6 months ago


Vanguard Newspaper 15 April 2018


PAGE 20 — SUNDAY Vanguard,APRIL 15, 2018 08056180152, SMS only About Time You Knew Dad Too Had Something To Do With That Adorable New Baby! FINDINGS have shown that becoming a father is a major life event which changes family relationships, brings new responsibilities and has a major economic impact on the new parents. Men have their own needs as new fathers, yet can also lack information about how they can support their partners. Michael 26, was totally unprepared for fatherhood when Sammy, his 23- year-old undergraduate wife suddenly discovered she was pregnant. “Sammy and I had been together for two years when she got pregnant. She was studying to become a teacher and I’d just got a fairly good job after my youth service,” explained Michael. “Sammy told her parents and they informed mine. All of a sudden, wedding plans were being made - and it had to happen before the baby arrived. It didn’t seem real. Marriage was the furtherest thought on my mind. I would have preferred we were both working but here was Sammy starting to look pregnant. Would our lives change much? Even though we both have caring families, my main worry was supporting the three of us on my new salary that was scarcely enough for my needs. Once in a while, I asked myself: ‘What have I done?’ “The wedding was a blur - it was something I had to get over with. My worry now was the baby and how I’d cope with the birth. Would I let my new wife down by being too squeamish? In the end, our son’s birth was the most powerful, moving event of my entire life. Like most new fathers, I was present at the birth and I’m not ashamed to admit I cried. “When we brought the baby to our new flat, I felt a bit sidelined. The whole focus of both families was on the baby - and then my wife. No one seemed interested in me. “It may sound selfish but my life had changed over-night too, and I had no idea what my new role was. I was a bit lost. Since then however, I’ve realised being a dad means getting on with it. And it’s hard work, believe me. I had to learn to change nappies, prepare his food when he was weaned off breast milk and give him his bath when I could. We are lucky that our son is not one of the screamy type, still both of us are exhausted - no thanks to househelps who seem to up and go whenever they feel like it. “But my wife and I are finding our feet, but I feel the pressure being the only wage earner. My mum and my wife’s mum take turns looking after the baby when Sammy returned to schooL Her main worry is her post-baby stomach but I assure her always she looks good to me. Her body makes me love her even more - a proof she brought our child into the word. To be honest, I found the news I was going to be a dad scary and bewildering - but it is a wonderful experience. When my son, who now crawls all over the place, gives me his toothy smile, everything suddenly seems worth it. I know I have to do my best for him for the rst of my life. And that’s something that comes naturally – eventually”! Breast Cancer Can Return 15 Years After The All-Clear BREAST cancer can return 15 years after a woman is given the all-clear, a study reveals. The disease can ‘lie dormant’, Oxford University researchers found. It means women might be told to continue taking hormonal drugs for longer than the current five years, in a bid to stop tumours returning. Scientists analysed data from 88 clinical trials involving 62,923 women, all of whom had the most common form of breast cancer fuelled by the hormone oestrogen. Every patient received pill treatments such as tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors which block the effects of oestrogen or shut off the hormone’s supply. After five years of therapy, their cancers had gone and they stopped taking the drugs. But monitoring the women’s progress revealed recurrences of the disease up to 15 years later, 20 years after initial diagnoses. Survival rate have significantly improved in recent years. In the past, most people with cancer were likely to die within a few years, but medical advances mean patients are more likely to survive for many years - which is why scientists are learning for the first time that tumours can come back so long afterwards. Lead researcher, Dr. Hongchao Pan, an epidemiologist at the university, said: ‘It is remarkable that breast cancer can remain dormant for so long and then spread many years later, with this risk remaining the same year after year and still strongly related to the size of the original cancer and whether it had spread to the lymph nodes.’ Women who started off with large tumours and cancer that had spread to four or more lymph nodes faced the highest risk of recurrence, the study showed. They had a 40 per cent risk of cancer returning in a different part of the body over a period of 15 years after stopping treatment. For patients diagnosed with small, low-grade cancers that had not spread the risk was 10 per cent. Doctors have long known that five years of tamoxifen reduces the risk of recurrence by about a third in the five years after stopping treatment. Aromatase inhibitors, which only work for post-menopausal women, are believed to be even more effective. But Sally Greenbrook, policy manager at Breast Cancer Now, hailed the ‘important development’. She said: ‘We’ve always known that breast cancer can return years later, but this major study identifies that women may remain at risk of recurrence for at least 15 years, suggesting that they may benefit from extending their hormone therapy. `As women taking hormone therapies can experience difficult side effects, it’s essential they discuss any changes in treatment with their doctor to make a decision that’s right for them.’ Colours of Your Love Y OUR column to express your loving thoughts in words to your sweetheart. Don’t be shy. Let it flow and let him or her know how dearly you feel. Write now in not more than 75 words to: The Editor, Sunday Vanguard, P.M.B. 1007, Apapa, Lagos. E.mail: Please mark your envelope: “LOVE NOTES" I relish the rainbow In the bare sky more By peering down On your glossy visage. Your chromatic smile Is the path that leads To your lovehead, Then all the way to the rainbow. I see the rainbow in your smile, I see your smile in your lovehead, I see your lovehead in the rainbow. Kingsley Alumona 08030872649 Don't be tired of her While it takes time to study her, you should not feel discouraged. Make sure you are tired of her. There is a way capture her fancy by showing her love which would give her some hope that you trully love and care about her. Keep letting her know that you are in love with her and that she will be your one and only love. Michael Adedotun Oke 08027142077 C M Y K

SUNDAY VANGUARD, APRIL 15, 2018, PAGE 21 FOUR YEARS ON We are free and in school, our friends are Boko Haram slaves — Ntakai, Chibok girl number 169 By Dionee Searcy. Photographs by Adam Ferguson The list had more than 200 names. Martha James. Grace Paul. Rebecca Joseph. Mary Ali. Ruth Kolo. And so many others. It took Nigerian officials agonizing weeks to publish the names of all the students Boko Haram kidnapped from a boarding school in the village of Chibok four years ago, on the night of April 14. Once they did, the numbers were staggering. The list quickly circulated among the grieving parents searching for their daughters, some setting out on motorbikes to confront the Islamist militants who had stormed the school, loaded the girls into trucks and hauled them away at gunpoint. Soldiers used the list, too, as they combed the countryside for the missing students, marching through the forest, dispatching jets and enlisting the help of foreign militaries. Negotiators checked the names as they bartered with militants for the girls’ release. And the list became an inspiration for protesters hundreds of miles away in Abuja, the nation’s capital, who kept marching for the girls’ return, day after day. “As I began to read each name, my resolve strengthened,” said Oby Ezekwesili, a former education minister who led protests. “They were not just statistics. These were real human beings.” Far away in America, France, South Korea and elsewhere, public figures and celebrities joined the cause. Bring back our girls, they all demanded. For years, the teenagers remained missing, changing from girls into women, lost to a band of extremists known for beating, raping and enslaving its captives. And then, many of their names were joyfully crossed off the list. “I’m ‘back,’ as they say,” said Hauwa Ntakai, one of the Chibok students. Nearly four years after I’m happy,” said Ms. Ntakai, who was No. 169 on the list. Now, she is a 20-year-old student who rises at dawn for Saturday yoga class and argues about the benefits and dangers of social media during debate night at the university. “But I’m thinking about my sisters who are still in the back,” in Boko Haram’s clutches, she said they were abducted and dragged off to a forest hide-out, more than 100 of the students from Chibok now live on a pristine university campus four hours from their homes here in north-eastern Nigeria, their days filled with math and English classes, karaoke and selfies, and movie nights with popcorn. The government negotiated for the release of many of the Chibok students, who were set free in groups over the last year and a half. A few others were found roaming the countryside, having escaped their captors. But more than 100 of their former classmates are still missing, held by Boko Haram. About a dozen are thought to be dead. “I’m happy,” said Ms. Ntakai, who was No. 169 on the list. Now, she is a 20-year-old student who rises at dawn for Saturday yoga class and argues about the benefits and dangers of social media during debate night at the university. “But I’m thinking about my sisters who are still in the back,” in Boko Haram’s clutches, she said. Lucky ones Nigeria is in its ninth year of war with Boko Haram, a group that has killed and kidnapped thousands of civilians across northern Nigeria. In many respects, the Chibok students, as extraordinary as their plight has been, were just another set of its victims. Many of the young women now consider themselves the lucky ones. Weeks before the Chibok kidnapping, a group of young boys were burned alive in their own school, a tragedy that failed to resonate around the world in the same way as the mass abduction of the schoolgirls. The vast majority of Boko Haram’s victims will remain anonymous and unaccounted for, their names never broadcast across the globe. Many of their families will never even know what happened to them. The crimes committed against them occur in remote areas, far from the reach of cellphone networks, and often while the world’s attention is elsewhere. But the Chibok girls had names. Saratu Ayuba. Ruth Amos. Comfort Habila. Esther Usman. And from a few weeks after they were taken — when Boko Haram broadcast images of its somber-looking captives, covered from head to toe in long, dark gowns — they had faces. Teenage students from a village school suddenly became the unwitting representatives of all the dead and missing victims of a crisis that has upended a poor, remote corner of the globe. They became the daughters of Nigeria, and more broadly daughters of the whole world, embraced and fretted over as though they belonged to everyone. “When the Chibok abduction happened, it was the articulation of this whole saga,” said Saudatu Mahdi, a co-founder of the Bring Back Our Girls movement. “They became a rallying point.” But the freed students from Chibok also bear the heavy burden of the celebrity that led to their release. They are fortunate enough to attend a private university that educates the children of Nigerian politicians, businesspeople and other members of the elite. But security restrictions on the Chibok students are especially tight. They are not allowed to leave campus without an escort. They can’t have visitors without special permission. And though some of the women gave birth during their captivity, their children are not allowed to stay with them at the university. Administrators say that would distract from their studies. In fact, the young women have rarely seen their families since they were freed from Boko Haram. The longest period they have spent with their parents, siblings and other relatives since their abduction in 2014 was over Christmas break last year, when they went home for a couple of weeks. Other than that, they have been under close supervision by Continues on page 22