As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to commemorate the 2019 World Stroke Day, the Nigerian Stroke Organisation, NSO, says 100,000 stroke cases occur in the country every year.
The association said in a statement on Tuesday in Ibadan that one in four persons have a risk of developing stroke in a lifetime.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme for the year is tagged: “Don’t Be the One”.
In the statement issued by its President, Prof. Abayomi Ogun, the association said that stroke was preventable if the risk factors were identified and controlled.
The statement said that recent research in the country revealed that the topmost 10 risk factors for stroke are hypertension, dyslipidemia, regular meat intake, central obesity and diabetes mellitus.
“Other top risk factors for stroke cases in the country include higher income level, stress, cardiac diseases, high salt intake and tobacco use; whilst green vegetable intake and physical activity are protective.
“The African continent has some of the highest rates of stroke worldwide.
“In Nigeria, stroke is the most common medical emergency in most hospitals and accounts for up to eight out of 10 neurological hospital admissions with at least 100,000 cases occurring every year.
“Therefore, interventions targeting these dominant risk factors have the potential to fast track progress on stroke prevention in Nigeria and indeed the African sub-region,” the statement read in part.
It said that the theme for the year hoped to draw attention to the importance of taking personal responsibility for one’s own health through healthy lifestyle choices.
“The theme for the 2019 World Stroke Day is ‘DON’T BE THE ONE’.
“This message puts the responsibility on every Nigerian to take personal responsibility for their health and be counted among the three out of every four persons who will not have stroke in their lifetime rather than being among the one out of four who will have a stroke.
“The NSO appeals to all individuals, families, communities and the government to take on the battle to defeat stroke.
“We need to ‘check our numbers’ on a regular basis, these include blood pressure, blood sugar, blood fats, weight and abdominal girth.
“Appropriate medications need to be taken regularly when the values are abnormal and require drug treatment.
“Those who smoke need to stop and alcohol should be taken in moderation.
“Healthy diets rich in green leafy vegetables have been particularly shown to be protective against stroke among Nigerians.
“Giving urgent priority to prevention now will yield obvious benefits in terms of reduced human, social and economic costs,” it said.
The statement further advised people on regular physical activity up to 30 minutes every other day as a protective measure.
“In 2019 alone, 14.5 million people will have a stroke; 5.5 million people will die as a result.
“All over the world, there are up to 80 million people who are living with a stroke and its huge and costly short and long-term complications.
“Many stroke survivors face significant challenges that include physical disability, communication difficulties, changes in how they think and feel, loss of work, income and social networks,” it stated.
The statement called for improved access to fast and easy medical care and treatment to save lives of stroke victims and improve stroke recovery.