As anticipation builds for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and host country, Cote d’Ivoire, the Ministry of Health under the Lagos State Government has issued a comprehensive set of health guidelines for citizens and football enthusiasts.
Scheduled for tomorrow, Sunday, February 11, in the capital city of Abidjan, the final match has sparked excitement across Nigeria. However, concerns have been raised following reports of unfortunate deaths attributed to High Blood Pressure (HBP) during the Super Eagles’ previous match against Bafana Bafana of South Africa in the Semi-Finals.
In response to these concerns, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration has taken proactive measures to safeguard the health and well-being of citizens. The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, delivered the health advisory through an official statement on Saturday, expressing optimism for a triumphant outcome for the Super Eagles.
“The Lagos State Government wishes all residents an exciting AFCON final as we support the Super Eagles to victory tomorrow evening.
“Residents are advised to prioritize their health and well-being while enjoying football matches or any other intense activities. Here are some essential tips for citizens: Know Your Limits: Understand your physical limitations and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any underlying health conditions before engaging in activities that could potentially exacerbate them.
“Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Crowded, poorly ventilated hot environments should be avoided with attention to good hydration. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption, and ensure you drink plenty of water and eat nutritious foods to keep your body fueled and hydrated, especially during prolonged periods of sitting and watching the game.
“Take Regular Breaks: Stand up, stretch, and move around periodically to prevent stiffness and promote circulation. This can also help maintain alertness and prevent fatigue.
“Maintain Good Posture: Sit in a comfortable chair with proper back support and avoid slouching to reduce strain on your muscles and spine.
“Stay Calm and Relaxed: Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or mindfulness to manage stress and emotions during intense moments in the game.
“Be Prepared for Emergencies: Familiarize yourself with the location of medical facilities and emergency exits at the venue, and know how to access help quickly if needed. Contact the Lagos Emergency Medical Team, LASAMBUS, at 767 or 112 toll-free line in case of a medical emergency.
“We also urge viewing centres to ensure that venues where football matches are watched have adequate medical facilities and trained personnel on hand to respond swiftly in case of emergencies. This can make a significant difference in outcomes.
“If you experience any unusual symptoms or discomfort, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention promptly. Have fun.”
The advisory emphasizes the importance of prioritizing health and well-being while enjoying football matches or engaging in intense activities. Key recommendations include knowing one’s physical limits, staying hydrated and nourished, taking regular breaks, maintaining good posture, staying calm and relaxed, and being prepared for emergencies.
The issuance of these health guidelines underscores the Lagos State Government’s commitment to promoting public health and safety during major sporting events. With the AFCON final approaching, authorities are taking proactive steps to ensure the well-being of all residents and football enthusiasts.