Cardiovascular disease awareness cannot be over emphasised. However, a lot is currently going on in the country which can really cause people’s heart to fail them. The economy is in recession and many cannot seem to see a light at the end of the tunnel. The year is also winding up with many people having unfulfilled goals and aspirations. All of these and many more combine to be a huge source of worry for most Nigerians.
In the bid to make ends meet and break into wealth, many, including myself, have neglected vital “health rituals” needed to stay healthy.
The point I have been trying to make is this: cardiovascular diseases are deadly and sadly, unsafe daily practices and lifestyle have made many prone to having a stroke, heart attack and other heart conditions.
We recently conducted an interview where Dr. Akinsanya Olusegun-Joseph, a Consultant Cardiologist who works with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), made us to know that 3 out of every 10 Nigerian has one or more cardiovascular diseases.
Now the Minister of health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has also cautioned that if drastic and consistent actions are not taken, the economic loss from cardiovascular (heart) diseases, diabetes, and stroke in Nigeria could amount to about US$8 billion in the next 10 years, based on the estimates the World Health Organization postulated.
Prof. Adewole further stated that hypertension is now the leading cardiovascular diseases in Nigeria and this could lead to a stroke if care is not properly taken. He noted that one out of five Nigerians are hypertensive, and he/she is at a big risk of premature death.
While speaking at the First Annual Black Tie Gala event in Lagos, organized by the Tristate Heart Foundation (THF), with the aim of raising N500 million in support of cardiovascular care in Nigeria, he arguably stated that concrete steps and immediate action must be taken to look into these matters, or else, the nation will just keep counting and weeping over loved ones.
“Without fear of contradiction, I can say that at least five out of 10 grown up adults seated here tonight have elevated blood pressure and more than half of us are not quite sure of our HBP situation.”
“This is really frightening because the real consequence of neglected hypertension is simply stroke, even without any warning and sign. So if we don’t take quick and sustained efforts, we’ll just keep counting losses unnecessarily” he mentioned.
In his keynote address, he revealed that the current estimates show that death rate from stroke stands at 40-50 percent within the first three months of diagnosis, while 39 per cent of those who survived stroke after three months died within a year, with 12 percent developing a serious disability.