By Anino Aganbi
HEALTH, they say is wealth. For a lot of Nigerians, without wealth you cannot get sound health. The economical situation of the country has so dwindled that it has become a hardship for the average person to feed at all. Eating a balanced diet has become a tall order. Do we have to go back to our villages to enable a typical Nigerian eat right?
How can a person who cannot afford to eat two meals a day think of two square meals? Can the mother of two who struggles to feed her children on a day to day basis afford to cook right when the prices of food stuff have gone right through the roof? How can diseases be combated when there is no food in the stomach?
These are issues that have warranted a close look even as the government makes budget for the senate or the house of representative. If the people die of starvation, who would they lord their offices over? Enabling people overcome or battle such life altering disease should be a top notch priority with the Nigerian government. It is not enough for a nation to battle corruption. Do you preach to a hungry man not to steal or be corrupt? A lot of issues have to be redressed to enable even the grass root people live a free and healthy life.
Health workers in Ajegunle, Lagos, while partnering an NGO headed by Nollywood actor popularly known as Polypompom, recently held an awareness program for diabetic men and women.
Relief materials and appropriate foods were given out by Polypompom who ensured that while the medical teams were doing everything possible to save the lives of diabetic patients, patients had a role to play in knowing what to eat, drink and having the tools to enable them check their blood sugar.
Polypompom stated that diabetes was not limited to women only.
“The major aim of this program is to create awareness on diabetes among people. There is an adage that says you discover to recover. At the grassroot level, you would discover that a lot of people believe diabetes is caused by sugar, not realizing that starchy food is the main cause of diabetes. In this part of the world, a lot of people do not know what they should eat as balanced diet.
You would discover that people of old found it difficult to have such ailments because of what they ate. As a body, we are trying to sensitize people about what to do when in times of their crisis. It was discovered that 95% of Nigerians have diabetes. As an organization, we make provision for the availability of medical relief items so the patients who are a part of this body receive free medical test,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, Mrs Oluyinka Sijuade said: “Our association with an NGO prior to this showed us they were only interested in making profits and not caring for the sick. We discovered that while we were trying to find a solution for patients, others were using us to make money. It became obvious we were dealing with people who did not have the heart of charity.
This pushed us from one level of strategy to another and we ended up where we are. We believe in finding solutions to problems. This project is not a money-making project but a solution proffering one.” She further lamented that a lot of people were guilty of being careless with their diet. “Nobody will tell you to stop a bad diet because your body will resist you or it might put you in such a situation that you would have to find a solution to it on your own.
This is why we encourage self participation. It is also why I involve my clients in programs planned for them. If as a woman you are a home builder, you must do things that will prolong your life and promote your health. You must make edible food available at home at all times. Because of time constraint, there is hardly enough time for any Nigerian woman to eat properly or indulge in cooking healthy so she falls back on junk food.
“The more you age, the more the system slows down its activities. The body no longer regenerates and the cells die every day. You must eat appropriate diets that are rich in vitamins, proteins and minerals.