The World Hypertension Day (WHD) is observed annually on the 17th day of May to create awareness about hypertension, its devastating effects and to encourage citizens to prevent and control it.
Prof. Isaac Adewole, the Minister of Health, on Wednesday in Lagos urged Nigerians to take action against hypertension as the disease is a silent killer.
Prof. Adewole was represented by Chris Bode, the Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba. The WHD Conference 2017 was organised by Nestle Nigeria Plc and held at LUTH, Idi-Araba.
The World Hypertension Day was first inaugurated in May 2005 and the theme for this year’s Day was: “Know Your Numbers”.
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.
A person’s blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood the heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in the person’s arteries. The more blood the heart pumps, the narrower the arteries and the higher the blood pressure.
The Minister of Health stated that hypertension has become a modern epidemic and it is a silent killer. Its prevalence is quite 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 too.”
“I commend Nestle Nigeria and the Nutrition Society of Nigeria for taking the initiative to address this important topic,” he said.
The Managing Director of Nestle Nigeria, Maurico Alarcon, also made some remarks stating that creating awareness about hypertension was part of the company’s purpose to enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future.
“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.
While speaking to 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 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.”
“Every drug must not be taken carelessly. People buy steroids, they give to asthmatics, this can cause hypertension. Ibuprofen, all contraceptives that contains estrogen and progesterone can also cause hypertension”, she said.