FG Offers Free Healthcare Services In Oyo

Health, Oyo, HealthcareAt least 700 people from three Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Oyo State have received free health services under the ‘Rapid Response Initiative’ of the Federal Government.

The Federal Ministry of Health kicked off the initiative at the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, the state’s capital in southwest Nigeria.

The Chief Medical Director at the UCH, Professor Temitope Alonge, said that the initiative was aimed at providing access to quality healthcare services to poor people in their local communities.

The programme, which was scheduled to hold its first phase within the localities of all the 11 LGAs in Ibadan, started in Akinyele, Ona Ara and Ibadan Northwest LGAs.

Patients were assessed and treated for various ailments ranging from hypertension, diabetes, hernia and eye defects among other complex health issues.

Professor Alonge disclosed that more than 300 people have been given referrals to UCH out of which at least 60 would be operated upon free of charge.

“One thing we have been seeing which is interesting is that we have a lot of people whose blood pressures are ranging from 300, 200 to 120, 220 and that is one of the things we are worried about and they are a lot.

“About one third of them almost have one problem with their eyes, cataract and cornea opacity. Again all of those ones will have to be attended to.

“We have a retired matron, a public health officer who is from Moniya and she took it upon herself yesterday (Sunday) and two days ago to go to the mosques and churches to do the enlightenment.

“This is a good lesson for us. So we will do the same (by) looking for people in that particular locality and use them as focal persons to help us spread the news,” he said.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in Oyo State, Dr. Babtunde Latunji, who accompanied other doctors to launch the outreach, acknowledged the initiative’s focus on providing free access for rural dwellers and those in the urban centres within the city.

“Because of poverty or cost of affordability, they have been keeping to themselves and they can’t actually seek for the health intervention that rather addressed their issues.

“You have cases like glaucoma, you can have cataract you can have hernia, you can have cleft palate, even VVF and other gynaecological cases in this environment.

“So with this kind of intervention, we are hopeful that perhaps people will be able to access free health services and their health condition will be a little bit ameliorated,” Dr. Latunji stated.

Professor Alonge, Dr. Latunji , 20 doctors from pediatric, ophthalmic and general surgery departments, as well as about 30 relevant health workers have been drafted to attend to as many patients as possible within the local governments listed for the free medical outreach.

What You Should Know About Hypotension

hypotension, blood pressure, hypertension Hypotension, which is low blood pressure, can have similar complications as high blood pressure if its symptoms become severe.

It is not as common as hypertension which affects about 22 per cent of adults aged 18 and above globally.

Hypotension may be a signal to an underlying medical condition but it can be identified with a measuring apparatus for checking the pressure of the blood in the human circulatory system.

Most of the time, attention is on high blood pressure but there is equally a silent low blood pressure or hypotension to watch out for.

Symptoms

Explaining the difference between Hypertension and Hypotension, a cardiologist with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Olusegun Joseph, said that “the normal blood pressure is between 90-120 over 60-80. Anything lower than 90 over 60, is termed hypotension, he said.

“They are not uncommon. Usually it is secondary to some diseases. There are people that are naturally, their blood pressure is 80/60, 80/55 and they are doing well. Such people, if they are not symptomatic there is nothing to really worry about. The problem comes when there are symptoms”.

Hypotension would seem to be a blood pressure reading to strive for but for some people, it can cause mild symptoms and in severe cases low blood pressure can be life-threatening.

As much as this life-threatening condition exists, very few people know about it, as indicated by a survey of opinions carried out by Channels Television’s health correspondent, Yomi Otaigbe.

But Dr. Joseph says “you need to know your numbers especially as you are growing. Alright, what are the numbers? Your blood pressure. The other thing is to know if your blood sugar is ok.

“This is because diabetes can cause, you know, hmm, hypotension. It can also predispose to hypertension anyway”.

For another cardiologist with the teaching hospital, Dr. Casmir Amadi, “when somebody has low blood pressure that has clinical relevance, the ability of the organs to receive blood becomes impaired. The commonest organ that will suffer will be the brain, the brain will not receive enough blood supply. So, usually they feel very dizzy and may have blurry vision”.

Explaining symptoms of the condition further he said: “If they lie down on the bed and trying to get out of bed, they will feel dizzy and if the low blood pressure is so bad, it may affect the perfusion of the heart muscle as well”.

Whether it is hypertension or low blood pressure, it is important to get regular blood pressure checks so as to pick up any abnormality early enough and get prompt treatment where necessary.

Heart Disease: Medical Experts Harp On Regular Checkups To Avoid Risk

heart diseaseMedical experts have urged all Nigerians especially from age 50 and below to ensure they take the stress test exercise in order to ascertain any likelihood of the Coronary Artery Disease or Ischemic Heart Disease commonly known as heart attack.

According to the experts, the test will reveal if blood supply to the heart is enough. The test will also show the changes in the electrocardiogram (ECG) of the heart.

The exercise stress test, as opined by the medical experts, will determine the amount of stress the heart can manage as well as the amount of oxygen the heart muscle can generate.

Key Symptoms

They described Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) as an epidemic that is capable of shortening a life span if proper attention and adequate awareness was not given to it.

The experts further disclosed that apart from the risk factor like smoking, poor diet, family history, excessive alcohol, hypertension, obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol as root cause of the disease, constant chest pain, irregular heartbeat, emotional stress and shortness of breath are other key symptoms of ischemic heart disease.

According to the World Health Organization, CAD or Ischemic Heart Disease (ISH) commonly referred to as heart attack was the most common cause of death globally in 2013, resulting in 8.14 million deaths and 16.8 per cent up from 5.74 million deaths and 12 per cent in the early 90s.

Medical experts say some causes of the cardiovascular disease occur due to blockage of the blood vessel to the heart which often times cause chest pain and other complications in the heart resulting to a heart attack.

It was further disclosed that CAD is rampant in this part of the world because people over stress themselves and fail to exercise their body, rest or go for regular medical checkup.

Prevent The Disease

While advising people to take precautions and proper medical advice on this disease, the medical experts said exercise stress test is a key test that should be done in order to ascertain the likelihood of having a coronary artery disease.

To prevent the disease, they opined that awareness should increase and medical personnel should be more proactive with their patients while also urging that people should ensure they eat healthy and proper diet, exercise regularly, maintain healthy weight, stop smoking, treat hypertension and decrease cholesterol level.

In case of severe complications, cardiovascular surgery or open heart surgery is the way out, the experts stressed.

With the rate at which the coronary artery disease kills people in recent times especially prominent Nigerians like the two former super eagles coaches and many more, it is advisable to take precautions.

it is also necessary to take time out and go for medical checkups especially the exercise stress test to ascertain any likelihood of the coronary artery disease and also stay away from risk factors that might cause the disease.

Aisha Buhari Launches Free Medical Service In Nasarawa

Nasarawa, Aisha Buhari
Wife of Nigeria’s President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has flagged off a three-day free health screening programme in Nasarawa State.

The medical outreach was launched on Monday under the auspices of ‘Future Assured Initiative’ to cater for women and children with various health challenges.

The programme was in collaboration with the wife of the Nasarawa State Governor, Mairo Al-Makura.

It complements the efforts of the state government in providing adequate health care service to the people.

A representative of the President’s wife, Grace Shamma, said that the poor health condition of women and children prompted Mrs Buhari’s decision to organise the screening.

According to Mrs Shamma, she maintained that it was only a healthy population that could drive the economy.

While appreciating initiative of the wife of the President, Mrs Al-Makura called on the Nasarawa State Governor to do more for the people with critical health challenges, especially the silent killer diseases.

In his response, Governor Tanko Al-Makura thanked Mrs Buhari for choosing the state for such outreach program, appealing to the beneficiaries to comply with the instructions given to them.Nasarawa, Aisha Buhari

The outreach program was organised to screen women and children, including men for hypertension, diabetes, breast and cervical cancer, hernia, lipoma and  cataract often referred to as ‘silent killer diseases’.

The organisers of the programme assured individuals found positive of various ailments of immediate treatment.

They added that cryotherapy services would be offered to women with cervical problems and there would be referrals and follow ups where the need arises.

The health screening, which is being organised in the six Nigeria’s geo-political zones, is targeting women and children with very severe medical conditions.

Plateau Rural Dwellers Enjoy Free Medical Care From NACA

medical outreachMore than 2,000 people in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, north central Nigeria were beneficiaries of the free medical outreach programme organised by the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA).

The 4-day programme was targeted at the rural dwellers with prevention messages on HIV/Aids, diagnosis and treatment of some ailments, as well as clinical consultation and referrals of other diseases that could not be handled during the outreach.

Services were provided for the diagnosis and treatment of several ailments ranging from hypertension, malaria, deworming of children, random blood sugar test and diabetes among others.

Some of the beneficiaries shared their experiences on the exercise. They said it has brought relief to them, considering many rural dwellers could not afford the high cost of treatment in the hospitals.

The member representing Barkin Ladi/Riyom constituency in the House of Representatives commended NACA for choosing the constituency for the medical outreach.

Mr Istifanus Gyang expects the tempo to be sustained through massive community driven campaign and provision of health facilities to the rural areas across the nation.

NACA Offers Free Medical Outreach In Plateau

NACA Offers Free Medical Outreach In PlateauThe National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has embarked on a free multi-disease medical outreach treatment to carter for rural dwellers that could not afford the general hospitals in their domain.

Since the past four days, residents of Mangu Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State, North-central Nigeria have been beneficiaries of the medical outreach which took place at the Mishkaham Mangu Palace.

Various ailments ranging from HIV/AIDS counselling and testing, Hepatitis B test and treatment, blood pressure, hypertension, diabetic screening as well as free medical consultation were rendered to the public by no fewer than 50 medical doctors.

An Assistant Director with NACA, Garba Danjuma, who led the medical personnel, stressed what the residents stand to benefit from the gesture provided by the agency which was according to him, holding across the nation.

The Chairman of Mangu LGA, Titus Bise, who flagged off the exercise, reminded the people of the need to take advantage of such programme saying it does not come too often.

Having received treatment for various ailments, some of the beneficiaries shared their experiences and what they gained from the exercise.

Keyamo Alleges Plot To Kill Charles Okah

Counsel to Mr Charles Okah, is alleging a plot to kill the suspected brains behind the 2010 Independence Day bombing of the Abuja Eagle Square in prison.

In a statement, Mr Festus Keyamo has accused the prison authorities of denying Mr Okah access to medication necessary to treat his critical health condition.

According to Mr Keyamo, the Kuje Prisons clinic issued a prescription for “Amlodipine 10m” for treatment of Charles Okah’s High Blood Pressure and hypertension.

He said that after Mr Okah’s wife purchased the drugs and handed them over to the prisons officer in charge, DCP. Felix Lawrence, he seized them and refused to administer the medication to the patient.

The statement added that the events “suggest beyond doubt that there is a plot to kill our client in Kuje Prisons. This is more so because our client, who has only one kidney is hypertensive and also suffers High Blood Pressure regularly”.

Mr Keyamo further compares Charles Okah’s situation to the circumstances that led to the death of Tiemkemfa Osovwo also known as General Gbokos sometime in 2012.

The lawyer is therefore urging the Minister of Interior to compel the prison official, Mr Lawrence to release and administer the said drugs to Mr. Charles Okah within 24 hours, otherwise, he would take further steps to enforce his client’s fundamental human rights.

Fewer Blood Pressure Screens May Be More Effective

Less may be more when it comes to blood pressure checks, according to a new study.

After analyzing five years’ worth of data for more than 400 patients, researchers conclude that the current practice of screening at every visit to the doctor’s office – up to several times a year – may result in more people mistakenly diagnosed and unnecessarily treated for high blood pressure than would simple yearly screening.

Blood pressure measurements are often taken without following proper procedure, according to lead study author Dr. Gregory Garrison, so the readings can be widely inaccurate and lead to some people being wrongly diagnosed with hypertension, while others who have the condition are written off as just “more false positives.”

“One, it results in unnecessary patient anxiety, repeated clinic visits, and laboratory testing,” Garrison, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told Reuters Health by email. “Two, it often lulls physicians into writing off a positive result because so few are confirmed.”

Garrison and his colleagues found that taking fewer readings, while still sometimes inaccurate, would weed out almost half of the false positives.

The researchers looked at Mayo Clinic records for 68 patients diagnosed with high blood pressure and 372 patients without high blood pressure. Based on the readings from every doctor’s visit, all 68 high blood pressure cases were identified, but 110 people without high blood pressure would also potentially have been wrongly diagnosed because of a stray high measurement.

When the researchers analyzed the same data but only considered one measurement per patient per year, they identified 63 of the patients with high blood pressure – at or before the original date of their actual diagnosis – and got 67 false positives, according to the results published in the Annals of Family Medicine.

An office blood pressure measurement can be inaccurate if it is not performed with the patient seated, arm supported, after a five-minute period of rest. Otherwise, blood pressure can rise temporarily for a variety of reasons, including the mild stress of being tested by a doctor, known as the “white coat effect.”

“Blood pressure technique is not good at all, and does overestimate a lot of the time,” said Dr. William Cushman, chief of the Preventive Medicine section at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee.

But he disagrees with the Mayo team’s conclusion. Overestimation results in unnecessary expense and anxiety, but doesn’t usually harm the patient, said Cushman, who was not involved in the new study.

If less frequent testing fails to identify a few positive cases, that could be a bigger problem, he told Reuters Health.

In the study, annual testing failed to identify five of the 68 cases of hypertension, or a little over seven percent, which was not statistically significant in that case. But it could become significant when applied to a larger population, according to Cushman.

“In populations, we don’t want to miss ten percent of people,” Cushman said.

High risk patients with high blood pressure can start to see the benefits of treatment after six months or a year, so waiting twelve months between tests could have consequences for some, he added.

For most people, hypertension is a slow moving disease, and a diagnosis delayed by a few months or a year is unlikely to have noticeable negative consequences, according to Garrison.

“However, we have a number of patients, perhaps as many as 30 percent, who have hypertension for years without diagnosis and proper treatment,” Garrison said. “This can result in heart disease, kidney disease, and many other complications.”

These people can have elevated readings for years that go unnoticed or undiagnosed because they are written off as false positives and attributed to pain, infection or some other cause, he explains.

Measuring blood pressure less often and taking each reading more seriously could help catch some of those undiagnosed cases, Garrison believes.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force, a government-backed advisory body, recommends blood pressure screening once every two years for people at low risk for the condition and once yearly for those at high risk.

Doctors continue to test at every visit partly because patients expect it, Cushman said, and partly because there are generally no organized efforts to ensure patients and doctors remember to screen every year or two.

Before doctors can start screening less, that kind of system of reminders needs to be in place to ensure no patient falls through the cracks, Cushman said.

Getting blood pressure taken is very important,” he added. “If an adult has not had their blood pressure taken in a year, or they don’t know what it was, then they should get it taken fairly soon, or ask for it,” he said.

SOURCE: bit.ly/Yp5jZD Annals of Family Medicine, March/April 2013.

Link between sudden Blood Pressure drop and increased risk of Heart Failure

According to researchers , people whose blood pressure drop rapidly when they move from laying down to standing is known as Orthostatic Hypertension and may cause the risk of developing heart failure.

The link between Orthostatic Hypertension and heart failure is stronger in people ages  45-55 years old compared to those 56-64.

High blood pressure is present in over half of people who developed heart failure.

Coronary heart disease and hypertension contribute to the risk of heart failure while Orthostatic blood pressure measurement may supplement what is already known about the risk for heart failure and requires no additional equipment, just a standard blood pressure cuff.”

Heart failure is a disease that occurs when the heart stops pumping sufficient blood to the body and the organs.