Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Girl Flogged to Death! Who is to Blame?

I have  received a lot of correspondence as regards my last post. Its a wonder what some prent sweep under the carpet. Why do we allow ourselves to hurt so much? What are we afraid of? I am available for dm / chat @singlenaijamum (Twitter).

I came across this story and want to know what you ll hink. The Activist in me is serious being worked up, I tell you all.

A 12-year-old pupil of a secondary school in Awka, Anambra State, Miss Chidimma Ukachukwu, has died after she was allegedly flogged by her teacher for failing to do her homework.

A reliable source in the school told the News Agency of Nigeria in Awka on Tuesday that the girl died on Thursday last week after she was flogged.

The source explained that the girl fainted after being flogged severally by a female teacher and was subsequently rushed to an undisclosed hospital, where she died.

The source also told NAN that the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Uju Okeke, then ordered the closure of the school as a result of the incident.

A NAN correspondent, who visited the girl’s family home, soon after she was buried on Tuesday in Awka, reports that the family was in grief.

The girl’s father, Mr. Simeon Ukachukwu, confirmed the incident, saying it was a sad development. He added that it was an act of God.

But when Okeke was contacted, she denied ordering the closure of the school and said that the school was on midterm break.

NAN investigation, however, revealed that schools in the state were not on midterm break.

This fact was corroborated by an official of the Nigerian Union of Teachers in Akwa South Local Government Area.

The Chairperson of the union in the local government, Miss Buife Ndigwe, told NAN that primary and secondary schools in the state would go on midterm break next week.

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the state police command, Mr. Ralph Uzoigwe, said that the matter had not been reported to the police, but promised that it would be investigated


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

A Tribe Called Royal

How super is a mother? With all the superpowers that we exhibits every time our kids have any issue or challenge, I bet in their eyes, no mother can compare to their's because we are built specially to move mountains. Hmmm, I have come to this conclusion recently as my Princess came home with a report that shocked me to my bones.

For a while back now, I have been relaxed as what would have resulted in our very first misunderstanding, was resolved. Oh yes! We got there. These days kids know and stand for their rights! Mine is no exception.

My dear pips of Blogville, I still have butterflies in my stomach. My Princess refused answering her biological father's name! This was very shocking to me and I could not bring myself to explain to her how someday she will come to appreciate being from her tribe ( on the account that her dad from the Eastern part of Nigeria). My Princess completely refused and changed all names on books to my surname!

Yesterday was cultural day in her school. Last weekend prior to yesterday, the preparation for the attire to suit the tribe was war as she kept reminding me of how she is a Princess and would want me to get the regalia that suits a princess from my part of the country. Wow! A tribe called ROYAL!

I did not disappoint as SUPERMOM got geared up and about to carry out the royal decree. I had to ensured that my Princess looked like one in all ramifications. I love this job!

Cultural day in schools these day is a welcome development indeed as children gets to learn a lot about the different tribes and cultures of their beloved country. They are even given assignments to get them researching more on the various tribes in the country and heir different cultures.

Kudo to all the mothers who helped made their children Prince and Princesses

Monday, 1 October 2012

Supporting My grieving Neighbour

The last two weeks since the resumption of school children to their various schools has seen mothers being up with their games, joggling all from waking up early to get the household ready and get herself off to work or business as the case may be.

For every busy Lagosian, its no news. This brings me to how much Mrs Edafe must be going through right now. She is yet to heal from the emotional trauma of lossing her 2 days old baby as well as coping with the normal school runs since schools resumed.

She has no house help nor nanny. Her hubby tries as I have noticed that he has been going very late to work. I suspect he must be the one preparing the children for school. Madam's mother came to be with them for a few days but what could the old woman possibly do? Her other siblings came and stayed a few days but have all returned to their base. Now she is all alone.

I did go visit her again to know if she needed any help. The pains people bottle inside even when the outside is looking all flashy and tushed!  She particularly asked me to help her look for any househelp that will be living with them as she needs to rest well so as to enable her wound heal fast enough.

How about the kids, I had asked her.  She surprised me by informing me how she has had no choice but to drive them to school herself! What?  Wonderful.  I was shocked.

Where can one get a househelp for this woman?  The stress is just too much. As she was narrating her predicaments, I just pity this woman.  I am almost making up my mind to remain a one child single mother! Haba! See tears flowing freely down her cheeks.

I am going to take this seriously and help my friendly neighbour. She needs help and urgently too

NB:  As I think about this, I am curious to ask this inner voice on the inside of my head a very troubling question.  I mean, as I reflect on how Madam Edafe was going about flaunting her preganacy and screaming on top of her voice for whoever cares to listen that she is pregnant, what is the assurance that some "men /women in BLACK" alias witches didnt take the time to make it ther business to teach her some lessons?

I know, I know, why would I even go there, abi? Well, I am just asking , its still in my head.

I came across this write up and I must say it has helped me to understand what Mrs Edafe is going through right now and also help me to give a few tips or two during my visits to her flat.

Coping with the loss of a newborn baby

Sadly, about one in 300 babies die during their first 28 days of life. This article explains some of the reasons why "neonatal" death happens. It has suggestions for what to do and how to cope if you have lost a baby. It may also be helpful if you are supporting a friend or family member who has suffered a loss.

What are my choices when my baby dies?

Your choices about what to do when your baby dies are very personal, there is no right or wrong. You and your partner may think differently, or you may need time to decide what you want. The hospital should respect your wishes, whatever you ultimately decide.

Research has shown that many parents find touching and holding their baby at this time extremely helpful. This is especially the case if a baby has spent days in an incubator attached to tubes in a special care baby unit.

The heartbreaking moments when their baby is dying or shortly after death may be the first time that parents have been able to hold their baby properly. Some parents also choose to wash and dress their baby themselves or take photographs.

Will I be able to find out what went wrong?

The reason why a baby died can sometimes be determined by conducting a post mortem examination ("autopsy").

A post mortem can:

• identify a cause or causes of death

• provide information about the baby’s development

• provide information about any health problems which will help your doctor to care for you in a future pregnancy.

However, a post mortem does not always provide a specific reason for what happened and this can be very frustrating. You do not have to agree to a post mortem. Some parents decide against it because of personal, religious or cultural reasons.

To help you make the decision, the hospital staff should give you as much information as you need. No investigations or tests will be done without your consent, and your views and wishes should be respected. You may need a little time to think about your decision. However, the sooner the post mortem is done, the better the information is likely to be.

If you decide to go ahead with a post mortem examination, you will be asked to give written consent before it is carried out. It may be possible for you to see your baby again after the post mortem. The staff should tell you in advance if this will be feasible and, if so, what your baby might look like. If staff advise you against seeing her after the post mortem, you may want to say your goodbyes beforehand. You should also be told when the post mortem results are likely to be available, and given an appointment to discuss them with the doctor.

What causes neonatal death?

Most babies who die in their first month of life are either born prematurely or have a low birth weight.

However, many babies are born before their systems can cope with life outside the womb.

Breathing (respiratory) problems are the most common cause of serious illness and death in premature babies. Premature babies are particularly at risk from complications such as:

• respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) or pneumonia

• bleeding in the brain (intraventricular haemorrhage)

• infections acquired in the womb, or during or after delivery

• inflammation of the large and small intestine (necrotising enterocolitis).

The second major cause of neonatal death is congenital abnormalities such as heart or lung defects.

I can't seem to get over the loss of my baby. Where can I find help?

While some people want to get "back to normal" as quickly as possible, others need time to recover. You are coping with the trauma of loss and you need time to mourn. , or talk to people who have been through a similar experience.

How will my body recover?

During the first few weeks you will have some vaginal bleeding ("lochia") and intermittent period-like pain. If the bleeding or pain gets worse or you have a foul-smelling vaginal discharge, contact your GP straight away.

You may find that your breasts produce milk. This can be uncomfortable and very distressing, as a constant physical reminder of your loss. There is medication that can stop lactation. However, research shows that the discomfort can return for a short time after the course of medication is finished. Some women prefer to avoid medication and let their milk dry up naturally. If you decide to let nature take its course, your midwife should be able to suggest ways to keep you as comfortable as possible.

You will be offered a check-up after six weeks, either at the hospital or with your GP. This is good chance to ask questions about the possible causes of the pregnancy loss and the implications for any future pregnancy.

It may take a little time for your body to get back to its pre-pregnancy state.
You will be entitled to all your maternity rights, so don't feel pressured to return to work before you're ready.

What are the implications for a future pregnancy?

This depends on the cause of the baby's death. If the reason was a congenital abnormality, you may be referred for genetic counselling to assess the risks and discuss your options for a future pregnancy.

If your baby was born prematurely, there is a slightly higher risk of your next baby being premature - about a one in six (15 per cent) chance, according to the baby charity, Tommy's. However, this means that 85 per cent of women in this situation go on to have a normal, full-term pregnancy.

There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of premature birth in future. For example, women who smoke during their pregnancy have been found to be at higher risk. This is because smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood stream, which in turn deprives the growing baby of oxygen.

You should take the necessary precautions to avoid infection from listeriosis, salmonella and toxoplasmosis during pregnancy, and try to keep yourself as healthy as possible. It is important that you attend all your antenatal appointments. As your pregnancy progresses, you will be closely monitored by your obstetrician and midwife for any warning signs of early labour.

The decision to try for another baby can be difficult. It may be the last thing on your mind, or it may be all you can think about. Some women have an overwhelming urge to be pregnant again as soon as possible. Any subsequent pregnancy is likely to be very stressful.