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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

‘We receive at least five stroke cases every week at UPTH’ –

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes and stroke are still on the rise year on year, despite at least five stroke cases at University of Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), says medical expert Professor Sunday Chinnye, weekly.

Stroke, diabetes, cancer and Chronic lung disease currently constitutes the four leading causes of death in Nigeria.

Chinnye, former national president of the Nigerian Diabetes Association, said noncommunicable diseases accounted for 41 million deaths in 2021, equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally, with 77% of deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries.

While tobacco use, lack of physical activity, harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diet all increase the risk of dying from NCDs, he said Nigeria was going through a demographic and epidemiological transition with attendant risk factors for NCDs Increase.

He declared, “Globalization and urbanization affect our food culture, consumption habits and physical activity levels, leading to energy imbalances. Obesity is a growing problem and there is no safe amount of alcohol consumed. Current and real non-infectious disease in Nigeria The burden of disease, risk factors and complications are unknown; NCDs and their complications are costly to patients and our economy in Nigeria and the Nigerian health system have not yet addressed the current burden of NCDs and their complications burden.

“Scarce medical resources should be prioritized and focused on the management of noncommunicable diseases and other risk factors to prevent complications. However, treating complications is costly and requires a high level of skill and specialized equipment provider, so preventing complications is critical.”

In her presentation, Dr. Oluwakemi Odukoya, Associate Professor, Department of Community Health and Primary Care, University of Lagos, said that implementation science can help accelerate the NCD response in Nigeria as it presents unique strategies using evidence-based interventions, especially in resource-poor settings.

According to Odukoya, the common denominator in Nigeria’s national efforts to combat NCDs is what is known to work, but what is unknown is how best to make the intervention work.

“Primary prevention of diabetes is the most cost-effective strategy; we also know that screening can detect it early, but screening is not integrated into primary health care (PHC). The prevalence of diabetes is 5.7%, but more than half are undiagnosed. High blood pressure is the No. 1 risk for cardiovascular disease/stroke. People of African descent are at risk, yet one in three adult Nigerians has high blood pressure, many uncontrolled, and more than one in four Undiagnosed,” she added.

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