Today, the number of the people living with hypertension has doubled to 1.28 billion, says World health Organisation (WHO), and nearly half of these people did not know they had it (More than 700 million people with untreated hypertension).
As an organisation working within the NCDs space, we know some of the effects of hypertension on our people! That hypertension significantly increases the risk of heart, brain, and kidney diseases that has caused many sudden death and disease among our people.
That, about 25-30% of medical emergencies at our medical centres got to do with issues related to high blood pressure and other Non-Communicable diseases (NCDs). That hypertension does not show signs or symptoms, but it can be detected through checking of ones’ blood pressure either at home or in a health centre. That hypertension can often be treated effectively with medications that are low cost (but not often affordable).
From our field experience and conversations with our community people, we saw the prevalence of hypertension to be so high. We are asking our policymakers, international organisations such World Health organisation (WHO), International Hypertension Federation and community influencers to arise and help with a framework that can help in reducing the risk and burden that come with this ailment among our people.
We ask that they make our primary health centres a working one (be equipped to meet up the need of the people as the first point of contact) where our people can have access to the best treatment and possible medical referrals in case.
The cost of hypertension treatment per person in Nigeria is on the high side. It has led majority of our people to source for alternative means or abandoning treatments due to the high cost of treatment and medications with little family income (that is to tell us that there is poverty in the land). For people to access medical treatments and medications in a month, it cost; them over #5000 (in a population where the majority survive on less than a few hundred Naira per day).
We are asking, let there be an increase in awareness, screening, treatment, and control of hypertension among our people. They must be encouraged to visit our Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) with the assurance of having access to best of medical treatment.
Let there be considerations to the cost of procuring high blood pressure medications. If they can do it with HIV/AIDS and TB something like that can be done with hypertension treatment and other NCDs.
We must know that hypertension and other NCDs worsen our people’s poverty levels since it would not allow them to make a viable contribution to national income that can lead to growth and development.
We at the Rays Of Hope Support Initiative -ROHSI are saying; we can stop the surge of hypertension among our people if we all do our part.
We care for the health and wellbeing of our people. That is why we are #ROHSI3.