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Specifically Nigeria.

Nigeria is the biggest West African nation and the air transport hub of the region. Thus, a Filipino coming from Manila going to Ghana or other West African states will have to pass by Lagos airport and transfer to a second plane.

I made a milestone here. Last Sept 5 was my ONE YEAR in Nigeria, despite the malaria and typhoid bouts.

So how to survive in Nigeria?

I heard of some Filipinos in manufacturing firms here – -first-timers. After only 6 months, they called it quits. We can’t blame the guys. We all have our priorities. Other Filipinos have been here for more than 10 years and they said they never got malaria or typhoid.

I was hit by malaria twice and typhoid once. These two comes together and can cause confusing symptoms. Blood test for malaria and Widal (typhoid) can also result to what doctors call a ‘false positive’.

I got typhoid because when i travel, i ventured into eating in these carenderias and try local foods. it’s nice the first time but after typhoid, i have developed a phobia for roadside foods.

The first time i got the blues, i thought it was malaria. I went to a Nigerian doctor and described my illness. He promptly diagnose malaria without making blood test. he gave me Artesunate and plenty of paracetamol. I felt more sick after a week. I went back to the same doctor and asked for a blood test, and result showed parasite: “+++”. The doctor said the high presence could also indicate typhoid. So he gave me antibiotic shot and additional Cipro oral tablets. This aside from another anti-malaria medications called Fanzimef. I was feeling so bad with  those combination drugs – but at the end of the treatment, i felt relief. Finally.

Lesson 1 (Malaria)

I have to spray my room once-a-week and urge my housemate to pitch-in money to buy a container for the entire house spray once-a-week also.
Never leave open the windows or doors in late afternoon.
You can open windows for fresh air during daytime. 
Keep inside and outside of the house clean, especially kitchen and bathrooms.
Do not keep clothes hanging anywhere as it invites mosquitos.
Do not turn on the aircon while using mosquito coil or after spraying – and never spray your room when you are about to go to sleep.

Lesson 2 (Typhoid)

Never drink tap water. Always boil tap water before using.
Never eat local foods made on the street or carenderias. (except maybe roasted banana and corn)
Never trust those ‘pure water’ brands in cellophane packets sold on the streets. But I can recommend Coscharis pure water. You may buy CWAY 50-gallon container as your stock.
If you go to an outdoor bar or some seedy place, do not use a glass to drink beer. Drink from the bottle. (be sure to wipe the bottle to remove any rust)
Don’t buy meat in open market in the afternoon. Buy in the morning. Better yet, buy from Park n Shop or Shoprite.
Wash your vegetables before putting these in the fridge.

Symptoms:

If you feel weak in the morning and get fever in the early afternoon, see a doctor.
Do not self-medicate. Anti-malaria and typhoid drugs can damage the liver.
Take a daily dose of vitamins and minerals : pure iron supplement, vit C and B-complex
Eat fruits and fresh veggies (like tomato and cucumber) regularly.
Drink fruit juices and plenty of water.
Do not stay out of the house late in the night. If you are going out with friends, make sure you put some lotion or wear long sleeves.

Personally, i like Nigeria. In fact i think West African countries are nice places to visit and work with. I hope i can be given a chance by my company to be assigned in such places as Ghana, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Uganda. We have projects there.

I will extend my stay till December so i won’t miss a second Christmas with my children. When and if i come back, i’d like to go to other african countries.

And yes, i have remained “celibate” all these times. Thanks maria.

😀

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