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The World Is Full Of Viruses

By Olowogboyega Oyebade Have you heard the news that at least three persons died of a suspected deadly Lassa fever at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) in Kano? Do you know that the three victims including two medical doctors died few hours after operating a pregnant patient, suspected to be a primary carrier at the…”
Yusuf
January 27, 2020 11:20 am

By Olowogboyega Oyebade

Have you heard the news that at least three persons died of a suspected deadly Lassa fever at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) in Kano? Do you know that the three victims including two medical doctors died few hours after operating a pregnant patient, suspected to be a primary carrier at the teaching hospital? Do you know that offices, religious centresand hospitals are no longer safe havens? What is virus? Is it another invisible ‘Anikulapo’?  Come along, please.

Do you know that a virus is a small agent that infects all types of life forms, from animals and plants to micro organisms? Do you know that it was in 1892 that Dmitri Ivanovsky, a Russian biologist, published a research about it in his study of a non-bacterial pathogen infecting tobacco plants? Do you know that there are millions of types and are found in almost every ecosystem on Earth? Do you know that the origins of viruses in the evolutionary history of life are very unclear? Are you aware that viruses spread in many ways and one transmission pathway is through disease-bearing organisms known as vectors? Do you know that viruses in animals can be carried by blood-sucking insects? Do you cough or sneeze  or you care less by inhaling  the breath of a person, sneezing or  coughing?  Do you know that influenza viruses are spread by coughing and sneezing? Wait a minutes, Comrades!!

         Do you know that noro-virus and rota-virus are transmitted into the body through food and water? Do you know that  HIV is one of several viruses transmitted through sexual contact and by exposure to infected blood? Do you know that viral infections in animals and man provoke an immune response that eliminates the infecting virus?  Are you aware that immune responses can also be produced by vaccines to produce artificially acquired immunity to the specific viral infection? Do you know that some viruses, including those that cause AIDS and viral hepatitis, evade these immune responses and result in chronic infections? Do you know that examples of common human diseases caused by viruses include the common cold, influenza, chickenpox, and cold sores?  Do you know that many serious diseases such as rabies, Ebola virus disease, AIDS (HIV), avian influenza, and SARS are caused by viruses and the relative ability of viruses to cause disease is described in terms of virulence?

Comrades in the house! Are you aware that Lassa fever has resumed duty again, now with more ferocious touch? Do you know that this Lassa hemorrhagic fever (LHF), is a type of viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus and many  of those infected by the virus do not develop symptoms? Are you aware that when symptoms occur they typically include fever, weakness, headaches, vomiting, and muscle pains and in some situations,  there may be bleeding from the mouth or gastrointestinal tract? Do you know that about a quarter of those who survive have hearing loss?

Do you know that Ondo State which shares boundaries with the State of Osun at Owena, Dagbaja, and Ifetedois already at high risk?  Do you know that Edo, Ebonyi, Taraba, Plateau, Bauchi and Ogun States are directly facing the line of fire of this dreaded disease, with fatalities in excess of twenty six? Do you know that the National Centre for Disease Control has revealed the overall case fatality rate (CFR) for 2020 to be  17.1percent which is less than 28.7 per cent for the same period in 2019? Do you know that confirmed cases in  Edo and Ondo States had 38 per cent apiece while Ebonyi had 11 per cent, and the predominant age group affected was 11 to 40 years with male to female ratio of 1:1? Do you know that a director of Public Health in Enugu State, Dr. Boniface Okolo, had warned Nigerians to desist from soaking garri, which is highly exposed to the deadly disease? The time to be proactive is now. Like Boy Scout, we must ‘be prepared’.

Are you aware that the disease has been with us since 1950 and was first diagnosed in 1969 from a case in the town of Lassa, in Borno State here in  Nigeria? Do you know that it has now got a wider spread in the corridor of West Africa including Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Ghana with high fatalities every year since then? Do you know that its fatalities isnext to war?

May God bless Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, the Governor of the State of Osun. Do you know that the State Ministry of Health under Doctors Isamotu and Ademiju has stepped up serious monitoring and campaigns throughout the State to ward off this public health emergency? Do you know that the duo have assured us that Osun  is free and will be free? Do you know that this is the time to sit at the edge of the chair and get busy with serious environmental sanitation as promoted by the Governor of the State? Are you aware that the  disease is usually initially spread to people via contact with the urine or feces of an infected multi-mammate mouse?  Do you know that wider spread occurs via direct contact between people and that diagnosis based on symptoms is difficult? Are you aware that confirmation  of the infection is by laboratory testing to detect the virus’s RNA, antibodies for the virus, or the virus itself in cell culture?  Are you aware that prevention requires isolating those who are infected and decreasing contact with the mice? Do you know that other efforts to control its spread  includehaving a cat to hunt vermin, and storing food in sealed containers?  

Do you know that there is no vaccine for humans as of January, 2020? Do you know that our country is still looking up to researchers at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases facility, an agency that was quoted to have a promising vaccine candidate since 2002? Do you know that the Nigerian researchers have not been quoted to have anything near promising vaccine?  

      Have you heard of the Wuhan corona-virus outbreak, an outbreak initially identified during mid-December 2019 in the city of Wuhan in central China, as an emerging cluster of people with pneumonia with no clear cause, which was linked primarily to stall-holders who worked at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which also sold live animals? Are you aware that on 20 January 2020, Chinese Premier Li Keqiangurged  effective efforts to prevent and control the pneumonia epidemic caused by corona-virus?  Do you know that as of 24 January 2020, 26 deaths have occurred, all in China, and there is evidence of human-to-human transmission?  Do you know that extensive testing has revealed over 800 confirmed cases in China, some of whom are healthcare workers, their own ‘Adadevohs’? Are you aware that the disease is imbued with expansionist philosophy as confirmed cases have also been reported in Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, the United States, Singapore, Vietnam and Nepal? Do you know that on 23 January 2020, the World Health Organisation  decided against declaring the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern despite the fact that it is? Do you know that the WHO had previously warned that a wider outbreak was possible, and there were concerns of further transmission during China’s peak travel season around the Chinese New Year? Do you know the new year began  in China on Saturday 25thJanuary, 2020? Do you know that many New Year events in China have been closed over fear of transmission, including the Forbidden City in Beijing, traditional temple fairs, and other ceremonial gatherings? Do you know that the pattern of its spread shows that it can be a super-spreader event with devastating payloads?

           Do you know that on 23 January 2020, Wuhan was placed under quarantine, in which all public transport in and out of Wuhan has been suspended? Are you aware that Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province and is the seventh-largest city in China, with a population of more than 11 million people?  Do you know that it is a major transportation hub of the country, long known in China as “Nine Provinces’ Thoroughfare” and is considered today as the political, economic, financial, commercial, cultural and educational centre of Central China?      

           Do you know that Wuhan has six direct flights weekly to Paris, three weekly direct flights  to London, and five weekly to Rome? Do you know that the nearby cities of Huanggang, Ezhou, Chibi, Jingzhou, and Zhijiang were also placed under quarantine from 24 January, 2020 to curtail the spread of the virus? Do you know that Corona-viruses mainly circulate among animals, but have been known to evolve and infect humans in the past as has been seen with SARS, MERS together with four further corona-viruses found in humans that cause mild respiratory symptoms like the common cold and all six of those already known corona-viruses can cause death? Are you aware that Chinese authorities are building emergency hospitals to accommodate thousands of patients already infected with this invisible ‘Anikulapo’?

Do you know that Nigeria should be on red alert to contain yet another virus serving as a weapon of mass destruction? Do you know that we need more Adadevohs of Ebola Fame among our public health officers to overcome these arduous challenges? Comrades! Can you see now that the world is full of viruses?  Can any hope prevail for man? The statement of Lovelock cuts in:

“Human beings are very tough and will survive—have survived for at least a million years. Civilizations, though, are fragile. Thirty or so have come and gone in the past 5,000 years. And there’s no reason to assume that ours is permanent. Indeed, there is little evidence that our individual intelligence has improved through recorded history.”

Have you wondered why Nigeria has not invested so much in getting locally developed vaccine for Lassa fever or malaria, or typhoid killing us everyday?  Do you know that as a country we prided ourselves to spend  so much on registration of voters and elections as if we only live to vote?  Do you know that INEC too has discovered that despite huge cost of registration there was noticeable voter apathy greeting the 2019 general elections? Are you aware that some facts about the 2019 general election throw up some curious facts about  voter apathy? According to INEC, do you know that registration by gender for 2019 general elections shows that female registered voters were 39, 598,654 that is, 47.14 percent, while male registered voters were 44,405,439 representing 52.86 percent?

              According to INEC, are you aware that  registration by zone shows that the Northwest had 20,158,100 (24%);  Northeast had 11,289,293 (13.44%); and North central had 13,366,070 (15.91%), Southwest had 16,292,212 (19.39%); while Southeast had 10,057,279 (11.97%); and the South-south region 12,841,279 (15.29%)? According to INEC, do you know that occupational distribution of registered voters for 2019 general election shows: traders 7,568.012 (9.01%); artisans 4,478,202 (5.33%); business persons 10,810,006 (12.87%); civil servants 5,038,671 (6%); farmers/fishermen 13,630,216 (16.23%); housewives 11,844,079 (14.10%); students 22,320,990 (26.57%); public servants 2,292,167 (2.73%); others 6,021,741 (7.17%)?

Are you aware that the total number of registered voters for 2019 was 84,004,084m and when the numbers were distributed by age group shows that youths between ages 18-35 years old represented 51.11%; while middle aged people between 36-50 years are 29.97%; the elderly people between 51-70 years represented 15.22%; and the old people from 70 and above represented 3.69percent.? Do you know that the number of Permanent Voter’  Cards collected was 72,775,585m?

Are you aware that when it was compared to previous elections in Nigeria, the number of registered voters for 2019 was the largest at 84,004,084m, while  2015 was 68 million Nigerians registered to vote; 73 million in 2011; 61 million in 2007; and 60 million in 2003; while the number of registered voters for 1999, was 57 million? Do you know that out of 84,004,084m  registered voters only about 29,364,209 million people voted at the presidential election? Do you know that out  of the 6,570,291 registered voters in Lagos 5,531,398 collected their Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC) and only about one million of these collected PVCs were used on the Election Day?  Do you know that  in Kano, of the total 5,457,747 registered voters, 4,696,747 collected their PVC while less than two million of the voters participated in actual voting? Do you know that the 2015 general election cost Nigeria #1 trillion? Are you aware that the cost of  2019elections was equally over #1 trillion and #69 billion more than 2015 election?  Do you know that we have been battling with Lassa virus since 1950s and yet the virus is still killing us in 2020? Do you know that if we had made available about #10 billion to researchers, a potent vaccine could have been invented for Lassa Virus? Why are we so blessed?

Do you know what war is? Do you know that it is characterized by extreme violence and destruction? Do you know that there are types of war including: asymmetric warfare, biological warfare, or germ warfare which use weaponized infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, chemical warfare, cold warfare by using intense international rivalry without direct military conflict, economic warfare, political warfare, covert operations, espionage, cyber-warfare, or proxy wars. conventional warfare and nuclear warfare?

Do you know that human civilization is just about 5,000 years old? Are you aware that the advent of gunpowder has promoted modern warfare? Have you read the war account of Conway Henderson? According to him, do you know that 14,500 wars had  taken place between 3500 BC and the late 20th century, costing 3.5 billion lives, leaving only 300 years of peace? Have you read about the Beer report published in 1981?  According to him, do you know that the war casualties were  put at approximately 3,640,000,000 human beings killed by war and another approximately 1,240,000,000 human beings killed by the diseases produced by war? Are you aware that thousands of lives are killed everyday in wars around the world including the North East of Nigeria? Are you aware that the protracted conflict in north-eastern Nigeria continues to devastate the lives of civilians, resulting in a humanitarian crisis affecting 7.7 million women, men and children?

Do you know that since the start of the conflict in 2009, more than 20,000 people have been killed, more than 4,000 people abducted and 1.7 million remain displaced, most of them in Borno State?  Do you know that those caught up in the conflict have experienced brutal violence, lost family, friends and homes, lived with acute and sustained levels of stress in poor conditions, seen their communities torn apart and had little or no access to life-saving services such as health, education and security?  Do you know that the humanitarian community has reached 4.5 million of those affected with life-saving assistance which has helped to stabilize living conditions for millions of people, reducing levels of mortality and morbidity? Do you know that some of the aid workers were abducted and killed recently? Do you know that Yobe,  Adamawa and Zamfara States are having a bite of the pie and raw deal with terror machines? Do you know that the internally displaced persons (IDPs) already rehabilitated are moving back to camps as violence against them go unabated? Do you know that life is becoming raw and unlivable in some of these corridors thus creating serious humanitarian crises? Do you know that UNICEF has cried out and suggested a political solution to the problem? Do you know that there is the need to promote conversations around this political solution as we mark this year’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day? What is the importance of that day? Come along, please.

Are you aware that International Holocaust Remembrance Day is an international memorial day on 27 January commemorating the tragedy of the Holocaust that occurred during the Second World War? Do you know that it commemorates the genocide that resulted in the deaths of 6 million Jews and 11 million others, by the Nazi regime and its collaborators of terror machines?  Are you aware that it was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/7 on 1 November 2005 during the 42nd plenary session and the resolution came after a special session was held earlier that year on 24 January 2005 during which the United Nations General Assembly marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and the end of the Holocaust?  

Do you know that on 27 January 1945, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp, was liberated by the Red Army? Do you know that Resolution 60/7 establishing 27 January urges every member nation of the U.N. to honour the memory of Holocaust victims, and encourages the development of educational programmes about Holocaust history to help prevent future acts of genocide?  Are you aware that the Resolution rejects any denial of the Holocaust as an event and condemns all manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief? Do you know that Resolution 60/7 and the International Holocaust Day was an initiative of the State of Israel, the essence of which we must reassert our commitment to human rights, do our utmost so that all peoples may enjoy the protection and rights for which the United Nations stands? Do you know that the international funding of Boko Haram leaves us with no other choice than to revert back to political solution by involving some other countries of the world for negotiation, dialogue and compromises? A verse of Bob Dylan creeps in:

Yes, ‘n’ how many times must a man look up

Before he can see the sky?

Yes, ‘n’ how many ears must one man have

Before he can hear people cry?

Yes, ‘n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows

That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowin‘ in the wind

The answer is blowin‘ in the wind

       Comrades, do you say ‘Amotekun is illegal’? Imagine you were that 58-year-old Funke Olakunrin, daughter of Pa Reuben Fasoranti, a leader of Afenifere, coming from Akure and heading for Ore Junction when some bandits emerged from the cover of vegetation and fired your  vehicle with bullets, riddling the entire sound and happy body asunder.  And now somebody is telling you that Amotekun is illegal?  Imagine it was a dream, how would you feel? Imagine you were that Adenipekun Ademiju, a staff member of Atakumosa West Local Government area of the State of Osun. You boarded a vehicle from Osun heading to  Ibadan.  On the expressway around Ikire, a group of bandits emerged from the  bushes and pumped a volley of bullets into the bus. Ademiju was unlucky. His head was shattered by bullets.  And somebody is now telling you that Amotekun is illegal.  Imagine it was a dream, how would you feel?

Imagine you were one of the seven members of the College of Technology, Esa Oke community  who gunmen attacked and kidnapped at the gate of their College in December 2018. During the attack, the assailants abducted five  staff members and two students of the institution. During the operation, one of the staff was summarily executed.  And you are now told that Amotekun may be illegal.  Imagine it was a dream, how would you feel? Imagine you were one of the Doctors under the aegis of Association of Resident Doctors, Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospital, Ile Ife, State of Osun  staging a peaceful protest over the gruesome killing of Prof. Jerome Elusiyan, a Professor of Paediatrics, shot dead in cold blood in Edo State while coming from a national assignment.   Do you know that there were only three specialists of Elusiyan’s field in Nigeria at the time of his murder? And now somebody whispers to you that ‘Amotekun’ that may protect the other endangered specie of Elusiyan  is illegal.  Imagine it was a dream, how did you feel? Comrades! Have you read the report by the Vanguard entitled, ‘Kidnapping, banditry, killings: 133 highways of terror’? Do you know that  roads in the six geopolitical zones in the country are declared as dens of violent crimes of kidnapping, banditry and killing and 133 roads are now popularly recognized as routes of death?  According to the report, do you know that there are 28 roads of such denomination in the South-South, in the North-West, 20; in the North-Central, 33, in the South East, 11 and in the South-West, 41 routes of death? Imagine that somebody told you that Amotekun was illegal?  Imagine it was dream, how did you feel?

Can you see that Amotekun came as a doctrine of necessity and its regional outlook will give it a better leverage in terms of finance and operational efficiency? Do you know that it will better serve as a centripetal force than a centrifugal one? We join million of Nigeria to congratulate the Federal Government for brokering better negotiation among the stakeholders to make the initiative to gain traction.  We congratulate all the Governors of the South West, particularly MrAdegboyega Oyetola, Governor of the State of Osun,  on this good initiative.  A statement from the aide to the Vice President, Mr Akande cuts in:

“The meeting was very fruitful and unanimous resolutions were made on the way forward. Having regard to the need for all hands to be on deck in addressing the security concerns across the country, it was agreed that the structure of Amotekun should also align with the community policing strategy of the federal government. It was also agreed that necessary legal instruments will be put in place by each of the States to give legal backing to the initiative and address all issues concerning the regulation of the security structure.”

Oyebade is the Head of Service, State of Osun.

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