month of October is recognised internationally as “Breast Cancer Awareness month” (BCAM), a tradition dating back to 1985, with many activities set aside to promote the awareness of the Breast cancer burden/scourge.
The “Pink Ribbon” (and the colour Pink) is the internationally accepted symbol of Breast cancer awareness and advocacy, a practice that first evolved in 1991.
Angelina Jolie’s announcement that she had undergone a “prophylactic” bilateral mastectomy (surgical removal of both breasts) earlier this year, after discovering that she carried genetic mutations that greatly increased the risk of susceptibility to Breast cancer, again drew worldwide media attention to the scourge of this condition. Other popular personalities/celebrities Continue reading BREAST CANCER→
Although we had a lot of reservations about putting up a public post on this very sensitive topic, those were largely overcome by the large number of requests for information on this seemingly distressing problem.
So here goes…
Premature ejaculation occurs when a male sex partner reaches orgasm (“comes”, “climaxes”, etc) before he or his partner desires so…that is, he reaches orgasm (and thus ejaculates) too early. This may range from before penetration to shortly after doing so. It’s not a matter of length of time or duration of intercourse, but rather simply about adequately satisfying himself and the partner. Continue reading Premature Ejaculation!→
…the man suddenly slumped, the ladies around shrieked and screamed, the party came to a sudden halt, people milling around wondering what could have happened, speculation filled the air. It took a while before someone could organise a car and they lifted him in speeding off to the nearest ER, where he was confirmed dead on arrival!
Could anything have been done to save that life, and indeed many others? YES! Continue reading CARDIO-PULMONARY RESUSCITATION (CPR)→
Dr: When was your last normal menstrual period (LNMP)?
Lady: em…sometime last month, I think!
Dr: Pls can u be more specific?
Lady: I can’t remember exactly…
Dr: What’s your regular/usual cycle length?
Lady: em…most times it flows well for 3 days, then…
Dr: Sorry to cut u short, but I meant the cycle length…that is the number of days between one period and the next
Lady: Oh I see…its every month na!
The above is an excerpt from a typical discussion between a Dr and a female patient…and its exasperatingly quite common. Its amazing to realise how many ladies know so little about their menstrual cycle pattern or understand that therein lies the clue to many gynaecological problems!
Let’s briefly undertake a study of some relevant details of the menstrual cycle. Continue reading Menstrual Cycle→
Our ears are the seat of hearing, one of our 5 senses. While we know that it is necessary for hearing, many people may be unaware that it is also an organ of balance. In other words if your ears do not stabilize you, you’ll literally feel like you are spinning in space a condition known as Vertigo. Continue reading Ear Care→