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There is life after rape…

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By Ovundah Nyeche.

Few months ago, I got a call from a friend, she had called me a day before due to a health challenge and I had told her what to do. I assumed she was still calling me for the same issue, which I felt was minor, besides I just arrived home from an in-law’s wedding ceremony and was very tired.

However one missed call soon turned to four missed calls and surprisingly there was no accompanying text message from her; so I had no option but to pick her call.

However when I picked her call, I noticed her voice was uncharacteristically very low, as though she was trying to hide something. I also felt she was moving away from a group of people who sounded noisy at the background, there also seemed some form of urgency as she spoke, it was obvious all was indeed not well. She then told me that the reason she was calling was on behalf of a family friend, a teenage female, who left home in the morning for an errand, and did not return according to schedule but was found later viciously raped.

According to her the victim was speechless and disoriented, surrounded by sympathizers who came to felicitate with the family that the missing girl was found. She was speaking in a very low voice so no sympathizer would know what happened. She called me actually to ask what drug I would prescribe for the young lady.

The rape cycle is predictable down here, silence, probably blame the victim, silence once again, probably the police and lawyers are not involved because again this is breaks the silence. Because of the stigma that usually accompanies rape coupled with poverty, many families prefer to keep silent about it and as we say down here “Leave it to God”. The ignorant wish the events away and in due time the victim’s tummy grows or she is infected with one disease or the other and probably is traumatized and torn from inside out.

Let me dispel some myths about rape:

  • Rape is not common: Says who, statistics say before 18 years 1 in 4 girls, and 1 in 6-7 boys have been raped. Ironically less than 10% of these cases are reported, and boys are also raped.
  • Happens in only poor places and to the uneducated: Says who, the above story happened in a rich neighborhood and the victim was by no means uneducated.
  • Rape is committed by strangers alone: No way, 70-90% are people the person knows and trusts. The rapist may be a friend, sibling, parent, teacher or even religious figure.
  • Happens in the dark and outside: No matter how true this sounds, rape happens in more than 60% of cases in people’s homes.
  • She said no, but meant yes: No means no. No still means no, even if she told you yes initially.
  • Caused by the victim, how she dresses: Says who, while it is true the way you dress can cause undue attention in your direction and it is good for people to dress well, it is erroneous to blame someone for getting raped because of how she dressed. No matter how beautiful clothes are displayed in a boutique, you are a criminal if you break into the boutique to steal clothes. Rape is a violent crime and here sex is the weapon.

 Now let’s get back to the story, I put a call across, to a colleague and asked for her advice, she gave me some numbers and advised me on the course of actions to take.

The reality is that there is life after rape and if you are raped you will need medical help immediately or within 72 hours (3 days), also it would be in your best interest to let trusted people know and get the police and lawyers involved.

In Nigeria it is important you visit a Government hospital immediately, here doctors would document your complaints, examine you and give you some medications, and these documentations will be very useful especially when you get the police and lawyers involved.

Here in Port Harcourt the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) /Doctors Without Borders, an International Emergency Medical Organization run a free sexual and gender based violence clinic.

If survivors seek medical care within the first three days, they will benefit from free post exposure prophylaxis for HIV, prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and booster shots for tetanus and Hepatitis B Virus. Including treatment of local wounds if any as well as psychological support.

You can Call 09033555455, 07058890060 or visit the Orogbum Health Centre, Ogbunabali by Garrison Bus Stop, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. 7am-7pm, 7 days a week.

I got a message soon afterwards that the young lady was attended to and is now fine. There is indeed life after rape; don’t die in silence, make that move! People are willing to listen and help.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Tamie

    November 18, 2017 at 7:26 am

    I never fully grasped how prevalent rape was till recently.
    MSF is doing a great job at that gender based violence clinic.

    • Avatar

      Ovundah

      November 19, 2017 at 6:47 am

      Thank you so much Tammy for your feedback.

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Medical Republic

What’s the big deal about kerosene poisoning?

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By Ovundah Nyeche

Many times I jokingly tell my friends I have triplets. Well when you have 3 children which includes twins below the age of 5 what else is that called? Lol

Truly speaking, many times I do my reading and prepare for many of my seminars and presentations at work or even in the library, because once daddy steps inside house na full time work don start.

Remove your eyes from your kids and boom something…

We try our best to keep our home as safe as possible, but with kids, safety is also of the Lord.

Years ago, while doing my NYSC in Ekiti State, an unconscious child was brought into the hospital with a crowd following him.

My duty was to wake up the child by fire or by force, unfortunately, those who brought the child were not giving me any useful information.

How long has this child being unconscious… Today!
Fever… Kosi!
Trauma to the head… Kosi!
Vomiting… Kosi!
Convulsion… Kosi!
Last meal… Recently!

It was obvious my talk was taking me to no where, I had no glucometer to check the child’s blood sugar who was barely 3 years old, I decided to treat as a case of cerebral malaria, and I set up everything.

On a 2nd note, the smell from the child’s mouth was somehow, somehow… It was smelling kaikaish.

No…. Wetyn pikin go dey do with Kaikai?

No information was coming forth…

Treatment started and boom grandmother shows from nowhere with an empty Kaikai bottle…

My little patient had looted one full bottle of alcohol and the effect was him lying on the bed unconscious…

Few minutes after commencement of treatment… He was awake.

Handling children is not beans and this brings me to a very important topic “Kerosene Poisoning”.

Wetyn be Kerosene Poisoning?

I am sure we all know what kerosene is, kerosene poisoning without getting too technical is harm as a result of accidentally drinking kerosene.

Kerosene poisoning is very common, as many homes still make use of kerosene and unfortunately kerosene looks like water and unlike petrol is stored in attractive containers, many times bottled water containers or even soft drink bottles.

It is the commonest form of poison amongst children.

Then?

Usually when it happens parents panic and have to do things.

Some of the things include giving the child palm oil, palm kernel oil, crude oil, olive oil, groundnut oil, or putting their fingers inside the child’s throat.

Why?

They do this to neutralize the kerosene, but most especially so the child can vomit the kerosene gulped.

Facts.

Kerosene is poorly absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and the fear is in the kerosene getting to the lungs and this usually happens when the child vomits.

Medical people call this “aspiration pneumonitis”, which is big grammar for the lung tissue reacting to the kerosene in the lungs.

This reaction can lead to fever, the child being breathless, cough, as well as noisy breathing.

The kerosene can also affect the heart, GIT or even the brain or bone marrow.

What do I do then?

  • First don’t panic.
  • Secondly don’t allow the enemy to use you.
  • Thirdly, do nothing at home, yes including suggestions from neighbours except the neighbour is a qualified doctor.
  • Fourthly, halele, go to a hospital, irrespective of the quantity of kerosene swallowed.

In the hospital, the child would be observed, and if needs be a Chest X-ray would be requested and treatment given to the child as needed.

Don’t play a doctor if you are not one, life is not Nollywood.

How do we prevent this?

Let’s call it the 4 As

reduced Accessibility : Hide all kerosene from children. Keep if far from children.

reduced Attractiveness: Don’t store kerosene in attractive containers, and lock the containers properly.

reduced Availability: If you can don’t use kerosene, apart from the issue of poisoning, the issue of burns is a story for another day. Also use only quantities needed.

increased Awareness: Now you have heard tell others.

Again what do I know?

This is the end of my story.

#HearWord #HearWordseries

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Medical Republic

Presentations: 58th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the NMA Rivers State.

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The well attended conference which held in the NMA House Port Harcourt, had 3 Scientific sessions as well as Panel discussions.

Presentations which were presented include:

Environment and Health: Confronting Challenges in a Sustainable Way
by
Professor Precious N. Ede
Institute of Geosciences and Space Technology
Rivers State University
Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt.

Health Care Financing: Confronting Challenges in (Achieving) Universal Health Coverage and Service Delivery

by

Dr. Anikara S. Atamunotoru

Health Financing Specialist, USAID Health Finance & Governance (HFG) Project.

 

Human Resources For Health: Pillar Of Health Systems Strenghtening

by

Dr Claribel Abam

Pioneer Executive Secretary, R/S Primary Health Care Management Board, 2011-2015

The Keynote address: Health Delivery in Rivers State: A Situational Analysis was presented by Dr Charles Ibiene Tobin-West a renowned Public Health Specialist.

 

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Medical Republic

Abstracts for the NMA Rivers State 58th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference.

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List of Abstracts Accepted for Oral Presentation

SNO ABSTRACT No TITLE PRESENTER
1 NMA/ABS/2018/01-OR Audit of patients aged 60 years and above presenting in a tertiary Hospital in south-south Nigeria Bell-Gam HI

 

2 NMA/ABS/2018/03-OR The Cost Effectiveness of Including Hepatitis C Antibody Screening in Routine Antenatal Tests-A Single Centre’s Experience Dan-Jumbo A
3 NMA/ABS/2018/08-OR Endoscopic posterior urethral valve excision using hysteroscopic scissors- Colworths experience. Ovunda Jack  Omodu
4 NMA/ABS/2018/13-OR Association between cooking fuels and peak expiratory flow rate among rural women in the Niger-Delta. Ofori S
5 NMA/ABS/2018/24-OR Improving Child Survival in Nigeria And the Revised Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding Alice Nte
6 NMA/ABS/2018/25-OR Prevalence of Gallstone Disease in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Using Ultrasound in Port Harcourt, South-South Nigeria. UGBOMA E.W
7 NMA/ABS/2018/28-OR The Quality of Public Sources of Drinking Water in Oil Bearing Communities in The Niger Delta Region of Nigeria Omosivie Maduka
8 NMA/ABS/2018/29-OR The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes: Its Implications to the Nigerian Medical Association Alice Nte
9 NMA/ABS/2018/30-OR Arthroplasty-The Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital Experience. Friday Aaron

The International Code Of Marketing Of Breast milk

Prevalence of Gallstone Disease in Pxs with Type II DM

Posterior Urethral Valve

NMA 2018 Oral presentation

Improving Child Survival In Nigeria And The Revised

Drinking Water Quality in Niger Delta

AUDIT IN 60YEARS AND ABOVE PPP BELL-GAM & AMADI (4)

The Prevalence of HCV Among pregnant women Oral Presentation

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