Cardiovascular disease, CVD, is the number one cause of death globally, claiming 17.3 million lives each year with Nigeria having its fair share.
State of heart disease in Nigeria and Africa Cardiovascular Disease, CVD, is the number one killer disease anywhere in the world even in the developing countries. Particularly, hypertension is the number one cardiovascular disease in Nigeria, central, southern and West Africa.
The prevalence of hypertension in Nigeria and most of the African countries is rising every year. Looking back at 20 years when we had a prevalence of less than 15 per cent and compare it with the upsurge of about 25 percent and even as far up as 40 per cent now, this is not just peculiar to Nigeria as we have same in most of the West African countries. In adults too, we find that there is also an up rise in heart disease (heart attack) which used to be as low as 5 per cent now rising to about 7- 10 per cent in the population of Nigeria. Stroke is also on the rise as a consequence of hypertension.
We do know that some countries in Africa have a very high rate of stroke like Cameroon. From all indications, cardiovascular disease is now coming up as a number one killer disease in Africa which is becoming very interesting. Threat to MDGs: Of course, it is a threat to attaining MDGs. We do not have to wait till 2015 to see that cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of disease in Africa because we do know that hypertension is the Number one killer disease. I can tell you the prevalence of hypertension in the last 20 years has skyrocketed.
The bulk of countries in Africa, have the prevalence of hypertension between 12 percent and 40 per cent which is quite high in the adult population. What is the consequence of that? That means stroke has gone up in countries like Cameroon, Mozambique, Kenya and Nigeria. When you are talking about threat to MDGs, don't forget that these people affected are the bread winners of the families. If you deplete the population, who are the people going to ensure that the goal is attain? In Nigeria today, younger executives are dying suddenly these days as a result of heart attack. So all these we need to put together to let us look at 2015.