Category Archives: Home

Lawmaker kidnapped in Anambra state.

The Police Command in Anambra State has confirmed the kidnapping of Okechukwu Okoye, a lawmaker representing Aguata Constituency 1 in the State House of Assembly.
Mr Okoye, an indigene of Isuofia, the same community as Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State, was kidnapped in Aguata on Sunday.

DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, the Police Public Relations Officer of the command, who confirmed the kidnap while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Anambra, said the lawmaker’s black Siena bus, which he was driving before the incident, had been recovered.

Mr Ikenga said the command had launched a manhunt for the kidnappers with the aim of rescuing him.


The PPRO also confirmed the killing of a member of a vigilante group, who was on a motorcycle in Oko town, Anambra, on Sunday.


Mr Ikenga said the deceased was putting on a special security outfit but was not a personnel of the command.
He described as misleading, a
version of the story that said the deceased was police personnel and urged the public to disregard the story.

The Anambra State Police operatives on May 15 recovered a lifeless body in a police T-shirt found along Oko expressway.
Preliminary information shows that the unidentified body is not a member of the Nigeria Police Force.


Meanwhile, an investigation has begun to unravel the identity of the deceased and perpetrators of the murder,” he said.
Mr. Ikenga said normalcy had been restored to the area and urged everyone to remain calm while being safety conscious.

Meanwhile, suspected arsonists have burnt down Idemili North Local Government secretariat in Ogidi and a Magistrate Court in the area.

Sources said the arsonists entered the premises on Sunday night to perpetrate the act, burning down all files, and properties in the secretariat, including the secretariat building.

Videos and pictures circulating online showed that the entire buildings were reduced to rubbles, while vehicles parked inside the Local Government secretariat were also burnt to ashes.

The State Police Command has also confirmed the development, attributing it to unidentified arsonists.

DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, the spokesperson of the State Police Command said: “Yes, the incident was confirmed, and our men were there to restore normalcy.

Homepage

Russia allegedly using phosphorus bomb against Ukraine.

Russia dropped phosphorus bombs on the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, Ukrainian sources said on Sunday, following Ukraine’s victory in the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC).

Hell has come to earth. To Azovstal, Mariupol city council deputy Petro Andriushchenko wrote on Telegram. He posted a video of the attack, also showing artillery fire, although the footage could not be independently verified.

Phosphorus bombs are incendiary bombs that ignite on contact with oxygen and cause devastating damage. Their use is banned under international law in populated areas.

Homepage

(VKC) is a severe bilateral chronic allergic inflammatory disease of the ocular surface.

Definition

Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) is a severe bilateral chronic allergic inflammatory disease of the ocular surface. In most of the cases, the disease is limited to the tarsal conjunctiva and to the limbus.

However, in the more severe cases, the cornea may be involved, leading to potentially sight threatening complications. Prompt recognition of these complications is crucial in the management of VKC, which is one of the most severe ocular allergic diseases.

In mild cases of VKC this inflammation causes itching and redness. In more severe cases the surface under the top eye lid can become inflamed and swollen bumps (called papillae) can form. These are sometimes known as cobblestones because of their appearance. When the eye closes these can rub on the front of the eye causing pain and irritation.

Children with VKC often have other allergic conditions like asthma, eczema or food allergies. In most cases children grow out of VKC by the time they reach adulthood.

Anatomy of Eye

Pathophysiology

A personal or family history of atopy is seen in a large proportion of VKC patients. VKC was originally thought to be due to a solely IgE mediate reaction via mast cell release. It has now been shown that IgE is not enough to cause the varied inflammatory response that is seen with VKC.

Activated eosinophils are thought to play a significant role and these can be shown consistently in conjunctival scrapings; however mononuclear cells and neutrophils are also seen. Additional attention has been given to the CD4 T-helper-2 driven type IV hypersensitivity with immunomodulators such as IL-4, IL-5, and bFGF. Thought has been given to a possible endocrine method as well as there is a decrease in symptoms and prevalence after puberty.

Types

There are three types of VKC are as follows:

Palpebral – Papillae primarily involving upper tarsal conjunctiva

Limbal – Papillae located at limbus

Mixed – Components of both palpebral and limbal types

Risk factors of vernal keratoconjunctivitis

There are several factors that may make an individual more likely to develop VKC.

The use of kerosene/firewood for cooking, dust exposure, and the presence of non-ocular allergic disease in the child or family members of the child, are statistically significant risk factors for vernal keratoconjunctivitis.

Family and personal history

Your family and personal history are important to consider. Up to 75% of people VKC have experienced allergic diseases previously, such as asthma, eczema or hayfever (allergic rhinitis). In addition, about 40–60% of people with VKC have one or more family members affected by these allergic conditions.

Environment and season

The environment, including geographical location and season is also important. For example, people living in warmer tropical and temperate areas, such as in Mediterranean areas, the Middle East and Africa, are more likely to experience VKC than those in cooler zones. VKC is also more common in the summer.

Age

VKC is more often experienced in childhood and adolescence and it is most common between 4 and 20 years of age. It is estimated that about 80% of people affected by VKC experience symptoms before the age of 10 years.

Gender

VKC is more common in boys and young adult men. The risk of VKC in boys compared to girls is 2–4 times higher. However, in older persons, the male to female ratio is approximately equal.

Causes of Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis

The cause of VKC is a hypersensitivity or allergic reaction of the eyes to airborne allergens. The pathogenesis of ocular allergies is related to a complex exchange of information between tissues through cell-to-cell communications, chemical mediators, cytokines, and adhesion molecules. It is also possible that the neural and endocrine systems may influence ocular allergic responses.

The longer a patient suffers from seasonal VKC, the more likely he or she is to develop the disease chronically. That is why it is important to obtain a swift diagnosis and treat the disease as soon as possible.

Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis Symptoms

Symptoms include:

Burning eyes.

Discomfort in bright light (photophobia).

Itching eyes.

The area around the cornea where the white of the eye and the cornea meet (limbus) may become rough and swollen.

The inside of the eyelids (most often the upper ones) may become rough and covered with bumps and white mucus.

Watering eyes.

Complications of Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis

Complications of VKC may include:

Corneal scaring

Microbial keratitis (inflammation of cornea)

Corneal ulcer

Corneal opacity

Hyperplasia of limbal tissue

Steroid induced cataract and glaucoma

Visual impairment

Amylopia may be caused by corneal opacity, irregular corneal astigmatism or keratoconus

Glaucoma or cataract may be caused by unsupervised use of topical corticosteroids.

Diagnosis and test

There are no established diagnostic criteria for VKC. The diagnosis of VKC is based upon the typical epidemiology and clinical features of VKC (eg, young boys living in warm climates who present with ocular pruritus and giant papillae on the conjunctival lining of the upper eyelid).

The typical, characteristic signs and symptoms of this disease render the diagnosis of VKC fairly straightforward, even for the general ophthalmologist.

Atypical presentations or incomplete forms of VKC may, however, lead to an underestimation of its incidence.

The identification of both the major and minor signs and symptoms of VKC allows an early and accurate diagnosis of this disease.

At present, total and specific IgE determination, as well as skin tests cannot be considered useful additional laboratory tests, because more than 50% of patients with VKC are negative.

In case of a diagnostic dilemma, a conjunctival scrapings or tear cytology can be useful in demonstrating the presence of eosinophils infiltrating the conjunctival epithelium.

Treatment and medications

There are some treatments for VKC that address the inflammation by altering the immune response, including cyclosporine and tacrolimus. Other anti-allergy pharmacological therapies for VKC have been shown to be effective in mild to moderate forms of the disease, but they do not target the underlying inflammatory process, therefore are less effective in severe VKC. These include:

Vasoconstrictors

Mast cell stabilisers

Antihistamines

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Corticosteroids

Surgical intervention

There are limitations to some therapies such as short duration of action, poor efficacy in controlling the condition and risks associated with long-term use

Prevention of Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis

The general principle for preventing all allergies is to avoid the triggers. Triggers for eye allergies can be avoided by:

Using sunglasses to act as a barrier for airborne allergens;

Using hypoallergenic bedding;

Washing sheets in hot water; and

Minimising animal exposure, if animals are believed to trigger allergic symptoms.

Avoiding allergies may be difficult for people with VKC, because they are often sensitive to a large number of allergens. Relocating to cooler climates is frequently helpful, although this may not be the most feasible solution.

People who do not know what causes their allergic conjunctivitis may consider consulting an allergy specialist.

The specialist may do allergy testing to find out what triggers their symptoms.

Homepage

One dead in gun fight between Nigeria police force and militant in Cross River state.

Police authorities have confirmed that they lost one policeman during a gun battle with suspected militants in Bakassi on Friday morning.

The Public Relations Officer of the Cross River State Police Command, Irene Ugbo said the gun duel was fierce and that they succeeded in neutralising the group.

It is not true that we lost two men when the Bakassi militants attacked us. We lost a policeman.

We are still on their trail and we are sure to get at them soon, she said.

The attack happened at the Ikang jetty in Bakassi LGA of Cross River State.

Sources said a good number of other persons were injured during the attack and were evacuated to hospital.

As at time of this report, the name of the militant group was not known as none had claimed responsibility.

The policemen were said to be on duty at the jetty.

About a month ago, a Pro-Biafra militant group bombed two gunboats in retaliation to the killing of their commander and disappearance of another by Cameroonian forces.

Homepage

Pastor Ibiyeomie said, God will bless Abia State and raise God-fearing people in the business.

While speaking to the congregation in the Umuahia Miracle Crusade, the General Overseer of Salvation Ministries, Pastor David Ibiyeomie, revealed what God told him He will do in Abia State.


He said God told him that He will raise people that will fear Him in the business, political, academic fields and other aspects of life. He said God will bless Abia State and clear darkness and evil from the land.

In the video, Pastor Ibiyeomie said, God will bless Abia State and raise God-fearing people in the business world, political world, educational world and every aspect of life. That’s what He told me.

Pastor David Ibiyeomie

This land is blessed, darkness clears from this place in Jesus’ mighty name.


The congregation and social media users concurred with the cleric’s revelation by claiming it upon their lives and saying amen.

Homepage

Professor Pat Utomi, has said that Nigerians would rather have a referendum than election.

Political economist, management expert, politician and activist, Professor Pat Utomi, has said that Nigerians would rather have a referendum than election.

The technocrat, who was a presidential aspirant in 2011, said if those that want power lead, we would not be in this recursive mode of one step forward, three steps backward.

He challenged all to speak up on future of how we live together as We cannot continue to play the Ostrich.

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines a referendum as an occasion when all the people of a country can vote on an important issue.

Professor Utomi expressed these sentiments in a statement on Saturday, reacting to the lynching of Deborah Samuel, a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, on Thursday, by her Muslim colleagues over alleged blasphemy.

The authorities detained some suspects, leading to protests, following which the state declared a 24-hour curfew yesterday.

For Utomi, “The incidents in Sokoto  in the last two days have opened  a deep wound into the Soul of our country.

The only thing that can heal this deep gash now is leadership and truth, like the sore in the saying by the founder of the caliphate Uthman Dan Fodio.

Only truth can heal this one.

Our country is truly at a crossroads and no one who fails to take a stand can be considered worthy of the trust of the people.

As a Nigerian who has grown up Pan-Nigerian in the Northwest, North Central, North-East, South-West and  South-South, and for decades pursued a career in crafting accommodation of one another, I recognize clearly that if those who seek power, truly lead, we would not be in this recursive mode of one step forward, three steps backward.

All must now speak up on future of how we live together. We cannot continue to play the Ostrich. 

I fully understand the widespread sentiment of many I run into that crunch time in the question of whether to break up or live together in dignity has arrived and that a referendum is more important now than election.

I am pained by our arriving at this point but cannot ignore the passionate sentiment.

Homepage

The reality is the use of nuclear weapons by Russia would be the end of Russia, Nile Gardiner.

Russia is believed to have around 2,000 tactical nuclear weapons in its arsenal, with some even powerful enough to kill tens of thousands of people with a single strike.

 Vladimir Putin’s surge into Ukraine hasn’t gone to plan, with his troops being met with courageous and spirited resistance from Ukraine.

This has seen Russia suffer swathes of casualties on the battlefield – including forces and high-ranking military generals – while troops have been forced out of Ukrainian cities they had been confident of occupying.

Now with Putin having his back against the wall, this has triggered fears Moscow may now turn to using nuclear weapons in a desperate to get its crumbling war strategy firmly back on track.

But Nile Gardiner, a foreign policy expert and former aide to Margaret Thatcher, warned Putin launching a nuclear strike on the West would be the end of Russia.

He told Express.co.uk: The reality is the use of nuclear weapons by Russia would be the end of Russia, and they know that.

“This has been the state of affairs since World War Two, and every Russian leader since then understands Russia making the first move with a nuclear strike would be the end of Russia.

Even the UK on its own has the ability to cripple Russia with its nuclear arsenal, let alone what the US has at its disposal.

In fact, just defence from the UK alone if the Russians strike Britain would mean the end of Russia.

But Mr Gardiner also warned that Putin could be at his most dangerous with Russia’s war plan crumbling before his eyes, and that he will be plotting revenge.

He urged the world not to underestimate him and always remain on guard, comparing the Russian President to a snake thrashing around in a bag waiting to bite someone.

The foreign policy expert continued: Putin is a very angry man these days, always thinking about revenge and all sorts of things.

He remains dangerous, as he always will be, so we have to be on our guard.

We should never underestimate Putin and what he is capable of.

He’s like a snake thrashing around in a bag, and snakes still bite.

However Mr Gardiner added: “But at the same time the Russian rhetoric about the use of nuclear weapons is overwhelmingly intended to intimidate.

It is intended the divide NATO and threaten countries intending to join that defence alliance.

This is just classic Russian propaganda we are seeing here, where they are making all kinds of threats and are trying to divide the Western alliance.

Russia has a lot of nuclear weapons and they are always prepared to use them as part of their nuclear posture, and that should be no surprise.

It is also part of their psychological warfare campaign that is designed to put the fear of God into Western countries.

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the head of Britain’s armed forces, has warned Putin could be facing the prospect of an arms deficit after underestimating fightback shown from Ukrainian forces.

The Chief of the Defence Staff said: You’re also seeing, on a daily basis, Russia struggling to get the momentum, struggling to align its air forces with its land forces and struggling to get what we call a modern campaign which creates that momentum.

Sir Tony also claimed since the start of the war, Russia has lost a humiliating quarter of its forces, with its struggles continuing in the key battleground of the Donbas region in the country’s east.We’re talking severe impact on their armed forces.

We’ve had 25 percent of their forces effectively being taken out – either through people being killed, or through the damage to their battalion tactical groups.

Homepage

Guillain Barre syndrome (GBS) is a rare neurological disorder.

Definition of Guillain Barre syndrome

Guillain Barre syndrome (GBS) is a rare neurological disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks part of its peripheral nervous system the network of nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord.

GBS can range from a very mild case with a brief weakness to nearly devastating paralysis, leaving the person unable to breathe independently. Fortunately, most people eventually recover from even the most severe cases of GBS.  After recovery, some people will continue to have some degree of weakness.

Guillain-Barré syndrome can affect anyone. It can strike at any age (although it is more frequent in adults and older people) and both sexes are equally prone to the disorder. GBS is estimated to affect about one person in 100,000 each year.

Epidemiology

The estimated overall annual incidence of GBS in the United States is 1.65 to 1.79 per 100,000 persons. The incidence increases steadily from 0.62 per 100,000 persons in those younger than nine years to 2.66 per 100,000 persons in those 80 to 89 years of age. The male-to-female ratio is 3:2.

Types of Guillain Barre syndrome

Once thought to be a single disorder, Guillain-Barre syndrome is now known to occur in several forms. The main types are:

Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP)- The most common form in the U.S. The most common sign of AIDP is muscle weakness that starts in the lower part of your body and spreads upward.

Miller Fisher syndrome (MFS)- In which paralysis starts in the eyes. MFS is also associated with unsteady gait. MFS occurs in about 5 percent of people with Guillain-Barre syndrome in the U.S. but is more common in Asia.

Acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) and acute motor-sensory axonal neuropathy (AMSAN) are less common in the U.S. But AMAN and AMSAN are more frequent in China, Japan and Mexico.

Risk factors

Guillain-Barre syndrome can affect all age groups. But you’re at slightly greater risk if:

You’re a man

You’re a young adult

Guillain-Barre syndrome may be triggered by:

Most commonly, infection with campylobacter, a type of bacteria often found in undercooked poultry

Influenza virus

Cytomegalovirus

Epstein-Barr virus

Zika virus

Hepatitis A, B, C and E

HIV, the virus that causes AIDS

Mycoplasma pneumonia

Surgery

Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Rarely, influenza vaccinations or childhood vaccinations

Causes of Guillain Barre syndrome

Though the exact cause of Guillain-Barre syndrome is not known, this condition usually occurs days or weeks after a respiratory or digestive tract infection.  Rarely, recent surgery or immunization can give rise to Guillain-Barre syndrome.  Of late, some cases have been reported following infection with the Zika virus.

Our immune system usually fights against only invading organisms, but in Guillain-Barre syndrome our immune system will start attacking our nerves. In Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP), the most common subtype of this condition, the nerves’ protective covering (myelin sheath) is damaged.  Due to this, nerves won’t be able to transmit signals to the brain, leading to numbness weakness or paralysis.

Guillain-Barre syndrome affects people across age groups, but you are at slightly greater risk if you are a man or a young adult.

The following are the triggers of this disorder.

Most commonly, infection with campylobacter, a type of bacteria often found in undercooked poultry

Influenza virus

Cytomegalovirus

Epstein-Barr virus

Zika virus

Hepatitis A, B, C and E

HIV, the virus that causes AIDS

Mycoplasma pneumonia

Surgery

Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Rarely, influenza vaccinations or childhood vaccinations

Symptoms

The symptoms of Guillain-Barré syndrome include:

Muscle weakness and paralysis affecting both sides of the body

Jerky, uncoordinated movements

Numbness

Muscle aches, pains or cramps

Odd sensations such as vibrations, buzzing or ‘crawling’ under the skin

Blurred vision

Dizziness

Breathing problems

The symptoms typically start in the feet or legs and progress up the body. Sometimes, the symptoms start in the arms and progress downwards. Symptoms may take a few days or weeks to progress. After the symptoms remain steady and peaked for a short time, the person starts to recover. Recovery may take six months to two years or more.

Guillain Barre syndrome Complications

Guillain-Barré affects your nerves. The weakness and paralysis that occurs can affect multiple parts of your body.

Complications may include difficulty breathing when the paralysis or weakness spreads to muscles that control breathing. You may need a machine called a respirator to help you breathe if this occurs.

Complications can also include:

Lingering weakness, numbness, or other odd sensations even after recovery

Heart or blood pressure problems

Pain

Slow bowel or bladder function

Blood clots and bedsores due to paralysis

Diagnosis and test

Patient history is important in the diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome. The progression of ascending paralysis is a typical presentation. About 50% of cases also include a history of a recent infection or illness like a sore throat, a cold, the flu, or diarrhea. Several tests are commonly used to diagnose or confirm the disease and, sometimes, to monitor recovery.

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis- To identify the presence of increased protein and white blood cells; for this test, a needle is inserted into the spine between vertebrae and a small amount of fluid is withdrawn. While some protein is normally present, an increased amount without an increase in the white blood cells in the CSF may be indicative of Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Nerve conduction velocity- Tests the speed at which impulses travel through a nerve; the nerve conduction velocity test uses electrodes placed on the skin over peripheral nerves and measures the amount of time it takes for an impulse to travel between electrodes.

Electromyography (EMG)- Measures the electrical activity of muscles fibers; the EMG test measures the electrical activity within muscle fibers by placing a needle electrode through the skin directly into the muscle and measuring the electrical activity of that muscle. It is usually done in conjunction with a nerve conduction velocity test.

There are several variants of GBS that are associated with specific signs and symptoms and with the production of different types of antibodies directed against gangliosides. Rarely, ganglioside autoantibody tests may be ordered.

Another testing may be performed to help distinguish GBS from other causes of weakness, neuropathy, and immune dysfunction and to monitor the person’s health status during illness and recovery.

Treatment and medications

There is no cure for Guillain-Barré syndrome.  Treatment is largely supportive and aims to minimize symptoms and prevent complications.  Hospitalization is usually necessary for the initial stages, as the course of the condition can be unpredictable. A healthcare team involving doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists will be involved in treatment.

In mild cases rest is important.  However, gentle exercises to prevent joints from becoming stiff and painful will be recommended.  Medications to reduce pain may be required.  When the condition is more severe the goal of treatment is to:

Maintain breathing

Reduce pain

Maximize muscle strength

Maximize joint movement

Prevent complications of paralysis such as contractures (the shortening and thickening of tendons)

Blood pressure, fluid balance, and heart rate and rhythm will also be closely monitored.

Plasma exchange (plasmapheresis)

This treatment involves removing some blood through a needle in the arm or hand.  The blood is then separated into plasma and red blood cells. The plasma is discarded and the red blood cells are returned to the body with donated or “clean” plasma.  This process may be repeated several times per day over a period of several days.  It is thought that plasmapheresis removes antibodies from the body’s plasma that may be aiding the autoimmune attack on the nervous system.

Immunoglobulin (gamma globulin) therapy

This is a special protein used naturally by the immune system.  When given in high doses intravenously (through a drip into the bloodstream) it is thought to help reduce the autoimmune attack on the nervous system.

Prevention of Guillain Barre syndrome

Primary prevention

Guillain-Barré syndrome is a condition (not a disease itself), and its causation is not known exactly. Therefore no specific preventive measure can be indicated.

Sometimes vaccination may trigger the occurrence of GBS; hence vaccination is not suggested in the acute phase and up to a period of one year after an episode of GBS.

As there is an increase in cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome in areas where Zika virus is circulating and researchers are investigating to prove the link between the two, WHO recommends that anyone living in or traveling to areas where the Zika virus is circulating take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Secondary prevention

When possible, patients should be treated in an intensive care unit in order to keep continuous monitoring and to respond immediately to any urgency. Thus complications due to disease and immobility can be identified and responded early by healthcare workers.

Patients of Guillain-Barré syndrome suffer not only physical difficulties but emotionally painful periods also. Residual symptoms may lead to long term disability and cause difficulties in attaining prior lifestyle or occupation. Rehabilitation services combined with psychological counseling would be helpful in the recovery of the patients.