A Consultant Pathologist at the Isolo General Hospital, Lagos, Dr Mustapha Adenuga, says that early health screening and routine check-up would reduce adult mortality.
Adenuga made the assertion in an interview with the press in Lagos.
He defined screening as an examination or testing of individuals or a group to separate those well from those with diseases or defects.
According to him, the goal of health screenings and check-up is early detection of diseases in order to treat them most effectively.
He said that the aim was also to effect lifestyles changes that would reduce the risk of diseases.
The consultant regretted that many Nigerians found it difficult to go for routine medical check-up and screening until when ill.
“The objective of medical screening is to identify a disease in its pre-clinical stage and hopefully still curable phase.
Screenings are somewhat unique in that they are performed on persons apparently in good health,” he said.
Adenuga, however, said that although some screenings might lead to an early diagnosis, it was not all screenings that had been shown to benefit the person being screened.
He said that over-diagnosis, misdiagnosis and creation of fear and a false sense of security are some potential adverse effects of screening.
He said that there were several types of screening but the most common were universal and case finding.
“Universal screening involves screening of individuals in a certain category (for example all children of a certain age).
There is also the case finding screening, which involves a smaller group of people based on the presence of risk factors, either in the family or by heredity.”
He said screening interventions are not designed to be diagnostic and often have significant rates of both false positive and false negative results.
Adenuga, therefore, advised youths and adults, particularly females from 18 years and above, to go for period screening for early detection and treatment of diseases.
He added that adult mortality would be reduced in the country if the citizens would embrace regular routine medical check-up.