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Community Pharmacists decry high incidence of heart diseases in Nigeria

By CHIOMA OBINNA

The Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, AMONI Zone  has urged Nigerians to go for regular  and comprehensive heart checks as a way of preventing sudden heart attacks as a result of undetected heart problems.

Speaking at a health awareness programme to mark this year’s World Heart Day, Chairman of the ACPN AMONI zone, Pharmacist Chukwudi Obiukwu, who was represented by the Vice Chairman, Pharmacist George Onugbolu said many people went about their businesses  without knowledge of the state of their hearts.

About 300 people were targeted for free medical screening at the event.  Noting that awareness on heart health is still very low in Nigeria, he stated: “Poverty has remained a major problem in heart health. Because this programme today was free, many people started queuing to get screened as early as 7.00 AM.  Often, people do not go for checkups because they cannot afford it and not because they do not know that is important,” he stressed.  ”

According to him, there are so many heart complications around because people are not aware of what to do and how to take care of their health.

Describing as abnormal and absurd, a situation in which young people are coming down with heart related diseases, he stated: “There is too much carelessness concerning our lifestyle and that is why we have a lot of heart accidents in our society.  Cases of 25 years having partial stroke which was not the trend in the past is abnormal and absurd.”

Calling for urgent action on heart health, Obiukwu advised that Nigerians should learn to take their heart health serious by consuming balanced diets and lass fatty foods, drink less of alcohol, take more water and healthy juice, as well as go for periodic health screening.

He called on government at all levels to equip the hospitals with drugs and medical equipment as well subsidised medical health checks in its health facilities.

The topic for this year entitled: “Your Health and You” was informed by recent discovery that heart diseases had become rampant among people aged 25-35 years and many of them are coming down with partial stroke.

“So many people do not know whether they are hypertensive or obese and they keep living reckless lifestyles, and one day the cardiac complication will come resulting to partial stroke.”

In his lecture entitled: “You and Your Health”, Pharmacist Okechukwu Aribeana explained that knowing the symptoms makes one to be more aware and able to recognise in other people. For heart attack, he urged people to look out for, amogst other symptoms, discomfort, heaviness or pressure in the chest that can last from 30 minutes to two hours, or can go away within minutes and return either in the chest or a different area of the upper body


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