09 February 2006

Nigeria and Avian Flu

While on vacation, as I luxuriated in bed (by myself at my mum's house!), I heard a cock crow! What joy to be away from the hustle and bustle of Lagos, to be so close to nature, ... wait a minute was that a CHICKEN!!!!!!!!!! I flew out of bed to confirm what I heard and there it was a brown chicken! I went in search of my mother. 'Mummy was that a chicken in the backyard?' She had this 'I need to intensify my prayers for this girl' look in her eyes as she answered in the affirmative. 'What is it doing here?' I inquired? Apparently our former maid was rearing it and she left it when she went home for the holidays (sallah/christmas). This particular maid must be new to the business, either that or she thinks we are not very sharp! Everybody knows that once your maid goes home for the sallah/christmas holidays, they hardly ever come back to you. The minute they leave better do your self a favour and start looking for a replacement. ANYWAY this particular maid leaves behind a chicken!!!! 'Mummy' I said as gently as I could, 'have you heard of bird flu?' 'No' she responded. 'Haba! half of Asia has died as a result of this particular flu over the past 2 years!!!' She shrugs like I am the parent and she is the child. I now proceed to tell her all I knew about the disease, how it will be spread by migratory birds, how its already in Turkey (this was two weeks ago) etc etc. I can see she can hear me physiologically but she can't or is choosing not to hear me! She says there really isn't a need to kill the chicken (insert appropriate french word here) cos its not 'roaming free', she can appreciate my issues but where will this particular chicken get in contact with a migratory bird, or even a fellow infected chicken. Maybe she has a point, I might just take a trip down to Ibadan myself this weekend to be on the safe side and take care of the chicken! Unfortuantly I am not a fan of 'old layer', else it would have been a good accompaniment for rice and dodo!

But I have other fears, my mum teaches in a rural school in Osun state (she retires this year by Gods grace) and she has a primary school in Ibadan (which will be 5 years this year, I am so proud) I am sure you can see the multiple points of failure here, and understand why I am really really getting scared especially since there isn't a vaccine for the flu, and Tamiflu isn't here yet!

Ah but I forget, 'Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me' Ps 23:4

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