On gender and career possibilities…

In Nigeria, when a woman works in the hospital, then she is automatically a nurse… Never mind if she spent 8 years getting her degree (plenty thanks to NUC and ASUU). No, she must be a nurse!
A man in brown scrubs is automatically a doctor… never mind if he is a health assistant and just a step above the regular cleaners. Afterall, the male brain is best suited for the medical sciences…
Yeah, it is 2017… But, the perceptions of quite a lot of Nigerians about gender and career possibilities remain largely unchanged.
 Within this past week, I have been referred to as a nurse more than 3 times.Each time, but the last one , I politely corrected and told them I m a Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS)… to blank stares suggesting that being an MLS is equal to being an alien.
So what to do?
Gender apparently still determines the career options a woman is likely to explore…In 2017?
Should a woman be restricted in her options? These are just random musings of mine. Or should men?
I hope the day will come when a man being a nurse is not seen as an aberration… I hope that day comes quickly when gender is not a factor for career possibilities.
May that day come quickly.
Till then, let’s keep the bonds of friendship. 
  So, hello, how are you my dear friend? Have you eaten? Let’s share a cup of tea and continue to oil the wheels of conversation.


On Politics… and Propaganda.

For a long time now, I have known that propaganda (big word for lies and half truths) go hand in hand with politics.

Unscruplous politicians use it to smear the reputation of perceived opponents… a lot of times in fact, the victim is portrayed as the wicked hunter.

While the hunter pretends to be the victim.
Until recently though, I was never a victim and therefore did not really understand how much it could hurt.

But , terribly painful and hurtful it was… it nearly brought me to tears.
To see someone I d considered a brother lie blatantly, ostensibly because we were not in the same political camp.

That hurt, a lot.
Then , I got really angry and took action.
Instead of disregarding the lies and carrying on as if it did not matter, I decided to express my displeasure and insist on correction of the observed wrong doing.

Like every lie, propaganda, if allowed to fester eventually becomes a cankerworm and manages to obliterate the truth in the minds of the people who have been constantly exposed to that propaganda.
So, it s best to nip it in the bud! Fast!! How?

Simply say the truth and keep proclaiming it. Truth and propaganda never go in the same direction.
You may not gain friends in the short term, but in the long run, you would have done a lot of good for the community you belong to.
Spent the better part of the weekend ruminating on “is it possible to be a politician and not be affected by propaganda?”
I m still wondering…

On Life and Tragedies…

This week started with sad stories.
First one was me reading the sad news from Dotun Fadairo’s Facebook page. He is the author of “From me to you” – available on both Amazon and Okada Books. He is also the handsome gentleman in the featured photo.  
Then, before the day wound out, the sad story of Allwell Orji , reported to be a Medical Doctor ; who jumped into the waters of the Atlantic by the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.
To still hear that a LAUTECH final year student committed suicide is like one bad news too much , for a single day! I could not help exclaiming “Why do tragedies happen?”
This question often never gets satisfactorily answered. Almost everyone is resigned to the knowledge that life often comes with tragedy. However, it seems that in our current generation, many have forgotten that the age old axiom “while there is life , there is hope” still holds true.
To you, who is reading this, where do you find hope?

 
To face each new day , without hope is a terrible disaster waiting to happen.

To live without hope is the greatest tragedy of any human life. 

 I am sending a prayer upward for God’s comfort to reach all who have lost a loved one or been hit by tragedy in any form. May there be rapid healing and an outpouring of grace and hope to soothe their hurting hearts. Amen.
So, I ask you again, where do you find hope?
While you are pondering on the question, please head over to Okada Books to purchase a copy of Dotun Fadairo‘s “From me to you” for N500 only. If you prefer paperback copies, then head over to Amazon. I can assure you that picking up a copy is a worthy investment to your own soul. His thoughts on life show a wisdom uncommon in one so young. The thoughts written in his book encourage the rebirth of hope in weary souls. My first impression on reading the book was that these were the thoughts of a man who had seen life…life in all of its many forms. I am sure you can find equal or greater benefit from reading the book.

From Me to you

Hope’s Face – Dotun Fadairo

Cheers.

First born mentality…

I am a Medical Laboratory Scientist and a large percentage of my current workday routine is steaming with the excitement, the politics , peculiar experiences and occasional drudgery of the Medical Laboratory Profession.
On my recent trip to Asaba, I met three amazing women who have made their marks in the Nigerian Medical Laboratory Science family.

 Their interviews will come up shortly, but first… Check out this piece written by MLS Chinwe Azuka and Bernard Solomon, the sage himself….
*Firstborn Mentality And Poor Health Indices In Nigeria*
A dangerous trend has been playing out in the Nigerian health sector whereby the Nigerian physicians play god over other health professionals including the public! Whereas, the developed nations are consolidating on a strong health system through Medical Laboratory Strengthening, the opposite is the case in Nigeria. 

 All health professions had a humble beginning. Medicine for instance, started as a Diploma program at Yaba Tech in Nigeria. Medical Laboratory Science also had similar humble beginning. Over the years, the practitioners have developed these disciplines which have now been fully professionalised. Professions are birthed by public demand and not by the whims and caprices or innuendos of an earlier profession. 

The truth is no organization is immune to the virus of entitlement. However, when we replace a sense of service with a sense of undue entitlement we quickly see the demise of good working relationships, the society and economy suffers for it. There is a fine line between entitlement and being obnoxious. The news media is awash with moves by the Ministry of Health led by a Physician to thwart the regulatory function of the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN). This is an abuse of public office!
Medical Laboratory Scientists in Nigeria are peace loving. They had sought justice at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria to rest the needless controversies over who controls the Medical Laboratories. The learned Justice had declared that MLS is a distinct profession and should be allowed to practice unhindered. Currently, the powers that be in the health sector are resisting this court pronouncement. Would that be allowed to remain for long? Days are counting as the authorities have been given 30 days to do what is necessary or go to jail. Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable!  
Doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result is tantamount to insanity! The current health system in Nigeria is skewed to massage the ego of the physician and not to serve the Nigerian public. This is contrary to the World Health Organization (WHO) standard where the patient is at the centre while the health team work for the patients’ interest. It is no longer strange to hear that WHO currently ranks Nigeria’s health system 187 out of 193 countries! This is a country that was ranked 4th in the whole of British Commonwealth as at 1984. According to the recent WHO ranking, countries at war rank better than Nigeria. Interestingly, high ranking countries have a strong medical laboratory system. No wonder rich Nigerians and government functionaries continue to go abroad for medical tourism causing huge foreign exchange losses to the country. 
The first born mentality is a delusion built on self centeredness and laziness and it has ruined Nigeria’s health system. This is the time to allow professionalism to reign. This is what Medical Laboratory Scientists stand for in Nigeria. The Judiciary has also thrown its weight behind this. The Minister of Health has been ordered to tow this line. Doing otherwise amounts to rebellion against the law.
Mr. Tony Iredia was a former Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). This great citizen of Nigeria, who was also a former director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) was moved by concern for the crisis in the health sector especially the impasse between Pathologists and Medical Laboratory Scientists. In the widely circulated article published by the guardian newspaper some years ago, he counselled the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Medical Practitioners to live and let others live.
Is that so difficult ?
*BENARD SOLOMON; CHINWE AZUKA:* Public Affairs Analysts.

AMLSN Reads Riot Act to Elements of Illegalities in the Health Sector

*AMLSN Reads Riot Act to Elements of Illegalities in the Health Sector*

By MLS Tanimu Umar.
While addressing the press, the National President, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria(AMLSN), Mr Toyosi Y. Raheem boldly enjoined all agents of illegalities in the health sector to abide by court rulings or face the legal consequences. 
Following the recent NICN court ruling in favour of Medical Laboratory Scientists, the Minister of Health is obviously colluding with CMDs and MDs of health institutions in the country to abrogate the legal directive, even as the CMD and DA of JUTH, as at today, have 17 days to abide by the court judgement or face a jail term.
 Some CMDs are also reportedly instigating violence and have designed a plan to stop sending samples to public laboratories, this will concomitantly aid and abet quackery. The collusion by the Minister of Health is also against the Code of Public office.
The National President also called on the Ministry of Health to reinstate the statutory role of laboratory inspection back to the MLSCN (Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria.) It will be recalled that on the 19th February, 2016 a directive was issued to MLSCN to stop laboratory inspection. 
 Since then, quackery has increased in the Nigerian healthcare space. This is also against the provision of the Universal Health Coverage agenda which stipulates appropriateness, availability, accessibility and affordability of health services. 
In the words of the National President, “AMLSN has exhausted all options, and should not be pushed into violence. Henceforth we shall not allow our legal rights to be trampled on, we shall resist all manner of intimidation, because “when the rule of law fails, anarchy is promoted. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”

This is why you need to be choosy about who you marry…

Saw the photo above in a discussion thread. You will not believe some of the responses.
I mean , shocking responses that reassured me that being accused of being too choosy about who to marry could definitely be a good thing.
My eye popped to see responses ehnnn.
But , that’s not the main gist of this post.
Look at the photo again? 
How much was offered?

100 Million Dollars …

Such a huge amount of money shey?

What if it was Zimbabwean Dollars…?

To think that a lot of people do not actually value the people they are in relationships with or married to is so sad.

Well… This is one reason I feel, it is ok to be choosy…

I tend to evaluate ” how valuable am I to this person?” Before considering a change in relationship status.

So would you break up with your current relationship for 100 million US . Dollars?

Anyone who could throw me away for a few million dollars (no matter the currency) is not worth my time …

In fact, I have some funny examples of disqualifiers for suitors based on values… Yeah, I disqualified some guys because they made choices that said “I value me more than us”
Click the subscribe or follow button… To get the stories when they drop.

Till another time…

Hugs…

Onaoluwa.

Re: John Paul and the Sad Errors of a Lack of English Comprehension

Re : John Paul And The Sad Errors Of A Misunderstanding Of The English Language.

Many times in Nigeria, English language causes a lot of misunderstandings.
More accurately, a sorry lack of appropriate English language comprehension skills leads to unnecessary misunderstandings and needless conflicts.
Why? Communication and comprehension gaps.
Uncontrolled laughter was my first reaction on reading an article by one John Paul, claiming that he was elated by the judgement from the NICN (National Industrial Court of Nigeria) on the JUTH/Medical Laboratory Scientists case.

When I calmed down, I realised that this was one serious problem … Akorita Isaiah has been highlighting this English Comprehension challenge online for a while now. He makes really hilarious posts using the #DearNigerians hash tag where he draws attention to annoying goofs by Nigerians on social media – caused by a worrying inability to either read and digest a post properly or read to understand.
Back to John Paul, he made a big gaffe by saying that ” the existing laboratories in our tertiary hospitals, headed by pathologists , are CLINICAL laboratories, hence, they must not be headed by *Medical* Laboratory Scientists.”
John Paul apparently failed to attend some English Language classes while he was in Secondary school . Only such a fundamental failure of English Grammar and Comprehension could make a University Graduate come to the public sphere with such an argument.

To help him and others like him, a simple Dictionary check of the word clinical will suffice… 
Online Dictionaries available too e.g.
” Word Origin and History for clinical
adj.
1780, “pertaining to hospital patients or hospital care,” from clinic + -al (2). Meaning”coldly dispassionate” (like a medical report) is recorded from 1928. Related:Clinically.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper …
clinical in Medicine 
clinical clin·i·cal (klĭn’ĭ-kəl) 

adj.
Relating to the bedside treatment of a patient or to the course of the disease.
Relating to the observed symptoms and course of a disease.
The American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary.”
It is easy to assume that the word “clinical” is a synonym of “medical”… Make that assumption and you would be wrong. 

Wikipedia definitions make that mistake, probably due to an influence from American English which also refers to Medical Laboratory Science as Clinical laboratory Science! Oh America! Confusing English Language neophytes like John since 17th century…
‘Clinical’ by definition is merely a subset of ‘Medical’ . 21st century Medicine long ago advanced beyond a one room clinic!
Same way Pharmacy emerged as a distinct discipline , different from the days of a doctor run dispensary and Nursing is no longer a responsibility of the one man doctor show… Medical Laboratory Science is a distinct profession and hence requires all professional responsibilities and rights.
I have often kept away from this conflict between Pathologists and Medical Laboratory Scientists in Nigeria. One reason I only occasionally contribute to the debate is the sad lack of mutual respect that is mostly exhibited by the likes of John Paul. For a health professional to use the analogy of a gate man dragging bedroom duties with his master in reference to a fellow health professional tells you the genesis of the whole problem.

The likes of John Paul are the bad eggs that need to be flushed out of the Nigerian Healthcare space. When in 2014, I advocated for dialogue in a LinkedIn Article... Little did I know of the real mess that had been happening in Medical Laboratories across the country.

In that article, I talked about the 21st century paradigm that puts the patient at the centre of healthcare and allows for all team members to contribute their own professional expertise to the diagnosis, care, management and monitoring of the patient. This is the only way that ensures that a patient gets the most appropriate care today.

This is why all the necessary departments headed by the professionals who contribute to patient care must be available at every level of patient care. Yes, I said every level! 

Unfortunately, we still have some doctors stuck in the 200BC era where Medicine was a one man show – typified by a man carrying a black bag and going round to see patients and being accorded “god” status because he alone had all the answers to health challenges.
To such people, I hope this is a wake up call. 
The sad complexities of disease in the 21st century and the growth of the tree of Medicine changes all that. Wake up! 21st century is here and almost over.
Enough is enough! Enough of caveman medical practice in Nigeria. 
Also, such arrogant species like John need to realise that in a sane setting the gate man , even the cleaner are all very essential to the normal functioning of the system. 
However, Medical Laboratory Scientists are not gate men. Medical Laboratory Scientists (MLS) are professionals trained to provide answers to questions of diagnosis by working on human body fluid samples such as Blood, Urine, Saliva, and other exudates… By scientific methods of analysis, the MLS works to ensure that medical treatment is based only on the actual cause of disease.
 In a sane and patient safety conscious environment, about 70% of clinical diagnosis is based only on the results from the Medical Laboratory. MLS work to ensure that trial and error medical practice is minimised.

At a later time, I hope to have some more time to talk about some of the other issues surrounding this impasse and the implications for the sorry mess that healthcare currently is in Nigeria. One of such issues is the aspect of healthcare Administration starting from the Minister for Health which Nigeria appears to have automatically assumed must be a Medical Doctor. I daresay, Dora Akunyili (may God rest her soul) would have made a fantastic Minister for Health. Yes, she was a healthcare professional, but not a medical doctor. We have many more of Dora’s pedigree and abilities in our healthcare sector… Unfortunately… Nigeria…

Till then though, let every John Paul ( I really wonder if that is a real person or a pseudonym) hear this: 
The NICN judgement gave a 30 day ultimatum to pathologists to vacate the medical laboratories, go back to the clinic and leave Medical Laboratory Scientists to self administer themselves as an autonomous arm of the health care team.
Today March 1 is Day 13.
17 days left to obey the court judgement or go to jail…
To be forewarned is to be forearmed. 
Onaoluwa Abimbola. 
(#UHC4AllNigerians Advocate).