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By Ovundah Nyeche. 

He was referred to my hospital due to a long standing generalized body weakness and they also noticed he was passing coke-coloured urine as well. Indeed he was very weak and pale, a thirthy year old male and a graduate of a Nigerian university.

After interviewing and examining him; He admitted that He usually consumed herbal-based products and he was a habitual drinker. His pulse was racing and his heart was failing.

Over the next few days he had several blood transfusions and our fears were confirmed when our investigations showed that his kidneys had failed and he would require regular sessions of dialysis or have a renal transplant done to improve the quality of his life and increase life expectancy.

He is one of a number of young people with failed kidneys attended to last year, almost all of which was as a result of ingestion of herbal based products and supplements with spurious claims.

For the past few weeks, I have had several encounters with practitioners of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) ; they seem to be everywhere, even more in number than ants feasting on an open sugar container.

Just last week in Port Harcourt Nigeria, while getting some auto spare parts, they were advertising products which they claim flushes out candidiasis from the system; they even said that every discharge from the breast of a lady not pregnant was caused by the organism ‘candida’ and two sachets of this product will flush this organism out. They blamed candida for causing infertility in men and women. To further stamp on the authenticity of their product they dictated its NAFDAC number

Your’s truly if I did not know better, I would have have rushed to join the queue that had just assembled ; at the boot of their bus hung all kinds of scary pictures and all manner of packaged drug products, while one of the ‘trado guy’ was consulting, another was dispensing their products to their patients.. Sorry customers.

Well, they were thinking out of the box; at least they were giving it to another microorganism, after blaming ‘staphylococcus aureus’, ‘staph’ to death.

Just the other day while waiting to collect a consignment from someone, I was approached by two well-dressed young men who told me they had a wellness product to advertise to me.This product according to them could improve the blood sugar, blood pressure, improve libido, cause a long lasting and sustained erection
and had no side effects . I gave them a stern look after their talk, they were shocked I was not interested, I was more shocked people were bringing out their money to buy this product.

They are everywhere on TV ,radio and even on social media marketing products that at the long run causes more harm than good.

Many people use herbal products for the treatment of a wide range of diseases due to the claims of their efficacies by the manufacturers. However, there is little insight as to how they really work, no clear statement of content or medically related information on the package labels, their side effects and their interactions with food and other drugs.

5 years ago some researchers from the Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, University of Lagos while experimenting on the safety of some popular herbal products indicated that herbal remedies such as ‘agyanom mixture’, ‘bolex bitters’ and ‘remedia mixture’ have adverse effects on the kidney and they might not be safe for human consumption.

Robert Heyka, MD, of Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Nephrology & Hypertension notes that certain herbs or nutritional supplements have been associated with kidney injury, even among healthy people. With such a wide variety of supplements available, the best way to get advice about a particular supplement is to ask your doctor to review all the ingredients to be sure it’s safe to use.

The US based National Kidney Foundation recently stated that some herbal supplements have aristolochic acid, which is harmful to kidneys and also that there are few studies to show if herbal supplements have real benefits and even less information in patients with kidney disease.


It is important to also know that Herbal supplements may interact with prescription medicines to either decrease or increase how the medicine works.

Most people with kidney disease don’t have any symptoms until they’re very sick, little wonder it is called a silent disease. Don’t be in a hurry to take medications you know nothing about; don’t be so reckless as to commit your life to people that don’t know better; don’t assume a drug is safe because you cited a NAFDAC number inscribed on the packet, don’t convert your body to a teapot of concoction all in the name of over zealous use of supplements.

Your kidneys and indeed your life is at stake.


Any similarity with persons in the above story and any other person living, dead or in between is surely a coincidence.

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Healthy Living

The Hebrew Women Tale




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By Ovundah Nyeche

One of the favourite parts of my health seminars in churches is ‘The Hebrew Women’ Table; in my slides I keep it last, because pepper soup should not be rushed, but taken slowly.

I start by going to the scripture, where this was lifted from…

The story starts, with a new king enthroned who did not know about Joseph, the Hebrew boy who became number 2 in Egypt and who was dead already, he was the reason the Israelites emigrated to Egypt and right now the new King was scared that with their number and might they could align with a foreign nation, mess them up and leave Egypt.

So the strategy was to make them slaves or 2nd class citizens and make life miserable for them by making them build cities, but ‘e be like say as the men went back home, small good morning’ and boom their wives were becoming pregnant and they were becoming more and more in number.

So the King devised another method, talk to the midwives who took care of their wives ‘Hebrew Women’ during delivery, and order them to kill all male children delivered, but spare the female children.

With less males there would be less Hebrew males, the population would be well controlled and the females would probably have been forced to marry amongst the Egyptians making it more difficult for them to leave Egypt.

A thing to note is that, Egypt was the peak of civilization at that period and for these women to deliver via midwives who had access to the most powerful king on earth should tell you a lot. Worthy of note is that these ‘Hebrew Women’ enjoyed specialized obstetric care at the best hands thousands of years ago.

The king’s order still stood, the 2 midwives had to kill all male children who were delivered, it was an order, “But Shiphrah and Puah had respect for God. They didn’t do what the king of Egypt had told them to do. They let the boys live. Then the king of Egypt sent for the women. He asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?” The women answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like the women of Egypt. They are strong. They have their babies before we get there.”

Anyone that knows the Bible for himself or herself, will know that the use of the term ‘Hebrew Women’ to mean women who don’t undergo Cesarean Section or women who don’t have difficult delivery is contextually wrong.

The midwives actually lied to the King to save their own Iives and to spare the male children/ male population.

Don’t kill yourself for nothing, trying to prove what does not exist. Listen to your doctor and be more concerned about having a safe delivery with you and your baby/ies intact. Your testimony will not spoil if you said you had a CS, even if it is nobody’s business.

Wisdom is profitable to direct, faith is not the same thing as stupidity…don’t kill yourself for nothing; your children and your husband need you.

I said I should let you know…

#HearWord #OvdSpeaks #HearWordSeries

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Healthy Living





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By Ovundah Nyeche

So one day in a particular hospital, I was on call and was reviewing patients, when I got a call from someone to come to another part of the hospital immediately and leave anything I was doing.

To further indicate the seriousness there were people physically present to call me.

Rushed to the place and saw someone who just slumped…my mind was working like a pentium 4, what could this be…did all the preliminaries, did all I knew in the split second, but the hands were cold and the pupils were telling a story, a story which was saying a journey has started to eternity.

I broke the sad news and minutes later relatives showed up, they were also told the sad news, amidst cries, tears and prayers.

I observed the event closely…the family members seemed the most broken…to others the corpse was just a dead body, or perhaps a dead friend or colleague or perhaps just another dead person or even a firewood. But to the relatives it was a dead family member, a benefactor, a sibling, a parent, a caregiver etc.

In days if the deceased work in a facility that needs attention, a new worker would be employed to fill the gap and life will continue as if nothing happened, whilst family and close friends mourn their loss.

In this past few days, I have seen a lot of ailments many terminal and as always, I would advise you to please take care of yourself, REST (note to self), cancel appointments if necessary, go for check up, check your blood pressure, do a full workup, see a doctor (even if you are one), take a break from stressors (including social media), detoxify your mind, see a psychiatrist, see your pastor, unload, take a retreat, vacation, eat right, run from things that would damage your body, delegate, go on leave, take life je-je, spend quality and quantity time with family etc.

This life no get duplicate, and if anything happens na your family members go suffer am…as life moves on…even if you die in any office, it is very likely the office will not end and the sun will still rise and set.

It is sad seeing people carrying bombs as BP and carrying values of check that are either too high or too low.

Take care of yourself and pause where you need to pause…it pays

Everything is not about gathering, gathering, gathering. Struggling, struggling, struggling…

May this instruct you.

#HearWord #ovdspeaks #HearWordseries

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Healthy Living

Dealing with stress in the face of a pandemic.




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Ovundah Nyeche

A few days ago, during a Zoom meeting, I mentioned that; ‘we are not just dealing with a pandemic, but also an infodemic’, which is an excessive amount of information concerning a problem such that the solution is made more difficult. Little was known about COVID-19, 5 months ago, but right now it is in the lips, ears and minds of a lot of people worldwide. Considering the amount of updates, especially fake news, with the level of uncertainty, with the level of loss of control, with dwindling fortunes in many quarters… Fear and anxiety is at an all-time high.

This is the period when having a cough, fever, catarrh or difficulty in breathing can increase the worry hormones. This is also a period where a lot of people are worried about their own health and the health of their loved ones especially those that are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

And to keep up to speed with the news, a lot of people are having issues with their sleep and having changes in their eating patterns. Many are having issues with concentrating, as bad news hits left, right and center. Worsening chronic health problems stare us at the face. There is also worsening of mental health conditions and increased use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs this period, as people find ways to deal with stress and fear.

So how do you cope with stress

*Get news only from verified sources, trust me ‘e get why’. That ‘salt and pepper’ that brings out the dopamine in you, may not be good for your health. Professionals report having your health in mind, while many sources report with sensationalism and the overwhelming need to get more clicks at the back of their mind. Also it is important you get the right information, so that you may be properly equiped.

* Take breaks from watching reading or listening to news stories, including social media, it will do you a great good.

* Take care of your body needs by eating healthy; a nutritious diet will do you a whole lot of good. You will also need to exercise regularly; you can tailor-make the exercises you do, so as not to break the physical distancing rule. Get adequate sleep; sleeping well does not in any way connote laziness, a good refreshed sleep is very important. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and drugs this period.

* This is also a time to meditate, pray, listen to wholesome/soul lifting messages, it will do you a whole lot of good.

* Learn something new this period, the fact that it looks as though things are on hold, does not in any way mean your life should be on hold. You can learn something new, but come on, it doesn’t have to be a competition.

* Give back to society in your own capacity, you may think your effort will be considered too small, but you can be a voice for someone or something this period, you can be a reason someone says thank you and wishes to live one more day.

* Do something you enjoy this period, of course something that would not put your health at risk or expose others to harm.

* Connect with others. As you know Physical distancing does not mean you should cut off from people, call your parents, call friends on phone, ask people how they are doing, care about others, and be willing to respond to other people’s need, it will also not be a sacrilege to receive help from other people. No one is a superman or superwoman. Find out how others are doing, and do not be embarrassed if people ask you how you are doing.

* Play your part to stop the spread of fake news, be careful what you share, if you are not sure and it is malicious, you may as well not share even if it sounds so sweet. Never allow fake news and rumors spread in your hands.

* We should also play our part to reduce stigma and stigmatization of people during this period.

Do have a great day ahead, we will overcome this. Let’s play our part to flatten the curve, it is in our hands.


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