Dr. Jacob Nwanchukwu is a Medical expert per excellence with over 35 years of experience in the field. He is the president of Blood Pressure Control Foundation, a non-governmental organization promoting normal blood pressure and peace of mind. He is also the Chairman of the Editorial Board of Health Standard Journal, a monthly published and widely read journal which covers a wide range of research efforts in the medical field.
The Blood Pressure Control Foundation is presently at the forefront of educating the populace on the need to pay adequate attention to their blood pressure by checking it individually and regularly to prevent untimely death in society. This campaign is being carried out through organized seminars, workshops, the mass media as well as other available platforms. All these are done in a bid to ensure that the life-saving message gets to the nooks and crannies of the country as many still die today out of ignorance of their BP status.
In a chat with City People’s Jamiu Abubakar, Dr Nwanchukwu explained the potential risk of not checking one’s Blood Pressure on a daily basis. Below are the excerpts from the chat:
The Blood Pressure Control Foundation focuses on advocacy, encouraging people to check their Blood Pressure by themselves; what we call Self Measurement of blood pressure. The reason is that Hypertension is a silent disease and many people in the populace don’t know their blood pressure by numbers. Apparently, they are waiting or expecting some symptoms. Unfortunately, Hypertension does not give any symptoms unless its awareness is deliberately created and people measure so that they would know the number that is safe. Cut off point for attention is any measurement that is 140/90 millimetres of mercury and above. That is the definition and it’s the same standard all over the world.
So when people measure, we teach them; If you know your readings are below 140/90, it means that it is good and we encourage you to cultivate a good lifestyle to maintain it. But should it be above 140/90, you report to your doctor for medical intervention. That is helpful, useful and relevant. We talk of timely intervention when no damage is done. If the blood pressure is discovered when it has not caused any complication and the person is now managed and he achieved good control and continues to live a healthy life. That’s a timely intervention. However, if there are complications like Stroke, Kidney Failure, Heart Failure or even Heart Attack, it’s already causing some damage. All the same, the person would be rushed to the hospital. That is required intervention but it’s no longer time because the damage is done. So our principal focus is to educate people on how to adopt this timely intervention where monitoring will save a life. Of course, when people are waiting, expecting symptoms, the first symptom could be sudden death. The person just slumps and dies. And of course, when you read in the media, they say the person died of cardiac arrest or brought in dead. Somebody who was up and doing at an event will just collapse and by the time you rush him to the hospital, he is dead. That is not good for the economy because people that are vibrant in the prime of their career will just slump and die; making a big loss to the family and loss to the production capacity of the nation. So the time has come to empower the populace and relate to them with messages of hope that Hypertension does not mean the person must die. It’s simply a signal to take action to prevent untimely death. So that’s the reason why we are focusing on that.