Nigerians love to work hard. It is a good thing, but should it be at the expense of your health? The answer is no.

Dr Oluwabunmi Ogungbemi is a general physician at the Department of Family Medicine, Garki Hospital, Abuja.

She wants Nigerians to improve on their healthcare seeking attitudes in order to increase life expectancy.

In a chat with NAN on Thursday, she said patients should not wait until they were very sick before seeking medical care.

“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, and increasing life expectancy,” she said.

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Both the rich and the poor are guilty of this poor attitude to health.

Nigerians need to stop using lack of time or money as excuses to be negligent but pay close attention to their emotional 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.

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“Information is power, many of these people lack health information; when you educate them even though poor they may take steps,” she said.

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 regular checkup was key to ascertain the health status of an individual.

You can lose money and regain it but once life is lost, you cannot get it back. Be wise.

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