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South African President Punishes Minister For Violating Lockdown Regulaltions

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has placed Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, on a two-month special leave after she violated lockdown regulations, the Presidency said on Wednesday.

Of Ndabeni-Abrahams’ two months special leave, one month will be unpaid, the Presidency said in a statement.

“As to allegations that the minister violated the lockdown regulations, the law should take its course,” presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko said.

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This followed the revelation on social media that the minister had recently visited the home of a friend who hosted a lunch, contrary to the lockdown regulations, Diko said.

Ramaphosa summoned the minister on Tuesday to express his disapproval of the minister’s actions, which undermine the requirement that all citizens stay at home and save the country from the spread of the coronavirus, said Diko.

Ramaphosa accepted Ndabeni-Abrahams’ apology for the violation but was unmoved by mitigating factors she tendered, according to Diko.

The president has reprimanded the minister and directed her to deliver a public apology to the nation, Diko said.

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During Ndabeni-Abrahams’ special leave, Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu will act in her position, Diko said.

The nation-wide lockdown calls for absolute compliance on the part of all South Africans.

This must include members of the National Executive who carry a special responsibility in setting an example to South Africans, who are making great sacrifices, Ramaphosa said in the statement.

“None of us – not least a member of the National Executive – should undermine our national effort to save lives in this very serious situation,” said Ramaphosa.

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The president said he was satisfied that Ndabeni-Abrahams appreciates the seriousness of what she has done and that no-one is above the law.

Since the 21-day lockdown took effect on midnight March 26, up to 20,000 people have been arrested across the country for violating the lockdown regulations.

However, the country had 1749 coronavirus cases, 13 death and 95 recovered.

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(Xinhua/NAN)

(PHOTO: File)

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Health

Cough: What You Need To Know

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By Silver Yeibake

The cough reflex is a protective mechanism that helps to clear the airways of mucus, irritants, or foreign particles. When our airway is irritated, it sends a signal to the brain, which then triggers the muscles in our chest and abdomen to quickly expel air, clearing or removing the irritant. This reflex acts as a crucial defense mechanism for the respiratory system. “Cough is not a disease process.”

Kindly note the beautifully coordinated steps involved in the action we know as cough:

1. Irritatant detection: The first step in the cough reflex is the detection of an irritant in the airways, such as dust, smoke, or mucus by special protein complexes called irritants receptors (for convenience) which convert the sensation into an electrical impulse.

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2. Signal Transmission: The receptors in the airway send the signals along nerves to the brain, specifically to a part called *”the cough center”* located in the medulla oblongata, a part of the brainstem.

3. Signal Processing: The brain processes these signals and responds by sending nerve impulses back to the muscles involved in the coughing process.

4. Muscle Contraction: The diaphragm, abdominal muscles, and muscles in the chest wall contract, increasing the pressure in the chest and forcing air out of the lungs at a high speed, making the sound that is characteristic of cough.

5. Expelling Irritant: The forceful release of air clears the airway, expelling/removing the irritant and helping to protect the respiratory system.

The above steps are designed to occur repeatedly until the irritant is removed from the airways or respiratory system or drugs are given to suppress this important protective function.

Although taking cough medication for relief as first aid is usual, it is best to identify and address the cause as soon as possible. Seek medical attention if 2 to 3 days of therapy do not give improvement or the symptom worsened rapidly.

Dr. Yeibake, Weriwoyingipre Silver, a
Senior Registrar, Faculty Of Pediatrics, West Africa College of Physician (WACP), writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

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Urinary Retention: What You Need To Know

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By Yeibake Silver

Urinary retention is defined by an inability to empty the bladder completely. It can be caused by a number of circumstances, including a urinary tract obstruction, nerve issues, drugs, and certain medical diseases.

There are two types of urine retention: acute and chronic. Acute urine retention happens unexpectedly and is frequently painful, necessitating quick medical intervention. Chronic urine retention, on the other hand, occurs gradually and may not be as painful.

Urinary retention symptoms include a frequent urge to urinate, difficulties commencing urination, a weak urine stream, dribbling after urination, and the sensation that the bladder is not completely emptied. In more severe situations, urine retention can result in consequences such as urinary tract infections, kidney damage, or bladder damage.

READ ALSO: Food Poisoning: What You Need To Know

Treatment for urine retention may include addressing the underlying cause, such as eliminating a urinary tract obstruction or modifying medications. Catheterization may be required to empty the bladder in severe situations. In some cases, surgery may be required to address the condition causing urine retention.

It is important that individuals having symptoms of urinary retention seek medical attention and therapy to avoid problems and enhance their quality of life.

Dr. Yeibake, Weriwoyingipre Silver, a
Senior Registrar, Faculty Of Pediatrics, West Africa College of Physician (WACP), writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

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HEALTH CORNER: What You Need To Know About Peptic Ulcer Disease

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Peptic ulcer disease (PUD) is a condition that affects the stomach and first part of the small intestine. It is characterized by open sores(wounds), known as “ulcers,” that form in the lining of these organs.

Peptic ulcer disease (PUD) affects four million people worldwide annually and has an estimated lifetime occurrence of 5−10% in the general population. Its frequency is reducing among young males and increasing in older females.

The most common cause of PUD is a bacterial infection called  “Helicobacter pylori”  (H. pylori), but it can also be caused by long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aspirin, Diclofenac, Ibuprofen, Puroxicam, or excessive acid production in the stomach in some disease conditions.

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The risk factors include alcohol abuse, smoking, prolonged use or use of high doses of NSAIDs, misuse of steroids such as Prednisolone and Dexamethasone, and exposure to high doses of ionizing radiation.

“Stress, carbonated soft drinks, and spicy foods do not cause ulcers but can make them worse.”

Symptoms of PUD can vary from person to person, but they commonly include:

1. Burning or gnawing abdominal pain, usually in the upper middle part of the abdomen.
2. Feeling full and bloated after eating.
3. Nausea or vomiting.
4. Loss of appetite.
5. Weight loss.
6. Dark or black stools (indicating gastrointestinal bleeding).

If a person has symptoms suggestive of PUD, it is important to seek medical attention for an accurate diagnosis.

A healthcare provider will take relevant history, perform a physical examination, and may recommend tests such as an upper endoscopy, a breath test for H. pylori, or blood tests.

Treatment for PUD typically involves a combination of medications and lifestyle changes. Medications may include proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and antihistamines to reduce stomach acid production, antacids to neutralize already produced acid, and antibiotics to eliminate H. pylori.

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Lifestyle changes may include avoiding NSAIDs, alcohol, and smoking, as well as managing stress levels and eating a healthy diet.

In severe cases of PUD, complications like bleeding, perforation (a hole in the stomach or intestine wall), or obstruction may occur. These require immediate medical attention and may lead to hospitalization or surgery.

“Please do understand that PUD, just like Malaria, is curable with appropriate and adequate treatment, and not a life-long diagnosis. However, it can recur as many times as possible as long as the patient keeps exposing himself/herself to the causative agents or keeps indulging in behaviours that can trigger and/or worsen its symptoms.”

It is worth noting that while PUD can cause discomfort and complications, with proper treatment and management, most people can find relief from their symptoms and prevent recurrence.

It is important to follow the healthcare provider’s advice and attend regular follow-up appointments to monitor the condition.

Dr. Yeibake, Weriwoyingipre Silver is a Senior Registrar, Paediatrics, Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

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