Connell: Screenings to tackle cases of high blood pressure

The Heart and Stroke Foundation, in collaboration with the University of the West Indies (UWI), will be hosting a high blood pressure screening event at State House on World Hypertension Day today to launch May Monitoring Month.

Dr Kenneth Connell, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Cave Hill Campus, UWI and president of the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados, spoke with Nation News ahead of the event.

Connell said the launch of the event is the symbolic start of the nationwide high blood pressure screenings which will be held until August 31, due to the high number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases locally.

“Many people are out there are walking around with elevated blood pressures that don’t know it. This event [May Monitoring Month] is a massive international screening happening in urban cities in New York to rural villages in China and India. Right here in Barbados there was a big screening event in Lanterns Mall occurring earlier this month.

“The aim was to use technology to capture as many high blood pressures out there as possible and many of them were people who did not know they had high blood pressure and were able then to seek care from their medical provider. This is in an attempt to address the first burden to controlling high blood pressure,” Connell said.

May Monitoring Month was conceptualised by the World Hypertension League. The theme for this year’s World Hypertension Day is “Measure Your Blood Pressure, Control It, Live Longer” with the goal being to increase high blood pressure awareness in all populations around the world and to focus on accurate blood pressure measurement.

According to global statistics, less than 50 per cent of adults with high blood pressure were aware they had it. The awareness levels dropped to less than 40 per cent of adults when counting those from low to middle income countries. The United Nations’ goal for 2025 is to reduce uncontrolled hypertension globally by 25 per cent. (JC)

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