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One In Three Nigerian Adults Hypertensive - Hypertension Society Reveals

Posted by Samuel on Fri 17th May, 2024 - tori.ng

The NHS who made the call in a press statement signed by its President, Simeon Isezuo in commemoration of World Hypertension Day on Friday, stated that the rising cost of medicines for treatment of hypertension is a major concern.

Hypertension

The Nigerian Hypertension Society has called for the need to raise awareness and promote prevention, early detection, and treatment of hypertension as one of every three adults in Nigeria has hypertension.

The NHS who made the call in a press statement signed by its President, Simeon Isezuo in commemoration of World Hypertension Day on Friday, stated that the rising cost of medicines for treatment of hypertension is a major concern.

World Hypertension Day is observed every May 17th to raise awareness and promote hypertension prevention, detection, and control.

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is when the pressure in your blood vessels is too high (140/90 mmHg or higher).

Isezuo said, “The aim is to raise awareness and promote the prevention, early detection, and treatment of hypertension. This is particularly significant in Nigeria where one of every three adults has hypertension. Hypertension has no symptoms until serious damage has been done to the body.

“Hence, many people with this condition are unaware of having it, and only a few of those who are aware are on treatment. Furthermore, most of those who are on treatment do not achieve normal blood pressure levels mainly because they do not take their medicines regularly.

“Hypertension is therefore the leading cause of stroke, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and heart attack resulting in death or disability of people, usually breadwinners, in economically productive years of their lives. Hypertension, sadly, remains a silent killer in Nigeria. It is, however, preventable and treatable.”


The don noted that the fact that hypertension was a rare condition among native Africans before Western civilisation suggests that it is preventable.

He highlighted that obesity, sedentary lifestyles, and diets rich in salt, fats, and sugar are currently the main factors behind the rising burden of hypertension in Africa.

“I therefore recommend consumption of traditional African food derived from roots, stem, and leaves, regular exercise, and optimum weight for prevention of hypertension. Unhealthy foods should be taxed to discourage their consumption. Legislation should be enacted to enforce appropriate labels of salt, fat, and sugar contents on food packages.

“I encourage traditional African physically active lifestyles including frequent trekking, gardening, and native African dances. Cycling should also be encouraged as a means of short-distance transport. Vehicle parking space should be located at a fairly far distance from places of work.

“Where prevention of hypertension is not possible or feasible, the emphasis should be on early detection. This requires regular blood pressure checks which is not possible without sustained public enlightenment to improve awareness about hypertension. The critical roles of the media in these regards, especially, in correcting widespread socio-cultural and social media propagated misconceptions about hypertension cannot be overemphasised,” he stated.

The President further urged health workers to utilise contacts with patients and clients as opportunities to check blood pressure, irrespective of the reason for the consultations.

“Home blood pressure monitoring should similarly be encouraged. Blood pressure measurement requires appropriate apparatus. I urge the health industries to continue to improve in making this equipment affordable and user-friendly.

“I also encourage governments at all levels and the private sector to develop a policy of rewarding employers with blood pressure apparatus. Friends and relations should develop the habit of using this equipment as favoured gift items.

“I commend the Federal Government, her partners, and the Nigerian Hypertension Society for introducing new initiatives in the control of hypertension. These include, among others, the incorporation of care of hypertension into the primary health care programme, training, and supervision of non-physician health workers, the use of standardised simple treatment protocol, and essential medicine policy in the treatment of hypertension at the primary and secondary health care levels,”
he said.

He, however, said the rising cost of medicines for the treatment of hypertension, a long-life disease is a major concern and potential threat to the gains that may be derived from these initiatives.

He urged healthcare providers to cautiously use the most affordable and available effective and safe medicines for the treatment of hypertension.

He also tasked the government to take necessary measures to bring down the prices of medicines.

“In the long term, local manufacturers of medicines should be encouraged and government at all levels should prioritise universal health coverage. I also encourage the private sector, philanthropists, and religious organisations to support the less privileged people in funding their treatment and endow funds for enrolling them into health care insurance schemes.

“Finally, hypertension is an inheritable disease that may affect multiple members of the same family. I therefore advocate that Nigerians should strengthen the traditional African family system in the control of hypertension. These include sharing information about hypertension, promotion of native African diet, and involvement in physical domestic activities instead of living them exclusively for house-helps.

“Families should support and encourage their members with hypertension to take their medicines regularly. Regular blood pressure checks should be encouraged in the family. Ultimately. every family, household, or home in Nigeria should have a blood pressure apparatus for regular blood pressure checks,”
he added.



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