Can Your Kitchen Kill You, #MenstruationMatters and Other Stories In This Week’s Radiant News Roundup


Published: April 30, 2016

Can Your Kitchen Kill You?

According to the World Health Organisation, over 95,000 Nigerian women die every year from kitchen complications. You might think the danger lies with rats, knife injuries, or even the household accidents that can happen to anyone. But no, it’s the firewood used to prepare food for the family. Depending on the type of wood and whether it’s burned indoors, the inhalation of cooking fire is equivalent to smoking somewhere between three and twenty packs of cigarettes every day.

Some women, given the chance, would jump at the chance for a cleaner cooking method, however, the cost is prohibitive. Fortunately, you can make a difference! To get involved, reach out to the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves – they’re working towards 10 million clean cookstoves by 2020.


Unsafe Abortions Killing Nigerian Women

The largest cause of maternal mortality and morbidity in Nigeria is the practice of unsafe abortions – and it kills around 50,000 women every year. Two different sets of laws exist for women pursuing abortions; in both the northern states and the southern states, it is illegal although the punishments differ in severity. The driving force behind these laws is the “safety” of women and children. However, the reality on the ground is very different.

Fortunately, the world is beginning to take note of this. In addition to a new website from the World Health Organisation meant to educate the public, the UK’s Guardian newspaper is beginning to highlight the problems. If you’re very concerned about this issue, you may want to take a look at work performed by Woman on Waves.


Life After Boko Haram

More than two million people are internally displaced as a result of Boko Haram’s activities. And, we must focus on all of them, even as we set our sights on the safe release of the Chibok girls. Life after Boko Haram is sometimes just as terrifying for freed or escaped captives as it is under their control. While the beatings and forced rapes may have subsided, there are other forms of torture afoot.

Many young women living in the IDP camps are backed into a corner of prostitution to feed themselves and their children. When they return to their villages, they are ostracised terribly. While the United States and other concerned nations send envoys to consider the problems and solutions, there is a lot of work for Nigerians to do. If you’re looking for a meaningful way to get involved in a healthy future, why not take a look at these ideas?



Hats off to Ms. Rita Soso, a Sanitation Officer at the Benue State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency. She’s made it very clear that adolescent girl children need clean and separate toilet facilities in schools.

In many of the rural areas, few schools have access to adequate toilet facilities, let alone separate ones for girls.Unfortunately, this means that many girls don’t complete their education. According to UNICEF, one in ten African girls miss school during their monthly cycle. In addition to the poor facilities, making it impossible to safely change and dispose of sanitary materials, there’s still a stigma attached to reproductive functions in many parts of the country. Follow #menstruationmatters or visit this website before Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28 May.


Time to Take Malaria Seriously

25 April was a day for Malaria activism across the world, but certainly in Africa, and definitely in Nigeria where approximately 300,000 citizens die annually from the disease. 65 percent of those deaths occur in children under the age of five.

According to Nigeria’s Health Ministry, the government shells out N480 billion every year to prevent and treat Malaria. Imagine if this money could be used for other, necessary health care initiatives. That’s certainly what the UN dreamed of when they made this year’s theme, “End Malaria for good!” Nigeria has a lot of work to do with its 71 percent prevalence rate, but remember that even small measures count, such as mosquito coils and nets.


Meaningful Strides in Women’s Health

Mrs. Aisha Buhari, wife of the Nigerian President, plans to make a difference in the lives of the women in her country. She’s spent two days in Ibadan in Oyo State ensuring free health screenings for 2500 women in the area. Screenings included dread diseases such as malaria, diabetes, and cancer. Medical staff also tested blood pressure which is linked to a number of conditions, ranging from mild to severe, such as heart attacks.

Mrs. Buhari’s work is linked to her initiative, Future Assured. Through this organisation, she hopes to secure easy access to healthcare for the most vulnerable people in Nigeria.


Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite

Bed bugs are nasty – and they can happen to anyone. The older your mattress, and the more people sharing a bed, the more likely you are to feel the bite of these tiny bugs. But short of spending a small fortune on a new mattress, what can you do about it? Interestingly enough, you might want to invest in new sheets.

According to research published in the Journal of Entomology, bed bugs gravitate towards red and black colours. And, they almost always avoid yellow and green hues. So, perhaps it’s time to transform your bedroom. At the very least, you know what pyjamas to avoid if you can.

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