A Public Health expert, Prof. Dennis Aribodor, has urged Nigerians to prioritise their health in spite of economic hardships to prevent stress-related illnesses and sudden death.
Aribodor who lectures at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, made the call in an interview on Monday in Awka.
He said that the current rise in cost goods and services, scarcity of cash, insecurity, hyper inflation, unemployment and other economic challenges in the country could trigger stress-related illnesses, such as hypertension, cancer, and even cardiac issues.
According to him, the intense pressure to survive and make ends meet, are not without adverse public health implications and may be contributing to cases of people slumping and dying.
“The cases of people slumping and dying is not new in Nigeria and the world. It is a sign that our health system and environment is not encouraging people to live healthy life.
“The truth is that many people hardly find or create the time to rest and relax due to pressure of work and trying to make ends meet. Some people even work two to three jobs to survive.
“There is no Nigerian worker that his take-home pay actually takes him home. No matter the level of work, every worker in the country is sufferings because salaries can hardly sustain them and their families.
“For instance, many lecturers teach in more than one university and do not have time to rest. Such persons are bound to have some health issues because of the pressure of work,” he said.
Aribodor advised Nigerians to pay serious attention and be
conscious of their health status and live healthy lifestyle.
“Before any case of sudden death or before anybody slumps and dies, there must have been signs but they were ignored. So, watch out for unusual signs and report immediately at the hospital. if you ignore them, it is at your own peril.
“Every adult should device ways to relax and relief stress for the sake of their health, ” he said.
Aribodor urged government at all levels and policy makers to make things easy and reduce the economic stress experienced in the country.
According to him, government could make a policy framework to pay Nigerians living wage so that people can be happy, plan their lives, plan vacation, live healthy and better.
He also urged labour and trade unions to continue to mount pressure on governments to increase salaries of workers as many were underpaid.