The World Health Organization presented its first-ever report on the devastating global impact of high blood pressure and recommendations on how to win the race against this silent killer. Hypertension is a chronic medical condition marked by persistently high blood pressure. According to the report, blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or greater is hypertension, affecting one in every three people worldwide.
It frequently produces a slew of other health issues. In a recent report, the World Health Organization highlighted the dangers of high blood pressure, naming it one of the major causes of death and disability worldwide.
WHO’s Recommendations For Hypertension Treatment
The WHO director-general said hypertension can be controlled effectively with simple, low-cost medication regimens, yet only about one in five people with hypertension have controlled it.
According to the WHO, if more people received adequate treatment for hypertension at the rates seen in high-performing nations, 76 million fatalities might be avoided between 2023 and 2050.
According to the survey, these preventative strategies include following a nutritious diet, keeping a healthy weight, abstaining from alcohol and cigarette use, and engaging in regular exercise. As per the report, these tactics should be used in certain contexts like workplaces and schools to encourage leading healthy lifestyles further.
Reduce daily salt intake as an additional strategy. Although the WHO recommends fewer than 2,000 mg daily, recommended sodium intake differs from country to country. According to the organization, the average daily intake of salt is 10.8 grams over the world.
The primary care level of a nation’s national health benefits program should prioritize the prevention, early detection, and good management of hypertension as three of the most cost-effective interventions in healthcare. Improved hypertension treatment programs have an approximate 18:1 economic benefit-to-cost ratio.
Programs to control hypertension are still underfunded, underfunded, and ignored. Every nation’s road towards universal health coverage, based on effective, equitable, and resilient health systems built on a foundation of primary health care, must include strengthening hypertension control.
The report is being released during the United Nations General Assembly to address progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, which include health goals such as pandemic preparedness and response, tuberculosis eradication, and reaching Universal Health Coverage. Better hypertension prevention and control will be critical for development in all of these areas.
Hypertension can be easily treated with safe, widely available, low-cost generic drugs through programs like HEARTS. The WHO HEARTS technical package for cardiovascular disease management in primary care and the Guideline for the pharmacological treatment of hypertension in adults give proven and practical strategies to deliver successful hypertension therapy in primary care settings.
Let us emphasize the necessity of implementing WHO-recommended effective hypertension care, which includes the five components listed below:
Protocol: For controlling uncontrolled blood pressure, practical dose- and drug-specific treatment protocols with specified action steps can help to streamline therapy and improve adherence.
Medication and equipment supply: Regular, continuous access to inexpensive medication is required for effective hypertension treatment; today, costs for important anti-hypertensive medications vary more than tenfold among nations.
Team-based care: Patient outcomes improve when a team works together to adapt and enhance blood pressure medication regimes according to medical orders and protocols.
Patient-centered services: To lower barriers to care by providing simple drug policies, free prescriptions, and close-to-home follow-up visits, as well as making blood pressure monitoring readily available.
Information systems: User-centered, simple information systems enable the rapid collection of vital patient-level data, decrease the data entry burden on healthcare workers, and support rapid scale-up while preserving or increasing treatment quality.
The majority of these deaths caused by high blood pressure can be avoided. Affordable, accessible hypertension care strengthens primary health care. According to WHO, almost 1.28 billion adults between the age of 30–79 years is affected by hypertension, especially those living in countries with low income and standard of living.
Hypertension is the major source of premature death across the globe. The next step is to move from “within reach” to “reached.” This will necessitate the cooperation of governments all across the world.
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