Lagos residents have been urged to embrace the awareness and screening programme by availing themselves of the free screening exercise for hypertension, diabetes mellitus and Cancers of the breast, cervix and prostate offered by the government.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. ‘Modele Osunkiyesi, stated this weekend, on the heels of another round of the state-wide wellness week which began in the State on Monday, even as she reviewed the preparedness of her Ministry for the third round of the programme. The screening programme which began Monday will end tomorrow.
She said: “Screening for Hypertension and Diabetes for adults aged 18 and above is going on simultaneously in the 13 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and appurtenant Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the Lagos Central Senatorial District.
The LGAs and LCDAs concerned are; Apapa LGA, Apapa Iganmu LCDA, Lagos Mainland LGA, Yaba LCDA, Surulere LGA, Itire Ikate LCDA, Coker Aguda LCDA, Lagos Island LGA, Lagos Island East LCDA, Etiosa LGA, Etiosa East LCDA, Iru-VI LCDA and Ikoyi Obalende LCDA ”.
She however stated that screening for Cancers of the Breast and Cervix; for women and Prostate; for men aged 45 years and above took place in Apapa – Iganmu LCDA in addition to screening for diabetes and hypertension in the LCDA.
Osunkiyesi explained that Hypertension, Diabetes and Cancers; particularly of the breast, cervix, prostate and colon are classified as chronic diseases that cannot be transmitted from one person to another and do not result from any acute infectious process. These ailments, according to Osunkiyesi are also part of a group of diseases referred to as Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) which include; sickle cell anaemia, injuries and accidents, chronic lung diseases, arthritis amongst others.
The Permanent Secretary stated that NCDs cause death, dysfunction, or impairment in the quality of life, adding that they usually develop and continue over relatively long periods with the diseases resulting from prolonged exposure to precipitating factors, associated with personal or lifestyle behaviors and environmental factors.
“NCDs are by far the leading cause of mortality globally, representing 60 per cent of all deaths. By 2020, it is predicted that NCDs will be causing seven out of every 10 deaths in developing countries. NCDs which can be referred to as invisible epidemics are an under-appreciated cause of poverty and hinder the economic development of many countries”, Osunkiyesi said.
She said that the burden of NCDs has an adverse impact not only on the quality of life of affected individuals and their families, but also on the country’s socio-economic structure, stressing that the most common and the most dangerous NCDs are Hypertension, Diabetes and Cancers.
“These diseases have some common causes which include; obesity, excessive alcohol intake, heredity; diet or heavy intake of saturated fat, salt, cholesterol, and calories, smoking, age; especially over 45 years, inactive or sedentary lifestyles and lack of regular health screening”, the Permanent Secretary explained.
Osunkiyesi while stating that Hypertension, Diabetes and Cancers are usually severe and more expensive to manage at late stages noted that the diseases can be adequately controlled if detected early.
The Permanent Secretary noted that in contemporary times, developing countries including Nigeria are undergoing major demographic and epidemiological transition, with significant increase in the burden of Non Communicable Diseases.
“It is in realization of this and towards improving the health of the people of Lagos State that this integrated preventive health screening programme termed the Wellness Week is being implemented by the state Government”, Osunkiyesi said.
This story was published in Newswatch Times on October 15, 2015.