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Friday, January 30, 2015

MAKING LEMONADE!

  I don’t know if you’ve ever hit a brick wall when running or if you have ever fallen from a height? That feeling of helplessness, wishing you could stop the movement but there is no brake pedal, no pause button.  You are shocked when you hit the wall. You weren’t expecting it to be there or feel the wind beneath your foot before you fall. When they told you ‘life is not fair’ or ‘life is hard’ when you were little, you’ll never understand what that means until you hit that brick wall. You hit it hard, and then the sayings will come back to you. If life were as easy as the adverts on TV make it look, we’d all be happy, living in mansions. There’d be no poor people, no homeless people, no labourers, no market women, and no shop attendants. Everyone will have enough to spare, with the perfect life, family and no one would have to work or do what they don’t want to do just to have a little cash in their pockets to survive with.
  When life hits you hard, it doesn’t just hit you anywhere.

Frances' Box : MAKING LEMONADE!

Frances' Box : MAKING LEMONADE!:   I don’t know if you’ve ever hit a brick wall when running or if you have ever fallen from a height? That feeling of helplessness, wishi...

Friday, January 23, 2015

Frances' Box : SEARCHING FOR JOHNNY (fiction)

Frances' Box : SEARCHING FOR JOHNNY (fiction): ‘You are psychotic!’   His voice keeps ringing in my head. If only Deji could read my thoughts that day, he would have swallowed his wor...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Frances' Box : CRISIS IN THE HEALTH SECTOR

Frances' Box : CRISIS IN THE HEALTH SECTOR:   Nobody likes to be taken for granted. People get discouraged when their efforts are seen as nothing and another’s as greater. It builds ...

CRISIS IN THE HEALTH SECTOR

  Nobody likes to be taken for granted. People get discouraged when their efforts are seen as nothing and another’s as greater. It builds a huge feeling of inferiority and hatred for the loved party.
  Right from the days of old, doctors have always been considered a big deal; they’ve always had nurses and other health professionals that work with them to ensure the health of the people. It’s the norm. It doesn’t mean the nurses and other medical workers are inferior, it’s just the way it is but doesn’t stop them from feeling inferior?
  In all the great medical Television shows that have been made ,from  Grey’s anatomy to house, Hart of Dixie to ER, emphasis has always been on the doctors, I’m yet to see any made about other medical professionals except Hawthorne and ...ok, I’m blank. The emphasis is not on the doctors because they are more important but they are the head of the team. It’s the fact.
  Everyone loves doctors. You hear some girls sing they must marry a doctor, parents and other members of societies welcome doctors but not other medical professionals. People get better in the hospitals, they come back to show appreciation and it’s the doctors they give the presents to; how are these the doctors fault?
  Back to the main story; there’s been an ongoing strike two months plus now by the JOHESU (Joint health staff union) and other professional medical bodies. I’m sure most Nigerians are clueless about this. They’ve been on numerous strikes. The last before this, the federal hospitals were kept running by the doctors who doubled up as nurses, radiologists, etc. This time, they went ahead to lock up all hospital equipment, medicine, forms and what not before embarking on the strike.  You can’t have any surgery done in any federal hospital, you can’t even be admitted. The doctors are trying their best.
  I have family and friends on the opposite sides.  I asked my friends who are members of JOHESU and they went on rants about doctors. So, I investigated further. Some of the reasons for the JOHESU strike are: they want to be addressed as consultants; they want to be made CMDs (chief medical directors in hospitals).
  Please, pick up your dictionary or Google the term ‘Consultant’, how does this tally with what they do? Let’s be sincere, do you stroll into a hospital to consult with a nurse, a lab scientist, a radiologist, a pharmacist etc? Would you be satisfied if they operate on you? Or diagnose your illness? The pharmacists argue that they make the drugs; hence they should be the ones to prescribe them, not doctors. Where in the world is that done? Even in the US, no one will sell you drugs in any pharmacy or drugstore without a doctor’s prescription.
  Who should be made a Chief Medical Director of a hospital? I leave that to you to answer. Some hospitals are run by boards, ok most are but the chief Medical Directors are always either doctors or management personnel.
  Remember when doctors went on strike and Nigerians rose up to castigate and curse them, well, here are the reasons why they went on that strike. Most of the reasons stated were for their patients. Do you know, if that doctor treating you has a prick or anything e.g. during the Ebola crisis, five thousand Naira is what covers their lives (hazard).

 
 

  
   Here are the reasons for the JOHESU two months plus strike.
“I. Adjustment of CONHESS salary as done for the NMA in the same sector.
ii. Payment of Arrears on skipping of CONHESS 10 since year 2010.
iii. Promotion of our members from CONHESS 14 to 15 for over ten years.
iv. Appointment of our members as Chief Medical Directors.
v. Abolition of the post of Deputy Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee.
vi. Immediate circularization of retirement age of Healthcare workers from 60 to 65 years.
vii. Immediate payment of arrears of Specialist allowance to all Hospital based Healthcare Professionals who possess relevant post graduate qualification that is, MSc, Phd or post graduate fellowship who had attained the Consultant grade level 14 in the public service or CONHESS 13 in the Teaching Hospital sector and above.
viii. Immediate release of circular amending the extant circular for Medical Laboratory Scientists Interns to include post NYSC placement on grade level 09 step 2 and the upgrading of stale Officers across board.
ix. Others.  “

  I do not blame them for stating their grievances but what happened to the patients they are meant to care for? Thanks to a government that is interested in polls, every time they go on strike because they’re a union and elections are near, nothing happens. They want to earn more than the doctors, etc what about your patients?
  In the Nigerian Education system, most students from science class apply for medicine in the universities but most are bumped down to Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Pharmacy etc. Some do get into Medical school only to fail and then fall back on the other medical science courses. So all that plus treatment from people, this is the result.  Does the fact that they aren’t doctors make their work any less important? NO! They don’t seem to be professionals enough to understand this; every field has its leader. You can be great in your field with years of experience, working with doctors and other members of the team, it still doesn’t make you a doctor. Yeah, medical doctors have been called pompous right from medical school, truth be told, if I knew as much as they did about the human body and be able to save a life, pass exams after going through hordes of textbooks, diseases and etc, the confidence oozing out of me would be awesome, you’d hate me for it.
  It’ like a bailiff, going up in arms against judges and saying, he’s been there for years, what do judges know that he doesn't. He should be and deserves to be made the Chief Judge of a state etc. It’s not possible! You have to pass through the necessary steps.
  A gaffer in a film production company says he should be put in charge of a movie production and the director of the film should answer to him, everyone should answer to him not the director. That’s sheer madness. It’s the director that is recognized mainly when films are out but does it make the other professionals that worked on the film less important? NO! But it doesn't make them directors either.
  I can understand the pain in being neglected and looked down upon, it’s not the doctors’ fault. Doctors don’t work alone, they work with you, you’re an important member of their team, and I think doctors need to recognise this if they don’t. It still doesn’t make you a doctor.
 It’s sad that they’ve been on strike over two months now and no one has really noticed, not the government, not the people. Doctors went on strike the last time and within a day, the news was everywhere. We should learn to appreciate other health workers, not just doctors who are professionals in their fields but it doesn’t make them doctors still.
  Everyone should take pride in their work. Even the Holy Books say it. I hope the Nigerian government because of elections and votes don’t do something that hasn’t been done anywhere in the world and listen to words borne out of sentiments, insecurity and inferiority complex. (Well, anything goes in Nigeria, sadly)
  If you feel envious of doctors, think you deserve to be like them, get the respect, deserve to be called a consultant, be made a CMD, it’s never too late, do it the right and professional way, go back to medical school and go through the process: medical school, houseman ship, NYSC, primaries, junior residency, senior residency and then become a consultant.
  Please let’s end this unending animosity for doctors and be the professionals that we are. Your work is important in a hospital; I recognise and appreciate this, everyone should too. Doctors, appreciate your team, and Nigerians encourage and appreciate them too. It still doesn’t make you a doctor, a consultant or a CMD candidate.  
  Let’s all join hands and make our health sector better. There are things that need to be fought for (top priority). We need doctors and every health worker to be the team they should be and save our lives. I say a big thank you to all health workers. Be the professionals that you are.

 (Imagine if the JOHESU set grievances aside and teamed up with the doctors to push for a raise in their fees, health hazard, better hospitals and National health insurance e.t.c. together. Just a thought)

Friday, January 2, 2015

THE CARPETBAGGERS ARE HERE!!!

THE CARPETBAGGERS ARE HERE!

(Hehehehe at the picture. Wrote this during the 2011 presidential elections. It struck a chord in me, elections are in February, so here it is, four years after and still true.)

   Guess what song is playing in my head? A song by Fela on suffering and smiling, oops! Wait the song has changed to Jayz’s ‘roc boys.’
Today is the day. What day is that you may ask? Nigeria’s presidential elections. Am I going to vote? No! Why? I have been disenfranchised. I will get to that part of the story.

   The first time I became aware of my country’s politicking ways was at the age of five. It was 1993, I was in school singing ‘jack and Jill went up the hill...’ we never finished that rhyme because like a swarm of bees, parents came to pick their wards. It was morning and I was surprised. Our teachers started leaving too. My friends were all gone. My elder brother came to drag me from class until our driver arrived. Everywhere, people were in a frenzy, shops were locking up, businesses closing down. There were riots. On the windscreen of each car were green leaves, I still wonder what that symbolised. The radio was on and a funny voice that had problems with letters like ‘F’ and 'P' came on. All I heard was ‘Coup’. As we drove home, people were protesting on the streets, soldiers were there to kill it or them. Cars were damaged, I saw people getting beat up. Lagos was in a windstorm. We got home I heard dad saying over the phone
“the election has been annulled. Military has taken over. Everywhere is in chaos”
CNN was covering it with their usual attention to details they give to other countries not theirs. The next day we left for our village till things quelled down. Thus started the reign of General Abacha, a name I got to hear frequently until the day he died, I was still in elementary school. You should have been there to see the jubilation; people were buying drinks for neighbours and friends. I sat in front of the television, watching CNN. Hey, I have always loved to be in the know learnt that from my dad. I was watching the TV with dad. That day, I heard different stories from different sources; news stations, newspapers, neighbours, family on how he died. Some said he died of a poisoned apple brought in by two beautiful ladies, some heart attack, others assassinated by the leaders of the developed world. All rejoiced that the man called tyrant was dead. His VP took over until....

   ‘Democracy is here’ was the slogan for the 1999 election. The military was handing over and the people were happy. According to them, the military was the root of the nation’s problems. Everyone was happy that civilian rule was back and the people were rid of tyrants. I remained indifferent to it all. Then a man won the election. I heard different stories on that too; he was just released from prison. Some powerful men went to meet him in prison and persuaded him to come out as president. I was amazed at the rags to riches story until I discovered he was a former military president before my birth. I pondered again ‘They say the military is the problem, why bring in a military man under civilian clothes. Once a pig always a pig, so, once a military man always a military man.’  I never really witnessed military rule but His I believe is the definition. His witch hunters tagged a crime commission and other means created by him hunted all opponents. People watched their steps and words. The people groaned
‘He is the problem of the nation.’
This was tyranny cloaked in democracy. He was the master of the game. With him came his infamous political party **People's Democratic party. Election came once more but he remained. The party was dragged to court over electoral misconducts but the judiciary I believe loved their lives so nothing happened. He plotted a third term but higher bodies, lol, warned him! It was killed.
   He got wiser the next elections.
‘If I can’t stay in power I shall put in my minion.’
First day I saw this minion on TV, I said to myself
‘This man looks like a sickler or someone with HIV.’
 Little did I know I was right in a distorted way, his reign was not his but that of another because he was ill. It became a game of chess and a puppet show.  Well, the man died, in came the VP. The north said no, thanks to zoning in Nigerian politics, which has become a turn-by-turn shenanigan of cowboys and Indians, lol!
   The VP was wise. He played on his name to build a brand. They say the name has brought him good luck from his elementary school days. He replaces others. He brings good luck to himself and bad luck to others. The political parties are singing
 'People’s party is the problem remove them and put us. We are better.’

   The brooms and umbrellas go for each other’s jugular. The witch hunter of the former umbrella president becomes the broom bearer. It is all ironical if you ask me. Pen is a former military ruler with a clergy as vice.The celebrities rally around for the umbrella's bad luck. They say they were not paid; they are doing it because they support him. Kick me in the butt because I think I am dreaming. One thing I have learnt about politics is nothing goes for nothing. Fine, they might not have been paid in currency but imagine if the umbrella succeeds at the polls and remains in power of course they will reap in benefits. I have learnt this rule from the age of five.

Here comes the question, who are the carpetbaggers?
 Carpetbaggers according to Wikipedia  ;In United States history, "carpetbaggers" was a pejorative term Southerners gave to Northerners (also referred to as Yankees) who moved to the South during the Reconstruction era, between 1865 and 1877.
The term referred to the observation that these newcomers tended to carry "carpet bags," a common form of luggage at the time (sturdy and made from recycled carpet). It was used as a derogatory term, suggesting opportunism and exploitation by the outsiders
   Ok, yes, I love the novel of same title. Who are the carpetbaggers in Nigeria? They are the politicians, the political parties. They are all the same; there is no saint amongst them. The military and the civilian, all same. Let them have the opportunity to enter as the umbrella did and they might do worse. As they sing, ‘a chair is still a chair, even if there is no one sitting there.’ Pot calling kettle black is the Nigerian political story. As I type, the usual is going on.  They all make promises. I know it is hard for someone to enter and not loot, fine, do it but also do some work. Let us feel the change then if we hear you looted we can say at least you made a change. Do not just loot and do no work. Rigging is going on everywhere. The truth behind my country is let the best man win. The best man here means the best rigger. The person with the best tactics wins, not the best man.
  Now, back to my disenfranchisement. I registered in Benin but I am in Lagos now, so I cannot vote. Who said I was not going to vote? I will but it will not be done personally by me, it shall be done for me. Check the database of voters,my name shall be there but how are they to know I am not the one that threw the ballot in. stupid is what I call the system. They are all opportunists and exploiters with sugar tongues and heavy pockets ,laden with stolen money.
Vote people, one-day e go better. If you vote, they cannot use your data for you.
Vote for me people. I am the best candidate . THE CARPETBAGGERS ARE HERE!!!!

And that's the end. The Nigerian Presidential elections are on the 14th of February, 2015, State is on the 28th of Feb. 2015. Will you vote? Where will you stand in your nation's history?
Be Pro-Nigerian!!! 

Frances' Box : THE CARPETBAGGERS ARE HERE!!!

Frances' Box : THE CARPETBAGGERS ARE HERE!!!: THE CARPETBAGGERS ARE HERE! (Hehehehe at the picture. Wrote this during the 2011 presidential elections. It struck a chord in me, elect...

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