By Nadege Ngeh
“I’ve learned to control my anger. Physical exercise is my new lifestyle, and I eat less salt and sugar,” says Adeline Lumsi, a beneficiary of the Know Your Numbers (KYN) program
KYN is one of CBC Health Services’ strategies in the fight against NCDs in Cameroon. Special corners are set up in health facilities to prompt people to walk in and check their crucial health numbers like blood sugar level, blood pressure, waist circumference, and Body Mass Index (BMI) and to ensure they are within the recommended ranges.
Adeline, 42, has been witnessing frequent headaches, body weakness, and dizziness for over 5 years. It became very difficult for her to work and effectively carry on with her business. She was not aware of what exactly was wrong with her until her mom advised her to go to the hospital.
Taking her mother’s advice, she paid a visit to Etoug-Ebe Baptist Hospital Yaoundé. Her blood pressure was seen to be abnormally and alarmingly high. “I was declared hypertensive, placed on therapy, and advice to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
“The doctor told me to reduce my sugar and salt intake and food with plenty of fats. She advised me to exercise regularly, eat enough vegetables, fruits, chocolates, and food rich in protein,” Adeline narrates.
Though Adeline adopted the prescribed lifestyle, her condition did not change immediately. From the onset, she was sad and feared she could die as a result of the diagnosis. The stereotypes of living a boring life due to her condition bothered her the most.
Against the odds, she learned to accept her condition through counseling and was able to adopt some changes to her lifestyle which she says have greatly helped her.
“I’ve been living with hypertension for five years now. I’m stronger now than ever before and the regular migraine I used to have is now history,” she testifies.
Adeline, a mother of 5, now encourages everyone she comes across to know their vital health numbers even if they have no revealing physical signs of poor health.
“When you take care of your health, your wealth is secured. Prevention is better than cure. I call on all to know their numbers,” advises Adeline.