World Hypertension Day has been observed by CBC Health Services with a call for people to inculcate health-seeking behaviours. Celebrated every May 17, the 2023 edition focused on the theme “Measure your blood pressure accurately, Control it, and Live Longer”. The day is set aside to create public awareness, prevention, and treatment of hypertension around the world.
The CBC Health Services through its Non- Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Programme used the occasion to encourage the public on the importance of “knowing your numbers” through the checking of vital signs. It is from this backdrop that the Programme Manager, Mr. Takwe Boniface in his presentations at Nkwen Baptist Hospital and the Health Services Central Administration called on everyone to make it a point of duty to intentionally go to the hospital to check their health numbers and be sure everything is fine. This he referred to as a health-seeking behavior. Mr. Takwe further stressed that there are many people living with hypertension and other non-communicable diseases that do not produce any warning signs and in order to reduce and prevent the number of people dying from these conditions, he encouraged everyone to periodically go to the hospital to check their health numbers, especially at CBC health facilities where there is the special unit of “Know Your Numbers”, to check their blood pressure and other important health numbers.
Mrs. Dora Kibong, the head of department for the Hypertension and Diabetes Unit of the Nkwen Baptist Hospital says working with the patients has not been an easy job. “Bringing the patients together was a very difficult initiative but when they came to understand and accept their health situations, they are now able to flow with the disease since time was taken to explain to them the consequences and complications of the disease. With that understanding, the patients can now adhere to treatment and the testimonies have been enormous as patients now anticipate for their clinic days. During clinic days, we give them fruits and we have told them to make their environments fruit friendly” she articulated.
During the celebrations at the Nkwen Baptist Hospital in Bamenda, the patients received a pat on their backs from the hospital administration beginning with the Assistant Supervisor for Nursing Services Mr. Baiyong Gilbert who expressed the joy of receiving patients for follow-up on a monthly basis, a clear indication they are following the advice from the nurses and Doctors, given that health is wealth and they must do everything to stay healthy. Mr. Baiyong made the patients understand that they don’t need to wait until they have a crisis before they come to the hospital as he demonstrated by example the importance of knowing your numbers by asking the nurses to do him a check to be sure his numbers are in order.
On her part, the assistant administrator in charge of personnel Mrs. Tangwa Faith was glad for the patients for prioritizing their health above everything else. “As you have put your hands on the plough, don’t look back. If you miss an appointment for clinic, come another day in order to stay healthy. Spread the news about the importance of checking your blood pressure at least once a month to your family members and neighbors. ” She added that NCDs are silent killers just like a gun that kills you without a signal and so encouraged the patients to continue to make use of the opportunity to check their vital signs and to do the same for their children since the disease cuts across all ages. “Take your health seriously and be our ambassadors” she concluded.
The patients expressed satisfaction and gratitude to the health workers for the care and treatment they are receiving at the hospital and for the sporting exercise and fruits that they get every clinic day. According to them, they have received a lot of counseling and education from the nurses that have helped reduce the number of crises recorded and have improved their lifestyles. Low-intensity aerobic exercises characterized the event.