The maiden edition of Walk4ph, an initiative of Cardiac Community held on May 11th, 2019 to commemorate the 8th World Pulmonary Hypertension day marked annually on May 5th to raise awareness of pulmonary hypertension, a rare illness that affects the lungs and heart.
The walkathon tagged #YouSabiPH had over 100 participants and kicked off from the National Stadium, then proceeded through Shitta, Adeniran Ogunsanya, Bode Thomas, Ikorodu Road back to the stadium.
Speaking during the walk, co-founder of Cardiac Community and organizer of Walk4PH, Ayotunde Omitogun stated that; “I was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension six years ago which was caused by a congenital heart defect. Major symptoms I experienced were shortness of breath, fatigue, palpitations and chest pain. This ailment is often confused with normal hypertension in Nigeria and is usually misdiagnosed. The drugs to treat pulmonary hypertension are also not readily available in Nigeria, I have to source for my medications outside the country.”
“The aim of this walk is to create more awareness of pulmonary hypertension so that people won’t have to go through the long process I went through in getting diagnosed. It is very difficult living with a disease people are not aware of because you are easily misunderstood to be lazy or exaggerating the illness as a result of it being invisible. People living with pulmonary hypertension often don’t look sick.’’ She added
Speaking further on Pulmonary hypertension, Dr. Tosin Majekodunmi, Cardiologist at Eura Care hospital said “Pulmonary hypertension is a rare condition that is present in our society, it is different from the normal hypertension that we all hear about, which is high blood pressure in the heart or high blood pressure in the blood vessels. If there is anyone who has symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, feeling faint, constant coughing, coughing up blood occasionally, palpitations and have been on it for two to three years without getting better or have been diagnosed with heart failure or asthma, that should raise the possibility of them having pulmonary hypertension. The way to get a diagnosis is to see a doctor who specializes in pulmonary hypertension and some test needs to be carried out like ECG, ECHO and other tests like CT scan and blood tests. Once the diagnosis is made, treatment can commence. It cannot be cured, but it can be managed with medications so people living with pulmonary hypertension can have a better quality of life.”
This content has been published for free as part of BellaNaija.com‘s commitment to youth, education, healthcare and community development as part of our corporate social responsibility programme