No fewer than 300 Nigerians last week benefitted from the free heart screening by the Chike Okoli Foundation in Lagos as part of activities to mark the Annual 5th Annual Foundation’s Week to mark the World Heart Day.
During the week-long exercise, various heart screening including Blood Pressure checks, Random Blood Sugar, Body Mass Index BMI measurement, Cholesterol tests, Counselling services and distribution of Cardiovascular Disease CVD enlightenment materials were carried out free of charge.
Addressing the large crowd at one of the sessions in partnership with Chisco Transport in Lagos, a Consultant ant, Cardiologists with Eko Hospital, Dr. Okechukwu Usim who spoke on the ABC’s of healthy living, stressed the need for people to take responsibility for their health.
Usim who outlined the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases as diabetes, hypertension, excess sugar, smoking, excess alcohol intakes, excess cholesterol, sedimentary lifestyles among others, called for basic life support training among Nigerians.
According to him, such skill training would save more lives from the clutches of cardiovascular diseases, particularly, sudden death.
He listed some of the signs of heart diseases to include; chest pain at night, back pain, speech problems face shift, and leg weakness. He advised individuals who experience such signs to act fast in order to avoid further damage to their health.
Usim further recommended 30 minutes exercises three times daily, “Lamenting that Nigerians no longer pay attention to exercise he dismissed the fact that people work all through the day does not mean that they have exercise enough. He encouraged Nigerians to pay more attention to exercise.
Speaking, the Programme Coordinator of Chike Okoli Foundation, COY, Ms. Beauty Alfred who explained that the organisation was committed to promoting healthy living and entrepreneurial culture among Nigerians noted that the objective of the awareness campaign is to promote the ‘HOME’ as the ideal setting to adopt healthy lifestyles in order to prevent heart disease and stroke. This was in line with the World Heart Federation’s chosen theme for this year’s event, “One World, One Home, One Heart.”
Stating that the exercise would be conducted in three locations in Lagos, Ms. Alfred said the organisation is partnering with Chisco Transport office, Neuchem F & P Ltd., Ilupeju, Lagos and Ekulo Group of companies and Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
Alfred further disclosed that since inception, COF has reached over 1,100,000 people through its cardiovascular outreach programs. “We have reached many more people through our information and enlightenment campaign materials distributed in pharmacies, health centres, schools, markets, and other high traffic areas nation wide.