Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
Statistics has revealed that 150,000 Nigerians die annually as a result of heart-related diseases and alarmingly, the number is expected to increase to 23 million by the year 2030 if adequate measures are not taken.
Also, 34 per cent of the adult population in Nigeria live with High Blood Pressure especially cardiovascular heart disease before the age of 50 and the number is said to be on the increase as a result of poor diet, absence of healthy lifestyle, lack of exercise, and others.
This was revealed by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, during the commemoration of the 2017 World Heart Day with the theme ‘Share the Power’.
The minister said other causes of heart-related diseases includes the active and passive use of tobacco and alcohol intake as there are over one billion smokers in the world and with Nigerians consuming over two billion sticks of cigarettes annually with 500,000 being women.
The minister who was represented by the National Coordinator of Non-Communicable Diseases, Dr. Nnenna Ezeigwe, said the 2017 theme was apt as there is the need for Nigerians to engage themselves and share the power of knowledge on health issues.
He said, “There are about one billion smokers worldwide and over two billion sticks of cigarettes are consumed in Nigeria. The statistics is disturbing and we can say that the world is at the verge of a cardiovascular epidemic.
“Nigerians must imbibe and appreciate the importance of physical activities such as exercise, as it relieves stress and controls weight, eat healthy diet, avoid tobacco use and exposure to second hand use and avoid drinking alcohol and if you must drink, it should be done in moderation as well as check your numbers and know the condition of your heart.”
The executive director of Nigeria Heart Foundation, Dr. Kingsley Akinroye in his speech, said by the year 2025, Non-Communicable Disease which is on the increase globally, will increase by 25 per cent hence the need to partner with all tiers of government as well as multi-nationals and non-governmental organisations towards ensuring that Nigerians know their heart conditions and how to achieve healthy hearts.
He said the number of those marking it annually has continued to increase and yet the awareness is tremendously low and as such, the foundation is willing to partner the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in its awareness campaign thereby making it the first agency to benefit from the activities of the foundation.