Gov. Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra on Wednesday urged residents to make regular health checks a lifestyle to prevent silent killer diseases.
Soludo, represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Ernest Ezeajughi, made the plea at the flag-off of “Solution Know Your Numbers: Prevent Silent Killers, Extend Your Life Span”, at Enugwu-Ukwu General Hospital in Njikoka Local Government area.
He said that free health checks were in furtherance of his administration’s quest to ensure health coverage for all residents.
“Our administration’s commitment to sustainable healthcare and universal health coverage is unshaken, hence, we are flagging off today’s programme.
“There are lot of individuals in our state who do not know their health status and are not engaged in activities to improve their wellbeing.
“Poor state of health is a significant hindrance to achieving our life dreams and ambitions.
“So, we urge residents to take advantage of this free medical screening taking place in all the 36 general hospitals in the state,” Soludo said.
The governor said that medical personnel had been recruited to attend to patients and manage health of residents.
Also, the state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike, said that Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cardiac arrest, among others, were silent killers that should be given attention.
Obidike said that there was no baseline data in the country to guide government and its implementing partners in designing public interventions in NCDs.
According to him, the prevalence of hypertension alone in South-East Nigeria is 53 per cent, according to Removing the Mask On Hypertension Study of 2019.
“Nothing will dispute the fact that each and everyone of us have had friends and relatives who suffer sudden collapse, death and other health complications.
“These complications can result from undiagnosed or poorly managed diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cardiac arrest and other NCDs.
“These diseases results from a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental, behavioural and social factors.
“Unfortunately, there is no cure for many NCDs, but they can be well controlled and managed with early detection, right treatment and follow-ups,” Obidike said.
The commissioner said that data collection from the free health checks would form the basis for generation of the state specific data for future planning and interventions in NCDs.
In his remarks, Dr Adamu Abdulnasir, the state Coordinator, World Health Organisation (WHO), urged residents to avoid smoking, reduce alcohol intake, drink more water, do regular exercises and other lifestyle modifications.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that no fewer than 200 beneficiaries were checked to verify their HIV status, blood pressure, blood sugar level and Body Mass Index. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)