It's no news the Nigerian government has sacked about 16000 of its resident doctors.
For those who don't know, resident doctors are doctors that have finished their medical training and are already working but they are still studying to specialise in a specific field of medicine e.g. Surgery, Psychiatry, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
So back to the topic, this is why I feel the sack is a blessing in disguise :
Essentially, what that means is that only 3 out of about 1000 doctors has a right to live. *Checks 1999 constitution*
All I wanna say is that they don't really care about us(In Michael Jackson's voice)
Googling 'Medical Doctors strike around the world.'
We forgive you for not reading the demands.
True, but why is that so?
We be balling yo! Hey, who stole my akara?
Sigh, remember those stubborn toilet stains.
Thought they had life insurance?
Well. No more reason to choose to stay.
Oh the thought alone!
"I the dead doctor do solemnly swear"
You don't say!
Feeling greatly inconvenienced at the moment.
Lol. They should return our property
Fret not. Thy reward is in heaven.
Watching grass grow while they do that.
You forgot the keywords 'HIGHLY SKILLED MIGRATION'
*Cries.* Bless you.
Night of a thousand laughs.
They did? They have?
*Googles number of doctors dead from Ebola, HIV, Hepatitis. Checks nurses*
Friday, August 15, 2014
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Every Nigerian by now should know who Patrick Sawyer is -- A Liberian - American father of 3 who resides in Minnesota. A diplomat of the Liberian government employed as an Economic consultant -- the man who is alleged to have 'brought' Ebola into Nigeria.
We were all living in our 'blissful' existence worrying about minor things like lack of electricity, hiked school fees, verbal trade offs and impeachment sagas by opposing political parties...and Boko Haram, when on the 25th of July 2014 we heard the news that could potentially change the course of Nigeria's history. Ebola was in town!
That seems like a lifetime away as events have over taken events:
Patrick Sawyer died.
The hospital was closed down.
The doctor who treated him was found to have contracted the virus.
The hospital matron is down with symptoms.
6 others have been quarantined.
And the big question? How many other people did he come in contact with? Should we be worried?
TRACKING MR SAWYERAccounts say Mr Sawyer's sister had died of the Ebola virus on Monday July 7, 2014 in Liberia, reports also say he had been with her.
Sawyer had boarded a plane from Togo to Nigeria which had 50 people.
He came in contact with 15 people at the airport.
A driver, liaison officer and protocol officer were on hand to receive him.
He came in contact with 44 people at the hospital.
The hospital is in Lagos, a city of about 21 million people.
THE CHARACTER OF MR SAWYERAgain accounts say Mr Sawyer, after testing negative for malaria and HIV had been asked if he had come in contact with an Ebola victim - he denied this. Other accounts claim Mr Sawyer flew into a rage after being told of his diagnosis, potentially exposing health workers to more risk.
DR KENT BRANTLY
This is one of the two American aid doctors helping in the treatment of Ebola patients in Liberia; When he began to have suspect symptoms, he isolated himself without being prompted, he also called his wife to say goodbye.
What if Sawyer had behaved in this way?
Had the Nigerian Health Ministry put down vital structures and protocols in place to prevent a possible imported case of Ebola when neighbouring countries had reported a outbreak?
If it was not Patrick Sawyer, could it have been anyone else, say John Doe?
All the work, isolation units, protective clothing, awareness etc that is presently being done, why wasn't it done prior to the outbreak?
Should we in fact thank Patrick Sawyer for exposing the lapses in our healthcare and thereby preventing a much larger and devastating outbreak?
Should we really be mad at Sawyer?
images courtesy christiantoday and lindaIkeji blog
Thursday, July 17, 2014
No, this is not a gender biased article (as you can see from the above picture:)), just talking from a recent experience I had.
Was called by one of the biggest churches in the city to volunteer for a women's health programme, which involved checking the participant's BMI (Body Mass Index) and by extension their body fat and visceral fat.
A quick understanding of the above terms is crucial:
Body Mass Index (BMI) seeks to measure whether you are the ideal weight considering your height. It also relates to age. So a high body mass index means you are either overweight, obese or morbidly obese; on the other spectrum is being underweight. BMI can be easily measured by dividing the person's weight in kg by the square of her height in meters.
Body fat as the name implies, measures your body fat.
Visceral fat measures the fat around your organs.
So the risks of the above are obvious: hypertension, diabetes, artherosclerosis, cancer, depression etc.
My findings: About 60 percent of the women I reviewed at the conference were either overweight or had a high body or visceral fat, some obese,one morbidly obese and only one underweight (this was just at my stand, and I'm sure the picture cut across other stands).
The women were mostly in the younger age group (20-45).
Do you agree with my generalisation?
If true, what could be the cause?
Image: Google search
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Yes we've all heard about hypertension, diabetes and cancer, but there are some conditions one can write a bestseller about(and some have done just that). How many of the following have you heard about?
1. CHARLES BONNET SYNDROME:Imagine, like happened to me one day, you meet a person, the person starts talking to you as if he's known you all his life, he is pleasant and goes on and on about one thing or the other, some related to the present, some totally unrelated, but they all make logical sense. He even shows you a chair to sit in and his eyes remain trained at you as if checking you out. Well, there is nothing amazing in that on its own; but what if after you left the person, you were told he was completely blind! He was just having visual hallucinations.
Charles Bonnet syndrome occurs in people who have lost their sight and they see things that are not really there and it is real to them.
2. FOLIE A DEUX (COMMUNICATED INSANITY):I once met a lady who felt so strongly that her relatives didn't wish her well, she felt so much animosity towards them that she prevented her daughter ever meeting them. But there was only one problem, this woman was certified insane. It didn't take too long before the daughter developed the same symptoms her mother had. The mother had essentially transferred her insanity to her daughter.
Communicated insanity occurs when a previously sane person develops same symptoms as an insane person just by influence, it occurs a lot in families.
3.Tourette Syndrome:Imagine someone that has to curse or use obscenities in every sentence, how unpleasant that would be for you; but what if the person has no control whatsoever over it?
Patients with Tourettes have completely involuntary repetitive movements and are prone to involuntary outbursts of obscenities.
4. Munchausen syndrome by Proxy:This is another interesting one, imagine you wanted to get the eye of your medical practitioner, and the only way you see this happening is by continuosly using a child and either causing him to have true symptoms or deliberately fabricating or manipulating signs, symptoms and tests. You may even go as far as harming the child to achieve this purpose.
5. CONVERSION SYNDROME:The mind is a powerful tool. Sometimes it can tell one that he is blind and voila, the person becomes blind; or it can say you are epileptic and voila you start having fits. But when a medical examination is done, nothing is found.
Conversion syndrome occurs when physical symptoms are caused by psychological problems and may resolve when these problems are solved.
So score yourself, how many of the above have you heard about? I would really like to know.
Friday, May 9, 2014
An article caught my attention on Linda Ikeji's blog, with the screaming headline: 'I've been diagnosed with hypertension so I have to relocate from Nigeria.'
A heart wrenching statement from foremost Nollywood actor and director Kunle Afolayan, this is undoubtedly going to be a monumental brain drain that can take Nollywood and Nigerian entertainment back a couple of years.
But the issue is not about Nollywood, the issue is about a person's life,well-being and mortality; so one has to understand where he is coming from.
Reading this my mind went to the thousands of hypertensives that pass through the hospital where I work daily and I almost shed a tear; have we (Nigerian doctors) so failed our patients that 'common' hypertension they no longer trust us to manage? Has the fear of hypertension become worse than insecurity and unemployment? This is an indictment on us the health practitioners.
I reassured myself that it probably was due to other factors, probably in the Nollywood industry that informed his decision.
So since I cannot create a hashtag that would go viral, I want to plead in my own way:
KUNLE PLEASE DON'T CHECK OUT!
To back up my plea, I came up with
TEN REASONS WHY NIGERIA IS THE BEST PLACE TO HAVE HYPERTENSION:
1. We are (or were) the happiest people on earth, so if you feel stress would lead you to developing hypertension, then you are in the best place to prevent that.
2. Stress is not the leading cause of hypertension, I recently checked the blood pressure of a highly strung, extremely stressed and volatile executive, his Blood pressure at first reading, just after shouting on an employee was 120/85. which a lot of us 'unstressed' can't boast of. The leading cause of hypertension is unidentifiable in most cases. Can a bit of stress be essential to good health? I would think yes.
3. Most likely Kunle would want to relocate to a western society, but it is a known fact that western diet increases the predisposition to obesity and high cholesterol that can predispose to hypertension.
4. It is hard to develop a sedentary lifestyle in Nigeria unlike western societies, even if you sit down in your house, one intrusive neighbour will knock on your door and say,'Kunle you no go commot house today?'
5. The mere thought of the cost of relocating, settling, flight, family visas, tax and children's school-fees abroad is enough to develop hypertension.
6. Our anti hypertensive drugs are very cheap, with some costing as little as 1000 naira (about 6 dollars) for a month supply while in the west you can pay anything from about 30 dollars to 90 dollars per month for medications.
7. We have numerous cardiologists in Nigeria today, some are even looking for work. Hypertension is no longer a big deal to them. By the way you are likely to meet a Nigerian doctor in whatever country you go to abroad.
8. Doctors like me who have toiled and sweated through the rigors of 7 years of medical school, one year house-manship, one year youth service and donkey years afterwards to be able to care for you will be heart broken that we have gone through all that toil in vain.-
9. Other risk factors like smoking and alcohol which are sometimes referred to as cool in western societies are not really encouraged here, besides a bottle of beer costs more than a liter of fuel. Think about that.
10. Hypertension doesn't kill, it is the complications that can lead to mortality, this however can be prevented by living a active life with proper exercises and diet. By the way I saw an 87 year old hypertensive this week, looking at her I would predict at least 13 more years to live.
I hope with the above you see that hypertension is really no big deal, but if you still decide to check out, I have only one request:
Can I be your personal physician?
Image courtesy informationng.com
Friday, April 25, 2014
The following story may be true, partly true or just a figment of my imagination:
A distraught parent rushes into the hospital (a private hospital) screaming for help that her toddler is dying, the doctor rushes to her side and asks what the problem is, the parent tearfully says that her child kept some peanuts up his nostril which suddenly lodged and blocked the passage, now the child is unable to breathe and the peanut/s can't be removed.
The doctor looks at the poor child who is already turning blue and tells the parent that it would be a complex procedure but they may be lucky and the cost would be 100,000 Naira (about 550 dollars);the distraught parent says :'Doctor please remove it and I will pay anything you want!
The doctor calmly looks at the child going blue, looks into his nostril and picks a little forcep, in 2 seconds, he has removed the peanuts from the nostril.
The amazed parent jumps for joy and hugs the doctor.
The doctor then asks for his 100k payment.
The parent looks at him and says, 'Doctor, 100k for what? What special thing did you do?'
Should the parent pay the 100k?
Was the doctor just greedy?
How much should the parent pay if not the 100k?
Should they re-negotiate the fee?
If you were the parent what would you do?
If you were the doctor, what would you do?
Thursday, April 24, 2014
On a recent training trip to one of the hospitals in the UK, I had reason to require the use of their toilet facilities while trying to familiarize myself with the hospital. Like a typical Nigerian who will rather not ask directions I trudged along till i found a toilet sign and hesitated before entering because - naturally - I expected it to be locked; but alas! The doors opened as if I had just shouted 'open Sesame!', I entered cautiously not knowing what I would find on the floor or in the toilet or... ahem on the wall.
All my fears turned out to be needless as I found a well kept toilet, with water (of course), soap and tissues! To cap it up there were mirrors and choice of hot and cold water!
I know I must be sounding bush now, like what is the big deal in all these?
Well,this was a hospital that people trooped in and out like a market.
Questions that came to my head were:
How could they possibly afford so much soap, and how come they had so much tissues to waste, you could literally wrap yourself from head to toe with the tissues provided and still have enough to lie down on (okay I exaggerate a little).
Back home I was on a visit to one of our local public hospitals and felt the familiar call of nature, I vowed not to respond to this call until I got home - but invariably the monsters in me kept tugging at my intestines and I had to give them my complete attention; I had no choice. I had to use a toilet in the facility.
I tried the approach I used in Uk and walked through the hospital hall looking for a toilet sign which I found after a little walk, the surrounding looked pretty decent and there was no queue at the door or people scrambling to use it; this was too good to be true! Elated I walked to it and turned the handle - then I understood, the door was locked! This was a toilet that in the grand design was made for general public use!
Not to be outfazed (and desperate) I played the doctor card and got the keys to the moderately well kept toilet with the usual old drug containers used to collect water for.... ahem cleaning up; no tissues, no soap anywhere in sight.
My mind went back to my hospital at work and how I've never dared to go inside the toilets patients use in my many years of working there (the view from several yards away might be responsible for this).
But i'm really curious to know, so please is there anyone out there that has ever used a toilet in a Nigerian public hospital? What was your experience like? Did you find tissues, soap or water? I really would like to know.
Another question, if by chance these were not available can you proffer a cause or a solution? Like maybe the astronomically high cost of tissues.