City programme improves hypertension control

Update: September, 22/2017 - 22:40
People in HCM City get free blood-pressure screening under a programme called Communities for Healthy Hearts. – VNA/VNS Photo Phương Vy
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — Nearly 53,000 people in HCM City received free screening for blood pressure at more than 300 venues under the Communities for Healthy Hearts programme, according to the municipal Department of Health.

More than 20,500 people were diagnosed with hypertension and referred to public and private health facilities while 10,800 received treatment.

The programme was launched in September last year on a pilot basis in districts 8, 12, Gò Vấp, and Thủ Đức, covering a population of two million including a target population of 700,000 people aged 40 or more.

The three-year programme aims to improve blood pressure control among adults by increasing access to hypertension treatment regimes in a sustainable and scalable manner.

Around half the people at the free screening found to have hypertension are not even aware of their condition, Nguyễn Trí Dũng, director of the city Preventive Medicine Centre, said.

Many diagnosed with hypertension either do not start treatment or discontinue, he told a conference in the city on Wednesday.

The programme would be scaled up to improve hypertension screening and management, he said.

PATH, an international non-profit organisation, is working to engage local social enterprises to increase the number of access points for cardio-vascular health education and screening.

It is also collaborating with the public and private health sectors and communities to strengthen treatment and referral services.

The lessons from the programme will be independently evaluated to inform scale-up of hypertension control efforts.

In Việt Nam, hypertension, a major risk factor in causing cardiovascular diseases, leads to an estimated 91,000 deaths a year or a fifth of all mortalities.

A study by the Việt Nam National Heart Institute found that one quarter of the adult population has hypertension but fewer than half are aware of their condition and only 11 percent of cases are controlled. —VNS