Voluntary Blood donors are heroes

I just spoke with one of the best volunteers I know, a young man whose selflessness has made him embraced regular voluntary blood donation.
He is a hero , courageous and always ready to do something , anything that makes another life better… Why don’t we have more people like Oriola Oladipupo in Nigeria? If we did, we would definitely be better off.
Why did I call him? I wanted to apologise that I could not put up a planned post which I wanted to use in commemoration of World Blood Donor’s Day- celebrated June 14, every year… The culprit- my spoilt tablet device and my miserly choice of not backing up my photos via Google Photos.

I had taken a photo of him the last time he donated… Voluntarily oooo. No body begged him to  , he did not have a patient  relative. 

So now, what ‘s stopping you from becoming a voluntary donor?     

;

Celebrating the journey… 1

This early morning I was in a celebratory mode.

Despite all the hiccups, one goal has been met. The result? The book is out! A hardcopy version as well as an ebook version.

Let me give a brief recap. Recently (On my birthday , I announced that I had finally gotten the courage to release a book I d written circa 2015. )

I had originally typed it on my mum’s laptop. But in the process of moving some of my stuff to another device ; I had mistakenly deleted the latest version. This was before the birthday announcement.

Then in March I d found an older version of the manuscript file on my external hard drive  , so I had started working on it on my tablet device just before the birthday.

Immediately I posted about the book on Facebook, I heard the inner voice tell me, email yourself a copy of the manuscript file and eBook cover file. I did that immediately. I had learnt in a hard way never to ignore the gentle nudge.

Thank God I obeyed, … Because a few days later till now, the phone tablet has refused to boot till completion. Three repair centres later, I m finally accepting that the tab may never work again.

If that had been all, would have breathed a sigh of relief, but then the trusty old laptop I d borrowed from my mum also developed a fault. A couple cybercafes- later and leaning on a senior colleague for use of her laptop occasionally; we are finally here. Behind schedule but definitely done.

From_Depression_to_H_Cover_for_Kindle

Had to give up on the Okada books idea because the email I sent asking how to give out some free copies of the book even when there is a price on the site; went unanswered..

Kindle solved that problem and so occasionally I will be giving out free Kindle copies. Yay!

P.S .

2 major changes…

Reduced the book size in order to make it handy and edited the book in order to make it as concise as possible. When you are depressed , reading voluminous tomes is not usually a favourite activity.

A new Perspective is always possible.

I have lived in Abeokuta almost all of my life.

That is roughly 30 years of a continuous immersion in the sights and sounds of the old rock city.

Rarely have I seen beauty in the town.

Not until I saw Farida Adamu’s lovely photo on Facebook

Abeokuta from the top of Olumo Rock

Abeokuta

did I realise that I d been missing a whole lot.

Abeokuta is beautiful. I love Abeokuta because it is a relatively quiet, serene town.

But, I d been missing out on the picturesque beauty of the brown roofs and agbole clusters…

Just because I ‘d never seen Abeokuta from the top of Olumo rock.

Now , my perspective has changed.

This also applies to other areas of my life. I need to get the view of my circumstances from above.

This photo Farida took while seating on the highest point of Olumo rock is truly beautiful.

Now, I ve got a reason to see Abeokuta, especially Olumo rock as a tourist attraction.

Who wants to come and visit?

Perhaps, join me for a leisure drive around town on a cool night?

You can be sure that we will visit the beautiful Ake palace and the site of the first church in Nigeria.

Abeokuta is an ancient historic town that boasts of a number of notable people originating from there. The Nobel Laureate- WoleSoyinka, the multi talented Kuti family and is host to the Renowned Abeokuta Grammar School which happens to be my alma mater. Any AGSOBAs in the house? Would love to hear from you …share your Abeograms story.

 

Lots of stories to tell about Abeokuta. Keep a date  with this blog and you’ll be able to read some of that.

 

 

When the muse dries…

Sometimes, it is a desert.

Parched and seemingly incapable of new  growth.

Like no words will ever flow from the usual hole.

 

At other times, it’s a marshy pool; turgid in its very filthiness,

murky depths hidden for what seems like aeons.

 

Then you remember the days of abundance,

downloadWhen the muse poured out large streams of abundant blessedness.

While you wallow and wish for the pleasant days of a  free flowing pen.

 

When you were young and favoured by her;

It would never have looked like you see now.

With your dreams and  idealism,

you knew that she would be your redemption.

 

Sad that now you are lost, wandering in the embers of a soon forgotten dream.

A relic of a noble endeavour that ultimately dries all her patrons.

 

 

 

 

Looking ahead with Hope

Random Musings …

Random musings …

 

I am a testimony that life does not end when everything turns topsy – turvy. That what your eye sees is often different from what the camera captures…
That there is always hope…
That today’s struggles and pains are simply a foundation for an about to be unveiled glorious beauty.

It is not because I have all that I want that I write this…

This is a solemn acknowledgement of God’s mercies and gratitude for how He has helped me thus far.

In September 2013, it looked like my world ended… it was an avalanche of challenges and at the time, things really looked hopeless…

NYSC looked like it was a closed door, a long relationship ended and then Malaria ( not the regular malaria ooo) happened and completely changed my perspective about healthcare access and life. Clinical Depression became a personal reality ; one I was not prepared for ,, nor even equipped at the time to deal with.
2014 was a period of trying to find my way back to hope … it was a struggle… a really tough struggle.
Thank God for all the friends and family who consistently prayed for me and kept loving me through it all.

Thank God for the ones who did not… Losing those friendships toughened the weak parts of me and helped me to realise the importance of value.
For all my friends who struggle with depression… stay strong.
It may look bad, it may even feel really bad, but it is never all bad.

It is simply a veil that must be opened before the light shines again.
You are a winner and you will win this too…

Do not be afraid of the changes life may bring. Embrace every moment and look up to the sun … and the rays of abiding hope.

30977340322_33d2c48415_o
P.S.

I m not sure why I had to post this just now. I hope it helps someone out there … to hold on to hope…

#GhanaTales

#YaliWestAfrica2016
#VictorySongs

Eku Chronicles 1

So, yesterday while looking for a document, I found these scribbles of mine about Eku –   Delta state- the sleepy town where I stayed till January this year.

Read on …

Eku Chronicles

At first sight Eku appeared to be a bubbling active town. Sadly, that was a false impression. The first needle in that optimistic bubble was the response to my query about where I could find a bank or an ATM… ” No, Eku does not have a bank or an ATM” was the shocking response. I could not believe my ears… This was a town that had hosted European missionaries of the Baptist denomination for more than fifty years, a town that could boast of a primary school as far back as 1924 and was home to an hospital that recently got a 2 Billion (is it Naira or Dollars renovation by the Delta state government. No ATM? In 2015? I am sure you can tell that I am still shocked.

 

It was a market day on that Thursday and the market was filled to the brim. The hustle and bustle of the market even spilled over to the junction where I got a bike to take me to my first port of call. Inside the town was eerily quiet though on the two lane undivided tarred road that crisscrossed the town like a meandering river. No blaring music, but the sound of mechanical grinders provided a jarring alternative.

 

Alighting from the cab that brought me into town from Abraka, I had barely gotten a good look at the town as I was on a timed assignment. So while I took in sips of the town from the passenger seat of a ‘flying bike’; I knew my explorations of the town would come much later.

 

Mission accomplished- message delivered, feedback gotten and marching orders received, I went immediately to my assigned office where I promptly fell in love… Loved the facilities, the ambience, the warm reception from the substantive Head and the real  Head of Department and from that moment I knew without a doubt that coming to Eku had been ‘an arranged job’. I could only say “thank you, Father” as the HOD assured me that should I wish to move into the quarters that would be assigned to me that day, he would sort it out without delay. I opted for Monday so I could go back to Asaba as I had only the clothes on my back on this visit.

 

My very affable HOD offered to drive me back to the Eku junction park when it was time to go back but eventually drove all the way to Abraka as there was no vehicle loading as at the time I got to the junction.

 

Settling in…

 

Even though I am yet to go to the Eku main market, I am fully back to Eku. My resumption on the Monday had been for a five day stay after which I travelled to Abeokuta to return fully five days later on a Wednesday-though this later changed to Thursday (the reason for that is not gist for these pages).

 

Eku is blessed with rain. An early morning rain has just bathed the land and I can look with fresh eyes at the beauty of the town . So while on a bike headed to the junction to make my way to Abraka, I notice a small shop tucked into a brown low hanging roof bungalow with a sign which reads XYZ microfinance bank… Then, I am amazed not only at the shabby exterior but also it’s outrightly despairing look. It succeeded in removing some of the shine off that beautiful morning. An equally gloomy looking police post was not far from it.

 

My amateur P.I. skills had at least yielded one vital piece of info: the town’s lack of a Divisional Police Headquarters was responsible for the absence of banks and ATMs. An attempt to bring an ATM inside the hospital had failed because of this major reason. The fears of guntotting men of the underworld is I suppose the beginning of wisdom for 21st century Nigerian banks.

 

Keep a date with this page to follow the rest of my adventures in Eku. Just click the “follow” buton

Did the boy die? Part 2

herephoto in the first part of this story#UHC4AllNigerians #OCP

Did the Boy die? 2

#UHC4AllNigerians #OCP

How many Nigerians are buried on a daily basis without their really dying?

I have started with Lona and husband and extended it to their community. First, was to educate them about the need for always confirming death by a qualified healthcare personnel before burial. Lona is quite brave. When she gave me the photo of her boy on my request (photo in the first part of this story), she said “she was giving me the photo with the hope that it would help tell her story and prevent more tragic stories like hers). She wanted us to advocate and get the government to build a health centre close to her village. The long distance they had to travel obviously contributed to the sad end of Matthew’s very short life.

Secondly, we (@HAID Initiative) are encouraging them and others to take advantage of the Ogun State subsidized Community Based Health Insurance Scheme – ARAYA and subscribe at the rate of N4000 per year while we work on paying for the children of parents who subscribe in the first phase of the #OCP – One Community at A Time Project.

 

Baaki: Mark and Lona’s village community was one of the villages that benefited from the HAID Initiative 2015 UHC Day outreach. 324 persons got free testing and medical treatments during the full day medical outreach that had 18 healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, medical laboratory scientists and pharmacists) as well as 5 non medical volunteers attending to the medical needs of the villagers.

At the post-outreach review, the obvious next step was to push for/facilitate access to basic healthcare services for the villagers and that is the genesis of the #OCP (One Community at a time Project). The goal is still #UHC4AllNigerians – Universal Health Coverage for all Nigerians.

“We cannot afford the money now” the farmers say, as this is planting season and until harvest comes, many of the farmers do not have money. They survive on the store of corn flour and cassava flour they made in the previous season.

More investigations though show that apart from the seasonal monetary hindrance, many of the farmers cannot pay per head costs for all the members of their family. For some who would be able to pay; a lack of trust generated by previous experiences in government hospitals makes them wary of the whole idea of health coverage managed by a government agency. For all of them a taster experience would definitely be of immense benefit. But, who will provide the taster experience? At the moment though, #UHC4AllNigerians looks like an impossible task.

But, how many more children have to die before we work to make #UHC4AllNigerians a reality? We can not afford to keep citing terrible maternal and child mortality statistics; year in year out. There is an urgent need for workable solutions that help prevent the deaths of the helpless young. Say hello to #OCP… Read more about the OCP here.

In my reflection moments, I wonder if the reason we remain behind in Scientific and technological advancements is because we could not save our Nigerian Albert Einsteins and Isaac Newtons… Maybe they died in infancy and we could not save them.

To give one child the opportunity to have access to basic healthcare access for a year would cost N4000:00k (Naira). Matthew is gone, but there are more children just like him, who need help… to access basic healthcare services.

Would you be willing to give this gift of love; of healthcare access for a child; not your own?