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Kanu urges sports persons to undergo medical check ups

Former Nigerian international, Nwankwu Kanu, has advised Kenyan athletes to undergo routine medical check ups.

The 39 year old who is on a working trip in the country courtesy of Pay TV channel StarTimes, was speaking at the Kenyatta National Hospital when he toured the facility’s Cardiac unit.

“Sports people need to listen to their bodies, eat well and undergo medical check ups as a routine. This is because they are involved in much more physical exercises that require the heart and other body organs to work more,” Kanu said.

Renowned as one of the continent’s celebrated and most talented footballers, Kanu has undergone two heart operations.


The initial procedure in 1996 was necessary to replace a defective aortic valve after the anomaly was detected by his then Italian club Inter Milan. The other operation, which was described as a “routine” by his handlers, was done two years ago.

Kanu, a former Inter Milan, Ajax Amsterdam and Arsenal forward, went on to play competitively for 14 years after the first operation.

The former Super Eagles captain runs the Kanu Heart Foundation medical facility in his native Nigeria.

“We have done 500 operations so far, that means we have saved 500 lives. All persons with heart problems should have hope because if Kanu has come this far, they can also make it,” he said.