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An Interventional Cardiologist, University of Utah, United States of America, has warned against the dangers of unchecked prevalence of Coronary Heart Disease in Nigeria and Sub Sahara Africa at large. 

The Interventional Cardiologist, Dr. Theopilus Owan gave the warning at a lecture delivered at the 4th Faculty Lecture Series of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Calabar, titled "Coronary Heart Disease" is it here and how much should we care? held at the Senate Chamber of the Institution. 

The interventional cardiologist, who is also an alumnus of the Institution disclosed that Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) of which, Coronary Disease is a part, were the leading causes of Death accounting for 38 million of 56 million deaths recorded in 2012. 

Dr Theophilus Owan rued that in spite of the increased number of death over the years occasioned by the disease, poor funding and glaring negligence of health care system in Nigeria has not been addressed. 

He bemoaned that despite the Nigeria economy been rated amongst the 1st 25 countries in terms of her Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Nigeria still falls short of global health care standard and lacking existing model health institutions capable of handling (NCD�s) and other related health challenges.

The Guest Lecturer wondered why government cannot not invest just 5% of her GDP on health sector noting that the �token� cannot take care of the catastrophic rise in health demands and therefore urge the ruling authorities to invest heavily in health sector to stem the tide of coronary heart disease which requires a multifaceted approach.

Dr Owan said the economic and social transformation that followed the industrial and technological revolution gave rise to epidemiologic transition hence the need for government to give priority to health care services to allay fears arising from poor funding. 

The International Cardiologist propose that to fight this scourge, the government must form a synergy between private/public partnership to complement government efforts and avoid unneeded duplication, academic institutions research units has a pivotal role to play by generating population specific data, consolidate expertise for maximum impact and collaboration across disciplines, departments, agencies and organisations. 

In earlier, address by the chief host and chairman of the occasion, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Zana Akpagu represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration, Prof. Ndifreke Udonwa, described the 4th Faculty lecture as apt and timely given the fact that recently the institution lost some academic staff to sudden death. 

He said coronary heart disease is prevalent and disturbing, hence the University management has urged Director of Medical Services to liaise with Faculty of Medicine to tackle this scourge. 

He charged the 4th Faculty Lecturer, to shed light on the topical issue as most Nigerians attributed this diseases and untimely death to social, cultural and religious beliefs owing to our Africa background. 

Prof Akpagu opined that more focus should be on post mortem when such death occurs as a way of unravelling the cause of such death and to also clear the erroneous African Superstitious beliefs. 

The Vice Chancellor, charged Faculty staff to always attend Faculty lectures as the benefits are enormous, adding that knowledge derived from lecture if properly applied, reduces mortality rate. 

The Dean, Faculty of Medical Science, Prof Victor Ansa said the aim of the lecture was to bring to the notice of the University Community health related issues and its effect on national economy and proffer solution to it. 

Prof Ansa said the lecture if properly packaged with legal framework and polices to sustain it, will go a long to douse our beliefs about sudden death. 

He thanked sponsors of the lecture stressing that their efforts will sustain lives and put smiles on the face of families while urging other health related practitioners to emulate good example of the sponsors adding that a life you saved may be yours. 

The highpoint of the event, was the presentation of memento by the Deputy Provost, Prof.. Theresa Ekanem to the distinguished 4th Faculty lecture, Dr Theopilus Owan


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