KATHMANDU: Department of Health Services (DoHS) organised an interaction with mediapersons on the occasion of World Hypertension Day today.
Speaking at the programme, Dr Chuman Lal Das, Director, Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, said that 4.7 million people have been suffering from high blood pressure. Around one million of them are aware of their high blood pressure and only 400,000 are taking medication. The blood pressure of only 200,000 patients who are taking medication is under control.
High blood pressure is caused by stress, pollution, unhealthy food, alcohol, tobacco use and sedentary lifestyle. Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), Dr Roshan Pokharel, said that a balanced lifestyle should be adopted to avoid hypertension. He informed that the ministry is also preparing to allocate budget by giving priority to non-communicable diseases.
High blood pressure causes premature death due to diseases like stroke, heart attack, heart and vascular diseases, chronic kidney problems. Dr Shyam Sundar Yadav, chief expert at MoHP, stressed the need to reduce the amount of salt and sugar to avoid high blood pressure. He said the number of people taking regular medication for hypertension will be increase to one million this year by increasing access to universal quality equitable health care.
Director General at DoHS, Dr Dipendra Raman Singh, said that public awareness should be raised along with the treatment of blood pressure. He informed that special services are being provided from health posts, primary health centres and hospitals for the prevention of high blood pressure. He underscored the need for regular blood pressure tests and medication to prevent the disease.
Senior cardiologist Dr Om Murti Anil informed that 10% of the population in the age group of 15 to 24 years have high blood pressure while the disease is seen in 50% in the age group above 40 years. He also pointed out that majority of professional youths in Kathmandu were suffering from high blood pressure.
Dr Anil said that excessive salt, sugar and fats in diet cause high blood pressure. He stressed the need to make arrangements to include lessons on blood pressure and heart disease in the curriculum at the school level citing that 50% of patients are not aware of the disease.
This year World Hypertension Day is being observed worldwide including in Nepal with the slogan ‘Base for longevity: Regular blood pressure test, control and treatment’.
Symptoms of high blood pressure include headaches, dizziness, tiredness, sudden runny nose, nausea, and increased heartbeat rate. To avoid high blood pressure, one should avoid smoking and alcohol, reduce salt intake, red meat and meat with excessive fats. One should consume green vegetables and fruits and exercise regularly to prevent hypertension.