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Panafricare Clinic reveals that many people in Seychelles have one or more chronic diseases | 05 July 2019

In the last five years, Panafricare Clinic has registered around 6000 people in Seychelles, and it has been observed that many have at least one, if not more chronic diseases, including blood pressure and blood sugar problems, high cholesterol and obesity, all of which are related to each other.

Seychelles NATION spoke to Dr Dusan Stojilkovic, the resident doctor at the clinic, to learn more about this observation, the causes of such diseases, as well as some strategies to prevent and manage them.

Dr Dusan has been practicing both general medicine and dermatology for more than four years. Panafricare Clinic offers complete diagnostic and treatment for acute and chronic conditions. Their main goal is prevention in general, along with promoting a healthy lifestyle and regular follow-ups, especially for the most common chronic health problems such as diabetes, blood pressure and obesity.

Speaking about the causes/risk factors of these common chronic diseases, Dr Dusan says that lifestyle plays a major role.

“Alcohol consumption, smoking, poor diet including overconsumption of food rich in sugars and processed foods (junk food), lack of physical activity/sedentary lifestyle, overweight and obesity for example, can all lead to the development of chronic diseases, hence they all play an important role and have a major impact on society and on the health system”.

Other important risk factors are ethnic background, age and family history. Those with Hispanic or African origin are more prone to develop blood sugar and blood pressure problems.

While it is said that those above the age of 40 - 45 are most at risk for developing such problems, Dr Dusan notes that daily at their clinic, they have patients in their 30s discovering that they have diabetes, blood pressure problems and high cholesterol.

He adds that mental, emotional and physical stress is also a contributing factor, especially for blood pressure problems.

According to Dr Dusan, it is unfortunate that many of these diseases do not give early symptoms, so if people are not aware of this and are not having regular check-ups, it is possible for some to have a disease for years without knowing about it.

He explains that knowing our family’s history of diseases is therefore important, as is learning to notice signs and symptoms that are present for weeks or months, and having regular general check-ups.

If symptoms are present, they tend to be very common ones. For example, blood pressure problems can cause tension headaches, neck pain, palpitations and numbness in the upper arms.

Diabetes on the other hand can cause changes in weight, excessive thirst, waking up at night to drink water, frequent urination, tingling in the legs, and numbness in the feet which worsens during the night.

Speaking about common beliefs and behaviour which can have adverse effects on the local population’s health, Dr Dusan advises people against using Google to self-diagnose illnesses, and to instead see a doctor and obtain a correct diagnosis and proper medication.

He also encourages patients to ask their doctors questions in order to know more about their disease and to always check with their doctor prior to deciding to stop or change their treatment.

For preventative and management strategies of common chronic diseases, Dr Dusan strongly recommends adopting a healthy lifestyle. For example:

-           a reduction in weight can significantly reduce a person’s chances of developing blood pressure and blood sugar problems

-           being more physically active

-           having a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) to reduce the risk of overweight and obesity

-           reducing salt in the diet to help prevent blood pressure problems

-           having preventative check-ups once a year so as to discover any diseases at early stages when they are still manageable

For further information about preventive health packages and the Panafricare clinic:

- Visit the clinic: 1st Floor, Le Chantier Mall, Victoria

- Telephone: 4 321 310

- Email: info@panafricare.com or panafricare@gmail.com

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