Hypertension is a silent killer that rarely causes symptoms. Increasing public awareness about hypertension is key, along with access to early detection and management.
The theme for this year’s World Hypertension Day, is ‘Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer’.
The theme of the day provides an opportunity for health managers to advocate for increased availability and use of digital blood pressure measurement devices across healthcare facilities to scale up screening and monitoring.
Today, Wednesday 17th May, 2023, the Ashanti Regional Health Directorate in collaboration with PATH Ghana which is the implementing partner for the Healthy Heart Africa (HHA), celebrated the day with the people of Edwenase Rehabilitation Center in the Kwadaso Municipality.
The main purpose for celebrating this year’s activity with the rehabilitation center is to highlight the importance of better prevention, detection and treatment of high blood pressure especially among persons with disabilities.
Speaking at the program, Dr. Emmanuel Tenkorang, the Ashanti Regional Health Director revealed that, Ghana Health Services are committed in addressing inequalities facing persons with disabilities.
“Persons with disabilities have twice the risk of developing NCDs such as depression, asthma, obesity, diabetes and stroke which is a complication of Hypertension.
“GHS is committed to addressing the health inequities faced by persons with disabilities in line with universal health coverage, and to reducing the burden of Hypertension in the region and country,” he said.
Dr. Tenkorang then showed his profound appreciation to PATH Ghana for significantly supporting the directorate in combating Hypertension in the region and beyond.
“Since its implementation in 2019, the HHA programme has conducted over 1.8 million blood pressure screenings, helped identify some 420,000 people with high blood pressure with over 91,000 persons diagnosed with hypertension who have been linked to health facilities for treatment and care.
“It is also worthy to note that the programme has trained over 200 healthcare professionals including nurses, CHVs and prescribers, donated over 200 BP devices and other relevant equipment as a way of strengthening the capacity of the health system in providing quality hypertension care services to patients,” he added.
Dr. Robert Yeboah, Senior Technical Advisor, Non-Committable Diseases, PATH Ghana, also assured that Healthy Heart Africa will continue to support and continue the care for Hypertensive patients especially in PLWD’s in Ashanti and Ghana as a whole.
“An important objective of the HHA programme is to Mobilize the community to reach hard-to-reach populations (community-based outreach), ensuring that no one is left behind.
“HHA will be reaching out to PLWDs, a group that has a high risk of hypertension. Disability inclusion is critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and global health priorities towards achieving health for all.
He added that, one of the purpose of HHA is to create awareness, makes them aware of their status and diagnose PLWDs.
“It is our hope that with our efforts, PLWDs just like any other persons will become aware of their status and those diagnosed can control their blood pressure for a healthier longer life,” he added.
Hypertension is a major risk factor for premature mortality among adults across the globe.
Hypertension is a predominant risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, which account for most NCD deaths, approximately 17.9 million people annually.
Nana Yaw Owusu/Ashanti Region.