Going for regular medical check-ups help prolong the life span of a population. Decades ago, people were only compelled to see a doctor when they fall ill, especially when their health conditions deteriorate. Suffice it to say that in Nigeria, this agelong practice has not changed.
Preventive healthcare is the practice of choice and is being promoted to educate the populace about their health and how to prevent the development of certain illnesses. In this article, we will discuss the unsung benefits of regular health check-ups in Nigeria.
Most people do not know that a significant percentage of people slumping and dying are caused by diseases affecting the heart and brain. Conditions that can cause people slumping and dying include stress, cardiac failure, diabetes, high blood pressure, and internal and external bleeding. Fortunately, these conditions can be detected and treatment started earlier if you go for regular medical check-ups. This means that cases of slumping can be prevented by having a routine health check-up plan.
The perception of regular health check-ups by the average Nigerian
How do Nigerians perceive regular check-ups? Do they know about health check-ups, and do they believe going for check-ups can help improve their well-being and life expectancy?
Most studies in this area are launched in specific locations and target certain people in the country using survey studies. A cross-sectional study conducted across three states, Ekiti, Ondo and Osun, showed that about 88.3% of people in these states are aware of periodic health check-ups and what it means. But despite the high level of awareness, it is unfortunate that only very few people practice routine health check-ups. There might be different reasons for this (to be discussed later in this article).
Also, another study on regular health check-up, practice and knowledge amongst traders in a community in South-East Nigeria (Nnewi) showed that about 74.9% were aware of periodic medical check-ups. The commonest type of routine medical check-up known by the traders is general examination followed by blood pressure measurement. About 63.8% believe that everyone needs health check-ups. But, only about 39.4% of females and 29.4% of males do practise regular medical check-up.
Why Nigerians don’t go for regular health check-ups
Many Nigerians don’t go for regular medical check-ups for many reasons. Some believe that going for health check-ups when you are not visibly sick or showing signs and symptoms of sickness is a waste of money. Here are some other reasons many Nigerians fail to go for routine medical check-ups.
- Cost of check-up or medical consultancy
- Nonchalant attitude towards their health
Importance of regular health check-ups for Nigerians
Routine check-ups on your body system are beneficial to your health and life. Why should Nigerians take periodic medical check-ups seriously? The answer is simple- because of its benefits! Perhaps knowing the benefits of going for regular health check-ups will spur Nigerians to do better.
Here are some benefits of regular health check-ups we don’t talk about often.
It reduces the risk of sudden death from chronic diseases
When you visit your doctor regularly, you are bound to receive advice and life hacks that can help prevent the onset of diseases in the first place. Also, a regular visit to the doctor will help detect disease early if one starts developing. For instance, early detection of cancer in patients has saved many lives in Nigeria and beyond, as detecting cancer in its early stages makes treatment easier and reduces the risk of death from the condition.
It encourages and increases health awareness
Preventive healthcare is another avenue for creating health awareness. When you visit your doctor, typically, records of your family history, medical conditions, and age will be taken. This information will help the doctor to give you informed and specific medical advice.
Your doctor might also warn you not to indulge in certain bad habits that might affect your health while educating you on practices that would help improve your health. A regular reminder from your doctor might help change your lifestyle habits from bad to good – which is beneficial to your health both in the short and long term.
It reduces healthcare costs
You might be tempted to ignore health check-ups because of the small sum of money (consultation fee) you have to pay to see a doctor. However, it saves you from spending an even more enormous sum of money in the long term. This is because regular health check-ups reduce the risk of potentially life-threatening health conditions that might require even more complicated treatment procedures like chemotherapy, use of oxygen or surgeries. Don’t be penny-wise, pound foolish.
It helps detect stress-related diseases
The daily hassle and struggle to go to work, make some money, go to school, make out something for your life, especially in present-day Nigeria, can mess up someone’s mental health, causing an increase in stress.
Stress can cause different health problems such as high blood pressure, depression, asthma, weight problems, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and other mental disorders. However, with regular health check-ups, it becomes easier to detect and diagnose these conditions before they deteriorate.
Prevention is better than cure
It is always easier and better to prevent a disease than to cure it. Regular health check-ups have made it easier for Nigerian doctors to diagnose health issues at an early stage. Asides physical examination, routine medical check-ups can include preventive screenings and tests.
Other benefits of regular health check-ups include:
- It reduces the risk of complications by monitoring existing health condition closely
- It helps patients and members of the public to get new and updated medical information when they come up
- It helps people know their health status
- It helps create a good relationship between patients and their healthcare provider for increased efficiency of treatment
- It reduces the number of patients that require serious medical treatments
- It helps people live a healthy lifestyle
Regular health check-up is the way to go
Going for routine medical check-ups is one of the ways to take charge of your health. Regular health check-ups include visiting your doctor at intervals (bi-annually or annually) to check for blood pressure, cancer screenings, Body Mass Index (BMI), blood sugar level or physical examinations.
You might be wondering where to go for a medical check-up. You are only one call away from a doctors. You can start your routine health check-up today by talking to a doctor on KompleteCare. Remember you have to be regular with your medical check-up to stay fit and healthy.
Medical Disclaimer: KompleteCare™ aims to improve the quality of life for everyone with fact-based content about the nature of diseases, preventive care, behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.