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Many Nigerians don’t know they have high blood pressure -Physician

The Enugu State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ikechukwu Obi, warns that many Nigerians who have elevated blood pressure and sugar in their urine are unaware of their condition.

Briefing reporters in Enugu to mark the 2024 World Hypertension Day, Obi, said such people are at high risk of developing hypertension.

According to him, hypertension is a number one risk factor for heart disease, stroke, renal complications, and premature death in the country and the world at large.

With the theme: “measure your blood pressure accurately, control it, live longer,” Obi explained that the theme was carefully chosen to promote awareness of high blood pressure and accuracy in blood pressure measurement, toward the control of hypertension-related non-Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) especially in low to middle-income areas.

He said “World Hypertension Day, is an annual global event celebrated on May 17th every year to create innovative strategies to prevent and control hypertension and to improve people’s overall heart health, worldwide.”

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The commissioner revealed that from May 17 the actual date of this year’s anniversary to date, his ministry had texted over 200 residents on their BP status. Of these numbers, he said 30 percent have elevated blood pressure and sugar in their urine.

“Enugu State Ministry of Health carries out blood pressure screening and education on lifestyle modification and dietary salt reduction to help reduce the risk for stroke, cardiovascular diseases, and kidney diseases in Commemoration of 2024 World Hypertension Day in the State.

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“Hypertension is the No 1 risk factor for heart disease, stroke, renal complications, and premature death. Untreated high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other serious health problems. It is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly, especially if you have been found to have elevated blood pressure,” he advised.

Following the risk associated with high blood pressure, governor Peter Mbah provided free blood pressure screening, Diabetes screening and free Medications for the people of Enugu State in Commemoration of 2024 World Hypertension Day since 17th May, 2024 at Enugu North LGA and environs.

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“The Masses have been screened for hypertension disease and Diabetes using simple diagnostic tools such as- blood pressure apparatus, glucometer, and urinalysis strip.

“There has been a huge turn-out at Enugu North LGA and environs and more than two hundred people have been screened a on high blood pressure and Diabetes.

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“Outreach activities have been also carried out at strategic locations in the state to ensure that a good number of Ndi Enugu are screened and those that have elevated blood pressures given medication, the areas covered thus far include Artisan Market, Ogbete- Main Market and Ahia-Nine at Obiagu.

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“We have discovered that about 30% of people screened, have an elevated blood pressure and sugar in their urine and have been hitherto unaware of the condition. These identified people at risk of developing hypertension have been linked to the existing health centers near to them in the State using referral forms.”

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He, however, urged the residents of Enugu to avail themselves of every opportunity to check themselves for hypertension, diabetes and other NCDs for prevention, and early diagnosis, which he said will help to avoid serious complication.

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