Over 18.6m people die of cardiovascular-related diseases annually across the globe, an expert has said.
Family physician, Dr. Margaret Erhunmwunsee who disclosed this, described cardiovascular diseases as the number one killer in the world.
She spoke on Wednesday at an event to mark World Heart Day, with the theme “harnessing the power of digital health to improve awareness, prevention and management of cardiovascular disease globally.
Erhunwunsee, who is also the Vice President of the Association of Resident Doctors, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, said over 520 million people living with cardiovascular diseases are more vulnerable to developing severe forms of Coronavirus.
She said, “Cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one killer resulting in 18.6million death a year. COVID-19 has added to the burden as it has made 520 million people living with cardiovascular diseases more vulnerable to developing severe forms of the coronavirus”
She listed eight lifestyle changes that people must undertake to protect their hearts. They include being active or moving, eating a healthy diet, managing stress and maintaining a healthy weight.
Other lifestyle changes she said include, managing high BP, managing high cholesterol and Diabetes mellitus.
The President of the Association of Resident Doctors, of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital Dr. Ekemimi Udo, who spoke on the ongoing strike used the opportunity of the World Heart Day to call on the federal government to meet the demands of the Residents doctors to enable them return to work and save lives.
Udo who lamented that doctors have been on strike for the past 59 days asked Nigerians to hold the federal government responsible for whatever is happening in the health sector in the country.
“Despite the fact that Resident doctors have been on strike for 59-days, we decided to come out and celebrate the World Heart Day. I want to use this opportunity to call on the federal government to meet our demands so that we can return to work.
” A lot of people are suffering in the society and we just want to call on the federal government to meet our demands, so that we can return to work and save the lives of patients. As soon as the federal government do the needful we will return to work” Udo said.
World Heart Day: 18.6m patients die of Cardiovascular related disease annually – Health expert