"i am not a slumdog"

recent winner of four Golden Globes and several other cinematic accolades, Slumdog Millionaire, apparently has been facing much criticism and protest by Indians and related social activists. the new york times digs deep to discover the roots of this backlash by seeking the opinions of Indian intellectuals. Their comments, that that of the NYTimes readers, are quite interesting. I have yet to see the film (admittedly, I live under a rock), but I can't help but empathise with those who may find this film as "poverty porn," much like several depictions of "African" everyday life by the West....the "experts," however, seem to diasgree...

update january 2010: last year I did manage to watch the film (thank you HBO OnDemand). And by the end of the film, I *almost* cried...I'm a sucker for romance...sue me.


why the victims remain just that....


Few months ago, the world was abuzz with the outing of the heinous crimes occurring against mere children deemed as witches in Akwa Ibom. For more on this subject click here. I think it was generally agreed upon that driving nails through the skulls of adolescents and young people in efforts to rid them of the devil is not the most humane route.

Fortunately, Akwa Ibom, after much international and local uproar took a stand against such acts and prosecuted perpetrators of such acts. Strangely enough, we did not hear from the federal government until now.

Our good friend failed-Transportation-minister-turned-foriegn-affairs-minister finally provided the world with the Nigerian government's reaction to the plight of these children. These children, who suffered very tangible physical and psychological bruises from their ordeals, were PAID, yes paid to admit they were tortured, reports NEXT from the Universal Periodical Review session on Nigeria. From a previous post and comments I have made on other blogs, I am sure you can tell that I am not his biggest fan (and that horrendous striped Kangol cap doesn't help matters either). However, this latest admission trumps all - it reflects his blatant disregard for the basic human rights of communities less-privileged than those he may find himself in. His statement is analogous to blaming the rape vicitm for his/her rape or rather denying those very real events. It is because of people like Chief Ojo Maduekwe, "O Gbu Umuntakiri I" of Nigeria that victims remain victims.

Under normal circumstances, Yar'adua should have him sacked as the spokesperson of Nigeria to the outside world....but then again, the case of Nigeria is not a normal circumstance.


of medicaments, erectile dysfunction and diabetes

i have apparently been living under a rock (aka the United States) since it is only recently that I heard of the great Dr. Louis Obyo Obyo Nelson, who has been touted to have found a "cure" for diabetes.

last week, several Nigerian newspapers, including ThisDay, celebrated Nelson as a home-grown national hero, relishing the idea that something good has finally come out of Nigeria. Recently appointed Minister of State in the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Aliyu Idi Hong echoes such sentiments by describing Nelsons' "medicament" as historical....one would think Obama was being elected all over again considering the excitement that has been generated over the past few days.

why this news bothers me....let me count the ways....or rather let me start with the positives. In light of a piece I wrote some time back for mimimagazine about the growing, yet silent, dangers of chronic disease amongst Nigerians, I am quite elated that a discussion of diabetes has taken a prominent place in national headlines. The World Health Organization predicts that in Nigeria, mortality due to infectious disease, maternal/perinatal conditions AND nutritional deficiencies are expected to decline by 6% by 2015. However, in that same period, deaths due to diabetes and related conditions are expected to increase by 52% (please check my numbers, i just lifted this from and old assignment). I expect that this is largely due to the fact that we hardly talk about chronic disease on a national scale in Nigeria - or in developing nations in general....and when we do - its a whole lot of misinformation. But at least, diabetes is getting some shine time.

and speaking of misinformation, this brings me to my dear Dr. Nelson. from some work I did in the East sometime ago, I made the crude observation that many talk about chronic diseases, such as diabetes, as a condition to be cured. I guess the infectious disease model of you have an infection which requires a drug to rid the body of that foreign body is being applied to diabetes as well. I have encountered several Nigerian patients, family and friends who have either sought a cure for their diabetes or claimed to have been cured - medically, spiritually, or otherwise. Such thinking, my friends, is dangerous. This is because, in thinking that they are cured, diabetics abandon needed treatment/monitoring to keep their ever-fluctuating blood sugar levels under control. So when Nelson talks of a cure for diabetes, not only am I highly suspicious, but also, I am greatly concerned at the message he and his unofficial advertisers (Dr. Aliyu Idi Hong) are sending to folks. Now if Nelson's medicament (you can tell I am totally digging this my new word, medicament...) could manage diabetes....then all well and good.

several people have cited that the credibility of Nelson's claim lies in the fact that he's getting an almighty US patent and is working in conjunction with GDPAU - which I found out is a school of Ayurvedic medicine in New Jersey of all places (thanks google). Honestly people, I could scrape dandruff off my weave, bottle it, medicament-ize it and submit it for a US Patent - as long as someone has not done it before. I just hope that ordinary Nigerians are not the ones to suffer from some wuru wuru clinical trial remiscent of my other good friend, Pfizer.

oops....i lied....apparently Nigerians are indeed the guinea pigs of Nelson's drug.....forgot to read the rest of the ThisDay article....its really late....

now, you may have noticed that the title of this post mentioned erectile dysfunction....well, not only was it a carefully crafted ploy to get more hits on my blog....Nelson has also claimed that a side effect of this drug includes improved sexual function. Considering that erectile dysfunction and diabetes almost go hand-in-hand for men, I would be quite impressed with any drug that addresses both diabetes and prior vascular damage caused by diabetes that leads to erectile dysfunction....and that's about all I have to say about erectile dysfunction and related medicaments.

by the way, I am very pro-alternative and complementary medicine....its just that at the same token, i am anti-misinformation....


new voices

so Nigeria and Ghana have recently added some new bloggers to their ranks, who happen to be good friends of mine. Please, when you can, check out the random, yet relevant, thoughts of a gal and the Lamp, or Atupa,when you are chanced.

my dears, two new stars have been born....


mosquitoes are soooo hot right now...

apparently, mosquitoes are not just for the poor anymore (or those unfortunate souls caught in Connecticut boonies during the summer....ehem....like me).

Bill Gates, speaking at the TED2009 conference, desired to make this plain to his audience by releasing 150 (who counted?) malaria free, though hungry, mosquitoes on his audience.

The stunt is cute, but what is even better is his commitment towards funding efforts to find a malaria vaccine to prevent related deaths in the future. For more on the "ideas worth spreading" being discussed at TED, check out their website for streaming coverage (and links to live bloggers at the conference).
thanks mommy for the link...


on incessant "punditry" and the like...

of which I am guilty of.....check Grandiose Parlour's post, "Nigeria: Can We Wiki Our Elected Officials," discussing the potential of possibility of....gasp....seriously holding our elected officials accountable for what they say and do.