The continent of Africa is home to some of the world’s highest rates of diseases, including the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s not just because of the warm, humid climate in the continent. According to the World Health Organization, almost 62% of deaths are a result of communicable diseases and nutritional problems. Why do most Africans not apply the slogan ‘prevention is better than cure‘?
That popular quote is credited to the 15th century Dutch Philosopher, Desiderius Erasmus. From that time, other continents of the world have experienced tremendous improvements in health care management. The preventive measures they put in place has drastically reduced deaths from common diseases in Africa .
Most deaths in Africa are actually preventable. The cures or preventative measures exist, but they aren’t being applied. This is due to poverty, conflicts, and other factors preventing public health. In Nigeria, the situation is quite the same. Due to economic factors, most people would rather spend money treating themselves than try to prevent the sickness.
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“Half of all diseases are preventable! If we just paid attention to our lifestyle, we would avoid half of all the diseases we suffer from. ” Those are the observations of Dr Stéphane Groulx, a medical consultant in Montérégie, Canada. If only the every Nigerian can pay attention to this observation, then many lives would be saved!
Think of the many people who have died because they failed to take preventive action to save themselves. Chibuike (not real name) went to live with his oldest brother after he completed secondary school. His brother is a successful business man, and Chibuike was put in charge all the money received from their sales. He also handled all the brother’s business’ banking activities. Within a few weeks, Chibuike’s life took a drastic turn.
Since he controlled all the money, Chibuike’s lifestyle changed drastically. Chibuike started to eat heavily and drink alcohol, and even engaged in sexual activity with multiple partners. Born with a big body frame, Chibuike’s lifestyle change soon started affecting him. By the time he turned 21, his stomach became enlarged and he couldn’t move around easily. Whenever his mates invited him to join them to play football, he would turn them down because he felt playing football is a meaningless activity.
Eventually, Chibuike became sickly and had to be hospitalized. After consultation, the doctor announced that he was showing early signs of heart disease due to obesity. Chibuike was given the best medical attention at that time, but nothing much could be done to reverse the situation. After spending nearly 3 months in the hospital, he died from heart attack. Chibuike was just 22 years old!
Why Prevention is Better Than Cure
Preventive care is the most important step you can take to manage your health. Many of the top risk factors leading to illness and premature death are preventable. A comprehensive preventive care program can lower the risk of one becoming another statistic. For example, preventable risk factors such as avoiding tobacco use, maintaining your proper weight, regular exercise and other steps can significantly reduce your chances for illness or premature death.
It is easier to make healthy lifestyle decisions when you have the information and guidance of your doctor. He can help you with effective healthy lifestyle strategies that will eliminate or reduce these risk factors. You may not be able to control every medical condition, but following preventive care guidelines may lessen your chances of serious illness or moderate some symptoms. Taking necessary to avoid or reduce problems associated with preventable health challenges add up to a higher quality of life and saves you money.
There are certain diseases that can not be treated so the prevention is better than cure. When someone is ill, the person’s body functions get weakened and may never fully recover. It takes time to cure a disease and the person is likely to be in bedridden for some time, even though adequate care is provided to him.
It is better to spend smaller amounts regularly to prevent health challenges than to be forced to spend huge sums when it may even be too late! When you imbibe the culture of ‘prevention is better than cure,’ then you will be in a better position to save your life and those of your loved ones.
Eat healthy diet everyday. A healthy diet involves not just being careful about what you eat, but also taking note of what to avoid to maintain a healthy body weight. This will help in controlling blood pressure, cholesterol, fat intake and other causative factors that can lead to the deterioration of the health. It is wise to incorporate a variety of food products in the right proportion and at right intervals.
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Abstain from Substance Abuse. Smoking and drinking are the biggest enemies of healthy living. Deaths from heart diseases are cut by one third among those who have quit smoking and alcohol. These substances damages heart and blood vessels by increasing the risk of disease and blood clotting. Make your loved ones safer!
Clean and disinfect surfaces. Regularly sanitize and wipe surfaces around your kitchen and bathrooms since they have a high concentration of bacteria and other infectious agents. Keep the home environment neat and tidy; also wash and dry your clothes properly.
Take precautionary measures for your safety. Wash your hands often. This is especially important before and after preparing food, before eating and after using the toilet. Wear nose masks and other protective apparel every time, not occasionally.
Be careful when preparing food. Wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly before you begin cooking. Keep counters and other kitchen surfaces clean when preparing meals. In addition, promptly refrigerate leftovers. Don’t let cooked foods remain away from the refrigerator for more than two hours.
Other Preventive Activities
Regularly go for checkups. Get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly because your doctor will be able to advise you on how to maintain healthy levels. In turn, this will help to lower your chances of getting heart disease and stroke.
Regular exercise. Never underestimate the powerful effect regular workout of 30 minutes daily can have on your body. Simple activities like brisk walking or light jogging 3 to 5 times a week can be your life saver!
Making healthy lifestyle changes overnight isn’t realistic, but taking the necessary steps to ensure you’re staying on top of your health will put you ahead and help you be the healthiest you can be. Always remember that ‘prevention is better than cure’! Share your thoughts on this article in the comments section below.