On Tuesday, the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday launched an initiative ‘India Hypertension Management Initiative (IHMI)’ which aimed at reducing cardiovascular disease-related deaths and disability in the country.
In collaboration with the Department of Health Research (DHR) and the Indian Council of Medical Research ICMR) the initiative was launched, as reported by PTI. The initiative will focus on reinforcing hypertension management and monitoring at primary health care level. It is in line with national guidelines and with the WHO’s Global Hearts Initiative.
In India, around 200 million adults suffer from high blood pressure according to an official statement by the health ministry. But only a quarter of the population with hypertension in the rural areas are aware of their condition, study suggest. The study also stated that the risk factors for stroke and heart attack are increasingly prevalent in every state.
And in urban areas only 20 percent people have their blood pressure under control and 40 percent of the population with hypertension are aware of their condition.
IHMI aims at strengthening the cardiovascular disease component of the government’s National Program for Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) according to the statement.
The ICMR, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and IHME’s ‘India: Health of the Nation’s States’ report published this month, mentions that every state now suffers from a higher burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries than infectious diseases.
Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Secretary, DHR and Director-General, ICMR said, “Hypertension is the single biggest risk factor for heart attacks and stroke in India and often detected only after the occurrence of deadly complications.”
She also added, “This initiative will enable state governments working alongside the other IHMI partners to improve treatment for hypertension and achieve our shared goal of reducing deaths due to cardiovascular disease.”
With specific targets to be achieved by 2025, including a 25 percent reduction in overall mortality due to cardiovascular diseases the government has adopted a national action plan for prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.