Connect with us

Drugs & You

Columnist Corner | We Want Bread Not Cake



free health care services and exemption | HIV/AIDS

Reading through a study on the quality of life, particularly in the context of health and social protection, I came across the position of Nigeria, as rated in the study.

 It says Nigeria has the second largest HIV/AIDS positive population in the World. Nigeria’s HIV/AIDS accounts for nine percent of the world’s HIV burden, and the largest global burden of malaria. These problems combined, indicate Nigeria’s plight in the struggle to maintain the health of its citizens. – By Bala Ibrahim

(Image Caption: Stock Photo depicting Nigeria's Health status, CRED: Google Image)

(Image Caption: Stock Photo depicting Nigeria’s Health status, CRED: Google Image)

As a Nigerian, my heart bleeds every time I think about our mediocracy, especially when it comes to the protection of the poor and the vulnerable, against the harsh consequences of medical neglect.

Since independence, Nigeria has not done anything serious to catch up with the rest of the world in the scope of social protection. Reports say more than 90% of the Nigerian population is living without any health insurance coverage. Successive Governments have made attempts at bringing reforms in the health sector, with the aim of addressing the public health challenges confronting the country, but like a curse, the health system itself always turns out to be the sickest patient.

STILL ON THE MATTER – We Want Bread Not Cake

Doctors are constantly complaining about the condition of service and increasing exposures to job hazards. Their take-home doesn’t take them home, that is to those that even have a home. Nurses are nagging and becoming increasingly annoyed because of neglect, marginalization and professional discrimination in service and the distributing or administration of medical equipment.

The poor patient is at the mercy of death because he is always without any financial and social risk protection. Except for those lucky to have people with compassion around, whose desire is to promote the welfare of others, some hospitals are no better than the registry of death.

Nigeria is in that situation when suddenly Coronavirus arrived, and from the look of things, the disease has arrived with a bang. Everyone is rattled to the teeth, including the rich, who cannot reach out or report abroad.

In a thesis submitted by one Bolaji Aregbeshola, he looked at the issue of the NHIS and the vulnerability of the poor, with respect to free health care in Nigeria, thus, “The NHIS was expected to provide social and financial risk protection by reducing the cost of health care and providing equitable access to basic health services. The most vulnerable populations in Nigeria include children, pregnant women, people living with disabilities, elderly, displaced, unemployed, retirees and the sick. Although these vulnerable groups sometimes benefit from free health care services and exemption mechanisms, they largely have to pay for health care services. Free health care services and exemption mechanisms are often politically motivated, are poorly implemented, do not become fully operationalized, and sometimes only last a few years”.

ALSO, READ (Other News)

The plight of poor patients in Nigeria is simply synonymous with the position of a hungry man, that is confronted with a choice between bread and cake. No matter how daft one may be, the answer to the hungry man’s choice is automatic-he would go for the bread.

According to the Twitter handle of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), “confirmed” cases of coronavirus have increased to 276 in Nigeria, after 22 new infections were reported in Lagos, Bauchi, Edo States and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Wednesday. The emphasis on confirmed is mine, and I did so to say, there is the likelihood of the number of unconfirmed cases being much more than that. If in a country of 200 million people, there are less than 20 testing centres that are poorly manned and probably ill equipped, only God can give accurate statistics of casualties.

So even by the statistics of the NCDC, the disease is increasingly injuring the country, in a manner that may mar the effective and efficient management of the menace. The risk factor is on the rise.

Lockdown in nigeria

A view of the deserted central business district is pictured on the first day of a 14-day lockdown aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lagos, Nigeria March 31, 2020. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja – RC22VF961ZXM

Already the lockdown policy is being observed in the reverse, as reports say in some areas, overcrowding, contacts and congregation have only changed location, from one state to the other, or from the public glare to hidden venues beyond the sight of the police. This means as far as the rate and intensity of infection are concerned, Nigeria is only delaying the doomsday.

Yet, the professionals, particularly the doctors, whose lives are the most endangered, whose condition is always our concern, whose number is embarrassingly insufficient, whose population is getting depleted daily because of corruption in the system, who have lost more members due to Coronavirus than any profession, are playing to the gallery, by choosing on whose help to receive and whose to reject. Advising the government against accepting the helping hand from china is illogical, irrational and inconsistent with the plight of a patient in desperate need of oxygene for survival.

“The Chinese do not have the license to practice in Nigeria. And we do not need their hands as we are not overwhelmed and can take care of our patients”-President of the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD), Dr. Sokomba Aliyu.

We can make such statements from the comfort of our air conditioned rooms or offices, but can our conscience convince us to convey such statements to the dying patient in the hospital, whose lungs were invaded by a virus, and the heart is pounding and fluttering in palpitation? We cant, in all honesty, because to the person in hunger, bread is better than cake.


Three proverbs came to my mind when I read that statement:

  1. Need is not governed by the law.
  2. A good neighbor increases the value of the property.
  3. An intelligent enemy is better than a stupid friend.

So as far as Nigeria’s health situation is concerned, and as far as the plight of the Coronavirus patients is concerned, all the three proverbs are good food for thought, I think.

When you are hungry, don’t refuse a bread, in anticipation of a cake.


COVID-19: State Neglect Safety Measure Fears Second Wave




[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Following the rise in daily cases, peoples negligent in keeping all guidelines to prevent the COVID-19 and state abandonment of safety protocols; it is said that they could be a second wave of the virus.

Nigeria figure increase from  923 the previous week to 937 last week.

Between Monday, November 2, and Friday, November 6, there has been a steady increase in the number of confirmed cases, with 72 recorded on Monday; 137 on Tuesday; 155 on Wednesday; with the figure rising to 180 and 223 on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

Several states fear they could be a second wave see that they have abandoned their safety tools and law enforcement agency are no longer enforcing the safety measures to prevent COVID-19.

Click to Watch Our YouTube Videos

Taxi are seen in Abuja with over 4 passengers at the back against 2 that was recommended by the Government after the lockdown, Buses are seen full of people with zero social distance and no face mask.

Incase You Missed:


Continue Reading

Drugs & You

Concerns as China sentences Australian man to death for drug trafficking



China Australian man drug trafficking death

Concerns as China sentences Australian man to death for drug trafficking

Australia’s prime minister showed concern on Monday after an Australian man who was charged for drug trafficking in China was sentenced to death, in a case that could further inflame tensions between Beijing and Canberra.

A Chinese court revealed on Saturday that Karm Gilespie, a Sydney-based actor turned investment coach, had been condemned to death earlier in the week on drug trafficking – after being held secretly in jail for seven years.

The sentence raised worries it could add to increasingly troubled diplomatic and trade relations between Australia and China, its biggest trade partner.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australian authorities were aware of the arrest and had been in touch with their Chinese counterparts on multiple occasions over his case.

“I and the government are very sad and concerned that an Australian citizen, Mr Karm Gilespie has been sentenced to death in China,” he said.


Chinese state media said Gilespie, in his mid-fifties, was arrested on New Year’s eve in 2013 at Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, northwest of Hong Kong, with more than 7.5 kilograms (16 pounds) of methamphetamine in his checked luggage.

His arrest was not made public and friends told Australian media they had been confounded by his sudden disappearance.

Gilespie’s family issued a statement Monday asking his acquaintances to “refrain from speculating on his current circumstances, which we do not believe assists his case.”

“Our family is very saddened by the situation. We will not be making any public comment and ask that the media respects our privacy at this difficult time,” they said in the statement issued through the foreign ministry.

The sentence could further damage the increasingly troubled relationship between Beijing and Canberra, with tensions growing recently after China reacted furiously to Australia’s call for a probe into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

Beijing subsequently imposed tariffs on Australian goods and warned Chinese tourists and students about visiting because of racism Down Under.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said Sunday that Australians “shouldn’t necessarily” see Gilespie’s sentence as further retaliation by China.

But conservative commentators were quick to make the link.

Greg Sheridan, foreign editor of The Australian newspaper, said the sentencing “has to be seen as Beijing continuing its fierce and increasingly vicious punishments of Australia.”

Last year, China sentenced two Canadian nationals to death on drug trafficking charges during an escalating diplomatic row with Canada over the arrest of top Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Canadian attempts to plead for clemency for Robert Schellenberg and Fan Wei have so far been unsuccessful.


Continue Reading

Drugs & You

Excess vitamin C can cause organ failure — Pharmacists



Pharmacists excess  of vitamin C organ failure

Excess vitamin C can cause organ failure — Pharmacists

Pharmacists under the umbrella of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria warn that ingestion of high doses or excess  of vitamin C can lead to insomnia, organ failure and, in most extreme cases, death.

They warned that vitamin C is a poison when used in excess, just like any other medication, hence the need to avoid random consumption as evident since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is involved in many bodily functions, including the formation of collagen, absorption of iron, strengthening the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.

It is mostly found in fresh fruits and vegetables, especially in citrus fruits like orange and grape.

The medication is considered as one of the 10 most sought-after drugs in states experiencing COVID-19.

Pharmacists excess  of vitamin C  organ failure

According to PSN president, Sam Ohuabunwa, the medication seems to be receiving unusual attention, particularly because of its growing reputation for immune-boosting and wound repair.

“Because the body does not produce or store vitamin C, it is important to take it in the diet.

“While too much dietary vitamin C is unlikely to be harmful, mega doses of the drug may cause some health challenges.

“Normal dose is between 65-90mg per day for adults. But in times of sickness or in order to boost immunity (like in COVID-19), you may reach a maximum of 2000mg per day. Above the 2000mg is considered poisonious to the boby organs.

“Excess of this may lead to side effects such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn, abdominal cramps, headache and insomnia (difficulty to sleep),” Ohuabunwa said.

Speaking in the same vein, the National Chairman of Clinical Pharmacists Association of Nigeria, Dr. Joseph Madu, said misuse of vitamin C or any other medicine has nothing to do with craving or compulsion.

The clinical pharmacist warned of dire consequence when more than the normal recommended dosage is consumed.

According to him, the normal recommended doses will depend on many factors such as age, pre-existing medical conditions and other factors.

“The consequences can be disastrous, as it can lead to death or morbidity.

“For example, diabetics are advised not to take more than 500mg vitamin C per day; otherwise, it can lead to false urinary glucose levels.

“Again, persons who are about to undergo amine occult blood tests should avoid vitamin C for about 72 hours before such a test in order to get reliable results.

“Most importantly, diabetic patients and persons with kidney problems can develop kidney stones if they take more than the recommended doses of vitamin C,” he said.


Continue Reading