As excitement builds for the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) final lap between Nigeria and Ivory Coast, the Lagos State Ministry of Health has issued a health advisory to football fans and viewers.
Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, listed some tips to ensure the safety of the fans during the match, scheduled for Sunday, February 11.
This advisory is coming three days after some Nigerian viewers died while watching the AFCON semi-final match between Nigeria and South Africa on Wednesday.
The advisory, posted on X includes the following:
“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 fuelled 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: Practise relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or mindfulness to manage stress and emotions during intense moments in the game.
“Be Prepared for Emergencies: Familiarise 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.”
The Explainer 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.
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.