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‘Healthy lifestyles key to preventing diseases’

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As a way of reducing the risk of falling victim to killer diseases such as hypertension,  diabetes and other non communicable diseases (NCDs), Nigerians have been  advised  to adopt healthy life styles such as  regular exercises, moderate alcohol consumption, avoid smoking, eat and drink in moderation and do regular health screening. Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola  gave the advice on Monday during the flag-off ceremony of the first round of integrated statewide wellness health week at Rauf Aregbesola Primary Health  Centre. According to the duo, embracing healthy life styles and paying proper attention to healthy living habits will not only reduce the risk of falling victim to these killer diseases, it will help prevent them.. The Deputy Governor who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Risikat Akiode stated that it was in realization of the need to prevent the killer diseases that State government initiated the wellness health week aimed essentially for the screening of hypertension and diabetes as well as  prostate, cervix and breast cancers in all the 57 local government and local council development areas She explained that hypertension, diabetes and cancers are some of the non communicable diseases that have become prevalent and responsible for over 60 percent of deaths in the world adding that if this trend continues unchecked, the diseases are expected to account for 73 percent of deaths and 60 percent of the disease burden in the year 2020. “It is against this background that our administration has come up with this initiative, which also aims to increase the tempo of sensitisation and awareness to maximally help prevent, reduce these diseases and improve the health status of Lagosians,” Orelope-Adefulire said. She noted that the state government has also stepped up its comprehensive health sector infrastructural development plan which involves phased rehabilitation, refurbishment, equipping and upgrading of existing health facilities as part of the management strategies of the non communicable diseases. “We have carried out various infrastructural development projects through the construction and equipping of cardiac and renal center as well as the combined clinics and wards at Gbagada General Hospital. The cancer treatment center at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) is also being strengthened”, She said. In the same vein, Mrs. Fashola opined that the importance of the integrated screening for hypertension and diabetes as well as prostate, cervix and breast cancers in all the 57LGAs and LCDAs cannot be over emphasised given the fact that the diseases which she referred to as silent killers can be treated or managed successfully if detected early. Said she, “for years we have witnessed on a regular basis and separate times awareness and screening programmes specifically for hypertension, diabetes, breast, cervical and prostate cancers. This new initiative tagged statewide wellness health week is a welcome idea that will integrate into one all screening and awareness of the five diseases for both men and women at the same time”.

The wife of the Governor, who called on both men and women to take advantage of the unique opportunity the weeklong integrated health screening present to get screened for hypertension, diabetes, breast, cervical and prostate cancers urged residents of the State to cultivate the habit of visiting primary health centers for their health needs.
“Please be aware that these diseases do not present any noticeable symptoms until at the late stages, then it will be too expensive to treat and manage and could lead to loss of life and bread winners”, she added.
Earlier, Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Public Health, Dr. Yewande Adeshina noted that the rationale for embarking on the integrated screening programme cannot be overemphasized in view of the danger to health and economic loss hypertension, diabetes and cancer pose to both individuals and government.
She said: “these diseases include sickle cell anaemia, mental illnesses, injuries and accidents amongst others constitute a major component of what is generally referred to as non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which are in turn regarded as chronic conditions that do not result from acute infectious process. These conditions cause death, dysfunction or impairment in the quality of life and they usually develop over relatively long periods”.
Adeshina explained that the diseases results from prolonged exposure to causative agents, many of which are associated with personal behaviours and environmental factors, and are the leading causes of functionary impairment and deaths worldwide.
The Special Adviser added that the programme is being organided as a result of inadequate knowledge and awareness of the symptoms, signs and effects of untreated hypertension, diabetes as well as cancers of the breast, cervix and prostate stressing that the goal of the programme is to create awareness about NCDs and detect the diseases early enough.
“The goals of this programme are to detect early asymptomatic and undiagnosed clients with NCDs and to prevent complications through prompt, effective treatment and referral of diagnosed cases. Following the continuous and sustainable sensitisation and public enlightenment of the entire populace of these diseases, it is expected that the turnout would increase considerably,” she said.
Adeshina explained that the screening for hypertension and diabetes will take place concurrently in the 20 LGAs and 37 LCDAs using screening sites selected in the LGAs and LCDAs adding that the screening for cancers of the breast, cervix and prostate will take place in one LGA per senatorial districts, that is; Alimosho, Lagos Island and Shomolu with their respective LCDAs to be covered.
The integrated health screening programme for hypertension, diabetes, breast, cervix and prostate cancers which commenced on Monday 25th November is scheduled to end on Friday 29th November.[eap_ad_4]