By Ibukun Emiola
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Prof. Temitope Alonge, says death from cardiovascular diseases is on the increase in Nigeria.
Alonge spoke in Ibadan on Wednesday at a symposium organised by the Association of Radiologists in Nigeria (ARIN) in conjunction with the Department of Radiology at UCH. The symposium was entitled: “Burden of Cardiovascular Diseases and Cardiac Imaging.”
“We have got to a point in our lifetime in Nigeria when things have got to change. In two years, we undertook the study of disease patterns in rural areas through the Rapid Result Initiative of the Federal Government. We undertook the evaluation of would-be-patients in all 11 local government areas in Ibadan, four local government areas in Oyo and Sepeteri in Saki East Local Government all in Oyo State.
“The result was that hypertension is the commonest disease in these areas after the age of 40. We have put together a paper entitled the ‘Burden of Hypertension and Cardiovascular Diseases in Oyo State. The impact of the non-communicable disease is enormous; many people had systolic hypertension and are ignorant of it and about 90 per cent of these have resulted in sudden death,” Alonge said.
He, however, underscored the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to reducing the burden of cardiac diseases in Nigeria.
Dr Adewole Adebiyi, who spoke on the burden of Cardiovascular Diseases in Nigeria, emphasised the need to take precautionary measures to prevent the onset of diseases.
“According to the global burden, cardiovascular disease accounts for 17.5 million deaths annually while hypertension is the leading cause of global mortality. About 34% of Cardio Vascular Diseases deaths occur among people who are less than 70.
“We need to understand that CVD is a global health problem and take adequate precautions because it exacts grievous burden in Nigeria– loss of earnings, family poverty and it reduces the nation’s GDP,’’ he said.