By Dayo Adesulu
A Professor of Medicine at Babcock University, Ogun State, Dr. Kamar Adeleke, has raised alarm over the rising incidence of heart attack, stroke, hypertension and other cardiovascular disorders in the country.
Adeleke, who spoke yesterday during the inauguration of Tristate Heart and Vascular Centre at the institution’s Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, lamented that cardiovascular disorders have overtaken infectious diseases such as malaria as the nation’s leading killer-diseases.
Addressing a world press conference, the cardiologist said the No 1 killer in Nigeria is heart disease, followed by stroke.
“To confirm to you that many Nigerians suffer heart-related crises, we were in UCH, Ibadan sometime ago on medical mission and found out that at least six of the eight patients picked randomly and tested, were confirmed to be suffering from chronic heart problems.
“Such development led to this partnership to care for many Nigerians suffering from cardiovascular diseases,” he said.
Further, Adeleke explained that while the silent killer diseases have been effectively managed medically by America, leading to an average life expectancy of 80 years, in Nigeria, it is 51 to 52 years because there is little or no attention to heart-care.
”Know your blood pressure, know your cholesterol and sugar level to avoid sudden cardiac arrest,” the expert said.
Pointing out the importance of exercise to longevity, he disclosed that regular exercises in three days will increase your years to 2.8 years.
He said no fewer than 40 patients with heart diseases have been operated on at Babcock University. “Majority paid little or no money, because some organisations like First Bank have been sponsoring it.
”We have 15 expatriates that have signed a 2-year contract with Babcock University. Part of the agreement is for them to reproduce themselves within these two years. Once we have started, we hope to sustain it, because programmes are not sustained in Nigeria due to lack of competence.”
He noted that while heart surgery in parts of the world cost $75,000, in Babcock it cost just $15,000.
On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Babcock University, Professor Kayode Makinde vowed that no person with heart disease would die due to lack of funds.
”We will locate organisations or somebody in Nigeria who can assist so that nobody will die due to lack of fund.
”We will not manage anything in the course of doing our work for humanity, though equipment for this operations are costly. Development brought close to the people, is the development made relevant,” he said.