Emmanuel Ugwu writes that Senator Theodor Orji’s recent free medical work was aimed at the elderly, providing them with the best medical care and awareness of diabetes and high blood pressure management.
At age 67, Obioma Emenike worries about her health. He fears the possibility of being affected by any of the age-related diseases that could make his age a nightmare. By profession a commercial bus driver, the sex generator said FOR TUESDAY that he has always wanted to seek expert advice on how he can maintain a healthy life and enjoy old age.
However, one of his regrets was the cost of obtaining expert advice from health professionals, which, which he regretted, was a stumbling block. Emenike recounted how he went to a dietitian to seek advice on the appropriate foods he should eat and the ones he should avoid at his age, but he was asked to pay N25,000. He offered to pay N10,000, but the dietitian refused. The driver went home disappointed and frustrated.
However, that challenge became a thing of the past because Emenike was saved by the medical work of Senator Theodore Orji. He was among the users of free medical services for screening and training to raise awareness about diabetes and manage high blood pressure for people aged 50 and over.
Emenike, who was among 60 beneficiaries of three days of medical care at the Federal Medical Center (FMC), Umuahia, not only received expert advice from a dietitian he longed for, but was also screened for diabetes and high blood pressure. . In addition, they received kits for monitoring sugar levels and blood pressure. “I received the health information I was looking for today, at no cost,” said the driver, who comes from Ndume Ibeku.
Medical Director of FMC Umuahia, dr. Azubuike Onyebuchi said free medical work aimed at the elderly is a product of his discussion with Senator Orji on health issues. According to him, the senator representing Abia Central showed good knowledge of health issues, as he was a member of the Senate Health Committee.
“I suggested he do something against high blood pressure and diabetes. He accepted and that is why we are here (for free medical work) “, said Dr. Med. FMU Umuahia. This medical work aimed at the elderly was the way Ochendo celebrated his 70th birthday. Participants from northern Umuahia, southern Umuahia and Ikwuano local government participated. The second phase is expected to be organized for beneficiaries from the other three areas of the central Abija council, namely Isiala Ngwa North, Isiala Ngwa South and Osisioma.
Senator Orji, popularly called Ochendo by fans, is not new to providing free medical services to his constituents. Consistent with his belief that providing infrastructure would be nothing if people were not healthy enough to use them, the former Abijah governor regularly sponsors free medical outreach, including free eye care services he maintains for years.
Former Umuahia Northern Council chief Frank Ibe, who represented Senator Orji at the opening ceremony of the free medical work, said beneficiaries should be considered lucky to be elected. He said participants, in addition to going home satisfied, will also be equipped to manage high blood pressure and diabetes if they develop such health problems. The knowledge thus gained, he said, would force participants to add more years to their age.
Ibe, who is the former rector of the Technical School of Health, Aba, praised Senator Orji for his reaction to the health needs of the people he represents in the Red Chamber, adding that he is someone who likes to replicate anything good he sees outside by bringing him home for the benefit of the people. .
Healthcare professionals, including an endocrinologist consultant, dietitian, health educator, among others, held talks on various health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, unhealthy lifestyles and inappropriate food intake and risk factors in old age. Dr. Ignatius Ezeani, endocrinologist and head of the FMC Umuahia Diabetes Department, told participants that they should maximize the opportunity offered to them through the free Ochendo medical program to sustain a healthy life. “This is the best thing anyone can do for you,” he told participants.
By guiding participants through the causes and consequences of diabetes and available medications, dr. Ezeani identified type 2 diabetes as the most common, adding that type one affects pregnant women the most. He said an unhealthy lifestyle like smoking, lack of exercise and eating unhealthy foods easily predisposes people to type 1 diabetes. The endocrinologist added that high blood pressure basically shares the same risk factors with diabetes. He identified risk factors that include obesity, family history, high salt and fat intake, and a lifestyle of indulging in high alcohol and smoking intake.
He advised participants to develop the habit of going for regular medical check-ups, noting that hypertension is better managed if detected early enough before it damages body organs such as the heart and kidneys, causing complications.
According to Ezeani, health is so important that one should not hesitate to take extreme measures to avoid anything that could endanger one’s health. “It is recommended to avoid salt completely because a lot of the things we take contain sodium,” he said. This advice has in no way amused older people who have listened to a health professional, but have everything they can achieve by taking health measures regardless of his inconvenience.
Speaking about the dietary management of diabetes mellitus, FMC Assistant Dietitian, Umuahia, Otuodichinma Solomon said that “proper diabetes care is essential to prevent or at least reduce incidents of complications.” According to her, a proper diet plan means managing the disease, so “diabetes control rests on a tripod of diet, exercise and insulin.
The dietitian advised participants to always watch out for diabetes symptoms that include excessive thirst that increases the frequency of urination and a feeling of hunger. However, Solomon further noted that the clinical symptom of diabetes includes the presence of sugar in the urine above normal blood sugar levels. “A blood sugar level of 100 mg / dl or more during two different days indicates that a person suffers from diabetes mellitus,” she said.
The dietitian urged people to take the necessary precautions to avoid getting diabetes, because the disease “cannot be cured (but can) only under the supervision of a patient with the help of a doctor with the help of a dietitian.” In fact, the complications that can result from diabetes are so frightening that the disease should be avoided in all ways. According to her, complications that could occur are loss of sensation in peripheral nerves, resulting in injury, infection and even amputation of the lower extremities, eye disorders leading to blindness and kidney dysfunction.
To be on the safer side, Ms. Solomon advised participants to avoid skipping breakfast, consuming more complex carbohydrates, consuming protein-rich foods, limiting saturated fat intake, and increasing activity levels (exercise) relative to a sedentary lifestyle. Other good and bad things that a child enumerates include consuming fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals, eating less salt no more than six grams a day, drinking plenty of water and a high intake of fiber-rich foods. She focused on the need for people to undertake routine checkups to test cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Fortunately for the participants, all the above tests were done on them during the medical care period. This was news to most of them who had never done such tests before due to ignorance, lack of money or mere chance. For example, a business woman, Ms. Ifeoma Ndubuisi, admitted that she was tested for diabetes and high blood pressure for the first time. Those whose test results showed signs of the diseases under investigation were given medication and advised on further treatments and treatment of a particular disease.
At the end of the three-day event, participants expressed satisfaction that they had gained a good knowledge of how to maintain a healthy life. Not only that, the myths held by some of them about diseases were dispelled by medical experts who answered their questions during interactive sessions. Other benefits include health examinations performed on participants at no cost, as well as medications and high blood pressure or diabetes test packages distributed to them for use at home.
Exuding deep relief, Emenike said he was glad to receive health information at no cost that he could not afford when he asked for it. “We are progressing over the years and people in good spirits should emulate Ochendo and help us stay healthy. But for Ms. Ndubuisi, valuable health conversations would be lost if users did not make good use of them. “If we strictly follow their instructions, it will be good for us,” she said.