Hypertension (HTN) is the most prevalent non-communicable disease in both developed and developing countries including India. Uncontrolled blood...
Stakeholder Consultation on Priortizing heart health by eliminating risk factors
Raised blood pressure is among the most important risk factors for CVDs. Moreover, it remains poorly controlled due to low awareness about hypertension, lack of appropriate care through primary care and poor follow up. Keeping this in mind, Consumer VOICE organsied a stakeholder consultation on World Heart Day on the 29th of September in New Delhi on ‘Priortizing heart health by eliminating risk factors’.
Senior doctors like, Dr U Venkatesh, Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine & Family Medicine, AIIMS Gorakhpur and Dr Srikanth Srinivasan Additional Professor in Community & Family Medicine, AIIMS Jodhpur and noted nutritionist and author Ms Kavita Devgan and CSO representatives emphasized on multi-stakeholder action to reduce morbidity and death from hypertension especially among the youth.
More than 50 students from reputed colleges and institutes like Lady Irwin College, Delhi, Dr B R Ambedkar and Prakash Institute, Greater Noida participated in this engaging workshop.
The session started with a brief introduction by Nilanjana Bose, Project Head, Food and Nutrition followed by a presentation on the risk factors of hypertension by Consumer VOICE CEO, Mr Ashim Sanyal. He stressed that ”As a consumer rights organization we have made it our mission to sensitize the youth and others as well and spread awareness and ensure that more and more people are screening their BP regularly and adhere to the treatment if diagnosed and avert mortality or morbidity.”
Addressing a large number of youth, comprising mainly from the public health, nutrition and nursing background present in the gathering, Dr Srinivasan said that “We have to start screening our young population early in life as stress level is the highest among todays youth. Other risk factors like smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity and those who lead unhealthy lifestyles are at a higher risk of developing hypertension. Regular monitoring of BP and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are key to keep hypertension under control.” He also used multiple images to stress on the importance of having a healthy diet among the students present in the session.
Dr U Venkatesh, Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine & Family Medicine, AIIMS Gorakhpur said that “If patients with hypertension can get timely interventions and have access to continuous supply of medicines, then their blood pressure is likely to be under control and adverse consequences can be averted. Regular screening and follow-up for those at risk of hypertension can help people manage hypertension better.” He also stressed that to improve India’s healthcare system primary field-level frontline workers, and community health workers and ASHAs and ANMs are crucial for delivering high quality community based services especially for hypertension and other non-communicable diseases at the grass-root level.
“India faces a rapidly escalating burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), particularly the rising incidence of lifestyle related diseases such as diabetes, obesity among adults as well as an alarming increase in childhood obesity,” said Kavita Devgan while interacting with the students. “The youth should be sensitized on the risk factors and the foods that they should avoid and foods that should be included in their diet to prevent hypertension, “she added.
All present at the session took a pledge to control high BP and generate awareness, and also agreed to be part of India’s effort to help the government achieve the mammoth task of 25% relative reduction in the prevalence of hypertension or raised blood pressure by 2025. IEC materials which included an informative book on hypertension, folder, book mark and calendar were also distributed among the students.