When pastors MISLEAD patients, By Dr. Biodun Ogungbo

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Keeping vigil
A young woman developed meningitis which led to hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus means too much water on the brain and it causes headaches, nausea, vomiting and loss of consciousness. She was seen accompanied by her mother as we counselled for her to undergo an operation to drain the excess water off her brain. The operation is simple, routine and guaranteed to work in relieving her symptoms. Patients are often in hospital for just about two days.
The mother refused the offer of surgery saying, ‘God forbid’, and ‘It is not our portion’. She then took the daughter off to a church in the East for seven days of fasting and night vigil. We saw them again as an emergency when the daughter was rushed into hospital in coma. She died soon after.

Lagos for prayers
A husband and wife also came to the hospital recently for a second opinion. The wife had become bedridden for about a month. There was gradual weakness of the legs and paralysis such that she was now in a wheelchair. The problem was diagnosed as being due to a spine tumour causing significant pressure on her spinal cord.
The paralysis was progressive though not yet complete and so there was some hope of recovery. If we operate immediately, to remove the tumour and decompress the spinal cord. The family was counselled to have an operation and plans were made for the procedure to be carried out as soon as possible,
The next we heard was that they had travelled to Lagos for prayers!

A dead baby
This story from Adanma Odefa. A woman was rushed to the hospital after she went into labour to deliver her baby. Unfortunately, she was having a long difficult labour. The labour was prolonged and both mother and baby were suffering. Thus, she was asked to undergo a caesarian section for her baby to be delivered safely and her life saved.
She refused saying she would not unless her husband agreed to it.
The husband did not. “No!”, he yelled, “My wife is a Hebrew woman and must deliver as such! She must deliver by natural birth and not through a caesarian section. Stop corrupting her or God will punish you”. This because the pastor said caesarian section for a Hebrew woman is a curse from God.
Unfortunately, this all continued till the baby died. Then doctors had to operate on her to bring out a beautiful but dead baby boy. The worst part of this story is that over a decade later, the woman is yet to have another baby. She has not even had a missed pregnancy.

My spinal injured
A patient of mine suffered a spinal cord injury following a road traffic accident. Unfortunately, he remained completely paralysed even following surgery to help his recovery. After years without improvement, he lost his wife to a pastor. She said she had grown tired of his reluctance to help himself and remove the shackles of ‘witchcraft’ placed upon him by his family. You see, he refused to follow her to the various churches where he could be ‘delivered’. The pastors had told her the paralysis was due to witchfraft!
Pastors apparently had told his wife that he was paralysed by his brother, his parents and whoever else: people who were apparently jealous of their relationship and the fact that he had bought a second-hand car (Toyota Camri) only days before the accident where he became paralysed. One pastor suggested that perhaps he was himself dabbling in witchcraft and did not make sacrifices for which he was being punished!
That he would walk again only if he believed and came to church! He refused to believe that his family who paid for his wedding, lent money to buy his first car, stood by him following the accident and treatment and who continue to support him physically and financially were behind his spinal cord injury. He did not feel he could ostracize his family to please a pastor that never even brought a bunch of bananas when coming to ‘pray’ for him.

Let us recap
God has given common sense, knowledge and medical breakthroughs to doctors to save lives. Doctors are the representatives of God on earth, not pastors. The patients as described above and many more besides suffer greatly due to the bad advice and reliance on the crazy thoughts of a few mad men.
Seriously, all these pastors doing miracles and deliverances all over the world are deluded. You should not trust your physical health to these people! Putting your lives in the hands of an ignorant and egotistical third party is simply suicidal.
The actual miracles take place in hospitals.

Time to halt the Trans-Saharan migration
The world was treated to a rude shock recently when the news of the deaths of 26 Nigerian women was broken. The women, in their teens, were reportedly murdered in their attempt to cross the Mediterranean. The reports further suggested that the women, whose bodies were recovered at the sea, may have been sexually abused.
The bodies of the women, aged 14-18 were reportedly kept in a refrigerated section of a Spanish warship, Cantabria, which was also carrying other 375 migrants among whom were Sub-Saharan Africans from Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, The Gambia and Sudan. Among them were 90 women – eight of them pregnant – and 52 children.
The above incident is a microcosm of the ordeals Sub-Saharan Africans undergo in their quest to migrate to Italy and other European countries from the Trans-Saharan route in search of greener pasture. The ugly stories of the migrants are laced with violence, including torture and sexual abuse, by the gangs.
There is an urgent need to address some of the factors that have been identified to trigger this mass migration. One pertinent question that borders the mind is why would one spend $4,000 to $6,000 in order to migrate to Europe when such money if exchanged for naira can establish a small business?
The African Union and Economic Community of West African States should not be mere observers in this issue. They should toe the path of the European Union (EU) in checking irregular migration. The EU has adopted four pillars to address this issue. They include reducing the incentives for irregular migration, improving border control, developing a common EU asylum policy and strengthening legal migration.
The EU also set up the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa to address the root causes of migration, finance projects that create employment opportunities, support basic services for local populations and support improvements in overall governance, as well as projects that improve migration management. addition, the EU created the European External Investment Plan ‘to promote sustainable investment in Africa and the neighbourhood and tackle some of the root causes of migration.

Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu,
[email protected]

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