NGO organises hypertension, diabetes screening for Lagos Island residents

AMAL Outreach, an NGO, has organised a health fair for residents of Lagos Island to help reduce the risks of diabetes and hypertensive ailments among the people.

The Co-Founder of the group, Dr Folake Lawal, said during the outreach in Lagos that the fair was to promote wellbeing among citizens.

She said that the four-day health intervention, which began on Thursday is holding at Oke-Arin, Olowogbowo, Balogun and Apongbon Under-Bridge, West of Lagos Island.

According to her, the exercise is the NGO’s response to the growing concerns over the increasing number of hypertensive and diabetic cases in the state.

Lawal said diabetic and hypertensive cases would be screened during the outreach with the hope of identifying and placing those with the diseases on medication and referring some to hospitals for further treatments.

“Hypertension and diabetes are one of the top non-communicable diseases in the world and are known as silent killers.

“It is estimated that three out of every 10 Nigerians have hypertension, while one of every 10 has diabetes mellitus.

“These diseases, when uncontrolled, lead to complications such as kidney failure, heart disease, strokes, sometimes leading to crippling expenses, loss of wages and productivity to patients and their family,” she said.

Lawal noted that primary health care should serve as the foundation for prevention, early diagnosis and management but regretted that such services were underutilised in the country.

According to her, Amal Outreach aims to improve community engagement with primary and preventive health care services, and also support services delivered by existing primary health centres to residents.

“We know that most people do not go to the hospital, so we are bringing healthcare, awareness and engagement to the people.

“Beyond the screening and treatment during the fair, we will use follow-up as an integral part of the exercise by recruiting interns from the area who are familiar with the area and the people.

“These interns will be there to help them check their blood pressure, remind them to take their medications, alert them of warning signs and assist them to hospitals,” she said.

Lawal was hopeful that Amal’s health intervention would assist in reducing the burden of diseases in the area.

Also, Dr Kofoworola Sadiq, a General Physician, disclosed that from the screening of about 900 people, hypertension was more prevalent than diabetes.

She said that early diagnosis could control and prevent complications arising from the diseases, adding that some were given referrals to Oke-Arin Health post and Olowogbowo Primary Health Centre for further treatment.

Sadiq said that majority of those screened were traders, adding that engagement with them showed that genetics, obesity, diets, stress and poor compliance to medication were some of the contributory factors to the disease burden.

“We all say that Nigeria is bad, the economy is tight, but if we do not take care of our health, we will end up dying and the economy will still continue and might even improve,” she said.

She advised people “to eat right, exercise regularly, comply with medication directives and have positive attitudes to health issues”.


– Feb. 18, 2020 @ 11:35 GMT |

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