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One-third of Nigerians are hypertensive – Consultant

LAGOS – Prof. Olumuyinwa Odunsanya, a Consultant Public Health Physician, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, on Wednesday said one-third of Nigerians were hypertensive.

Odunsaya said this at the Ordinary General Meeting and Scientific Conference organised by the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.

The theme of the event was entitled: “Double Tragedy: Increasing Incidence of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in the Presence of Infectious Diseases“.

The consultant said that many Nigerians were unaware they were hypertensive, therefore, the need for increased awareness on preventive measures against NCDs.

“If you gather 100 Nigerians, about 30 may be hypertensive, even those we know are not on treatment.

“It is a big issue for the country, particularly, adults and so we need to be aware and continue to be on treatment and do things to prevent such diseases, “ he said.

He said that continued policies from the three tiers of government, engagement, and encouraging people to exercise more were ways that would reduce intake of fatty foods.

“Government should do a lot in terms of looking at how people should limit the amount of salt they put in their food.

“We have got to reduce the amount of sugar in carbonated drinks, and we also need to see how we can make more available cholesterol free oils for people.

Odunsaya advised people to proactively visit a health worker for preventive measures and not only when they were sick.

Also speaking, the Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Lagos chapter, Dr Fancis Faduyile, said the change in lifestyle had contributed to the increase of NCDs in the country.

Faduyile urged people to control their Body Mass Index to reduce their risks of getting an NCD.

“The change of lifestyle has caused a lot of havoc in the health of our people.

“We are having more of diabetes, hypertension and it is important to be on the alert that what we thought to be a sign of good living as being robust is now classified as a sickness.

“The advice is that we should control our BMI and once it is within the normal level, many of these NCDs will not affect us,’’  he said.

In his remarks, the President, ARD, LASUTH, Dr Moruf Abdulsalam said the theme of the event was timely as there had been an increase in sudden deaths in the country.

Abdusalam said that such deaths had been due to the prevalence of NCDs, including hypertension, diabetes, injuries and cancers.

“We have noticed that these diseases are on the rise, whereas, those things that have been killing Nigerians in the past are still there and that is the infectious diseases.

“Hence, the double tragedy, and where we have not finished curing one set of diseases, another is emerging.

“And that is the reason why we need to be educated on the things we can do because NCDs can be prevented, “ he said. (NAN)[eap_ad_3]