Recent Health Promotion Event

The Legacy

Recent Health Promotion Event

The Legacy

  1. NICOWF in association with The Council, The Big Lottery Fund and The Nigerian High Commission


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The Recap - An Introduction

We had a wonderful time and more importantly, the knowledge and practical examples provided by our experts on the day informed us all about the risks and dangers associated with some common illneses if simple precautionary measures are over looked or ignored. Here is a recap of some the issues that were delibrated at the event.


The Facts:

Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD)

  • 1 - Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are a class of diseases that involve damage to the heart and blood vessels. They are the main causes of stroke, hypertension, heart disease and high blood pressure, amongst others.

  • 2 - It is reported that people from BAME are three times more likely to develop cancer compared to their white counterpart. The evidence also suggests that 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives; therefore, it is an important issue for everyone. However, awareness of cancer and uptake of some cancer services is lower among BAME group, added to this is the fact that those diagnosed are likely to be at the advanced stage of the disease, which can only lead to poorer survival and quality of life.

  • 3 - 30 years ago, HIV was the biggest mankind killer. Today, HIV is curable. Cardiovascular diseases have taken over. They are now the leading causes of death globally because they “kill silently”.

This seminar unmasked this silent killer and raised the level of awareness about CVDs and other health related killers..

Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD) Know The Silent killer

A sizeable percentage of the UK population (7%) are people of non-European origin. They originate predominently from the colonial past - mostly from South Asia (that is, from the Indian subcontinent) and Africa (including the Caribbean) . For these migrants, as for virtually all population groups living in the western world, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the main cause of death. But there are striking ethnic differences in CVD risk. Disease presentation may differ, challenging diagnostic skills, and therapeutic requirements and responses may also not be uniform. The study of ethnic differences in CVD has provided valuable aetiological clues, not just for ethnic minority groups but also for the majority population.

If you're like most people, you think that heart disease is a problem for others. But heart disease some times called the silent killer is the number one killer in the UK. It is also a major cause of disability. There are many different forms of heart disease. The most common cause of heart disease is narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart itself. This is called coronary artery disease and happens slowly over time. It's the major reason people have heart attacks. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general term that describes a disease of the heart or blood vessels. Blood flow to the heart, brain or body can be reduced as the result of a blood clot (thrombosis), or by a build-up of fatty deposits inside an artery that cause the artery to harden and narrow (atherosclerosis).

Types of CVD

The four main types of CVD are:

  1. 1 - Coronary heart disease

  2. 2 - Stroke

  3. 3 - Peripheral arterial disease

  4. 4 - Aortic disease

Coronary heart disease

Coronary heart disease (CHD) occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart is blocked or reduced by a build-up of fatty material (atheroma) in the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries are the two major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood. As they narrow because of a build-up of atheroma, the blood supply to your heart will be restricted. This can cause angina (chest pain). If a coronary artery becomes completely blocked, it can cause a heart attack. Read more about coronary heart disease.


A stroke is a serious medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Like all organs, the brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to function properly. This is provided by the blood, so if your blood flow is restricted or stopped, brain cells will begin to die. This can cause brain damage and possibly death. A stroke is therefore a medical emergency and prompt treatment is essential. The sooner a person who has had a stroke receives treatment, the less damage is likely to occur.The main symptoms of stroke can be remembered with the word FAST, which stands for: Face –the face may have drooped on one side, the person may be unable to smile, or their mouth or eye may have drooped Arms – the person may be unable to lift their arm and keep it raised because of weakness or numbness Speech – the person's speech may be slurred or garbled, or they may not be able to talk at all Time – it's time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms Read more about stroke and recognising the signs of stroke.

Peripheral arterial disease

Peripheral arterial disease, also known as peripheral vascular disease, occurs when there's a blockage in the arteries to your limbs (usually your legs).The most common symptom of peripheral arterial disease is pain in your legs when walking. This is usually in one or both of your thighs, hips or calves.The pain can feel like cramp, a dull pain or a sensation of heaviness in your leg muscles. It usually comes and goes, and gets worse during exercise that uses your legs, such as walking or climbing stairs. Read more about peripheral arterial disease.

Aortic Disease

The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body. It carries blood from your heart to the rest of your body. The most common type of aortic disease is an aortic aneurysm, where the wall of the aorta becomes weakened and bulges outwards. You'll usually experience pain in your chest, back or abdomen (tummy).

Risk factors for CVD

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Smoking
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Lack of exercise
  • Being overweight or obese
  • A family history of heart disease
  • Ethnic background

The amount of alcohol you drink and how you deal with stress are also thought to be linked to the risk of developing CVD.

Preventing CVD

Most deaths caused by cardiovascular disease are premature and could easily be prevented by making lifestyle changes, such as eating healthily, exercising regularly and stopping smoking. Addressing one risk factor, such as giving up smoking, will bring important health benefits, but to significantly reduce your risk of developing CVD you need to look at your lifestyle as a whole.In particular, you need to consider:

  • Your diet
  • Your weight
  • How much alcohol you drink
  • How much exercise you do
  • Whether you need to stop smoking

Other Important Medical Issues Affecting The Ethnic Minority Groups

In 2015, it was estimated that over 100,000 people are living with HIV in the UK. A total of 613 people died of the disease that same year. Among those newly diagnosed, 20% were of African extraction.
  • According to the NHS, sickle cell anaemia mainly affects people of African, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, Eastern Mediterranean and Asian origin. In the UK, sickle cell disease is most commonly seen among African and Caribbean people.

  • Research has shown that Type 2 diabetes is up to six times more likely in people of South Asian descent and three times more likely in people of African and Afro-Caribbean descent respectively.

  • In general, the diseases notwithstanding, the main cause of death has been ascribed to late diagnoses. For instance, in the case of HIV, in 2014, 39% and 58% of Caribbean and African people respectively were diagnosed late. Late diagnoses are as a result of not only ignorance, but cultural and religious beliefs in some segment of the above mentioned demographic. Thus, this often is categorised as lack of proper awareness.

    Having identified these health challenges among blacks and ethnic minorities in the UK, nicowf took the initiative to act. It is imperative that this very important demographic of the UK population is well informed about the impending danger of certain diseases wrongfully thought to have been eradicated.
    After two years of hard work with the local government authorities and other NGO's , Nigerian Community in Waltham Forest was successful in acheiving some fundings to launched this programme - “One-Stop Good Health and Bad Health Risk Awareness”. This was free to all Waltham Forest Residents and those within its vicinity.

    There was on-the-spot MOT for your general wellbeing (Eye, Ear, Mouth, Muscle Pain, Blood Pressure etc.). Information, advice and guidance were provided by professionals on AID/HIV, Sickle Cell and Obesity in addition to Long term illnesses, Health and Housing, Prostate Cancer, Female Genital Mutilation and Diabetics, all delivered by Practising Health Experts.

    The Solutions:

    According to a 2015 report by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) -

    1. The NHS hospitals in England dealt with 15.5 million admissions in 2013-14 - the equivalent of 42,400 per day.

    2. The figure is 870 more per day on average than in 2012-13. This number is on the rise.

    3. The newly released HNS Business Plan for 2016/17 highlighted the government’s desire to transform care through harnessing information and technology.

    This report highlighted the truth that the risk of dying within 30 days is higher among patients admitted to hospital at the weekend (page 29 of the report) and to this end, the government's desire for a shift that will place patients at the heart of these changes, that is, they want you to start managing your own health. During 2016/17, they aim to develop an NHS Citizen s’ Active Communities Alliance, in support of the clinical paradigm “What matters to You”.

    The Nigerian Community in Waltham Forest (nicowf) took a lead on this through this 1 day event. It was the start of a more coordinated initiative that will have an annually or even monthly frequency. The Brief will be simple and measurable - to provide information, advice and guidance on how to live and maintain a healthy life style with simple information from those in the field who are experts in their respective domains.We believe technological advancement with respect to information technology shouldn't provide the advantages leveraging medical care and health only to the rich.To be informed is to be armed - with the right tools for your wellbeing

    A recent study by the University of Stirling showed a brisk walk was “an effective intervention for depression" and had a similar effect to other, more vigorous forms of exercise. This is just one of a simple medical fact that a lot of people were not ware of. All those who attended felt it was worthy and unimously emphasised that it should be a more reoccuring event. They went home feeling happier because they were empowered with advice to help them live well an enhance their wellbieng.

    our experts

    They have all spent considerable part of their lives working either for the NHS or some other health related organisation. Thus, they have amassed unquantifiable experience in their respective filelds. Click on their respective profile-pics or names to see more of their presentation


    Prof. Karol Sikora

    World renowned Oncologist - Proton International. The professor studied medical science and biochemistry at Cambridge, where he obtained a double first. After clinical training he became a house physician at The Middlesex Hospital and registrar in oncology at ......

    Dr. Shazia Mariam

    She is the Medical Director at PELC. She qualified from Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine as a Doctor and spent some time in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. She then went on to become a GP and found her true passion in general practice.......


    Dr. Abiola Balogun

    Diabetes & Obesity is now a phrase used in every news bulletin - radio or television. The UK is officially the 'fattest' country in Europe, with approximately 1 in 5 adults overweight and one in every 15 obese - we are eating our selves to the grave if considerable efforts are not made to.......

    Engr. Debo Adewumi

    A Mechanical engineer and Environmental Health practitioner. David is an expert in Health & Safety, Environmental protection and Housing with vast experience in engineering and IT. He is a director at DFA & Co consulting firm that does ....... .


    Cllr.Yemi Osho

    Cllr Yemi Osho is a distinguished nurse practitioner of over 30 years and a community leader. She has a solid track record in clinical, managerial and professional development. She recently served on two CCG boards in London as the Board Nurse.......

    Ms. Hibo Wardere

    Is a Mother of seven, and a strong campaigner against FGM, She has been passionate about the cause, as she has been a victim of FGM as a child and has firsthand experience of the issues surrounding FGM. She has used her experiences, to become a powerful educator......


    Mrs.Claudine Mathews

    Claudine Mathews is an innovative and forward thinking Dietitian with a special interest in developing nutrition service provision for sickle cell in the UK. Her pioneering work has resulted in her being invited to contribute to the writing of the first ever national nutrition in sickle cell standards of care as part of the review...