Speakers at World Health Day webinar
Staff Reporter, Dhaka : The prevalence of hypertension and hypertension – related various non-communicable diseases and deaths are growing increasingly in Bangladesh. Ensuring availability of hypertension treatment facilities at community clinic level can be a cost-effective approach in this regard. Public health experts and heart specialists highlighted this information at a webinar titled “Health Risks Associated with Hypertension and the Needful” organized by research and advocacy organization PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress) with support from Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) on Thursday, April 06. This year World Health Day will be observed under the theme “Health for All”.
It was informed at the webinar that one in every five adults in Bangladesh suffers from hypertension, which is very alarming. Availability of hypertension medicines must be ensured at the community clinic level to make hypertension treatment accessible to the entire population of the country and necessary budget allocation also must be ensured in this regard.
Vice Chairperson of the Community Clinic Health Support Trust (CCHST) Dr Makhduma Nargis said, “The Hon’ble Prime Minister has made commitment to ensure primary health care services from community clinics. Inclusion of hypertension drugs in the drug list of community clinics can be made possible with the consultation of expert committee of the Community Based Health Care (CBHC) under the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). However, importance should also be given on ensuring trained manpower and increasing their number in community clinics.”
Dr. S M Mustafa Zaman, Professor, Department of Cardiology at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) informed at the webinar, “Awareness should be increased about accurate measurement of blood pressure and patients should be given motivation along with medication. At the same time, if the existing initiatives to control hypertension can be implemented in a coordinated manner, the prevalence of hypertension can be reduced to a great extent.”
According to World Health Organization (WHO) 30 percent of the global population is not able to access essential health services and almost two billion people face catastrophic or impoverishing health spending. However, evidence shows that health systems powered by a primary health care (PHC) approach is the most effective and cost-effective way to bring services for health and well-being closer to people.
Muhammad Ruhul Quddus, Bangladesh Country Lead of GHAI; Professor Dr. Sohel Reza Choudhury, Head of Department of Epidemiology & Research, National Heart Foundation; Dr Shamim Jubayer, Program Manager, Hypertension Control Program, National Heart Foundation Hospital and Research Institute and ABM Zubair, Executive Director of PROGGA were also present at the webinar as discussants. The webinar was moderated by PROGGA’s Coordinator Sadia Galiba Prova. People of different professions from different regions of the country participated in the webinar.
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