By Victor Nwachukwu
Owerri, Oct. 17, 2020 The Imo Government in partnership with Crestline Healthcare, a pharmaceutical outlet, has flagged off free Blood Pressure (BP) screening for residents of the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Damaris Osunkwo, made this known while addressing newsmen in Owerri on Saturday after a public sensitisation road walk to mark World Hypertension Day 2020.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the World Hypertension Day is a day set aside by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to increase awareness of hypertension with a view to reducing its rising spate.
The expanded theme for 2020 is : “Measure Your Blood Pressure; Control It, Live Longer’’.
Osunkwo said that the free screening was part of efforts by the state’s ministry of health to contribute its quota toward actualising WHO’s target of 25 per cent reduction in uncontrolled hypertension by 2025.
Osunkwo, who is a cardiologist, cautioned against excessive consumption of alcohol and all forms of smoking adding that they were major causes of hypertension.
She called on residents of the state to take advantage of the free medical screening to ascertain their BP status as according to her, “prevention is better than cure’’.
She said: “A situation where the bread winner suddenly slumps and dies, leaving behind many hungry persons only worsens poverty because health is wealth.
“ This is why we have made arrangements for high capacity community screening so as to enable us recognize high BP in those at risk and fight it on time.
“ We call on Imo residents to utilise the free screening to learn their status. This is part of government’s efforts to align with the WHO target of reduction of uncontrolled cases of hypertension in the world,” she said.
On his part, Dr Norbert Ajiero , the Medical Director of Crestline healthcare, thanked Gov. Hope Uzodinma for creating the enabling environment for healthy partnerships in the state.
He pledged commitment to the health and well-being of Imo residents while advising them to avail themselves of the free testing for a healthier society.