A 46-year-old woman named Sunita, a housewife and mother to two children was rushed into a hospital, with accompaniments complaining of right arm not working. The doctor upon primary check-up concluded that the patient had gone unconscious due to chronic hypertension. The CT scan reports arrived and decided the prognosis of the patient. The patient is not expected to survive longer. If Sunita fails the battle, she would leave behind two children in this cruel world. Just like Sunita, many uncountable people lose their lives to Hypertension. However, PM Modi had realised the peril of hypertension way back in 2017 and had made some changes. The result of which is blowing the trumpets.
Hypertension- A silent killer
For understanding Blood Pressure and the related problems, one first needs to understand the concept of blood pressure. Blood pressure is written as two numbers, in which the first one represents the systolic pressure that indicates the pressure exerted by blood against the artery walls when the heart beats. The second number is diastolic blood pressure that indicates how much pressure blood is exerting against the artery walls while the heart is resting.
The ranges in these two numbers indicate a lot of conditions like if reading is less than 120/80 mmHg it is considered normal. Then there are three stages.
Hypertension Stage 1
Hypertension Stage 2
A blood pressure higher than 180/120 mmHg, there can be possible signs of organ damage such as chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, numbness/weakness, blurring of vision among others. High blood pressure can cause cardiovascular stroke, brain stroke, kidney damage. Until now, the occurrence of high blood pressure doesn’t come under scanner as it has no obvious symptom. It shows some common symptoms like headache, symptoms of nausea etc, hence referred to as a “silent-killer” by the medical fraternity. In many cases, nocturnal dip has also been reported, that means the blood pressure only falls at night. These patients mostly go undiagnosed all around the world as for them a 24-hour monitoring is required.
The widespread menace of Hypertension in India
India is a victim of cardiac arrest and the major contributors to poor cardiovascular health are factors like high blood cholesterol, abdominal obesity, unhealthy diet, among which high blood pressure tops the chart. Hypertension is the most important risk factor for chronic disease burden in India. The menace of hypertension is spreading with each passing day and low awareness is contributing to more fatalities. The fourth survey of the National Family Health Survey reported that 207 million people are suffering from hypertension in India. The disease burden (DALYs) attributable to hypertension increased from 21 million in 1990 to 39 million in 2016 (+89%). As per WHO, in India, it is estimated that at least one in four adults has hypertension, but only 12% of them have their blood pressure in control. The Modi government realised the peril and with firm determination decided to curb this menace. The steps are now bearing fruits.
India has won the UN Award for its Hypertension Control Initiative which is large scale hypertension intervention within the existing primary healthcare system. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has informed regarding the same through micro-blogging site Twitter.
India wins an @UN award for "India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI)" – a large scale hypertension intervention within existing primary healthcare system under National Health Mission.
IHCI has strengthened PM @NarendraModi Ji's mission to ensure health & wellness for all.
Mansukh Mandavaiya in his tweet elaborated how the Modi’s government’s initiative- IHCI is being implemented in 138 districts of 23 states and more than 34 lakh people with hypertension are taking treatment in Govt health facilities. India devised Hypertension control initiative, a large-scale hypertension intervention within the existing primary healthcare system under the National Health Mission.
IHCI (India Hypertension Control Initiative) is a multi-partner initiative that involves stakeholders like the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), WHO Country Office for India (WHO India) and Resolve to Save Lives (Technical partner).
Modi Government’s surgical strike on Hypertension
It was required that the health system in India should focus on better hypertension screening and control to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The Narendra Modi government has taken upon itself and has set a target of 25% relative reduction in the prevalence of hypertension.
The government launched the initiative under which the Cardio-Vascular Health Officers (CVHOs) and senior treatment supervisors (STs) from the WHO assisted the state governments in different underlying measures;
Adopting the treatment protocols
Forecasting and procurement of antihypertensive medicines
Building capacity of health care providers, monitor
Monitoring patients through effective information systems including digital apps like Simple app.
The Government of India has also reduced the cost of treatment of hypertension to Rs 200 per patient in public health facilities. Hypertension is the serial killer that ultimately claims lives through organ damage, brain stroke (intracerebral haemorrhage) and all that reduce the mortality rate is awareness and early diagnosis and the government of India has adopted the correct line.
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