Gbenga Oluboye

Gbenga Oluboye

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Serena Williams has revealed her near-death experience after giving birth to her daughter Olympia in September, in an article she wrote for CNN.

The tennis legend said she lives in fear of blood clots, a condition that surfaced during her harrowing post-natal ordeal. She said she got blood clot in her lungs, blocking one or more arteries.

“I almost died after giving birth to my daughter,” Williams wrote.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams said she had to have an emergency Cesarean section surgery after her heart rate plummeted dramatically during contractions. The surgery was successful and before she knew it she was holding the newborn.

“But what followed just 24 hours after giving birth were six days of uncertainty,” she said.

In a Vogue magazine interview in January, Williams said that during her postnatal ordeal she suffered a pulmonary embolism — when blood clots block one or more arteries in the lungs.

But this was not the first time the 36-year-old Williams has had a scrape with death from blood clots. In 2011, she spent nearly 12 months incapacitated after a cut on her foot from a piece of broken glass at a Munich restaurant led to a pulmonary embolism.

“Because of my medical history with this problem I live in fear of this situation,” the American said Tuesday.

Williams said that while recovering in the hospital, one day after the emergency Cesarean, she felt short of breath and after some convincing on Williams’ part, the hospital staff finally sent for a CT scan and then put her on a life-saving drip.

– Wound popped open –

But her ordeal wasn’t over. She started coughing so much from the blood clots that her Cesarean wound popped open.

“I returned to surgery where the doctors found a large hematoma in my abdomen. Then I returned to the operating room for a procedure that prevents clots from travelling to my lungs.

“When I finally made it home to my family I had to spend six weeks of motherhood in bed.”

Williams praised the hospital staff saying “if it weren’t for their professional care, I wouldn’t be here today”. She did not reveal the name of the hospital in the CNN piece.

Her kind words though were in contrast to some sharp statements she made in the earlier Vogue article where she says she had to coax the hospital staff to send her for a CT scan and hook her up to an IV.

“I was like a Doppler? I told you, I need a CT scan and a heparin drip (blood thinner),” Williams told the magazine.

Williams said it was a complicated experience and despite the agonizing ups and downs she “considers herself fortunate”.

Partly for surviving the ordeal and also because she can still live out her dream on the tennis court once she returns to competitive form.

The former world number one staged her long-awaited tennis comeback earlier this month by playing alongside her older sister, Venus, in a Federation Cup doubles match but it didn’t go well.

Serena — looking rusty and slow-footed — lost 6-2, 6-3 to the unheralded Dutch pairing of Lesley Kerkhove and Demi Schuurs.

Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney and Steven Spielberg said on Tuesday they would each donate $500,000 to the “March for Our Lives” rally in Washington in support of gun control following last week’s shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 dead.

Clooney and his wife, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, were the first to make the financial pledge and also said they will march alongside the students behind the rally on March 24.

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, where a 19-year-old former student is accused of going on a rampage with a semiautomatic AR-15-style assault rifle on Feb. 14, are assisting in planning the march.

”Our family will be there on March 24 to stand side by side with this incredible generation of young people from all over the country, and in the name of our children Ella and Alexander, we’re donating 500,000 dollars to help pay for this groundbreaking event. Our children’s lives depend on it,” Clooney said in a statement

Later on Tuesday, Spielberg and wife Kate Capshaw and Winfrey each said that they would match the Clooneys’ donation.

“George and Amal, I couldn’t agree with you more. I am joining forces with you and will match your $500,000 donation to ‘March For Our Lives.’ These inspiring young people remind me of the Freedom Riders of the 60s who also said we’ve had ENOUGH and our voices will be heard,” Winfrey tweeted.

Spielberg and Capshaw, in an emailed statement, said “The young students in Florida and now across the country are already demonstrating their leadership with a confidence and maturity that belies their ages.”

It was not immediately clear whether they and Winfrey would attend the march.

Film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife Marilyn also said they would match the $500,000 donation and march in Washington.

The March for Our Lives event is one of several rallies being organised by students across the country in support of stronger gun laws, challenging politicians they say have failed to protect them. Busloads of Florida students headed to the state capital Tallahassee on Tuesday to call for a ban on assault rifles.

Other celebrities have voiced their support for the students’ efforts on social media, including Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Cher.

Gun ownership is protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and remains one of the nation’s more divisive issues.

Thursday, 22 February 2018 00:00

Microsoft 365 Education launched in Nigeria

Microsoft has announced the launch of Microsoft 365 Education in Nigeria – a single, affordable technology solution built for education.

Microsoft revealed this on Tuesday in Abuja at the Microsoft ‘Windows in the Classroom’ event, in partnership with Sidmach, an ICT firm.

The solution brings together Office 365, Windows 10, Intune for Education, Minecraft: Education Edition and Enterprise Mobility + Security, in a single cloud-based package.

Ms Jordan Belmonte, Education Programme Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, said that Microsoft provided easy and skillful modes of modern teaching.

“With mounting pressure on educational institutions to continually improve students’ achievement and prepare them with skills they will need when they enter the workforce, the aim of Microsoft 365 Education is to get schools up and running faster through simplified acquisition and deployment.

“This eliminates wasted time and delivers new capabilities to teachers and students to help them learn and work in new ways.

“Microsoft 365 is able to connect all the teachers in the world. Some of the features embedded like One Note, aids multiple language learning and has features suitable for special needs of children.

“With Skype, for instance, teachers can also connect their classrooms to other classrooms around the world, making for an immersive and interactive learning,’’ she said.

On his part, Mr Mark East, Microsoft Regional Leader for Education in Europe, Middle East and Africa, said that schools want simple to purchase, simple to manage, secure and efficient systems.

Consequently, Microsoft 365 Education was designed to deliver on that need, he said.

“Millions of teachers and students are already using Office 365 for Education to communicate and collaborate with each other every day.

“With Microsoft 365 Education, we are providing a complete solution for schools in a single purchase that is a less expensive option than purchasing the same products individually.

“It is also part of our drive to simplify and modernise our licensing programmes ,” she said.

In her presentation, Mrs Jaye Richards-Hills, Business Development Manager, Education, Microsoft, said that gone were the days when the teacher was an all-knowing instructor, as the pupils had access to knowledge through technology.

She said that there was a shift from the traditional teacher-led mode of learning to a more collaborative mode.

According to her, Microsoft looks at what the teachers wanted and build them to pedagogical tools.

“The desire to prepare students for the future is what is propelling Microsoft to build technology that’s easy to use and empowering for both teachers and students,’’ she said.

Microsoft 365 Education makes it possible to unlock creativity in each student with immersive and engaging apps like Minecraft: Education Edition.

It enhances independence and efficiency for students of all abilities using intelligent tools built into office apps.

Teachers drawn from selected secondary schools participated in the event.

Thursday, 22 February 2018 00:00

Africa in for more extreme weather events

As a result of climate change, Africa is expected to experience an increase in temperatures and extreme weather conditions.

“Our country and the continent are becoming hotter and drier. We are going to have far more extreme events such as droughts, floods, sea level rise and fires. We expect these to increase in intensity and frequency,” said May Hermanus, the Executive Director of the Natural Resources and Environmental Unit at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Addressing the launch of the second edition of the South African Risk and Vulnerability Atlas (SARVA) in Johannesburg on Wednesday, Hermanus said the impacts of climate change are going to intensify, impacting on the population, with the poor being particularly affected.

“It’s important that we respond to these issues appropriately. They are absolutely important for the sustainability of our country.

“We need government, the private sector, non-profit organisations (NPOs) and civil society to not only have an understanding of the issues at hand, but we also need to co-own a strategy for how we address those issues and then we need to ensure that we can implement them together,” she said.

The atlas has findings of current research on the risk and vulnerability of key social and economic sectors to climate change. According to the atlas, temperatures over South Africa may be expected to rise faster than the global mean temperature, with parts of the interior projected to warm up by as much as three to five degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

“Eastern South Africa is projected to experience summers with more intense rainfall evets, whilst drier winters are projected to the southwestern Cape,” the atlas reads.

South Africa is working to implement the Paris Agreement, which is aimed at limiting global temperature rise.

The objective of the Paris Agreement is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below two degrees Celsius (above pre-industrial levels) and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

National Business Initiative (NBI) Programme Manager for Climate and Water, Alex McNamara, said there are four main ways in which climate change is impacting on companies. These include the availability of raw materials, risks to infrastructure and physical assets, the interruption of operations as well as the health and safety of employees and communities.

McNamara said companies do not always recognise the business imperative for engaging in adaptation planning.

“Traditionally, climate risks are positioned as environmental issues, rather than risks that could impact on company survival.

“Most risk management specialists lack the required climate change related knowledge or expertise,” McNamara said.

McNamara said business is and must remain at the forefront of adaptation planning, including the financing and implementation of solutions.

“There’s still a concern… Hopefully the water crisis will change this. There’s a sense that climate change is still in the future but actually we are living [it],” McNamara said.

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