By Chioma Obinna
With 2018 WHO country profiles showing that Non-Communicable Disease, NCDs, accounted for 29 per cent of all deaths in Nigeria of which Cardiovascular Disease, predominantly hypertension was responsible for 11 per cent of the deaths, the Nigerian Heart Foundation, NHF, has urged Nigerians to take action to reduce the risk of heart disease in spite of all challenges including COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing a press conference to mark the 2020 World Hearty Day in Lagos, the President of the NHF, Mallam Ismaila Shuaibu said it has become necessary for Nigerians to watch the kind of foods they consume as Cardiovascular Disease, CVD has become the leading cause of death globally and Nigeria inclusive.
He said the theme of the year “Use Heart to Fight Cardiovascular Disease”, was for everybody to use their heart, get involved to fight and conquer the number one killer disease- cardiovascular disease.
Shuaibu who noted that COVID-19 has changed the World and facts on heart conditions noted that people with the virus and heart disease are among those with the highest risk of death and of developing severe conditions.
He also disclosed that findings have shown that after COVID-19 attacks, the heart might be severely affected even in people without previous heart conditions potentially resulting in long-term damage.
“This year’s world heart Day is unlike any other that has come before. Public health is front and centre as societies face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the physical, emotional, and economic toll it has taken. Almost a million lives have been lost to COVID-19 this year. While patients stay clear of hospitals out of fear of catching the virus, their health is compromised even further,” he stated.
year on 29th September to raise awareness on heart disease and their risk factors as well as mobilise international action against cardiovascular disease.
Speaking, the Executive Director of NHF, Dr Kingsley Akinroye urged Nigerians to take responsibility for protecting their hearts.
Akinroye advised individuals to limit salt intake and increase vegetables and fruits in their diets, cultivate the culture of physical exercise, as well as stay away from tobacco.