Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Sometime in July last year during that wet season, when our roads are easily flooded some washed away. I was stopped over in Okene on my way from Abuja were I had gone to bid a friend farewell. A friend who resisted joining the brain-drain bludgeoning this country of mine daily. I logged into my twitter account and there I saw a tweet from Pa Ikhide, he was in Nigeria, not just in Nigeria he was right there in my ‘backyard’ he came to see Papalolo who had taken ill but sadly passed on a year later after fighting every inch of the way, to stay alive. I was happy and immediately sent him a message I will be coming to see him where he was lodged and that was how I came to know Izuma, a woman that represents dedication, hard work and unending faith in the good that can come out of the most impossible of situation. A true representation of the African woman’s dedication to her husband, yes this is about Izuma not about Pa Ikhide who is now Papalolo 2 with then passing of the great Papalolo. Throughout the months of Papalolo’s illness she was by his side all the time, day and night, through thick and thin and sometimes the weariness was written all over her face but never for once complained about her own health. It was all about her husband and doing all she could to see he gets better. The day he was able to stand with some support where days you saw Izuma’s face wrinkled with smile, dispelling the despair of yesterday. The burden she bore during those months cannot not be paid back in monetary terms. The ups and downs, the pains, hunger the fear, that moment of joy, the disappointment and sometimes the anger at the whole situation. It is an emotional roller coaster taking care of people who become dependent on you for activity of daily living, they take over your life so much so you wonder why you are still alive at their demise!

So here is me saying thank you to Izuma for giving all she had in those months, daily fighting every inch of the way. This is a tribute to a woman who represents one of the key things we have going for us in our traditional African culture-family support. 

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

This contraception palaver sef!

Contraception is the process of stopping a man/woman/couple from achieving pregnancy until he/she/they so desire. It is a really a means to an end not an end in itself. Family planning is the use of contraception to space the children and regulate the number of children while trying to ensure the couple enjoy sex.
In our society the women are the major users of contraceptives, and the permanent forms of contraceptives are majorly done by women. Now before I get ahead of myself there are various types of contraception methods, like condoms -male and female.
The female condoms are not so popular, a discussion for another day- intrauterine device -popularly called coil- daily pills, injectable contraceptives and the permanent one that involves ‘tying’ of the tubes in women and in men.
So during my ward round in the postnatal ward, (a ward where women who just gave birth are admitted) a woman asked me what is the best from of contraception since she had four children before she mistakenly got pregnant again, so I delved into the various types of contraceptives and their merits and demerits, I felt that was an opportunity to educate all the women present there at once so I won’t have to repeat it all over again at each bedside so I stood in the middle of the ward and delivered the lecture.

The interesting part of the whole scenario was when I got to the aspect of male contraceptive, vasectomy and I told the women it is preferable because it’s easier and the woman does not have to have ugly scars on their abdomen, since we don’t do minimal invasive surgeries. Suddenly there was an uproar, I was shocked I wondered what I said that caused such response, a woman said “oh! So the man can be sleeping around abi? No o! na me go do the operation, make I dey sure if he dey play the field at least one day one day the girl do get belle!” I simply asked her if she does not trust her husband. Her response was not any less shocking, “abeg oga doctor you be man, you wan tell me the thing no dey do you like make you do am with another woman sometime if no be say you dey fear she fit get belle?” I laughed and told her that’s why there are condoms to protect against impregnating the woman and contracting other sexually transmitted disease.

 Another woman in the ward responded, “Which condom, una men dey gree use am? Una go complain say the thing no sweet like if you no use am, no be so I take get belle again, abegi talk something else.” Obviously I said, you women don’t trust your husbands, if not you won’t be against them doing a vasectomy since you have completed the family.
I asked them if they feel their husbands don’t get scared when they the women tie their tubes, if their husbands are not afraid of them ‘playing the field’. Another woman retorted, “una men think say na only una the thing dey catch every time to do, e dey catch we women too but if we do the things una men dey do, dem go stone us and drive us out of our husbands home, na because we fit control ourselves.” One of the women who had been quite all this while, asked how she can convince her husband to accept her using contraceptives, she has been to the labour room four (4) times in the last 6 years and she is tired!

And that opened up stories from other women, how they secretly used pills and aborted pregnancies because their husbands were not listening to their cries of being tired of getting pregnant or their need to rest awhile and pursue a career too.
I told the women when they are coming for the postnatal clinic they should come with their husbands so we can discuss the various issues and better educate both of them on contraception and benefit of family planning.
My people the first couple I saw was not funny o! the man said na him wife dey wan do every time so she go fit born plenty pikin so he won’t have enough money to spend on another woman outside!! I looked at the man and asked if he had given his wife any reason to doubt his fidelity?
I await the response to that question till date my people.