Health

Sustainable development goals

by Admin on

#ACT4SDGs
In the year 2000, the Millennium development goals (MDGs) were set towards year 2015. There were 8 goals in all, with targets and indicators for each goal. Some progress was made, some of the goals were realised to a reasonable extent but with much more still left to be done especially on a global front.

To consolidate on the plans and ensure continued improvement, another gathering in July 2014 saw the institution of the SDGs (Sustainable development goals) to span year 2015 – 2030, starting 25th September of 2015.

There are 17 global goals, inter-related SDGs, along with 169 associated targets. The SDGs are officially known as “Transforming our world”.

It is important for all hands to be on deck and for collaborative efforts to be in full swing towards realising these goals as at when due – 2030. The United Nations is open to partnerships from governments, agencies and global/local initiatives in support of the goals already set.

To partner, visit http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/partnerships
Find out more details, and the 17 goals at https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs

Sources:
https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs
http://www.sdgfund.org/mdgs-sdgs

Baby Friendly Initiative

by Admin on

The Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was launched by WHO and UNICEF in 1991, following the Innocenti Declaration of 1990. The initiative is a global effort to implement practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

Ten pillars of successful breastfeeding

Every member of the hospital staff that will directly or indirectly contact the mothers should have basic knowledge about breastfeeding. Such details should be penned down and easy to refer to or present to a new member of staff.

Practical sessions should be organised to train the members of staff on what has been written down. For example, each member of staff should be able to demonstrate to the mothers how they can position the baby properly for breastfeeding.

Pregnant women should be put through the benefits of breastfeeding throughout their antenatal visits and contact with the hospital, either through general organised sessions or one on one as they visit. Printed leaflets will also go a long way to achieve this.

Sometimes, the healthcare providers can so focus on keeping the mother stable that they forget the newborn needs to get fed and that quickly. Unless where otherwise indicated, help both mother and child to get on with breastfeeding within 30 minutes of delivery.

It is not enough to tell the mother to start breastfeeding, show them how (positioning and sitting posture) and make sure they get it right. Should there be a need for separation, either the baby is admitted into a neonatal unit or the mother is admitted, they should be allowed some time together, mother should express milk from their breast too where direct breastfeeding may be impossible.
This will prevent breast engorgement and abscess in the mother.

The breast milk contains all the baby needs – nutrients, water. A lot of people feel an irresistible urge to quench the baby’s thirst with water. Breast milk is ENOUGH!

Bonding between mother and child is very important especially in those first days, weeks and months of the baby’s existence. Neonatal baby units and wards usually have a room and space for mothers to be as close to their babies as possible in the event that the baby is admitted.

Feed the baby as often as possible, theirs isn’t thrice a day.

You know those “mouth plugs” and mouth pieces to stop the baby from crying? Stop using them.

A breastfeeding group or club doesn’t sound bad, there’s strength in numbers so why not.

It is advocated that babies be exclusively breastfed for 4-6 months, that is, at least 4 months of breastmilk only without water or any other thing. Other fluids should be introduced from 6 months. This is the ideal and best practice. Workplace practices should cater for this provision to encourage women to comply as possible.

Oluwatosin Fatade (MB;BS Ib)

Sources

http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/bfhi/en/
https://www.unicef.org/programme/breastfeeding/baby.htm

Pills and Potions

by Admin on

Written by Oluwatosin Fatade

Items that are considered edible are on a spectrum: on one end are those tagged ‘food’; at the other, poisons. Drugs, pills are somewhere in the middle. The age-long tussle between the white man’s pill and alternative Potions, herbal mixtures and traditional preparations is simply a matter of science. All drugs are herbs, food and potential poisons, the dose being the difference. The trick is to know how much of it to use, when and when not to use, among other things.

The white man has subjected his herbs to scientific procedures of knowing the active ingredient, its mechanism of action, how the body gets rid of it, its potential effects (both desired and undesired) and the corresponding doses at which it is simply an edible substance, a drug for a certain ailment and a toxic item or poison. What is majorly obtainable in developing and third world economies is a “one-size-fits-all” approach. We cannot tell what part of the potion actually does the trick or how it does it, we just know it does some ‘magic’. Unfortunately in the same vein, some of our health challenges are due to it, but we cannot tell too objectively.

A lot of research goes into these things. It is harmful to assume one thing can cure all.
As a doctor, I find it hypocritical when patients and clients who ingest herbs, Potions and concoctions without protest turn to interrogators when a pill (whose profile is tested and known) is prescribed. Usually, those herbs are advised by a non-medical fellow, a grandma or neighbour or self acclaimed leaves expert. They cannot tell you how the drug works or what its side effects and long term effects will be, but the promise is always the same, it will work! Some times, maybe most times, they’re lucky on the short term. Of course they’ll be long gone and effects untraceable to them should an issue arise much later. Remember that a doctor or health professional will and should inform you of the desired and undesired effects of the drug he/she is about to offer you, usually with an allowance of the possibility that it may not work or that it may fail in some cases. But it is the very things that are known that we question, not the unknown.

If we question our herbs and Potions as much as we do already standardised drugs, we would have gotten nearer to inventing more drugs and improving their safety.

In using drugs, dosage is very important, and this depends not just on the ailment to be treated but also on the recipient of that drug. A lot of parameters are considered, from the person’s weight, age, sex, other illnesses present to a host of many others. For instance, let’s assume that drug JKL is used to treat headache. A 5 yr old is likely to get a higher dose of JKL than a 2yr old. Two 5yr old with significant weight difference will get different doses; another 5 yr old with headache and cough may get a drug totally different from JKL. This is not so with herbs and Potions. A cup of herb PQR prepared by Mr D may not be as concentrated as Mr Z’s preparation with same ingredients.

The safety profile of drugs are also very important, before they can gain wide approval for use. Item APF at a dose of 2 spoons can be edible and pass as food, 4 spoons may achieve cure for a certain disease, 6 spoons can be as lethal as poison. These doses cannot be arrived at by mere trial and error, imagine you’re the one who had 6 spoons of APF.

We need local research, we need to fund them. We sure have very potent items for different diseases among us. We must be able to isolate them and repackage them into acceptable forms, not just for the world’s use to achieve cure but also so we stop poisoning ourselves without knowing it.

Written by Oluwatosin Fatade

The world’s population is estimated at about 7 billion as at the last time of caring to find out. Going by the high turnover of pregnancies and deliveries I have personally taken record of, 10 billion must be warming up on the sidelines! I also think there are enough Myths about everything to go round a quarter of the world’s population!
Well, let’s talk about Myths surrounding pregnancy, and childbirth. There are tons of them, we all probably practice one or two without even knowing it. Either actively or passively, these have been passed down to us as meat to be chewed, re-chewed and churned out to offsprings like the cud.
I’m hoping your diet will change after reading this, you’ll focus on nutritional meat rather than these unfounded staples.

Umbilical cord care

Umbilical cord

  1. The umbilical cord must be heated or rubbed with something.
    Abort mission! Do not attempt to heat that newborn’s umbilical cord with lantern, candles or hot knife. Cases of tetanus have been recorded through such practices and yes, it is deadly! Some have done it without repercussions, don’t gamble. A baby’s cord will fall off within a week if it has been properly tied off. All you need do at all is clean it 2ce or 3ce daily within a clean wipe or cotton wool made wet with methylated spirit. And, don’t tuck it in with the pampers please! You don’t want shit and urine traveling up the cord into the baby, do you?
Breastfeeding, baby friendly initiative
  1. The baby needs water to quench thirst.
    Breast milk contains enough water to quench the baby’s thirst even if the baby is a desert. The breast milk is always served fresh at the right temperature and in the right safest container. Don’t risk your baby’s life just yet with the poor water you’re used to. Breast milk only for the first 4 to 6 months without adding water at all is very sufficient for your baby.
  1. The mother needs hot body massage so her belly won’t be big after delivery.
    El-Oh-El! “Belle wey wan big before go big even if you rub am with fiery furnace”. There’s something called puerperium. It stands for the period after pregnancy that it takes the body to return fully to its pre-pregnant status. Usually 6 weeks, you get where 41 days comes from now, don’t you? The uterus (a woman’s womb) gradually reduces in size after delivery and returns fully to previous state in 6 weeks. Warm compresses or hot massage that won’t burn the skin are good for the skin, it stops there. Don’t turn a newly delivered mother to a burns injury patient.

  2. In the face of probably the most painful experience of a lifetime, someone says to the mother in labour, don’t cry! Ehn? You say what? It is somehow associated with a bad omen, you’ll hear things like, if you cry the first time, you’ll always cry in labour. There’s nothing wrong in crying please, it means you’re normal and can feel pain, no one ever died from crying. There’s much talk about the Hebrew women, nor be only them o. I once had an 18 year old girl, likely Hausa. From the beginning of her labour till the end, we no hear pim! I had heard legends of how people from that tribe can endure pain, or bottle it in, I saw it live! I had to check her more frequently than others. For the sake of your doctor or whoever will take your delivery, please cry if na so e dey do you. Crying is not a sin.

Safety pin
  1. Safety pins, tying clothes into knots or putting a stone behind your ear will not ward off evil spirits. Evil spirits won’t give a hoot about language, the safety in safety pin is to keep your clothes safely tacked together. It is as impotent in keeping you safe as the status of a federal road safety corps officer in a road accident.
Snail, pregnancy myths

Snail

  1. Eating snails or okra won’t give your baby mental retardation or make them slow when born. Please eat these nutritious delicacies freely.
Anterior fontanelle, ọká

Source: http://bodterms.weebly.com/anterior-fontanelle.html

  1. Some people think eating Plantain is the cause of the “hole” in the baby’s head. They call it “ọká” and consider it a disease. It is normal for a baby to have this space, it is called Anterior fontanelle. It allows the baby’s head and brain enough allowance to grow and mature before it closes. It usually remains open for up to 1 year and a half normally.

Have any more beliefs that have been passed down and you’re not sure whether to discard or follow? Reach out to us, we’ll be glad to help out.

Your baby & your Blood group

by Admin on

Written by Oluwatosin Fatade

There are majorly 4 types of blood groups commonly known to us, and they have been ascribed their appellations following the ABO blood group typing. They are so named based on the type of blood cells found on the particular sample being tested, such that a person with blood group A has the A-antigen on the red blood cell, B blood group has B-antigen, AB has both A and B while O blood group has none (neither A nor B). There are many other types of blood groups but the above are the prevalent.
You must have also observed that a sign usually accompanies the above appellations, either a positive or negative. Thus, we have A +ve or –ve, B +ve or –ve, AB +ve or –ve, O +ve or –ve. The positive and negative signs are not arbitrary nor do they have anything to do with arithmetic. The ABO blood grouping system is one of many, the positive and negative belong to yet another grouping system of medical importance hence its prominence; this grouping system is the Rhesus grouping. There are two possibilities in the Rhesus grouping; it is either a Rhesus D factor is present on the red blood cell (in which case it is positive) or it is absent (negative).
The proper appellation of the mix of the ABO and Rhesus grouping will therefore appear as {A ‘Rh D’ positive} for a person with the A-antigen and Rhesus factor present on the red blood cell.

Of the 4 possibilities in the ABO and Rhesus mix, several distribution have been reported among Nigerians based on research work in different parts. The common indices to all however and what is most observed in clinical practice is that the Rhesus negative is not as common as the positive.

The importance of the Rhesus system as hinted earlier is brought to the fore in pregnancy. Let’s consider the scenario below for the purpose of explanation:

You’re O negative and your husband is O positive, your child can be either positive or negative. If negative, no problem but there’s no way to know the baby’s blood group until you’ve delivered. The way to know before delivery is cumbersome and unnecessary.
If the baby is positive, that’s where the concern comes. A concern that is well taken care of by the Rhogam injection.
Usually, for mothers who are O negative, it is just safe to assume the baby is positive since we don’t know for sure.

Rhogam injection is given to prevent Rhesus isoimmunisation which can occur whenever there is a risk or actual mixing of baby’s blood and mother’s blood. e.g any case of trauma, accident, physical assault or violence, abortion or miscarriage, delivery. It is to be administered when such mixing is suspected, a woman who has duly registered her pregnancy in a proper health facility will be put through this. The injection is to be administered within 72 hours of delivery.

O negative just means O Rhesus D negative, meaning you do not have the rhesus factor at all. Same way you are O because you don’t have either of A or B. So O positive which is the assumed blood group of the baby means the baby has rhesus factor, rhesus D positive.
So if there’s mixing, the baby doesn’t get affected. It’s the mother, the mothers body recognises the positive rhesus factors as foreigners and forms soldiers against them (antibodies). These soldiers don’t do anything in or to that particular pregnancy. But in any other pregnancy after that, remember soldiers against rhesus positive have been formed already, if they see any positive, they’ll fight it. Because they already know it as a foreigner unlike first time when they were “caught unawares”.
What Rhogam does is to clear these soldiers if they are formed so as to protect the subsequent pregnancies.

Once a woman has the Rhesus factor, meaning ‘positive’ follows the appellation of the corresponding ABO system she has, there will be no need for Rhogam since she cannot be sensitised to what she already has. Her body cannot form soldiers against positive rhesus factors which she already has in her own body!

If a woman has an abortion either spontaneously (what is commonly called miscarriage) or induced (meaning she sought it herself), it will be necessary to also put into consideration the blood group of both parties that formed the pregnancy to determine whether Rhogam will be needed or not.

Note that the different blood grouping systems are not a basis for discouraging intending couples from getting married as is being advocated in the case of Genotype to curb the prevalence of sickle cell anaemia.

Finally, know your blood group today (or tomorrow). Register your pregnancy in a hospital, ensure it’s not a quack you’re seeing. When you get pregnant, don’t miss your scheduled clinic visits and don’t hesitate to get more clarifications from your health care provider.

Got any questions or clarifications? Comment them below or send a mail to oluwatosinfatade@treasuredclaypot.com.ng

Try out these questions; first 5 correct answers get rewarded (all answers must be correct).
Send your answers, Name, Email address and Phone Number to oluwatosinfatade@treasuredclaypot.com.ng with the subject “QUIZ”. Entries close by midday tomorrow, Friday 26th May.

Questions
1. A man is AB +ve and his wife is B negative, will there be a possible need for Rhogam injection when she becomes pregnant?
2. Mention 4 other blood grouping systems asides ABO and Rhesus systems.
3. Is it advisable for a man with A positive blood group to father a child with a woman with O negative blood group?
4. What is the purpose of Rhogam Injection?

Terms & Conditions
– Medical doctors, nurses and health professionals are not permitted to send in entries
– All answers must be correct.
– No late entries
– No double submissions, no anonymous submissions
– All answers must be accompanied by your full name, email address and phone number.

The Blues – 3

by Alexandra Akinnadeju on

Written by Alexandra

Read Part 1 here
Read Part 2 here

Part 3


My wife had been ignoring the baby, even when he cried. It’s 2 days post-delivery and my ‘Post-delivery Fatigue Syndrome’ diagnosis is beginning to sound lame. We had to make do with infant formula, my mom doing all the feeding. I brought the baby with me yet again as I made for her bedside, but my wife wouldn’t acknowledge the two of us. Then I said, “I’ve been thinking we should name him Gabriel. He doesn’t look like a Solomon to me.” She just kept looking at the baby as if he was some stranger, I tried to place the baby on her laps but she just pushed my hands away. She looked at me and said, “I don’t feel like touching or holding the baby. I don’t know how to act around the baby. I’m just so tired.”
“Just hold the baby, please”, I begged. It was obvious that the orderlies and nurses were eavesdropping. In fact one of them was bold enough to step close to mop the floor though we spilled nothing! Several episodes of same followed and on one of those final efforts, as if overwhelmed by some magical force, my wife stretched out her hand and held the baby. She looked at him for a long time, then smiled. We were eventually discharged on the third day and I was glad to take both mother and child home at last! Home has proven to be the best cure; with both grandmas around, as well as my sister. Sade had stayed out of bed, even breastfed the baby. It was such a relief because I always really worried for her. Breast engorgement is another painful thing I didn’t want her to go through. Day 4 and 5 were largely uneventful but I still kept a close watch on my wife.

Sade woke me up at 2 a.m. the following day and said, “are you sure that is our baby?” In that moment, I knew my night was over. “Of course he is! Why would you think otherwise?” But the ultrasound said it was a girl, she argued. Ultrasounds aren’t 100% accurate, Sade. I made a mental note of looking through the motherhood book she was reading while pregnant. She trusted the book more than she trusted me apparently. “I know something happened to my baby,” she continued. “I heard her cry then she stopped.” Of course, newborns cry and stop and it is a he, not ‘she’ dearie. “They also took my baby away, she started again. Only to clean and weigh her! I replied impatiently.


Sade had gotten better after the naming ceremony but I was losing my mind at work. I had been looking forward to the delivery and so had she. Maybe for different reasons; but hers had all the excitement. She was all ecstatic one minute and ice-cold the next, unpredictable, and yes it frustrated my spirit, soul and body! My consultant called me into his office at work one morning. “Sit down, Olaniyi.” You know something’s wrong when your boss calls you by your first name. I moved to defend myself, I had documented without signing out. A little misdemeanor, but a sign of great indiscipline with this man. “Olaniyi, I have not called you into my office to castigate you over the case note; that is settled. You seem absent minded, and that so unlike you! What is the matter, is your workload too much?” No sir. Are you worried about your exams? “No sir!” I cleared my throat.
“Well, I want reasons young man.” The famous stern voice was returning. “You have a promising future ahead of you. Medicine isn’t something you do absent mindedly. If you keep this up, you are bound to make a mistake which could affect your career.” Sir, I promise to be more focused. He peered at me through his glasses while I squirmed on my seat.
A cold drink or a hot tea?
I adjusted my tie, “a drink sir“. He went to his fridge and brought me a light beer then he took one for himself. He opened his and I followed suit. Although I wasn’t one to take alcohol, I took a sip after him. I felt a bit more relaxed.
Then the old man started telling of how he almost lost his mind after the birth of his first son. “I married late; I’d had a quiet life for 40 years then came this wailing buster. My wife sleeps deeply. I was the one who rocked and fed at night. I almost made a mess of my master’s thesis.” He launched into stories and stories till I started laughing. Then I told him about my wife. How she cries and is always tired. How she is always having fears about the baby and at times showing utter neglect. I told of him of her self-neglect. He listened intently. I went on and on, till I had emptied my heart, and the bottle of beer.
He looked me directly in the eyes and said, “Your wife is having the blues. The earlier you accept the diagnosis, the earlier you would seek help for her sake. Forget about investigating if someone in the family has had this before and take active measures.” By all means pray but let the young lady see a psychiatrist. She wouldn’t forgive you if she were to miss these first days of her child’s life.
Those few months showed me I’m made up of stronger stuff than I think. Our families have been supportive, and I have learnt to ignore the gossips and the ignorant. I’ve learnt to pray, and I’ve come to realize this – a wife is the most delicate and the most important piece in a man’s world. Now I can really appreciate just how scared I was. I thought I had lost my wife! It was not been easy at all- the therapy sessions, the side effects of medications. I had to take an extended leave from work. My wife has won the bout against post-partum depression/psychosis with me as her coach and God as referee. Only she could explain what she went through. I saw the agony and could recognize her pain. For someone who is connected to her body, soul and spirit, I could almost touch the grief or absolutely share it with her. It was just like labor! I did not allow her to suffer in silence. We sought professional and spiritual help. She now thinks the boy is the most beautiful baby in the world. I enjoy watching her do all and more than she has planned!

My Folasade is finally back! Now Gabriel has the love, attention and devotion of mummy and daddy. I can’t wait to watch him grow!

*** the end ***

The Blues – 2

by Alexandra Akinnadeju on

Written by Alexandra

Read Part 1 here


Part 2

It’s the same hospital where I work. The same unit where I am a junior resident. One of my favorite colleagues and senior, Dr. Mrs Olga examined Sade and sent us straight to the delivery room. She clapped my shoulder and said, “you really wanted to deliver this baby at home, what changed your mind?” I couldn’t tell her I had slept while my wife went through labor alone. So much for my preparation against today, the rocking techniques and Lamaze videos we had watched together.
The nurses were more than eager to satisfy all my wife’s whims. We were in the most comfortable delivery room. My mom, who made her way down to the hospital immediately her drowsy and somewhat confused son called her, was allowed to stay. She stayed close and never missed a single sweat that dotted my wife’s brow. I stood close by watching. She had grown less chatty, or so it seemed. She told me over and over that she wasn’t mad at me for sleeping but I still felt so bad.
The head nurse came in and asked if I would wear a glove and an overall on my scrub. I obliged but I was more than satisfied to let her take the delivery while I held and encouraged my wife. She was placed on fluids while I initially declined augmentation. The contractions were strong enough as my wife’s abdomen seemed to vibrate with each wave of contraction. The amniotic membrane was ruptured artificially and at that point it was foolhardy to refuse augmentation. Dr. Olga didn’t bother asking, she went straight ahead.
Sade complied with every command, as the head of the baby crowned.
“Push!!!!!”
She pushed and tears gushed out of her eyes. Mom said it was a bad omen and started reprimanding her…”women don’t cry during labor, it’s bad omen for the baby.” I had to tell mom to let her be, our baby is a blessing from God. It cannot be anything otherwise. My little outburst seemed to give Sade some extra impetus as she gave hard pushes; then it happened – he arrived!

I cannot describe the relief I had when I heard him cry immediately he came out. At least it was all good news thus far. He was the most beautiful bloody-body covered with whitish-dirt I’ve ever seen! I held him for a while, before he was yanked off me by the midwife to be cleaned up. I thought he looked like an angel, a baby angel if one ever existed. Maybe we should name him Raphael, no, Gabriel would be better… “Dr. Olaniyi!” I was brought out of my mini trance. “Your wife, do you think she’ll need a repair? She has a little tear.” For someone who had spent almost a year in obstetrics, I seemed confused. “Please let Dr. Olga examine and decide” I mumbled, as I held Sade’s hand. She seemed to have regained some of her strength, as she asked if I covered the delivery on camera. I smiled and told her the camera was the very last thing on my mind. Truly no amount of preparation could brace one up for the reality. Nothing had gone as I planned, as we planned. In fact I had planned to do a video recording of every moment. My wife and I had had good laughs at how hard she would bite me and call me the most terrible man in the world. She would speak in tongues and sing hosanna in the highest sopranos. In one case scenario, she even sent me out of the labor ward. All we had at that moment was alternate reality.


Suddenly Sade closed her eyes and turned away from me. No eager smile or eyes searching out the crying infant. I asked how she felt and she said she didn’t know. I put on a new pair of gloves quickly to confirm she wasn’t bleeding, since Dr. Olga seemed to be preparing for an emergency caesarean section. I asked for more intravenous fluid because I figured she might be hypoglycemic and exhausted from the whole process. I quickly ordered mom to stay with her while I got something for her to eat.
The nursing sister at the postnatal ward called my name. I was amidst a bunch of my colleagues from the pediatrics department who were on a ward round at the postnatal ward. I ran into them whilst returning from my trip to get Sade her favorite meal. It was a happy atmosphere filled with congratulatory jokes. The nurses had told my colleagues that I was all fidgety in the labor ward, that I kept wringing my hands as if that wasn’t what I did every day. She even went as far as saying I kept making groaning sounds while my wife pushed, like I was the one in labor!
“Doctor, can I have a word with you?” the nurse said as she arrived where we all stood. Alarmed at the tone of her voice, I followed her and asked what the matter was. We tried initiating early breastfeeding for your baby in line with baby-friendly initiatives but your wife has declined breastfeeding. She said she doesn’t feel like it. Should I give him infant formula for now or would you like to speak with her? “It’s okay. I’m going to check on her, thank you”, I replied.
“Folashade, how do you feel?”, I asked as I arrived her bedside. Smiling up at me, she exclaimed “refreshed! “ She was sitting up in bed and looking way better than the woman I saw being wheeled into the post-natal ward hours earlier.

“Would you like to eat now? I asked. “Yesssss!!! Is it moi moi?” Sade, no moi moi please, I got you rice and meat. She gave me a peck, rearranged the bed spread and requested for a tray. I talked while she ate. Then I stood up to throw away the take away pack when she was done and I went to carry the baby from the baby cot beside us. After about 5 minutes of hoping she would take the baby from me and start feeding, I realized something was indeed wrong. I went further to ask gently when she would like to start breastfeeding but she only dismissed us – myself and the baby with a wave of the hand!

To be continued …

The Blues – 1

by Alexandra Akinnadeju on

Written by Alexandra

I’m sitting down quietly listening to my wife ramble on and on about the tiny pink shoes she got at the market today while shopping with my eldest sister. Clearly she couldn’t wait to have the baby put them on, our unborn child.
My wife, Omofolasade, is 32 weeks pregnant, and gone were the days of just a bump. She was never really sick except for the persistent malaria that turned out to be our first baby. It was as if the diagnosis brought on the healing. And since, ‘Omofolasade mi’ hasn’t stopped planning or imagining: how the baby would sound when he or she cries, the cute little faces s/he would make.

I remember her picking up a popular book for soon-to-be mothers and how she would bombard me with question after question. I also remember the numerous, unplanned ultrasounds I had to dutifully attend because she was worried she couldn’t perceive quickening at 18 weeks. Why didn’t I keep my mouth shut?!
Now that she is so round, I come home and watch her every move to her total discomfort. She could ask for the moon and I would die trying to get it for her. Gone was my hour glass babe, at least for now. I can’t seem to shrug off this feeling that I actually did this to her; and everyone appears to be rooting – except the scared me!
I also fear that my chatterbox wife is gone temporarily. Sade complains about how slowly I drive. She would make a sudden turn in her sleep and I would be on the alert. She is not near delivery but I cannot wait for all this to be over. The changes are rolling in at an alarming rate; medical training doesn’t prepare you for what it would feel like when it is your wife. Now I can understand the confused look the husbands of my patients always wear.

Sade had gone into the room and is back with the smallest shoes I have ever seen in my life. It couldn’t accommodate my two fingers. I couldn’t help but smile. A tiny someone that is totally mine is on the way.


It all started with vomiting and dyspepsia at about 1 a.m. that fateful day. I really needed to sleep as I had just finished a 48 hours call. I warned Sade the night before not to eat more than a wrap of moi moi. I’m all too used to the aftermath of such escapades in times past in her non-pregnant state – indigestion and excess gas, to mention a few. She was coming too close to tears so I gave in, she hadn’t eaten all day too. She’d ordered for moi moi and was waiting for me to return so we could eat it together. I however made sure I extracted a promise from her that this would be the last moi moi session before the baby comes.
After offering all the assistance I could, I cajoled her to take antacids. I sat on the bath while she tried to use the toilet for 30 mins, a grouchy me handed my wife over to mom and went to sleep on the couch.
Sade said she was better when I was woken an hour later and so we went to bed. A shrill cry woke me up 45 minutes later. As I looked at my wife, she explained that she’d been having back pain for two days, but that particular one felt different. ‘My stomach gets tight then the back pain hits’, she explained.

I got up, much more alert than ever. I checked my wristwatch, it was just past midnight. I held my wife close and massaged her back for as long as nature would allow me before slumber set in yet again. I was woken 45 minutes later with yet another cry. This time it was her chest. Instinctively I grabbed my stethoscope and listened to her chest, it was the weirdest thing I’ve done in a while – listen to my wife’s breath via an instrument! But then what I heard was reassuring. I also did some more examinations, and reassured Sade, or so I thought I did. I still got no sleep till 6 am, after I had watched her sleep for one full hour, I cuddled her and then closed my eyes… “Honey, wake up!”, “wake up!” It was Sade yet again. Now I really wished I could just carry this pregnancy! It was nine o’ clock. “I think we should go to the hospital” she said. I simply didn’t have the strength – physical or mental, to argue. I got up, put on my scrubs that I had worn for the call the previous day, and made for the door. I then remembered I had left my wife in the room!

To be continued…

Know your Flow – #HealthHacks

by Admin on

by Oluwatosin Fatade

Victory loves preparation, so does your flow.
Imagine it’s your daughter’s first day in secondary school. It was her 10th birthday just 2 weeks ago, and being the super mom that you are, you went all out to spoil her and anyone who dared to crash your gates. After 2 weeks, the neighbourhood was yet to recover from the sugar-loaded event of a birthday at your place, your daughter hadn’t either. She’d been complaining of abdominal discomfort in the last week and you’d infused her with all the bitters you could lay hands on; it’s all those birthday sugars, the ice cream, chocolate and cake you had at your birthday you had told her. Well, so you thought.

She is now enrolled at the leading secondary school in the locale, you drop her off at the school and take a few minutes to observe your beloved as she moves her frame along in the checked purple top and white pleated skirt. You drive off to your office and imagine what a great day she would have.

Imagine the rude shock garnished with much embarrassment that would fill the air when she returns that day to tell you how a boy asked why her skirt was red in the back! Then it dawns on you that all those abdominal discomfort were actually cramps heralding her first menses. How in the world did you miss that, after all the preparatory classes you had given her? It is probably forgivable for a first timer, but more so embarrassing when a lady who has been seeing her menses for at least 5 years still gets caught unawares.

While there might be exceptional cases where events like this cannot be helped, most are largely preventable.

I have talked to some ladies who have been menstruating for at least 6 or 7 years but cannot specifically describe their flow, they just know it’s due to arrive when the tommy starts acting up or whatever other signs herald it for them. But to such persons, what happens when the signs forget to show up? Your guess is as good as mine.

So let me attempt to put you through calculating your flow so you never get caught unawares even when the signs go a hiding.

To be able to foretell or correctly predict your flow pattern, you must have a record of at least 6 continuous months which will include the day you start and the day you end each cycle. The number of days for which you see blood must be noted, it can range from one to seven days. Another thing to take note of is the length of your cycle. Length of your cycle can be calculated by counting the number of days between the first day of a particular menses or period and the first day of the next one, emphasis on first day. A major and common error to avoid is counting from the last day of a period to the first day of the next. The length of your cycle should range between 21 and 35 days i.e. Not less than 21 and not more than 35 days. This is considered normal. When the ranges go out of sync with what’s described above, there may be a problem, or when the flow is too heavy (as defined by passage of large amounts or sizes of large clot, very soaked pads that have to be changed up to 2 or 3 times daily, fainting or collapsing during your menses).

The number of days of bleeding and the length of cycle varies from person to person, so there is no reason to be bothered or worried if yours is different from that of everyone around you, whether shorter or longer. If your pattern does not fall within that described above, visit a hospital for clarification.

Let’s take an example to make this clear…

Sharon is 20 years old, she began her menses at age 12. In the first year, she saw blood for 4 days, didn’t see it regularly every month but in the second year up to date, it has been regular and she sees her menses for 6 days, with the 1st and 2nd days flowing substantially, a little reduction in flow on the 3rd and 4th day and mere spots of blood on days 5 and 6. Sometimes she sees it for just 4 or 5 days only. The dates of her menses in the last 6 months are as follows:

Oct 20 – 25
Nov 17 – 20
Dec 15 – 20
Jan 13 – 17
Feb 11 – 15
Mar 12 – 15

If you calculate the number of days from the 1st day of menses in October to the next period’s and do so for successive periods; you will see that the cycle length is 28-30 days, while the period of flow is between 4 to 6 days. So we can predict safely and to near correctness that Sharon should be expecting another flow to begin about 28 days from March 12, which will be April 9.

Asides from being able to predict your next flow, a knowledge of the above will help you note when things have gone wrong or help your physician narrow down the cause of menstrual issues.

Don’t keep your issues to yourself, don’t let yourself be embarrassed or caught unawares, get a book today and start recording, or get a calendar to start marking off the dates. You will find them useful too in calculating your safe and fertile periods when you are ready to start making babies (note that this isn’t a failsafe method of getting pregnant or avoiding it, but a vital aid to achieving either).

You as a man can also record for your wife or fiancée or even your female boss, yes! (so you’ll know the period of the month to be extra gentle with her or avoid arguments totally; it also works super amazingly if your boss is a lady). Abeg I didn’t say anything o!

You still have questions? Why not ask me or your doctor? Or you can send an E-mail to oluwatosinfatade@treasuredclaypot.com.ng

Until another health-related post, have fun!

Broken – #Healthhacks

by Admin on

Written by Oluwatosin Fatade

About 2 years ago, I was the intern in the orthopedic and trauma unit of a teaching hospital in Nigeria. We saw a wide range of cases affecting patients but the most common reason we had patients was road traffic accidents.
Motor vehicular road traffic accidents were notorious for strange mind blowing fractures in all the awkward ways possible for those who survive, while the motor bike accidents seemed to love inflicting the head with powerful blows that usually makes death and life in a 50-50 balance.

I must say that while accidents may not be preventable or predictable sometimes, most of the injuries sustained are largely preventable. I’ll tell you how before I wrap this up.

As I was saying about my intern year earlier, I remember one of the patients – hard to forget really. A 7 year old girl who fell from a motorcycle and broke her ankle few weeks before we saw her; she came with a non-healing fracture close to the ankle. It looked really bad, the bones were in the outside, had a lot of black debris around it and had a bandage and ruler which was removed at presentation.
She had been taken to traditional bone setters by her parents probably due to financial reasons and myths about these bone setters being more skilled than trained health care professionals. What we the managing team found most displeasing was the fact that the father of this young girl was educated, a teacher.
Because of the girl’s age and so many other factors, we decided to try to save the leg, even though it looked unlikely for it to survive. The leg was cleaned with as much dead tissue removed as possible. The leg seemed to fare well for a maximum of 24hrs when the remaining tissue already dying showed vivid signs of death. At that point, our initial option from the start was now justified – amputation. It was the most disturbing procedure we did throughout my stay there. More displeasing to my ears was the fact that she might need occasional trimming as it was still a growing bone.

The myth I need to clear here is this; that bone setters are the pros. They are not, they get lucky. They do not investigate, they do trial and error. Even when a bone is visible on the outside and broken, no doctor is allowed to make that diagnosis on paper without an X ray. Feel free to argue, I do not even pray that I am proved right with a bad experience, but I wish above all things you would just believe. Safe to say that the father of that young girl would never patronise them, no matter how ‘good’ they may be. He eventually paid more for the whole hospital stay and procedures than he would have had he come much earlier.

You’re better safe than sorry. If you must take a motorbike, use a helmet (important for both rider and passenger!). Always use the seatbelt in a car even if you’re sitting at the back. Use the passenger walkways or bridges properly. In all stay safe please. If after all of these precautions you ever sustain an injury, please go to the hospital, not to the bone setters.

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