In typical Nigerian parlance, Oga Valentine come and be going, your wahala don too much. Every 14th February, you will just waka come and cause wahala anyhow.
On Valentine’s Day, hitherto rational people become irrational, organised people become disorganised, conservative people become extra exuberant and non risk takers become high risk takers. Bottom line is that, Valentine’s day, appears to have an inherent ability to activate the mumu button or switch in most people irrespective of gender, tribe and creed.
The history of Valentine’s Day dates back to a unique third century saint who suffered a brutal fate. St. Valentine of Terni was martyred in 269 C.E and according to legend he was killed for wedding couples against the orders of Emperor Claudius II. He was said to have been thoroughly beaten and subsequently beheaded. On account of his actions, Valentine subsequently became the patron saint of love, young people and marriages. Pope Gelasius I in 496 C.E established February 14 as a feast day.
There are several other legends associated with the origin of February 14th as Valentine’s day but suffice it to say that over the centuries the day has evolved and has now simply come to be regarded and celebrated as lover’s day. On this day people dress gaily in predominately red clothes or clothes with major shades of red. For valentiners, the red stands for exuberance and care freeness but for doctors, red is for danger and for big time mumuness .
The cocktail of alcohol, over excitement and fully activated mumu button is a recipe for chaos. Inhibitions are lost or temporarily suspended. People eagerly embrace, indulge and enjoy high risk behaviour. Indiscriminate and unprotected sex becomes the order of the day. Sex can and will often happen with anyone, anywhere and anyhow.
With this comes the risk of sexually transmitted diseases especially HIV/AIDS and unplanned pregnancies. The gaiety of Valentine’s Day numbs people to the fact that AIDS no dey show for face. Unplanned pregnancy and the attendant attempts to terminate it has multiplier effects and the all-too-well known complications. These are both long term and short term. They include massive bleeding, damage to the uterus, infections and even death. Long term infects include infertility or inability to achieve/carry through a pregnancy.
While some of the effects of reckless and unprotected sex of Valentine’s Day may be gloomy, the light in the tunnel is that post-coital contraceptives can be used to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) can also be used to reduce the risk of contracting HIV. These interventions can only be offered by trained and certified medical professionals and time is of essence. Best results are achieved if the interventions are offered or administered as soon as possible after the high risk sex act. These though are not intended for abuse because the drugs also have their own after effects if abused.
All in all Saint Valentine meant well but what is done in his name now will make him weep.
So, on behalf all the medical people who have to work extra hard after Valentine’s day to manage the after-effects of mumuness, oya oga Valentine come and be going.