Medical Director of God’s Goal Hospital, Ojo, Lagos, Dr. Gabriel Omonaiye has advised Nigerians above age 40 to live responsibly and avoid lifestyles that may endanger their hearts.
Omonaiye gave the advice during a Zoom meeting to commemorate the World Heart Day in Lagos.
The event organised by the Alumni Association of Titcombe College, Egbe, Kogi State, (Class of 93, South West Branch) was the first in a series of online interactive sessions by the branch.
Welcoming participants to the event, Coordinator of the South West group, Grace Alapara told participants to be attentive and take advantage of the knowledge to be shared by the invited expert.
“We decided to pick this topic not only to commemorate the World Heart Day but to also get needed information on how to take care of our heart as we grow older,” she said.
In his presentation, Omonaiye said the heart is the organ that pumps blood in the body and people must take care of it because once it stops, there is no remedy unlike other organs that may have remedy.
Enlightening participants about the heart, Omonaiye said, “The heart is a muscular pump located in the chest cavity. Its formation starts from the third week of pregnancy (intrauterine life) and it keeps on breathing without rest until death.
“The heart beats about 2.5billion times on the average during a life if one is to live to age 70. It is responsible for pumping blood round the body…supplying food, nutrients, oxygen, hormones and drugs to different organs and tissues, it also helps in the removal of carbon dioxide and other waste products. Once the heart ceases to beat, death ensues,” he said.
Due to the important role the heart plays in the human body, Omonaiye said, it is important for people to be proactive and take care of the organ.
“The centrality of the heart to our being alive therefore makes it imperative for us to proactively take the uttermost care of it as failure to do so can cause unimaginable damage to it. Such damages manifest as different diseases such as heart failure, heart attack, stroke that lead to untimely death,” he warned.
He also enlightened that worldwide, heart disease constitutes the number one killer and one third of all death is heart related.
He however advised participants to desist from activities that may jeopardise their hearts.
“As we grow older we must know what works for us, we must know what we should not indulge in any longer. For instance we must reduce salt intake, red meat and avoid smoking. We must stop any lifestyle that can endanger the heart,” he said.
According to the physician, many deaths recorded as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic came as a result of unhealthy hearts. He however advised people above the age of 40 to ensure regular medical checks to know their health status before it is too late.
The Medical Director however advised participants on best way to keep their heart healthy.
“Ways to care for the heart include engaging in regular exercise, avoiding smoking, reducing alcohol to the barest minimum, maintaining healthy weight, reducing red meat intake, taking fruits, vegetables and fibre rich diet,” he enlightened, adding that people should “reduce or stop junk food, limit intake of fried food items, eat fish, reduce physical, emotional, religious and financial stress.
“Don’t over-weigh yourself with unreasonable targets, assignments and responsibilities. Do regular medical check-up, do not leave your health to chances, don’t over spiritualise your life, take enough rest and take life easy,” he warned.
Participants took turn to ask questions on several issues relating to the heart. The meeting which lasted a little above one hour would be remembered for the timely counsel from the medical doctor at a time many around the world are trying to come to terms with the COVID-19 realities.
Titcombe College was founded in 1951 by Rev. Tommy Titcombe and his team from North America who served with the Sudan Interior Mission (SIM). The SIM which later metamorshosed into the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA), today is known as Evangelical Church Winning All.
World Heart Day is marked on 29th September every year to drum awareness for adequate care for the heart in a bid to reduce heart related complications.