Okwe Obi, Abuja
A neurosurgeon, Dr. Emeka Okor, has advised Nigerians to always seek medical test especially when it concerns the brain and symptoms not be taken lightly.
Okor, who spoke at the first flag-off of the campaign against brain disease, on Wednesday, in Abuja, said some of the symptoms included severe headache, Perennial vomiting, seizure numbness or tingling in the arms or legs, changes in personality, difficulty with movement or balance changes in hearing, speech or vision.
According to him, “So many of us don’t fit the profile of someone typical at risk of brain diseases or any neurological problems, hence we have this tendency of ignoring some warning signs or symptoms, which may be a sign of something serious.”
Commenting, Founder, Brain and Spine, Chika Okwuolisa, said her motivation to establish the Foundation stemmed from her sister who is a victim of brain injury.
According to her, “Sometime in 2012, my younger sister, Victoria Okwuolisa, suddenly experienced what she called ‘worst headache of her life’ and that nearly took her life if not for divine hand of God and prompt interventions along the way.
“She has had five brain surgeries, survived stroke twice and still alive. But the quality of life hasn’t been the same.
“To so many of us, every headache we have is ordinary which should not be so. But we should understand that headache in itself is not a disease but a symptom.
“Taking a thorough headache history helps determine if there are red flags or worrisome features that may be indicative that the headache is attributable to some underlying condition or cause.
“Unfortunately most people affected are not alive to tell what happened as most of them don’t make it alive to hospital,” she said.
Brain and Spine Foundation was founded to provide information and educate the masses and also help raise funds for the affected individual knowing that the diseases of the brain and spine can be exploding expensive.
On the issue of stigmatisation, she advised Nigerians to desist from such and lend a helping hand to victims.
“When I walk around with my sister and I see steering at us, I stop and sensitise them. Shockingly, most of them don’t even know what it is all about.
“The government should invest heavily on the health to arrest some of the problems of brain problem, especially in the area of aggressive campaign,” she said.