Jonathan, Sambo undergo stroke, heart attack tests


President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday flagged off Federal Government’s Stroke Prevention Campaign for which the cost of complete medical tests has been subsidised for indigent Nigerians.
He and Vice President Namadi Sambo underwent the series of tests to check their susceptibility to stroke and heart attack at a mobile clinic brought to the Presidential Villa by the National Hospital, Abuja.
The duo had their weights, heights, Body Mass Index (BMI), blood pressure and carotid vessels (which supply blood through the neck to the brain) measured and tested using ultrasound technique.
The taking of their blood samples was left for a more appropriate time, after which the results will be given to them and their doctors.
Giving some details to newsmen afterwards, Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, said the entire test for each person costs N50,000, but that the Federal Government has subsidised the cost to make it N10,000 for indigent Nigerians who may need it but cannot easily afford it.
Chukwu explained that such tests undergone by Jonathan and Sambo were essential in the wake of rising spate of sudden deaths among Nigerians, and said most hospitals across the country could do the basic stroke or heart attack test although not everyone needs it.
A patient can be referred for more tests if the hospital finds him prone to stroke after preliminary test, he explained.
According to the minister, “Apart from in-born pre-conditions, the main causes of stroke and heart-attack are thing that can be prevented like hypertension, diabetes, lack of exercise, excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking and so on.
“The President felt something needed to be done on a national scale. So the President and the Vice President demonstrated leadership by example by allowing themselves to go through the same tests.
“The President approved that the programme be managed by the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with Federal Teaching Hospitals and other hospitals in Nigeria as well as the Nigeria in Diaspora to execute the programme,’’
Chukwu disclosed that the President used the opportunity to urge Nigerians to take their fitness and general health more seriously, even as he told members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to also lead by example, by taking the stroke test and exercising regularly.

He added the members of the National Assembly will be urged to take the test and support the campaign.
On the one-week old strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Chukwu said the federal government had met many of their demands, including payment of outstanding salaries to medical interns/house officers, and foreign training for the doctors re-introduce by the Jonathan administration after 20 years, and expects them to return to work .

daily Independent
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