As Ondo State joined the rest of the world to commemorate Year 2022 edition of the World Hypertension Day , the state government had offered free blood pressure checks to the people of the state.
The free medical outreach which was initiated by the Ministry of Health and held at the State Secretariat, Akure witnessed a massive turn-out of residents including civil servants, traders and artisans.
Speaking on this year’s event, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Banji Ajaka described hypertension as one of the leading risk factors for morbidity and mortality worldwide adding that the disease contributes significantly to the burden of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, premature death and disability.
According to the Commissioner, hypertension, otherwise commonly known as high blood pressure is often referred to as a silent killer as a result of its asymptomatic nature which allows its diagnosis to be eluded among several individuals.
Ajaka averred that increasing age, male sex and positive family history of hypertension are some of the non-modifiable risk factors while smoking, alcohol ingestion, high salt intake and obesity are categorised as modifiable risk factors.
The Commissioner however implored individuals to avoid smoking, alcoholism and self medication and engage in regular exercise, low salt and fat intake, regular intake of fruits and vegetables and regular follow-up visits to health facilities for hypertensive patients.
Also speaking on the event, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Pharmacist (Mrs.) Folukemi Aladenola noted that the prevalence of hypertension in Nigeria is currently over 30%, hence the priority accorded its management and treatment by all stakeholders.
Aladenola added that an estimated 1.28 billion adults aged between 30 and 79 years worldwide have hypertension with two-third of the patients living in low and middle income countries while an estimated 46 percent of adults with hypertension are unaware that they have the condition.
The Permanent Secretary said May 17 every year was set aside as World Hypertension Day by the World Hypertension League (WHL) to increase awareness about hypertension, its serious medical complications, and to provide information on prevention, detection and treatment of the disease.
The theme of this year’s event is “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer”.
Cross section of beneficiaries who spoke with The Hope commended the efforts noting that it has afforded them the opportunity of attending to their health at no cost.
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