By Oluwafunke Ishola
Lagos – The Medical Director, General Hospital, Ifako Ijaiye, Lagos, Dr Olusola Amure, has expressed concern over the increasing number of stroke cases recorded in the hospital.
Amure told newsmen on the sidelines of a sensitisation walk and seminar in commemoration of the World Stroke Day on Tuesday in Lagos, that this necessitated the sensitisation on preventive measures.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme was organised by the hospital’s Department of Community Health in collaboration with the Primary Healthcare Department, Ifako Ijaiye Local Government.
Theme of the event was: “Think Prevention: Don’t Be The One.”
Amure said that the hospital decided to conduct the outreach in order to carry prevention to the community, rather than waiting for it to degenerate to stroke case and exert pressure on medical facility.
“We know that in Africa today, stroke is responsible for four to nine per cent of death, but in the western world, it is the third leading cause of death.
“Before we get to the level of it being the third leading cause of death, we decided to address it, especially when we begin to have more stroke patients coming into the hospital.
“Since the beginning of this year, we have had too many stroke cases, that is why for the first time, we are marking World Stroke Day.
“We will continue the sensitisation through daily health talks to people that visit the hospital,” the expert said.
He advised people to maintain healthy diet, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, avoid sedentary lifestyle by exercising, for at least 30 minutes, within five days of the week and reduce intake of sugar and salt.
Also, Dr Benjamin Eniayewu, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Health Service Commission, commended the hospital for the initiative it took to reduce stroke cases in the state.
Eniayewu, represented by Dr Funmilayo Adeboje, Director, Medical Services in the Commission, said that the hospital had requested for a Stroke Unit to address the high number of stroke patients that had been overwhelming its facility.
“They think that if they have a proper facility or accommodation designated for stroke patients, it would improve the outcome.
“But the Permanent Secretary is of the opinion that it is better to nip the case in the bud, look at the preventive angle that will reduce the numbers of patients coming down with stroke.
“We believe that this will also reduce the overwhelming effects on the staffs and the facility,” he said.
Eniayewu advised the hospital to collaborate with the Medical Officer in the local government to map out programmes that would identify residents and preventive measures to keep them from having stroke.
In his remarks, Dr Ime Okon, Head of Department, Community Health, General Hospital, Ifako Ijaiye, said that people whose family have history of high blood pressure and those taking oral contraceptives with estrogen were at risk of having stroke.
According to Okon, other risk factors are: diabetes, obesity, smoking, alcohol intake and those with high blood pressure.
He said that high blood pressure was a silent killer and early detection and management would prevent deaths.
Commenting, Dr Dumebi Owa, Vice-President, Medical Women Association, Lagos State, said that many Nigerians were unaware that they have high blood pressure.
Owa said that it was responsible for many sudden deaths currently happening.
She advised people to engage in regular medical checkups, saying that efforts to improve their economic status without adequate care of their health was futile.