On November 5, 2019.
By Chioma Obinna
* Blood pressure check during Doctors on Air free medical mission at Bariga LCDA, Lagos.
UNDIAGNOSED or poorly managed High Blood Pressure, sedentary lifestyle, poor diets and obesity among others are reasons that more Nigerians are coming down with stroke and its complications in recent times.
Experts who noted the worrisome trend have called for decisive efforts to check the trend in the country.
The Medical Director, General Hospital, Ifako Ijaiye, Lagos, Dr Olusola Amure, who observed that 4 in 10 Nigerians have a risk for stroke, highlighted the need to be mindful of health and lifestyle.
Amure who spoke shortly after a sensitisation walk, cautioned Nigerians to take cognisance of their health and by heeding the warning signs in order not to fall victim of stroke.
“Stroke is already becoming a public health issue and we believe prevention is better than cure, in neurological disorders that is the diseases that have to do with the brain, it is responsible for 6.5 to 41 per cent of neurological admission in hospitals,” he noted.
Speaking in Lagos during the walk to commemorate the 2019 World Stroke Day in Lagos, and to highlight stroke prevention tips to the community, Amure said: “In Nigeria today, our diet and culture is now fashioned towards Westernised cultures before it becomes the third leading cost of death in our country we have to do something. About eight decades ago, in males, it started at about 71 to 80 years of age and was 70 in females. But today is now 51 to 70.”
Amure called for healthy diet, plenty of fruits and vegetables, exercising, for at least 30 minutes five days a week and reduction of intake of sugar and salt.
At the event, jointly organised by the Nigerian Medical Association, the Medical Women Association Stroke Organisation and Department of Community Health, Ifako Ijaye General Hospital, among other partners, the President,Rotary Club of Ojodu, Rotarian Nonye Uchenwachukwu urged people to take care of their personal health with the view to disgnosing and treating the possible causative factors.
“We need to create awareness and let people know the basic things. We really need to equip the people with information about stroke and what they can do to prevent it.”
Also speaking, the Head of Department Community Health, General Hospital Ifako Ijaiye, Dr Ime Okon said prominent amont risk factors for stroke was high blood pressure.
Others include, sedentary lifestyle, obesity (BMI above 25, smoking and excessive alcohol).
To prevent stroke she urged people to watch out for warning signs such as face shifting, blurring vision, inability to lift the hands for a long time, speech difficulty among others. Okon, who is also the NMA Chief Protocol Officer, said stroke is a major complication of hypertension, hence the need to check their blood pressure regularly.
“To prevent the risk factors because hypertension is a silent killer, watch what you eat, go green, avoid processed food, involve ourselves in exercise, reduce the intake of alcohol and stop smoking.”