By Gabriel Olawale
ConsultantCardiologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Prof. Amam Mbakwem has called for more sensitization on the causes and how to prevent heart failure which is regard as life threatening disease.
Speaking during an awareness programme put together by Novartis to inform members of the public on the threats of heart failure and how to manage the disease, Mbakwem said a lot of patient’s don’t really understand what heart failure means, hence, the need to put out the right information.
Mbakwem explained that when people are having difficulties in breathing and also get tired easily such people needs to consult his or her doctor, “symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath, tiredness, shortness of breath when lying down, swelling in the ankles, legs and abdomen. Rapid heartbeat, loss of appetite, sudden weight increase, frequency of urination among others.
Mbakwem however urged Nigerians to go for regular medical checkups and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Corroborating her views, a Consultant Cardiologist, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Prof. Michael Balogun disclosed that 1 in every 5 people over the age of 40 will develop heart failure in their lifetime and people die frequently from the disease due to the fact that the disease is so expensive to treat.
Balogun called on governments at all levels to make medications for people living with heart failure more affordable, “Government needs to make the drugs affordable because the cost of medication is very high, in a year alone you spend nothing less than N200, 000 on drugs only, then cost of investigations are much higher, that is why government needs to reduce financial burden on the dependent.”
Among the Expert Cardiologists from the Heart Failure Technical Board cutting across all geo-graphical regions who were present at the event include, Consultant Cardiologist, UCH, Ibadan, Dr. Ikechukwu Ogah; Consultant Cardiologist, AKTH, Prof. Kamilu Karaye; Consultant Cardiologist, LUTH, Prof. Amam Mbakwem; Consultant Cardiologist, OAUTH, Prof. Micheal