UNICEF Commences Campaigns In 12 Communities

THE United Nations International Children’s Fund commensed a campaign to combat infant mortality, cholera, diarrhoea and other forms of diseases in 12 communities in the Onuimo Imo Local Government Area of Imo State.

To realize desired effectiveness, it will partner with the state chapter of the National Orientation Agency, traditional rulers, community leaders and other volunteers.

During the campaign at Okohia-Umuna, Ezefoke, Ikwuato , Okwelle, Diakuma and Ezelu Okwe communities, UNICEF urged the residents to fight the diseases by stopping open defecation.

It stated that open defecation, according to research, was a major cause of diarrhoea and cholera.

The Director of NOA in the state, Vitus Ekeocha, said it was essential that every household in the communities had toilets for healthy defecation.

Ekeocha noted that indiscriminate defecation in various communities in the state was sabotaging the efforts of UNICEF.

The NOA director said, “UNICEF is determined to stop diseases that affect women and children in developing countries. Here in Imo state, UNICEF has chosen 12 communities in the Onuimo LGA .”

The UNICEF Programme Officer in the state, Chigozie Orjiaku, said the organisation in partnership with individuals would identify households without toilets and ensure that they get one.

Ray Of Hope As U.S. Scientists Find New Possible Cure To Leukemia

A new study showed on Tuesday has revealed that a group of American scientists have found a new possibility to cure to leukemia. Leukemia is a deadly cancer of the blood that knocks down patients as young as only seven years old.

In the study published in Journal Nature Medicine, the group of scientists from Stanford University and National Institute of Health (NIH) found that a molecule, called “CD22”, could serve as a potent target for the killer cells of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a common childhood cancer.

It came after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved last August a cell-based gene therapy, namely the “CAR T-cell” treatment. The CAR T-cell is a therapy that requires drawing blood from patients and separating out the T cells.

It works by genetically modifying a patient’s own immune cells to seek out and attack leukemia cells that have a molecule called “CD19” on their surface.

Such a therapy relies on the patient’s own T cells a type of immune cell that could become a powerful killing machine.

Stanford oncologist Crystal Mackall and NIH’s pediatric hematologist Terry Fry discovered that a molecule called “CD22” can be a similar target.

Scientists treated 21 patients with treatment-resistant B-cell leukemia who are aged seven to 30 to test the new “CD22-directed method.

Seventeen of them were previously treated with CD19-directed therapy and 15 of them had either relapsed or failed to respond.

They found that at the lowest dose level, one in six patients achieved complete remission after treatment, and with an escalated dose, 11 of 15 patients entered remission.

The new approach is helpful because the cancer cells of some patients who undergo CD19-directed therapy stop expressing the CD19 molecule on the cell surface.

The relapse rate of CD22-directed therapy also proved high.

The researchers hope that targeting “CD19 and CD22” simultaneously may produce an approach where cancer cells are unable to evade, thus leading to a new therapy for curing leukemia in the future.

 

Ernst Josef Franzek Condemns Taking Mental Health Patients To Church For Treatment

Ernst Josef Franzek is among the best mental health doctors in Europe. The German born professor of psychiatry and neurology spoke with Sunday Vanguard in the Netherlands during which he expressed worries over what he described as the neglect of mental health care in Nigeria.

He attributed the high number of mental health patients in Nigeria to poverty and lack of care for mothers during birth. He also traced the bad leadership in Nigeria and the high crime rate to mental disorders suffered during birth. While calling on Nigerians to ensure their leaders pass mental test before being elected, he criticised the idea of taking mental health patients to the church and, in the process, subjecting them to torture.

Professor Franzek, German born is a psychiatric doctor who has worked in the Netherlands for more than 40 years. He was a lecturer at the university but decidied to try new things when he turnd 50. He is into research and treatment of people who have psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia and people who also have problem with drugs: Psychiatric disorder and addiction. At the moment, he is the Project Director of the Organization of Mental Health Brabant, the Netherlands.

“One reason is that the population has no possibility to search for mental health care due to poverty. There are only nine psychiatric hospitals for about 200 million people in the country. And mental health care in Nigeria is mostly done through religious and traditional healers without medical background.

“This may help those whose cases are not severe. But in severe cases, mental disorders worsen. And stigmatization causes a lot of problems. The situation is that most people in Nigeria don’t have good mental and general health care and that is catastrophic for a nation like that. Mental disorders are twice as common in Nigeria as in other parts of the world. And it is sad that nobody cares about this. And this has to get into the consciousness of the people because those who suffer most are the poor people who don’t have jobs, who are starved of the basic needs of life such as food, water, no adequate houses.

” At the moment in Nigeria, the ratio is one psychiatric to one million people. In Holland, for example, the ratio is 40 psychiatric doctors to one hundred thousand people. You can imagine how big the treatment gap in Nigeria is, and the situation is getting worse because life circumstances don’t get better. Being poor, not having enough to eat, no education, this is one source of having mental illness later in life. To redress the situation, I intend to visit Nigeria through the Sunny Ofehe Foundation, together with the experts in the field of mental health care, in collaboration with the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, the World Health Organization and some pharmaceutical companies. We are going to focus on the need to treat mental health in Nigeria as an emergency.

“There is a whole body of research that when people grow up in an environment where people are poor, no healthy food, no job, once the mother and father live there, the offspring will have anti-social effects from the very beginning. Research showed that if the mother and the father suffered hunger at the time they made the baby such that, during pregnancy, they did not have enough food for the foetus, this can predispose the offspring to this personality trait.

“The conclusion can be that anti-social characteristics may be understood as a form of environmental adaptation so that exposure to malnutrition, to hunger during the formation of the baby can have impact on sex determination. This means that, in this situation, more boys are born than girls because the brain development predisposes these people to the so called-anti-social behaviours like, to have food, you have to kill or steal. Even terrorists around the world tend to come from poor countries just fight for their people. So, if you want to build a peaceful society, the atmosphere must be conducive. The real criminal or psychopath is not the terrorist; the real criminal is the guy who presides over a people and eats their common wealth without thinking about their welfare. And we have many criminals leading the people in many parts of the world today.

“They don’t care about the people. But these guys you call bad guys just want to improve their lives and those of their families. So, to build a peaceful society, basic human rights must be respected and government must give the people the basic needs of life. At the moment, there is a huge gap between the poor and the rich in Nigeria and, because of this, the poor always become poorer. What we need is the middle class where everybody has the possibility due to his own capabilities to walk up. My father was poor, we had nothing but I had the possibility to go to school and then to do it my own way. This is basic for a peaceful society. Everybody has to pursue his life. Let me tell you also, mental illness does not come from God and this is a problem in Nigeria. In Nigeria, those who have mental illness go to church for remedy because they think they have offended God, but that is not true.

“It is a problem of the society. And government plays a role. When you bring people with mental illness to the church, you don’t really help them; you make their situation even worse. We have good medication to treat acute forms of psychosis. The acute forms are in countries like Nigeria more often than in Europe. Religion and psychosis or mental illness do not go together. Religion cannot bring solution to mental health; it can only help the family, giving them encouragement but not healing the patient. Religion is like people coming together, praying together, eating together, this should remain; but it should not be used to cure sick people because it does not work. If you look at the civilized world, they care for patients with mental illness because it is not a punishment and, if you give them the basic things they need, they feel happy despite their illness. But when you see them punished, when their families feel ashamed of them, it is cruel and it is not good for them.

“Nobody is punished if he has cancer; so why are they punishing people with mental illness in Nigeria? They chain them and flog the hell out of them. The problem in Nigeria is that the rich people make money and they have no brains any more. The poor people have no voice; so there is no competition. This also has to do with growing up. If the leaders were given the best while growing up, their brains would have formed better and they will not have to steal. And for this to change, I think, before Nigerians elect their leaders, there should be public competitions among aspirants in which the people will participate and see the mental state of the aspiring leaders. During such competitions, there should be no written paper, so that when they talk, you will know whether they speak from their hearts or not.

“Nigeria is supposed to be practicing democracy, but it is not really a democratic nation because the rich use their wealth to acquire things and run for political positions and the common people have no choice. In fact, that is also where you can ascertain whether the person aspiring to be or President is fit to lead the nation or not because, when you don’t have a healthy President, it causes dislocation in the system. And that is the problem you people have in Nigeria. I want Nigeria to be united because that will make them greater tomorrow. Agitations come because you have no middle class, the rich are getting richer and the poor are fighting.

” Mortality rate in Nigeria is quite high, especially among children. Government must improve on women’s care during pregnancy because if the pregnancy is not good, child birth will be complicated. The food that the woman eats is also important. Nigeria is the fourth country with the highest mortality rate among 200 countries in the world. Nigeria is also in the leading position in death per hundred thousand people through fire and car accidents. Again it is not healthy for a woman to have more than three children but you find that, after war times, the number of children grows just to compensate for those who died.

“Now, Nigeria has about 200million people and, in about 30 years, even with the high mortality rate, it may end up with 500million to one billion people. It will now become one of the most populous countries in the world. It is not a problem but the basic needs of life must be put in place, otherwise it will be a catastrophe because the country will not be safe anymore. And Nigeria is a beautiful country; my future wife is from there and I want to come and live there; so I want the best for the country.

“The future of Nigeria and psychiatry Nigeria has a positive future; all you need is a highly motivated, educated people; people who will work for the people and not for money. The situation now in Nigeria is that highly skilled people like doctors, psychiatrics receive education there and then move to Europe or North America because they want to earn a lot of money. Government must make Nigeria attractive for these people to stay there so that they can develop community treatment. It does not help Nigeria if you build very expensive hospitals and no manpower. First of all, you have to develop a treatment centre that is close to the people and everybody can afford. This is the first step. Then in the area of mental care, you have to involve traditional doctors, those into voodoo; we look at them and take what is good from them. You must not go there to say ‘what you are doing is wrong’. We should avoid confrontations because this is a tradition that people are accustomed to and you don’t wish it away. Tradition keeps people together and the common interest should be to improve mental health care, good health. You have to communicate with these people and get the best out of them.

Jesse Jackson Diagnosed With Parkinson’s

America’s foremost civil rights leader, The Rev. Jesse Jackson disclosed publicly Friday that he has been seeking outpatient care for two years for Parkinson’s disease and plans to “dedicate” himself to physical therapy.

In a letter to supporters on Friday, the 76-year-old civil rights icon said family and friends noticed a change in him about three years ago and he could no longer ignore symptoms of the chronic neurological disorder that causes movement difficulties.

“Recognition of the effects of this disease on me has been painful, and I have been slow to grasp the gravity of it,” he wrote.

“For me, a Parkinson’s diagnosis is not a stop sign but rather a signal that I must make lifestyle changes and dedicate myself to physical therapy in hopes of slowing the disease’s progression.”
Jackson also released a Northwestern Medicine letter saying he was diagnosed in 2015 and has since sought outpatient care.

Jackson vowed to use his voice to help find a cure for the disease. He declined an interview Friday.

About 60,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with Parkinson’s annually, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation. It can start with tremors and symptoms generally worsen over time.
The exact cause isn’t known and treatments include medications, surgery and physical therapy.
The disease itself isn’t fatal but people can die from complications.
Jackson noted Parkinson’s “bested my father.” Noah Lewis Robinson Sr. died in 1997 at age 88 after suffering a heart attack.
It was unclear how Jackson’s diagnosis will affect his civil rights work through the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, the Chicago-based civil rights group he founded more than two decades ago.
A protégé of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jackson was instrumental in guiding the modern civil rights movement, from issues involving voting rights to education. Twice a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 1980s, he’s remained a strong voice in numerous anti-discrimination efforts, including advocating for affordable housing. He’s often seen at protests nationwide.
He said Friday in the letter that he is also working on a memoir.
“I will continue to try to instil hope in the hopeless, expand our democracy to the disenfranchised and free innocent prisoners around the world,” he wrote.
“I steadfastly affirm that I would rather wear out than rust out.”

AP

NAFDAC Reacts to False Statement

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has denied reports that 70 per cent of drugs in the country are fake and described such information as false and misleading.

NAFDAC spokesperson Abubakar Jimoh while reacting on the report on Sunday in Abuja said the statement from the acclaimed expert was displeasing and false.

Jimoh said that the report was just a mare statement without referring it to a particular study or research work.

Mr Andrew Nevin, an Economist and Financial Services Advisory Leader of Project Blue PWc Nigeria in a key note address at a conference by Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria in Umuahia recently said 70 per cent of drugs in Nigeria are fake.

Nevin also stated that Africa records 100,000 deaths arising from counterfeit drugs related ailments annually.

Jimoh explained that the fight against counterfeit drugs had been heightened from 2001 to date and had led to a drastic reduction in fake drugs in the market.

He said that in 2001, when this kind of report appeared in public, the agency conduct a systematic study and in 2005, NAFDAC in collaboration with World Health Organisation (WHO) did another research.

He disclosed that the study done with WHO showed that the prevalence of counterfeit drugs in circulation was 16.7 per cent for all categories of drugs.

According to him, the agency puts a lot of efforts to fight counterfeiters by introducing TruScan machine in 2010 to detect fake drugs in the market.

The Spokesperson noted that another research conducted in 2012 indicated that the prevalence of counterfeit medicines in circulation in the country had gone down to 6.4 per cent.

He said that the same year, a separate research by the agency on anti malaria drugs which Nigerians consume more showed counterfeited ones have dropped to 19.6 per cent.

He stated that the 2011 WHO’s study revealed that there was 20 per cent fake drugs in Africa which the result was almost the same with that of NAFDAC conducted in 2012.

Jimoh added that in 2014 the result of a study by NAFDAC in conjunction with United State of Pharmacopia (USP) showed that the country only had 3.6 per cent of fake anti malaria drugs in the market.

He said that the result of a research work on fake drugs between his agency and USP conducted in 2017 were being awaited.

“The counterfeiters in the country engage more in anti malaria drugs because they know the patronage is high and with awareness created and introduction of various devices by NAFDAC, we have been able to reduce such counterfeit malaria drugs drastically.

“Getting such unresearched work from acclaimed expert undermines our efforts, it is unfortunate and very painful,” he said.

He said that NAFDAC remained committed and determined to fight counterfeit drugs in the country. (NAN)

Frequent Exposure To Hair Dye Harms Nervous System By Ayo Otubanjo

It is quite shocking the number of women who have visited our clinics for consultations explaining their horrendous experiences at certain hair salons and the resulting hair loss they have suffered.

There is a general lack of oversight by most governments on products used in hair salons and which contain a number of hazardous chemicals that may harm your health. Also, most salon workers lack basic understanding of the products they use and in most cases have not been properly trained in their application.

There are several products used in salon services such as hair dye, wig glue/hairpiece bonding, hair extension glue and lace wig glue. These products contain some extremely toxic chemicals which can be very dangerous for your health. Some of these chemicals are toluene, styrene, trichloroethylene and dioxane to mention a few.

Toluene is a clear, colourless liquid with a distinctive smell. It is a good solvent (a substance that can dissolve other substances). Toluene occurs naturally in crude oil and in the tolu tree. It is produced in the process of making gasoline and other fuels from crude oil and in making coke from coal.

Toluene may have an effect on your nervous system (brain and nerves). Nervous system effects can be temporary, such as headaches, dizziness, or unconsciousness. However, effects such as uncoordination, cognitive impairment, and vision and hearing loss may become permanent with repeated exposure, especially at concentrations associated with intentional solvent abuse.

Styrene is primarily used in the production of polystyrene plastics and resins. Acute (short-term) exposure to styrene in humans results in mucous membrane and eye irritation, and gastrointestinal effects. Chronic (long-term) exposure to styrene in humans results in effects on the central nervous system , such as headache, fatigue, weakness, and depression, hearing loss and peripheral neuropathy.

The main use of trichloroethylene is in the vapour degreasing of metal parts. It is also used as an extraction solvent for greases, oils, fats, waxes, and tars, a chemical intermediate in the production of other chemicals, and as a refrigerant. Acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) inhalation exposure to trichloroethylene can affect the human central nervous system, with symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, confusion, euphoria, facial numbness, and weakness.

Dioxane is a clear colourless liquid with a faint ethereal odour. It is also used as a solvent. Acute (short-term) inhalation exposure to high levels of dioxane has been shown to cause vertigo, drowsiness, headache, anorexia and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs in humans. It may also irritate the skin.

The extent of the inherent dangers of these chemicals depends on the frequency of interaction with them. While a salon customer may only be exposed to small quantities of these potentially hazardous chemicals during their short visits, a salon worker on the other hand is constantly exposed to these chemicals on a daily basis in the course of their work.

Salon workers who have experienced breathing problems, headaches, skin rashes, or other health problems while at work should consult their doctors and insist that their employers provide them with safer alternative products or provide them with precautionary items to protect their health. Long term studies of salon workers have also reported higher risks of chronic conditions, including certain cancers, immune diseases, asthma, and higher risk of some birth defects in their children.

While the salon customer may be at a lesser risk than the salon worker, we have witnessed some cases where the former have suffered irreparable scalp damage and total baldness. In some extreme cases, the customer has suffered from health conditions occasioned by their visits to the salon.

Salon customers can take certain precautionary steps such as insisting on studying the products and checking the chemical components. Ingredients in salon products can sometimes be found on the product label, although manufacturers are not required to fully list all ingredients in products sold for professional use.

If you have recently visited a salon and have developed serious itchiness on the scalp, you need to consult either a dermatologist or if you are experiencing hair loss, you need to consult a hair restoration consultant before it is too late and irreparable damage sets in.

Cervical Cancer Cases To Hit 15m By 2020 –Expert

Dr Francis Ajang, A Consultant Gynaecologist with the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) has hinted of global new cervical cancer cases reaching 15 million cases annually by 2020.

Ajang made the disclosure on Friday in Fobur, Jos East Local Government during a sensitisation of rural women and girls on causes and prevention of cervical cancer.

The campaign was organised by the Yakubu Gowon Foundation (YGF).

The Consultant said that about 10 million new cases were recorded annually with seven million deaths each year.

“In sub-Saharan Africa, a woman dies of cervical cancer every 10 minutes. And 8, 000 new cases of cervical cancer are recorded every year in Nigeria,” he said.

He said that cervical cancer could be caused by infections in the cervix, which could be later transferred through unprotected sex.

According to him, oral sex can as well led to throat cancer when semen is been released by the sex partner (man) into a female’s throat.

Ajang stated that avoiding unhealthy lifestyle was very important and advised women and girls to imbibe the habit of constant checkups which would help in dictating the symptoms and can also be handled in time.

The symptoms according to him include abnormal vaginal bleeding, bleeding after sex and other abnormal discharges.

Prof. Theresa Madu, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jos, on behalf of YGF, stressed the need for awareness on cervical cancer at the grassroots, considering the rising cases of the disease among women in Nigeria.

Madu stated that both male and females needed to be educated on the negative effects of cervical cancer on a family.

The DVC charged participants to take advantage of the seminar for the good of their health and that of the country.

Dr Ngozi Agomoh, another expert emphasised the need for women to maintain good general hygiene with their genitals.

She advised them to go for breasts checkup from time to time to enable early detection of the problem.

According to her, even though it was difficult to treat cancer at its full-grown stage, it could be managed effectively if detected early.

Mrs Rifkatu Barde, wife of Jos East Management Committee Chairman thanked the Gowon Foundation for bringing the awareness campaign to their area.

Barde called on the participants to make good use of the knowledge acquired from the seminar to stay healthy.

NAN

See 5 Shocking Ways You Can Get Pregnant Without Having Sex

Technically it’s possible to get pregnant without having sex, even if you’re a virgin. That’s the submission of experts.

They warn that if you’re not planning on having a baby any time soon, it’s important to know what kind of sexual behaviour might put you at risk of getting pregnant.

Gynaecologists say basically, it’s very possible to get pregnant if semen comes into contact with your vagina at any point.

Here are some of the ways you can get pregnant without trying…

• Dry humping: This is the process whereby two people repeatedly move up and down and back and forth on top of each other fully clothed or missing various pieces. But the penis must not come in contact with the vagina without some sort of fabric separating them. But even at that, gynaecologists warn that a woman can still get pregnant without being penetrated or even undressed. According to sexperts, it’s possible for a woman to become pregnant from dry humping – even if she hasn’t removed her underwear! This is because sperm can soak through lingerie. So, know from now on that grinding (aka dry sex/humping) really puts you at risk of accidental pregnancy, although it is rare.

• Breastfeeding: A popular myth is that active or exclusive breastfeeding prevents new mothers from conceiving a second time around. However, physicians warn that this isn’t true! They say that contrary to whatever you may have been told, breastfeeding is NOT a natural contraceptive and it cannot decrease your chances of becoming pregnant soon after giving birth.

• No ejaculation: Many couples think that using the “pull out” method will stop them from having a baby, but you can still get pregnant, even if a man hasn’t ejaculated at all. This is because pre-ejaculation fluid that oils the penis during foreplay contains a small amount of semen which can fertilise an egg.

• Rhythm or calendar method: Another popular sex misconception is that a woman can’t get pregnant if a couple abstain from sex when she’s in the most “fertile” part of her cycle. But physicians say a woman can, indeed, can get impregnated at any point during the month, including when she’s on her period.

• Using contraception: Get this clear: no form of contraception is 100 per cent effective. Therefore, it’s still possible to conceive despite being on the pill or using a condom.

Jigawa to Commense Measles Immunization on Nov 9

Jigawa State is set to immunise 1.2 million children against measles across the state, with the first phase flagged between Thursday,November 9th and Tuesday, November 14th in 17 local governments.

Dr Kabiru Ali, the Executive Secretary of the state Primary Healthcare Development Agency (PHCDA), said the state government has made enough provision of vaccines for the course for a smooth and successful exercise.

In addition to the provision of enough vaccines, He said over 3000 trained health workers would be engaged to administer the vaccines at designated centres across the 27 local government areas of the state.

According to him, the second phase will be conducted between Nov. 17 and Nov. 21 in the remaining 10 local government areas of the state.

He, therefore, urged stakeholders, particularly traditional and religious leaders to assist in mobilising people to participate in the exercise to ensuThe executive secretary particularly appealed to parents to take their children and wards to nearest vaccination centres in their communities.He pointed out that the gesture was to ensure that all the children targeted were immunised against the disease.

“This is to facilitate quick response to the disease and other emergency situations in the state. We are appealing to stakeholders to cooperate with the health workers to facilitate smooth conduct of the exercise,” he said.

Monkey Pox Spreads to Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ekiti, Lagos, and 7 More States

From just a single case in Bayelsa State has, within a few weeks, has spread to eleven more states with no less than 74 infections, according to the latest reports. Although, the casualty figure has been quite minimal, but the rapid spread of the disease demands emergency management action from the federal, state and local governments. All hands must be on deck to combat this highly contagious disease.

Some of the affected states include Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ekiti, Lagos, Enugu, Nasarawa, Rivers and Abuja FCT. Like in previous epidemics, government should not be casual in tackling the disease and adequate measures should be put in place to ensure effective sample collection and testing to enable laboratory confirmation.

Fotunately, most of the victims are not dying from the disease, except in a few cases. A victim who reportedly committed suicide in Bayelsa State might have done so out of frustration, maybe, due to lack of proper counseling.

All the suspected cases are currently receiving appropriate medical care and the patients are improving clinically, according to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). NCDC also says it has activated an Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) to coordinate the outbreak is investigation and response across the affected states.

Indications are therefore strong that the disease is gradually being contained. Indeed, some of the suspected cases have turned out to be negative after laboratory tests while a number of the confirmed victims have been discharged from hospital after treatment. But this is no reason to treat the situation with levity and light esteem.

There should be no disposition, as was the case with Lassa fever not quite long ago, that the impact of the disease has not reached alarming level. That would be insensitive. The Ebola epidemic, in 2014, claimed just about three casualties in Lagos and a national emergency was declared, which helped to check the spread.

Authorities should, therefore, not wait for crisis to occur before waking up to their responsibilities. The proactive measures already put in place should be sustained to curb a public health concern that could debilitate a large segment of the population if unchecked. Nigerians move a lot around all parts of their country, which is why the disease could spread easily.

Given the propensity for a rapid spread and the lack of capacity in most states to contain the disease, the Federal Government should spearhead the battle.

What is needed, at this juncture, is not panic but precautionary hygienic measures by members of the public. All persons suspected of experiencing the symptoms should immediately report to the nearest health facility and be put in isolation.

I Ought to Have Died- Wole Soyinka

Based on his “lifestyle”, Professor Wole Soyinka, the Nobel Laureate ought to have died by now.

This is a personal admission that the 83-year old legendary playwright made to a question by the Financial Times of London, on how long he intends to live.

He said, “By all logic I should not be alive right now because of my lifestyle,” he replied.

“I flout everything they teach at medical school, including the fact that I don’t drink water. I eat only when I want to. I don’t obey the rules of cholesterol,” he added during the conversation with David Pilling, the FT Africa editor, at the Pescatori restaurant in west London.

Soyinka is by his own admission a non-smoker, although he said he used to smoke hard cigarettes such as Gitanes, Gauloises, cigars and cheroots, but he had quit smoking.

” I lost interest several years ago,” he said, also revealing an argument he once had with the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro on the perils of smoking.

“I had an argument with Fidel Castro about it. By that time Castro had got religion about the perils of smoking and he rounded on a guerrillero, saying, ‘This is bad for you. I have medical evidence.’ He started bullying him. I said, ‘Wait a minute. Leave the man alone. Let him find his own time.’ ” Soyinka says this triggered a two-hour discussion.

“Castro loved to argue. But I think that day he met his match.” The two called it an evening and Soyinka retired to bed. “The following morning a box of cigars — Cohiba — arrived at my hotel. It just said, ‘With compliments of the Cuban government.’ Who did it? To this day, I’ve no idea. But I still have some of them in Abeokuta. That’s the story of my smoking career.”