On the 40 minutes drive to work today, I got talking with two doctor friends of mine, and you can be sure we talked about every and anything related to health and healthy living as time and traffic, or the lack of it would permit.
It has long been ascertained that Nigerians are more inclined to the fire brigade approach when it comes to our health; no ones wants to visit the Hospital unless it is absolutely necessary, and believe it’s only machines that need preventive maintenance. The normal allusion I have heard countless times from friends and foes alike, is that you can’t pay someone (Doctors/Lab Scientists/Radiologists) money to conduct a thorough search, and they wont find anything; they find it unlikely, comparable to looking for signs of cheating in a partner and finding none.
He intimated, after I had asked about prostate cancer, that it is a lot better if patients don’t start the process of diagnosing and treating it; this type of cancer has a slow growth rate, and most men would likely outlive it. Autopsy studies have shown that older men and even some young guys who have died of other causes also had prostate cancer that never caused them any trouble. Frankly, the message I garnered today about PC is clear to me, forget all about it and let it slide; it shouldn’t be my immediate concern. If you have the stomach for it and want to read further on PC, it causes, prevention (which they say isn’t clear cut) etc, click here
On a much lighter note, we got talking about seat belts and how I refuse to wear them at night on the drive home, as it is rather uncomfortable, especially when I have every conviction that I ain’t dying that day. He then went on to tell me about an accident he witnessed; it was during the drive home one night, from Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital to Ekpoma in Edo State. Apparently, the car in front of him skidded off the road and collided with one of the street lights by the side, and was thrown into the bush. Since doctors are known to be selfless and as the de facto first responder on site, he stopped and joined others nearby in the rescue operation and made sure he was stable at the end of it all. On further discussions with the driver after the ordeal, it turned out that he normally was averse to wearing seat belts and only did so a few minutes before his crash, just after he stopped to buy bread.
Seat belts have been proven to save lives, and you don’t wear them just because the Road Safety officials would fine you for not doing so or cos the Lagos State Police are adamant and regardless of jurisdiction, have taken it upon themselves to enforce it thus making you hand out bribes or pay huge fines at the station. We wear them because its your safest bet at surviving an accident that would otherwise have taken your live.