By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The Rotary Club of Abuja Cosmopolitan, District 9125, on Saturday held sensitisation and free test on Blood Pressure (BP) for traders in Garki International Market, Abuja.
The President of the club, Ms Chinwe Ogbuka, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), shortly after the exercise, said it was to help the traders know their blood pressure status.
Ogbuka said that the target was to test at least 200 market women, but getting to the market the gesture was extended to every interested person.
She said that the club knew that many traders did not have time to check their blood pressure or visit the hospital except when they were sick.
“We are here to check the blood pressure of women and men, because we know that it is one of the causes of sudden death of people these days.
“So many people will wake up feeling weak, having headache, and other symptoms.
”Some do not even know if their BP is high, low or normal. They just continue with their daily activities. That is why we hear of sudden death.
“So, we decided to carry out this check by doctors for people to know if their blood pressure is normal, if there is problem or such tendency. The doctors check and advise them based on their status,” she said.
Ogbuka said that the exercise was limited to sensitisation, checking of status, advice from medical doctors and entertainments, while those with challenges were advised to go to hospital for appropriate drugs to manage the pressure.
She expressed optimism that with the exercise, many traders would start going for regular check of their blood pressure.
The incoming President of the club, Simeon Ajuedu, said the spate of sudden death in the country informed the decision for the exercise.
“You see somebody, a young man lively, they said he just went to work today, he came back and went to bed, he did not wake up in the morning.
“You even hear that some went into the bathroom and died or suddenly developed stroke or whatever.
”So we felt that we should intervene because we know that blood pressure is one of the major causes of sudden death,” he said.
Ajuedu also listed other recent health interventions by the organisation to include free eye test and free eye glasses.
He said that Rotary Club also played major role in the recent certification of Nigeria as polio free country.
”We are still campaigning against polio because as long as there is still one person in the world with polio, it is still possible that it can be exported.
”So, we are not letting down our guards. we are making sure that every child gets immunised against polio,” Ajuedu said.
Former president of the club and wife of former Minister of Health, Mrs Osinachi Buchi-Chukwu, said the programme was brought to the market because of the busy schedule of the traders.
According to her, when people are well-informed, they will be able to take care of themselves.
Buchi-Chukwu said there was need for more people to embrace health insurance and take good care of their lives.
Dr Koli Chinedu, one of the medical doctors that attended to the beneficiaries, said about five per cent of people attended to had blood pressure related challenges.
Chinedu categorised factors responsible for high blood pressures into primary and secondary factors.
The primary, according to him, include peoples’ lifestyles and hereditary, while secondary include peoples’ health conditions.
For persons that have a family history of hypertension, Chinedu advised them to go to the hospital once in a while to do basic tests to check if they have high blood pressure.
“I also recommend common lifestyle modification, exercise, eating of good food and then avoiding certain lifestyle habits such as smoking and alcohol,” he said.
Some of the beneficiaries commended Rotary Club for the gesture, urging other organisations, corporate bodies to emulate the club in helping humanity, especially the less privilege.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr Uwaegbulem, a driver, said he was happy to know his blood pressure level.
“I did not know my blood level before, but when they checked me and said that my BP was okay, they gave me advice on how to maintain it.
“I am happy, I will go and tell my other colleagues to come and check theirs,” he said (NAN)