Hypertension champions unveiled to lead advocacy
The Ashanti Regional Health Directorate has unveiled Hypertension Champions to lead advocacy for people in the region to regularly check their blood pressure as part of activities marking this year’s World Hypertension Day.
The Champions led by Nana Boakye Yam Ababio, a Representative of the Asante Traditional Council, are made up of influential members of their communities committed to raising awareness and educating the people on the prevention and control of hypertension.
The World Hypertension Day is celebrate on May 17, every year to highlight the importance of monitoring blood pressure and bringing global awareness to the one billion people living with high blood pressure worldwide.
This year’s celebration is on the theme, “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control it, Live Longer.”
Dr. Emmanuel Tinkorang, the Ashanti Regional Health Director of Health Services, addressing the media at a ceremony to outdoor the champions and also mark the 2022 World Hypertension Day, said this year’s theme focused on combatting low awareness rate worldwide, especially in low to middle income countries.
He said in Ghana, data showed that hypertension was the 9th cause of Out Patients Department (OPD) attendance and also second leading cause of hospital admissions in the Ashanti Region in 2021.
Additionally, there were over 612,000 newly diagnosed cases of hypertension in the country out of which121,000 were recorded in the Ashanti Region and it is one of the highest in the country, he added.
He said PATH, a global health organization was partnering the Regional Health Directorate in the implementation of a programme dubbed, “Healthy Heart Africa” (HHA) aimed at reducing the prevalence of hypertension in the region with funding from AstraZeneca.
“The programme since its implementation has supported the Ghana Health Service in training health workers including Doctors, Physicians Assistants and nurses and supplying screening and diagnostic equipment to improve the quality of hypertension service delivery,” he stated.
The Regional Director disclosed that hypertension had been integrated into multiple service delivery points and activities and was a feature of wellness clinics in the region.
Dr. Robert Yeboah, Senior Technical Advisor, Non-Communicable Diseases, PATH Ghana, said the World Hypertension Day offered an opportunity to raise awareness regarding the dangers of an elevated blood pressure which was aptly captured in this year’s theme.
He said as at March 2022, the HHA programme in the Ashanti Region had conducted over 1,150,000 blood pressure screenings, identified 252, 000 people with elevated blood pressure and diagnosed over 53,000 people with hypertension linked to health facilities for care.