One in every three Kenyans may be hypertensive, doctors warn

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By Jacktone Lawi
One in every three adults is suffering from hypertension with the prevalence expected to grow due to bad feeding habits.
According to Senior Deputy Director of Medical Services in Kenya, Dr Pacifica Onyancha, one out of four people in Kenya is affected by hypertension and among children the statistics stand at one in every four having a likelihood of being hypertensive.
 Onyancha says that previously perceived to be a disease for the old it is growing to the young generation due to lack of exercise and funny feeding habits
“And so people should not ignore going out for checkup. People should stop assuming that they are safe from non communicable diseases (NCDs) which have no symptoms.” said Dr. Pacifica

The Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Kenya Cardiac Society (KCS) and other stakeholders commemorated World Hypertension Day at Uhuru Park Garden. The event’s aim was to encourage the Kenyans to have their blood pressure measured. This event was forming the recently launched long campaign dubbed Pima Pressure with the theme Know your numbers

Hypertension is the main risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, which are the leading cause of death. However, there is a wide disparity in the number of people who are aware of their hypertensive condition, those who are being treated and are not controlled, and those who are being treated and are controlled.

The World Hypertension Day activities was to implement free screenings in various counties at health facilities and institutions throughout May as part of the Pima Pressure campaign which is part of the May Measurement Month. In this month the Ministry plans to screen at least 200,000 people where they intend to provide cardiovascular health education at the national and community levels.

She advised the Kenyans to register in the National Health Insurance Fund to cater for chronic diseases that come as a result of hypertension.  The diseases include the stroke, cardiac arrest, diabetes, cancer and also blood pressure. She added that the main solution to hypertension is a NEW START, which she broke down into:

The NCDs are caused by lack of diet that comprises of vegetables and fruits, lack of physical exercise, a lot of alcohol consumption and excess tobacco, a lot of sugary products, salty products, over relaxing. The high blood pressure disease has got no symptoms and this makes it hard to be detected. It’s advisable to check your pressure twice a month, failure to which one could suffer serious diseases like the stroke, Professor Gerald added.


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