World Hypertension Day: Ehanire says 1b people lives with hypertension

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….represents 30% of adult population.

By Joy Odor

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has informed that “globally, more than 1 billion people worldwide are living with hypertension, saying, this represents more than 30% of the adult population.

According to him, of this number, only 52% are aware of their condition, about 35% are on treatment and less than 14% have the blood pressure control.

Represented by the Director of Public Health in the Ministry, Dr. Alex Okoh, Dr Ehanire gave the information at the commemoration of World Hypertension Day in Abuja on Wednesday with the theme: “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer.

He expressed with dismay hypertension that is disproportionately more in the low and middle-income countries due to the prevalence of risk factors such as tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and harmful alcohol consumption.

The Minister affirmed that the reason for the day is to combat the low awareness of Hypertension, especially in low-income countries and promoting accurate Blood Pressure measurement methods.

He explained that hypertension is a leading Cardiovascular disease and non-communicable disease that is significant morbidity and mortality with the low and middle-income countries responsible for nearly over 80% of the global cardiovascular disease burden.

In his address, WHO Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo reminded all that hypertension continues to remain a serious public health concern with a profound impact on all, as it is a major cause of premature death worldwide.

He noted that the Theme is a reminder that hypertension, termed a ‘silent killer’ can be prevented or controlled when individuals adopt healthy lifestyles as well as measure and track their numbers consistently.

Represented by the Technical Officer, Non Communicable Disease-WHO Nigeria, Dr. Mary Dewan, Mulombo explained that WHO has contributed in curbing hypertension in Nigeria, supported the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat to pilot the Nigeria-Package of Essential Non-communicable Disease Interventions (Nigeria – PEN).

He narrated that WHO is currently working with the Federal Ministry of Health and other key partners, to support the conduct of STEPs survey which will provide data on NCDs and risk factors including hypertension.

Mulombo opined that since 2005, the World Hypertension Day has been commemorated every year on the 17th of May, noting that the day was aimed at raising awareness and promoting hypertension prevention, ensuring early detection and prompt treatment:

“There’s the need to remind us all, our families and our communities on the need to measure our blood pressures accurately and regularly, ensure it is controlled so that we all live”, he said.

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