The Kanu Heart Foundation (KHF), in collaboration with the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu on Thursday conducted free heart screening for Enugu residents.
The event began with a walk show, tagged: “Enugu walk with Kanu Nwankwo to celebrate World Heart Day”.
Speaking on the event in an interview, Dr Maureen Nwafor, a clinical pharmacist, said that the hospital was partnering with KHF to mark this year’s celebration in the state.
Mr Nwafor said that the hospital would screen and test people with the aim of identifying those with cardiovascular disease.
“So after identifying them, we will help them with some medication and referral to UNTH for proper treatment.
“We will equally educate them on the risk factor that causes heart diseases and how to take care of their heart.
“We are also going to check their blood pressure, sugar level and heart to know the ones with problems.
She said that the founder of the organisation, Kanu, had provided the funds for the exercise.
Also, a professor of cardiology, UNTH, Dr Nelson Ogunobi, said that cardiovascular diseases cause up to 18.6 million deaths annually across the globe.
Mr Ogunobi said that 75 per cent of the deaths occur in developing countries, like Nigeria.
According to him, the risk factors that cause heart diseases are modifiable and non-modifiable.
“Being modifiable means that something can be done to prevent people from getting heart diseases, such as cessation of smoking, reduction in alcohol and salt intake.
“Others are good diets, without concentrating on simple sugar, eating of vegetables, less fatty food, red meat and fruits, regular exercise, checking of blood pressure and weight loss,” Mr Ogunobi said.
Earlier, the football legend, popularly called “Papilo”, said that the foundation was using the day to create awareness on the prevention and treatment of heart-related problems.
He said that he was motivated to embark on the life-saving humanitarian programme by his personal experience after surviving a heart-related ailment.
He said: “I am a symbol of hope and I believe that you out there will learn from me.
“That is why I am doing what I am doing.
“When I came back from the operation, I asked myself, if an adult like me could feel that kind of pain, what about kids with heart issues and the less privileged that cannot afford to pay for surgery”.
He disclosed that the foundation had since its inception in 2,000, carried out 600 open heart surgeries, with at least 200 patients on the waiting list.
Kanu called on governments, well-meaning individuals and organisations to support the foundation so that more Nigerians could benefit from the free heart operation.
Source: Peoples Gazette.