By ESTHER ONYEGBULA
Lagos — An endocrinologist and diabetes specialist at the BT Ward of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Dr. Latha Ravi Kumar has raised alarm over the high incidence of hypertension and diabetes among patients attending public health institutions in Lagos State.
Kumar, who spoke at a media briefing organised by Rotary Club of Lagos Palmgrove Estate on the free Diabetes and Hypertension Camp to commemorate this year’s World Diabetes Day, said on the average, two out of three or 70 per cent of patients who attended public health institutions in Lagos State had been found to be hypertensive, while about 12 per cent diabetic.
Lamenting that it was more disturbing that most of the patients were unaware that they had such life-threatening ailments, the specialist noted that while deaths as a result of hypertension and diabetes were increasing, the World Health Organisation estimated that the figure would hit double-fold rate by 2015.
“We all therefore have to work together to prevent the disaster by determining our status on time and avoiding stress, unbalanced diet, alcoholism, smoking and unhealthy lifestyle,” she counselled.
On his part, Dr. Sami Tahir of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Hospital, Apapa, Lagos, also lamented that in the last five years hypertension had become as common as malaria in hospitals in Lagos State.
“We have to let our people know that early detection and management are important to avoid organ damage,” he said, adding that “once the organ is damaged, it cannot be reversed.”