Dr Oluwabunmi Ogungbemi, General physician, Department of Family Medicine, Garki Hospital, Abuja, has advised Nigerians to ensure regular checkups to ascertain their health status.
Ogungbemi gave this advise in an interview with reporters on Thursday in Abuja.
She urged Nigerians to improve on their healthcare seeking attitudes in order to increase their life expectancy.
Life expectancy is based on an estimate of the average age that members of a particular population group will be when they die.
She added that a regular checkup was a key to ascertain the health status of an individual.
According to her, poor healthcare seeking attitude of many Nigerians could decrease their life expectancy.
Ogungbemi also said that patients should not wait until they were very sick before seeking healthcare.
“Healthcare seeking behaviour of Nigerians is very poor, because most Nigerians wait until they are so sick and dying before they will go to the hospital.
“You should do regular checkups; sometimes you may be healthy, but you just want to do some tests to ensure that everything is alright.
“Because many of the diseases if they had been detected early, would be nipped in the bud thereby preventing loss of lives, therefore increase life expectancy,” she said.
Ogungbemi decried the healthcare ignorance among the rich and the poor Nigerians alike.
She added that those who were ignorance of their health couple with poverty may not take steps to seek healthcare to better their life if nothing was done to enlighten them.
Ogungbemi, however,warned that Nigerians should not use poverty as an excuse to be negligent.
She encouraged people to pay close attention to their emotional and spiritual health.
“Apart from poverty, ignorance is also the major issue amongst Nigerians that need to be addressed.
“There are people who are rich, but they are still doing something at the detriment of their health, they would say why should they go to hospital.
“That is the major problem of ignorance among Nigerians, and it can be addressed by educating these people about their health.
“Information is power, many of these people lack health information; when you educate them even though poor they may take steps,” she said.
She urged the authorities concerned, such as National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the media to educate Nigerians through health enlightenment programs.