TEACHING OPPORTUNITIES ARE INFINITE

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Teacher’s Diary

I called the ‘maiguard’ over to join me in tipping over flower pots, bottle tops, plastic containers, lids and puddles of stagnant rain and tap water that had collected since… forever! I sighed loads of times in exasperation and repeated for the umpteenth time how he must ensure that no stagnant water collects around the compound.

Yes he confirmed that I’d said mosquitoes breed in such waters. Yes he confirmed that mosquitoes cause malaria and is presently killing thousands in Nigeria. Yes he confirmed that mosquitoes bite him daily and his ‘dogonyaro’ herbal pot is never cold.

But no he has clearly not internalised the link between stagnant waters and mosquitoes. No he has not figured out that the prevention of malaria is as much his responsibility as every Nigerian. No, he is clearly not learning-ready to inform others to ‘tip stagnant waters’ and move an inch towards tackling malaria.

Awake Nigeria! What is more than malaria looms because we have all the requirements to bring it on. We are experiencing rapid unplanned urbanisation in our rural regions. We presently share in the consequences of warming temperatures due to climate change. We experience the rewards of increase in intercontinental travels.

Teach, lecture, tutor these consequences as for one, the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes are taking over in a phenomenally different mode of transmission from malaria-causing Anopheles mosquitoes. And no, I am not joking and it’s not funny at all.

Interesting recently in Spain, for the first time in history, dengue fever has been found to have just been sexually transmitted in a single sex relationship. The world is changing rapidly; things unheard of before are gaining grounds.

So with this development, isn’t it imminent that the near breaking news soon to come might be “malaria has been found to be sexually transmitted in…?”

God forbid it’d be in Nigeria. We have more than enough troubles as it is. But we have a lot to step up on.

The Aedes mosquito is also in Nigeria. We are a fertile home for it since we are densely populated, have a tropical climate and of course lots of stagnant filthy waters. The world over, Dengue fever kills 10,000 people yearly whilst it is estimated to infect over 100 million people yearly.

Teach, preach, model the way forward. Let’s tackle the plight of these creatures one and all. If everyone tipped blocked puddles about them; if everyone dropped litters in bins not the gutters; if everyone checked how they are contributing to climate change, wouldn’t Nigeria be some fractions better than what it’s become today?