11 October 2018

Nigeria: CHI, St Edwards Hospital Provide Free Heart Checks for Lagosians

With projection of 23 million people expected to die from cardiovascular disease (CVD) in 2030, cardiologists have called on Nigerians to take good care of their health to prevent being victims.

According to available statistics, every year, 17.5 million people die prematurely from CVDs, which is the number one leading cause of death globally. Speaking during the World Heart Day, which is celebrated on September 29 of every year, with the aim of drawing attention to heart diseases and the problems associated with it, the Founder, Cardiac Health Initiative (CHI), Dr. Emeka Okocha, said there is need to raise awareness on the consequences and prevention of cardiovascular disease.

He said the CHI in partnership with St Edwards Specialist Hospital and Cardiac Centre have been engaging communities in Lagos to get them informed on cardiovascular disease and how to prevent it so that the incidence could be reduced to the barest minimum.

Okocha lamented that lack of data in the country has been a major problem, as the government is unaware of the burden of the disease in the country, adding that virtually every hospital present cases of various heart diseases, which can be prevented if detected early. "Today cardiovascular disease is one of the leading cause of death and it can be preventable by our lifestyle. If we can do certain basic things which includes checking our blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, Body Mass Index (BMI), which is why we are here today providing free tests for everybody to know their risk and be enlightened by our medical personnel on how to reduce those risk," he said.

Speaking further on the importance of the medical outreach, the Chief Medical Director, St Edwards Specialist Hospital and Cardiac Centre, Dr. Osaze Ota, said as mandated by the World Health Federation to fight CVDs and help people live longer lives, the free outreach is organised to create more awareness on factors that predisposes people to the risks, such as like high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, overweight and other vital signs so that they would be well informed on what to do to help them stay healthier and reduce the incidence of the disease in Nigeria.

He added that the National Assembly or the presidency should implement laws that provide compulsory medical check ups for workers in both government and private institutions in order to capture and treat the disease early.

Commenting of the cases presented during the checkups, the hospital's Head Laboratory Scientist, Anwuli Okumbor, noted that more than half of the people attended to are obsessed, with the sugar level of some been fair, while their cholesterol level very high.

She, however, advised Nigerians to engage in healthy lifestyle and avoid things that could expose them to the deadly disease.

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