In the News : 37 year Old Woman Gives birth to 38 Children!!😱

A Ugandan Woman named Mariam Nabatanzi Babirye has the photo of herself, husband and some of her 38 Children splashed all over the pages of newspapers and social media.

As I stared at the photo of this “massive” family my jaws dropped open for a long while😱. Being a mother myself I can’t even begin to imagine having to go through birth pains 5 times not to talk of 38 times!! It is simply writing a suicide letter in my opinion. Expert says that having too many children increases a woman’s health risk

Mariam’s story is that she was given off in marriage at age 12 to a 40 year old man. A child abuse case, I mean I don’t understand the excuse that it Is because parents are ignorant that makes it easy to give away a child in marriage. This has to stop!

I believe it is only by sheer Providence that Mariam survived these births which were mostly probably delivered by a local midwife before she finally arrived at a hospital. Now the world knows her story. Haaaaa it is simply not a funny matter to me!!

By age 40 possibly the ware and tear of her body may soon start manifesting in form of one ailment or the other.

Medically the reason she has had multiple births is because she is hyper-ovulating. Meaning that she her ovaries releases multiple eggs monthly.
They say ignorance is costly and it is not an excuse. I can’t help but think about the what ifs of Maria’s case.
If only she and her husband had known better ; if only a family member or friend or neighbor had pointed her in the way of a permanent modern family planning method solution. Seriously somebody should have told her that her ovaries and even the uterus could be removed.

Anatomy – medicine. com

Somebody said the children didn’t look hungry or under nourished in the photo. Maybe because their father is a farmer? How big is his farm to be able to feed a family of 40 including making extra money to cloth and send them to school?

My what ifs returns… Seriously having too many children puts the mother, children and even the father at risk. High blood pressure from not having enough to care for them will set in.

Another angle to this is that government needs to better equip and strengthen primary health centers in villages and communities. It is my business; it is your business to save a mother and child.

Maternal deaths can be prevented through adequate health education and family planning.

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Dorathy’s Story – Promoting Women’s Health through Family Planning #getittogether

A friend of mine Dorathy (Not real name) has two boys. Often when we talked she admired my little girl and really desired to have a baby girl, someone she could dot on. A girl she could take to the salon to make her hair, fix all sorts of colorful ribbons and hair extension. We would often laugh about this.

Dorathy my friend soon got pregnant again and we were all very excited about this new baby but it would turn out to be a turbulent pregnancy. She was in and out of the hospital and almost lost her life. Dorathy had to undergo a Caesarean section. As soon as she was delivered of her baby Dorothy got a family planning method done. When I asked her if she still had plans to have more babies in the future she vehemently rejected the idea, saying that she wants to be well and alive to care for her children.

Every time I see my friend Dorathy she looks chicky, young, alive and beautiful! She has time to pursue her dreams and handle her business. Her boys are doing well too.

Family Planning helped my friend to handle the fear of getting pregnant again after an eventful pregnancy.
How Family Planning can help promote a woman’s health
• She can rest in between births. This allows her to recuperate properly before getting pregnant again.
• A woman/her family can choose to have babies when they are ready.
• Family planning gives a mother the time needed to care for and nurture her baby as she doesn’t have to face the challenge of been pregnant while still nursing a 3 -6months old baby. This can be emotionally and physically draining for her, her baby and the family.
• Family Planning is one sure way of saying “I have enough children”. This means that a woman can stop having children if she is satisfied with the number she has while still in her reproductive years.
• When a woman keeps having children with barely enough time in between births she cannot pursue her dreams and goals. With family planning, a woman can meaningfully contribute economically to her family and the society.

A healthy woman, a productive woman
A healthy woman, a happy woman
A healthy woman, a more relaxed and beautiful woman
Family Planning promotes women’s health and wellbeing.

Adebisi Adetunji(C)

Stop! Don’t End it All…Winning Against Depression…It is Possible

Something mind boggling has been happening: in the past few days, the news reported about four different attempts by four individuals to commit suicide. There are many hypotheses about what could have made these individuals to end their lives ranging from failure of exam perhaps for the student victim; business gone sour, loss of money, depression to even the idea of blaming witches for hypnotizing them. Whatever the reasons are no human being should end it that way…Life is precious and is a gift.

Depression is usually triggered by an unexpected life crisis/event. It affects the mood, thoughts, and activities.

It is said that more women are likely to experience depression than women. Partly responsible is women’s biological experiences with menstruation cycle, pregnancy, menopause and more.  There is need to understand what depression is; its signs and symptoms in order to be able to deal with it. I am not medical personal but as a human being and social worker, I want to speak from my heart that it is possible to win the battle over depression.
So before defining what depression is; its signs and symptoms and how to get the help I want to start with words of hope:

You can handle Depression
 Understand that you are not alone in this challenge. There are people who are going through the same things you are going through. With the right treatment, they are coping and living normal lives. Many have overcome their depression.

Whatever you are going through is for a season. You can come through even stronger and better.

When one door closes always remember that another will open

If you are depressed because you are in debt hey it is not the end of the world. Understand that you can get out of that debt and you will as you take things one day at a time. Look for options and ways you can begin to reasonable pay back at your pace.

If your partner or spouse cheated on you, it is not the end of the world and it is not your fault. It is he/she’s loss. Your life matters not because he or she is in it but because you are worth loving, so love yourself and move on.

If you are battling with a long term illness, remember today is another day that you are alive. Concentrate on happy thoughts and moments in your life and know that you are strong and can come through.

Don’t follow through with that suicide thought. You are important, you are loved, and there is so much more you can achieve with your life. Suicide is an attempt to end one’s life. Suicide is an attempt to end one’s life. Your life matters!!

So let’s get down to what Depression is, signs/symptoms:

Depression is a downward feeling that drags on for a very long time.
A feeling of loneliness, worthlessness.
A state of giving up hope.
A state of being that believes the worst has happened and cannot be remedied.
A feeling that can trigger withdrawal from normal activities.
A feeling that wants to shut out help from others.
A feeling of hopelessness.
A feeling that says you don’t really matter anymore, give up.
Thoughts of wanting to hurt yourself.
Thoughts of death and suicide.

Causes of Depression:
• Loss of a job
• Loss of a loved one
• Failing an exam as a student
• Bankruptcy
• Lack of money
• Serious medical condition

How to get help if you are depressed
• Visit and speak with your family doctor.
• Talk to someone about your issues or what you are feeling ( Friend, spouse, parent, teacher) Anyone you trust.
• Speak to a counselor or social worker
• Talk to your pastor or religious leader
• Engage in interesting and relaxing activities such as sports, going to the cinema in the company of friends, attending parties( weddings, birthdays, house warming etc) like in Nigeria we like partying.
• See your psychologist or Psychiatrist ( it doesn’t mean that you are mentally incapable as culture tends to stigmatize such persons in some places).

Whatever you do fight this thing call depression, you can do it!

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

NOTE: If you need someone to share your thoughts with…reach me via my email…bisimodupe1975@gmail.com. Together we can support each other. Loads of love from my heart.

Adebisi Adetunji(C)

Interesting Take Away from the training “Effective Family Planning Projection on Social Media” Presentation by Mrs Stella Akinso

Family Planning is having children by choice not by chance.

Data/Statistics of maternal deaths is not just figures…these are real people…human beings.

Family Planning is able to prevent 40% of maternal mortality. Women of reproductive age at high birth risks include:
• Those who get pregnant too early in age.
• Giving birth at very short intervals
• Too old an age

Government and policy makers need to wake up and take necessary action to end maternal and child mortality. Family planning is key to the sustainable millennium goals.

It is time to stop the lines – “Only 1 woman/person died”. No woman should have to die giving life to another.

OUR Population is multiplying and not just doubling in Nigeria. We should ask ourselves do we have resources to cater for our increasing population? 2 million youths get churned out into the labor market every year and there are no jobs!

Family planning is not saying don’t have children but have only the number you can cater for. Men need to get more involved in making an informed choice about family planning for their family.

Benefits of Family Planning
• More working-age people supporting few number of children
• Access to sex education and contraceptive
• Slow population growth
• Results in better breastfeeding as the mother can give enough time for proper care of the baby without having a too early pregnancy.

How a young person should refuse sexual advances: Communicate NO properly. Use your facial expression, hands and tone of voice to say NO. If the other person insists on touching you inappropriately push if you have to and walk away…Don’t be passive and stand there…WALK AWAY.

Stella Akinso is the State Team Leader for Nigerian Urban Health Initiative 2, Oyo.

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Guest Interview : Toyin Odedele-Odugbesan (WhatsupIbadan) / CEO Geomeridien

At an on-going training for Social Media Bloggers on Effective Family Planning Projection organized by DEVCOMS NETWORK, I met this fantastic Lady doing great things.

Her story is real, funny and inspiring for every woman out there and even men.

I will sum up her story with these words:

Where you think there is nothing, therein lies your future

Toyin Odedele-Odugbesan is the co-founder of a blog platform named: WhatsupIbadan where she works alongside her husband as Marketing manager. Toyin is also the CEO Geomeridien travel and tours business intertwined with community service.

How did she get here?
Toyin was offered a Diploma admission into the Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ogun State Nigeria to study Transport and Management. It was not what her heart was set on doing but you know how parents will want their child to start any available course instead of waiting at home to write JAMB again. This will mean another year of wait.

Toyin’s words: My first thought when I was offered this course (Transport & Management) was the “Agberos”(Bus conductors) or at best a Taxi Cab driver. For like three months I didn’t attend classes.

It was like she had been sentenced to the worst kind of course which had no future prospect little did she know that therein laid her dream career ticket.

Bisi: So what changed things for you?
Toyin: My first-semester result was bad. I barely passed, this woke me up. I, therefore, determined to study hard. As time passed by and I came to a realization that transportation covered is a wide field and offers me an array of career opportunities. I found out that there were different categories of transport such as Land, Air, Water, Cargo to Ship. I discovered that I could work in Customs service, VIO, Ministry of works and transport, tourism and much more. Soon I fell in love with my course.

Initially, she thought of studying Economics at the BSc level after finishing her diploma instead she went further with a degree in Transport and Management.

Bisi: What happened after your first degree?
Toyin: The Tourism aspect of my course struck me most and it became my passion this led me to do a Masters in Tourism and Hospitality Management in India.

Bisi: What did it feel like studying in a foreign country?
Toyin: At first it was difficult adjusting to the new culture. I found my way gradually and began to mingle. Where I come from we greet everyone but I noticed people kept to themselves. I started to take the initiative to say hello to people I meet every day from the security man to the gadner and my schoolmates too. People began to warm up to me. Over there in India far away from home, I engaged in community service visiting Orphanage homes and even organized a summer event that brought rich and poor children’s children together. This I did in collaboration with my colleagues in school, lecturers who bought into our idea. It was a rich rewarding and fulfilling time.

Bisi: When did you start your business?
Toyin: All these community service activities inspired me to start my Travels and Tours business back in India even as a student. Now we are also here in Nigeria. Our business name is Geomeridien Travels & Tours.

Bisi: So what is next for you?
Toyin: I continue to look for ways I can reach out more to my communities and make a difference.

Bisi: Your Life’s Motto/Inspiration

Toyin: What you give to life is what life gives back to you.

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

How Many Types of “Iyana Ipaja” Do you Know About?

If you live in Lagos or have ever visited the city you must be familiar with the Iyana Ipaja Area. Every now and then you see a “danfo bus” with a conductor shouting out names of destinations. danfo-bus

And you better pay attention before boarding a bus lest you find yourself en route to a wrong destination ….hee hee…in Lagos?!! That is preparing to enter “go slow”, or if you prefer traffic jam. Then it will take you forever before you finally take a u-turn that will get you to your desired destination.

So back to this Iyana Ipaja matter. How many types of “Iyana Ipaja” do you know of ? Answer…

Let me help you out. I and two of my colleagues at work went to do an interview with a senior citizen whom we wanted to feature on our radio program – “Ike Agba(Care of the elderly). After our very informative and interesting chat with Pa Segun Ajibade, he took us on a tour around his compound where all kinds of vegetables and fruit plants could be found. We got a lesson on different vegetables and their health benefit. Trust that when you start a conversation with an elderly person you are going to get a history lesson. You’ll hear stories of their childhood escapades, government wahala and in 197…
And you can’t rush them o…just patiently listen. It’s your history lesson day…Lol

Patiently listen to an elder’s seemingly rant for there you get a rich wealth of wisdom and learn lessons of life you can never buy with money.

So here we were learning from Pa Ajibade about the different kinds of vegetable you can cook together to make a rich healthy meal. Out came the name of this vegetable plant….

iyana-ipaja

Pa Ajibade called it the “Iyana Ipaja” Vegetable. I said Iyana Ipaja?! Hehehe…(Laughing) Lagos Iyana Ipaja has a namesake vegetable plant!! It was really funny and exciting for me. So out came my phone camera, I just had to take this picture and share it with you all.

Iyana Ipaja Area in Lagos during a rainy season.

iyana-ipaja-area

I did a little research to find out more about the Iyana Ipaja Vegetable. Here are a few things I found out:

This vegetable is also known as cnidoscolus chayamansa and is useful for treatment of anemia and alcohol-related diseases. It helps to increase the life span of red blood cells and in some quarters it is referred to as a “blood tonic”.

Other names for the Iyana Ipaja vegetable include tree spinach, efo Jerusalem(Yoruba). Research shows that it can be effective in serving as a sedative therefore useful in helping to cure insomnia.

Just in case you want to get to Iyana Ipaja Area in Lagos, here is a 2016  Google Map to help you find your way:

iyana-ipaja-google-map-2016

Enjoy your Weekend!!!

Photo Credit: Jumia Travel, Nairaland,

Adebisi Adetunji(C)