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Ambode explains new drive to reduce burden of diseases

By Victoria Njoku and Happiness Inyang |   15 October 2015   |   4:28 am  

Wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode has said the need to prevent and reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases in the State informed the State Wellness Week Programme.

The Lagos State Wellness Week Programme is an integrated free awareness and screening exercise for non-communicable diseases of hypertension, diabetes, breast, cervical and prostate cancers.

Ambode, on Tuesday, at the flag-off ceremony of the Third Round State Wellness Week Programme at the Apapa-Iganmu Local Council Development Area Secretariat noted that the overall aim of the programme is to prevent and reduce non-communicable disease through awareness creation and early detection and treatment of affected individuals.

Ambode who was represented at the event by the Wife of the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Ibiyemi Bello explained that Non-Communicable diseases are chronic diseases that cause dysfunction, impairment in the quality of life and death.

She added that these diseases are very common in our environments, especially in the middle age and elderly stressing they are said to be hidden and dangerous because they usually develop over relatively long periods without manifesting any appreciable symptoms until they reach advanced stages.

“At this late stage, the diseases cause complications and can no longer be successfully or satisfactorily managed; they have negative impacts on both individuals and their immediate families, resulting in debilitation, reduced productivity and economic loss,” Ambode said.

She opined that the implementation of the awareness and screening programme for hypertension, diabetes, breast, cervical and prostate cancers by the State Ministry of Health which incidentally share common underlying risk factors such as unhealthy diet, alcohol, tobacco, and lack of physical exercise is a good strategy to reduce the burden of the diseases.

“The government is increasingly improving upon her awareness strategies towards behavior change with a view to reducing exposure to the underlying risk factors. This is done through various health promotion messages using the multi-media approach,” the Wife of the Governor said.

She added that the government is equally implementing service demand creation interventions towards ensuring early diagnosis and prompt treatment of diseases with more favourable outcomes

While urging residents of the State to take advantage of the hypertension and diabetes screening taking place in all the 13 local government and local council development areas in the Lagos Central Senatorial District as well as the screening for cancers, taking place in Apapa-Iganmu LCDA, Mrs. Ambode stated that the programme which started on Monday 12th will end on Friday 16, October, 2015.

She urged residents to inform others about the free awareness and screening programme, so that they can also benefit adding that people should feel free to visit designated General Hospitals, if referred for further management.

“I also encourage you all to pay periodic scheduled visits to the Primary Health Centres near your residences for medical check-ups,” Ambode said.

Earlier in her address the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Modele Osunkiyesi 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 and mental diseases.

She explained that this transition will, of necessity, re-orient demand for health services and increase pressures for improving disease prevention and health promoting strategies in health care.

“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 theWellness Week is being implemented by the state Government”, Osunkiyesi said.

She noted that the goals of the Wellness Week include; to increase Public enlightenment and awareness of the symptoms and effects of untreated hypertension, diabetes as well as cancer of the breast, cervix and prostate, as well as to detect asymptomatic and undiagnosed cases of hypertension, diabetes and cancers and to prevent complications through prompt diagnosis, immediate referral and effective management.

Osunkiyesi revealed that towards the successful implementation of the 3rd round wellness week, the Ministry of Health has coordinated planning meetings and training sessions involving members of staff of the Ministry, Health Service Commission, Medical Officers of Health, LGA Pharmacists, Apex Nurses and LGA Health Educators in Lagos Central Senatorial District.

According to her, “screening for hypertension and diabetes for adults 18 years and above will take place simultaneously in the 13 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and appurtenant Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the Lagos Central Senatorial District.”

She said the participating LGAs and LCDAs 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 also stated that screening for Cancers of the Breast and Cervix; for women and Prostate; for men aged 45 years and above will take place in Apapa – Iganmu LCDA in addition to screening for diabetes and hypertension in the LCDA.

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