Cardiologist says prevention is the best way forward

Cardiovascular diseases are responsible for about half of all deaths occurring as a result of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), a Consultant Cardiologist, Adeyemi Johnson, said on Thursday.
While delivering a lecture in Lagos, Johnson said that NCDs was projected to increase by over 20 percent between 2010 and 2015 in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria.
He further painted a gloomy picture of the health situation in the country, saying tthat Nigeria ?presently lacks the resources to manage the diseases.?
?So the only way is for us to prevent them,? he said, adding that avoiding the risks was integral to prevention against NCDs.
He identified the risk factors for NCDs as including tobacco smoking, poor diet, lack of physical exercise and alcohol consumption.
?All these factors interplay in metabolic and physiologic risk factors, including hypertension, overweight and obesity, elevated cholesterol. These are responsible for millions of deaths in the country and even worldwide,? he said.
Themed: ?New Frontiers in the Prevention and Management of NCDs: Technology as a Tool for Public Health?, the scientific conference was organised by the state chapter of the Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria (APHPN), with the aim to sensitise health workers and the public on managing diseases in the present age.
In light of the threat posed by NCDs, the State Commissioner for Health, Jide Idris, identified public enlightenment as key to preventing NCDs.
According to him though NCDs are preventable, ?once contracted, it is expensive to treat and will be lifelong?.
?We are now confronted with NCDs which are becoming an epidemic, more so that about two years ago, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared it an epidemic in the country,? he added.
The commissioner said that the state had already begun tackling the threat by organising free screening exercise for the public; however, he added that there was a need for government policy that would control salt intake.
Idris said that people consumed too much for their own good, adding that the public needed to adopt healthy lifestyles to prevent the NCDs.

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