10.02.2024 Featured Sunday’s AFCON Final: How Not to Die While Watching

Published 10th Feb, 2024

By Sodeeq Atanda

The Lagos State Ministry of Health has advised residents to familiarise themselves with medical facilities around football viewing centres as the final lap of the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) holds between Nigeria and Ivory Coast tomorrow.

Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, listed this among five other essential health tips Nigerians could observe to stay alive while the match lasts.

This advisory is coming after three Nigerians died while watching the AFCON semi-final match between Nigeria and South Africa on Wednesday.

READ ALSO: Ex-Lawmaker Died of Heart Attack While Watching AFCON Game

The advisory reads:

“Residents are advised to prioritize their health and well-being while enjoying football matches or any other intense activities,” the statement, signed by the commissioner and posted on X, read in part.

“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.

READ ALSO: Low Naira Exchange Rate Complicates Life for Nigerians in Ivory Coast for AFCON

“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.”

FIJ had reported that Cairo Ojougboh, a former member of the House of Representatives who represented the Ika Federal Constituency of Delta State, died while watching the semi-final last Wednesday.

READ ALSO: High Commission to Nigerians in South Africa: Don’t Celebrate Wildly If Super Eagles Win

A serving member of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) and Alhaji Ayuba Abdullahi, a deputy bursar at Kwara State University (KWASU), also lost their lives while watching the match. The Super Eagles held a minute of silence in their honour, promising to win the trophy in their memories.

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Published 10th Feb, 2024

By Sodeeq Atanda


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