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NHF seeks more efforts to reduce hypertension in Nigeria

NHF has called for collective efforts to address the country’s high hypertension burden as Nigeria commemorates Wednesday’s 2023 World Hypertension Day.

• May 18, 2023
HEART SYSTEM
Heart System

The Nigerian Heart Foundation has called for collective efforts to address the country’s high hypertension burden as Nigeria commemorates Wednesday’s 2023 World Hypertension Day.

Basden Onuwubere, chairman of the NHF hypertension committee, who made the call in Lagos during a programme to mark the event, said many Nigerians were at risk of hypertension.

“As of 2021, it was estimated that hypertension affected 39 per cent of adults ages 30 -79 years old, which amounts to close to 70 million people of the population, with a higher burden in women,” stated Mr Onwubere. “A nationwide survey published about two decades ago puts the awareness about hypertension at 30 per cent, and recent publications have not shown any significant improvement in this regard.”

He explained that the low level of awareness “has given it the name ‘silent killer’ and young people are more prone” because of their increasing exposure to unhealthy diets, high salt intake, tobacco, and being overweight.

“These risk factors are some of the major causes of hypertension, and our government should be more sensitive to address some of the health challenges in the country,” stated Mr Onwubere. “Nigerians should check their blood pressure regularly. Hypertension does not give any sign like diabetes or other non-communicable diseases.”

He added that the NHF had been at the forefront of activities to control non-communicable diseases, as hypertension remains the leading disease on the list.

The NHF executive director, Kingsley Akinroye, urged the government to invest in preventive measures to address hypertension.

Mr Akinroye said adequate funding should be put in place for the Primary Healthcare system to integrate the control of hypertension with other diseases.

“The prevalence of hypertension continues to increase gradually, and the government must put measures in place to ensure Nigerians have access to treatment,” the NHF director explained. “Nigerians must also check their BP regularly and maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

(NAN)

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