• June 18, 2024
  • Last Update June 18, 2024 3:23 PM
  • Nairobi

Prevalence for hypertension in Kenya on the rise

Prevalence for  hypertension in Kenya on the rise

Machakos,

Saturday May 18,2024

KNA by Roselyne Kavoo

24 percent of Kenyans suffer from hypertension, Director Family Health Dr.Issak Bashir has said.

Issak said out the 24 percent only 22 percent have been initiated on treatment, while a paltry 3 percent of those undergoing treatment have achieved control of the Non Communicable Disease (NCD).

He termed the prevalence of the disease as alarming and underscored the need to create awareness for early detection and management.

“The statistics are alarming. Hypertension was labelled a disease of the affluent but it’s now affecting a large number of people from low social economic backgrounds,” said Issak.

The director called for prioritization of screening for prevention and early detection saying hypertension progresses unnoticed until complications arise.

“Screening is the cornerstone of high blood pressure management, it’s the first step to taking proactive measures to mitigate potential risks.

Regular monitoring also enables people to track their progress and make informed decisions,” he added.

Issak called for collaborative approach from stakeholders to enable access to quality health care for management and treatment of hypertension.

The director disclosed that the Ministry of Health has put in place a raft of measures to strengthen primary health care services and promote preventive strategies for the disease.

“We have mobilized Community Health Volunteers (CHVs)and equipped them with blood pressure monitors to screen people at the community level.

The CHVs also play a pivotal role of conducting patients follow up and facilitating referrals if need be,” he noted.

Issak further added 96 percent of primary health care facilities are equipped with blood pressure machines enhancing the ability to detect hypertension early.

“The government has also availed medication in all level two and three health facilities for management of the NCD,” said the director.

Speaking in Machakos during celebrations to mark the World Hypertension Day, Issak also launched the guidelines for NCDs which will ensure services for the diseases remain uninterrupted in case of emergencies like the Covid 19 and floods and called on county government to adhere to the guidelines.

Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO)Kenya Diabetes Management and Information Centre Joan Kimeto said the prevalence of hypertension continues to rise both locally and globally and reiterated the need for screening.

He said most of the hypertension cases go undiagnosed due to the asymptomatic nature of the disease leading to poor health outcomes.

“Hypertension just like majority of other NCDs only show symptoms once the disease has progressed hence the need for screening for early detection and management,” she said.

The acting CEO also called on patients to adhere to instructions given to them by health care workers for easy management of the disease.

“We are also encouraging people to eat healthy foods, exercise and avoid consumption of alcohol and smoking of cigarettes which can predispose them to the disease and other NCDs,” noted Kimeto.

Also present was Machakos County Executive Committee Member for Health Dr. Daniel Yumbya who disclosed that the county government has availed medication for hypertension in all level two and three health care facilities.

Courtesy of KNA

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