Nkwen Baptist Hospital (NBH) together with Persons Living with Hypertension have commemorated World Hypertension Day (WHD) on June 15, 2022, under the theme, “Measure Your Blood Pressure, Control it, Live Longer”. The day was marked by fun activities such as health walk, aerobic dances, fun games, role play, and testimonies of success stories among others.
Welcoming participants, the Supervisor of Nursing Services (SNS) for Nkwen Baptist Hospital (NBH), Mrs. Chimi Emerencia Ngong Nassah said, any home having someone living with hypertension is a healthy home. “If you have a hypertensive person at home, you’re a healthy family because you eat from the same pot with little or no salt and oil,” she said adding that, having a hypertensive patient at home is an opportunity for family members to make healthier choices by benefiting from the patient’s health tips as recommended by the doctor, hence avoiding Non Communicable Diseases.
Hypertension, commonly known as High blood pressure occurs when a person’s Blood Pressure is persistently high. About 1.3 billion adults aged 30-39 years live with Hypertension worldwide, and the majority of these persons live in low- and middle-income countries, including Cameroon. In Cameroon, 1 in 5 persons have Hypertension; only 24% take antihypertensive medicines, and just 11.2% have controlled Blood Pressure. Whereas controlled Blood Pressure is indispensable in avoiding complications of Hypertension like stroke, heart failure, and kidney failure, reason why the theme for this year couldn’t be more apt.
Prior to this commemoration, the hospital has been raising awareness by giving health talks in churches, outpatient units, radio and social media. NBH runs a monthly hypertension clinic for persons living with hypertension every third Wednesday of the month with over 400 hypertensive patients attended to every month. This clinic provides individualized lifestyle modification counselling, an essential aspect of managing Hypertension.
During the WHD commemoration, the patients elected a leader to coordinate their activities. Mr Janvier Fomukong the newly elected president is a business man who has been living with hypertension since 2016 and confirmed that the clinic has helped him tremendously in managing his condition.
“Before joining the clinic, I used to be overweight with over 90kgs and I ate just about anything that came my way at any time, be it late at night. But now I am more intentional about controlling what I eat at what time. I exercise regularly too. This has helped me to keep my weight and blood pressure stable”. President of Persons Living with Hypertension, Nkwen Baptist Hospital, Mr. Janvier Fomukong said, it is really an honour and a huge task that has been put on me today as president of the Hypertension Association. “I will work with my peers and Hypertension Educators to see that we manage our conditions properly,” he declared.
It is worth noting that in like manner, awareness activities in respect to WHD were done in several facilities of the CBC Health Services across Cameroon. The Director of Health Services, Prof. Tih Pius in his address on World Hypertension Day, called on everyone to seize this awareness opportunity to remind someone to measure their blood pressure and follow medical advice on how to control their blood pressure.
World Hypertension Day is usually commemorated worldwide on May 17, but awareness raising and screening continues way beyond that day.