Nigerians urged to reduce salt intake

Posted by Adaora Anozie

On April 24, 2015

Public health consultant, Dr. Omowunmi Bakare, has advised Nigerians to reduce the quantity of salt they use in their cooking and diets.

Bakare, who spoke at a public lecture and free medical screening exercise organised by Babatunde Femi Owolabi Memorial Heart Foundation, said reduced salt was a cost effective way to prevent, treat and manage hypertension and DIABETES.

Bakare in her lecture entitled, ‘Taking charge of YOUR life,’ described hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, as a condition in which the blood vessels have persistently raised pressure greater than 140/90mmHg.

She said some of the warning symptoms include headaches, fatigue, dizziness, blurred vision, chest pain, confusion, nose bleeding and palpitation; and that when not detected and controlled, it could lead to heart diseases

Bakare said the disease was killing many Nigerians due to late detection, as many people do not know they have it.

She said, “ONE in every 10-15 Nigerian adults is affected; and less than one third of those that are aware of the condition are receiving any form of treatment because they don’t even know they have high blood pressure.”

She identified obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, age, family history and lack of physical exercise as other risk factors.

The president of the foundation, Mr. Tope Owolabi, told participants the importance of periodic medical check-up.

He said that ignorance on the part of citizens and the lack of access to medical facilities in many parts of the country are major factors contributing to the rising cases of non-communicable diseases such as DIABETES and hypertension.

Explaining the rationale behind the establishment of the foundation, Owolabi said his desire to curb the increasing cases of cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and DIABETES was the motivating factor behind the free medical screening and public lecture.

He admonished Nigerians to embrace both non-drug and drug treatment in preventing and controlling DIABETES and hypertension.

Some of the preventive strategies he highlighted included weight reduction, reduction in red meat/processed food, reduction in alcohol intake, stress, eating of more vegetables and fruits, and regular physical exercise.

Culled from Punch