The Nigerian Heart Foundation has called for collective efforts to address the high burden of hypertension in the country as Nigeria commemorates the 2023 World Hypertension Day.
Professor Basden Onuwubere, chairman of the NHF Hypertension Committee, who made the call in Lagos during a programme to mark the event said that many Nigerians were at risk of hypertension.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme of 2023 World Hypertension Day, which was commemorated on Wednesday is, ‘Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer’.
He said, “As of 2021, it was estimated that hypertension affects 39 per cent of adult ages 30 -79 years old, which amount to about 70 million people of the population, with a higher burden in women.
“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.
“This 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, overweight among others.
“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.
“Nigerians should check their blood pressure regularly. Hypertension does not give any sign like diabetes or other non-communicable diseases.”
Prof. Onuwubere noted that the NHF had been at the forefront of activities to control Non-Communicable Diseases, adding that hypertension remains the leading disease on the list.
Speaking also, the Executive Director of NHF, Dr. Kingsley Akinroye, urged the government to invest in preventive measures to address hypertension.
He said that 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 government must put measures in place to ensure Nigerians have access to treatment.
“Nigerians must also check their BP regularly and main a healthy lifestyle,” Akinroye said.
Similarly, Mr. Olayinka Ebenezer, a representative of New Height Pharmacy, said that the company was partnering with NHF to create more awareness on hypertension.
Ebenezer, whose company is the marketer of Omron medical devices, urged Nigerians to acquire a validated device to measure their blood pressure adequately.
“Measure accurately is the theme of this year’s WHD and that is why we are partnering with NHF to increase awareness about hypertension.
“You need a clinically validated device to know your accurate blood pressure and Omron is the leading brand when it comes to that,” he said.