09 February 2018 by Retirees and healthy living 1385 Views

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Lessons and its health experiences by G.C Uche Okoye

Lagos Branch verification exercise that took place on the 29th August to 2nd September, 2016 was held in two places. The first two days, 29th – 30th August was at the Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Ikoyi. And the remaining two days, 31st August to 2nd September, 2016 was conducted at Westown Hotel, Ikeja.

The huge success recorded was due to the concised efforts by the branch to reach out to members, including many that have left Lagos to their various home town and outside the country.

 A situation where a member was bedridden, arrangement was made to reach them for the verification on their sick bed.  All these culminated to the success of the exercise in Lagos branch.


The verification exercise was also an opportunity where old friends met each other, yet a lot remained to be learnt as members trooped in to avoid unverified.

With keen observation most members came exuding in good health, while some where frail and in clutches or in wheel chairs. Men especially were more affected, hardly some of these members could be recognized except by their names. The question is, could it be old age?

Having good surveillance, one may conclude that it is not. Because many were noticed to have aged gracefully, still looking good while others aged very fast due to ill health that remained the major factor that lead to rapid deterioration of their physical outlooks. The question again is, could this be due to the way we may have lived our life in the past both physically and spiritually?

The way we think and do things and what we eat and drink also go a long way to tell more of our health. But how much do we listen to our body to avoid degenerating occurrences by visiting the hospital or clinic, like the proverbial saying, “A stitch in time saves nine”.

Although, natural or accidental death could occur due to unforeseen circumstances in life. Such situation could be designated as fate. In any case, if there should be any infirmity found in our body, it could be traced as a result of our life style.

The excessive cholesterol in the blood stream, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases, loss of memory, blindness, bone decease, strokes, etc are sicknesses that creeps in as we grow older. They become critical, consuming the whole body system if they are not attended to from the beginning.


 “Staying healthy and feeling your best is important at any age, it does not change because you have grey hairs.

As we grow older, we experience changes, such as children leaving home, loss of loved ones, and physical changes.

How we handle these phenomenons depend on the level of our understanding. Coping with change is difficult, no matter how old we are. The particular challenge for adults over 50 years is the sheer number of changes and transitions that starts to occur, including children moving away, the loss of parent, friends and other loved ones, changes that occur at the end of one’s career, declining health, and even loss of independence.

But if that sense of loss is balanced with positive understanding, then you have got a formula for staying healthy as you age.”

Healthy aging means to continually reinventing yourself as you pass through landmark ages such as 60,70, 80 and beyond. It means finding new things you enjoy, learning to adapt to change, staying physically and socially active, and feeling connected to your community and loved ones.


Unfortunately for many, aging brings anxiety and fear instead. Thoughts of how will I take care of myself late in life? What if I lose my spouse? What is going to happen to my mind? However, many of these fears stem from story about aging that are exaggerated by the media are simply untrue. The truth is that you are stronger and more resilient than you may think.


  1. Declining health or disability, automatic poor health that confine to a walker or wheelchair. The fact is that many older adults enjoy vigorous health often better than many younger people. Preventive measures like healthy eating, exercising and managing stress can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases or injuries late in life.
  2. Memory loss is an inevitable part of aging. You may eventually notice you don’t remember things as easily as in the past, or memories may start to take a little longer to retrieve. However, memory loss is not an inevitable result of aging. Some older men and women still have their retentive memory active.
  3. One of the most damaging myths of aging is that after a certain age, you just won’t be able to try anything new or contribute things anymore. This is not true. Middle aged and older adults are just as capable of learning new things and thriving in new environments, plus the wisdom that comes with life experience. If you believe, and have confident in yourself, you will set up positive environment, no matter your age. Whatever your age, eat well, exercise, spend time with your loved ones, engage in spiritual activities, have a positive mental attitude, rest and sleep and you will not die now for God has promised you longevity of life (Psalm 91:16).


Let us examine what goes into our body and how they affect us. They are from raw, cooked, processed, baked and fried foods, the water/liquid we drink matters also. The raw foods are from fruits/vegetable, eating of it regenerates our organic body harmoniously.


We are made to know that when we eat raw fruits/vegetable or drink its juice for three days without injecting cooked or processed meal, it will automatically cleans the metabolic system, making the body to be refreshed. When it is taking for five days, it will build up your body defensive system and begin to destroy existing bacterial in the body. And when the dieting of it continues for ten days, it will fortify the immune system, preventing further bacterial from entering the body. This remedy is not only nourishing but rebuilds the organic body and cures all kinds of sicknesses if it is diligently flowed. This could be done with the assistance of medical treatment to facilitate healing.


There was a woman who was said to have suffered from breast cancer and how she ate fresh banana for 12 (twelve) months and was wonderfully cured of the decease. Certainly, eating of raw fruits is helpful to our health because they are fresh and alive, and naturally heals the body holistically without side effect.


This is a well known practice by all living beings. Our foods are either cooked, fried, baked or processed for nourishing our body. Some even add artificial flavor and sweetener to give taste. But we have also been advised that when food is over cooked, baked, fried or over processed it become relatively chaff and will not constitute any nutrient value to the body. If it does, very minimal of percentage than the damage it does to the body. Hence the various deceases/sicknesses we see today, ranging from constipation, blood clotting, metabolic disorderliness, not being able to pass feaces well leading to pollution of the blood system, malfunctioning of the organs and a total breakdown of the body system, etc.

This eventually leads to untimely death or part of the body collapsing and not being able to do the things we do in the past if not well managed, you will see such persons either overbloated or shrinked or gets older than his/her age.

A well balance diet is achievable from cooked, fried, baked or processed meal. (Please goggle nutrition/balance dieting and see what it gives) your input to this family talk would be helpful. Remember to meditate always on divine Love; he that dwelleth in Love dwelleth in God, and God in him /John 4:16 Do not take matters so strong without letting it go, because what we think or do affects us positively or negatively. In Philippians 4:4, it says, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again, I say rejoice, “because God in His divine Love created you in His image and after His likeness, Genesis 1:26.





11 December 2017 by Retirees and healthy living 3132 Views

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Ag DM, Field Clinics/Occupational Health





  • Unintentional injuries sustained from road traffic accidents are the top most cause of mortality among

            adolescent girls (10–19 years) in high- and middle-in countries.

  • Mental health
  • Suicide and mental health disorders significantly contributes to the burden of ill-health and mortality in all regions.
    The rate of HIV infection is high in practically all countries that have widespread HIV epidemics. Adolescent girls are at risk of unsafe and many times unwanted and forced sexual activity that can lead to HIV/AIDS, other STDs, unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion.
  • Adolescent pregnancy
    Pregnancy-related complications are a leading cause of mortality among adolescent girls in developing countries ,with  unsafe abortion contributing significantly to these deaths.
  • Substance use
    The risk of this, compromises their health, especially in later life, just as poor diet and physical inactivity. For instance, there is evidence that tobacco advertising is increasingly targeting young girls and women.

Introduction to Mental Health

  • Mental Health vs Mental Health Disorders:
  • For all individuals, mental, physical and social health are vital and interwoven strands of life.
  • Mental health is crucial to the overall well-being of individuals, societies and countries.
  • Indeed, mental health can be defined as a state of well-being enabling individuals to realize their abilities, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, and make a contribution to their communities
  • Unfortunately, mental health and mental disorders are not accorded the same degree of importance as physical health, rather, they have been largely ignored or neglected.


  • Mental Disorder on the other hand, according to WHO is “collectively all diagnosable mental disorders or health conditions that are characterized by alterations in thinking, mood or behavior associated with distress and/or impaired functioning”

Burden of Mental Disorders

  • Earlier this year, a student of Babcock university died from suicide.
  • Shortly after, a medical doctor killed his mother,
  • Some months back, a medical doctor died from suicide.
  • Also, a final year student of LAUTECH died from suicide.
  • In an UK health facility, 3 suicide deaths were recorded in one year
  • How about strange murder cases occurring amongst family members?
  • The big question then is…. Is suicide on the increase or we are just realizing the growing incidence..?
  • Recently, Some Mental health experts have raised an alarm over increased cases of mental disorder in Nigeria and have called for adequate facilities and personnel to curb it
  • Professor Oye Guruje, a psychiatrist with University of Ibadan, said government should give priority attention to the management of mental disorder because its burden outweighed that of HIV.
  • He added that while there were no specific causes of some mental illnesses, some might be hereditary, while some could be due to stress or lifestyle.
  • The Deputy Commander, Operations and Intelligence, (NDLEA), said, “most addicts were dealing in illicit drugs like Indian hemp but that they have now shifted to legitimate drugs like cough syrups and analgesics.
  • The command has a rehabilitation centre which hosts drug addicts whose cases had not attained the level of madness.
  • “when you look around, you will see many lunatics roaming about the street without any care and that is because the state does not have a rehabilitation centre to keep such people.
  • According to a recent WHO reports:
  • As many as 450 million people suffer from a mental or behavioural disorder
  • Nearly 1 million people commit suicide every year.
  • Four of the six leading causes of disability are due to neuropsychiatric disorders (depression, alcohol-use disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder).
  • Over 60 million Nigerians have one form of mental disorder or the other
  • One in four families has at least one member with a mental disorder.
  • Patients with comorbid depression are less likely to adhere to medical treatment or recommendations, and are at increased risk of disability and mortality.
  • For example, it has been shown that depressed patients are three times more likely not to comply with medical regimens than non-depressed patients
  • Mental disorders impose a range of costs on individuals, households, employers and society as a whole.
  • As a result, mental health disorders often go unrecognized and untreated — not only damaging an individual's health and career, but also reducing productivity at work.
  • Adequate treatment, on the other hand, can alleviate symptoms for the employee and improve job performance.
  • But accomplishing these aims requires a shift in attitudes about the nature of mental disorders and the recognition that such a worthwhile achievement takes effort and time.
  • Here's a quick guide to the most common mental health problems in the workplace, and how they affect both employees and employers.
  • In the workplace, they manifest with Stealth symptoms but have tangible impact
  • 3 are most common: Depression, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and anxiety disordsers

Causes/types of Mental Illness

  • Depressionis the mental health disorder that has been best studied in the workplace, partly because it is so common in the general population
  • (WHO) in its 2017 World Health Day message says 7,079,815 Nigerians suffer from one of the most ignored and misunderstood form of mental disorder in the country – depression.
  • Unfortunately, the depressed often suffer the ailment alone without a clear signal of help from either the society or even health providers. And when the depression has reached a certain level where they have concluded no one will ever understand them, the next thing is to commit suicide or harm themselves.
  • Sadly people who face depression must be prepared for at least two long journeys.
    • One is to face depression itself, including its symptoms – despondency, lethargy, lack of sleep, an inability to concentrate, weak productive lifestyle – are painful and difficult to manage.
    • The second journey, is in many ways, harder, and often longer, which is to face other people’s misunderstandings of their depression, misunderstandings that are sometimes insulting, confusing, and often unhelpful in getting the symptoms under control


  • Will be more effective and successful when identified early. The golden rule is to recognize the symptoms early enough:
    • Symptoms of mental illness vary in persons depending on the type of illness, cause and circumstances surrounding the illness. A mentally ill person may exhibit one or more of these behaviours which include; 
      • ADHD behaviours include inability to sit still, aimless movement, lack of concentration, attention and focus, inability to finish up a task.
      • Others include severe anxiety (fear of something bad happening or likely to happen),
      • In severe cases: hallucination, paranoia, feeling guilt, delusion, obsession(neurosis) , bed-wetting, schizophrenia, phobia, speaking to a companion that cannot be seen,
  • Eating and sleeping disorders, amenorrhea
    • bipolar disorders( mood swings, mixed emotions, crying and laughing at the same time), laughing in situations that are not funny, crying unnecessarily,
    • addiction which could be in terms of sex, drugs, suicidal thinking,
    • extreme cleaning of the surroundings by sweeping many times in a minute,
    • withdrawal from people, low interaction level,
    • lack of concentration, Alzheimer (forgetfulness),  tiredness, violence, anger,
    • lack of control, inability to differentiate between reality and fantasy,
    • high self worth, erratic thinking, physical problems, body aches, weight loss.
  • All these behaviours affect daily activities and relationship with others.


  • Untreated mental illness can lead to:
  • Risky behaviours such as 
    • committing suicide,
    • harm to self and others,
    • extreme violence,
  • loss of job,
  • absence from  school,
  • family problems such as divorce, separation,
  • poverty,
  • alienation from peers and friends,
  • homelessness, wandering
  • and relationship strains.
  • General:
    • Harmful behaviours like drinking, drug use, and alcoholism must be avoided.
    • Physical activities like exercise, strolling, and engaging in hobbies reduces depression and anxiety should be adopted.
    • Optimistic rather than pessimistic attitude must be cultivated, decision-making process should be done in good health.
    • Social participation, mingling with friends and family members go a long way to help.
    • Diaries to keep tracks on how the days are spent should be kept. This helps in knowing the health status.
  • Specific:
  • Marital counselling – think again about family history, victims of broken home
  • Imbibe age long virtues – patience, moderation, manage ambition, socialize
  • Take Charge of your health:
    • I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday....
    • I am born to be REAL, not to be perfect. I'm here to be ME, not to live someone else's life.
    • I'm going to make the REST of my LIFE, the BEST of my LIFE.
    • At this very moment, LIFE is perfect...because,
    • I am in charge of how I feel and TODAY I am choosing HAPPINESS.
  • Do not wish it away:
    • First rule is knowing you are going through depression.
      You can practice some self help tips like sleeping, do exercises.
      Learn to say No.
      Collaboration is the new competition. Ask someone to help you.
      Depression is real, but the good news is that it is treatable. Get help don’t delay.



  • The goal of screening and evaluation is to prevent the onset of disease or the worsening of an existing disease


  • Evaluate Health Status
  • Screen For Risk Factors And Disease
  • Examine And Educate
  • Physical Examination : Inspection, Auscultation, And Palpation
  • Educate :Behavioral Patterns ,Environmental Exposures That Pose Risks For Future Diseases


  • Ignorance
  • Self perception of excellent health state
  • Incomplete disclosure / insincerity – fear, confidentiality

What is stress?

Stress - the “nonspecific response of the body to any demands made upon it.”

Stressor – any physical, psychological, or social Condition that initiates the stress response, and can be either positive or negative.


EUSTRESS -  “good stress”

  • Initiates emotional & psychological growth.
  • Generates & initiates action.
  • Leads to increase performance and improved health.
  • Provides the experience of pleasure, can accompany a:
    • Birth
    • Graduation
    • Purchase of a home
    • Development of a new relationship

DISTRESS - “bad stress”

  • Results in negative responses.
  • Can interfere with physiological & psychological functioning.
  • Long term distress may result in disease or disability.

Homeostasis - the body’s attempt to

maintain a physiological balance.

Stress disrupts the balance.

Symptoms of Imbalance

  • Physical:
    • Headaches, upset stomach, sleep disturbances, changes in appetite, muscle tension, fatigue, heart palpitations
  • Emotional:
    • Depression, anxiety, irritability, difficulty making decisions, angry outbursts, resentment, feelings of powerlessness
  • Personal:
    • Lost time with friends and loved ones, job burnout, isolation – stopping social activities, relationship loss/difficulties, self medicating



  • Drop off kids with trusted friends / relatives for alone time with spouse or self
  • Engage in whole family activities ( e.g. biking, board games , holiday, TV programme,Cinema )
  • Use small pockets of time well
  • Buy time
  • Eating out occasionally (cuts cooking time & fosters bonding )
  • Travel time
  • Strict adherence to “family time”
  • Engage in “non-work “ activities during your leave.
  • Cut off unhealthy relationships (time wasters)
  • Engage help ( e.g. caring for aged parents)
  • Seek advice from others

Strategies To Improve Balance


  • Understand some things are beyond your control to change
  • Prioritize and give attention in order of priority
  • Adopt self – care practices (sauna, spa, regular health checks etc)

Understand that

  • you’re human, and have limitations, don’t push beyond your ability/capability
  • Self esteem - Quit trying to get in the good books of others, at your detriment
  • Learn to say no without feeling guilty



Prevention is better than cure.




04 December 2017 by Retirees and healthy living 3475 Views

Written by




Ag DM, Field Clinics/Occupational Health



HEALTH is the ever-changing process of achieving Individual potential in the physical, emotional, social, mental, spiritual, and environmental dimensions.

WELLNESS is the achievement of the highest level of health possible in each dimension of health.


  • Everyone wants to look and feel healthy.
  • By choosing safer food, healthier nutrition and regular physical activ­ity, HEALTHIER CHOICES and SAFER BEHAVIOURS you can improve your health throughout your life.
  • These key behaviors/Choices are important for your health no matter how old you are or where you live in the world.



  • Nutrition is the process by which a person receives and uses the materials necessary for the maintenance and growth of body cells, synthesis of enzymes and hormones, and production of energy.
  • It maintains one’s ability to resist infection, capacity for reproduction, and a sense of wellbeing.
  • Diet - food and drink considered in terms of its qualities, composition, and its effects on health
  • Dieting- the act of limiting a balanced consumption of the necessary foods and drinks to maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Though somewhat similar, society has morphed these two terms into completely different things
  • Society has accepted dietingas a form of losing weight.
  • This shouldn't be the case.
  • Continued, balanced nutritionis the way to proper weight control and healthy internal organs.
  • Dieting is often used in combination with physical exercise to lose weight, commonly in those who are overweight or obese.

Some people, however, follow a diet to gain weight (usually in the form of muscle). Diets can also be used to maintain a stable body weight.

There are three main abnormalities:

  • Undernutrition: when a diet is inadequate in quantity – either because it is not available or the person chose not to eat enough
  • Malnutrition: when a diet is inadequate in quality – amount may be enough but the essential nutrients are missing due to poor selection or not affordable.
  • Overnutrition: when a diet contains excessive amounts of calories and fat; at the same time, the diet may be deficient in protein and minerals

Healthy Diet

  • What Does a Proper Diet Consist of?
    Most Unprocessed Foods and Drinks
  • Primarily Vegetables & Fruits
  • Balance of Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins
  • The way to go if one wants to lose weight is to maintain a properly balanced diet that does not restrict the necessary nutritional needs.
  • Is this as easy as taking a pill? No. However, taking a dieting pill usually does not lead to losing the weight
  • A healthy diet helps protect against malnutrition in all its forms, as well as prevents non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
  • Unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity are leading global risks to health.
  • Healthy dietary practices start early in life – breastfeeding fosters healthy growth and improves cognitive development, and may have longer-term health benefits, like reducing the risk of becoming overweight or obese and developing NCDs later in life.

Five Keys to safer food

  1. Keep clean
    • Wash your hands with soap before handling food and often during food preparation
    • Wash your hands with soap after using the toilets
    • Wash and sanitize all surfaces and equipment used for food preparation
    • Protect kitchen areas and food from insects, pests and other animals
  • Separate raw and cooked
    • Separate raw meat, poultry and seafood from other foods
  • Cook thoroughly
    • Cook food thoroughly, especially meat, poultry, eggs and seafood
    • Avoid overcooking when frying, grilling or baking food as this may produce toxic chemicals
  • Keep food at safe temperatures
    • Do not leave cooked food at room temperature for more than 2 hours
  • Use safe water and raw materials
    • Use safe water or treat it to make it safe
    • Wash fruits and vegetables, especially if eaten raw
    • Do not use food beyond its expiry date
  • Give your baby only breast milk for the first 6 months of liFrom birth to 6 months of age your baby should receive only breast milk, day and night
    • Breast feed your baby whenever the baby feels hungry
  • Eat a variety of foods
    • Eat a combination of different foods: staple foods, legumes, vegetables, fruits and foods from animals
  • Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits
    • Consume a wide variety of vegetables and fruits (more than 400 g per day)
    • Eat raw vegetables and fruits as snacks instead of snacks that are high in sugars or fat
  • Eat moderate amounts of fats and oils
    • Choose unsaturated vegetable oils (e.g. olive, soy, sunflower, corn) rather than animal fats or oils high in saturated fats (e.g. coconut and palm oil)
    • Choose white meat (e.g. poultry) and fish that are generally low in fats rather than red meat
    • Limit consumption of processed meats and luncheon meats that are high in fat and salts
  1. Eat less salt and sugars
  • Cook and prepare foods with as little salt as possible
  • Avoid foods with high salt content
  • Limit the intake of soft drinks and fruit drinks sweetened with sugars
  • Choose fresh fruits for snacks instead of sweet foods and confectionery (e.g. cookies and cakes)


  • Weight managementis a long-term approach to a healthy lifestyle. It includes a balance of healthy eating and physical exercise to equate energy expenditure and energy intake.
  • It means keeping your body weight at a healthy level. 
  • Obesity is defined as a body weight greater than 20% of normal weight for height.
  • The World Health Organization has formulated an index for defining obesity.
  • Known as the body mass index (BMI), it is based on the patient's height in meters and weight in kilograms: BMI = weight in kilograms  (height in meters)2


  • WHO defines physical activity as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure
    • including activities undertaken while working, playing, carrying out household chores, travelling, and engaging in recreational pursuits?
  • The term "physical activity" should not be confused with "exercise",
    • which is a subcategory of physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive, and aims to improve or maintain one or more components of physical fitness.
  • Physical fitnessis your ability to carry out tasks without undue fatigue.
    • Learn about the components of physical fitness: cardiorespiratory endurance, muscle strength, muscle endurance, flexibility and body composition .

There are five components of physical fitness you need to consider:

  • Muscular Strength. This is the "power" that helps you to lift and carry heavy objects. ...
  • Muscular Endurance. ...
  • Cardiovascular Endurance. ...
  • ...
  • Body Fat Composition.