To most Nigerians, phrases like “thrombosis” or “Venous thromboembolism (VTE)” will not be on a regular basis phrases they’ll prefer to trouble with. It’s not additionally a well being situation anybody will reckon inside this atmosphere. But it is a silent killer, a situation that kills inside minutes when it strikes. That was the invention of outstanding entrainment author, Azuka Oguijiuba final 12 months when VTE etched its manner into her life and reminiscence.
A frequent traveller, Oguijiuba had landed safely in London after certainly one of her quite a few journeys when she collapsed. It was the start of a traumatic expertise wherein she escaped demise simply by the whiskers. Narrating her expertise on Instagram, she recalled how she travelled to Loss Angeles within the US for 3 days, obtained again, hopped into the following flight to Dubai, spent some days in Dubai after which zoomed off to the UK.
“Two days after l arrived in the UK, I passed out in the (toilet and) I was revived. I went to the bathroom to have my bath, I passed out again and this time around my friend insisted on calling the ambulance. Before the conversation was over, we heard the ambulance siren blasting in the neighbourhood. I was asked if l can walk to the ambulance? I said I can but before l could take two steps, I passed out again but this time when I was revived. I found myself strapped to the stretcher with all kinds of wires on my body and the nurses struggling to keep me alive and at the same time chatting with me.”
She ended up at The Queen Elizabeth hospital the place she spent seven grueling days battling to remain alive. She survived, changing into one of many only a few Nigerians to develop VTE and reside to inform the story. Indeed, as she was knowledgeable later, the story would have been totally different if she had developed the situation in Nigeria. Most victims of VTE on this nation don’t reside to inform the story. That was the destiny of music star Goldie Harvey who died shortly after getting back from the 55th Grammy Awards in 2013. It was the identical story for Stephen Keshi, former captain, and coach of the senior nationwide soccer workforce. He died instantly in 2016 after complaining of leg ache which was initially managed with a therapeutic massage at house. Keshi was licensed lifeless by the point he obtained to the hospital which was only a 20-minute drive from his house.
According to Prof. Sulaimon Akanmu, a professor of Haematology and Blood Transfusion on the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, statistics on the standing of VTE in Nigeria had been obtained from post-mortem reviews. VTE is recognized right here largely after demise, in the course of the post-mortem. Everything about it’s shrouded in ignorance each on the a part of healthcare personnel and the general public.
Just what method of well being situation is thrombosis?
At a briefing convention organized by multinational Pharmaceutical firm, Sanofi in collaboration with the Nigerian Society of Haematology and Blood Transfusion (NSHBT) to mark the 2019 World Thrombosis Day, Prof. Akanmu, additionally a Consultant at The Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) described the situation as a lethal situation brought on by the formation of doubtless lethal clots (i.e blood that has was strong type) throughout the blood vessel.
According to him, when the blood clot types within the vein, known as “Deep Vein Thrombosis” (DVT), half or complete of the clot can detach and journey within the circulation to lodge within the lungs, inflicting a situation known as pulmonary embolism (PE). Both DVT and PE are collectively known as “Venous Thromboembolism” (VTE). The hematologist advised Good Health Weekly that VTE, kills largely earlier than specialised medical intervention is obtained. And such intervention is just not obtainable in most well being establishments throughout the nation.
VTE is lethal anyplace on this planet. It is reported to be accountable for greater than the full variety of deaths from AIDS, breast most cancers, prostate most cancers and visitors accidents mixed.
However, whereas most superior international locations attempt to cut back the devastating impression by means of the supply of efficient emergency care and hospital care backed with high-tech prognosis, amenities in Nigeria’s well being care supply system stay too weak to adequately handle VTE.
Experts say VTE has remained a well being downside in Nigeria for years and continues to be affecting extra folks, defying age, intercourse or class. Akanmu stated as much as 50 % of sufferers on admission in Nigerian hospitals could develop the situation. He cited a analysis research in 32 international locations displaying that 50 % of sufferers in surgical wards and 30 % in medical wards had thrombosis danger. The same research performed in 14 African international locations, together with Nigeria revealed the identical consequence.
Akanmu stated thrombosis is extra frequent amongst sufferers within the hospital than people at house. Thus, if a person within the hospital is evaluated and located to be in danger as excessive as 40 %, such an individual is most “100 percent likely” to develop thrombosis earlier than leaving the hospital.
People who journey lengthy distances by air are additionally liable to VTE.
“This occurs especially in individuals who already have inherited or genetic predisposition of thrombosis.”
According to Akanmu: the atmosphere within the financial system class makes this occur, particularly the atmosphere up within the sky. Generally within the sky, the strain there’s fully totally different from on the floor and this makes us, whereas within the sky, to lose extra fluids. People change into extra dehydrated, which is what we name Low Blood Viscosity, which suggests resistance to circulate, the circulate of blood turns into extra sluggish and the sluggishness predisposes to thrombosis.
“The location the place the thrombus happens is behind the knee so, almost 90 to 95 % of air vacationers in financial system class would have thrombosis on the knee as a result of it’s constricted.
“This, nevertheless, doesn’t have an effect on passengers in first-class and enterprise class as a result of there are house and room for strolling train,’’ he stated. But thrombosis, regardless of its very lethal nature, wants to not kill. Prof. Akanmu stated demise will be prevented if sufferers in hospitals are evaluated for thrombosis danger and if discovered to be in danger, given acceptable prophylaxis.
Fortunately, a pharmaceutical firm has stepped in to alter the unhappy story of thrombosis in Nigeria. The General Manager Sanofi Nigeria-Ghana, Pharm. Folake Odediran disclosed on the press briefing that the corporate has launched into a large consciousness marketing campaign to handle the VTE problem as a part of the corporate’s group social duty.
She stated the method had been built-in into the corporate’s enterprise technique to higher meet sufferers’ wants. The firm, she additional stated, is specializing in capability constructing and partnership with well being care associations to drive consciousness on VTE. Currently, she additional stated, Sanofi is launching its ‘VTE Safe Zone programme’ in main well being establishments throughout the nation to assist enhance the care of hospitalized sufferers and cut back their danger of a VTE.
“The programme is concentrated on academic programmes for physician’s pharmacists and nurses, improvement of VTE danger evaluation instruments and establishing of institutional thrombosis committees. This venture has been efficiently carried out in UCH Ibadan and is within the pilot phases in UNTH Enugu, UBTH Benin, and AKTH, Kano.
“We have additionally partnered with healthcare associations just like the Nigerian Society of Haematology and blood transfusion to disseminate the first-ever VTE tips to information.