5 September 2012 19 Comments

How Twitter,Facebook was used to save a life in Nigeria

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals


debbie Idiagbonya Osare, Nigeria cancer patient saved by Social mediaSocial Media like money is neither evil nor totally good. In actually fact, nothing in life is either totally bad or totally evil. Take for instance, Airplanes. When there is a crash, people cry foul. Often we do not examine the human failure that leads to such. As human, when something bad happens, we are quick to point accusing fingers. Doing this, we sometimes throw the baby away with the bath water.

I am an adherent and strong believer in purpose and  goal setting. When purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable. Recently, the death of Cynthia Osogokwu through her Facebook friends raised a lot of doubt on the benefits and impact of social Media in our society. Because emotion was high then, we could only suggest ways individuals can protect themselves against perceived evils associated with social media usage. Many utterly condemned the used of Social media then. Scanning through media, I could only get only one write-up which did confirm that technology is not bad in itself but the users of technology can add such colouration.

As a frontline advocate of Social media in Nigeria, I am glad we now have a verifiable case study of how Social media advantage. The good news is that social Media has been used to snatch a life from death.

Debbie idiagbonya osarere, cancer patient in Nigeria saved by Social mediaDebbie Idiagbonya, 28 was diagnosed with a 4th grade invasive ductal carcinoma cancer of the breast which was spreading fast. It was said one of her breasts was already condemned. It was also stated the cancer is spreading to her neck and she has a month to live if there was no respite. An evaluation was made on her to go to Maryland Teaching Hospital in Baltimore USA. The cost was estimated at about Six Million (N6M) Naira. This sum is approximately Thirty Eight thousand($38.000.00) US Dollars

A concerned friend of Debby (Jonathan) got the medical report and evaluation materials, scanned them and started a campaign: beginning with her Blackberry messenger, to Facebook and Twitter. According to Jonathan, at the initial stage she was abused and called unprintable names because people thought she was a fraud. But as fate would have it, she made Debby’s address available online and many traced her. One of such people is  a Nigerian artiste popularly known as ‘Ruggedman’.

After Ruggedman visited Debbie Idiagbonya, he did a video clip which caught fire on social media too. Today the rest is history. Musicians, Actors and Actresses and well meaning Nigerians like Don Jazzy, Tonto Dikeh, Rukky Sanda, David Adeleke known as ‘Davido’ , popular bloggers like Linda Ikeji, Olori Supalgirl, ladun liadi among others had either helped in promoting the campaign or had donated the required fund. All things being equal, Debbie Idiagbonya will be on her way to Baltimore USA for the surgery. We cannot but pray for a successful journey and operations.

Here are the lessons;

Social media neither amoral or moral: Social media is neither totally evil or out rightly good. It all depends on its use. Come to think of this, we should all agree technology is not evil by itself. Human being determines the end product.

Have a goal or objective: The challenge with anything in life is to assume we will reach a destination that is not well defined. Life is based on principles. Obey the principle and live. Many of us need to sit down and reassess or re-evaluate our participations level in Social media platforms. Why are you there? What do you intend to achieve? Can you measure it?

Jonathan-with-Idiagbonya cancer patientNo more excuses for failure/handicaps: many of us have lofty ideas we want to pursue but we keep giving excuses. Some of us want to touch a life but we find reasons why we cannot reach out. Do you have any knowledge? Use social media to share it, at least here am i since over seven years. Do you need to say thank you and appreciate a person in your life, say it loud on social media. Had Debbie Idiagbonya’s friend-Jonathan, folded her hands thinking she had no money, would her friend’s life have been saved? She cried out for her. She was insulted. But today she is happy she had taken the initial step. What action should you have taken that you are postponing? Act fast now!

19 Responses to “How Twitter,Facebook was used to save a life in Nigeria”

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