April 7th is World Health Day selected specifically to highlight key public health concerns in the world. This year’s World Health Day theme is – Control your Blood Pressure! This year’s theme of controlling blood pressure borders on preventing hypertension and the risk of cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks and failure, debilitating strokes, blindness and kidney failure. Blood Pressure is the measure of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. A blood pressure reading has a top number (systolic) and bottom number (diastolic). The ranges are Normal which is less than 120 over 80 (120/80) to Prehypertension 120-139/80-89, to Stage 1 high blood pressure 140-159/90-99, and to Stage 2 high blood pressure 160 and above/100 and above.
In commemoration of the 2013 ‘’World Health Day ’’ Society for Family Health through its Social Franchise team earmarked two days, April 9th and 10th to commemorate the initiative in spreading the message of the theme of the day ‘’Control your Blood Pressure’’ by offering free health checks for all staff and persons in the environment of the SFH HQs.
The event was flagged off on Tuesday, the 9th day of April 2013 when SFH held a comprehensive routine check of blood pressure and body mass index calculations for its personnel; the idea was to create awareness of regular blood pressure check for the prevention of complications of hypertension amongst staff in order to promote a healthier life.
The next day, Wednesday 10th of April 2013, SFH took the initiative a step further by reaching out to the public in Area 11, with free health checks. A banner ‘’World Health Day Free Blood Pressure Check’’ boldly announced the event to the residents of Area 11 Garki, and its environs. Those who availed themselves of this exercise had the opportunity to have their blood pressure checked as well as their body Mass Index calculated FREE, as well as an opportunity to discuss with a health practitioner on health issues.
There was excellent turnout of persons as a multitude thronged to the venue. Over 215 persons ranging from the ages of 22 to 69 years had the free health service, and many took advantage of the opportunity to ask questions and get clarifications about issues affecting their health. The public expressed their joy and appreciated SFH for making available such services, and requested that more of such activities be made available to enhance the health of all especially the less privileged and persons in rural areas.
High blood pressure or hypertension is a preventable and treatable condition tied to several factors including obesity, stress, smoking, old age, and poor diet. More than one in three adults worldwide have high blood pressure, with over 40% of adults in many African countries thought to be affected. High blood pressure is preventable and treatable. If you have not checked your blood pressure over the last 2 months, please ensure you visit a hospital this week to check your blood pressure. If you have ever been found to be hypertensive, you require more frequent blood pressure checks.
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