Ministry of Health, WHO urges on blood pressure tests

Sam Banda Jnr, Malawi 
(First published in The Daily Times, Malawi on 10th April 2013): THE Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation (WHO) have called on adults in the country to check their blood pressure and adhere to medical advice when found with high blood pressure. The advice follows this year's World Health Day theme which is focusing on high blood pressure. In a statement released on Saturday, Secretary for Health Charles Mwansambo and WHO Resident Representative Felicitas Zawaira also advise people to practice healthy lifestyles to prevent and control high blood pressure and its complications.

"The general public may wish to know that high blood pressure is both preventable and treatable. The Ministry of Health is therefore calling upon the general public to observe the measures in order to reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure," reads the statement.

Apart from checking blood pressure regularly, the other measures include reducing salt intake, eating a balanced diet (increasing fruit and vegetable intake), avoiding harmful use of alcohol, taking regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy body weight and avoiding tobacco use.

According to WHO statistics, globally, one in three adults has high blood pressure. It has also been observed the proportion increases with age, from one in 10 among people in their 20 to 30 years of age to five in 10 among people aged 50 years and above.

Ministry of Health says the country is equally affected with 32.9 percent of adults aged 25 years and above affected by raised blood pressure and that among Malawians who are diabetic, 50 percent also have high blood pressure.

In commemoration of the World Health Day 2013 in Malawi, the WHO Country Office and the Ministry of Health have organised an open event on April 19 at Kasungu Health Office.

Sam Banda Jnr, Malawi 
Citizen News Service - CNS
(First published in The Daily Times, Malawi on 10th April 2013)