Some Imaginary Journey To Lagos
When you race in a Mack heavy duty vehicle to Lagos all night for fuel, it feels good, but you wouldn’t want to sleep off and die. Daring SUVs and saloons zoom past you and disappear at some bend or the horizon, and you wonder where they’re all going. The only time you get to sleep is if you weren’t the driver or his conductor, and only joined to enjoy the ride.
Now the vehicle races between walls of grass in the very cold harmattan air (it is harmattan) and you wonder what would be going on among the animals in the bushes. Even the loud religious music your scared driver is playing in the disc player didn’t stop you from getting lost in your imaginations (you are imaginative). A fictitious story starts forming in your mind.
You finally fall asleep and wake up at Ore to see large, dripping logs of wood hauled by heavy duty vehicles to where you don’t know. You grew up in the deforested city (one with no gigantic trees) so you are amazed at the logs. Your vehicle keeps going through the fog and the sun fails to heat the atmosphere. You start feeling the sun later; it first had to quench the cold in the air.
Poor you hadn’t slept well and got to Lagos finally, so you drifted into a helpless sleep while waiting for your turn to buy fuel.
Then you wake up suddenly (you are on the assistant driver’s seat) and see a sight you never imagined: a skinny black-skinned man is squatting astride the small gutter ahead of you, defecating into the gutter. The gutter is nearly full of black water. He finishes and uses the sachet of water he has to wash his black buttocks. Then he walks away in peace. (You later discovered that Yorubas liked washing their buttocks than wiping them.) It’s cool, by the way.
Imagine if you met with that guy and shook hands with him. Now don’t cringe, you’ve been shaking hands that went to places you never imagined, for long, possibly. Imagine if that guy had Typhoid in his stool; he doesn’t even care about using a soap or hand sanitizer. That isn’t his business.
You Live In Asaba
Imagine a hot afternoon at Asaba. You’ve sweated to repair tyres. People have been coming from and going towards Anambra, and they sometimes seemed to be from afar. You collect money, you give change; you buy bread from a hawker and ask Mama Isioma to give you a bottle of RC. You sit in your warm shade and attack the bread with hands you merely washed with water. You have been doing this and believe that nothing bad has happened because of it. If you fell sick one or two weeks later, you wouldn’t know where your illness came from. You just take medicines you can afford and continue your life.
Typhoid can be in a healthy looking woman who sells Okpa; if you want it to leave your body entirely, you must continue having your stool observed in the laboratory and keep taking prescribed drugs. It usually is in your stool when it’s in you. Could it be you have given this and other diseases to your spouse, children, siblings, parents, and friends? Good hygiene is another way to love your neighbour as yourself.
You go to a borehole to get water. You sweat under the weight of your container to your house. You feel you’re doing something, and are happy that you would eat in the shade after labouring in the sun. You drank the water and got sick with Typhoid two weeks later. Where did it come from? You did not know that sewage water leaked into what you’ve been drinking! You didn’t know you could get Typhoid that way, probably. You have the right to know how safe a product you’re consuming is.
Typhoid can become resistant to certain drugs; the kind you might ingest might have become too strong for different drugs you might try to fight them with. Typhoid can perforate your intestine and do many other things you didn’t know — it can cause ulcer too!
Get vaccinated against Typhoid; practice good hygiene; be careful what you eat; wash your hands well with detergent or liquid soap after using any toilet and before putting anything in your mouth; teach your family what you learnt here that they didn’t know; read more about how to prevent Typhoid Fever.
What causes this disease is called Salmonella Typhi. The first name sounds rather romantic, right? The thing itself isn’t.
N.B: The information on this page is only for creating awareness. Meet or contact a healthcare provider for proper attention.