Nigeria joins the rest of the world Sunday to mark the World Health Day, medical doctors and pharmacists, under the aegis of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) have decried the rising number of hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) cases in the country with its attendant complications —stroke, heart attack, blindness and kidney failure.

Reports also indicate that more Nigerian men suffer high blood pressure than their female counterparts due to reasons attributable to lifestyles.

This revelation was made at a press conference organised by the Nigerian Medical Students Association of Nigeria (NMSAN) to mark the World Health Day in Benin City.

National President of the association, Bashir Maru, said one in three adults worldwide are affected by high blood pressure and implicated in over 18 percent of death globally adding that poorer people are worse off.

“For Nigeria, about 22 percent of the population are affected by high blood pressure, and it is called a silent killer because it doesn’t show signs or symptoms till it might be too late.

“It causes blindness, irregular heartbeat or eventual heart failure. It can be countered by reducing high salt intake and high-calorie food and avoiding sedentary (inactive) lifestyle.”

According to the bodies, the number of Nigerians living with high blood pressure is estimated at about 56 million, even as the World Health Organisation (WHO) calls for intensified efforts to prevent and control hypertension.

They also raised alarm over the proliferation in Nigerian markets of fake blood pressure measuring devices and popular diets like some brands of noodles that account for 61 percent of a daily salt requirement in the smallest packs0.

The associations further made known their concerns over some newly promoted brands of soluble paracetamol with about 450mg of sodium per tablet, which transcends 2.7g daily when six tablets are taken a day, a level considered inimical to the health of hypertension patients.

In a statement released Saturday, president of NMA, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, said, “the prevalence of high blood pressure is at its peak in some low-income countries in Africa, with over 40 percent of adults in many African countries at risk of being affected.

“A recent community-based study of rural and semi-urban population in Enugu, Nigeria, put the prevalence of hypertension in Nigeria at 32.8 percent while a meta-analytical study published recently estimated the countrywide prevalence to be between 12.4 and 34.8 percent. The disturbing reality of this statistics is that between a staggering 20,088,000 and 56,376,000 Nigerian citizens are hypertensive.”

Enabulele said the prevalence of hypertension is also increasing globally. “In 2000, 972 million people had hypertension with a prevalence rate of 26.4 percent. These are projected to increase to 1.54 billion affected individuals and a prevalence rate of 29.2 percent in 2025. Incidence rates of hypertension range from three to 18 percent depending on the age, gender, ethnicity, and body size of the population studied,” he said.

The PSN president, Olumide Akintayo, said the risk of developing the complications of hypertension such as heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure is higher than another cardiovascular risk like diabetes. Akintayo, however, said high blood pressure is both preventable and treatable.

The NMA recommended the promotion of healthy lifestyles to combat the rising cases of hypertension and called on the federal government and all state and local councils to declare a public holiday/free day of health check-up for all Nigerians every six months, with effective measures and incentives put in place to encourage compliance.

Enabulele alerted to the proliferation of fake blood pressure measuring meters in the country. He said since hypertension management depends mainly on accurate measurement of blood pressure, efforts should be made to sanitize the blood pressure (BP) equipment supplies and marketing sector.

According to the WHO, one in three adults worldwide has high blood pressure. The proportion increases with age from, one in 10 people in their 20s and 30s to five in 10 people in their 50s.

Worldwide, more than 7.5million deaths are attributed to the condition, about 12.8 percent of all deaths. This accounts for 57 million Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYS), which accounted for about 3.7 percent of total DALYs.

The WHO noted that high blood pressure is estimated to affect more than one in three adults aged 25 and over, or about one billion people, and Africa has the highest prevalence of hypertension (46 percent of adults) while the lowest in the Americas (35 percent of adults).

Interestingly for Africa and other poor economies, the report further showed a direct relationship between income level and hypertension. Overall, high-income countries have lower hypertension prevalence (35 percent of adults) compared to low and middle-income groups (40 percent of adults), thanks to successful multi-sectoral public policies and better access to health care.

JD: This is worrying and doesn’t look too good at all.we all have to develop healthy lifestyles since we all realize that should anything untoward happy, you are on your own as our governments “have bound us over to the Philistines




By Gabriel Olawale The World Health Organisation, WHO has revealed that 46 percent of adults in the  African region countries are hypertensive with adult males tending to have a higher mean systolic blood pressure than adult females.

The report has Nigeria topping the list of males and females with the highest percentage of adults followed by Ghana, Seychelles, Sao Tome and Principe, and Cabo Verde.

The gender comparison data rated Nigeria adult high with 51 percent for males and 49 percent for female hypertension, followed by Ghana with 41 percent male and 38 percent female.

“Seychelles has 44 percent male and 36 percent female; Sao Tome and Principe has 41 percent male and 36 percent female while Cabo Verde record 44 percent male and 34 percent female.” The global average for the number of people suffering from the condition was about 40 percent, the WHO said.
The WHO blamed increasing urbanisation and unhealthy lifestyles for the rise in cases.

The study reaffirms that hypertension remains a major problem, with the percentage of adults who are hypertensively ranging from 16 to 40 percent with a median of 31 percent in 36 STEPwise surveys conducted in the region.

The five countries with the highest prevalence of hypertension were Seychelles (40 percent), Cabo Verde (39 percent), Sao Tome and Principe (39 percent), Ghana (37 percent), Niger (36 percent) and Nigeria (35 percent). Meanwhile, the five countries with the lowest prevalence of raised blood pressure were Mali (16 percent), Eritrea (17 percent), The Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa, 17 percent), Cameroon (17 percent) and Togo (19 percent).

High blood pressure was often detected too late and was a silent killer, it added. If lifestyles do not change, more people in Africa could die from chronic illnesses, including diabetes and cancer, than infectious disease by 2030, the WHO said.

Surprising result

The report’s author, Abdikamal Alisalad, said the level of unhealthy habits in many African nations had come as a shock.

“We were surprised because we thought we would not see this kind of situation currently. We were expecting it maybe 30 or 40 years from now.”
He attributed the rise in non-communicable diseases to changes in developing societies.

“People are moving from the rural areas, going to urban, metropolitan areas. The middle-income group is growing, life expectancy is also growing.”

“Treating non-communicable diseases is costly, so it is in the economic interest of every country to support prevention campaigns.”

Uncontrolled hypertension or high pressure can result in more serious health issues including memory loss, heart attack, brain damage, eyes damage, stroke, atherosclerosis, and kidney damage.




Hypertension Prevalence In Nigeria Is About 30–45% -Experts

by  | May 19, 2017, 12:45 am

According to the Population Reference Bureau, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity contribute to about 12 million deaths worldwide, which are related to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as stroke, cancer, and diabetes.

The United Nation’s theme for World Hypertension Day (WHD) 2017 is ‘Know Your Numbers’.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, NCDs are on the rise and represent an increasingly significant cause of death and disability among African people. Diets in some African countries lack diversity, resulting in meals that often include a limited range of food groups. High salt levels in Africans’ diets, which increase blood pressure, are also common as salt is used to preserve foods and add taste.

Recently, in commemoration of World Hypertension Day, Nestle Nigeria Plc in collaboration with Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN), observed the World Hypertension Day by promoting public awareness of hypertension and encouraged everyone to prevent and control the modern epidemic.

Professor of Cardiology, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Amam Mbakwem at the commemoration said that hypertension is the most powerful risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

 “Hypertension is an asymptomatic disease; complications affecting important organs give rise to symptoms. A recent national multistage survey gave of 13,591 Nigerians – 44.9% prevalence. Hypertension is the most important risk factor for CVD and prevalence continues to rise and expected to affect 1.5billion people worldwide. Prevalence is Nigeria is about 30 –45%  and genetic and environmental factors are key to development. Early detection is key and management involves lifestyle changes and drugs.” She said.

For the Managing Director, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Mauricio Alarcon, The WHD is an opportunity to increase high blood pressure awareness by providing critical information to improve knowledge of the prevention and management of hypertension. He further stated that the reason for the conference put together by Nestle in commemoration of WHD is to bring experts and stakeholders in health, wellness, nutrition, family matters and the media to discuss and raise public awareness about hypertension, its preventive measures, and management of its complications. In his words, “One of the most prevalent non-communicable conditions worldwide is hypertension. However, the level of awareness of this health challenge remains low. There is, therefore, need to leverage a day like this to sensitize the general public on the need to ‘Know Their Numbers’ ” said Alarcon.

Echoing the same line of thought is the Chairman, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter, Tosin Adu who said “Although high blood pressure has a genetic predisposition, it is principally a lifestyle disorder. The statistics are frightening and the incidence cuts across racial and socio-economic barriers. Lifestyle modification is, therefore, key to both prevention and treatment.” He revealed.

In his address, the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, a Professor, represented by Chris Bode, a Professor of Surgery, specialised in pediatric surgery and Chief Medical Director, LUTH said “May is the month of measurement. Let everyone measure their blood pressure and tell others to do so.

The free health services were available not only at the Sheraton Hotel where the conference took place but also at the Palms Mall in Lekki and Ikeja City Mall.The booths at these locations provided health checks including blood pressure, body mass index determination, blood sugar level and on their general health condition.

Hypertension, also known as high or raised blood pressure, is a condition in which the blood vessels have persistently raised pressure. Blood is carried from the heart to all parts of the body in the vessels. Each time the heart beats, it pumps blood into the vessels. Blood pressure is created by the force of blood pushing against the walls of blood vessels (arteries) as it is pumped by the heart. The higher the pressure the harder the heart has to pump.


1, A diagnosis of hypertension may be made when one or both readings are high: systolic (the pressure as the heart pumps blood around the body), given first; or diastolic (pressure as the heart relaxes and refills with blood), given second.

2, Modern lifestyle factors are responsible for a growing burden of hypertension: physical inactivity, salt-rich diets with processed and fatty foods, and alcohol and tobacco use.

3, High blood pressure can also be secondary to other conditions – kidney disease, for example – and can be associated with some medications.

4, Hypertension itself does not cause symptoms but in the long-term leads to complications caused by narrowing of blood vessels.

5, Doctors diagnose high blood pressure over a number of visits using a sphygmomanometer, which involves applying an inflatable cuff to the upper arm.

6, Lifestyle measures are used first to treat high blood pressure, including salt restriction and other dietary changes, moderation of alcohol, and stress reduction.

7, One or more drugs from a number of different classes may be used for treatment.

Kemi Ajumobi




October 20, 201

While Nigeria has the highest burden of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa with over five million cases diagnosed, Novo Nordisk and other health experts believe its incidence can be reduced if Nigerians adopt healthy lifestyles. Martins Ifijeh writes

Though Fred, a 32-year-old financial consultant has heard about diabetes before, he found out the consequences of the chronic disease the hard way because it most often doesn’t ring a bell when it starts to manifest.

He lost his mother suddenly, who until her death was full of life. They had both discussed her July 2017 trip to the United States, where she was billed to visit her first daughter who she hadn’t seen for years.

But on Friday, May 26th, life served Fred lemons. He lost his 66 years old mother, who hardly get ill and was always full of life. No thanks to the silent, creepy but dangerous diabetes. A disease that doesn’t tell it’s victims to get prepared.

“I got a call from her that morning that she was feeling dizzy and weak. That is something she hasn’t complained about since I can remember. So I told one of our relatives staying with her to take her to the family clinic, but before she could get there, I learned she was fast losing strength.
“Diagnosis was done on her and they realised her blood sugar level was over 400. I had to tell the doctor to do anything he can to stabilise her, and then commence treatment to reduce the fatally high level,” Fred said.

But the damage was done already. There were already severe complications from diabetes. In no time she was gasping for breath, and then she died from what the doctor called heart attack caused by blood clot in the arteries.

The normal blood sugar range is between 70 to 100 but Fred’s mother had over 400 percent higher than the normal level.

“The doctor told me my mum didn’t just develop the disease, that it has been there for years, but was slowly doing damage to her heart and other organs until the day she died. He said if she was doing regular checkups, she would have been able to adjust her lifestyle or possibly be on medication to reduce the level of sugar in her circulating system,” Fred regrettably said.
Fred couldn’t make lemonades from what life served him. He lost his mum to a highly preventable disease when diagnosed on time.

Mummy Fred is just one among several hundreds of thousands of Nigerians who die yearly due to ignorance of their health status, especially on non-communicable diseases like diabetes that do not give warning signs.

In 2015 alone, about 120,000 Nigerians were said to have lost their lives to diabetes; which may, if recent predictions are relied on, become the number one cause of deaths in the country among other non-communicable diseases, thereby topping the chart, as against cardiovascular diseases currently leading the causes of deaths occasioned by NCDs in Nigeria.

What is even more worrisome is that apart from the over five million Nigerians currently suffering from the chronic disease, indications show that not less than an entirely different five million Nigerians are diabetic but unaware since it does not come with symptoms. By indication, this shows that more than 10 million Nigerians are actually suffering from diabetes in the country; a figure experts say will continue to increase unless Nigeria and Nigerians make conscious efforts to tackle it head-on.

This is evident in the steady rise of diabetes, diabetes-related complications or deaths recorded in the country, leaving most sufferers at the mercy of the disease, since they are neither aware of the disease or are unable to receive treatment.

Over the past 30 years, the prevalence rate of the disease was said to be 0.4 percent among the Nigerian population; in 1992, it rose to 1.6 percent; in 2004 it was 3.1 percent, and just recently, it has risen above 4.5 percent, according to a survey conducted by Osuntokun et al.
But experts at the launch of the Base of Pyramid Project by Novo Nordisk say the steady rise of the disease in the country is associated with lifestyle changes; overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, alcohol consumption, dietary changes and cigarette smoking, adding that if nothing was done both on the part of the citizens and the stakeholders, the disease may spiral into a national health emergency that would take more lives out of their prime; a disease they have noted was partly preventable.

Diabetes, the most common disorder of the body’s hormonal system, occurs when blood sugar levels consistently stay above normal, thereby unable to let the body cells receive glucose due to lack of insulin to drive it into the body cells or lack of the cell receptors to recognise insulin, and then utilise its function. Glucose is an essential source of energy for the brain and the body. Insulin is one of the main hormones that regulate blood sugar levels and allows the body to use sugar (called glucose) for energy.

In her presentation at the launch, Consultant Endocrinologist, and Acting Deputy Provost, Academics, College of Medicine, Lagos, Professor Anthonia Obera, said many Nigerians do not access medical checkup, a reason she said has led to delayed or undiagnosed diabetes in the country, leading to complications and possible death.

She said, unfortunately, six out of 10 Nigerians who have diabetes do not know they have it because they are not checking their health status.

“Every adult beyond 40 years old should undergo regular checkups at least twice a year. When tackled on time, there is a very high possibility the person will lead a normal life. Such person will also know first hand what and what to avoid,” she said.

While stating that undiagnosed or delayed diabetes contributes to the development of complications, she said some of the consequences of the disease could result to peripheral neuropathy, retinopathy, cataract, cardiovascular disorders, and even death.

She called for strengthening of the healthcare system, timely screening, provision of treatment guidelines, upgrade of infrastructure and equipment, and the integration of private sector into the national health and information system framework.

The National Vice President, Diabetes Association of Nigeria, Dr. Ejiofor Ugwu, said 75 percent of diabetics globally reside in low and middle-income countries like Nigeria, where the majority could barely afford treatment cost.

He said the burden was heavy in Nigeria than the international federation estimates, adding that due to lack of reliable national data on diabetes, it was difficult putting actual figure to the number of diabetics in the country, but he insisted that the burden is underestimated in the country.

“The last national surgery we had was decades ago. It is a national embarrassment. We are therefore calling for national surgery on non-communicable diseases.

“Another issue is that we have insufficient diabetologists in Nigeria. We have about 140 for the entire 180 million Nigerians. Majority of them resides in urban areas. That means the presence of diabetologists in rural areas is very insignificant,” he added.

He called on Nigerians to eat healthily, avoiding junk foods, smoking, alcohol intake, sedentary lifestyles. “Regular checkup is very important as a step to preventing diabetes,” he added.

On his part, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, who was represented by the Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Ebutte Meta, Dr. Adedamola Dada said government, in partnership with stakeholders, have designed framework for intervention against the disease.
He said critical areas the government has considered is the development of national diabetes plan and policy, monitoring trends of the disease, provision of access to care and sustainable financing, provision of nutrition guidelines, among others.

He said Novo Nordisk, through its Base of Pyramid Project, was providing good partnership in the fight against diabetes in the country.

On his part, the General Manager, Middle Africa, Novo Nordisk, Mr. Venkat Kalyan said that Novo Nordisk was committed to addressing the barriers to better care for people with diabetes.
He said the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) project was aimed at providing access to diabetes care for people in low and middle-income countries. “The project runs in Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya. The purpose of the BoP project is to create shared value by developing scalable, sustainable and profitable solutions that increase access to diabetes care and treatment for the “working poor” as well as provide value to the business of Novo Nordisk.

“Building on the success of a diabetes awareness campaign conducted last year in partnership with Family Health International 360 (FHI 360), the goal of this pilot project is to improve diabetes care through the integration of diabetes screening services and linkage to care and treatment into routine general health services in private health facilities.

“FHI 360 will adopt the ‘House of Care’ approach, a system of delivering care and support centered and coordinated around the needs of individuals living with diabetes at the base of the economic pyramid to enable access to affordable diabetes care.”

He said the approach was predominantly facility-based and will strengthen the capacity of participating hospitals to integrate diabetes care by refocusing services and removing barriers to access. “In addition, this framework will improve outcomes for individuals with diabetes and provide value for the health system.”

According to him, the project objective is to conduct diabetes risk-assessment for 82,500 individuals using a risk-scoring tool; conduct blood glucose tests for 40,000 high-risk individuals, among others.

Addressing Diabetes in Nigeria




Posted on June 25, 2016, by Encomium

 How to manage Diabetes and Hypertension 

Experts have revealed that for people to slump and die, two vital organs of the body must be involved which are the heart and brain. People are dying from treatable and manageable medical conditions such as malaria, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, hypertension and many more. These avoidable deaths are due to ignorance, deception, and misinformation.

‘Medically some things can cause someone to slump and die’ – Dr. ADERINWALE (Precise Medical Centre)

Medically, there are so many conditions that can cause people slumping and dying. Hypertension can cause it, cardiac failure can cause it, head trauma, homological condition like epilepsy, diabetes, hypoglasphemia, internal or external bleeding can cause it. There are so many other medical conditions that can cause such.

It can be prevented by regular medical checkup. The patient or person must make sure he/she takes the adequate medication as at when due, go for medical checkup generally and manage his or her health condition appropriately.

‘People should create time for medical check-up’ – DR CURTIS OGUAMALAM (Gynecologist)

There are lots of reasons why people slump and die. Let me go straight to the major ones.

Stress – The last time I checked, I realize people no longer give time for themselves. No time to rest, due to the nature of their jobs and other activities. You will see a lot of people waking up as early as 3 am for work, coming back late in the night. This is rampant in the country today. A lot of people don’t know how to manage the crisis. The situation on the road, activities at work, all these contribute to stress.

People know how to endure pains and headache. These are some of the things many people no longer pay attention to. By the time the whole issue piles up, it becomes what we call stress. When one is stressed without proper medical attention, it kills.

Another one is High Blood Pressure and poor diet. Eating foods that will nourish the body should be a habit not just eating anything.

There is what we call secondary and primary causes of death. The primary causes of death are those with possible reason why a person slumped. For instance, diabetes. If someone is diabetic, without proper care, there is possibility that the person would slump, thus, we can call this primary death.

The secondary one is cardiac arrest. A person might slump and if taken care of would survive but once a person slumps and the heart is gripped (cardiac arrest), it’s the end. A layman would say he slumped and died but cardiac arrest is totally different. It has no disease attached. Once it happens, it has no remedy.

I remember I was with one of my patients some time ago when she received a shocking news. Immediately, she started panting heavily. If I wasn’t there to rescue her, I wonder what that could have led to. There are lots of cases like that when we hear the death of someone without knowing the actual cause, a lot of people term it slumps and dies whereas some are cardiac arrest.

People should create time for medical check-up. Go to hospital, examine your body, let medical experts run a test on your body every time.

Stress is something that kills fast. We are all thinking of money and how to settle bills. In the process, the body is stressed. Also what we eat helps in fighting sickness. This is why I always tell people to inspect what they eat. No matter how little the food is, we should eat balanced diet. All these help the body against crisis.

‘Medical check-up is the way out’ – DR FUNSHO SHITTU (Expert)

The main reason why people slump and die is lack of medical check-up. Nigerians no longer create time for their health. Today, you will see people with all sorts of diseases that need medical attention, instead, they end up treating themselves locally with agbo (local herbs) and other concoctions forgetting the fact that medical check-up is the best way one can stay fit.

Hypertension. This is also one of the reasons why people slump. Hypertension is a fast killer. Your reaction towards every situation that comes your way stimulates hypertension. Though the country is in a harsh economic situation, a lot of people are upset, it damages their body system. This is why we hear cases of people slumping and dying. People need medical attention when depressed. Medical check-up is the way out and be crisis free.



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