Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
The need for the adoption of national policies and programmes that would intensify comprehensive health education and counseling for communities and the public in the control of hypertension has been stressed.
This is even as the development and improvement in the healthcare delivery system in order to address the control of hypertension in the country was also harped on.
A Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Professor Godfrey Bolade Samuel Iyalomhe, made the call while delivering the 99th Inaugural Lecture of the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, titled “Combating the Hypertension Scourge, Promoting Wellness and Longevity: My Odyssey.”
Iyalomhe described prehypertension as a state where the Blood Pressure (BP) is slightly higher than normal, either in systolic or diastolic (a warning sign of hypertension or heart disease), while hypertension or High Blood Pressure (BP) is a sustained condition in which the force of the blood against the wall of the arteries is too high.
He opined that hypertension kills 10 million people yearly worldwide, noting that blacks are more prone to develop the disease at an early age owing to their genetic or socioeconomic factors.
He said: “Many people who have hypertension are not aware, because, there are no symptoms even as it damages the body.
“Hypertension is often more severe in blacks with increased target organ injury and complications. It is the commonest non-communicable disease in Nigeria and a silent killer.”
Iyalomhe warned that drinking of excessive cold water, anger, and unhealthy lifestyle are some factors that could raise the blood pressure, just as he said that eating of balance diet rich with heart-friendly fruits and vegetables would promote wellness and longevity of humans.
“Adopting healthy lifestyle such as having regular exercise, quality sleeps, not smoking or indulging in alcohol and drug abuse together with embracing laughter and active sense of humour will promote wellness and longevity.
“Regular sex, just like a form of regular exercise, improves hypertension and has beneficial effects on the heart.
“But patients with severe hypertension such as BP up to 180/120 MMHG should consult with healthcare practitioners to control the BP as this condition may predispose to heart attack or acute heart failure during sexual exertion.
“To effectively combat the hypertension scourge and promote wellness and longevity, you must measure your BP, control it and you will live better and longer.”
While recommending that free or highly subsidised antihypertensive drugs be made available in all health facilities across the country, the university don, also called on government at all levels to put in place effective monitoring and surveillance programmes in order to track progress in the prevalence and control of hypertension.