AFCON Finals: Shettima leads presidential delegation to cheer Super Eagles

Nigeria Sports

Vice President, Kashim Shettima (centre), celebrating with Super Eagles and their officials in their dressing room after Wednesday’s semifinal victory over South Africa.

• Urges national team to make Nigeria, Africa proud
• Cardiac society warns Nigerians against over-excitement

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday directed Vice President Kashim Shettima to lead a presidential team to cheer up the Super Eagles at the finals of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) holding in Côte d’Ivoire.

The Nigerian national team will face host, Côte d’Ivoire, in a thrilling rematch at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan today.

Recall that the Vice President had earlier represented the President at the semi-finals when the Super Eagles defeated South Africa in a pulsating encounter.

The match will rekindle the memories of Nigeria’s 1-0 victory in the group stage secured through Captain William Troost-Ekong’s penalty.

Recognising the unifying power of football and the immense role the Super Eagles play in fostering national pride and unity, President Tinubu believes that Shettima’s presence at the finals alongside the delegation is a testament to the government’s unwavering support for the team and its dedication to their success.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has called on all Nigerians, both at home and abroad, to unite in support of the Super Eagles, and raise their voices in encouragement, and create a wave of national pride that would propel the team to glory.

This was even as the Nigerian Cardiac Society (NCS) has advised Nigerians to avoid getting over-excited during games and emotional events.

The society warned that sports and other emotional events can trigger arrhythmias, heart attacks, and strokes in those with underlying heart conditions.

In a statement jointly signed by the National President, Prof. Augustine Odili, the Secretary-General, Prof. Chizindu Alinkor, and the Publicity Secretary, Abiodun Akintunde, the society expressed concern over several reported cases of sudden deaths among Nigerians both at home and abroad directly or indirectly.

It commiserated with the families of those whose deaths were linked to the semi-final match played last Wednesday.

The statement added: “We wish to commiserate with the immediate families of the deceased and the country at large and pray for the repose of the souls of the deceased.

“The reported death of at least four individuals occurring during the match leaves much to be desired on the cardiovascular health of Nigerians.”

The NCS described sudden death as a natural, unexpected fatal event occurring within one hour from the onset of symptoms in a healthy subject or in one whose disease was not so severe to predict such an abrupt outcome, adding that many risk factors are prevalent among Nigerians and are also poorly controlled.

According to the group, about 50 percent of all deaths from heart diseases are sudden regardless of the aetiology.

“It has also been shown that 89 percent of all sudden cardiac deaths occur outside the hospital and less than 40 percent are witnessed,” the society added.

The group stated that the causes of sudden death are as varied as its presentation, including complications of hypertension, heart attack, stroke, and heart failure, among others.

They explained further that the risk factors for heart disease are many, including lack of physical exercise, smoking tobacco, consuming alcohol, and eating unhealthy diets rich in salt and saturated fats; and low in fresh fruits and vegetables.

“Other risk factors include high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood lipids/cholesterol (dyslipidaemia), overweight and obesity, and diabetes mellitus.

“Hypertension is the most common risk factor for heart disease and stroke in Nigeria,” the group explained.

They called for effective blood pressure control as a major panacea for reducing the cardiovascular risk of affected people.

“We urge all Nigerians to learn the warning signs of cardiac distress and how to respond in an emergency. Know your family history and risk factors and get regular screenings. Take steps to manage conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Avoid smoking, eat healthy, exercise, and manage stress. For those with heart disease, take medications as prescribed and follow your doctor’s advice.

“It should be noted that left-sided chest pain should not be taken with levity and should warrant a medical examination,” the group added.

The Guardian

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