Abuja — A neurosurgeon at Spine Fixed in Abuja, Dr. Biodun Ogungbo, has revealed that the African race is susceptible to stroke, which he said is a preventable but silent killer that has been ignored over the years due to little knowledge about its causes and preventions.
Apart from being black, he said other major risk factors include hypertension, diabetes, obesity, smoking and sickle cell disease.
In a statement made available to THISDAY recently, Ogungbo reiterated that apart from being a problem that runs in the family, the patient can become disabled and consequently die as a result of a part of the brain not being able to receive blood which in turn affects the arms, legs, speech pattern, face, and in some cases sight and hearing.
He said the most important prevention lies in lifestyle or choices that are made and these include zero smoking, drinking alcohol and less exercise.
"Stroke is common in Nigeria. It is on the increase and it is something that most Nigerians, perhaps, know little about or appreciate the magnitude of the problem. Stroke has a lot of misconceptions and myths surrounding it, which we need to debunk.
"Smoke and alcoholics should stop the habits. Obese persons should lose weight. Those who do not exercise have to get out and exercise to keep the heart working properly. Anybody who has been diagnosed as having hypertension must continue to do whatever they can to keep the blood pressure under control.
"Someone who has had a small stroke needs to go to hospital and not ignore it because the stroke has gone. If they have sudden confusion, sudden severe headache, then, that essentially is stroke; they need to go to the hospital," he added.