We are back to programming of this important series. We apologise for the break in transmission but our correspondents had to gather data so we can have cases to dish out to you as usual.
In today’s edition, we shall be dealing with matters pertaining to FAITH, so sensibilities will be touched. But, never mind, it is for the overall betterment of our society and the removal of yeyeness and mumurity in our patient populace.
UNCLE AND AUNTY About To Wed, you are my biggest headache. Shebi, you have agreed to marry? Congrats o! But pause! Have you done your premarital screening? Uncle, do you know that both you and Aunty are AS? Aunty, did you know that your AS is incompatible to Uncle’s SS? You do? Good. You don’t? Not good. You do but your Daddy G.O. has ‘cancelled’ the spirit of SS children and God has given you a supernatural blood transfusion that changed your AS to AA? Biko, collect your chair and wait for doctor. I na agbani!
Reason: IGNORANCE IS NO DEFENCE! Repeat after me – NO ONE, not even God Himself, will change your genotype if you ignorantly go ahead and marry someone you are not compatible with. It is that simple. Love has withered, children have suffered, cursed and died from pains associated with managing SCD; SCD, being an ailment that could have been avoided if the screening before marriage was done. Let us even assume that you are fortunate to get off with one or two non SCD children (which is a risk, considering that an SCD child is a 25% possibility in 4 children i.e. 1 in 4 chances), when your wife is pregnant again, you will now start running around for prenatal testing, putting both mother and child at risk. If the test shows the baby will be an SCD child, will you continue terminating every pregnancy until you get a non SCD child? How many terminations will you do? How much of the emotional baggage can you carry? Think this through very critically. A word, they say, is enough.
UNCLE AND AUNTY About To Wed, I am back o! Have you fully declared your ‘assets’ to each other? By assets, I mean medical histories; any previous or current infection status, any terminal illness history, any psychological illness history – you know, the whole shebang? No? Hmm. You are on a long thing!
Aunty, did you know that uncle is HIV Positive? It’s ‘not ya portion’? So you think his weekly trips to DOTS and AHIP centres is for show eh? Ok o. You, have you tested yourself to check your status? Uncle, did you tell Aunty about your status? Just report yourself to our in house shrink for observation. Oshi!
Reason: You don’t want to wake up one day and visit the antenatal clinic to be greeted with the shocking news that you are HIV positive, Aunty. Same goes for you, a female who have not declared to oga. Informed consent is necessary in everything. If you like cover yourself with 100 drums of the Blood of Jesus, if you know your partner is living positive and you have neither tested yourself nor protected yourself, you wee carry eet. Especially if your partner is careless. Please, before you make a life-altering decision like marriage, disclose any health issues, familial and personal, to your would-be spouse. Let the person make up his or her own mind about being with you. For example, endeavour to tell him/her about any familial cases of diabetes or cancer, any personal history of venereal diseases, so that the person can better take care himself or herself and you. That way, no medical surprises will spring up down the line. Receive sense, brethren.
AUNTY!!! CONGRATS on your pregnancy. Have you registered for antenatal in a good hospital? No? Ok. Have you started taking your routine drugs? No? Even Pregnacare? No? OK. Ngwa, clap for yasef. Your space is in solitary confinement.
AND YOU, Sister, shebi your baby is lying breech and your sister in da Lawd has taken you to a place where they will ‘turn’ the baby for you? And you went so that they will ‘turn’ the baby, and that TBA has ‘chooked’ hand into your ‘kini’ to ‘turn’ baby for you. Amadioha take the wheel!
Reason: Umu nwanyi ibe m, receive sense! How can a woman in this time and age of medical interventions and what-not still subject herself to certain dangerous practices to please people? Are you normal? The qualified health personnel are there in the hospital for a reason. They are paid salaries and trained properly and provided tools for a reason. If private hospitals are too expensive, the teaching hospitals are subsidised by the government. Please, once that test reads positive, head down to any good hospital near you for antenatal services. And at the sign of any trouble at all, head down there too for consultations, observations and possible interventions. This life is not a dress rehearsal. Don’t treat it as such!
And if your baby is breech, please, please and please, defer to knowledgeable authority. No one but no one should stick unsterilized hand or utensils up your cervix to ‘turn’ any baby.
- You could end up with a life threatening infection.
- You could distress the baby.
- You could even kill the baby in the process. I ji kwa anya gi?
Until next update, keep healthy and keep receiving sense. Gwazikwa ndi yard unu!
This Public Health Programme was brought to you by Path-Care Nigeria – pathology that adds value. Visit us at www.pathcarenigeria.com for a list of our locations.
Written by Nene Ezike