Can we walk the walk: Yes we can?


Charity they say begins at home, have we covered our bases as we go on in the fight for equitable distribution of health and attempt to address all that is wrong with our healthcare system….which obviously leaves much to be desired. I work on a project using Hip Hop music and cartoons targeted at children to teach about stroke prevention, stroke recognition and what to do when someone is having a stroke. The program developed by the National stroke Association and Dr Olajide Williams has shown significant results ( study accepted for publication by “STROKE” journal. The program is for children grades 3 (8/9year olds) to grades 9(16/17year olds).

In my home I don’t have any third graders yet, but I happen to have a 3 year old daughter and 4 + old son, I played the video for them ..And the rest is history….play it again, and again and again. The feedback I got from my kids has spurred me to ask myself some pertinent questions. Are we really doing all that we can in the spread of health information to our loved ones. How many people have taken the time to explain to their kids and family members the causes of stroke, diabetes, diarrheal diseases, and how we can reduce our exposure to these ailments?

How many of us have taken time to explain to our kids and family members the link between salt and hypertension,and advised them not to add more salt to food after its cooked, or the link between too much sugar,obesity and the remote possibility of developing diabetes,or the number of chemicals contained in cigarette, including noxious everyday chemicals that children can relate with, the ever present acetone in nail polish remover, we all know that smell. Do we know that “Hand washing could prevent more than one million deaths a year from diarrheal diseases”, have we shared this information with our loved ones yet?

I was reading about the new recommendations for “untrained bystander CPR”, do you know that the “untrained bystander: could be your 10year old child and that the victim could be you , your wife, partner, mother , father, grand father and other loved ones. Do you know that “effective bystander CPR provided immediately after cardiac arrest can double a victims chances of survival” The American Heart Association (AHA) recently passed new and simplified guidelines recommending bystanders perform hands-only CPR for cardiac arrests in adults while skipping mouth-to-mouth breathing. This is aimed at encouraging more people to act in emergency situations.

In countries like Nigeria were there is no emergency service, the use of CPR becomes even more important. Have you talked with your children and care takers about what to do if someone in the house collapses, do you have a number that they can reach you on for further instructions, for people that are away from the home a lot?.

The importance of sharing health information with people around us cannot be over emphasized, can we lead the initiative in our various families…yes we can!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

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