A workshop on the rising burden of NCDs & prevention and care of hypertension organized jointly by National Centre for Human Settlements & Environment (NCHSE) and Consumer VOICE, New Delhi in Bhopal on Wednesday.

The chief Guest Dr. Prabhakar Tiwari, CMHO, Bhopal while addressing the participants said that people in rural India has the belief that they work hard therefore they can’t suffer from hypertension. He said that this is a misconception, hypertension is prevalent equally in urban and rural India and that  screening of hypertensive individuals is crucial to prevent morbidity and mortality associated with hypertension.  Stressing on the importance of India’s frontline primary care in rural and semi-urban areas, he said that “primary health care centres in Madhya Pradesh support the efforts of the government through uninterrupted supply and availability of hypertension protocol medicines and helps in scaling up hypertension control in the state.”

Dr Tiwari further emphasized on the need for lifestyle modifications to curb hypertension”.

Ashim Sanyal, COO  of Consumer Voice during his introductory lecture raised concern that the screening of hypertensive individuals was lowest in Madhya Pradesh (61.3 per cent).  Talking about how timely intervention can save patients from serious hypertension problems like stroke and organ damage, he said  that “most Indians are not aware that they are suffering from hypertension. Strengthening primary healthcare will not only reduce mortality but also significantly reduce the need for secondary and tertiary care and its related costs.”   He also stressed that “as a consumer rights organization we have made it our mission to work with people, spread awareness and ensure that more and more people are screening their BP regularly and if diagnosed as hypertension, staying on treatment.”

Dr Abhishek Goyal, Professor and Head Department of Pulmonary Medicine, AIIMS Bhopal said that obstruction in brething during sleep is a serious disorder or Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). About one Billion people suffer from OSA worldwide. Approx 1/3rd Males and 1/4th females have OSA and patients with severe OSA have an increased risk of hypertension, heart attack, heart failure and strokes. OSA is a modifiable and highly prevalent factor in the development of hypertension. He further said that about 7 % road accidents occur due to sleep Apnea in drivers. Even the Railway drivers also often miss signal due to this factor.

He further said that Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Therapy (CPAP) along with life style modification is the most effective treatment for OSA and hypertension. In the workshop, Mrs Prem Bai, one of the patient of acute Sleep apnea narrated her story about her recovery through treatment under Dr Goyal at AIIMS, Bhopal.

At the start Dr Pradip Nandi, Director General, NCHSE said that the Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including Hypertension is a major cause of pre mature death in India. Madhya Pradesh has also high incidence of this disease. This being a silent killer most of the people are unaware of this disease and fails to take precaution.

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