By Michael Peter, The Sight News
As the world marks 2017 World Stroke Day, a group, Stroke Action Nigeria has disclosed that there has been a rise in the number of Nigerians diagnosed with the disease.
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability globally. Every two seconds, stroke attacks a person in the world regardless of age, gender, education, religion or economic background.
Speaking in Abuja on the “walk and run against stroke” campaign, the Chief Executive of the foundation, Rita Melifonwu noted that high level ignorance amongst Nigerians about the causes and prevention of the disease has led to the proliferation of stroke cases.
Melifonwu stated that since stroke affects everyone, it is imperative for all to take action to prevent the disease and promote positive health and wellbeing.
To this end, she called on all Nigerians to be part of the “Walk And Run Against Stroke” campaign in their state which is is put together to create awareness about the ailment.
She pointed out that 90 per cent of strokes are linked to 10 key risk factors-high blood pressure, smoking, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, overweight, lack of exercise, poor diet, high cholesterol, excessive alcohol intake, lack of stroke awareness.
“Early recognition of signs of stroke and early intervention through stroke awareness, risk assessment, health check, lifestyle changes and appropriate risk factor management will make a big difference and can substantially improve outcomes”.
She urged the Minister of Health Prof Isaac Adewole, and, the Honourable Commissioners for Health in the various State Ministries of Health to encourage citizens to engage in a ‘walk and run against strokes’ activity on World Stroke Day Sunday 29 October to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity in stroke prevention.”
Also speaking, the Chief Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital Abuja, Prof. Sunday Bwala disclosed that about 20 per cent of Nigerians are hypertensive and only 10 per cent of the 20 per cent are aware of it.
He appealed to Nigerians to do regularly check ups to be sure of their status, as High blood pressure remains the number one cause of stroke.
He called on Government to assist in the area of research survey to ascertain those who are at risk of the disease in the country so they can be treated before it degenerates into stroke”.
A stroke survivor, Onyinye Iromba, who narrated her ordeal to newsmen further urged Nigerians to as much as possible, live worry free, saying that prior to her attack, she had lived in anxiety.
Stroke is an “attack on the brain” that occurs when the flow of blood is interrupted by a blood clot or broken blood vessel. Stroke prevalence in Nigeria is estimated at 205,200 strokes each year. According to the World Stroke Organisation, 1 in 6 of people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime.
Stroke Action Nigeria, is a national stroke support organisation that has before now partnered with World Stroke Organisation, the world’s leading global organisation in the fight against stroke, and Ashoka Foundation to take action to drive stroke awareness, and prevention in Nigeria.
The theme of the campaign set by World Stroke Organisation’s (WSO) for this year is ‘PREVENTION’.