President Goodluck Jonathan and his deputy, Vice President Namadi Sambo, yesterday underwent series of medical checks in a mobile ambulance at the presidential villa.
The tests were conducted on them when the president launched the federal government’s National Stroke Prevention Programme meant to check the alarming rate of sudden death in the country.
The ceremony was performed midway into the Federal Executive Council (FEC), with ministers, Presidential aides and some other staff of the Presidential Villa in attendance.
Briefing State House correspondents after FEC meeting, Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu noted that the programme was approved by the president as an antidote to the sudden death syndrome, adding that government was worried about the alarming rate of sudden death of Nigerians, particularly in their prime.
Chukwu said: “The health awareness programme is to help Nigerians to check up on their health on regular basis to take fitness seriously and take close attention to their life styles.
“Apart from in-born pre-conditions, the main causes of stroke and heart-attack are thing that can be prevented, like hypertension, diabetes, lack of exercise, excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking and so on. The President felt something needed to be done on a national scale. So the President and the Vice President demonstrated leadership by example by allowing themselves to go through the same process.
“They were seen by consultant doctors who carried out some tests on them such as body mass index, measurement of height and weight, blood pressure. The President approved of the programme to be managed by the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with Federal Teaching Hospitals and other hospital in Nigeria as well as the Nigeria in Diaspora to execute the programme”.
The minister, who said the cost of the test is about N50,000 explained, however, revealed that government had subsidised and reduced the cost to N10,000 for indigent Nigerians.