The Federal Government has expressed concern over the death toll arising from heartrelated diseases in Nigeria.
Minister of State for Health, Dr Ali Pate, expressed the concern yesterday at a briefing commemorating this year’s World Heart Day in Abuja.
Pate said: “Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and non-communicable diseases in general are posing an increasing burden to the health and wellbeing of people around the world.
“Cardiovascular diseases claim 17.3 million lives a year, which is as many as HIV/ AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and diabetes plus all forms of cancers and chronic respiratory diseases combined, are responsible for.
“Globally, it is estimated that nearly one in three adults over the age of 25 will have high blood pressure by the year 2025. This one of the biggest single risk factors for heart disease and stroke, the world’s number one killer.”
The minister, however, said the Federal Government would focus more on awareness creation on prevention of non-communicable diseases, which he said was taking heavy toll on people across the globe.
Pate noted that women and children gave less attention to the causes of the diseases, while they were responsible for half of global deaths arising from non-communicable diseases.
Stressing that the risk for CVDs could be mitigated, he advised that consumption of low fruits and vegetable intake, processed food, much fibre, cholesterol, harmful alcohol use, physical inactivity, much salt intake and obesity are all contributors to heart diseases.
The minister added that the Ministry of Health had decided to step up efforts in ensuring the Tobacco Bill before the National Assembly is passed to, among other, to prevent young people from consuming alcohol.