Rebecca Ejifoma
In line with celebrating its 25 years of immense commitment to cardiovascular health in Nigeria, Pfizer re-launched of one of its leading cardiovascular brands.

It said the re-launch of the brand is to create adequate awareness and differentiation based on its strong heritage of quality, efficacy and safety during the formal opening held in Ikeja, Lagos.

The Medical Director, Pfizer NEAR, Dr. Kodjo Soroh, said tht over the course of the last 25 years, they are proud to have contributed to the advancement of knowledge and the practice of cardiovascular medicine in Nigeria. “Our mission is to use innovative science to improve healthcare at every stage of life.”

Soroh explained that Pfizer has built a tradition of excellence in addressing the growing concerns of cardiovascular diseases by organising disease awareness programmes and free medical screening for the public.

These screenings, according to him, take place in pharmacies, religious organisations, corporate establishments, and also in partnership with medical institutions.

He addede, “To avoid cardiovascular diseases, it is necessary to undergo regular blood pressure checks, as the public health burden in Africa is changing and cardiovascular disease is increasing in prevalence.”

Meanwhile, an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Lagos and Consultant Cardiologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Dr Amam Mbakwem said most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing behavioural risk factors, such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol using population-wide strategies.

Mbakwem described heart attacks and strokes as acute events mainly caused by a blockage that prevents blood from flowing to the heart or brain.

“The most common reason for this is a build-up of fatty deposits on the inner walls of the blood vessels that supply the heart or brain. Strokes can also be caused by bleeding from a blood vessel in the brain or from blood clots. The cause of heart attacks and strokes are usually the presence of a combination of risk factors, such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol, hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidaemia,” she said.

The professor noted: “For instance, the rate of hypertension in the country has moved from 11 to 20 percent. And now, we are talking of 40 percent. This is not too good because the condition can damage the heart, or the brain, leading to stroke, heart failure, systemic or pulmonary failure. But if we can get the hypertension controlled through medicine, a lot of damages can be averted.”

According to Corporate Affairs/Health and Value Director, Margaret Olele, “The re-launch is also an opportunity to engage decision makers and strengthen our relationship in the medical community. We will continue to work closely with relevant stakeholders to increase awareness on cardiovascular diseases.”

Therefore, she assured that as Pfizer Nigeria celebrates this milestone, “We shall continue to strive for continuous improvement in our products, ensuring that our standards are never compromised. We are committed to contributing positively to the communities where we operate and set the standard for quality, safety and value of medicines.