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  • Prof Rotimi Jaiyesimi

LOOKING AFTER NUMBER ONE – have regular health checks


We take time and pride in looking after our image, our homes and our belongings. These are replaceable items. Your most priced asset is your body and your health. Too many people die at a young age because of not looking after their bodies or have abused their bodies through drinking, smoking, imjecting ilegal substances and other untoward social activities.

Regular health checks with your doctor have been shown to save lives. More importantly is to take these steps from a young age, mid-twenties onwards. A majority of diseases that kill our people are preventable.

This Page presents an easy to understand guide and advice. Please share this write up with friends and family to educate them.

WOMEN’s Health

■BREAST Cancer

Girls should examine their breasts at the end of their menstrual period to check for lumps. Most lumps are simple but you must see a doctor if you notice a lump or abnormal changes in the skin or nipple or pain in the breast.

A special scan of the breasts, mammogram, should be done every 2 years from the age of 40 years where these services exist. Nigeria needs to invest in such a screening service.

Women who have a strong family of breast cancer are at higher risk of breast cancer and should hold a management discussion–plan with their doctors. Breast disease when found early can prevent breast cancer and death.

■CERVICAL Cancer

Cancer of the neck of the womb is sexually acquired through the human papilloma virus (HPV). Girls and ladies who are sexually active should have smear tests every three years. This is done by taking samples from the neck of the womb. Nigeria has not got a national screening service. However, certain government and teaching hospitals perform visual inspection with acetic acid that helps identify abnormal areas on the neck of the womb that can then be treated by a simple procedure.

Cancer of the neck of the womb kills many Nigerian women. Vaccines against the causative virus are available and when given to adolescent girls, the vaccination reduce the risk of cervical cancer.

There is an urgent need for policy makers and legislators to make budgetary allocation to make prevention of disease available to all Nigerians. The Universal Health Coverage and the National Health Insurance schemes must step up their activities to prevent unnecessary deaths of Nigerians. We the people must clamour for these services.

Please share this write up with friends and family to educate them.

Coming soon: Men’s Health

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