The Nigeria Heart Foundation, NHF, has launched a National Heart Awareness Campaign. It is aptly tagged, “Spread the Heart Message.” This campaign was fuelled by concerns about the rise in cardiovascular disease among the middle aged working class population in Nigeria.
The campaign was launched in Lagos by the Executive Director, NHF, and a renowned cardiologist, Dr. Kingsley Akinroye. He disclosed that in Nigeria the number of people suffering from cardiovascular diseases is on the rise. Research show that not less than 25 percent of adult Nigerians are suffering from hypertension.
He explained that the campaign has been conceived to focus on risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. These risk factors include nutrition, physical inactivity, alcohol, tobacco among others.
He noted that with knowledge and awareness on how to do the right thing, simple lifestyle and diet steps, the trajectory of the lives and health of our nation’s workforce would be different. Thus, these heart disease conditions can be prevented.
“Under the collective responsibility, government at all levels are expected to ensure that food industries reduce salt and high fat in processed food, ensure that legislation and implementation of tobacco law is guaranteed, promote food labelling, consumption of fruits and vegetables, encourage local manufacturing of antihypertensive drugs, among others.”
Furthermore, Dr Akinroye is also the Vice-President of World Heart Foundation and the Honorary Consul of Finland to Nigeria. He as well stressed the need for stakeholders in public and private sector to participate in the “Spread the Heart message.” He maintained that the Heart awareness campaign cuts across all strata of the society and age groups.
He identified a high salt intake as the most common cause of hypertension among Nigerians and Africans at large. He therefore, appealed to Nigerians to reduce their salt intake. The Recommended Daily intake of salt is pegged at 3g.