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Hypertension is assuming epidemic status – Ekunno, Neimeth boss

Emmanuel Ekunno
Pharm. Emmanuel Ekunno, Managing Director, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc, Pharmacist Emmanuel Ekunno, has said that hypertension is assuming an epidemic status in the country and must be combated by all so as to significantly reduce the sudden deaths, strokes, kidney damage and other health challenges that result from it.
Pharmacist Ekunno said this during the commissioning of a Free Diagnosis and Hypertension Management Clinic by Neimeth at the company’s premises on Wednesday.
He said that hypertension is worsening and has become a matter of great concern to the society, noting that as part of Neimeth’s contribution to the battle against this non-communicable deadly disease, the company on May 16, 2013 launched an innovative national campaign tagged FITGAH-Fight The Good Fight Against Hypertension, in association with top healthcare practitioners in the country.
According to him, “during the launch, the healthcare professionals declared hypertension as a National Health Emergency” and challenged well meaning Nigerians to rise to contribute to the fight against it.
Towards achieving this resolve and in pursuance of her strategic Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, Neimeth is deliberately taking “steps to significantly contribute to the reduction in deaths occasioned by hypertension,” he told the crowd that turned out for the commissioning of the free Diagnosis and hypertension management clinic.
FITGAH, he said, “is a direct intervention programme which applies 4-A pronged approach, namely: Awareness, Availability, Affordability and Action.”
These, he continued, informed the decision of the company’s management to reduce the cost of their anti-hypertension drugs like Amlovar, Miniplus, Normoretic and Norduet by 50 percent. The reduction in price we accept, will certainly erode profit but as a patriotic Nigerian Company, Neimeth is committed to complementing the effort of the government through FITGAH”, caring,” he stressed.
He said further that the campaign adopts the approaches of mass screening and free provision of starter drugs, initiation of mass media and educational programmes for targeted communities or geo-political groups and collaboration with the Nigeria Heart Foundation (NHF), Hypertension Society of Nigeria (HSN), Microfile (Technical Partners) and other such organisations for direct professional implementation of FITGAH.
According to Pharmacist Ekunno, the “voluntary lowering of Neimeth’s anti-hypertensives by 50 per cent means more affordability of these essential drugs to Nigerians who may not be able to afford them.”
He urged those that attended the programme “to take advantage of opportunities provided by FITGAH”, he said, “which is a practical way to contribute to real national development and attain the Millennium Development Goals in the healthcare sector.
Pharmacist Ekunno encouraged his audience to extend the FITGAH programme, which he said “is a vision ordained by God to bring relief to our brothers and sisters who may not be able to afford the high cost of hypertensive medicines” to their communities, wards and towns.
He said it was to start the charity at home, in her immediate environment, that Neimeth provided the clinic “where people’s blood pressure would be screened free of charge and isolated cases given free starter drugs” by Neimeth’s medical personnel before being referred to partnership hospitals for adequate follow up and comprehensive treatment.
The Free BP Screening Programme will run every Tuesday and Thursday between 9am and 12noon for the next two months.
Among those who graced the occasion were Directors of Neimeth, including Pharmacist Rose Oputa (Marketing and Sales), Isaac Igboanoi (Admin), and Chris Enneje (Finance), the Head, Corporate Affairs and General Services, Okoro Nwaka and other staff of the company.
There were also in attendance, local government officials, members and leaders of market associations operating within the neighbourhood including the Baba-Oloja of Ashade Market Phase 2, Chief Oyejide Ogunniyi Al-Ameen and other neighbours of Neimeth who availed themselves of the opportunity of the free screening exercise to run blood pressure checks and collect free drugs.

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