Experts link rampant hypertension cases in Lango to eating pork

(Last Updated On: 26 December 2022)

Hypertension also known as high blood pressure is a condition that forces blood against the artery wall.

Lira – November 1, 2022: Pork consumption has been linked to a high rate of hypertension among people in the Lango sub-region. 

Dr Richard Nam is a professional obstetrician and gynaecologist. He owns Highway Health Services located in Lira City. Nam has cautioned citizens who go against dietary issues, for instance, eating a lot of fatty meat like pork alongside taking alcohol.

“The body fails to store and utilize fatty meat like pork,” he said, adding that most of it is stored along blood vessels. “This causes narrowing of blood vessels hence making pressure to shoot up,” said Dr Nam.

He says in a month, 10-20 ordinary men with reproductive health issues suffering from pressure seek medical attention at his health facility, revealing that he refers them.

According to Dr Nam, every month, 25-30 women are diagnosed with pressure and they seek medical attention at the facility.

When asked about the category of people diagnosed with pressure in his facility, he answered: “Most of them are the well-to-do people (the rich) because of their poor lifestyle of eating and accompanying it with alcohol.”

He adds that they (the rich) always fail to exercise as opposed to the poor whom he said always keep fit.  

Dr Nam, who always attends to many female patients with reproductive health issues, said pressure in women during pregnancy is developed by the placenta and also linked it to genetic issues.

“According to our research, a lot of pork consumption is causing male weakness and if fats are deposited in the liver cells, a man also fails to make a woman pregnant because it affects his system,” says Dr Nam.

He called upon the citizens to “have the heart to exercise regularly” to burn a lot of fat in the body. The fats stored in the blood vessels and liver is burnt through exercise and those who exercise don’t stand a chance of getting hypertension.

Dr Nam also appealed to the government to provide a variety of hypertensive drugs at other health units and health centre IIIs because some are lacking and are very expensive for the local people to afford. For instance, Losacar, Amlodac, and Atorva he says are very expensive.

Dr Jimmy Ssewanyana, a medical officer and also the head of TB services at Lira regional referral hospital said what is killing most of the people are non-communicable diseases, with diabetes and hypertension being the foremost. 

He added that in the financial year 2021-2022, Lira regional referral hospital registered 3,581 cases of hypertension.


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According to Dr Ssewanyana, hypertension is genetic, revealing that other things contributing to it are poor lifestyle, a poor diet of feeding too much on carbohydrates and fats and obesity accompanied by a lack of enough exercise.

 “Most of our patients we lose at the referral are due to hypertension and diabetes that can be treated and one can live longer if well managed,” he explained.

One of the medical care blocks at Lira Regional RH. Photo by Isabella Awor.

The consequences of not controlling blood pressure are stroke that predisposes one to other health conditions like coronary heart diseases, too much pressure that affects vision and that pregnant mothers can lose their babies, he noted.

Juliet Ejang, a local farmer in Ngetta, Lira City East division was diagnosed with pressure in 2021 from Ayago health centre. She narrates how she got the pressure. 

Ejang said she developed a lot of worries when she gave birth to her last born with sickle cell and that she has been sick since childbirth. She now is 22 years old.

According to Ejang, pressure stopped her from consuming too much salt, tomatoes, and alcohol. Fortunately, whenever she takes her medication she feels much better. “When I go back to check my pressure from Lira referral hospital where I also receive treatment, I was informed that the pressure was normal because of the medication I take.”

Lecimenti Alela, 80, a resident of Lira City has been diagnosed with pressure and diabetes at Lira Referral hospital. She has been battling with her sickness for 6 years now. She tells (this reporter) that she was told by an expert that pressure is brought on by too much stress.

Alela said the lack of money to buy food, soap and salt among others made her worried. Because of pressure she can no longer dig, walk or see well. She lacks the money to buy her medication when it is not available at the referral hospital.

Uganda Heart Association (UHA) seeks to create awareness of the high rate at which high blood pressure is gaining in Uganda and Africa. 

Dr Emmanuel Okello, the president of UHA says whereas the condition is more prevalent in Western countries, Ugandans are also at high risk. 

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 1.28 billion adults between 30 and 79 years worldwide have hypertension with two-thirds living in low and middle-income countries.

Dr Charles Musoke of UHA says surveys on Uganda conducted by Makerere University and the Ministry of Health have shown that one in four Ugandan adults have hypertension. Survey shows that men are more at risk because they do not take care of their health well.

Speaking at the Media Center in Kampala on January 22, 2021, Dr Christine Ondoa said statistics indicate that communities with high levels of red meat consumption also had a high prevalence of high blood pressure.

Dr Ondoa told journalists that Wakiso district which is more of an urban setting has a 32% prevalence of high blood pressure; Kasese which is a rural setting has a 23% prevalence. 

She said 70% of stroke cases seen at Mulago national referral hospital are a result of high blood pressure and 50-60% of medical outpatients at Mulago have high blood pressure.

The president of the Uganda veterinary association Dr Dominic Mundrugo advised the public to resort to white meat. 

“People should therefore substitute red meat with white meat such as chicken and rabbit however they have to remove the chicken skin because this contains a lot of cholesterol and this might also lead to high blood pressure,” Dr Mundrugo said.

Hypertension also known as high blood pressure is a condition that forces blood against the artery wall.

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