By Leo Nzwanke
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH) Lafia, Dr Hassan Ikrama, has called on residents in the state to key into the state health insurance scheme to cut the cost of treating hypertension.
The CMD, who was represented by the Chairman, DASH Medical Advisory Committee, Dr Aboje Aboje, in a health talk programme organised by the Department of Internal Medicine to mark the World Hypertension Day at the hospital conference hall on Monday.
Dr Aboje, during the programme, said that about 36% of the Nigerian population suffers from hypertension, explaining that it is a deadly disease attached with complications that affect the body organs such as brain, kidney, heart, liver, among others.
He further stressed that a very small percentage of hypertensive patients benefit from health insurance scheme due to the fact that only a few are registered, calling on people to key into health insurance scheme for prompt and quality health care.
‘People affected with hypertension can take care of themselves through consumption of balance diet, regular exercise, avoid smoking and drinking of alcohol,’ he said.
‘Despite experiencing prolonged period of normal blood pressure levels, do not skip or halt medications unless your doctor ask you to do so. as it can cause unhealthy and sudden fluctuations which may result in more complications,’ he added.
Speaking earlier, the Head of Internal Medicine, Consultant Cardiologist at DASH, Dr Isa Oborien, disclosed that about 30% of the Nasarawa State population are suffering from hypertension, with half of the affected persons not knowing their blood pressure status.
Mr Oborien also said that the World Health Organisation (WHO), has disclosed that about 1.13 billion people worldwide suffer from hypertension, saying hypertension is one of the conditions often overlooked and untreated.
He explained that the day is set aside to create awareness, educate and develop measures towards combating the rate among the population.
In an effort to combat the rise in hypertension in the state and the country at large, Dr Isa said the team will embark on community outreach, distribution of flyers and engagememt on radio and television programmes.
He called on the state government and stakeholders to support the team through sponsorship in the fight against increasing rate of hypertension in the state.
A hypertension patient, Alh Dahiru Adamu Dandu, who spoke to our correspondent, said he never knew he had hypertension until he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital and tested, indicating that he was hypertensive.
I was at home doing my house work until I collapsed. I was rushed to the hospital the first time they treated me and I went back and it happened again; so I was rushed back and they told me that I have hypertension, that my blood pressure is 160 degrees, and they commenced treatment immediately. I have stayed for some weeks now my blood pressure is now 120. I am very OK now,’ he narrated.