To all Media Houses
17th May 16, 2022
World Hypertension Day “Measure your blood pressure, control it, live longer”
World Hypertension Day is celebrated each year on 17th May every year to raise awareness and mobilize international action against High Blood Pressure (HBP), the leading cause of death on the planet. It is the global initiative under which individuals, governments and the entire community advocates come together to engage in activities, increase public education, and advocate for universal access to hypertension prevention, detection and treatment
The Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET-GHANA) is aligned with the World Hypertension League’s (WHL) expanded theme for World Hypertension Day 2022: “Measure your blood pressure, control it, and live longer”. The key messages conveyed with this theme are to increase the awareness about the dangers of high blood pressure, emphasize the importance of measuring your blood pressure regularly, and adhering to the treatment protocols enshrined in the call to action by Pan African Society of Cardiologist (PASCAR) and implement the guideline for pharmacological treatment of hypertension in adult by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Hypertension – or elevated blood pressure, is a serious medical condition, and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1.13 billion people worldwide have hypertension, it is estimated that between 10 to 20 million may have hypertension in low- and middle-income Sub Saharan Africa. While the WHOs target is to reduce the prevalence of hypertension by 25% by 2025 globally.
In Ghana, Hypertension accounts for 3/4 all cases and deaths and the possibly resulting in strokes and Heart related issues. It is estimated that ,more than 61% of the COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized had hypertension, 52% had diabetes, and 45% of people aged 60 – 69 who died from COVID-19 also had hypertension according the WHO article on “Non Communicable diseases increase risk of dying from COVID-19 in Africa,” 2020.
The high rate of increased blood pressure is a great concern , more than 50% of Ghanaian adult are living with hypertension, a key driver for high blood pressure are ,unaware of their condition and of those who are aware, half do not take any action to control their blood pressure either through lifestyle modification or medication. Approximately 4 in 10 adults older than 25 years have hypertension and this means 75% of the world’s hypertension population are at risk and are potential candidates for heart disease, strokes, kidney disease or even sudden death”.
As part of activities in marking this year’s World Hypertension Day 2022, the Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana in collaboration with partners will hold screening exercise in Ahafo region and organize a virtual symposium to commemorate the event.
SASNET-GHANA and the WHL are making a point that, simple health-seeking behavior change can help to prevent hypertension and keep those who are hypertensive in good health. “The importance of knowing your blood pressure status.
Already, people living with hypertension are faced with numerous challenges with regards to access to quality healthcare and high cost of medications. Most of the hypertension drugs are not on the list of the National Health Insurance Scheme. We therefore call on government to absorb the cost of our treatment and care for hypertensive patients.
It is important to strengthen the healthcare system in Ghana to offer integrated care that addresses not only hypertension but also chronic illnesses.
The Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET-GHANA) and the World Hypertension League commend the government of Ghana for successfully launching Ghana’s National NCD Policy and the Strategic and implementation plan . We will collaborate with government to implement the policy especially in the area of Hypertension, Stroke, CVD and Obesity.
Finally, we call on government through the ministry of health to address the big issue ,thus unavailability of hypertension drugs in some of the health centers across the country and also ask the government to supply these health centers with functionable digital blood pressure measuring devices for accurate measurement in order to minimize possible misdiagnosis which not checked could lead to complications or death .
Ad Adams Ebenezer
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