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Address at the Commissioning of Water Projects in Oke-Igbo - Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Address at the Commissioning of Water Projects in Oke-IgboThursday, August 27th, 2015

Professor Olusola Olopade

Good day to all of you. I offer special greetings and welcome to all of you.

I want to start by recognizing the presence of the following people who represent groups that have been partners in the successful execution of this project:

Oke-Igbo Central Council headed by Engineer Oye Olusiyan,

Chief Oyewusi Abiodun (secretary Olu Oke in Council),

Oke-Igbo Economic Initiative Council headed by Mr. Ade Ayoola

Oke-Igbo Consultative Forum headed by Otunba Ade Oduwale

Ileoluji /Oke-Igbo Local Government headed by Mr. Sam Adegbite

Baale Oloruntele Village

Venerable Lanre Ogumuluyi, Vicar, St. Lukes Church, Oke-Igbo

Chief Mrs. Fagunwa

Staff of Comprehensive & Basic Health Centre, Oke-Igbo

Family, friends and people of Oke-Igbo and Oloruntele

Mr. Ajiboye of Smith Rock Nig. Enterprises.

All other protocols observed.

I apologize that I am unable to join you today to be part of commissioning the opening of the water projects for the 2 health centers in Oke-Igbo and for the people of Oloruntele village.

As a young man growing up, I was very happy to learn and appreciate my family roots and the center of our family in Itaare, Oke-Igbo. My father, Mr. James Oyewumi Olopade of blessed memory was a great, focused, determined and devoted family man. He valued education, good citizenry and had the utmost intolerance for laziness and arrogance. One of his favorite phrases was “live and let live”. I am sure that he is looking down on us today with pride and smiles.

I have always being proud to be from Oke-Igbo for as long as I can remember. In addition to my father’s commitment to the town, I had the pleasure of growing up in the house next to the Late Baba Chief Daniel O Fagunwa, in Oke-Ado, Ibadan with his wonderful children. I enjoyed the mystery of listening to and reading many of his books, Ogboju ode ninu igbo irunmole, Aditu Olodumare, Irinkerindo, to list a few that were centered on the forest and hills around Oke-Igbo. I am sure that most of you will agree with me that Chief Fagunwa was instrumental in putting Oke-Igbo in good light on the world map.

Giving back to Oke-Igbo has always been a priority although some of the things that we have done have been on a much smaller, private and simple scale. However, as a Medical doctor and fresh from the scare of the Ebola epidemic, which killed a few Nigerians and scared many all over the world, it became very important that clean water must be made available for proper hand washing and safe cleaning of hospital equipment at our health centers. We expect that this will provide the best health care possible and create a truly hygienic setting for our people who are cared for at our Health Centers.

The drinking of unclean water and poor sanitation remain major causes of diarrheal illnesses and typhoid infection, which kills over four million people all over the world every year, especially children. Many of our loved ones have also been affected by typhoid fever and other diarrheal diseases, which may kill people unnecessarily if not recognized and treated early. The frequency of diarrheal illnesses and unnecessary infections is too common for us to close our eyes to the plight of the afflicted and do nothing.

On behalf of the OLOPADE family that is represented here today by my brothers Oyegoke, Ayodeji and Albert, we feel very honored and privileged to be able to contribute in a way that touches every member of our community, since the health centers cater for the sick and vulnerable among us and health is wealth. We are also happy to provide water for the people of Oloruntele village.

This effort is also strongly supported by the Healthy Life for All Foundation, an Ibadan-based NGO represented today by the Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Dayo Adepoju. We offer great thanks to our very good friends Richard and Susie Kiphart from Chicago, United States of America who were here with us in Oke-Igbo 2 years ago for their incredible support and pray that God will continue to bless them.

We also appreciate the wisdom, support and partnership of the community leaders in Oke-Igbo, Oloruntele and Ileoluji /Oke-Igbo Local Government on the successful implementation of this project.

The water in these boreholes have been tested and documented to be safe for drinking and use in the health centers and the Oloruntele village. We are hoping that the town and community will take ownership and responsibility for the proper and safe use of these water sources.

We have done similar work in Ekiti and across Ghana and know from experience that community ownership and engagement is crucial for proper and sustained benefit of this gift of water as we do not live in Oke-Igbo and will not be available to fix any problems that may occur beyond the guaranteed period provided by the Borehole Company.

It may be worthwhile for the town to create water committees in the areas where we have dug these boreholes, which we hope will include women to ensure orderly and proper use of the water. This will also empower them to develop plans for the maintenance of the boreholes that we expect will continue to provide adequate amount of safe water through all seasons of the year.

In closing, I want to encourage our town people to consider using their gifts and talents to contribute to the growth and development of our town community by community because to whom much is given, a lot more is demanded. May God bring peace, good health and his grace to bear on our town and bless the work of our hands, Amen.

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A Parent handbook for Sickle Cell Disease in Nigeria Part 1: by Brown, Falusi, Jaudes

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL BOOK

What is Sickle Cell Disease?
Sickle cell disease is a disease that affects a special protein inside our red blood cells called haemoglobin. Red blood cells have an important job. They pick up oxygen from the lungs and take it to every part of the body. It is the haemoglobin in these red blood cells that carry the oxygen to different parts of the body. A person with sickle cell disease makes a different kind of haemoglobin called haemoglobin S. This haemoglobin S causes the red blood cells to change their shape. Instead of being smooth and round, the cells become hard and sticky. Their shape looks like a banana or like a sickle, a hand tool used to cut wheat or tall grass. It is this sickle shape of the red blood cells that gives “sickle cell” disease its name. The hard, sticky sickle red blood cells have trouble moving through small blood vessels. Sometimes they clog up these blood vessels and cause other changes so that blood can’t bring oxygen to the tissues. This can cause pain or damage to these areas.

sickle

Types of Sickle Cell Disease
There are many different types of sickle cell disease. The most common types are: sickle cell anaemia (SS disease) and sickle C disease (SC disease). sickle beta (ß) thalassaemia disease (S ß thal disease) and sickle cell alpha (a) thalassaemia disease (S a thal disease) are other types but are less common. There are many rare combinations of sickle haemoglobin with other types of haemoglobin. Some are as serious as sickle cell anaemia. Some types of sickle cell disease cause fewer problems than others.
What problems are caused by Sickle Cell Disease?
Sickle cell disease can cause many kinds of problems. Some of the most common problems are:
- Infections
- Pain
- Anaemia (low blood)
- Damage to the body organs
Not everyone who has sickle cell disease will have all of these problems. In fact, many people with sickle cell disease feel well most of the time. However, most people with sickle cell disease will have to deal with these problems during their
lives.
Infections:
One of the most serious problems that people with sickle cell disease have is infections. Infections, like pneumonia, pose a special problem for infants and small children who can get very sick or even die if they don’t get prompt treatment. These infections are caused by problems with the spleen, a large organ in the body that removes damaged red cells and helps fight infections. The sticky sickle cells will clog the spleen so it can’t do its job. This leaves the body open to infections. Thankfully, we can prevent many of the sickle cell infections by giving young children penicillin every day until they are at least five years old, or as recommended by the National Institute of Health (NIH) Consensus Development Conference. There are also many ways to treat infections, especially if they are found quickly. Later sections of this book describe ways to prevent and treat these deadly infections.
Pain:
The hard, sticky sickle red blood cells can sometimes cause pain. The shape of these cells makes it hard for them to get through tiny blood vessels. The sickle cells can cause changes in the blood that block the blood vessel. This cuts off the blood supply to nearby tissues so that no cells can get through to bring oxygen. Without oxygen, the area starts to hurt. This is the source of the pain that comes from sickle cell disease. Some sickle cell pain can be very strong and needs to be treated in the hospital. Most pain is milder and can be handled at home. There are many ways to treat the pain to make your child feel better. This pain is sometimes called a “crisis”. In fact, most sickle cell pain is not a crisis. Later sections of this book will describe ways to help you deal with this pain.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL BOOK

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Olopade to receive prestigious FDR Four Freedoms Medal

Characteristically, Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, MD, FACP, was in the field last August when the notification arrived in her in-box informing her she’d been selected for a prestigious Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Medal. The Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics and associate dean for global health spent much of her summer 2014 vacation on the front lines of Nigeria’s response to the Ebola outbreak, helping rally US aid and coordinate successful efforts to halt the disease’s spread in the African nation. It was only when Olopade, who also directs the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics, returned to Chicago for the start of term that she opened the message from Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, chair of the board of directors at the Roosevelt Institute and granddaughter of the 32nd President and First Lady.

“I was beyond ecstatic, I felt humbled,” she recounted.

The award is given annually to individuals whose actions exemplify the four principles of democracy enunciated by FDR in an historic 1941 speech. Past recipients in the category in which Olopade is being honored, “Freedom From Want,” include pioneering cancer research advocate Mary Lasker and microfinance guru Muhammad Yunus. The company will be no less distinguished in New York City on September 29 when Olopade receives her award. Among the fellow honorees will be Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The award recognizes Olopade’s path-finding research in Nigeria and America showing that women of African heritage can be genetically susceptible to more aggressive, earlier onset forms of breast cancer. “Her research has therefore changed the way doctors screen black women for this disease, ensuring these patients, underserved by the research community, receive proper care. She has successfully linked disciplines, cultures, and countries in her mission to save lives,” reads the award citation.

In a storied career, Olopade has won numerous accolades—not least a MacArthur “Genius Grant”—but the Four Freedoms award holds special significance, she said.

“I see my work as being about genetic justice, which is part of economic and social justice. This award celebrates these values, which means a lot.”

Olopade said she feels uniquely supported to do this work at UChicago.

“The University has been the perfect home—an environment that pushes us to ask the toughest questions and collaborate with like-minded colleagues. I don’t know of any other place that would have given me the opportunity to do this work. Rather than talking about disparities, I’ve been able to study them to create new, actionable knowledge.”

She was also quick to acknowledge the role of philanthropy in her accomplishments—both as a source of support and inspiration.

The Center for Global Health, a University-wide effort to address worldwide health inequities that is a crucial vehicle for Olopade’s research in cancer genetics, was established thanks in part to generous gifts from the Dr. Ralph and Marian Falk Medical Research Trust, the charitable foundation of Baxter International co-founder Ralph Falk, among others.

And joining Olopade and her family for next week’s award ceremony at St. James Church in Manhattan will be two Chicago couples, Dick and Susie Kiphart and Arnie and Carol Kanter, staunch supporters of the Center in recent years who have become close personal friends. Other key donors include pharma entrepreneur Dr. John Kapoor through his John and Editha Kapoor Charitable Foundation led by Mary Gauwitz.

“Much of the work that changes the world can only be supported by philanthropy,” said Olopade. “It’s not about specific aims or measurable objectives—the things the National Institutes of Health is interested in—it’s about funding students to go to developing nations and bringing scholars from these countries here to partner with us on research.”

“So many people and foundations have supported this work through the years. When we started, there were individuals who simply asked how they could help. Then there are the breast cancer survivors who did sponsored walks and showed solidarity with women around the world. This award is in their honor.”

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Breast Cancer awareness

At the beginning of the 20th century, a link was recognized between certain substances and cancer. In one example, men who were engaged in distilling the bicyclic aromatic substance 2-Naphthylamine later developed cancer of the bladder. Obviously, this substance somehow caused cancer. Such substances were termed "carcinogens".