Story of the week
LANDMARK UNIVERSITY COMMEMORATES WORLD HEALTH DAY
7th of April globally is a day set aside by the United Nations to commemorate the World Health Day. The day is marked annually to address some of the health issues and challenges that affect the humanity. This year’s celebration focuses on Diabetes as killer disease which silently erodes the world’s population. Before now, it was believed that the disease affects the rich and elite until recently some of the developing nations recorded high number of the disease. This prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to address the scourge. The theme for this year’s celebration explains better the urgent need for the world to be more informed on the disease, “Halt the rise beat diabetes’’. According to the WHO record, about three hundred and fifty million people worldwide have diabetes; a number WHO says is likely to be more than double in the next twenty years.
In view of this as a world class institution, Landmark University in commemoration of the World Health Day has set aside a three day awareness and immunization campaign as a means of giving back to the society most especially the Omu-Aran community. Beyond diabetes, the Landmark University Medical Center has identified some health challenges like typhoid, hepatitis B and cervical cancer and the center would be giving subsidized vaccines and sugar level/glucose test to help prevent the spread of such killer diseases.
Below is an excerpt from an exclusive interview the Director Landmark University Medical Center, Dr. Ademola Adebanjo, granted in commemorating the World Health Day.
Q 1. HALT THE RISE BEAT DIABETES IS THE THEME FOR THE YEAR, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
The theme is very timely because currently the world is going through an epidemic of so many chronic diseases, one of which is diabetes which has been on the rise basically because of our life style and diet. Diabetes is a disease that has to do with absolute or relative deficiency of insulin in the body which would lead to abnormal metabolism of glucose, fat and protein. However, because glucose is the first call when energy is being mentioned, it is always the first that rises and usually taken when the blood sugar of a patient is more than the required. Normally the blood sugar of an individual should just be between 60 and 90 or 60-100 milligram per day or minimum per liter. When somebody has sugar beyond that, it will cause various problems in the body; it could lead to so many emergencies, chronic problems, heart problem and obesity which is one of the major causes of diabetes in the first place. All these have been attributed to life style and diet which put a lot of pressure on their pancreas which secrete insulin. There is a rising data of persons that are diabetic in the world, in the past it used to be the disease of the rich and the affluent in the western world but now, it’s gradually crippling in to countries like Nigeria because a lot of people are actually feeding on what the body does not need. So if WHO has chosen the theme for the year to beat the rise of diabetes and reduce the incident we are actually looking at the best way to prevent it which is to modify our life style and of course we know the detrimental life style that leads to the disease so it’s more of prevention that WHO is doing.
Q.2 WHAT ARE THE ACTIVITIES LANDMARK UNIVERSITY HEALTH CENTRE HAVE TO COMMEMORATE THE DAY?
Every year the Medical Centre ensures we are always at the fore front. Our faculty, staff and student are of impeccable health so once or twice a year we organize programs to screen for diabetes and this year is not going to be an exception, except that we have added other programs to mark the day. The first of the things that would be happening in those days which start from 6th to 9th April this year is to have persons coming for vaccination against Hepatitis B and Typhoid. You might be looking at how relative these can be but we are looking at a case where there are so many persons infected with Hepatitis B, in fact, statistics from the Kwara State Ministry of Health shows Omu-Aran to be one of the highest strongholds of Hepatitis B and of course we know that typhoid is on rampage anywhere so we are trying to prevent that. However, apart from the World Health Day focus on diabetes, we are also going to have blood screening for diabetes and diet with life style counseling during these days. If you can take away the problem of diet and life style from people, diabetes would be beaten and reduced in the world, so these are some of our programs to mark the day.
Q.3 WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR DIABETIC PATIENTS?
Like I have said before that diabetes is something preventable, normally there are two types of diabetes. The non-insulin dependent and insulin required. The insulin required is the one that has low insulin so they will need insulin to control the blood sugar. The non-insulin required are the persons that would be infected with diabetes later in life around the age of thirty five or forty and above. Diabetes is essentially a disease of life style. For someone that is insulin required the person would be able to control certain things by working on his/her diet. However for non-insulin required, it means that the insulin was okay but because the person has a gene code for diabetes and they continue to eat food that is prone to kill the pancreas diabetes will creep into the person’s life around the age of thirty, thirty five and forty. The best thing to go for is to check their diabetic status, to go for regular check up every six months or once a year and also attend dietary counseling. Another important thing to consider is life style modification, stress reduction and adequate sleep and also exercise, all these are some ways to prevent the risk of diabetes. For someone diabetic, while such person is taking the drug, then he/she should also try to modify his/her life style, maintain healthy diet and also exercise.
Q.4 CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE PROGRAM AS A WAY OF GIVING BACK TO THE SOCIETY?
Yes! It is a way of giving back because the program we would be having is going to be taking place in Landmark University at the multipurpose hall and at the health post in town so we are giving back to the community that has given us accommodation in Omu-Aran. For example, the vaccine we are giving goes from two thousand five to three thousand naira but we are giving our own for one thousand four hundred naira only. Typhoid vaccine which is also supposed to be four thousand naira is given for one thousand nine hundred naira so they are all over subsidized and we believe that as for many that would turn out for the program will benefit from it. However, we still consider taking it to the health post as a way of allowing people in town get access on the vaccine. This is the first of its kind here and we hope that many of it will come up; we also have cervical cancer vaccine against human papilloma virus which causes cervical cancer.
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