Health Awareness Talk Series: NOUN Clinic emphasises importance of healthy living

By Ikechukwu Onyekwe
Dr. Hassan delivering his lecture

The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Clinic has held a successful health awareness talk series  on Friday, April 29, 2024 at the university headquarters in Abuja, with the central message of the need to prioritise healthy living.

The event, held both physically and virtually, featured two esteemed keynote speakers: Dr. Gloria Otunola, a food and nutritional biochemist, and Dr. Hassan Mohammed, Head of the NOUN Staff Clinic, was meant to educate the university community on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

The speakers urged the community to take charge of their health, discussing extensively on the non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and chronic diseases linked to diet.

Dr. Otunola emphasised the significance of a balanced diet, explaining how to identify healthy eating habits, and stressed that a healthy meal should contain at least the seven food groups.

Dr. Otunola delivering her lecture

The risks of under and over-nutrition were also discussed, along with the management of chronic diseases through lifestyle changes.

They highlighted the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoking, advising individuals to quit tobacco use, even as the medical practitioners  also discussed the risk factors associated with being overweight and hypertensive.

As such, the speakers underscored the importance of regular vital checks as they advised hypertensive patients to eat healthy meals, reduce salt intake, avoid energy and sweet drinks, limit alcohol consumption, and stop tobacco use to prevent kidney and lung diseases.

Regular physical activity was encouraged to prevent chronic diseases, and the audience was advised to consume fruits and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients.

The concept of bioxidants was introduced, highlighting their role in protecting the body against free radicals and oxidative stress.

A group picture at the end of the event

The next edition of the health awareness talk series is scheduled for May, 2024, and will feature a detailed discussion on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

The NOUN community is encouraged to prioritise their health and take advantage of the resources available at the clinic as well as the NOUN Diagnostic Laboratory.


Key takeaways from the event include:

- Eat a balanced diet containing at least the seven food groups

- Regularly check your vitals

- Reduce salt, sugar, and alcohol intake

- Quit tobacco use

- Sleep the minimum of 6 hours and a maximum of 8 hours every night.

- Engage in regular physical activity

- Consume fruits and vegetables because they have anti hypertension properties

- Eat preferably plenty of fish rather than meat because fishes contain healthy omega-3

- Drink plenty of water and avoid saturated fat

- Reduce your intake of processed meat

- Eat more eggs and spices like onions, ginger, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, date honey, nuts, etc.

- Consume plenty fibre because it helps our bodies digest food properly

- Understand the concept of bioxidants and their role in maintaining overall health.

By adopting these healthy habits, individuals can significantly reduce their risk of developing non-communicable diseases and maintain overall well-being.

The NOUN Clinic is committed to providing resources and support to help individuals prioritis e their health and well-being.