Google+ Followers

Thursday, 22 September 2011

POLIO: A PAINFUL REALITY



I have just read now that Polio has been found in China for the 1st time since 1999 with the WHO saying that it spread from Pakistan and it just takes my mind back to my guest today on “Talk Nigeria’ Ihuoma Kelechi. A young woman who has battled to live with the knock out from Polio at the age of 3. My time with Ihuoma this morning opened my eyes to the hardship that this country Nigeria has inflicted and afflicted her citizens with because I don’t know how you explain  the fact that a young woman who has struggled to study and pass through school, falling and tripping along the way because of her condition, cannot get a job because someone thinks she is physically unable to perform.

She shared her story with us this morning and acknowledged the fact that she has a wonderful family who really cares about her! “I fell to Polio as age 3” she says and “I have had to live with the hard fact that I will never be physically fit like my peers” but “ I am never deterred and that’s why I wont “fall” again because I do have a destination in mind”…these words spelt courage boldly in my face and took my mind back to a 2 year old child that was reportedly hit by Polio in March this year. It is such an irony that this little child may end up telling the same story that Kelechi narrated this morning with regret written all over his face in 2043! Where am I going you may ask? Do we have to wait and watch isolated cases like this before something is done to preserve life?

 Last year, WHO discovered that Nigeria had made significant progress towards the final eradication of the polio virus. WHO director, Dr Margaret Chan made the disclosure at the 60th Session of the Regional Committee for Africa in Malabo, only for Nigerians to receive a rude shock when the country’s name popped up in WHO’s report as one of the four countries yet to be free from polio. Nigeria was lumped alongside India, Pakistan and Afghanistan were also listed among the shameful four and their initials formed what you and I know as PAIN…something that these Polio sufferers face having to move around.  The world health monitoring body therefore tasked the identified countries to hasten to achieve 100 percent eradication of poliomyelitis by the year 2012. The target, just 3 months away leaves so much to the imagination and I asked myself how achievable that can be if it has proven difficult all these years!

A proactive nation knows what to do when there is fire on the mountain just as I like to describe polio and what it does to people, China where a new case has been discovered, in Xinjiang province; they have launched a vaccination campaign in the region to forestall further spread but here in Nigeria, one case out of many just means that its not time yet to wade in until many more children are struck by “king Polio” then the government begins to chase shadows!

Ihuoma Kelechi is just one out of many who was lucky enough to have an avenue to voice her frustrations and concern. She volunteers as a teacher in one of the schools in Lagos and guess what she earns? N10, 000.00 having to commute from Ojota to Ikeja where her school is, in that terrible condition. Kelechi is a university graduate but can’t get a job because someone thinks she cannot walk around and I think that crazy and unheard of! I just think Government needs to understand that Polio eradication remains an urgent priority for it. For the common man, it is pertinent to note that maintaining proper and quality hygiene will help reduce the spread of communicable diseases like Polio. Mothers should also ensure that children get the complete dose of all the immunization they need as children and for me I just think  organizations should also try and leave some position for persons with disability to give them a sense of belonging.

Monday, 19 September 2011

WHAT NOT TO WEAR TO A JOB INTERVIEW

When you are dressing for a job interview, image really is everything. The image you present to a potential employer is the first thing they are going to notice about you - before you even have a chance to say a word or shake a hand. 

In order to make a good first impression, you need to dress professionally and separate your social image from your professional presence.

Never wear Flip-flops or sneakers. 

Underwear (bras, bra straps, briefs, boxers, etc.) that is visible. 

Don't wear any underwear that shows - even if your bra straps match your top. 

No Shorts, Jeans, Pants that are too low-rise or too tight. 

Blouses that are too low-cut or too short - don't show your cleavage or your belly. 

Make sure the top of your thong, if you wear one, doesn't show above your pants.

BABIES: the Joy, the Tears and the Hope!

Babies are an heritage from God and the birth of twins should be a thing of happiness, quite a number of couples here in Nigeria look forward to having babies 9 months after the wedding as if it’s a simple formula in mathematics where 1+ 1 always amounts to 2 and they are often disappointed when it doesn’t happen that way.
The story of Daniel and Cecilia Edeba is one that brings tears to the eyes, people cry for various reasons, for some couple with fertility problems, they cry all night and day worrying and asking their makers WHY but for these 2, the birth of triplets, (3 boys) in times like this in Nigeria without a means of livelihood is not an easy burden to bear. I got introduced to them through someone who I had been communicating with on Facebook and he requested that I helped in any way I could so I asked them to come over with the kids so I can have them on my radio programme. This beautiful Wednesday Daniel and Cecilia joined me bright and early and we hit it off on air. My interaction with these 2 really cast my mind to what it used to be in the past, the burden that came with attempting to keep twins alive.
In Nigeria where I come from the birth of twins used to be a taboo, I remember the tales I heard from older relatives about Arochukwu in Abia State, the Eastern part of Nigeria which was known to many as the igbo heartland, it also had the reputation of inflicting pain and sorrow on parents and families of those who gave birth to twins and refused to give them up to be killed. It was believed then that the “supreme god” abhorred twins. This was the practice until a Scottish missionary Mary Slessor who came to Nigeria in the 1870’s worked tirelessly to put a stop to the brutal killing of twins in Nigeria and i just wonder what it would have been like with triplets in those days!
Cecilia recalled how difficult it was to manage to feed her 2 other children even before she got pregnant again with the triplets. She was managing to do menial jobs here and their earned pittance doing the chores but had to stick to it because her family needed to feed, Daniel was working as an attendant in one of the small guest houses in lagos, at some point they both realized they were out of jobs. Life got harder to get by and for 2 persons who know little or nothing about family planning or protected sex, she became pregnant and realized triplets were on their way. It was a heart touching story and I shared with people with the help of web 2.0 which helped me reach a good number of people who responded to the cry for help.
Daniel just waved me bye now after sharing with me how an 80 year old woman called him after listening to their story and made a donation to help them get on in this bittersweet journey of life. I sit and wonder when the government here will wake up to its responsibility of catering to the needs of the less privileged especially women and children. I am also hoping Daniel and Cecilia will have to look at family planning options so that they can be there to take care of their 5 children. Its so ironic that one thing which brings laughter and joy to others means a different thing entirely for this couple! With these boys come JOY...TEARS....and HOPE for tomorrow!