The Medical Director, MacTayo Hospital, Ikotun, Dr Chijioke David, has tasked government at all levels and non-governmental organisations to carry out massive campaigns on Blood Pressure, particularly in the communities.
David gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday during a medical outreach organised by the Redeemed Christian Church of God, The Calvary Parish, Lagos Province 89, Oshodi.
The event was organised in collaboration with Chike Okoli Foundation, Emzor Pharmaceuticals, and Pharmatex Industries.
He said there was high level of ignorance about BP among community dwellers, as they lacked adequate knowledge of when to check BP and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
According to him, high blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, particularly stroke and heart attack.
David, also a general physician, emphasised the need for elderly people to ensure regular check of their BP in order to identify and address critical conditions that might result to death.
He explained that there was usually the issue of blood clotting among the advanced elderly adults due to their age.
He said that clotting prevents blood from circulating through the veins and vessels of the body, causing high blood pressure among the elderly people.
The physician, therefore, advised that every family should have the blood pressure testing apparatus, to enable the elders keep a regular check of their BP.
“Let every family endeavour to have the BP testing apparatus; if you’re having headache or your heart beats so fast – try to check your BP.
“As an adult, try to avoid the classes of food that can trigger risk factors of BP such as high cholesterol level, diabetes, high sugar levels or excessive weight and always engage in active activities.
“Eat more of fruits and vegetables; avoid stress, avoid salty foods especially adding salt when food is already done and take enough rest,” he said.
The medical director also identified stress as the major cause of high blood pressure and sudden death among Nigerian adults.
He said that mental health instability, triggered by the economic situation and hardships in the country, could equally cause high blood pressure.
David urged the Federal Government to intensify effort to stabilise the economy and provide citizens with the basic necessities of life.
He said, “This will go a long way to ease whole lots of burden on the people and equally reduce stress.
“Obviously, there’s too much stress in the country; which is already taking a toll on the lives of the citizens.
“People toil day and night to make living; they go to bed late, and as early as 3:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m., they have jumped out of bed to meet up with the days’ activities. For residents in cities like Lagos, they leave home very early not to be trapped in traffic.”
Also speaking, a resident doctor with the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Metta, Dr Kemi Windapo, identified blood pressure condition as a lifetime and lifestyle illness.
Windapo advised that BP patients should ensure they take their drugs regularly as prescribed by their doctors.
”The mistake some BP patients make that often result to hypertensive emergencies, is suspending or not taking their medication.
“One thing I have noticed is that most patients are actually hypertensive; which some of them are aware that they have the condition, but despite this knowledge, they are not using their drugs.
“My advice is that anybody that is diagnosed with hypertension should be aware that it is a lifetime illness and an illness of lifestyle.
“Even if the drugs given to you at the hospital finishes, try to get more and continue with the medication,” she said.
The resident doctor said many people thought that once the prescribed drugs given to a patient finished, the BP would be cured.
”But that’s not the truth; they end up coming down with hypertensive emergencies,” she added.