By Jennifer Oriaku and Vivian Ihechu
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has advised Nigerians to take action against Hypertension as the disease was a silent killer.
Adewole, represented by Dr Chris Bode, Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, spoke at the World Hypertension Day Conference 2017 organised by Nestle Nigeria Plc.
The World Hypertension Day (WHD) is observed annually on May17 to create awareness about hypertension, its devastating effects and to encourage citizens to prevent and control it.
WHD was for first inaugurated in May 2005 and the theme for this year’s Day is: “Know Your Numbers’’.
A website, www.mayoclinic.org, says that “high blood pressure is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against one’s artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.
“Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries.
“The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure,’’ it says.
Adewole said, “Hypertension has become a modern epidemic and it is silent killer.
“Its prevalence is high in Nigeria and it affects both the old and young, rich and poor.
“May is the month of measurement; let everyone measure their blood pressure and tell others to do so.
“I commend Nestle Nigeria and the Nutrition Society of Nigeria for taking the initiative to address this important topic,’’ he said.
In his remarks, Mauricio Alarcon, Managing Director of Nestle Nigeria, said that creating awareness about hypertension was part of the company’s purpose to enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future.
Alarcon, who was represented by Ms Victoria Uwadoka, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Nestlé Nigeria, said: “Studies have shown that the incidence of hypertension is high, especially in Nigeria.
“There is need to let people know that they have to check themselves and know their status.
“Nestle’s efforts are part of its three long term ambitions and 42 commitments, in support of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 3), which were recently announced in the new report “Nestle in Society: Creating Shared Value and Meeting our Commitments 2016’’.
“The company’s efforts also aim to contribute to the UN SDG 3 to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages,’’ he said.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Director, Medical Education Development Unit, Prof. Christy Okoromah, urged Nigerians to always seek medical prescription before taking any drug.
According to her, some drugs may have side effects on health and cause hypertension.
Okoromah is a Consultant and Head of Pediatric Cardiology and Infectious Disease unit of the Department of Pediatrics, University of Lagos.
She said, “There are many drugs Nigerians and the public, just buy over the counter and consume without realising that they can cause persistent hypertension.
“They include drugs like panadol and paracetamol. They have acetaminophen which is what you have in panadol and paracetamol.
“Every drugs must not be taken carelessly, people buy steroids, they give to asthmatics, it can also cause hypertension, Ibuprofen, all contraceptive that contains estrogen and progesterone can also cause hypertension,’’ she said. (NAN)