You see, it was the thinking of our forebears that education/literacy will open our minds to ask questions and develop critical reasoning skills. Alas, that is not to be in this our Naija area. So, today, we are going to be addressing some mumurity that were passed down from generations past. May our eyes of understanding be opened.
YOU HAVE been certified clinically, morbidly obese and the doctor has dutifully given you guidelines to follow, including dietary modifications. But, you refuse. Why? Uto ndu! The pleasure of life is heavy in your soul. You want to be eating your nkwobi, your chicken peri alacata, be drinking your Oompa and smoking your Benson and Hedges. Onyenweanyi gbaa gi ume! That is while you have been recommended for Consulting Room 1 for observation.
Reason: Unless you have a death wish, not following your doctor’s guidelines is foolish in this case, especially if you have started showing signs of Arteriosclerosis or some potentially fatal heart disease. Please, follow your doctor’s orders if you fall into this category, and like Johnny Walker, keep walking! Ya gazie.
SO, SISTER, you are pregnant with your first child, eh? Eh ya, congrats! But you have not registered for ante-natal, neither have you started taking your medicine. In fact, you don’t eat snails because your grandma in your village said it will make your baby drool plenty of saliva. You don’t drink cold water because she also said your baby will have pneumonia. You have not even verified all these information because ‘strong women’ don’t go to the hospital because of pregnancy; besides the only thing they do in those ante-natal classes is to waste time and dance in circles, you believe. Those lazy belly-totting women sef! Ngwa, sisi, clap for yasef. And check into the isolation ward. Oshi!
Reason: You are not helping yourself if you are pregnant and ignore the importance of checking into a good hospital for prenatal and postnatal care. And please, before you eat anything or stop eating anything while pregnant, have a discussion with your doctor or a qualified nutritionist. And, don’t eat for 2!!! That thing is just an old wives’ tale. Eat to be healthy, adhere strictly to all your doctor’s instructions and get to the hospital at the first sign of trouble. Grandma in the village is not a qualified doctor and neither is your sister’s neighbour’s mother-in-law’s mother! Be guided.
CONGRATS on the birth of your child, aunty! Such a lovely baby you have there. Has he taken his shots? No? Ok. I also hear grandma is asking you to squirt breast milk into his eyes to get rid of that stuff that is coming out of his eyes, and that you are obliging grandma. OK o. I also hear you are applying that mixture she brought to you from the village on his circumcision wound and his skin. Do you even know what that mixture is? No? And you are willingly applying, ehkwa? Did you even discuss this with your doctor? Oh, I forget, what do the doctors of these days know anyway? This is what ‘our people’ have been doing for centuries and no one has died yet. Nne, you are a terrorist. Check into the Isolation ward.
Reason: I know it is said that when in doubt, ask your mummy (Na for Lagos I hear am o), but you see, it doesn’t hold water all the time especially in matters of the health of your baby. When in doubt, ask the professionals. Do you know the statistics Nigeria has of Infant Morbidity? In plain English, do you know the number of children that die from preventable causes before the age of 5 in Nigeria? Do you want your baby to become a statistic? If your new baby has symptoms, don’t waste time. Don’t stop at Go. Don’t greet any person, stranger or family. Don’t listen to anyone. Don’t gamble! Period! Take your baby to the doctor for observation and treatment. Breast milk is very nutritious and as such, is a very good media (food) for microorganisms. If you squirt it into your baby’s eyes, you are increasing the chances of those eyes getting morbidly infected, worsening an already bad situation.
Warning: Never, ever give any medication to a baby without doctor’s prescription. And yes, multivitamins are included. Never, ever apply any unknown mixture on your baby’s delicate skin or on his circumcision wound. You could get it infected. Haba! Receive sense!!!
STILL ON the matter of common mis-educations and half educations. So, you are the nurse telling pregnant women to stay in their houses when they are in labour and only rush to hospital when their contractions are ten minutes apart. Hmmm, nawa o. You are the reason Nollywood always depict Nigerian women in labour as weak, simpering, shouting entities. Ya gazie. Biko, collect ya load and head to Consulting Room 1. You need Jesus.
Reason: Labour is like our faces. Different. It starts differently for each woman. Heck, it is even different for a mother who has had more than one child. Its progression is also different. That is why it is dangerous, bothering on stupid, to tell any woman not to ‘bother’ you when her labour starts until the contractions were 10 minutes apart. What if she is a person whose labour progresses very quickly? Do you realize the level of risk you are exposing that mother and baby to? Infection. Death even. Nne, be guided. Go back and consult your books or Google when in doubt.
And if you are attending ante-natal classes and hear this crap or any of the sort, please do one of two things: a) Either leave that hospital and register elsewhere. b) Or speak with your O-and-G and share your concerns. Ya gazie.
A WORD OF KNOWLEDGE: Ever heard of the word ‘Sepsis”? It means ‘the presence in tissues of harmful bacteria and their toxins, typically through infection of a wound’ literally, according to Google. Keep every wound very clean, sterile if possible. Wash the area with a little disinfectant and water and keep the area dry afterwards. See your doctor for dressing and medications and stick to your treatment regimen religiously. This helps to keep the wound safe from infections to avoid stories that touch i.e. Sepsis. I lost a patient last week because of this and I’m still raw about it, hence the message.
Until next update, keep being healthy and wise, Nigerians.
PS: KNOW YOUR NUMBERS today. KYN is an initiative that keeps you healthy and helps you look out for warning health signs. Visit www.pathcarenigeria.com for more information on how you can KNOW YOUR NUMBERS today. Thank me later.
Written by Nene Ezike