Steps in Sex Education for the young

Hi everyone, today, we are going to look at the steps of Sex Education for the young.
You are Welcome

We noted yesterday that the essence of this sex education is to help young people gain the information, skills and motivation to protect them from sexual predators. It also helps to form attitudes, beliefs, and values about identity, relationships and intimacy.

It is recommended that the education on sexual health education should start as early as in the prekindergarten age grade. I can hear some of you asking prekindergarten? Yes as early the prekindergarten age grade.

This is because the child predators and paedophiles who sexually abuse children are going for younger and younger children.
They assault children, who are totally unaware of their body and the functions,
They assault children who do not know the difference between RIGHT and WRONG.
They assault children who understand most things as ‘play’
Most of the children just know that something that shouldn’t happen has happened

You and I owe it to these children to empower them with the knowledge needed to wards off these monsters. The following steps may be helpful but are definitely not sacrosanct.

Step 1. The body parts
The first step is to teach children the parts of their body. It is wise to start by telling the children the names of the parts of their bodies; this may be done during bathing, dressing time or when cleaning after using the restroom. It is important to let them know that their bodies are divided into Public and Private parts.
The public parts are the parts that are exposed like the head, hands and the feet. The private part parts are all the parts that are covered by their clothes. In addition, the parts covered by their under wears are extremely private. Teach them that nobody should touch their private parts except when they are bathing or cleaning after using the restroom.

Step 2 Handle the curiosity
Usually by the age of 3 and 4, the children may notice that they have different types of genitals. This is the time to tell them the differences between boys and girls. This is important in children who are of the same gender with all their siblings (all boys or all girls). In addition, at this age, children may start to touch their bodies. This is not the time to shout or yell. This is the time to tell them, that it is their body and that they are the only ones allowed to touch certain parts of their body. NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO TOUCH THOSE PARTS.

Step 3 Lifelong discussion
Please note that Sex education is never a one-time lecture. It is a lifelong discussion. The lectures go on over and over again emphasizing the key principles. Use every opportunity to teach in a simple but emphatic manner.

Step 4 : Answering questions

Children are generally inquisitive and ask many questions. Please do not shut them up. Answer the questions in a simple manner.

One of the commonest questions is ‘Where do babies come from’?
Most of us got the answer; Babies come from Heaven. We were satisfied for while. My friend’s mum told her; from the mouth. Another day, the mum answered from the nose. There and then she knew that her mum was lying.
Can we try this: a baby is made by the union of dad and mum in a special way. The baby grows inside mum’s womb. The baby is delivered after 9 months.

Another one is ‘Why do you have blood from your private’
Try: a woman’s body changes gradually with age and maturity. This is one of the changes. Other changes include the development of breasts. It is wise to answer the specific questions with the correct words and terms.
It is usually terribly uncomfortable but please just go on. It is worth while on the long run.

Step 5 Personal responsibility
Let the child know that his or her body is his/her personal property. The child has a responsibility to take care of his or her body. He or she also has the responsibility to PROTECT his or her body. All children should report anybody who tries to touch them.

I do not know if this piece has been of help to you. You can add to the list based on your own personal experience.

Thanks for reading

Sex Education for the Young

Hi everyone
Welcome to a new week

In recent times, there have been some stories that ripped my heart; most likely they ripped yours too if you saw them. The first is the 12 year old orphan (sexually abused by the Pastor, native Doctor) whom we all saw carrying her baby. The second is the story of the nanny in Florida who was jailed 20 years for sexually abusing an 11 year old boy and having his baby. These stories are just the tip of the iceberg. There are more terrible cases; though most cases are hidden to protect the child.

In view of this, we will be discussing Sex Education for the Young this week.
You are Welcome!!

For years, the issue of discussing sex has been an uncharted area. Most of us (ladies) will remember that our mothers taught us that you will be pregnant when you play with a boy. This singular statement was the ENTIRE sex education that a good number of us got. There were therefore cases of supposed ‘bad girls’ who got pregnant having had no knowledge of the consequence of their actions. The ones who were a bit luckier, had their mothers discuss menstruation and a bit more about ‘playing with a boy’. In fact, I learnt of a case of incest where a girl got pregnant by her brother. She said that her mother told her that she must not play with other boys; she was only allowed to play with her brother. Hence she played with her brother; the type, description and limits of the play had not been properly defined. Painfully, a lot of us (women, mothers, aunties and big sisters) are still making the same mistakes that our mothers and grandmothers made by keeping Sex Education ‘shrouded in secrecy’. A lot of women still wait before their daughters achieve puberty before they can discuss the issues of sex.
Some of such women never got the opportunity as the girl was abused while very young. Do we all remember the case of OCHANYA? : Poor poor girl: she was only 8 years old when her evil cousin and more evil uncle descended on her under the very nose of her Aunty. The case of that poor girl still fills my heart with sorrows and pains. No child deserves that type of inhuman treatment.

It is worthy of note that it is not only the girls that are in danger. The young boys are also being abused regularly. Some of them are abused by older women like the 11 year old boy mentioned above who was abused by his nanny. The cases of female teachers having sex with their young male students have been making the headlines recently. Prior to this time, it was the male teachers sexually abusing their young female students. In addition, young boys also suffer from homosexual abuse. One of my patients was abused while he was as young as 4 years. These kinds of cases abound.

In view of the foregoing, it is therefore pertinent to educate the young on the issues of sex; THE EARLIER THE BETTER.
The essence of this is to help young people gain the information, skills and motivation to protect them from sexual predators.
It will also enable them to take charge and make healthy decisions about sex and sexuality throughout their lives.

You are welcome
Lets gooooo

Care of the Skin

Hi everyone

Today we are concluding on skin health by looking at how to take care of our skin.
You are welcome

We have already mentioned some of them but there is no harm is emphasizing
1. Protect your skin from the Sun
Protection from the sun cannot be overemphasized in skin care. It is wise to avoid sun between 10AM and 4PM. This may not be practicable for all of us; however, let us all go an extra mile to protect our skins from the sun. Ensure that you stay under shades (trees, umbrellas, canopies gazebos ETC) when present. In addition, protection of the skin is one essential reason to cover up; please always wear clothes that cover you. Peradventure you didn’t know, the first function of clothes is TO COVER. Clothes and shoes are for protection. Other functions of clothing like fashion, style are secondary. Wide brimmed hats are particularly effective for persons with Albinism. Cover children with albinism with long sleeved clothes, trousers and wide brimmed hats: the earlier, the better.

2. Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is an important aspect of a healthy life style. The health of the skin is therefore also maintained by ensuring that your diet is health. Always eat lots of fresh foods and vegetables. Also ensure whole grains, and lean proteins already discussed in lifestyle modification in the first week of September.

3. Increase your water intake
I am literally trembling as I write this because I am a major culprit when it comes to not taking enough water. I intend to repent and improve; please join me as I step up. You need to drink gallons of water to hydrate your skin and ensure a healthier skin. Drink as much as 1.5-2 L of water a day. This is about 8 glasses of water. For Nigerians, 1 Big Eva water bottle or more.

4. Avoid substance use and abuse
Smoking is a No-No in the care of the skin. In addition, the twin brother called Alcohol also destroys the skin. The elder brother called ‘Substance ( including drugs, glue, etc)abuse’ all but finishes the skin. These habits are very bad for health in general. Excessive intake of caffeine seen in coffee and tea( you caught me there) are also unhealthy for the skin.

5. Handle your skin gently
The skin deserves gentle treatment. It is wise to reduce the time spent in the bathroom. Hot water and long baths remove the natural oils of the skin. This leads to dryness of the skin; the skin has ready cracks that can lead to boils. This actually happened to me. I just love to bath and so I regularly indulge in frequent long baths. Sometime last year, I started having recurrent boils. I battled with these boils until I realized my ‘transgression’. I therefore reduced the frequency and duration of my bath time. In this way, I started having relief though I haven’t totally won the war. For the men, apply shaving cream lotion or gel before shaving. Daily shaving is ill advised.

6. Do not use skin lightening/bleaching agents
The hazards of using skin lightening agents cannot be overemphasized. Please avoid all skin lightening agents. They destroy the skin: slowly but surely. They also destroy other vital organs as already discussed. Always use neutral soaps and creams. Those who have dry skin should use moisturizing creams and oils to ensure that their skin is well hydrated.

7. Stress Management
Stress is a killer any time any day. Stress management is important in the care of the skin.

Thanks for reading
Have a great weekend.

Treatment for skin Lightening

Hi everyone
Yesterday, we looked at the hazards of skin lightening. Today, we are going to find out what can be done to halt or treat these disastrous effects.
You are welcome

Step 1
Identification
The first step is to identify whether you are involved in skin lightening or bleaching. Some of you are saying ‘it is just toning’, ‘I am maintaining my colour’ or ‘I am using natural products’. Please look at the soap or cream that you are using and check the active ingredient. Painfully, there are many ignorant users of skin lightening preparations. Most of these are husbands, sisters, brothers and even children who just use the wife’s, sister’s or mother’s soap and cream.

STEP 2
STOP STOP STOP!!!
The second step is to STOP! ; It cannot be overemphasized. There is no other effective method to halt the ongoing damage. I know that most of you will revert back to your original dark colour: You will not like that. In fact some of the spots, patches (usually seen under the eyes) and scars may never go. Do not be deceived into believing that there are ‘ORIGINAL’ products that can reverse the damage: It will only get worse. However, you will spare yourself further damage to your skin, or more importantly other internal organs. You don’t have to destroy your kidney first before you stop. There are persons undergoing dialysis (a procedure that does the work of a diseased kidney) from kidney damage from skin lightening preparations.

STEP 3
NEUTRAL PREPARATIONS
Please go back to neutral soaps and creams that just have oils and nice smelling perfumes. I do not want to advertise any products but we all know them. Baby products are particularly neutral.

STEP 4
Treatment of the complications; All persons who have the complications discussed yesterday need to see the Doctor immediately. The treatment will depend on the type of problem that the person developed.

STEP 5
Education and Counselling
One effective step is the protection from the Sun. It is extremely important to avoid the sun if you use skin lighteners. You recall that melanin production is increased on exposure to sun. The essence is to protect the skin and body from the dangerous ultra violet rays. Skin lightening reduces the amount of melanin one way or the other. Hence the sun becomes extremely dangerous to the bleached skin.
In view of that it is good to remain indoors between 10 AM and 4 PM when the sun is hottest. This may not be very practicable for everyone in our tropical weather. Persons who have air conditioned offices and cars have an advantage. The rest of us who have to go to the market, hawk, use public transport (including motorcycles) will have to adjust our schedule to protect ourselves from the Sun and Ultraviolet Rays. Always stay under shades when there is opportunity.

Finally, it is extremely important to educate others about skin health. I have done my little part in the education by writing this piece.

How about you? You can start by forwarding the pieces on skin health.
Thanks for reading and God bless you.
Let’s conclude tomorrow

Hazards of Skin Lightening

Hi Everyone
Today, we will look at the hazards of skin bleaching/ lightening.
You are Welcome

The essence of this write up is to ensure that you take charge of your own health.
.
The skin is the largest organ in the body. The main function of the skin is PROTECTION: it acts a protective barrier for the body.
Hence it protects the body from the harmful effects of the sun, radiation, chemicals and microorganisms. Other functions include the regulation of body temperature, prevention of fluid loss from the body, excretion of toxic substances and providing a mechanical support for the body.

Some of the hazards of skin bleaching are as follows:
1. On using skin lightening soaps or creams, the first thing that may be noted is mild burning. I personally noted this effect while using a ‘particular soap’ that was said to be antiseptic; I always felt myself burning all over. I stopped using the soap immediately. This burning may progress to stinging, redness, and dryness. This may actually blow up into swelling, making crusts on the skin, severe burning and eventual damage of the skin. These preparations may also worsen an already present skin disease.
2. Thinning of the skin: The major function of the skin is PROTECTION as earlier noted. Skin lightening agents gradually thin out the skin thereby removing some layer of protection. In such persons, you may notice visible blood vessels beneath the skin. Thinning of the skin causes poor wound healing especially after a surgery. In such persons, the wound will breakdown even after suturing. The visible blood vessels may easily burst and bleed into the skin with ease.
3. Non uniform colouring; I am sure all of us have noticed this type of colouring especially on the hands. This is because the knuckles particularly remain resilient to the effects of these agents. In some cases, the skin has patches( like maps) of different sizes, colours and shapes. The resultant effect is more unpleasant to the eyes than the original uniformly dark skin; my take.
4. Scars; In some cases, there are scars on the skin. Scars arise from the healing process. Having noted that the skin may get burnt or damaged, there is healing after the burning. Hence there will be scars after the healing.
5. Damage to other organs: This is one of the most dangerous effects of these skin lightening agents. The skin is the largest organ in the body. Any substance applied to the skin is absorbed from the extremely large surface of the whole skin. Granted, the substance may be in minute quantities but the surface area involved and the duration of application ensures that a large quantity is absorbed into the system. The resultant effect is damage to some vital organs especially the kidneys. Others are the liver and the nerves
6. Increased risk of skin cancer; We noted yesterday that the skin pigment melanin is released in reaction to the sun to protect the body from dangerous Ultra violet rays. Reduction of the melanin makes the skin more sensitive or vulnerable to the sun. There is therefore an increased risk of cancers especially skin cancer.
7. Other diseases; Other disease that have been associated with skin lightening agents include Diabetes mellitus, Cushing syndrome. These are particularly caused by steroid containing preparations. The skin is also more vulnerable to microorganisms leading to skin infections,

There may be some other hazards of using skin lightening agents. In view of the numerous dangerous effects, SKIN LIGHTENING MAY NOT BE WORTH IT ON THE LONG RUN
Thanks for reading.
See you tomorrow

Skin Colour and Lightening

Hi everyone

Today we will look at what gives us our skin colour and the essence. Thereafter, we will see how the skin is lightened.
You are Welcome

Melanin is a pigment produced by melanin producing cells in the body. It gives colour to the skin, hair and eyes. In humans, Skin colour has a very wide range from the lightest to the darkest: which we all see. Many factors affect melanin production and as such the skin colour.
The most important are:

1. Genetic make up
Different ethnicities have different levels and types of Melanin. We Africans genetically produce more melanin that the Europeans and Asians as we all know. Melanin level therefore is used for race identification. In general, people who are dark have more melanin than those who are fair. Freckles are small areas of increased melanin.

2. Exposure to Ultra violet rays from the Sun. Melanin producing cells in the body produce more melanin in response to Sun exposure. This increased production is important to prevent damage to the DNA in the skin. This is the reason that you get darker after being in the Sun unlike those who are not exposed to the Sun (Air conditioned house, car, office). The increased production is for protection. In fact Caucasians actually engage in Sun tanning to increase their melanin production and darken their skin. Note that those who do not have much Melanin are at a higher risk of skin cancer. However, excessive tanning has some dangers.

3. Medical Conditions
Some medical conditions affect the production of melanin. The commonest one is a condition called Albinism where there is an inability to produce Melanin. This affects the skin, hair and eyes. The markedly reduced Melanin in their eyes leads to problems with vision.
Another medical condition is Vitiligo where the cells that produce melanin are destroyed.

4.Skin lightening agents
Skin lightening, toning or bleaching agents change the colour of the skin. There are so many lightening agents as follows:
Hydroquinone is about the most common agent used for skin lightening. It has been banned by the European Union since 2000. Painfully, it is still in most of our cosmetics.
Others are Mercury, Bethamethasone, Clobestol, Tretinoin Alpha hydroxy acids, Kojic acidArbutin/ Deoxyarbutin , Azelaic acid, Aleosin, Dimethicone ETC.

In fact the list is so long. It is wise to avoid any cream or soap that has any of these substances. Note that some of these chemicals are NATURALLY occurring; they are not all synthetic. In fact all the soaps, bath gels, and creams will indicate that they are used for toning, whitening, lightening, fairness, cleansing ETC.
There are many ways these agents act but they all achieve the same:

ALL SKIN LIGHTENING AGENTS ACT BY REDUCING THE AMOUNT OF MELANIN IN THE SKIN
Tomorrow, we will look at the hazards of skin bleaching.

Thanks for reading

Skin Health

Hi everyone

Yesterday, I was at my Old Girls Alumni Association meeting. One of the highlights of the meeting was a health talk by a concerned beloved sister including skin health. We readily discussed the issues of skin bleaching with despair. Auspiciously, I came home to get a post on my Whatsapp page on a lady who fell into coma after using skin bleaching creams. Bleaching of the skin has become a menace in our society.

In view of this, we will be looking at SKIN HEALTH this week.
You are Welcome

Skin bleaching is also known as skin whitening, lightening, brightening, toning and glowing. It involves the use of substances, mixtures or physical agents to lighten skin colour.

Skin colour is determined by the race, genetics and exposure to sun. Skin bleaching can actually be traced to the Elizabethan age of powder and paint. Painfully, skin bleaching is very common among the African communities including Nigeria. In fact, I have had issues in recognizing people that I once knew because of the dramatic change in their skin colour. Am I alone in that? I don’t think so.

Reasons for Skin Bleaching
There are many reasons for skin bleaching including the following;

1. Enhancing pleasantness and attractiveness of skin. Though beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, it is commonly believed that the fair skin is the more attractive skin colour: I actually AGREE. Many people therefore believe that they look more beautiful (Yes some do) with a fair skin. This may stem from the European- American concept of beauty popularized by the fashion magazines and models. The presence of Black African models particularly Alek Wek changed this concept of beauty being synonymous with the fair skin. Many black African women have cited her influence on perception of beauty. Black is beautiful is a ‘New Concept’.

2. Enhancing opportunities in life, particularly job opportunities. It is also commonly believed that the fair skin may improve one’s opportunities especially in the fashion and entertainment industry. This belief is boosted by the number of actresses and fashion icons that have fair skin: either natural or bleached.

3. The desire to be attractive to others. A lot of women believe that fair girls get more masculine attention. Some girls swear that bleaching their skin improved their love lives and improved their chances of bagging a prosperous suitor. Men that bleach their skin also believe that they get more feminine attention.

4. Complying with peer pressure. The impact of peer pressure on the youths and young adults cannot be overemphasized. Many young people just want belong and be like others. Hence if the ‘happening people’ are bleaching their skin, then bleaching is it.

5. Marketing pressures. The marketers of these bleaching agents huge role as they market their wares. They go a long way to convince people to purchase their products. Even when people notice adverse effects, they are convinced to purchase other ‘ORIGINAL’ version that cause more harm.

Granted, there reasons may actually be tenable but are they worth it on the long run? Lets find out tomorrow.
Thanks for Reading

.

PREVENTION and CONTROL of SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Hi everyone,
Welcome

Yesterday we saw the menace of substance use and abuse in the individual, family, community and the society at large. In view of that control and more importantly prevention are of paramount importance.
Control of Drug abuse is being implemented by the authorities in all countries worldwide considering the laws against drug possession and trafficking.
However, the most important aspect in my own understanding remains the impact and influence of the family. Regrettably, most parents and guardians are terribly naive in the matters of substance abuse. I learnt of a young man who admitted to his parents and school authorities that he started abusing drugs at the age of 12 years while in junior secondary school in Nigeria. The mother collapsed when she heard that her ‘innocent’ son had become drug dependent under her very nose. Please do not think that it cannot be your children; IT IS NOT YOUR PORTION!!
I honestly do not want it to be your portion but please take all the necessary precautions.
Prevention of substance abuse (including drugs and alcohol) therefore should start at home. Bonding is the bedrock of all relationships including in the family. In recent times, a lot of parents are busy in the rat race. They provide good food, clothes, good schools and expensive toys. However they do not provide one of the most important ingredients in child rearing: Enough Time. ALL CHILDREN NEED TIME AND ATTENTION.
In addition the use of smart phones, IPADs and laptops have worsened the unavailability of parents. Most parents are bent over one device or another when they finally get home. This further reduces the time they have to talk and LISTEN to their children.
All parents should make time to talk to their children and explain the dire consequences of substance to them. It is better to start talking to young children. The parents are able to influence their children as they teach their children the boundaries.
Create a healthy environment for the children. Components of the environment include humans, the school environment, social network, television ETC. CHILDREN SHOULD BE CONSTANTLY UNDER SUPERVISION. This includes in schools. There should be adult chaperones in school parties and outings.
Parents are role models for their children and should please ensure that they do it RIGHT at all times. Actions speak louder than words. The parents should be accountable to the children thereby teaching them to also be accountable to them. In this way, the parents always know where the children are and what they are up to. They are therefore able to foresee, guide and correct early misdemeanours. Many teenagers experiment on drugs without knowing the dire consequences. Such children and adolescents can be identified and stopped very early.

All children should be guided in making wise decisions, in their habits, choice of friends and interests. However, this emanates from having trusts in their parents very early in life. This two-way communication should continue for years. In this way the children should be able to trust their parents such that even when they are outside the home, they remain accountable to them as a matter of habit.
It is wise to involve children to developing and enforcing policies/values in the home against substance abuse. There should be praise and rewards for appropriate behaviours.
All parents, guardians, teachers and in fact all adults should be educated on substance use, abuse and the horrific consequences. Pharmacist should endeavour to insist on drug prescription for prescription drugs that are commonly abused.
In essence, all hands should be on DECK
Finally, we should all keep praying.

Thanks for reading.

Substance Use and Abuse

Hi everyone
In concluding this week for mental health awareness, we will be looking at a common public health issue: Substance use and abuse.

Definition
The World Health Organisation defines substance abuse as the harmful and hazardous use of psychoactive substances including Alcohol and illicit drugs.

Substances abused
There are so many substances that can be used and eventually abused. Commonest are Alcohol, Tobacco (Cigarettes, snuff), Marijuana, Solvents (glue, gasoline, aerosols, even correction fluid), Opiods like Heroine, Tramadol, Codeine. Others are Cocaine, cough syrup, Caffeine, Cocaine (Powder and Crack) ETC
The issue with substance use is that not all of them are illicit drugs. Some of them are legal medications especially pain relievers like Tramadol, Codeine. Some are substances that have other uses like glue, gasoline and aerosol.

Risk Factors
Those who are more likely to succumb to substance abuse are as follows:
Children and adolescents who went through child abuse
Children and adolescents living in drug laden environment and those who had early exposure to drugs
Children and adolescents with poor or lack of parental supervision
Children and adolescents who are curious as well as involved in risky behaviours
Children and adolescents who are under peer pressure to belong
Children and adolescents who are under the influence of the social media
Others are those with some internal factors like poor self esteem, stress, excruciating pain, poor social skills and those with mental disorder.

Dangers of Substance use and Abuse
there are many dangers of substance abuse. The most important are as follows:
1. Dependence
Use and abuse can lead to dependence characterized by
A strong desire to take the substance
Persistent use in the presence of harmful effects
Higher priority over every other activity

2. Behavioural effects
The effects on the behaviour on the person include loss of self control, being paranoid, seeing strange things, aggression, impulsiveness and impaired judgement. Others are loss of productivity and loss of labour: since most of them are youths.

3. Diseases
Drug abuse weakens the immune system leading to diseases. Some of the associated diseases include HIV, diseases of the heart and liver, stroke dementia, convulsions, mental illness ETC

4. Crimes
Crimes that emanate from Substance use and abuse include the following:
Drug possession and use
Drug trafficking
Armed Robbery
Prostitution and other sex crimes
Terrorism

The dangers and negative effects of substance and substance abuse cannot be overemphasized. Anyone that is involved will need to see a Mental health specialist for withdrawal and care.

Thanks for reading
Let’s talk about prevention tomorrow….

FOCUS on SUICIDE PREVENTION

Hi everyone
Welcome
Today October 10th is the World Mental Health Awareness day. The theme for the this year 2019 is FOCUS ON SUICIDE PREVENTION
In view of that, we will be discussing suicide Today!!!

Suicide is when a person takes his or her own life intentionally. You will recall that in recent times there have been issues of persons who drank ‘Sniper’ or jumped into the lagoon and drowned. Those are cases of suicide. Careless accidents or accidental poisonings are not considered suicide.
The World Health Organisation estimates that as much as 800,000 persons die by suicide every year. More so there are so many others who attempt suicide but do not succeed.

Those who have attempted suicide are more likely to successfully commit suicide. Suicide is commoner in low and middle income earning countries. It is also commoner in the young. In fact suicide is the second leading cause of death globally in persons between the ages of 15 and 29 years.

Causes of suicide
Most person commit suicide impulsively because of their inability to handle life stresses: financial, social, academic, relationship problems and otherwise. Suicide is common among people with mental illness (especially Depression) as well as persons who experience discrimination in one way or the other.
Commonest methods are the ingestion of insecticides like sniper, ingestion of overdose of medications, hanging and use of firearms.

Prevention
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognizes suicide as a major public health issue. There are therefore steps taken to reduce the rates. This involves Countries, communities, individuals, churches and other non Governmental organisations.

Measures that are important for individuals to take in the prevention of suicide include:

1. Early identification, treatment and care of people with mental illness, substance use and acute emotional stress. Please note that we all have our individual differences; hence we may not react the same way to the stresses of life. We have seen cases of persons who committed suicide after failing examinations. People who have severe acute life stress should be identified and given proper care.

2. Treatment and Care; Treatment and care of persons who are likely to commit suicide is of paramount importance. This is especially so in those who already have mental illness. Persons who are depressed usually need medications by the Mental Health Specialists. Persons who are isolated and lonely may just need visitation and relationships to pull through.

3. Avoid social discrimination: Suicide is common in people who experience discrimination. These persons are made to feel worthless in the society. Often times the only option they think that they have is taking their own live. Learn to relate and live with persons who are not exactly like you; you may be preventing one suicide.

4. Reduction of access and means; It is important to reduce access, means and opportunity to commit suicide. Hence the person who is depressed or going through a lot of stress should not have access to insecticides, certain medications, firearms or sharp objects. Such persons should not be left alone; being alone gives them the opportunity to succeed.

5. There are other measures thatthe government and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) can implement like policies on Alcohol, school- based interventions, training of both Health workers and non Health workers, follow up of persons who had attempted suicide ETC. All hands need to be on deck to reduce the rate of suicide in our communities.

6. Most importantly PRAY; God answers prayers.

Finally, if there is anyone out there who thinks that it is over, please note that it is not over for you. Once there is life, there is hope. I may not understand what the issues in your life are. However, believe you me people have been through similar things or even worse. Cling to God and cling to Hope.

GOD WILL SURELY SEE YOU THROUGH!!!

Have a great day