World Hypentension Day... Gone too soon
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World Hypentension Day... Gone too soon

Since time immemorial, one of the cheapest publicity that people adopt to announce the death of their beloved is to paste their obituaries on walls at strategic or vantage places.

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However, one worrying trend that is cropping up instead of the usual ‘Obituary, Transition or Life Well Lived’ that we see now, is either ‘Gone Too Soon” or Painful Exit’. Gone Too Soon or Painful Exit because most of these deaths are young people in their productive years. Some of the deaths are so sudden that it leaves a lot of people in shock.

However, most of these deaths can be averted if people check and know their numbers. In the medical field, these numbers refer to one's Blood Pressure (BP). Known as Hypertension, it is when the pressure in one's blood vessels is too high, which is 140/90 mmHg or higher.

Although common among a lot of people, it can be serious if not treated. People with high blood pressure may not feel symptoms. The only way to know is to get your blood pressure checked to know your numbers.

As the world celebrates World Hypertension Day on Friday, May 17, 2024, the day is dedicated to highlighting the importance of monitoring blood pressure and bringing global awareness to the one billion people living with high blood pressure worldwide.

Theme

The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer”. According to medical experts, Hypertension is among the leading causes of admissions and deaths in the country, accounting for 4.7 per cent of total admissions and 15.3 per cent of total deaths.

Statistics from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in 2018 show that hypertension was a common cause of medical emergencies such as heart failure and renal failure in Ghana. It is also the main determinant of stroke with a population attributable risk of about 91 per cent and the number one risk factor for heart disease, stroke, renal complications and premature death.???

Most people with hypertension don’t feel any symptoms. However, very high blood pressure can cause headaches, blurred vision, chest pain and other symptoms.

Checking your blood pressure is the best way to know if you have high blood pressure. If hypertension is not treated, it can cause other health conditions, including kidney disease, heart disease and stroke.

To commemorate the day, the Executive Director of Communication Initiatives for Change (CIC-Ghana), Emmanuel Fiagbey, promoters of Meatless Monday Ghana, which is a global campaign that encourages people not to eat meat on Mondays to improve their health and the health of the planet, in a press release joined the World Hypertension League in calling on everyone to pay greater attention to the management of Hypertension.

He said everyone can benefit from taking measures to lower blood pressure by modifying risk factors such as high salt intake, and low potassium, limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding smoking, checking one's weight to avoid being obese, making time for physical activities and avoiding unhealthy diet and unregulated meat consumption.

He added that Meatless Monday Ghana agrees with health experts that High blood pressure could be reduced by following a healthy eating plan that is high in fruit and vegetables and low in consumption of red and fatty meat in particular.

He recommended that adults should eat at least five pieces of fruit and vegetables every day as it helped prevent hypertension-related diseases such as heart disease and stroke, adding that reducing meat consumption and eating more plant-based foods on Mondays led to a healthier life.

According to him, fortunately, hypertension could be prevented and managed, by checking one’s blood pressure regularly, and through treatment, saying every individual should take action against hypertension, a driver of early death among adults in the country. 

Writer’s email:[email protected]

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