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SPECIAL REPORT: Experts Raised Alarm Over The Prevalence of Stomach Ulcer



By Victor Christopher @iamvictorcool

Abdullahi Husaini is currently battling with constant stomach pains and shortness of breath which began from his youthful days in the early 90s.

During his youthful days in the early 90s, stomach pains and shortness of breath had become part of Abdullahi Usaini, a resident of Yan-Tsire, in Nasarawa Local Government Area of Kano.

But his condition became critical in 1993 when he started vomiting blood. But after years of treating stomach pain while still consulting herbalists, Hussaini was diagnosed with a stomach ulcer in a Kaduna hospital.

“I have been suffering from ulcer for over 30 years now. At the time I was treating stomach pain, but when it got worse around 1993, I went to a hospital and the doctors confirmed that I had ulcer”.

Now, at 53-years-of age, Abdullahi still experiences that constant pain, revealed that the doctors placed him on medication for the rest of his life due to the chronic nature of his ulcer.

“My ulcer is chronic now, so the doctors placed me on medication for life. And whenever I fail to take my medicine for a day the crisis will start the next day”.

Another ulcer patient, Claudia Haruna 25, a native of Kaduna was diagnosed with ulcer at only 8 years old. Claudia tells Nigeria Info that she was diagnosed with ulcer due to constant starvation.

“My ulcer was as a result of me starving myself because I go days without eating. As a kid, I felt it was an achievement.

Now the ulcer is at the chronic stage cause I feel pains in my chest and back and I can barely breathe. Most times I breathe through the mouth”, she adds.

Hundreds of Ulcer Patients Waiting To See Doctor

At the Muhammad Abdullahi Wase Teaching Hospital’s Male Medical Ward and Female Medical ward, stomach ulcer patients’ files were stacked on the shelves.

Also, at the General Outpatient Department, many ulcer patients, young and old queued outside the Gastroenterologist’s office, eagerly waiting for their turn.

One of the patients, Hauwa Issac 24, a graduate of Sociology at the Federal University Dutsinma says she has been managing ulcers since 2020 after skipping breakfast in school.

Hauwa further revealed that whenever her crisis starts, “She becomes helpless and atimes I feel like I will lost my life the next minute”.

4 Million People Are Diagnosed With Ulcer Every Year

These stories tell of a disturbing prevalence of stomach ulcer in Kano which adequately captures the situation across the globe as the National Library of Medicine NLM says 4 million people are diagnosed with ulcers every year.

NDC Says Over A Thousand Ulcer Patients Are Diagnosed Daily In Kano

According to data from the Non-Communicable Disease Control NDC Unit in Kano, over a thousand patients suffering from ulcer are diagnosed daily.

Although early detection is an avenue to getting relief, so many Nigerians are still very unaware of the ailment so greatly eating at their longevity.

Leading Cause of Ulcer

Apart from bacteria, another leading cause of ulcer is the intake of unprescribed drugs. However, one’s ulcer maybe triggered constantly if they fail to eat as when due, carbonated drinks, and paperish food, amongst others.

Kano Government Intervention

Commenting, the Deputy Director of Public Health and Disease Control from the State Ministry of Health, Dr. Ibrahim Aliyu Umar said “The State Government has expanded its healthcare services to distant communities to provide adequate care to ulcer patients”.

Dr. Ibrahim identified regular chest pain, indigestion, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, amongst others as symptoms of ulcer, stressed that for the crisis to be urgently nipped in the bud, “Residents must report to the nearest health facility for prompt diagnosis”.

Dr. Ibrahim further revealed that “Ulcer patients could lost their lives if they failed to report to the hospital on time”.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal SDG 3 stresses the need to ensure healthy lives for all by 2030. Hence, timely visits to health facilities and prompt diagnosis to halt the prevalence are paramount for a healthy and better Nigeria.

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