IOHS 96 Alumni organises health outreach for members, teachers, others

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Ijaye Ojokoro High School (IOHS ’96 set) on Saturday held a preventive health initiative for members, teachers, students and residents of neighbouring communities.

The event took place at the school’s premises in the Ijaye area of Alagbado, Lagos State.

Speaking to journalist at the programme, a senior registrar at the Department of Family Medicine in Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Dr Temitope Okunola, raised concern about the growing number of patients who present at the hospital after experiencing serious organ damage, such as liver or kidney failure.

The physician lamented that these patients often arrive at the hospital with no symptoms, only to discover that they have severe organ damage that could have been prevented if they had come to the hospital sooner.

According to him, most of the problems in the teaching hospitals are because people present themselves late when little or nothing can be done.

“Many of the cases we are seeing in LUTH are people who have already had kidney damage and liver problems before coming to the hospital,” he noted.

The physician attributed the increasing cases of liver and kidney damage to many factors, including self-medication and abuse of herbal concoctions.

He lamented that many patients come to the hospital after taking various unregulated or untested herbal remedies for a variety of conditions, including chronic pain, diabetes, and hypertension.

The medical doctor noted that these remedies can cause serious harm, and can even be fatal, stressing that self-medication, or taking medications without a prescription, is a major contributor to organ damage.

The physician urged people to only take medications under the supervision of a medical professional.

He stated that there is a need for people to realise that visiting the hospital regularly is both a strategy to prevent certain diseases and a normal occurrence.

“Hospitals should not be seen as a place for only the sick. Coming regularly for checkups will help detect certain diseases early, among others.

“High Blood Pressure is a silent killer and a lot of people have died because of it. People need to check their BP at least once in three months to ascertain if it is high.

“We have these cases and an increase of people with damaged vital organs because a lot of people are not aware of the danger involved in the things they take.

“We have people indulging in drugs, indulging in some things like herbal contortions, things that they are not supposed to be taken without a prescription. They feel that, oh, this thing has been working for me, let me continue to take it.

“With that, we are putting our body in danger in terms of the fact that this is because the body has organs that control some things in our body. For example, the liver has some functions that it does in our body. The kidney has functions that it does in our body. The heart has functions. So when we are taking all these drugs, they have some chemicals inside them that can put our health in danger.

“When we take them for over a long period, they will begin to cause damage to the heart, to the kidney, to the liver. And the effect, when it comes up, will put the person in danger, and can also cut the lifespan of the person short.

“Some people will say; ‘oh, I’ve never been in the hospital for the past 20 years.’ No, it’s not an achievement; you come to the hospital when you don’t have any complaints. That is when it is even best to come to the hospital; when you don’t have any complaints.,” he explained.

In his remarks, the president of the IOHS ’96 set , Chris Okhumale said the health initiative was to check the BP and sugar level of members, teachers of the school, and residents of neighbouring communities.

He added that drugs and mosquito nets would be given to beneficiaries, while people with extreme cases would be referred to the nearby hospital for further screening and treatment.

“This programme is not a one-off thing, it will continue to happen periodically. So in the next three to six months, we’ll be looking for another programme on this health initiative.

“So, those that never have the opportunity to partake in this, they will have the opportunity to still come again in the next three to six months and partake in it. And for those that have come, we will also have an opportunity to monitor them and see how far they have gone.

“Although some of them will be referred to very close hospitals because the team of doctors that come from the LUTH have a close relationship with some hospitals around here. So they can always keep in touch,” he concluded.

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