Experts worry over imminent Tsunami of non communicable disorders in Nigeria

on   /   in Health 12:56 am   /   Comments

A group of medical experts has called for adoption of scientific  control and prevention strategies to stem what they described as the imminent “tsunami” of Non Communicable Disorders, NCDs, such as  high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, diabetes, renal failure and other chronic diseases that are of increasingly  public health significance in Nigeria.

Speaking during the 6th Cardiovascular Summit – an annual scientific symposium aimed at updating clinicians on the recent trends in management of cardiovascular diseases, renowed endocrinologist at the University of Tennessee  Health Centre, Memphis, USA, Professor Sam Dagogo-Jack urged the nation to separate fact from fiction when dealing with issues surrounding CV disorders.

“We must increasingly adopt scientific methods, which is a separation from the metaphorical approach. When we are talking about a silent killer that needs to be detected before it can actually be treated,  a killer that is right at the centre  whether or not we believe in the orientation, let us go into the aspect of scientific explanations,” Dagogo-Jack, who was Guest Speaker at the event asserted.

*L-R: Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Ibadan, and Chairman, Pfizer Cardiovascular Scientific Advisory Board, Professor Oladipo Akinkugbe; with the guest  speaker and Professor of Medicine/Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University of Tennessee Health Service Centre, Memphis, USA, Professor Samuel Dagogo Jack and Country Manager, Pfizer Nigeria and East Africa, Mr. Carl Engleman, at the 6th Cardiovascular Summit held last week at the Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

*L-R: Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Ibadan, and Chairman, Pfizer Cardiovascular Scientific Advisory Board, Professor Oladipo Akinkugbe; with the guest speaker and Professor of Medicine/Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University of Tennessee Health Service Centre, Memphis, USA, Professor Samuel Dagogo Jack and Country Manager, Pfizer Nigeria and East Africa, Mr. Carl Engleman, at the 6th Cardiovascular Summit held last week at the Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Arguing that many people could drop dead from heart attacks,  while not being aware of the source of heart problems, he regretted that the ravages of hypertension and diabetes can be seen daily on the faces of Nigerians who have suffered a stroke or heart failure or developed kidney failure or lost a leg in amputation.

“We are dealing  with a set of conditions called silent killers, that is, they do not announce they are coming and establish their presence by a set of complications and by then it may be too late.

Drawing attention to the ravages of hypertension, heart disease and diabetes, heart failure, stroke that cripple or kill people and cost the nation billions in lost productivity, Dagogo-Jack observed that the “silent killers” need no expensive gadget,or methodology.

“Blood pressure can be easily measured outside the laboratory with a simple gadget, you just pump it up and get a reading. So why should society have less than one third of the people without their blood pressure recognized, and less than a third of those recognised is treated at all, and less than a third of those recognised controlled? It’s a question of priority.”

Chairman of the Pfizer Cardiovascular Scientific Advisory Board,Emeritus professor of Medicine at the University of Ibadan in Oyo State, Nigeria, Professor  Oladapo Akinkugbe, remarked that less than a third of Nigerians who are hypertensive are aware of their status.

“Of  those that are aware, less than a third is on teatment, and of those on treatment, less than a third is being adequately monitored. So we can see that just a small fraction of patients are adequately catered for.  We can say the same for diabetes and cardiac events.

“We need to take preventive measures. The average man on the street should know about the risk factors for these disorders. One of the things we could do is sensitise  government to look set targets and tie then to the Vision 202020. By then, we would expect to have reduced cardio vascular disorders by a certain percentage. That is an achievable goal, even if we acheieve only half, at least it is measurable,” he argued.

The event was put together by Pfizer Nigeria, Ghana and East Africa Region, NEAR, was a platform for healthcare experts from across the globe to advance medical knowledge and patient care on the nature, diagnosis and management of CVDs in Nigeria.

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