First case of Ebola reported in Lagos, Nigeria

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            The spread of Ebola virus in West Africa is getting more frightening. Many people are now asking, ‘What is Ebola?‘  ‘How can Ebola be cured?’ People are getting more interested as more cases make the news.  Africa’s most populous city, Lagos has gotten its first case of the Ebola virus.  A man has died of ebola in Lagos, the first confirmed case of the highly contagious and deadly virus in Lagos.
          The man, Patrick Sawyer, a 40-year-old Liberian civil servant, collapsed on arrival in Nigeria’s main airport on Sunday. His condition rapidly deteriorated before he died. His sister is believed to have died of Ebola one month ago.  The death marks a new and alarming cross-border spread of the disease that has now become the world’s biggest epidemic, spread across three west African countries. At least 660 people have died in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since Ebola was first diagnosed in February.
        The pathogen is passed through contact with bodily fluids of infected patients, and has no known cure, although chances of survival improve dramatically with early detection and treatment.
        Personally, I worry about the virus and the spread of such deadly incurable disease. However, I worry more about the stigmatization and ostracism that is now associated with the disease. It has been likened to the early days of HIV/AIDS. Ebola disease isn’t curable and it is transmitted through body fluids like sweat, saliva, semen. Hence, people tend to avoid sufferers due to the fear of contamination. Please, if you know anyone suffering from Ebola disease, do not treat the person like an outcast or leper. Show love and try to get medical help for such individual as fast as possible.
          My message is, as it has always been, ” Show love, Everyone deserves to be happy. Together, we can make the world a better place.”

UNHCR and the burden of caring for C.A.R refugees

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       A severely malnourished Central African Republic child refugee.

         The C.A.R crises is one of the most under funded humanitarian crises in the world, and the United Nations High Commission for refugees (UNHCR) is struggling to keep up with the needs of thousands of refugees in the crises troubled county.
      Just this week, UNHCR together with 16 other humanitarian agencies
revised the Regional Refugee Response Plan for the C.A.R situation, seeking US$210 million to assist the growing refugee numbers in four asylum countries: Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Republic of Congo – until the end of the year.
    More than 357,000 people have fled CAR for the four host countries since the crisis started in December 2012. This number includes some 160,000 people who left after clashes intensified last year. 118,000 are in Cameroon, 17,500 in Chad, over 15,000 in the DRC and 9,000 in the Republic of Congo.
“The new refugees show signs of the brutal violence they have escaped in C.A.R. They have walked for weeks through the forests with little to eat or drink. In April and May, as many as 40 per cent of all the new refugees, children as well as adults, were suffering from malnutrition,” UNHCR spokesman
Babar Baloch told journalists in Geneva on Tuesday. “We fear that for some children the assistance may be coming too late.”
      

Dispossessed: A film for women dealing with ‘after rape’ crises

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         I got this email from Rachel, who works for a US movie producer, Cheyanne Kane who has made a great movie Dispossessed  that shows the plight of women and the struggle they go through after a rape. I have myself watched the movie and its good. I recommend it for women who need help with the crises and pain of dealing with rape.
     Rachel wrote,
“I came across your blog while researching bloggers who are interested in stories that are important to women.
Cheyanne made a short film called Dispossessed that deals with what women go through AFTER a date rape. The ways we sabotage ourselves in the days after while we process what happened, letting critical time pass that eventually helps the rapist escape punishment. Then the ways in which we numb ourselves from the pain with drugs or alcohol to the point of abuse or try to replace the image of the rapist with someone else’s face- anyone else’s face! All of which only leads to more psychological and physical destruction.

Dispossessed is not a hopeful film as it literally shows a woman’s demise, but it does help other people empathize with women who have been date raped. It paints the picture so clearly and on a deep psychological  level that you can’t help but understand what they go through.

I believe it is a very important short film that I hope will stir certain people into action. Help certain people find their voice. Help others understand that there are deep underlying reasons for self destruction and allow a dialog that could help someone out there.

Cheyanne’s film will be screening at the Chain Film Festival in NYC on Tuesday Aug 12th at 6 pm.  We would love to show it to you via a link in hopes that you can blog about it and help us get people in the seats. The tickets cost $10 so we are hoping a story about the nature and importance of the film may help get people interested. would you be interested in taking a look?”

The link is  http://chain.festivalgenius.com/2014/films/dispossessed_cheyannekane_chain2014.

     

100 days after, the Nigerian girls are still missing

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           I feel so sad as I write this. 100 days after, the over two hundred girls who were kidnapped from their school in Nigeria are still missing. It has been more than three months of agony for their parents and we are so clueless as to what the plight of these girls is now. Married off for money? Sold into slavery? Raped and sexually violated? Alive or dead? Still in Nigeria or trafficked out? So many questions we don’t have answers to.

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    The social media activism and online campaign to bring the girls back seems to have died away. It seems like we are gradually forgetting that our innocent girls are at the hands of merciless terrorists, perhaps, hoping each day to be saved. It seems we no longer remember that their parents are each day aching to hear the sounds of their daughters’ voices calling them ‘mummy’ ‘daddy’. 11 parents of these girls have already died out of the shock and heartache. According to the National Chairman of Chibok community, Pogu Bitrus, they died of heart attack and frustration. “One father of two of the girls kidnapped, just went into a kind of coma and kept repeating the names of his daughters until his life left him”

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     The Government must do something. We can’t keep silent, we will continue crying #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS

Deadly Bomb Blasts in Nigeria, opposition leader targeted.

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             The Islamic terrorists, Boko Haram have continued to cause instability in Northern Nigeria. Today, two bomb blasts, going off 90 minutes from each other occurred in Kaduna, Nigeria.
     Most recent reports suggest that 82 people were killed in the attack. Witnesses said the first bomb was targeted at thousands of Muslims who gathered at the Murtala Square for Ramadan Tafsir under the leadership of Sheikh Bauchi, a Islamic cleric who is said to be an outspoken critic of Boko Haram.

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     More shocking and unusual is that a former Military leader and now one of the opposition leaders, Major Gen. Muhammad Buhari was targeted by the second attack.
     According to a report by BBC Africa, about 90 minutes after the first bomb went off, a second explosion ripped through the crowded Kawo area in Kaduna, targeting the convoy of Gen Buhari. Gunmen rammed a vehicle into his convoy, firing shots at it. The report says two of Gen. Buhari’s bodyguards were slightly wounded in the attack, he however escaped unhurt.
     Now, the big question is: Why will Boko Haram want to kill Buhari?
Of course, Buhari is an outspoken critic of Boko Haram. From what we saw, how Boko Haram targeted Sheikh Bauchi, it is obvious that the sect is out to murder prominent Islamic citizens who openly condemn its activities.

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