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Breast Cancer And Lifestyle Modification – – The Tide

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As over 2,000  benefit from breast cancer self examination training, health experts have said that breast cancer disease kills about  40 women daily  in Nigeria hence the need for women and men to be mindful of the factors that cause the dreaded ailment which is described as the disease of the genes. They outlined some factors that trigger changes on the genes to include: unhealthy lifestyle, exposure to some dangerous health chemicals and radiations, heredity as well as viruses. They also fingered breast cancer as  one of the commonest killer disease and leading in death in Nigeria, which often occur  in one out of every 10 women and in one out of every 100 men.  Some of the common symptoms of breast cancer were named to include a lump or lumps in the breast, bloody discharge from the nipple and changes in the shapes of the breasts, size, reddishness or texture around the nipple. The stage four breast cancer, also known as the advanced breast cancer or Metastatic breast cancer spreads beyond the breast and around the lymph nodes to other parts of the body; most times to the bones, lungs, brain or liver. In a bid to increase awareness campaign on breast Cancer, a leading medical consultancy firm in Nigeria and a Non-governmental organisation, Diamond Helix Medical Assistance Limited (DHMA), have taken their sensitisation and awareness campaign programme on cancer disease to over 2,000 staff at the Headquarters and state branch of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Rivers State.
Speaking during the health seminar training with the theme: ‘’Breast Cancer And Lifestyle Modification for prevention Of Breast Cancer,’ held at both the NDDC Headquarters and State branch in Rivers State, October 31, 2022, Head of Department, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Professor Rosemary … says about 40 women die daily of breast cancer in Nigeria as a result there is need for increase in awareness on what must be done to stop further spread of this deadly disease in the country. “Because of increase in awareness, the number of cancer victims are also decreasing. Victims are now ready to come out of their closets to show how bad it is on them so that they can get treated and well again. All must be intentional about doing something to prevent it from further spread as well reducing the number of people that die as a result of it.
Professor Ogu described cancer as a disease in which abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and destroy body tissue, adding that this disease occurs when an abnormal cells starts growing in genes, explaining the different stages of breast cancer to be from stage 0 to stage 4. Pointing out some of the causes of breast cancer in both men and women to include unhealthy eating habit, such as consuming more of junk foods instead of eating more organic foodsfoods. Overweight is  a strong risk factor,  therefore there is the  need to maintainin  good weight by doing some 150 minutes physical exercise breaking it into 30 minutes daily. She explained that exercise lowers estrogen as well as other hormones levels, reduce inflammation, enhances the immune system, reduces stress and insulin levels which in turn ultimately reduces cancer risk, among others. Meanwhile, different types of cancer exist today,  the most common types of cancer were named as follows: Breast cancer; described  as  such   formed  in the cells of the breasts; Prostate cancer, a cancer in a man’s prostate, a small walnut-sized gland that produces seminal fluid; Basal cell cancer, a type of skin cancer that begins in the basal cells; Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.
The Professor explained more types of cancer disease to include Colon cancer, a cancer of the colon or rectum, located at the digestive tract’s lower end; Lung cancer, a cancer that begins in the lungs and most often occurs in people who smoke, Leukemia, a cancer of blood-forming tissues, hindering the body’s ability to fight infection; Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, among others. Prof Ogu, pointed out some of the preventive methods for cancer disease as follows: Self Breast Examination; practice a good eating habit by avoiding fatty foods; do 30 minutes exercise like just jumping in your room everyday; avoid smoking; avoid taking much alcohol; marry early to have your children before age 28, breastfeed your babies properly; maintain good emotional health by getting enough sleep daily. “The preventive methods are practice good diet, love high fiber diet. This is to say that one must eat the natural foods, do exercises everyday take 30 minutes every day to walk or jump to help reduce hormonal levels, stress as well as cancer causing agents in the body. “Reducing alcohol consumption and ensuring to have enough sleep,   reduced stress can prevent cancer in the body,” Prof Ogu added.
She revealed that there are different stages in a good sleep,  of all these stages, the most important stage to ones’ health is when the cell is actually repairing itselves. For her, the Doctors, Pharmacists, Individuals, Medical team, Family and friends, the government, the survivors must know their major roles to play to stop the spread of the deadly scourge. She charged participants on the need to do self breast examination daily, adding that they cannot prevent it, but they can detect it early through breast self examination, thereby leading to early treatment which is key to surviving it. She further charged government at all levels to create more breast centres as well as mastectomy boutiques, so that it would encourage victims to open up and willing to remove their breast, especially when that becomes the very best option as the victim life depends on it for survival. Also speaking Dr Ireju Ajie added that the same symptoms oberseved in women were almost likely to be the same in men, noting that breast sizes does not affect these symptoms. Dr Ajie charged participants to always observe daily Breast Examination as well as those already diagnosed positive to visit any nearby hospital for their routine Mammographic checks, stressing that these were the only way to fight the scourge. On her side, one of the participants, a victim of multiple lumps, confirmed that not all lumps were cancer.
She explained how she traveled abroad for test and was diagnosed of multiple lumps, amidst of fears, when the result came out, she was cancer free, she thus charged everyone to invest more on their health by going for regular check ups as well as doing the necessary tests needed to keep fit, saying that: “It is one who is alive that will eat, beautify the body to look good. “When I traveled out for medical test based on my health challenge, I was diagnosed of multiple lumps and asked to stay back beyond my earlier plans and less cash at hand, but I had no option, but to sell all my jewelries and called my people in Nigeria to assist with some cash to get my health back and today by God’s special grace I am alive and healthy.” It is worthy to note that Diamond Helix Medical Assistance (DHMA) Ltd is a leading medical consultancy firm in Nigeria, since 2008, DHMA has successfully built a reputation as the pioneer of medical assistance service in the country. Diamond Helix actively works to improve healthcare in the nation by providing Healthcare consulting, Hospital planning and design services, Wellness promotion, Continuing Medical Education and creating platforms for global healthcare deliberations.  They advised that if there arise any suspicion about breast cancer such individual should visit the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN) Mammogram Centre, located at Obio Cottage Hospital, Trans-Amadi in Port Harcourt.
By : Susan Serekara-Nwikhana
Gov Wike: Leader Chosen From The Crowd
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History was  made in Nigeria on October 21, 2022 as the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari bestowed the “Distinguished Award in Infrastructural Delivery” upon our visionary leader in Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike .
This Award,variously described as apt, timely and well, deserved by the President of the Federal Republic has made naysayers concur with the indisputable fact that Governor Wike is truly the Mr. Quality Projects of  Nigeria. It  has his name to find an honourable place in history as a politician Chosen from the crowd.
Without a doubt, therefore , when the Nigerian political history is documented, vis-a-vis the gladiators that shaped the course in this dispensation, one politician whose contributions can not be undermined or wished away is His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike, Political Lion of Nigeria, aka Mr. Quality Projects of Nigeria.
Regardless of the political difference with the centre as one of the most committed leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the main opposition party in Nigeria, there is agreement of minds by Nigerians that this unique personality has truly paid his dues, hence, his modest but remarkable success in the murky waters of Rivers and Nigerian politics.
His uncommon courage, exceptional zeal, unparalleled determination and strong political will, have seen him through many battles. Paying glowing tribute to this illustrious and patriotic Nigerian and political icon can never be out of place, no matter what cynics would think. I am fully persuaded as many other free-minded society watchers and political commentators that this political colossus of our time has contributed his quota to the growth and development of humanity and should not be denied the attendant encomiums and accolades that go with it.
The Nigerian media often wrongly measure the capacity and potentials of emerging political players on the national scene by their flamboyance in dress, manner of speech and, many times, where they come from. In this way, they (media) miss the substance, the essence and the (political players) positive impact in national development.
There is no gainsaying the fact that the media wield some power in perception engineering and they have often used this power to great effect. However, there is no doubt that the image the media create for some Nigerians in politics can be said to be contorted and needs to be corrected or modified after close encounters with such individuals, especially, in their performance in public office.
One of such characters whose personality is eminently deserving of appropriate description as a superlative performer upon a closer scrutiny is that of His Excellency,  Chief (Barr.) Ezenbuwo Nyesom Wike, the Executive Governor of Rivers State.
To say the least, this political iroko is going to leave a very large sized shoes for his successor to wear come 2023. Indeed, successive administrations after his must be humble enough to learn and borrow a leaf from his God-given wisdom  to perform with higher acceleration for book makers to include them in the records  of Rivers State as having performed as well.
Political pundits, public commentators and analysts are in agreement in different discussion groups and forums locally, nationally and internationally, that there has never been any administration in Rivers State, since the advent of democracy, that has the number of legacy or signature projects like the present one under our  indefatigable Governor.
In his eight years tenure as  Rivers State governor, Chief Wike has touched the lives of the people positively through special and outstanding projects whose impact will continue to be felt for many years to come – projects which will transcend into generations for a memorial of his vision, thoughtfulness and sincerity of purpose.
Tenures of political offices may be transient but the memory of those who occupy them could be indelibly etched in the sands of time through the delivery of projects of definitive significant value to the people. Such projects provide special spaces for the personality in the people’s Book of Records.
This is why Governor Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike will be remembered like His Majesty, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass, Bayelsa State, the first Military Governor of Old Rivers State, who built the Rivers State Secretariat Complex, one of his legacy projects,  during his rule some decades ago.
On his part, Governor Wike has undertaken numerous transformational projects like the building of 12 flyovers in different locations in the state capital; the establishment of three satellite campuses of the Rivers State University in Etche, Emuoha and Ahoada; construction of the Sakpenwa – Bori Road that cuts through Tai, Gokana and Khana Local Government Area, linking Andoni  and Opobo-Nkoro which has been the subject of campaign promises  since 1960; the 10.2 kilometres road that cuts through Tai, Eleme, Oyigbo and Port- Harcourt Local Government Areas that had been abandoned for over 50 years; establishment of the Port Harcourt Campus of the Law School; the construction of the Trans Kalabari Road, to mension but a few.
In addition, Governor Wike has elevated women to political limelight in Rivers State, nay in Nigeria, as he did not only stick with a female Deputy Governor throughout the duration of his governorship but also ensured that all the 23 Local Government Areas, without an exception, had women as Vice Chairmen. He as well secured the Supreme Court judgment that finally returned the disputed Oil Wells to the State and gave Rivers State national political relevance and visibility going into the 2023 general elections as no other governor in history has ever done.
Although I have not had any close encounters with him, I can testify by reason of fact, that  his substance and  essence as a very strong political performer, strategist, grassroots mobiliser and communicator were missed daily by the media  in his assessment. These qualities have been on display consistently since his emergence in the Nigerian political landscape without commensurate recognition and celebration by the media.
His Excellency, Governor Wike has demonstrated an undeniable ability to accurately gauge the political pulse of the nation and decisively act to derive maximum political benefit and capital from it, thus contributing strategically to keep himself and  the state relevant in elections today and years ahead.
This astute political communicator and grassroots mobiliser is also an apt testimony of his prowess in striking correct cord with women participation in politics by including them in his administration and working together to add value to themselves as well as to use  their large numbers to their advantage during political activities.
This irreducible political colossus of our time has all it takes to lead the nation to its Eldorado some day.
By: Odinaka Osundu
Mr. Osundu, Public Affairs Commentator, resides in Port Harcourt.
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The various camps harbouring the teeming population of psychologically battered faces of men, children and women, could barely contain the influx of victims. Despair and uncertainty hang in the air as they look up for succour from any available source to alleviate their pitiable plight. The scenerio is akin to bands of straggling escapees from a war-torn zone in an asylum, but contrary to being victims of a conventional war, they are people whose familiar sense of communal existence is shattered by natural disaster, the raging turmoil of flooding which struck with a suddenness that caught the victims and even the authorities napping. The displaced victims contend with the sudden twist of fate in damp, sodden and improvised settlements, counting their losses in most dehumanising circumstances. They are exposed to untold economic hardship, health challenges, as normal economic activities are totally paralysed in the affected areas; their farmlands, crops completely damaged by the surging  waters that came as a fast riding tide, engulfing the communities.  Another major fear encountered by the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) is the exposure to wild animals and reptiles flushed from their natural habitats by the flooding.
Like many other areas in Rivers State and the country at large, affected by the terrifying torrents of running waters, the entire Ekpeye ethnic nationality comprising both Ahoada East and Ahoada West Local Government Areas is battling with measures of mitigating the catastrophic effects of the flooding that has displaced them from their homes, making them refugees in their own home land. Thousands of people now live in dehumanising circumstances at makeshift settlements in town halls, school grounds and other shacks that now serve as  living abodes of the internally displaced persons. A visit to the area recently, revealed  the collosal losses suffered by the people.  Counting the immeasurable losses of the people, the Eze Ekpeye Logbo III, HRM Amb Eze Kelvin Ngozi Anugwuo, during a chat with The Tide while receiving some relief materials from some concerned Ekpeye indigenes in the diaspora under the auspices of Usama Ekpeye in the US,  said the communities had similar experience in 2012, which left in its  wake unfathomable losses, but the damage then was mild compared to the losses of the 2022 flood.
The Ekpeye Monarch said, “we have been battling with issues of flooding for some time now. In 2012, the flooding was severe but it was not as bad as what we witnessed this year, the experience in Ekpeye land this year is terrible, there is need for a concerted effort from all relevant stakeholders to save Ekpeye people from unmitigated flooding”.
There is yet an utmost concern over the interval and timing of the flood. It is pertinent to note that the decade gap was enough ominous signal for the curtailing of the tell tale consequences of the returning upsurge, a culpable indictment on the concerned and relevant authorities in planning and remediation therapy for natural disasters.  Beyond the expectations of government intervention to stem the perennial and devastating effects of the flood, the need for a community- driven and sustainable approach stares at the victims on a brazen and collosal note. The fact being that only the direct victims feel the pulses of the sodden and rampaging tirades while others barely feel the sordid realities except from media reports. The concerned Ekpeye indigines in the diaspora under the auspice of Usama Epkeye, who paid a solidarity visit to the Eze Ekpeye Logbo in deep expression of their concern and empathy for the life threatening encounters of their kiths and kins to the unmitigated effects of flooding, noted that perennial flooding has been a major upset to the people and other affected communities within the coastal fringes of the overflowing Benue and Niger Rivers.
According to the President of Usama Ekpeye, Comrade Omanuwa Morgan,  who led a delegation of the group to donate some relief materials such as cartons of Indomie noodles, bags of rice, tubers of yam and toiletries to the flood victims, such self-driven measures in addition to external interventions by government and other stakeholders would bring the most lasting solutions to the protracted challenges of flooding and avert its untold consequences which are now a pandemic. Speaking with newsmen shortly after presenting the relief items to the Eze Ekpeye Logbo in Council, Comrade Morgan, said Ekpeye indigines in the US are working out modalities to tackle the flooding. He said relying on government alone has proven to be a still-born and abortive measure as only the people can seek lasting solutions to the flooding. As part of measures of cushioning the effects of the flooding on the affected communities,  the people of Ekpeye Ethnic Nationality have sent a save our soul message (SOS ) to President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately direct the Director-General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to come to the rescue of Ekpeye flood victims.
The call for urgent intervention of the Federal Government was contained in a communique jointly issued by the Ekpeye Logbo in Council, the National Executive of the Uzugbani Ekpeye and Ekpeye People’s General Assembly and made available to The Tide.  Shortly after,  the Eze Ekpeye Logbo III of Ekpeye Land, Eze Kelvin Ngozi Anugwo led members of the various groups and the Ekpeye Flood Committee on routine checks to the IDP camps. Speaking to newsmen shortly after sterling revelations from the flood victims at the various IDP camps, the spokesman of Ekpeye Nation, Comrade Ogboka Chris Umeda, said it was imperative for the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in flood affected areas considering the magnitude of the flooding which has displaced the economic livelihood of 97 per cent of Ekpeye population who are predominantly peasant farmers. The people of Ekpeye while thanking Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for releasing 1billion naira and constituting task force for flood victims, called on the team to put more efforts and attend to daily needs of Ekpeye flood victims.
The Eze Ekpeye Logbo, III had while in one of the camps,  thanked Ekpeye sons and daughters for donating in cash and kind through the Ekpeye Flood Committee. He also appreciated the gesture of Total Nigeria Limited, Governorship candidates of the two political parties for donating relief materials for the flood victims and called on other multinationals, corporate organisations, politicians to also come to the aid of the Ekpeye flood victims.  The reverred Ekpeye Monarch explained that a major challenge faced by the flood victims was debilitating health conditions as there were inadequate health facilities to cater for the teeming population of internally displaced persons in the various camps. The chairman of Ekpeye Flood Committee, High Chief ThankGod Okedike,  who spoke with The Tide in an interview at Ahoada,  said so far, the committee has continued to receive relief materials from well meaning individuals and the items have been judiciously distributed among the flood victims. He said Ekpeye people will remain grateful for the kind gestures.
The views of the foremost Ekpeye Monarch was also shared by the leader of a frontal organisation in Ekpeye Land, the Uzugbani Ekpeye, Speaking with newsmen, in Ahoada recently, the President of Uzugbani Ekpeye, Dr Ukechukwu Nyemenim, expressed deep concern over the plight of the flood victims and solicited for urgent intervention to avert the devastating effects of the flooding on the socio-economic lives of the people.  The case of Ekpeye people is no doubt a replication of the sordid experience and ordeals of other flood ravaged communities in Rivers State and Nigeria.
By: Taneh Beemene
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On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl-Child. Ever since, International Day of the Girl has become an annual festival. Like past years, Tuesday, the 11th day of October, 2022, was celebrated all over the globe as the International Day of the Girl-Child. As the ritual prescribes, there were observances of events that actually empowered some  girls as well as  amplified  their voices. Basically, the day served to highlight efforts aimed at eliminating gender-based challenges that little girls face around the world.  Challenges such as; child marriage, poor learning opportunities, violence, and discrimination. Others are; insecurity, wars and natural disasters, disabilities. Above all, the “just because they are girls” syndrome, which had remained an unhighlighted challenge; a   cultural discrimination, the girl-child has had to contend with as she grows into adulthood, was also brought to the fore. But beyond the global highlights on such a day, what becomes of the fate of this folk after the usual euphoria of this single day global celebration, has remained a puzzle begging for answer.
No doubt,  there  seems to be an  increased attention and focus on issues that affect the girl-child  in recent times,  yet, it is  sad to state that they do not in reality translate to investments in the wellbeing and actualisation of the rights of the girl-child. However, this year’s theme ; “The Time is now-our rights our future”, seemed to express more proactiveness to providing solution to the much touted  challenges of the girl-child. Not only did the theme uphold the  sacrosanctity of the right and future of the girl-child, like a bang, it was more  realistic than idealistic  as it places the need on both individuals and corporate establishments to reinstate commitments to the welfare and all-round development of the girl-child. One governor in the South-South region of the country, captured the essence of the theme when he said “as a government, “we understand the role of the girl-child in the advancement of society and have continued to prioritise investment in different sectors of our state’s economy, including education, health tech and the creative sector, among others to ensure that they are provided with the right environment, skills and opportunities to achieve their dreams and live life to the fullest”.
This is important because the girl age is a critical period that can determine the trajectory of women’s lives. It is a stage at which key investments and support can set them on a path toward empowerment, or when discrimination, recurrent constraints, harmful practices, and violence can send them down a negative spiral. This of course comes with lifelong consequences, not just for themselves, but for societies and future generations. Needless to say that to be born a girl-child in a world that is progressively biased towards the rights and future of the girl-child, comes with its own disadvantages and difficulties. This holds true particularly as it relates to the opportunities available to the girl-child, who appears to have the deck stacked against her and fewer chances to excel. One glaring constraint is the lack of access to affordable, inclusive, and qualitative education which is a basic right. For mere fact that a girl-child would grow  up and be  married out of her biological family, makes it difficult for most parents to invest in them. Instead, they consider them as viable products that could be disposed and the proceed used to facilitate the wellbeing of the male-children who are percieved as the bonafide members of the family.
These unprecedented challenges to their education, their physical and mental wellness, have made the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Rivers State Chapter, to call for an intentional investment in the education of girls. The association in a statement issued to commemorate this year’s International Day of the Girl-Child noted that education of girls will eliminate all such forms of tragic predicaments faced by girls in our society, especially girls with disabilities who face additional barriers accessing support, opportunities and services. NAWOJ also noted that given the skills and the opportunities, adolescent girls could be the changemakers driving progress in the society while building stronger support for all, including women, boys and men.  The association also maintained that girls are now keen for leadership positions and so the time has come for all to harness their leadership potentials. For this reason, it  called on government at all levels to create and nurture spaces for inclusion of adolescent girls in decision-making, while making deliberate efforts to increase resources for an investment in adolescent girls.
It also urged government and traditional institutions to encourage and assist all the organisations that prioritise well-being and quality education for the girls.  NAWOJ Rivers State strongly believes that increased attention on issues that matter to girls amongst governments, policymakers and the general public, would open up more opportunities for girls to have their voices heard. This was observed as the body, led by its chairperson, Susan Serekara-Nwikhana, recently engaged parties, gubernatorial candidates in the State on  interactions concerning their stake for the girl-child in the State in their bid to steer the ship of the State come 2023, Understanding  the role of the girl-child in the growth and development of the society and  committed  to ensuring that  girls  are provided with the right environment, skills and knowledge to realise their fullest potential and contribute effectively in the advancement of their communities, this same body of women journalists,  was at Community Secondary School, Kpean,  in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State,  where they distributed   Welcome- Back-to-School Kits, lingerie, writing materials, among others  The women journalists in Rivers State toed this line based on a realisation that when a woman is trained,  a nation is invariably trained as rapid socio-economic development of a society has been observed to depend on the calibre of women and their education.
Education being the cornerstone of all development and the starting point for success, bestows the disposition for the acquisition of knowledge, competence and skills. It increases one’s involvement and participation in the political space while contributing effectively to societal growth and governance.
One thing that should spur individuals and corporate organisations to champion the realisation of the right and future of the girl-child is the fact that despite the myriad challenges which have lifelong consequences for the girl-child and the society at large, the resourcefulness and resilience of the girl-child is unmatched, proving time and time again that given the right conditions, opportunities, impetus, the girl-child is a change-driver, changing the narrative towards a better world. Thus, in consonance with the theme of the year’s international day of the girl-child, this is the time to galvanise, spur and engage stakeholders all over the world; government officials, policymakers, other change drivers, towards providing a fertile, conducive and safe environment devoid of discrimination and filled with opportunities for the girl-child to thrive effectively and achieve her fullest potential. There is a need to establish and strengthen institutions solely charged with the responsibility  of enforcing the Child Rights and advancing the cause of the girl-child. To this end,  the International Federation of Female Lawyers, FIDA Nigeria,  calls for the adoption of non-policy measures, that is, change in attitude and perception about gender roles, public enlightenment and sensitisation on implication and ills of gender stereotyping and discriminatory practices. Let us join hands to ensure that the girl-child thrives as she set to fulfil her potential and take on the world given the right boost, enabling environment, and the platform to make that change. Indeed, our time is Now! Our rights, Our Future!
By: Sylvia ThankGod-Amadi
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