CitizenGo, a Spanish Organisation Under Fire In Nigeria

CITIZENGO, a Spanish organisation has come under severe attacks in Nigeria.

Project Alert, a non-governmental organisation based in Abuja, Nigeria with offices in the 36 states of the federation, said on Tuesday, May 21, this year, police officers allegedly raided Marie Stopes Clinic in Lagos,

According to the NGO, health workers and patients were allegedly harassed, and at the end of the day, the officers took away files containing confidential information of clients.

This writer notes that Marie Stopes offers free and affordable family planning services to women and men, pregnancy tests, pre and post-natal care, treatment and services for sexually transmitted infections (STI), HIV testing and ultrasound and laboratory services.

However, Gabriel Akinremi, the chief information officer of CLEEN Foundation, AN ARM OF Project Alert, the staff of the clinic are trained offer counseling and treatment especially to those who cannot afford the costs at private hospitals.

His words: “To raid a centre that provides such services is sending a message to women and girls as well as men and boys that they are not safe in health centres and that they don’t deserve access to quality health services without fear or judgment”.

This is happening in a country that contributes 10% to the global burden of maternal deaths ranking fourth after Sierra Leone, Chad and the Central African Republic.

Safe spaces where women can access confidential and non-judgmental sexual and reproductive health services are vital and we don’t have enough of them to reduce the risk of maternal deaths.

Just before the raid in Lagos, the Minister of Health was testifying before the Nigerian Senate about the overburdened health system, the deplorable state of General Hospitals in the country and the need to revitalize the tertiary and primary health care system in Nigeria.

Women and girls are dying from preventable deaths because of lack of access to quality sexual and reproductive health services. Recently released NDHS 2018 data state: “Unmet need for family planning declined from 20% in 2008 to 16% in 2013 before increasing to 19% in 2018.”

Family planning is the conscious choice by people to limit or space the number of children they have through the use of contraception. And 19% of married women in Nigeria have an unmet need for family planning services, according to the survey.

Marie Stopes shouldn’t be punished for offering a spectrum of services, including family planning, to those who need and want it, especially women, married and unmarried.

The work being done by organizations like Marie Stopes is necessary to dispel myths, provide counseling on the right modern method of birth control and help women and men space their children.

The National Strategic Health Development Plan 2018 – 2022 recognizes the importance of this work, which is why one of its pillars is to “Promote universal access to comprehensive quality sexual and reproductive health services throughout the life cycle and reduce maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent morbidity and mortality in Nigeria.”

Marie Stopes’ work is supporting the government in making sure Nigeria can achieve the targets to reduce morbidity and mortality, which means improving the health and wellbeing of women and girls in Nigeria. We should be celebrating their efforts, not intimidating them.

Ten percent (10%) of maternal deaths in Nigeria is due to unsafe abortion. Access to safe abortion is restricted in Nigeria, and can only take place in circumstances where a woman’s life is at risk.

Even though safe abortion services are restricted, access to post-abortion care (a service for women and girls who have medical complication as a result of unsafe abortion) is not restricted. Nigerian laws and policies uphold women and girls’ rights to post-abortion services, a much needed service that Marie Stopes provides.

Services providers who are implementing these policies and guidelines should not be subjected to harassment and intimidation for performing their jobs. These healthcare workers are providing care and saving lives; actions that should be praised and promoted.

These efforts to demonize and block access to legal services are being funded in Nigeria by a Spanish organisation called CitizenGO.

CitizenGo is a partner to an SPLC designated hate group World Congress of Families and the city of Madrid has banned their activities calling their campaigns hate based.

CitizenGo and its extremist partners have been organizing trainings in Nigeria and Kenya within the past 18 months, trying to block women’s access to critical healthcare.

They should not be allowed to instigate the harassment of women making informed choices about their health, and health workers who are provided life-affirming services. They are an intolerant group and they are bringing their hate mongering to Nigeria.

This group has set-up camp in Nigeria and is propagating false and unfounded sensational narratives in places like Enugu, Imo, and Nairobi under the guise of religious and moral obligations.

They must not be allowed to instigate hate and oppression in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. Hate is not part of our culture, and we reject the importation on intolerance by foreign organizations.

This is a coordinated attack on the rights of women, girls, and marginalized persons and we must say NO to their oppressive tactics.

Some of the NGOs and activists that signed the document were:

Education as a Vaccine

Nigerian Feminist Forum

Alliances for Africa

Women’s Crisis Centre

Project Alert

Vision Springs Initiative

The Initiative for Equal Rights

Women’s Health and Equal Rights Initiative

Equality Hub

Ake Arts and Book Festival

NoMore Campaign

Above Whispers

9jaFeminsta

Stand to End Rape

International Centre for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights

Autamaimasa Health Foundation

Drug Free and Preventative Healthcare Organization

Iheoma Obibi

Olabukunola Williams

Fadekemi Akinfaderin

Maream S. Muhammad

OluTimehin Adegbeye

Lesley Agams

Ayodele Olofintuade

Akudo Oguaghamba

Josephine Chukwuma

Lola Shoneyin

Ngozi Juba

Manre Chirtau

Pamela Adie

Bisi Fayemi

Azeenarh Mohammed

Funmi Juba

Ireti Bakare

Hauwa Shekarau

Wana Udobang

Charmaine Pereira

Fisayo Owoyemi

Amy Oyekunle

Oluchi Ogwuegbu

Itoro Eze-Anaba

Karo Omu

Chioma Ogwuegbu

Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi

Uche Umolu

Oseyi Etomi

Sylvia Ekponimo

Rita Musa

Chika Ibeh

Toyin Chukwudozie

Otibho Obianwu

CitizenGO is community of active citizens who work together, using online petitions and action alerts as a resource, to defend and promote life, family, and liberty. We work to ensure that those in power respect human dignity and individuals’ rights.

Eurogeroic – An Overview Of Smart Drugs

Excessive daytime sleepiness might indicate that you might have a sleeping condition called narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a condition where a person experiences excessive sleepiness during daytime hours. One of the treatments prescribed for this type of sleeping disorder is the Modafinil drug.

What is the Modafinil drug?

This drug is considered as a eurogeroic or a wakefulness-promoting agent. It was designed in France around 1970s, and licensed under Cephalon, a US company in the 1990s. The drug was used to treat sleeping disorders such as narcolepsy and shift work disorder. Although it was used in treating sleeping conditions, the medication does not cure the sleeping disorders and is not recommended for use for people who are not getting enough sleep or as a treatment to ward off sleep.

How it Works

It is believed that the drug affects the dopamine transporter, which increases the muscle movement in certain areas of the brain responsible for motivation thus resulting to a “wakefulness effect” on the patient.

Side Effects

The use of the medication may result to mild side effects including feelings of nausea, anxiety, headache, nervousness and insomnia. Some patients may experience serious side effects such as hypersensitivity or serious skin reactions, fainting, psychosis, dizziness, gastrointestinal problems as well as multi-organ sensitivity. Addiction and dependence may also occur due to overdose use of the medication over an extended period or if the patient has a history of drug abuse or dependence.

How Should the Medicine be Taken?

The use of the modafinil drug depends on what type of treatment that one is undergoing. For patients that are diagnosed with narcolepsy, the drug may be taken orally once a day with or without food, usually in the morning. On the other hand, for treatment of shift work sleeping disorder, the physician may prescribe the intake of the drug one hour before the work shift starts.

Precautions

As the drug may be habit-forming, it is important that patients talk with their health care provider and follow the prescription of the doctor to prevent abuse or dependence. Individuals that have drug allergies or reactions to certain medications should also consult their physician or pharmacist on how to proceed about the medication.

For women who are taking contraceptives or birth control, pregnant or breast-feeding, they should take note of their conditions before taking the medicine. The drug may reduce the effectiveness of the birth control pills and affect pregnancy.

Medical Disclaimer: The information provided is for information purposes only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

New Generation Cervical Cap Adds Convenience and Intimacy to Assisted Conception at Home

Technologies of all kinds have advanced dramatically since propeller planes were common, phones had cords and pop music came on vinyl records. Improvements also have brought assisted conception into a new era of convenience, flexibility and efficiency.

Just as in many other fields, the principles of assisted reproductive technology remain unchanged – while new materials and methods simplify the steps. That makes a huge difference for medical providers and prospective parents.

Modern technology helps couples often overcome common fertility challenges as partners in the privacy of their bedrooms rather than as patients in a medical office. The approach – a cervical cap to help sperm reach an egg – is decades-old. What’s new, thanks to a lightweight silicone cap, is a do-it-yourself technique that lets couples proceed naturally and with dignity.

Reproduction pioneers of the 20th century would be amazed by how much has changed, though they’d recognize a process that adapts their path-breaking work.

As early as Sept. 26, 1938, Time magazine reported on a cervical insemination procedure “performed when the couple cannot afford the preferred intrauterine insemination treatment”:

“The patient lies on the examination table; a doctor or nurse inserts a speculum into the vagina; the semen sample is then placed into the cervix with a plastic catheter. Sometimes a sponge or cap is placed into the vagina before removing the speculum to keep the sperm near the cervix, and can be taken out about six hours later. Success rates for the intracervical insemination treatment are in the region of 5 – 10% per treatment cycle.”

A dozen years later, Dr. M. J. Whitelaw published research describing how pregnancy was achieved for couples “whose marriages were inexplicably sterile, using a plastic cervical cap filled with the husband’s semen applied to the cervix for 24 hours.” His 1950 report appeared in the first volume of Fertility and Sterility, a journal created for doctors in that emerging specialty.

Awkard, Uncomfortable Origins

While Dr. Whitelaw’s day-long procedure used a rigid plastic cap, other gynecologists of the time inserted a heavier version made of surgical steel. After husbands produced semen at the medical office, their wives had to recline with hips elevated for four to six hours before going home.

In the November 1985 issue of the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, two nurses described that decade’s first-stage technology for helping couples conceive:

“The most common method of artificial insemination is to draw the semen into a syringe attached to a thin plastic tube and to insert the semen into the upper vaginal/cervical area. An alternate method is to place a plastic cup over the cervix and introduce the semen around the cervix through a plastic tube attached to the cup…. Immediately after the insemination, the woman lies on the examining table with a pillow under her hips.”

The laborious, time-consuming efforts often failed. A 1983 medical textbook, “Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility,” reports pregnancy rates of 18 to 20 percent from vaginal, cervical and even uterine insemination approaches. The two nurses’ 1985 article also reflected the long odds:

“Individuals and couples need to know that their efforts at artificial insemination of the husband’s/partner’s sperm may take many months and the prognosis for conception is often poor.”

Encouraging Success Rates

In the current century, family practice physicians and gynecologists tell couples that holding a semen-filled cap against the cervical mucus greatly increases chances that sperm will swim into the uterus for fertilization – the basic idea described in Time magazine before World War II. The path-shortening technique addresses problems caused by a tilted cervix, poor cervical mucus, low sperm motility or production, an unfavorable vaginal environment or abnormal penis opening.

In contrast to the decades when steel, rubber or hard plastic cervical caps were the only choices, new-generation models are soft and don’t need custom fitting by a physician because side flanges adjust to varied cervical dimensions. Cervical fluid holds the cap in place, just as capillary action keeps contact lenses from slipping. Users resume normal activities, including exercise, at any time and then easily remove the cap after six to eight hours via an attached loop. The trial of hips held high to get pregnant is over forever.

After European use and American clinical trails, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2000 approved the Oves Conception Cap for use here. And in 2007, it cleared prescription sales of a Conception Kit with a three-month supply of the same thimble-size cap, made of implant-grade silicone. Couples also get sperm collectors, ovulation predictors, conception timing wheels and other support materials.

Medical Studies Confirm Effectiveness

In addition to gaining easy, lower-cost access to a lightweight cervical cap for home use as a first step on the assisted reproductive technology continuum, couples can be encouraged by pregnancy success rates that are far different than in cap insemination’s early era.

Forty-four percent of Oves cap users become pregnant, according to a Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine study published in May 1986 in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine. Among women with secondary infertility after at least one successful pregnancy, the success rate rises to 67 percent, according to a 1983 report by four researchers at Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University, published in Fertility and Sterility. They also found a 43-percent pregnancy rate among women with primary infertility.

Along with solid reasons for optimism, couples begin assisted conception efforts with intimacy and dignity — keeping romance as part of starting or expanding a family.

A Close Look at Condoms

The condom has a colorful history. Cave paintings show that it was used during prehistoric times. Historians have no idea what the early condoms were made of but the ancient Romans made theirs from the guts and bladders of animals. In addition to being elastic, animal cecum had a fineness and strength which made it an excellent sheath.

Surprisingly, condoms were not considered a contraceptive device in those days. They were advocated as a means of preventing the spread of venereal disease. The first one to promote condoms for this purpose was the Italian Dr. Gabriello Fallopio. In his book “De Morbo Gallico” published in 1564, Fallopio recommended the use of a linen sheath to protect people from syphilis.

The condom entered the English vocabulary through the efforts of the English Doctor Conton who improved its design. When the contraceptive function of condoms became known in the 18th century, they became even more popular.

One of the earliest condom manufacturers was a woman named Mrs. Phillips whose brand was made from dried sheep gut. With the vulcanization of rubber in 1844, less expensive condoms were available. Most condoms now are made of latex, which is derived from rubber, but skin condoms made from lamb cecum are still around.

With the spread of AIDS and concern about safe sex, condoms have become one of the most popular contraceptives in America. This barrier method which is used by men also happens to be a woman’s best friend.

In the United States and Canada, sales of condoms amount to more than a billion dollars yearly with women as most of the buyers.

“Heeding public health warnings, Americans have helped boost condom sales more than 60 percent over the past two-and-a-half years. People who had never considered condoms before – women and gay men, especially – are now buying and using them. Women, for example, purchase 40 to 50 percent of condoms today, up from 10 percent a few years ago. Often the women are single, and often it’s disease – not birth control that’s on their mind,” according to the editors of Consumer Reports.

“One reason for the popularity of condoms is that they are easy to obtain. Condoms are available without a prescription in drugstores and can be purchased in vending machines in some men’s restrooms. They are available in various materials, ranging from rubber to animal skin; they come with or without a lubricant, and they are packaged in small and large quantities. Packaged condoms are good for at least two years,” said Dr. David E. Larson, editor-in-chief of the “Mayo Clinic Family Health Book.” (Next: Can you trust condoms?)

The Abortion Rate in the United States

About a year ago, the Alan Guttmacher Institute in New York published data that indicate legal abortions in the United States dropped to 1.2 million in 2005, the lowest level since 1974. This came as good news to mainstream Americans, most of whom believe that abortions should be safe and legal, but rare.

The Institute cited a number of reasons for the decline, including more effective use of contraceptives, increased use of Plan B and an overall lower rate of unintended pregnancies. Some observers added that improved sex education classes at the high school level and federally funded abstinence programs may also have contributed to the decline.

The story about the Guttmacher report was issued by the Associated Press, which focused on the rate of decline in abortions. In doing so, however, the reporters missed other useful and important data, including:

• Of 6.4 million pregnancies in the United States each year, 51 per cent are intended and 49 per cent are unintended.

• Approximately 52 per cent of unintended pregnancies result in childbirth. The remaining 48 per cent result in abortions.

• Abortion is one of the most common surgical procedures in the United States, and also one of the safest.

• The number of physicians who are providing patients with medical (primarily RU-486) rather than surgical abortions has increased from 6 percent in 2001 to 13 percent today. Also, 22 percent of all abortions under 9 weeks are now medical, not surgical.

• The percentage of females age 15 and younger who receive abortions is less than one percent of the total. In contrast, women between the ages of 20 and 29 account for 56 percent of all abortions.

• Approximately 80 percent of all abortions involve embryos at a gestational age of 10 weeks or less. Only one percent are so-called “late-term” abortions (21 or more weeks).

• Of women seeking abortions, 14 per cent are married.

• When women seeking abortions were asked about religious identification, 43 percent stated they were Protestant, 27 percent said they were Catholic, and 30 percent reported none or “other.”

• The United States, which greatly restricts sex education in high school, had one of the highest abortion rates among industrialized countries at 21 per 1,000 women. The Netherlands, in contrast, had a rate of only 9 per 1,000–a low rate often attributed to comprehensive sex education at the secondary level.

The Guttmacher report, prepared in conjunction with Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, dispels some misconceptions about abortions while illuminating areas of importance. When the entire report is considered, we see that the number of females under age 15 seeking abortions and also the number of late-term abortions are both statistically insignificant. That is surprising, considering how much time and effort some politicians devote to these two areas.

We see also that most women who seek abortions are in their twenties and that some are married. They represent all racial, ethnic and economic levels.

Finally, we see that the rate of non-surgical abortions involving RU-486 (“Mifepristone”) is rising and that more health professionals are offering this option to patients.