Main Menu

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

 

What you should do about dry eyes syndrome?

By Enyeribe Ejiogu

([email protected])

There are times you mIght feel you have sand in your eyes, or they might burn or itch, prompting the desire to scratch around your eyes intermittently. You might be sensitive to light, have blurry vision, or, in some cases, your eyes might water. And you may have a tough time wearing contact lenses. What all these point to is that you are having a problem called dry eyes syndrome. It happens because of a number of reasons. But don’t worry, just learn more about it and the solution to the problem. Continue reading….

The eyes need moisture

This helps them work the way they are supposed to and keeps them comfortable. Your body normally makes moisture for your eyes, but when you can’t, or it’s not good quality, this can make your eyes hurt and affect your eyesight.

What tears do for the eyes

They soothe the surface of your eyes and protect them from things like debris and infection. Each time you blink, they go over your eyes, then drain into the inner corners of your eyelids to the back of your nose. If you don’t make enough good-quality tears, your eyes can be dry and irritated.

Dry eye syndrome

The most common kind of dry eye happens because your body doesn’t make enough tears. This is called dry eye syndrome, or keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS). Many things can cause it. Depending on what that is, it can go away on its own or last a long time.

One of the possible causes of dry eye syndrome is age. The glands that make tears don’t work as well as you age, so you don’t make as many. Also, your eyelids begin to sag, and that can break the seal against your eyeball that helps keep in moisture.

Some other causes include:

(1) Certain Illnesses

Autoimmune diseases, that is when your immune system attacks parts of your body, can affect your body’s ability to make tears and cause dry eyes.

Examples include lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as Sjogren’s syndrome, which attacks saliva and tear glands.

(2) Eye surgery

Dry eyes can be a side effect of cataract surgery and LASIK or PRK surgery, which correct vision problems. The nerves that help you make tears can be damaged during these procedures. Talk with your doctor about eye-drops and other things that can help. For most people, it gets better as your eyes recover.

(3) Evaporative dry eye

If your tears don’t have enough oil in them, they can evaporate (get absorbed into the air) before your eyes get enough moisture. This often happens when the glands that give your tears their oily texture are blocked.

Also called Meibomian gland dysfunction, it’s treated with warm washcloths and lid scrubs that clear away the dead skin, oil, and bacteria that can build up and plug the glands.

(4) Tear duct infection

Also called dacryocystitis, this happens when a tear duct, the small tube that runs down the length of your nose and connects to your eyelid, gets blocked and bacteria get in the area. It’s most common in infants, but it can happen at any age.

Symptoms include pain, redness, swelling, too many tears, discharge from your eye, and fever. Antibiotics are the most common treatment, but some people need minor surgery to clear it up.

(5) Medications

If you have symptoms of dry eyes and take medication, read the label. Some drugs, such as antihistamines, beta-blockers, and some antidepressants, can affect your tears and dry out your eyes. Talk with your doctor to find out if this is a problem for you.

Other things that can make dry eyes syndrome worse

(A) Low humidity

If there’s not a lot of moisture in the air, for instance, in a heated or air-conditioned room or in an airplane, dry eyes can get even more irritated. And a lot of wind can do it, too (that includes riding a bike without protective eyewear).

(B) Too much screen time

Looking at a computer or phone screen for long periods of time can cause problems because you’re less likely to blink and get moisture over your eyes.

(C) Contact lenses

They sit inside the tear film, so when that’s dry, it can make it difficult and uncomfortable, even impossible, to wear them. Talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble with your contact lenses. It may help to change solutions or use lenses made from a different material.

What you can do about it

(1) Artificial tears

These aren’t the kind your toddler uses when he’s trying to get away with something.

These tears come from the drugstore as drops or ointment. Some have a chemical that can stop working if you use them too long, but not all have that. Talk to your doctor about what may work for you.

(2) Change Your Diet

Among other health benefits, omega-3 fatty acids also may help keep your eyes moist. The best place to get them is from fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel. If you don’t like fish, you can take a supplement instead.

How to prevent dry eye syndrome

If your eyes are dry, it’s a good idea to stay away from some things that can irritate them, like hair dryers, air conditioning, wind, smoke, and some chemicals.

Use a humidifier, and take regular breaks if you spend long hours at a computer. During sports or outdoor activities, use swim or ski goggles or other protective eyewear, to help you keep moisture around your eyes.

When to see a doctor

If dry eyes are new to you and you’ve had them for more than a few days, talk with your doctor. It’s also a good idea to check with him before you use over-the-counter artificial tears. 

In most cases, dry eyes are more of an annoyance than a health danger, but it’s always best to be sure.

The doctor will have a good talk with you, to understand the symptoms you may be experiencing and also take your medical history.

Based on this, he would recommend a course of action and may even conduct an eye test. You obviously love your eyes, so keep them healthy and they will be with you for life. Enjoy life, with your eyes, of course!


Why many still die from Diabetes – Atuchukwu

By Gilbert Ekezie

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the blood glucose or blood sugar is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat. But the insulin, which is a hormone made by pancreas helps glucose from food to get into the body cells, which is used for energy. When the body does not make enough insulin or use it well, glucose then stays in the blood and not reach the cells.

Chief Executive Officer of AKO Group of Companies, Sole Marketers of Dykure Herbal Capsules and Diabiz Herbal Tea for proper management of Diabetes, Mr. Obiora Atuchukwu observed that, many die of diabetes today because they neglected all it takes to maintain personal health hygiene.

He noted that diabetes which is killing people rampantly nowadays has been in existence for a long time that are killings Africans today have been in existence for a long time.

But due to the importance the people of old attached on herbal medicines, they were better of.

Atuchukwu also explained that the present generation came up and dropped idea of herbal medicines, and see them as useless and dangerous. “That led to the present health challenges like diabetes and other ailments. And until we learn from our mistakes and go back to use our natural medicines, things will still continue to go wrong.”

According to him the complications of diabetes are deadly but Dykure Herbal Capsules and Diabiz Herbal tea will take care of them. “Diabetes is an important factor in accelerating the hardening and narrowing of the arteries, leading to stroke, heart diseases, large blood vessel diseases, amputation, visual problems etc. But with Dykure and Diabiz all the above complications will not be experienced at all. And, there is no other medicine that can take care of diabetes better than Dykure and Diabiz, Indian Ayurvedic formulations.”

Atuchukwu further explained that one should exercise patience to complete the dosage for an effective result to be achieved.

“No patient regrets taking both medicines because they are effective. Most importantly, one must take both the capsule and tea for about three months before the expected result could be achieved.”

The AKO CEO also insisted that diabetic patients should monitor their blood glucose level, do physical exercise and control their weights.

“Also if a diabetic sticks to his or her meals, it can help to control diabetes. But the use of both Dykure and Diabiz to fight diabetes is the ultimate and should not be ignored.”


City rout Reds, United held by Stoke

Londres, United Kingdom | AFP | Manchester City capitalised on Sadio Mane’s controversial red card to thrash title rivals Liverpool 5-0, while Manchester United lost their 100 percent record after a 2-2 draw at Stoke on Saturday.

City goalkeeper Ederson was stretchered off in a neck brace after being caught in the face by Mane’s boot as he raced out to head the ball away, with the Liverpool winger dismissed for the clash late in the first half at Eastlands.

City already led 1-0 through Sergio Aguero’s opener at that point and braces from Gabriel Jesus and substitute Leroy Sane completed City’s biggest win over Liverpool since 1937.

City are unbeaten in 12 Premier League games, their best run under Guardiola, while Argentina striker Aguero is now the outright leading non-European goalscorer in Premier League history with 124 goals.

“After 10 v 11 it was a little bit easier for us and we played the second half the way we wanted to,” said City manager Pep Guardiola.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said: “The decisive decision in the whole game was the red card. I don’t think it was a red card. Sadio didn’t see the goalkeeper.”

After a blistering start to the season, United conceded for the first time in the league this term when Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting swept home from Mame Biram Diouf’s 43rd minute cross to notch his first Stoke goal.

Jose Mourinho’s side drew level at the bet365 Stadium as Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s corner in first half stoppage-time was headed goalwards by Paul Pogba before deflecting into the net off Marcus Rashford.

The visitors moved ahead in the 57th minute when Mkhitaryan’s defence-splitting pass was converted by Romelu Lukaku after the Belgian forward’s initial effort was saved by Jack Butland.

But when United defender Phil Jones stumbled at a Stoke corner, Cameroon forward Choupo-Moting was unmarked to head the equaliser in the 63rd minute.

Despite dropping points for the first time in four matches, United remain top of the table, above neighbours City on goal difference.

“It was a difficult match. My players, after the international break, are not the same,” Mourinho said.

“I’m not satisfied with a point because we were the team closer to winning.”

At the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal eased the pressure on Arsene Wenger with a vital 3-0 win against Bournemouth.

Subjected to stinging criticism following Arsenal’s damaging defeats against Stoke and Liverpool, it took just six minutes for Danny Welbeck to lift Wenger’s gloom as the Arsenal striker headed home from Sead Kolasinac’s cross.

France forward Alexandre Lacazette doubled Arsenal’s lead in the 27th minute, bagging his second goal since his pre-season move from Lyon with a curling strike from the edge of the area.

Welbeck’s second goal, from Aaron Ramsey’s 50th minute pass, secured Arsenal’s first win since the opening weekend.

– Ton up for Kane –

Alexis Sanchez came off the bench in the closing stages for his first Arsenal appearance this season following the collapse of his mooted move to Manchester City on transfer deadline day.

“It was a serious performance. We played well all over the pitch,” Wenger said.

Harry Kane reached his Tottenham century as the England striker’s brace inspired an impressive 3-0 win at Everton.

Kane bagged his 100th Tottenham goal — and first this season — in the 28th minute, looping a long-range cross-shot over Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Christian Eriksen increased Tottenham’s advantage with a close-range strike in the 42nd minute after Pickford spilled a Ben Davies shot.

Kane bagged his second from Davies’s 46th minute cross to kill off Everton.

Chelsea survived a tense finish as the champions made it three successive wins with a 2-1 success at Leicester.

Antonio Conte’s side took the lead through Alvaro Morata’s third goal for Chelsea as the Spain striker peeled away from Wes Morgan to meet Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross with a bullet header in the 41st minute.

N’Golo Kante was a key member of Leicester’s title-winning team two years ago and the Chelsea midfielder returned to haunt his old club with a 50th minute long-range strike.

Jamie Vardy got one back for Leicester with a penalty and Conte said: “We must be delighted. We were in total control and could have scored more.”

Brighton secured their first top-flight win for 34 years, with Pascal Gross’s double clinching a 3-1 win over West Bromwich Albion at the Amex Stadium.

Watford handed Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino his first league defeat, 2-0 at St Mary’s, thanks to goals from Abdoulaye Doucoure and Daryl Janmaat.


Côte d’Ivoire : la lune de miel entre Guillaume Soro et Alassane Ouattara définitivement terminée

Pour ceux qui en doutaient encore, c’est réellement le clap de fin. Après de nombreuses mésententes, des polémiques, les ivoiriens ont eu ce jour la preuve de la fin d’une ère, mais surtout le début d’une guerre sournoise aux conséquences imprévisibles.

Michel Gbagbo à Ouattara : tu vas tomber et puis il y a rien

Alassane Ouattara et Guillaume Soro ont toujours été liés. Et ce lien s’est renforcé lors de la crise de 2011 qui a vu M. Ouattara et ses partisans affronter (politiquement, mais aussi militairement) le camp de Laurent Gbagbo. A cette époque, Guillaume Soro pourtant ministre de Gbagbo allait changer la donne en s’alliant aux adversaires de celui-ci. 

Une alliance qui a permis à l’actuel homme fort de la Côte d’Ivoire d’étendre son influence, mais aussi de gagner le soutien des rebelles tenus en respect par Guillaume Soro. Avec l’appui de la France, les dés étaient pipés pour l’ex-président, Laurent Gbagbo. Logiquement, après la défaite de celui-ci, les deux hommes ont largement eu le temps de se remercier mutuellement tout en célébrant leur amitié renouvelée. Tel un enfant prodigue, Guillaume Soro a eu droit à tous les honneurs… Ministre, puis président de l’Assemblée nationale (PAN) à deux reprises, il avait su se rendre important.

Les ambitions de l’un ne vont pas dans le sens de l’autre

Mais Guillaume Soro voit plus loin. L’homme a envie de prendre la tête du pays un jour. Une ambition qui ne semble pas trouver l’assentiment de M. Ouattara qui a un tout autre plan. Les premières divergences apparaissent. Certains accusent le PAN de tirer les ficelles dans des sordides affaires de mutinerie. Des accusations jamais prouvées et toujours rejetées par le camp Soro. Un de ses proches est épinglé dans une affaire de cache d’armes, mais Soro reste imperturbable.

Quand on leur demande si leurs relations se sont détériorées, les deux amis hier s’en amusent et nient. Mais en privé, ce n’est le même langage qui est tenu. Pis, les proches de Soro se sont mis en l’espace de quelques mois à attaquer leurs désormais rivaux proches de Ouattara. Et depuis ça sentait déjà le roussi.

Tous les observateurs attendaient la preuve ultime de la fin de la lune de miel entre les deux camps. La preuve a fini par tomber ce samedi 9 septembre. Lors du congrès du RDR, parti présidentiel, Guillaume Soro était le grand absent. Une absence confirmée par l’intéressé qui affirme n’avoir pas été associé à l’événement. Désormais les jeux sont clairs, et une nouvelle ère s’ouvre dans ce qu’on peut désormais appeler la guerre entre Ouattara et Soro.


Un nouveau contingent togolais déployé au Mali

Un nouveau contingent togolais composé de soldats, de policiers, de médecins et d’infirmiers a quitté Lomé samedi pour rejoindre Bamako dans le cadre de la Minusma (Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée pour la stabilisation du Mali).

Les Casques bleus seront déployés dans les villes de Sévaré, Douentza, Diabaly, Gossi et Kidal.

Sept soldats de la paix togolais ont perdu la vie l’année dernière au Mali et un huitième a été tué au mois d’août à Douentza, dans le centre du pays.

En dépit des risques, le Togo s’est engagé à assurer sa mission de paix sous les couleurs des Nations Unies.


News24.com | Eastern Cape ANC faces new hiccup

The thrice-postponed Eastern Cape ANC conference may again be under threat after members of the province’s biggest region went to court to try to nullify the outcomes of a regional gathering.

Badanile Ntamo and Mlandeli Ndabetha have filed papers at the Mthatha High Court challenging the “propriety” of the October 2015 regional conference in the OR Tambo region. It elected the regional executive committee (REC).

OR Tambo is the biggest region in the Eastern Cape, and second only to KwaZulu-Natal’s eThekwini nationally.

The court case comes amid political manoeuvring between supporters of provincial ANC chairperson and Premier Phumulo Masualle, and those of incumbent provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane, who is set to challenge for the chairperson position.

Masualle is seeking re-election for a third term.

The provincial elective conference has already been postponed three times due to disputes between party members.

The OR Tambo region has said it supports Mabuyane to be the next provincial chairperson. It wants ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to be elected party president in December.

Mabuyane and Ramaphosa supporters have said the court case is a ploy to derail the two leaders’ campaigns.

In court papers, Ntamo and Ndabetha appear as first and second applicants. The OR Tambo’s REC, the ANC’s provincial executive committee, the ANC national executive committee and the ANC are the four respondents.

The Mthatha High Court will hear the matter on Thursday.

In his heads of argument dated September 4, Ndabetha said: “This is an application for review and setting aside of the conference and its decisions of the first respondent [OR Tambo REC] held at the Khanyisa High School, Mthatha, on October 16 to 18, which allowed the conference to proceed without the participation of Mhlontlo [Ward 24], Nyandeni [Ward 26] and Port St Johns [Ward 8], notwithstanding that these wards, through their representatives, had raised their dissatisfaction with the credentials of the delegates. And also notwithstanding that the first respondent had been advised of the problems emanating from the branch meetings to appoint the delegates for the conference.”

Ndabetha argues that the ANC constitution had not been complied with and thus the entire conference should be set aside.

Ntamo and Ndabetha want a task team to be formed that will help organise another conference for the OR Tambo region within six months.

In replying papers to the application, the ANC in the province argues that Ntamo and Ndabetha provide no basis in their founding affidavit for why the relief they seek should be granted.

“The reliefs sought in the notice of motion are not supported by any allegations or documents in the founding affidavit. The honourable court cannot grant an order for the setting aside of the decisions that are not found in the application papers.”

If the OR Tambo region were to be ordered to reconvene its conference, it would mean the largest region in the province would not take part in the ANC’s provincial conference and in the party’s national elective conference in December.

“The applicants have not made a case for the relief sought in the notice of motion. Consequently, the application should be dismissed purely on this ground, with costs,” the respondents argue.

They question why Ntamo and Ndabetha waited almost two years to bring their application. Based on their failure to provide reasons for the delay, their application should be dismissed, they argue.

In his founding affidavit, Ntamo claims that in a branch general meeting of Mhlontlo’s Ward 24, held before the October regional conference, he discovered the registration forms of 66 people who were not part of the meeting.

Two of the forms contained the names of two deceased people from his village, he claims.

Ntamo wants the court to review and set aside all decisions taken at his branch general meeting and at the OR Tambo region’s conference.

At the weekend, the Eastern Cape ANC held its extended provincial executive committee meeting.

It discussed matters including its readiness for the upcoming provincial elective conference.

Mabuyane said the party was confident the elective conference would take place, despite the court challenges.

TALK TO US

Is the Mthatha High Court case an attempt to derail Oscar Mabuyane’s aspirations to become the ANC’s Eastern Cape chairperson?

SMS us on 35697 using the keyword HICCUP and tell us what you think. Please include your name and province. SMSes cost R1.50


Classes sportives dans les lycées : un exemple pour le réveil du secteur de la culture au Bénin

Dès la rentrée scolaire 2017-2018, il y aura une expérimentation des classes sportives dans des lycées et collèges du Bénin. L’information a été donnée par le ministre des sports, Oswald Homéky, en présence de son collègue de l’enseignement secondaire Lucien Kokou.

Bénin : Les artistes exigent une rencontre avec le président Talon

La mise en œuvre de cette initiative du gouvernement qui valorise le sport, donne à réfléchir sur l’immobilisme du secteur culturel. Reste à espérer que le ministre de la culture et du tourisme, agisse aussi et fasse rayonner la culture qui se meurt en milieu scolaire.

De source proche du ministre Ange N’koué, les initiatives de promotion de la culture et de la détection des talents artistiques dans les lycées et collèges du Bénin, sont envisagées par le ministère de la Culture et du Tourisme. Cependant, lorsqu’on sait que le débat d’une réelle valorisation de la culture en milieu scolaire n’est pas nouveau, on peut émettre des réserves. Pour l’heure, le sport a pris un envol intéressant, surtout avec l’opérationnalisation des classes sportives qui débutent avec la rentrée du 18 septembre prochain.

Le sport scolaire plus entretenu que la culture

Depuis plusieurs années dans nos lycées et collèges, les activités physiques et sportives ont pris le dessus sur la culture. L’éducation physique et sportive est une matière du programme scolaire. Des championnats sont organisés dans plusieurs disciplines sportives, qui permettent aux jeunes pratiquants de sports de s’épanouir et de se révéler. Aussi, cette mise en œuvre du Pag à travers les classes sportives, insufflera un autre dynamisme à ce secteur.

Par contre, dans le secteur culturel, on constate très peu d’actions allant dans ce sens. Les jeunes passionnés de musique, de théâtre, de danse et d’autres activités culturelles, de nos collèges et lycées, se débattent pour se rassembler en de petits groupes. Ces troupes sont pour la plupart mal ou non encadrées. Elles ont pour cadre d’expression quelques journées récréatives, et de rares festivals organisés par des promoteurs peu loyaux ou confrontés à toutes sortes de difficultés de financement.

Le programme d’actions du gouvernement a le mérite d’envisager des mesures de détection et de valorisation des talents à la base, qui permettront de corriger ce déséquilibre, si elles sont effectivement mises en œuvre. Le rôle du ministre Ange N’koué, consiste à leur opérationnalisation comme son homologue des sports. Des ateliers de théâtre, de danse, de musique et autres, peuvent s’animer les mercredis et vendredis soirs, pendant que les jeunes sportifs s’expriment sur les terrains de jeux.

Aussi, des animateurs seront certainement recrutés et dépêchés sur place, pour leur encadrement. Plusieurs jeunes formés dans les disciplines artistiques, seront donc employés comme ces 400 qui le seront bientôt, dans le cadre du sport. De même, divers festivals scolaires à organiser par le ministère de la Culture et du Tourisme au profit des troupes de collégiens, lycéens voire écoliers dans tout le pays, inciteront les jeunes qui ont des aptitudes artistiques à mettre en valeur leurs talents. Pour finir, bon nombre de ces talents qui seront révélés lors de ces activités culturelles régulières, constitueront un vivier sur lequel le Bénin de demain pourra s’appuyer. Et même ceux qui ne deviendront pas artistes seront un potentiel public. Tout cela pour un Bénin culturel plus fort et rayonnant


Lottery changes lives with more than Sh1bn given out to Kenyans

By ELVIS ONDIEKI
More by this Author

Kids know it as the brand that brought elephants dancing on trampolines on TV while many adults know it as the product that left them looking forward to Wednesdays and Saturdays in the hope of winning cash. Lotto, a ticket-based lottery, will in a few days mark the second year since it was launched in Kenya.

From modest beginnings, where it gave out Sh1.6 million to 2,180 winners in its first draw on November 7, 2015, the firm has weathered the storm to surpass the Sh1 billion mark in the amount of money it has awarded Kenyans in weekly draws and jackpots.

By September 1, those who had tried their luck with Lotto had won a total of Sh1,034,573,875.

“The number of those who have won is about to hit four million winners as we currently produce over 120,000 winners per week,” Mr Dennis Muigai, Lotto’s communication director, told Sunday Nation.

PURCHASE TICKETS

Lotto ventured into Kenya at a time when the lottery industry was witnessing a renaissance of sorts, and it is among the few in Kenya that operate through the purchase of tickets and televised live draws.

A Lotto player buys a ticket for Sh50 then selects seven digits — six for the main draw and one for the bonus — after which they wait for the next day of the draw. The firm conducts draws twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

If at least three digits in a person’s ticket match those from the main draw, they win some money.

Those who have won so far come from different persuasions, from a nursery school teacher in Mombasa County who won Sh10 million in October 2016 to a struggling graduate who also scooped Sh10 million in June 2016.

LOCAL PLAYERS

“We recognised from the start that, for the model to be sustainable, we had to make sure our customers did not spend more than they could afford,” said Mr Muigai.

“We wanted a large number of people spending a small amount to win life-changing jackpots. And that is what we have achieved. The average Lotto player spends just Sh73 in total per month, an amount affordable to all,” he added.

Other local players in the ticket-based draw system include Pambazuka National Lottery (PNL), which was launched in July 2016 and which conducts its draws on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Both Lotto and PNL are expected to give prominence to charity activities and have in the past been involved in activities that uplift the needy.

CHARITY ACTIVITIES

PNL says its give-back scheme is towards advancing “sustainable development”…. “This resonates with the Kenyan ‘harambee’ spirit,” says PNL on its website.

Lotto, on the other hand, has the Lotto Foundation to co-ordinate its giving to charity.

Mr Muigai said the foundation has so far “raised over Sh300 million for numerous initiatives in the health, education and sports sectors and changed lives in all 47 counties”.

“We know that our paying public is motivated by the thought that win or lose their participation in Lotto is assisting fellow Kenyans,” he noted.

RAGS TO RICHES

Rags-to-riches is the common theme in the accounts of those who have won money through Lotto previously.

Siaya County resident Cleophas Were who won Sh3.2 million in the draw of December 8, 2015 moved from a thatched hut to a modern house in a matter of months.

Mr Were, who won the money with the first Lotto ticket he ever bought, spent another portion of the money stocking his repair shop for sound electronics and opening up a food kiosk for his wife.

In Lotto’s draw of May 27, 2017, lady luck smiled on Nyandarua County resident David Kihara as he won Sh1 million.

The 57-year-old businessman spent the money settling his outstanding debts and to expand his automotive spares business.

FINANCIAL GUIDANCE

Miles away in Mombasa, nursery school teacher Rachael Munyika won Sh10 million in the draw of October 20, 2016. She later spent Sh58,000 of renovating her father’s house and gave Sh100,000 to each of her five siblings to start a business.

Then she spent some of the remaining sum to buy two plots for Sh3.1 million where she built a total of 24 rooms, most of which are for rental.

Winners like Ms Munyika who win large sums of money, Mr Muigai said, usually get financial guidance from Lotto through its financial partners.

“Soon after they are notified of their win, our winners are normally taken under our care for a period and it is during this time that we take them to our financial partners for initial advisory services,” he said.

FINANCIAL PARTNERS

“This is just the beginning of the relationship between winners and our financial partners, which extends for months as our winners solidify their investment choices.

Lotto also takes time to revisit winners to review their progress as a way of encouraging winners to invest wisely,” he added.

A milk vendor, a beef cattle dealer, a carpenter and a farmer are among the people who have won money from Lotto in September.

In August, Athletics Kenya Vice President David Siwa Okeyo was among the winners, bagging Sh600,000. 


Worrying state of boarding schools discussed online

By NJOKI CHEGE
More by this Author

The Moi Girls School Nairobi fire tragedy that claimed the lives of nine students has conjured up sad memories amongst Kenyans who attended boarding secondary schools.

Those who went through similar schools have been forced to relive the early days of learning that many would rather forget.

Reports that the dormitory in question at Moi Girls was a rather congested and was exclusively set aside for only Form One students with a few prefects around spurred reactions from Kenyans, particularly on social media, who told of their own horrific experiences in high school.

From congested and filthy dormitories to unfriendly administration regimes to blocked sewer systems, Kenyans revived memories of a tough four years in the country’s secondary school education system.

VENTING GROUND

What began as breaking news alerts about the dormitory fire soon spiralled into angry and concerned social media messages that got the country talking about schools and some rethinking the rationale behind boarding school.

The Moi Girls fire also caused Kenyans both online and offline to critically think about the current state of secondary schools in the country and the safety of their children.

Social media became a venting ground for many frustrated users who had suffered in various secondary schools in one way or the other.

From arrogant and indifferent school principals to harassment of students and parents by teachers to negligent school administrators, it was an opportunity for Kenyan parents and former students to tell all.

“You don’t know the arrogance of the head teachers of the big schools,” wrote Zabeth Kemunto. “They belittle parents and harass students and even try to force them to transfer so that they can admit others who pay handsomely… Kenyans, we must stop categorisation of schools.”

GRILLED WINDOWS

Parents also took to social media to complain about the grilled windows in dormitories as well as congestion with many giving examples of secondary schools whose classes and hostels were full to the brim.

One of the social media posts that elicited numerous reactions was from human rights activist and former Starehe MP aspirant Boniface Mwangi who, in a lengthy update, told the story of a parent of one of the victims of the Moi Girls fire.

“The Moi Girls School fire wasn’t the first of its kind. Unfortunately, if we don’t act with urgency, it will not be the last either,” he wrote.

To which many social media users who read the Facebook post responded with a stream of comments and experiences.

Former students of Moi Girls came out in numbers to confirm what many had feared: that the said dormitory was a congested health hazard.

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

Cecilia Mutemi, an alumni of Moi Girls Nairobi said that in her days, only 100 students slept in the Kabarnet hostel and was shocked to find out that the hostel hosts almost four times the number without additional facilities.

“When my daughter was admitted there, the same dorm without even an additional a bathroom, housed 360 girls,” she said.

From the social media uproar, the issue of disaster preparedness took centre stage with many concluding that Kenyan secondary schools are not adequately prepared for disasters such as fires.

“Our school administrators and even parents seem to have their priorities all wrong,” says Morgan Gitonga, “Why cough millions to buy school buses whereas if they invested in simple solutions like smoke detection alarms, fire hydrants, sprinklers, extinguishers and training of student fire marshals such problems can be been averted.”

LIVING CONDITIONS

It also became clear that many secondary schools do not allow parents to visit their children’s hostels to assess the living conditions of students.

Many of those who complained on Facebook and Twitter are parents who admitted that they had never seen where their children sleep while in school.

According to a Facebook user who goes by the name Waa Njii Ruu, most boarding schools do not allow parents into the boarding areas because “things are a mess.”

She went on to say; “It is evident that few schools have invested in fire and safety disaster management strategies such as fire drills, and even few have fire fighting equipment such as fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and fire blankets.”  

“We never knew what fire drills were because it was never demonstrated to us…,” said Carole Lenny on Facebook.

It was also a time for some to reminisce on previous fatal high school fires such as the Kyanguli Secondary School fire tragedy that killed 63 students in 2001.

Alice Kiluu said; “It’s so sad this takes me back to 2001 the Kyanguli fire tragedy which stole my dear brother from us. I feel for the parents of the girls who didn’t make it out.”

“Kenyan high schools needs to have full time counsellors. Mental health in high school is largely bundled under ‘truancy’,” wrote a Twitter user MediaMK.

On the flipside, it it was not all  doom and gloom.

A few had some positive memories about their former secondary schools; “I went to Kenya High School where we had drills at least twice a term.”

“I thank God for that. When I look back, we took it for granted but it now makes sense,” said another Adero Mwango Ocholler on Facebook.


School fires: Let us stand up for children by holding ourselves and officials to account

By JONATHAN WESAYA
More by this Author

In 2008, the Ministry of Education developed a blueprint for enhancing the safety of learners in schools. According to then Education Secretary, Prof George Godia, threats to learners required to be addressed through carefully thought-out measures and strategies.

It is appalling that nine years since the “School safety standards manual” was unveiled, the threats that were to be eliminated by these measures still claim lives in schools.

The Education ministry leads other ministries and government agencies in developing and unveiling laws, policies, frameworks and documents that are never put to use — not to mention the numerous commissions established to streamline the sector since independence.

What happened at Moi Girls School Nairobi last weekend is not acceptable and should not happen again in any learning institution if the various duty bearers are worth the titles they hold. 

CLEAR GUIDELINES

The safety standards manual for schools is clear in identifying the dormitory as the single most used physical infrastructure in a boarding school.

The manual is elaborate — including specifics on the requisite space between beds, size of corridors, the size of doors (not less than 5 feet wide and should open outwards). It also states clearly that the doors should not at any time be locked from outside when learners are inside.

The guidelines are so clear that they indicate where the key should be kept and that windows should be without grilles and should be easy to open outwards.

They go on to specify the necessary firefighting equipment needed; number of doors and where they should be placed.

The guidelines end by emphasising regular patrols by the school security personnel or and state that no visitor should be allowed in the dormitory.

From the preliminary reports out of the Moi Girls tragedy, the logical conclusion is that there exists lethargy at three levels: The Education officials responsible for enforcing safety standards in Nairobi are present but not on duty hence the lapses, the school management has not fully implemented the guidelines and did not conduct frequent drills as guided and the adults on duty during the emergency were not present or did not know what to do since they have not been trained.

This year, the Education ministry received a report from a task force led by secretary of administration in the office of the president Claire Omolo.

The report was clear that the ministry needs to strengthen its monitoring unit to manage the sector better.

One of the things the task force delivered on was safety and security. What we have seen since the report was handed over is more lethargy.

TAKE RESPONSIBILITY

As a country, we need to learn to take responsibility for the acts of omission or commission undertaken during our tenure. If we do not learn, we cannot change this nation.

In 1976, Prof Kabiru Kinyanjui, now Chancellor Chuka University, wrote a well thought-out research paper on the secondary school strikes that occurred in 1974 — when more than 100 schools were razed by striking students.

What is interesting about the paper is not only the title — Secondary School Strikes: The Art of Blaming the Victim — but also the framing of the issues by the media and how adults who supervise the children are let off the hook.

Looking at the latest tragedy, you get the feeling that the media is already passing judgement on the student suspected to have started the fire (who may or may not be guilty) without asking three critical questions from the emerging accounts: How long had the Form One student showed signs of distress and were there any support mechanisms? Were her parents notified and what was their reaction? Was she on the school’s watch list?

COMMUNICATION

By failing to ask these questions, we are getting into a framing trap in which we will eventually get to blame the victim as Prof Kinyanjui concluded.

It is, therefore, incumbent upon education stakeholders to draw lessons from the past and right the wrongs in the sector.

What, for example, are the parent engagement frameworks in our schools? Many of the large schools have choreographed meetings where a few elitist people manage the agenda and resolutions.

Schools need to open up and have alternative channels of communication to avoid the obfuscation of issues and provide genuine support to learners to vent and learn from mistakes. The current system of learners electing their leaders is a charade.

We have to stand up for our children by holding ourselves and the education sector to account.

The writer is the Country Director, Discovery Learning Alliance-Kenya Email:[email protected]