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World Heart Day: Majority of heart diseases preventable— Minister

World Heart Day: Majority of heart diseases preventable--- Minister

World Heart Day: Majority of heart diseases preventable— Minister

The Ministers of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Tunji Alausa says majority of heart diseases are preventable with healthy lifestyle.

Alausa, who made this assertion at a news conference to mark the 2023 World Heart Day in Abuja, urged Nigerians to adopt healthy lifestyle always in order to make their heart age longer and healthy.

He said: “The risk factors for heart diseases are well known and largely preventable.

“For example, hypertension; diabetes mellitus; sickle cell disease; lipid abnormalities; overweight and obesity; tobacco use; alcohol intake and insufficient physical activity are significant modifiable and preventable risk factors for heart disease and other Non-Communicable Diseases.”

Alausa said that the 2023 theme “Use Heart, Know Heart”, beyond encouraging Nigerians to learn more about our hearts and how to keep them healthy, it also enjoined citizens to show care and compassion to people who suffer from heart problems.

“It reminds us that taking care of our hearts and those of others is not only a medical necessity but also a fundamental act of self-love and care for our loved ones.

“The heart is one of the vital organs of the body. It is the engine room responsible for pumping life-sustaining blood to all parts of the body.

“In an average adult at rest, normal heart rate is 60 – 100 beats per minute, and with each heartbeat, the heart pumps 70 milliliters (mL) of blood out of the heart, which is equivalent to 5-7 Litres of blood per minute.

“We need to humanly possible protect the heart against diseases and conditions that will cause it to malfunction,” the minister said.

According to him, statistics from the World Health Organisation shows that cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and are the foremost cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year.

Alausa said: “Of these cardiovascular deaths, 85 per cent are due to heart attack and stroke; and over three-quarters occur in the low- and middleincome countries.

“The 2018 WHO Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Country Profiles show that NCDs accounted for 29 per cent of all deaths in Nigeria with cardiovascular diseases responsible for 11 per cent of all the NCD deaths.

“The country profile also shows that the risk of dying prematurely from NCDs in Nigeria is 22 per cent. Premature mortality in this instance is defined as death occurring between ages 30 and 70 years from any of the common NCDs.”

He said that although the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) was currently in the field conducting National Steps Survey of NCDs, however, several pockets of studies showed prevalence of cardiovascular diseases.

Alausa said that morbidity and mortality due to cardiovascular diseases in Nigeria was underestimated because of inadequate awareness and health seeking behaviour.

He added that this also included limited screening, diagnostic and therapeutic services including poor data repository.

“Giving the silent and chronic nature of majority of the cardiovascular diseases, it is important to institute long-lasting measures to prevent, detect and managed them early.

“This will help to avert complications such as heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and even death,” he said.

Alausa said that in response to the burden of cardiovascular diseases, government over the years instituted several strategic interventions at the tertiary, secondary and primary Health Care levels.

The minister said that the FMOH had also developed National NCDs Policy and Multi-Sectoral Action Plan.

He urged Nigerians to engage in physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes daily, avoid tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke and avoid harmful intake of alcohol, “bstinence is the best”.

“Eat a healthy diet containing a minimum of 3 – 5 servings of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables spread over each day.

“Eat a variety of whole grains, lean meat, fish, peas, beans, and lentils. Limit processed foods, limit salt intake to less than 5 grams (1 teaspoon) daily, reduce dietary cholesterol, and avoid industrially produced trans-fats.

“Know your numbers by regularly checking your blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels,” he said.

He said that FMOH in collaboration with partners, would also be carrying out free hypertension screening and counselling for Public/Civil Servants in and around the Federal Secretariat Complex Phase 1 and Phase 3 and the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.

Also speaking, Dr Kingsley Akinroye, the Executive Director, Nigerian Health Foundation, commended the minister and all stakeholders, including the Director of Public Health ,Dr. Chukwuma Anyaike.

The event also witnessed the Launch of Cardio Emergency Response Box in commemoration of World Heart Day 2023 in Abuja.

The World Heart Day is a day set aside by the Cardiovascular Health Community all over the world to raise awareness about the importance of the heart and promote preventive measures to reduce the global impact and burden of heart diseases.

 

 

 

 

 

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