President Buhari’s Speech as broadcast on August 21,2017.

On August 21, 2017, President Muhammad Buhari addressed Nigerians for the first time since his return from his 105 days medical vacation in UK. Below is the authentic full text of the speech.

 My dear citizens,
 I am very grateful to God and to all Nigerians for their prayers. I am pleased to be back on home soil among my brothers and sisters.
2.     In the course of my stay in the United Kingdom, I have been kept in daily touch with events at home. Nigerians are robust and lively in discussing their affairs, but I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. This is a step too far.
 3.     In 2003 after I joined partisan politics, the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown Daura. Over two days we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analyzed the problems of Nigeria. We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united.
4.     Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.
5.     Every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance.
  6.    I believe the very vast majority of Nigerians share this view.
 7.     This is not to deny that there are legitimate concerns. Every group has a grievance. But the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence.
8.     The National Assembly and the National Council of State are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse.
9.     The national consensus is that, it is better to live together than to live apart.
10.   Furthermore, I am charging the Security Agencies not to let the successes achieved in the last 18 months be a sign to relax.
11.     Terrorists and criminals must be fought and destroyed relentlessly so that the majority of us can live in peace and safety.
 12.     Therefore we are going to reinforce and reinvigorate the fight not only against;
·       elements of Boko Haram which are attempting a new series of attacks on soft targets
·       kidnappings, farmers versus herdsmen clashes,
·       in addition to ethnic violence fuelled by political mischief makers. We shall tackle them all.
13.   Finally, dear Nigerians, our collective interest now is to eschew petty differences and come together to face common challenges of;
·       economic security,
·       political evolution and integration
·       as well as lasting peace among all Nigerians.
14.     I remain resolutely committed to ensuring that these goals are achieved and maintained. I am so glad to be home.
15.    Thank you and may God bless our dear Nation.

Many speech versions are flying around at the moment . But this is the authentic version.

Nigeria , which way?Suspension of Laboratory Services in LUTH

I am looking at this letter and I am not sure whether to cry or be angry.

Which way Nigeria?
Where are the angels that slap sense into people when you need them?

Why do we have so many problems caused by the direct actions of many selfish people who have no qualms with making poor , innocent Nigerians suffer because they are playing some funny power games?


Supervision and validation is what the focus of a whole group of professionals has now turned to?

The gist of the above letter is that an association of Doctors in LUTH Nigeria- the MDCAN, have written to her members to stop services at the Haematology and Blood Transfusion Laboratory, claiming that they were not allowed to validate tests which they did not perform ab initio. They also asked fellow doctors to stop sending patients to the laboratory and instead directed that samples meant for Haematology be directed to other laboratories in the Hospital and I m here wondering … Are they planning to send Haematology Samples to Microbiology or even Histopathology labs?
Laws and provisions of the constitution are flippantly flouted and Nigerian lives are the worse for it.
There are quite a number of NICN judgements which the doctors are running foul of by these actions. 
Leaving that aside, the burning question in my mind is that are the MDCAN members willing to go before a law court and swear before God and man that these actions of theirs are purely motivated by the patient good? Or just another avenue to assert authority and superiority over fellow health professionals?

Yet, we will keep mouthing fake and empty phrases claiming we are working towards #UHC4AllNigerians abi na #Health4AllNaija ?
Our way still far ooo… May God have mercy on Nigeria and bring deliverance from all evil that daily beseiges our land. Amen.

#NotTooYoungToRun… But, still tainted? 

For some days now, social media has been awash with jubilation about the passage of the #NotTooYoungToRun bill.
Essentially, this bill opens the way for young Nigerians to contest for elective offices. Ordinarily , I should have been elated with this news. But, I am here wondering if Nigerian youths are ready and untainted enough to lead. From Kenya, there has been some good news that shows that Kenyan youths and indeed the entire country are ready for positive change. Though some tribalism and other dirty politics were reportedly at play; still as reported by QZ news , “there were inspiring stories of young candidates like Simon Muturi, a 24-year-old, who campaigned on his bicycle and secured nomination through president Kenyatta’s Jubilee party. But the biggest breakthrough has been the election of underdogs like John Paul Mwirigi, a 23-year-old candidate who had been campaigned on foot and who defeated the ruling party’s candidate. 

After winning the Igembe South parliamentary seat, Mwirigi is set to be the country’s youngest lawmaker. In Nandi county, located in Kenya’s north rift valley, 34-year-old Stephen Kipyego Sang made history after winning the gubernatorial seat in the county. Sang was also Kenya’s youngest elected senator… But it was the election of Mohammed Ali, a veteran investigative journalist, that drew the most attention. Ali ran as an independent candidate and won in the Nyali constituency in Mombasa county, an area filled with expensive hotels and tourist resorts.

Ali became a household name several years ago after he launched his television show Jicho Pevu, an investigative program that exposed crime and corruption in both government and private sectors. The former journalist had even received death threats in the past in order to deter him from his work. Ali was also part of a growing number of young people, including activists, who decided to run given the simmering disappointment among Kenyans with the current regime.”

I sincerely pray that this breath of fresh air in Kenya translate to real positive change. Now, back to Nigeria…

Sadly, I am worried that the majority of the present crop of young Nigerians lack the moral fibre needed to actually translate any governance opportunity to real positive change . It will soon be 2019, are Nigerian youths ready for the challenge?

What do I mean?
Governance is not a function of one person. It is a joining of forces that ensures that people from different walks of life, divergent worldviews and contrasting strengths can come together to achieve a common purpose… Viz a viz the community’s progress.

In Nigeria at the moment , ascent to a political office is tied to money bags, propaganda and godfatherism. The Kenyan who contested as an independent because he could not afford the nomination form of any of the political parties is a beautiful example of moral fibre. T
he 24-year-old Female House of Rep member in Kenya, Cynthia Jepkosgei Muge  was an independent candidate who crowd funded her campaign via social media. 

 I m here wondering if a Nigerian youth can replicate this laudable feat?

I mean do we have intelligent, knowledgeable and versatile Nigerian youths who will rather choose to contest as an independent candidate rather than become tied to money bag political godfathers who then go on to dictate most of the actions and direction of the elected official?
Do we?

If we do not have a sufficient cluster of young people who fit this mold , then we might as well just go back to sleep, knowing that we are only doing the same things but with a little change in labels and tags.

In the past few months, I have been a first hand observer of two different types of politics. The better politics and result came from a group that had more adult members. At the end of the whole exercise, there was little or no rancour. The second group with an all youth membership is the very one that has given more reasons to wonder … Which way forward?

To do a brief summary of the differences; the youth group had a higher cost for nomination forms, which I m sure kept out some excellent candidates from contesting…

Youths often complain that the elders raise the bar so high , so that the young ones are kept out… When youths do the same to their fellow youths, what then shall we say?

 Propaganda and smear campaigns were a major feature of that youth group election. It was virtually nonexistent in the adult group.

  The electoral committee for the Youth group elections; were made of very excellent senior colleagues  and they did a great job. They screened all candidates and even gave scores based on performance. 

But, when it came time to cast votes…? Sentiments and parochial interests played out and some young persons became political pawns in an eerie game.

Am I saying that elders are perfect ? No. 
I am merely highlighting a worrisome aspect of my generation. In the same vein , I am also praying that we do better and improve on the current status quo.

Today’s youths need to begin to take a stand for ideology and not for persons. When I told a friend of mine that if he was contesting against a much better qualified candidate, I would vote for the other better qualified person- he was shocked.
But, the truth is until we begin to leave out sentiments and work only on logical facts and figures available; we may not make the needed progress.
We can no longer continue to do the same thing we have been doing in Nigeria and expect different results.
This is the time to vote for candidates , not because they belong to the same political party or are from the same tribe or even belong to the same religion… This is the time to check candidates history , capabilities and compare it with the need of the moment.
This is the time to remove the taints of yesteryears … And clean off every stain that makes us no different from or better than the generation gone before us.
P.S. This photo? I don’t know who took the shot or remember what we were even discussing… Location was the Ministry of Justice Complex, Abuja , just before the start of Day 2 of the YMLSF National Summit. I found it in my gallery and it seems to describe the enormity of the challenges that lie ahead. I ve got hope… That we will triumph…against all odds. 
Do you agree? Do let us continue the discourse and upgrade with action too. Cheers.

Lamee Tomtsu … Remembering another like Dora Akunyili…

Today I sit down and remember a fearless and brave woman. The late Prof. Dora Akunyili who cleaned the Augean stables of NAFDAC. She it was who also spoke out even at great risk to herself; and frustrated the Cabal’s  plans over Nigeria.
Another like Dora Akunyili is gone. Princess Lamee Tomtsu Nude. Since yesterday when I heard this tragic news, I have been unable to accept it. Praying for a miracle that you be restored back to us. I remember when we first met in the Rivers AMLSN Conference, you the ever outgoing one rushed to ask that we take photographs and you posted in the group. I can not stop crying yet.

Only in reading this morning that your body has already been embalmed am I able to stop praying for your return back to us, sit and reflect on our very recent conversations.

When I tried to convince you to run for the office of National Treasurer in YMLSF, you were empathic in your refusal and I had jokingly responded that “it looks like it is elders that we would have to call on to convince you ooo”… Then just two days ago, just before the AGM started you were saying you wanted to go hand over a role you were currently serving in back in your State’s LQM; that you had too many responsibilities… I had encouraged you more so you said you were the only MLS in a team of many others.

Now, I wonder if you had a premonition of your exit or all of these are just mere coincidences.

I remember you as a fearless, brave and lovely woman full of heart. I grieve because I m yet to accept that your time on this plane was truly done. 
You were truly loving , quick to forgive and always ready to help, even at short notice.

Against all odds , you stood by me in Abuja at the recently concluded YMLSF National Summit. At short notice, you accepted to be a panelist, to be my returning officer and to join me to serve guests on the high table.  I grieve because when we said our byes, it was never with an inkling that it was to be the final one. I am asking why, why did it have it to be you? Why now?  No answers within reach yet. 
Instead, I will thank God for your life and and all the excellent virtues you embodied.

Today, I pray that Nigeria be blessed with more like Lamee Tomtsu , people who embody courage, passion and fearlessness for the right causes, more of the Dora Akunyilis mold; both males and females. AMLSN in Nigeria and indeed YMLSF has lost a rare  gem.

I pray for God’s comfort for your immediate family in these tragic times. If I who knew you briefly as a professional sister , friend and colleague is still crying… I can not imagine what state your beloved parents , siblings and loved ones are in now. May the God of all comfort stand by us all at this time. Amen.

First Lagos Uber ride.

So,t oday I got my first Lagos Uber ride.

Yeah, not the first…But a Lagos first!

Gave the driver a five star because in the craziness that Lagos is, getting me to the programme ahead of schedule was commendable.
So , I thought to share with friends. 
Instead of taking the regular taxis when going from mainland Lagos to the Island area… Lekki for instance, you can simply pick an Uber. Click on the link and you can get N1000 towards your first ride.
You will need a GPS enabled phone and the Uber app; which you can download from  Google Play Store.

Install the app and follow the instructions to get your first ride.

Now , I did not take a photo while in the car, because I did not want to embarrass the cool driver as well as myself . Now , isn’t that hilarious?
So , instead, you get to see my face… a little bit #smiles… Heading back to base here … Lagos and I do not gel so well…#sadface

#SaveNaijaHealthcare: the genesis…

This evening I really do not know whether to cry or just mope…

I will instead tell the story of the genesis. Perhaps , we will have some well meaning Nigerians who will take it upon themselves to #SaveNaijaHealthcare.

Nigerians deserve to know the truth… About the major reason why healthcare in Nigeria sucks. There is a major conflict in the Nigerian healthcare sector and teamwork is a dream not even shared by up to 50% of healthcare staff.

FMC Owo, was where I first experienced this firsthand. A Pathologist , Dr Omotayo refused to allow the then CEO/Registrar of the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN); Prof. Emeribe access into the Histopathology lab. Prof. Emeribe was there to inspect and accredit the facilities which were being used for training students and interns as well as render services to Nigerians.

This inspection like the PCN (Pharmacists) is a statutory function of the MLSCN.
It was that day I learnt that in Nigeria , if you are a Medical Laboratory Scientist on Level 15, you can not be the HOD of the Department so long as there is a Doctor even if he is on Level 12… 

Until recently when an NICN judgement proclaimed MLS as a distinct profession, able to self administer herself; this was the status quo. Many versatile MLS that could have made the Nigerian Medical Laboratory space a pride to behold have been handicapped.

Would you believe that shortly after that incident Prof. Emeribe was removed as the Registrar , MLSCN and a ban placed on medical laboratory inspection in Nigeria?

You say wow, right?

So, the proliferation of substandard labs , which are operated by quacks and charlatans is a direct result of this.

Many times when I want to make posts about #UHC4AllNigerians, I pause …
The sad truth is the hospitals available to majority of the masses are moribund messes… Incapable of giving appropriate care at an affordable cost. Instead , patients get diverted to private facilities not even as good as the government ones.

The maintainance of quality and appropriate standards is rarely the concern of most of the administrators. 

Do you know who they are? Some Medical doctors who act like they belong to a cult and seek to upturn the wheels of justice.
You do not believe?

Please read the first letter (photo 1) , then read the following conversation, followed by the second letter (photo 2)

Have you read the letter in Photo 1?

Then , please read this next one (copied below): 

Copied from Mdcan blog

[17/04, 06:47] The CMD of NAUTH Nnewi, last two weeks appointed a Laboratory Scientist as Director of Laboratory Services in the Pathology Department of NAUTH Nnewi. 
He did this without informing me or NMA, and without informing MDCAN or Pathologists. 
He, then, created the Office and put the logo of NAUTH with the title of Director of Laboratory Services, at the door. 
Then, he called the Pathologists to a meeting and informed then that, henceforth, all letters to Pathology will be routed through their Director. 
When he was asked by the Pathologists the reason for his act he had 3 lousy reasons to give:
1. He was written, by a lawyer, to explain his reasons for not complying with the NICN Ruling on MLS Services and Department; and that he did not want to ignore the NICN Ruling, so he made the appointment;
2. He was scared of threats to his life;
3. He did not want to allow an industrial unrest in NAUTH. 
All three reasons are empty and lousy depositions, because the anti-theses are more cogent than all his theses. 
The Pathologists never informed the NMA; but, it appeared that someone told MDCAN NAUTH, who went last week to see the CMD. When a further enquiry was made on the outcome of their meeting, the MDCAN said that the CMD had assured them that the Laboratory Scientist, without a Directorate or Department of MLS, was only due for promotion to the post of Director and that was what he did. And that there was *_no cause for alarm_*. 
I only heard all these thrash two days ago, through a reliable whistle blower on ground; and so, I sent a quick message to the CMD asking him the import or indications for his anti-professional act. When he was not forthcoming, he has not responded till now, I escalated the communication to my SEC. And a concatenation of NMA activities became activated. 
It was only then, that the MDCAN NAUTH Chairman decided to call for an Emergency Meeting in a week’s time (Friday 21/04/2017)!!!!!!; and to us, that was woeful. 
On account of this conspirators tardiness, I have summoned an Emergency NMA SEC for 48hours’ time (Tuesday 18/04/2017) and made contacts with the National NMA and MDCAN and given them my update. 
I have also advised the NAUTH MDCAN EXCO to resign, _en masse_, by Tuesday, while asking our Ethics and Disciplinary Committee to dust up her papers. 
Just recall that the ruling of NICN on this issue in JUTH is under appeal with a stay of execution and that what the CMD has done is contempt of court. Even at that, the MDCAN SAN had applied to be joined in the original case against the FMC Asaba, while appealing the ruling in Jos. 
The National body of Pathologists, I was informed, is fully aware and embarrassed by the events in NAUTH NNEWI, and has prepared their local group for a meeting with the CMD on Tuesday (18/04/2017) afternoon. I have advised the attending MDCAN team to that meeting to ask the CMD to cancel and withdraw the Appointment Letter to the Lab Scientist and shut down that Office before any further talks. And to have their EXCO resign _en masse_ after that. 
In between we have been going to Court with agents of the State Government for frivolous tax demand notices. Just yesterday afternoon we had to release a colleague locked up by officers of the State CID on accusations of murder, just because a mismanaged patient who was referred to his clinic died at resuscitation. 
In the midst of all these, the CMD preferred to work against a profession under my watch. I guess you can appreciate the tasks that are engaging me at Easter.


The result of the above is the letter in Photo 2.

The other day when a friend ; Dr Chukwuma Oraegbunam was advocating for peace and unity among healthcare professionals on another post I made celebrating the Biomedical Scientists Day, little did I know something else was brewing.

At this point it is crystal clear that the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Nigerian Medical Association do not really care about Nigerians getting the best healthcare possible. An unbiased Ministry of Health would obey the NICN court judgement . Do you know that as we speak there is no Directorate of Medical laboratory services in the Ministry of Health? There are just too many anomalies which are undoubtedly contributors to the pathetic state of Nigerian Healthcare. 
The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists deserves commendation for going to court successively , winning the legal cases and going through the process of getting justice by the rule of law. 

The people who seat and continue to thwart justice , should know that though justice may be slow… It always comes…

One big question begging for answer now is “who will #SaveNaijaHealthcare?
Can President Buhari be the one ? Or do we wait for another?

What is all the fuss about?… Read to find out!

The 15th of April each year is observed as International Biomedical Laboratory Science Day since the first edition in Oslo, Norway in 1996.
The day is set aside by International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Scientists to enlighten the public on the crucial role the Biomedical Laboratory Scientists also known as Medical Laboratory Scientists play in health care services, health research, health administration and management.
In Nigeria, medical laboratory scientists are trained and certified professionals who studied medical laboratory science for 5 years and subsequently undertake a one year compulsory internship, which is a thorough practical drill on general laboratory practice. Upon completion on internship, the graduate medical lab scientist proceeds for one year national youth service corp. In Nigeria, they are certified and licenced by the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria
The theme for this year’s Biomedical Laboratory Science Week is Antimicrobial Resistance: Biomedical Laboratory Scientists Respond to the Global Threat. Antimicrobial resistance is today a major public health burden.
 Microorganisms are modifying their genetics to alter their susceptibility to hitherto effective drugs. This phenomenon is aided by:

1. The overuse of antimicrobials. People take medications without due prescription by licensed professionals. It is unfortunate today that all sort of professionals today prescribe drugs to unsuspecting patients. 

2. Another reason is medication without prior laboratory tests. Unless a lab confirmation of an infectious agent is established, any treatment initiated amounts to guess work and can predispose to drug resistance. Prescriptions without lab confirmatory tests is a great disservice to the unsuspecting public and must be avoided by all. Patients must begin to demand quality and holistic medical services by saying NO to this malpractice. 
3. Again, another reason is the veterinary use of antimicrobials in feed composition as fish and poultry growth enhancers. The use when not regulated exposes the organisms to suboptimal concentrations of drugs which with subsequent exposure fail to kill the organisms as a result of the onset of drug tolerance. 
4. Again, the inability of people to take the full course of their drugs is another factor. Some patients when given a 5 day prescription, abandon the treatment half way when they begin to feel better thinking they are okay. At this stage, the plasma concentration has not hit and stabilized at a peak to ensure complete clearance of the agent. With the discontinuation of the medication, the organisms recover from the initial shock and develop resistance against same drugs such that subsequent exposure to them does not kill the organisms any more.
6. Nosocomial emergence. The use of disinfectants in hospitals and medical laboratories must be reviewed. This will include quality assurance from production of disinfectants, composition for usage in hospitals, duration of stay in disinfectant jars and processes of inactivation and eventual discard. These processes when scientifically observed, will eliminate the breeding of drug resistant organisms in the hospital settings.
Lastly, It is important to note that development of resistance by organisms as a result of genetic mutation is largely responsible for emerging and reemerging infectious agents. This is because a mutant varies genetically from the original or parent organism. When this genetic variation as reflected on the 16S ribosomal RNA does not show more than 70% DNA- DNA homology with existing strains of the organisms, the mutant is then identified as an entirely new organism and named as such. This phenomenon is responsible for the recent emergence type C strain of meningitis ravaging Nigerians. In summary, antimicrobial resistance could lead to evolution of new organisms which will not only defy treatment with existing antimicrobials but also lead to vaccine failure as available vaccines fail to protect against emergent strains of organisms.
The above concern is the reason for the emphasis on this area by Medical Laboratory Scientists today worldwide.
Solomon Chollom.

Chairman, Assocaition of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, NVRI Vom

Distinguished Medical Laboratory Scientists