The Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Hypertension Day.
This is a day dedicated to highlighting the importance of monitoring blood pressure and raising global awareness amongst over a billion people living with high blood pressure worldwide.
Hypertension is the number one risk factor for heart disease, stroke, renal complications, and premature death.
It can however be prevented and managed, by checking one’s blood pressure regularly, adopting healthy living practices, and getting treatment in time.
This year, World Hypertension Day is being observed under the theme; ‘Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer‘.
The burden of hypertension is felt disproportionately in low and middle-income countries, where two-thirds of cases are found, largely due to increased risk factors in those populations in recent decades.
Half of the people living with hypertension are unaware of their condition thus putting them at risk of avoidable medical complications or even death.
It is in view of this that MTRH partnered with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and its development partner – Access Accelerated, to demonstrate that community engagement, education, screening, and equipping Primary Health facilities to offer treatment – is the best available option for hypertension control in resource-constrained settings.
Through the Primary Integrated Care for four chronic diseases project (PIC4C), it has been demonstrated that it is possible to reduce hypertension risk behaviors such as excess alcohol intake, cigarette smoking, poor dietary practices, and sedentary living, by way of mass community education, use of patient support groups in the community and activated county-level leadership.
It has been proven that utilizing existing Community Health Volunteers (CHVs), is not only affordable but also sustainable, for the Government in ensuring regular screening for community members.
Early diagnosis of hypertension is no longer a dream but a reality for many living in counties that have embraced this model of community-based screening.
“Hypertension needs not to continue to be a silent killer in this country. Get tested, know your numbers, and live longer.”