People perish in traffic in Imo state over security operatives road block.

It was gathered that, road users in Imo especially the Capital City have cried out over the incessant traffic congestion that has bedeviled major parts of the roads in Owerri Municipal.

Recall that following the sit-at-home declaration by IPOB on January 19,2022, security agents as gathered by Trumpeta  resulted to blocking the road from Owerri , Government House, Prisons to Government Secondary School section of Okigwe road apparently to forstall attack on government establishments by unknown gunmen.

This singular act has continuously caused heavy gridlocks on Okigwe road, Bank road, Wetheral road, Mbari street up to Ikenegbu Layout areas forcing road users to suffer untold hardship in the past one week.

Some of the road users who spoke to Trumpeta in anonymity for fear of victimization condemned the blocking of roads by security agents over what they described as unwarranted fear of being attacked by unknown gunmen, calling on the state government and the state Police Commissioner to find a lasting solution to the ugly situation.

They lamented that a short journey which takes about 5 minutes from Wetheral road to Orji area now takes over 1hr because of the heavy traffic the blocked Okigwe road caused.

In a related development, commuters in the State have equally called on the Transport Ministry and State Traffic Management Agency to come to their aid following the perceived brake down of the Traffic Lights at Naze/Nekede junction on Aba-Owerri road as well as the Orlu road junction.

One of the bus drivers who narrated his ordeal on the said sport at Naze junction appealed to the government to urge the agency incharge of traffic Lights to always do a routine check on its performance as well as to ensure that the timing corresponds with the traffic wave.

He noted that the Traffic Lights if well maintained, will certainly help to ease traffic in the capital city.

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IMF have said that Nigeria should prepare for possible turbulence.

Just in, it was reported that Nigeria and other emerging economies with high foreign currency borrowings and external funding should prepare for possible turbulence, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF disclosed this blog post titled A Disrupted Global Recovery’ discussing its World Economic Outlook.

Nigeria spent a sum of $520.78 million on external debt servicing in the third quarter of 2021, rising by 74.2% compared to $298.9 million recorded in the preceding quarter (Q2 2021), according to Debt Management Office (DMO).

The rise in debt service is due to a large growth in the country’s debt profile. Nigeria’s external debt increased to $37.96 billion in the third quarter of 2021, up from $33.47 billion the previous quarter.

The 4 billion Eurobond raised from the international debt market to strengthen the country’s external reserve above $40 billion drove up the country’s foreign debt.
What the IMF is saying

IMF stated that the recent shift in monetary policy stance can affect emerging economies like Nigeria negatively.

As the monetary policy stance tightens more broadly this year, economies will need to adapt to a global environment of higher interest rates.

Emerging market and developing economies with large foreign currency borrowing and external financing needs should prepare for possible turbulence in financial markets by extending debt maturities as feasible and containing currency mismatches.

IMF also added, In some cases, foreign exchange intervention and temporary capital flow management measures may be needed to provide a monetary policy with the space to focus on domestic conditions.

The IMF also stated that 60% low-income countries that are already in or at high risk of debt distress, will find it increasingly difficult to service their debts.

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120 German homosexuals launch campaign demanding end to discrimination.

According to a report, over 120 Roman Catholic Church priests and employees within a community in Germany have decided to come out as homosexuals, while also launching a campaign demanding an end to institutional discrimination against LGBTQ people.

The priest’s and church employees took to the streets on Monday after allegedly facing constant discrimination, and also called for better protection of LGBTQ rights and an end to institutional discrimination against queer people.

The protesters, including former and current priests, teachers, church administrators and volunteers, who identified themselves as gay and queer, asked the church to take into account their demands and do away with outdated statements of church doctrine when it comes to sexuality and gender.

They also published a seven-point demands on social media under an initiative called Out In Church.

The demands range from queer people saying they should be able to live without fear and have access to all kinds of activities and occupations in the church without discrimination.

They demanded that their sexual orientation must never be considered a breach of loyalty or reason for dismissal from their occupation.

They also asked the church to revise its statements on sexuality based on “theological and human-scientific findings.

Besides asking for equal rights, the group also put down demands that the church takes accountability for their discrimination against people of the community throughout history, calling on the bishop to take responsibility on behalf of the church.

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Denmark to start pulling out it troops out of Mali.

Oneworld learnt that Denmark has said it will start pulling its troops out of Mali after the West African country’s transitional government this week insisted on an immediate withdrawal, a blow to France as its security operations in the Sahel region begin to unravel.

The decision comes amid tensions between Mali and its international partners, including regional bodies and the European Union, that have sanctioned Mali after the military government failed to organise elections following two coups.

Tensions have escalated also over allegations that transitional authorities have deployed private military contractors from the Russia-backed Wagner Group to Mali, which some EU countries have said was incompatible with their mission.

We can see that the Malian transitional government, or the coup generals, last night sent out a public statement where they again reiterated that Denmark is not welcome in Mali, and we of course will not put up with that, Denmark’s Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod told reporters on Thursday.

So therefore we have decided to withdraw our soldiers home.”

We will continue the good and close cooperation with our European allies” and keep the pressure on Mali’s rulers to get democracy back, to create safety for the population in Mali, to fight the terror groups, Kofod added.

Denmark had sent 105 military personnel to Mali on January 18 to join a European special forces mission, known as Takuba, that was set up to help Mali tackle armed groups. It said its troops had deployed after a “clear invitation” from Mali.

But the Malian government said this week it was surprised by the Danish presence because a decision had yet to be made on a request from Denmark in June to deploy troops.

Denmark’s withdrawal, which comes after Sweden affirmed earlier this month that it would leave Mali in March, is a headache for France, which had staked much on Europeanising its Sahel intervention, where Paris has thousands of troops operating.

Relations have soured between the ruling military and France, the former colonial power, since the army seized power.

Tensions rose further from December, when West African states imposed sanctions, including a trade embargo and border closures, on the conflict-torn Sahel nation.

The measures from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) were a response to a transitional government proposal to stay in power for up to five years before staging elections despite an earlier commitment to hold the vote in February.

And on Wednesday the military government lashed out at Paris, telling it to stop interfering and to keep its “colonial reflexes” to itself.

France and 14 other European countries had urged Mali’s government on Wednesday to allow Danish special forces to remain in Mali, rejecting the military leaders’ claims that their presence was without legal basis. Interim Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga responded that the Danes needed to withdraw immediately.

We invite them [the Danes] to be careful about some partners who sadly have problems getting rid of their colonial reflexes, Maiga said.

The transitional government’s decision to ask Denmark to leave is likely to impact future deployments, with Norway, Hungary, Portugal, Romania and Lithuania set to send troops this year.

Norway, Portugal and Hungary are still waiting for approval to deploy their special forces, Mali’s government said.

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Just in: the Russian chief engineer reported missing.

According to a report it was gathered that the Russian Chief Engineer of general cargo ship KARELIS-71 fell overboard on Jan 26 in Black sea some 10 nm off Turkish coast, while the ship was en route from Gemlik port, Turkey, Marmara sea, to Temryuk, Russia.

The ship anchored at Bartin anchorage, for SAR and for investigation. Understood man wasn’t found, helicopter and rescue boats were deployed in SAR, hampered by adverse weather. KARELIS-71 resumed voyage.


General cargo ship KARELIS-71, IMO 9383883, dwt 5464, built 2006, flag S-Kitts, manager SARFO DENIZCILIK VE TICARET AS, Turkey.

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Malawi President, Lazarus Chakwera have disolve his cabinet over alleged corrupt practices.

Oneworld news channel learnt that, Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera has appointed several new ministers in a rejigged cabinet, a statement from his office showed after the old cabinet was dissolved over corruption scandals.

Mr Chakwera dissolved his entire cabinet this week, saying some ministers, as well as other public officials, had to account for graft accusations made against them.

In the new cabinet of the southern African country, Samuel Kawale was made lands minister, Vera Kamtukule labour minister, and Mark Phiri trade and industry minister.

Abida Mia was given the water and sanitation portfolio. With Mr Chakwera’s office stating that more appointments would be made soon.

In a separate statement, Mr Chakwera declared a state of disaster over tropical storm Ana, which caused heavy rains and flooding in the south of the country and triggered major power cuts.

The disaster department said the death toll from the storm, which made landfall in Mozambique on Monday before moving inland, had risen from four to 11 and that more than 200,000 people had been affected.

In Mozambique the death toll rose from eight to 18 people, according to the country’s disaster institute.

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President Buhari cancel his proposed visit to Zamfara state.

According to a report, it was learnt that the scheduled visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Zamfara state has been canceled.

The President was said to have canceled the visit due to poor weather conditions.

Governor Bello Matawalle announced this on Thursday, saying the President, who was scheduled to take off from Sokoto aboard the helicopter, had to postpone the visit due to poor visibility.

According to him, “Mr. President has spoken to me and asked me to convey his apologies to the good people of the state. Mr. President said he would reschedule the visit to the state next week and the fixed date would be communicated to us in due course, Matawalle said.

Some of the security chiefs are currently in Katsina but can’t fly to Zamfara for the same reason. Based on this, we are extending our apology to the good people of the state for the postponement for reason beyond our control. We thank Mr. President for his love for the state.

Earlier, Buhari had commissioned a three million metric tonnes cement plant of BUA in Sokoto.

The President was accompanied by the Governor of Sokoto State, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefele; Chairman of BUA Group, Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabi”u and Chairman of Max Air, Alhaji Dahiru Bara’u Mangal, among others.

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Savant syndrome is the rare disease that is also defined mental disorders. However, the syndrome is more of special skill than a normal disorder.

Definition

Savant syndrome is the rare disease that is also defined mental disorders. However, the syndrome is more of special skill than a normal disorder. However, the fact remains that the syndrome is witnessed among people who are suffering from Autism. The record shows that half of the Savant syndrome patients are Autism patient as well. Autism is generally defined by mental disabilities or retardedness. However, Savant syndrome is having special skills like mathematics, arts, music, and others in a tremendous amount.

The most common ability of the patient suffering from Savant syndrome is the calendar calculations. One can easily calculate which date will fall on which day, and that is an exceptional power. Historically the disease has been linked with supernatural powers like reincarnation and others; however, the medical world explains it with injury or damage to the certain part brain which results in the Savant syndrome. However, the exact reason for the syndrome is not defined.

History

In 1887, Dr. J. Langdon Down first gave the name “idiot savant” to what we know today as people with Savant syndrome. At the time, the term “idiot” was an accepted classification of mental retardation. The term “savant”, meaning knowledgeable person, is derived from the French word “savoir” meaning “to know”. However, over many decades, the term “Savant syndrome” has grown into popular use due to the idiomatic and negatively connoted nature of the word “idiot”. The term “idiot savant” was quite inaccurate as the majority of all the reported cases had IQ levels of 40 or above.

Epidemiology of Savant Syndrome

  • Approximately one in 10 persons with autistic disorder have some savant skills. In other forms of developmental disability, mental retardation or brain injury, savant skills occur in less than 1% of such persons (approximately 1:2000 in persons with mental retardation).
  • As it turns out approximately 75% of persons with savant syndrome have autistic disorder, and the other 25% have some other form of developmental disability, mental retardation or brain injury or disease. Thus not all savants are autistic, and not all autistic persons are savants.

Types

There are different classifications of the syndrome of Savants. Some authors refer to three different courses:

Savants with talent

Under this subtitle, those who present spectacular abilities accompanied by a high degree of cognitive disability are usually categorized.

Normally, savants with autism spectrum disorders associated with intellectual disability are part of this group.

Prodigious savants

Under this term, we classified those individuals who present a remarkable feature in the I. Q, Both in high capacities and in intellectual disability

They tend to be geniuses, out of the ordinary. Stand out in all their capacities.

Savants of minutiae

This term is reserved for individuals with very restricted features of Savant’s syndrome.

Some have good visual or auditory memory. Despite having difficulties in establishing social relationships, they are usually specialists in some areas, such as sports.

Risk factors of Savant Syndrome

Genetic Predisposition being the main cause, hereditary mental disorder becomes the main risk factor. Other risk factors include:

  • Asperger syndrome in the family
  • Family History
  • Mental Illness in family
  • Prematurity in infants (gestation period <35 weeks)
  • Parents maturity (Father: over 49, Mother: over 40)
  • New-born baby weight remains less than 2500 g
  • Congenital Malformations
  • Newborn’s postpartum resuscitation
  • Male sex (new-born)

The effect of unfavorable ecological environment that leads to mutations of the genes and deficiency of vitamin D

Causes

  • The origin of Savant syndrome is still not known with precision.
  • Some specialists associate the development of these exceptional characteristics with abnormalities and specific genetic alterations.
  • Different investigations have related the abilities of the Savants with chromosome 15 associated alterations, as in the case of the Prader Willi syndrome.
  • However, others advocate brain processes that compensate for the brain, structural or functional abnormalities.

Symptoms of Savant Syndrome

The symptoms and the signs of Savant syndrome can be found from the childhood days. The disease is termed as both blessing and curse. At one time the patient is the sufferer of abilities and other time they are abnormally capable of doing something exceptional. The frequent and observed symptoms of the Savant syndrome are listed below.

Savant Syndrome is sometimes seen in people with Down Syndrome

The children suffering from Savant syndrome tend to show mental retardedness. The abnormal behavior and irrelevant activities show the signs of mental disorder. However, they do not show severe signs of mental disorder and can be controlled.

The children generally have some special powers and ability. It has been noticed that people who are having Savant syndrome are generally super talented on some specific field despite having a very low IQ level.

Complications of Savant Syndrome

  • Autism is often associated with different disorders and mental illness resulting in communicative difficulties, socialization etc. that hinders regular life.
  • It also prevents a child’s growth and results in depression, loneliness, self-realization, and other problems.
  • Due to improper growth, these children face difficulties to join the society. In various surveys, it is seen that people suffer from the thoughts of suicide.

Diagnosis

  • The most common is that Savant’s syndrome is identified during the infant stage through a clinical and psychological approach.
  • This is fundamentally based on the identification and definition of the characteristics of those affected, both possible developmental delays and exceptional abilities.

Treatment

Medical: The client was diagnosed as mentally subnormal. He was prescribed major tranquilizers and antiparkinsonian drugs, a regime which has changed little over the years. He responded well. At irregular intervals, disturbed behavior emerged, but these incidents became more isolated.

Social: The client attended regularly the sessions at the hospital Social Centre, where he was involved as much as possible in the social, leisure and recreational programmes.

Educational: For a period of time, the client attended a special class organized by a remedial teacher for mentally handicapped patients at the hospital. At times the teacher complained of his disruptive behavior.

Occupational Therapy: In general, the therapeutic focus in the long-term psychiatric treatment of a mentally subnormal client is on gross motor skills; fine motor skills; perceptual motor skills; activities of daily living; personal-social skills and communication. Important aspects like neurodevelopmental sequencing, vocational exploration and habilitation are also taken into consideration

Prevention of Savant Syndrome

There is no known way to prevent savant syndrome.

Corticobasal degeneration is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by nerve cell loss and atrophy shrinkage.

Overview

Corticobasal degeneration is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by nerve cell loss and atrophy (shrinkage) of multiple areas of the brain including the cerebral cortex and the basal ganglia. Corticobasal degeneration progresses gradually. Initial symptoms, which typically begin at or around age 60, may first appear on one side of the body (unilateral), but eventually, affect both sides as the disease progresses.

Affected individuals often initially experience motor abnormalities in one limb that eventually spreads to affect all the arms and legs. Such motor abnormalities include muscle rigidity and the inability to perform purposeful or voluntary movements (apraxia). Affected individuals may have sufficient muscle power for manual tasks, but often have difficulty directing their movements appropriately

Although CBD was historically described as a motor disease, it is now recognized that cognitive and behavioral symptoms also herald CBD and not uncommonly predate motor symptoms. Initial symptoms typically appear in people during the sixth decade and may include poor coordination or difficulty accomplishing goal-directed tasks (e.g., buttoning a shirt).

Causes and Risk factors

  • The underlying cause of corticobasal degeneration (CBD) is poorly understood. However, researchers have found that a protein called tau plays a role in the development of CBD.
  • Tau is a specific type of protein that is normally found in the brain. In CBD, abnormal levels of tau accumulate in the brain cells, eventually leading to their deterioration and causing symptoms of the condition. Exactly why this happens is unknown.
  • Tau also appears to play a role in other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, and frontotemporal dementia.
  • There is no evidence to suggest that environmental exposure to toxic or infectious agents plays a role in causing CBD.

Symptoms and signs

People with corticobasal degeneration (CBD) develop a range of difficulties with movement, speech, memory, and swallowing.

The main symptoms of CBD are outlined below. Most people with the condition won’t experience all of these.

Early symptoms

CBD typically affects one of the limbs at first. This is usually a hand or arm, but sometimes a leg.

Problems affecting the limb can include:

  • A clumsy or “useless” hand
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Shaking (tremors) and spasms (dystonia)
  • Loss of feeling
  • Feeling like the limb doesn’t belong to you (an “alien” limb)

Some people also develop problems with walking and coordination

Mid-stage symptoms

As CBD progresses, it may eventually start to cause problems in your other limbs. Walking, balance and coordination may get worse. Many people have problems with their speech, which will become slow and slurred.

Some people with CBD also have dementia, although this doesn’t always occur, symptoms may include:

  • Problems recalling words, reading and using correct language (aphasia)
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Problems carrying out tasks that require planning or thinking ahead
  • Problems coping with sudden and unexpected situations
  • The difficulty with numbers and counting
  • Difficulty seeing things or knowing where they are located (such as furniture)

Advanced stages

As CBD reaches an advanced stage, muscle stiffness will continue to get worse. People with the condition may lose the ability to move 1 or more limbs. Some people are unable to walk and need a wheelchair or assistance to transfer (such as help getting into and out of bed).

Other problems people with advanced CBD can experience include:

  • Worsening speech problems, which can make it hard for others to understand you
  • Uncontrollable blinking
  • Worsening dementia, meaning constant care may be needed
  • Increasing difficulties swallowing, which may mean a feeding tube is required

Complications

The complications of Corticobasal Degeneration may include:

  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Intellectual disability
  • Poor feeding
  • Walking difficulties

Complications may occur with or without treatment, and in some cases, due to treatment also.

Corticobasal degeneration diagnosis and test

It is difficult to detect the disease in its early stage since CBD is quite similar to neurodegenerative diseases. Diagnosis is conducted with the help of some comprehensive neurological exam which is combined with laboratory evaluations.

Imaging Techniques

CT or MRI scans can also be used as they provide images of asymmetric atrophy of the fronto-parietal regions of the cortex.

The imaging methods that are mostly utilized when studying or diagnosing CBD, involve:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Fluorodopa positron emission tomography (FDOPA PET)
  • Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)

Treatment and Medications

There are no specific drugs or therapies to cure this disease as the exact cause of the CBD is not known. Medications are provided to cure the symptoms. There are some medications that help treat CBD directly. These involve:

Memantine

Memantine is designed to treat Alzheimer’s disease. It also helps reduce abnormal brain activity, which helps slow the progression of abnormal brain activity which improves mental and physical functions. However, one should always discuss with the doctor. The side effects of Memantine are drowsiness, shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, and constipation.

Levodopa

It is generally used for curing Parkinson’s disease. This medication may provide a short-term improvement in muscle stiffness and rigidity as it is less effective on people with CBD. Levodopa works by maximizing the levels of a brain chemical called dopamine which transfers messages from the brain which regulate and supervise the body’s movements. The common side effects of Levodopa are nausea and indigestion. If used for a long time, it may produce side effects like:

  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Involuntary physical movements, such as jerking as well as mood changes

Baclofen

It is used to treat muscle stiffness and rigidity. It works by blocking out the nerve signals that cause muscle stiffness. The side effects of Baclofen include:

  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased need to urinate

The side effects pass away once the body gets habituated to them.

Clonazepam

It is used for treating symptoms of muscle spasm. The side effects of this medication include:

  • Loss of coordination
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle weakness

Alcohol intake must be reduced during this time as it only aggravates the symptoms and also magnifies the impact of alcohol.

Cognitive Stimulation

It is a therapy that is used to treat the symptoms of Dementia. It also includes participating in activities and exercises that are designed to improve memory, problem-solving skills and language ability of patients. It usually consists of two 45-minute sessions a week. This therapy is provided by a trained expert.

Speech & Language Therapy

This therapy helps to improvise the speech and swallowing difficulties. It also teaches patients varied techniques to make the most of the speech function by training the voice and making it clear. Patients need some technical support to communicate with other people when CBD progresses. A wide range of communication technologies is available these days.

Physiotherapy

It helps in making use of remaining mobility by using the exercise. Regular exercise helps strengthen the muscles, improve the posture of the body and prevent stiffening of the joints.

Occupational Therapy

In this process, therapists advise patients on how to cope with problems while carrying out daily activities and how to prevent trips and falls. An occupational therapist is also able to identify places in the home that might cause accidents or falls, such as poor lighting, loosely kept rugs, crowded corridors, and walkways.

Treatment of Dysphagia

Dysphagia or trouble and difficulty in swallowing food and water should be treated or it will result in problems of constipation. The treatment involves exercises to help stimulate the nerves which are used to trigger your swallowing reflex and strengthen the muscles which are used during swallowing. A lot of physical techniques are there to make swallowing easier.

Prevention

Currently, Corticobasal Degeneration is not preventable.

  • If there is a family history of the condition, then genetic counseling will help assess risks, before planning for a child
  • Active research is currently being performed to explore the possibilities for treatment and prevention of inherited and acquired genetic disorders

Regular medical screening at periodic intervals with tests and physical examinations are recommended.