COVID-19: Eating well, controlling diabetes and blood pressure important
Building your immune system and controlling your diabetes and high blood pressure are key factors in fighting off the coronavirus disease COVID-19.
This is according to Dr William Adu-Krow, resident representative of the Pan-American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) in Guyana.
The deaths from COVID-19 are due to underlying health conditions relating to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
Because of this, Dr Adu-Krow said there is need to look at the prevalence of NCDs and ensure that those persons boost their immune system.
“These are more susceptible and therefore we need to make sure that these persons are well controlled.
“If they have diabetes, if they have hypertension [or] respiratory illnesses, (these should be) all controlled. Otherwise, it impacts their ability to survive once they come into contact with the virus,” he stated.
Dr Adu-Krow has since initiated a study on how NCDs in Guyana impact on the COVID-19.
The PAHO/WHO representative is urging persons who are asthmatic to take their inhalers regularly and persons with Diabetes or Hypertension to monitor their conditions and keep them stable.
He also called on persons to continually build their immune system to be able to fight off diseases of any kind.
However, he recognised that maintaining good nutrition and hence a healthy immune system is more difficult for the poor and they are among the most vulnerable to the pandemic.
In an interview with the News Room, he said in countries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 50% of persons living in poverty are most affected.
“I think as a population, we need to lift people from poverty so we can survive as a nation,” Dr. Adu-Krow said.
He added; “If we lift them from poverty and they live a good life and they can stand on their own and build their immunity, then when we have a situation like this, we can stand together as a people.”
He explained that in less fortunate households, there are possibly ten persons sleeping in a two-bedroom house and in some cases, there are less food to eat leading to a weak immune system. When the virus is contracted by younger persons who will likely spend more time away from home, they will spread it to their older family members causing more severe cases.
“There is nothing to be gained from thinking I am good enough and somebody is bad enough; that somebody who gets it comes to buy something from the market, you meet that persons and get infected,” the PAHO/WHO representative noted.
As of April 8, Guyana recorded 37 cases of COVID-19 with six deaths, with the youngest being a 38-year-old medical practitioner.