Experts have revealed that for anybody to slump and die, two vital organs of the body must be involved. These are the heart and the brain. The heart is a major organ that has to function optimally, and during intense physical activities, the heart works more, pumping blood adequately to support the brain. The brain is also what keeps people alive, but if it is deprived of blood supply for more than four minutes, a person can go unconscious and this could lead to death.

The tragedy of these calamities is that most people are not aware that they have hypertension and diabetes – the two conditions that predispose people to suffer stroke or heart attack and kidney diseases. It was, therefore, a shock when Funmilayo Femi, a 20-year old undergraduate fell ill and was diagnosed with hypertension. Funmilayo felt dizzy and had a consistent headache and so had to go to hospital. Her BP was 200/120. 

,’Experts have revealed that for anybody to slump and die, two vital organs of the body must be involved; these are the heart and the brain’, 

None of her parents has it and so it became a puzzle to the doctors. She was lucky and was treated but for her to live on BP drugs from age 20 became incredible to her and her parents. Alhaja Safinatu recently got to her shop at Ladipo, relaxed on her chair to have lunch when she slumped in her chair.

Thinking that something was wrong with the chair, her neighbours in the market rushed instantaneously to give a helping hand and lift her up. Then, apprehension set in when they noticed her still form. And still thinking that she might have suffered a concussion as a result of the fall, they rushed her to the General Hospital but within minutes of her arrival, she was pronounced dead by the doctor. Her BP was 280/150. The recent goal is that BP should be below 120/80. These numbers were extremely high and very dangerous.

These are not isolated cases. Sudden death syndrome is becoming all too common. Apart from slumping and dying, strange diseases are cropping up every day and poverty-stricken Nigerians are falling victims.

Almost every Nigerian knows somebody who has had a stroke or died suddenly. There is an epidemic of both men and women ‘slumping’ and dying. It is bad that someone left home in the morning seemingly healthy and did not make it back home. It is reported that the average life expectancy in Nigeria in 2000 was 51-56 years and by 2011 had declined to 47.56 (World Bank figures). All indications are that this decline occurred even as we have become a more affluent country. The average worldwide life expectancy presently is approximately 65.5 years, while that of countries like the USA is in the 70s. A more realistic comparison would be that of a country like Rwanda, where the life expectancy is estimated to be approximately 55 years in 2011.

What appears most alarming is that people are ‘slumping’ from treatable and manageable medical conditions such as Malaria, Diabetes, Heart Attacks, and Strokes. All have local definitions and ascribable spiritual connections. Such illnesses are preventable and treatable through appropriate health education, change in lifestyle and adequate treatment, despite the misguided ‘spiritual’ diagnosis.

People are increasingly dying of treatable diseases due to ignorance, unholy deception and misinformation. These are preventable health issues. As the body ages, it stops functioning as it should and naturally needs assistance. A body that was able to tolerate a high fever may be unable to do so anymore as it ages. An unintended result of ‘healthy’ eating is obesity which by the way leads to adult-onset diabetes. It is the nature of life. What ordinarily could be treatable with ‘onions’ is now treated with antibiotics. It is bad enough to have incurable diseases but it is good to at the very least deal properly with the ones that are durable and can be managed.

It is advisable to seek medical attention at the first sign of illness and routinely at least once a year. People should understand their family medical history and respond accordingly and proactively.


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